A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

GoodReads Summary:
Talia fell under a spell…
Jack broke the curse.
I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic…
I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.
I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger’s soft kiss.
I couldn’t help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn’t know this would happen.
Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!
Now I’m stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels…The good news: My parents will freak!
Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?
A Kiss in TimeReview:
Somehow, I hadn’t read this book by Alex Flinn. I’ve read almost all of her books, and actually thought I’d read this one already. The highlight of this story was the character development. At the beginning of the story, Jack and Talia are both pretty awful, but as the story progresses, they teach and learn from one another about what’s really important. They each help the other become better versions of themselves.
I liked the concept of this story. It’s a Snow White retelling, but Flinn’s twist is that the whole kingdom falls asleep with Talia. This was a fun twist because after they sleep for 300 years, they awake in the 21st century and that is more than culture shock for them. I thought this was a really fun way to tell this story and I really liked how Jack’s father came in to help Talia’s kingdom figure out how to function in this new strange world.
Overall, this was a fun retelling with incredible character growth. I went from really disliking Jack and Talia both to being really invested in their relationship.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

GoodReads Summary:
Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.
Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.
After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.
But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined.
Wild Blue WonderReview:
Wild Blue Wonder was a wonderful story about siblings and grief and learning how to move forward after the death of someone important. This story is told in the past as well as the present. In the past, Quinn talks about how and when she fell in love with Dylan. The only problem with this is that Dylan is her best friend, but he’s also her siblings’ best friend and they might be in love with him too. I thought the chapters told in the past were really interesting. They were told in a suspenseful way that also enlightened us on the characters, made me care about them even more. It really gave perspective on how much things have changed for the siblings in the present. In the present, Quinn and her brother and sister can barely look at one another. They fight all the time or just ignore each other. It made me really sad to see them this way after getting to see them together during camp the previous year. I really liked the progress that the three made toward the end of the book. While this story was primarily about Quinn and how she was working on moving forward after the death of her best friend, which she views as her fault, there were some really great moments with the three of them toward the end. As with any horrible situation, like a best friend dying, each sibling has their own issues that they’re holding onto about it. I really loved the conclusion of the story when the three come back together and finally talk and work through what each of them is feeling and why they’re hurting. I just loved the family dynamic. Along with Quinn’s brother and sister, she also lives with her parents and her grandmother. I loved Quinn’s relationship with her grandmother. She always just seems to know what Quinn needs to help her feel a little better. They rebuild one of her grandfather’s boats together and it really was a wonderful part of the story.
Overall, I just really enjoyed this book. It was sad and heartbreaking, but there was real character growth and I loved these characters so much that it made my heart so happy to see them all work through their bad stuff and try to move forward. I also really liked Quinn’s friends. They were supportive and did their best to stand by her and help hold her together. I also liked how this story was diverse and inclusive. Quinn’s older brother was gay and that was explored a bit in both the past and present timelines. I thought this was a great story and I would definitely recommend it.

Quotes:

“My mother used to tell me that sometimes when a woman’s in darkness, she doesn’t need a goddamn flashlight. She needs another woman to stand in the dark by her side.”

“I could sell some of them — get a good chuck of change. But these were Grandpa’s. In my mind, these are Grandpa’s. All around us, this is my grief. And my grief fills the entire barn.”

“I chisel with frigid, numb hands. I scoop out crevices and corners, work over this spot and that spot again and again, dig out this disease that’s infecting everything. It’s the only way to begin.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund

GoodReads Summary:
High school senior Keely Collins takes on firsts, lasts, and everything in between in this sweet, sex-positive rom-com for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han.
It seemed like a good plan at first.
When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely’s own eighteenth birthday party, she’s inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that–but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she’s going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she’s known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it’s kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten.
So she can’t believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he’s fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her.
But Dean’s already in college, and Keely is convinced he’ll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That’s when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he’s clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends–just friends–so things are about to get complicated.
The Best Laid PlansReview:
I liked this book at first. I thought it would be a fun story about a girl falling in love with her best friend. It was that. But there were quite a few things I didn’t like that really affected my enjoyment of the story.
First of all, there was something about the way Keely felt about being a virgin that I really didn’t like. I understand that some teenagers actually feel this way, but this is supposed to be a super sex-positive book and I just wish that Keely’s choice to lose her virginity had been more of an empowerment thing rather than her wanting to do it because of peer pressure. This sort of set an icky tone to the story right from the start.
Then there are the high school boys in this book. Keely and Andrew have been friends their whole lives, so Keely tags along with the guys and is treated as ‘one of the guys.’ This was fine because I was also totally one of the guys in high school, but these guys were horrible. The way they degraded the girls they went to school with and it wasn’t challenged. It just didn’t sit well with me.
Overall, I really wanted to like this book. But there were just too many things that rubbed me the wrong way. I liked the concept, but the execution was not for me.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

GoodReads Summary:
Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.
Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.
Moxie meets A Knight’s Tale as Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit SweetlyReview:
This book was so much fun. The story follows Kit Sweetly in her quest to become a knight at her local Ren Faire. I loved this premise. Kit isn’t allowed to be a knight because only cis men are allowed to be knights according to company policy. I really loved how passionate she was about wanting to be a knight. She breaks a few rules and eventually comes up with a plan to get her and a few friends on horses for one of the daily shows. But as with any plan, things go wrong. I didn’t love that Kit kept certain things hidden from her friends. I thought their anger was completely justified, even though I did still feel bad for Kit. I also really liked Kit’s mom and brother. I loved that Kit and Chris were close with one another, but also with their mom. I loved the family dynamic.
I think one of the best parts of the book was the casual diversity. There was a trans character, a nonbinary (they/them pronouns) character, and a queer character. These characters and a few others are a part of Kit’s group that is trying to change the unfair company policy regarding who is allowed to play a knight at the Faire. I say casual diversity because these characters weren’t treated any other way than what they should be. They were just a part of the world, just like in the real world.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There was a small romance too, but I honestly would have preferred to learn more about her best friend’s romance than hers. Though I did still like the romance, because it’s friends to lovers and that’s one of my favorites. I loved the setting of the Ren Faire and I loved the storyline of girls fighting for their chance to be the knight in shining armor. I also really loved the history of powerful female knights that was included. I definitely think more people should be talking about this book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker

GoodReads Summary:
Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.
But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.
With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.
This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.
Wild at Heart (Wild, #2)Review:
After reading and loving The Simple Wild, I knew I needed its sequel. I’m so glad that I didn’t waste any time ordering it because it was so good. We follow Calla after she’s made the decision to move back to Alaska to be with Jonah. I loved that this was a slice of life story. We’re getting to see Jonah and Calla move to a new area of Alaska and start their lives together, but Jonah finds new dreams to go after and Calla feels like she has to be supportive of them. There were struggles for both of them, but they worked through them. I really liked getting to see the conflict and see how they resolved them.
I definitely loved Calla and Jonah together. I loved everything about their relationship. We get to see the fun times and the harder things they’re figuring out how to deal with. But the best part of this story was Calla and her growth. She figures out how to get her license. She gets to know the people in town. She meets her neighbors. She becomes a part of the community. I loved seeing Calla figuring out how to make a life for herself outside of her relationship with Jonah in her new home. She really struggled, but that just made the story that much better.
Overall, I am already very excited to see what’s going to happen in the third book. I loved the setting. I loved the struggles and conflicts. There were lots of parts with the people in the new town and getting to know these characters was so enjoyable. Calla’s grouchy neighbor was absolutely my favorite. I also really liked the history of Calla and Jonah’s new property that was included in the story. I loved everything about this story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Majesty by Katharine McGee

GoodReads Summary:
Is America ready for its first queen?
Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton.
As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans.
A new reign has begun…
Majesty (American Royals, #2)Review:
Majesty wasn’t as dramatic as the first book, but I still enjoyed it. This story follows several characters as their lives change after the events in book one.
Beatrice is now the Queen of America. She faces unexpected hurdles and also finds some happy surprises. There are challenges to being the first Queen, certain people are purposefully getting in her way and undermining her. It takes her a while, but she finally stands up and stops letting others tell her what she should or shouldn’t be doing. I really liked seeing Beatrice figure out how to be the Queen she wanted, to be what her father would have wanted her to be. I also really liked seeing Beatrice fall in love. I was really happy about how Beatrice and Teddy’s relationship developed. I enjoyed seeing them become better friends and then gain stronger feelings. I also like how everything happened with the wedding (I won’t say more because of spoilers).
Now Samantha is my favorite. She ends up fake dating a guy that’s actually mostly acceptable for her to date. It starts with both Samantha and Marshall fake dating to make their ex’s jealous, but somewhere in there, they realize that they like one another and they don’t want to pretend anymore. This was my favorite romance. Marshall is a part of the nobility, but he is also black. I liked that this was addressed. It’s acknowledged that slavery still existed, but I think there should have been more to this part of the conversation. I liked Samantha and Marshall’s relationship but I wanted more of it.
The author did Nina dirty. I understand why her storyline was like this. Nina has wanted to get out of the spotlight. She wanted to get back to her regular college life and stay out of the tabloids. That’s one of the big reasons that she and Jefferson broke up. But her chapters were boring and her break up with Jefferson really affected her friendship with Samantha and that was upsetting. Some of the best parts of Nina’s story were her adventures with Samantha. I was just bored with her story this time.
Daphne is still terrible. She’s still trying to win Jefferson back. But she also still shows these moments where it’s clear she just doesn’t want to do any of this anymore. There’s so much pressure from her mom. When she regains a friend from the past, I really thought things were going to change with her, but they didn’t. I just think she could have ended better and that didn’t happen. Daphne is just painted as a villain with no growth.
Overall, this was an entertaining read with some parts that I liked and others that I didn’t. I’ve read that this is the final book and I’m very unhappy about that. The ending of this book was not a strong series ending. Too many things were left open, leaving the reader thinking that more will be coming.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.
For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.
The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)Review:
I really don’t know how to explain my feelings for this series. I think I do it better in my first two reviews because I liked the first two books better. That’s not me saying that I didn’t like this book, because I still gave it five stars on GoodReads.
But there were a few things I didn’t like about this ending. We get parts of the story that follow Hoa, one of the stone eaters. I definitely thought getting this history was interesting but I feel like adding this made it so the conclusion was really fast. I wanted more from Nassun and Essun’s reunion. I thought it all happened too fast.
Despite not liking this aspect, I still really enjoyed this book. I loved getting Hoa’s history. I thought it was fascinating to learn about how the current world came about. I also really enjoyed the different journeys of all of the different characters.
Overall, this series was full of incredible characters that I couldn’t help but love and a fascinating world that I loved learning more and more about. I’ve already ordered all of Jemisin’s other books and I cannot wait to love them just as much as I did this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

GoodReads Summary:
In this nail-biting sequel to Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically acclaimed fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, La Voz operative Carmen is forced to choose between the girl she loves and the success of the rebellion she’s devoted her life to. Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Anna-Marie McLemore.
Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause.
Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers. She spent years undercover, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of a civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters.
There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be?
We Unleash the Merciless Storm (We Set the Dark on Fire, #2)Review:
We Unleash the Merciless Storm was a great ending for the story of Dani and Carmen and the world they live in. I realize that I didn’t really explain much in my review of the first book (read it here if you feel like it). I’m going to spoil a few things from the first book, so please don’t continue this review if you don’t want spoilers for We Set the Dark on Fire (just know I absolutely loved both books and they’re super gay and you should read them.) This story takes place in a world where the inner island and outer island are at odds. In the first book, Dani and Carmen are both just finishing school. They end up married with Dani as the Primera and Carmen as the Segunda. The man they marry is high up in Medio’s government. Which is great as both girls are working for the resistance organization that goes by La Voz. La Voz is working to bring down the Median government which basically is just run by the wealthy people on the island and leaves the rest to live in poverty. So much more happens in this story, but that was a quick overview.
One of the best things about this book was that, unlike the first book which was entirely from Dani’s perspective, this story is told by Carmen. I loved this because there was so much that was unknown about Carmen with where the first book ended. I really loved getting to know her history. Carmen also really struggled between her feelings for Dani and coming back to a home that she doesn’t totally recognize anymore. At the end of book one, Carmen is taken back to La Voz home base and that’s where this book starts. Carmen has been gone from La Voz for several years while she was deep undercover going to school to become a Segunda. So, when she comes back, she doesn’t totally recognize the La Voz that was her home before she left. Her best friend, Alex, is angry with her. And there’s someone new, someone, that is whispering into the Vulture’s ear. The Vulture is the leader of La Voz, but he isn’t acting like the leader that Carmen knows him to be. I loved the mystery of the ending which I’m not going to say anything further about because of spoilers. I also really enjoyed the conclusion in general. I would have liked to have gotten a ‘ten years later’ or something, but I was still satisfied with the ending. I really enjoyed all of the parts with Carmen and Dani reuniting, but also Carmen’s journey to get to Dani and find out what was going on was just as good. As much as I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see Dani until a decent way through the story, I think the anticipation of her and Carmen reuniting is what got me through.
Overall, I loved this book and I wish more people talked about this series. The world is fascinating and diverse. The relationship is queer and I’m so obsessed with it. There are wonderful friendships and a found family. I just think this is a great book and a great series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

GoodReads Summary:
In this daring and romantic fantasy debut perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Latinx authors Zoraida Córdova and Anna-Marie McLemore, society wife-in-training Dani has a great awakening after being recruited by rebel spies and falling for her biggest rival.
At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.
Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.
And school couldn’t prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.
Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or will she give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?
We Set the Dark on FireReview:
We Set the Dark on Fire totally blew me away. I bought this book as a kindle daily deal a few months ago and I’m so glad that I did. It was basically what the synopsis said the story is, but it was still so good.
The story was a bit predictable, but honestly, that made it better. The anticipation of the things I predicted happening was the best part of this story. Dani is picked to be the Primera of an up and coming politician. His family is one of the most powerful in the country. Dani was struggling with many emotions. She was trained that Primera’s don’t show those emotions. They are strong, logical, and strategic. They are equals with their husbands, there to support their careers and households. Dani was trying to pretend to be the perfect Primera when in reality she was anything but that.
Which brings us to Carmen, Dani’s rival at school. Carmen is chosen as Segunda. This was a challenge for Dani because Carmen was never very nice to Dani and now the two live together and are married to the same man, and essentially each other. They grow closer while they live together. I really loved these two getting to know one another better outside of their school rivalry.
Overall, this book was excellent. There was a female/female romance that I am totally obsessed with. They also attempt to overthrow the government. Dani is more or less forced to join the resistance and I love stories like that. Women fighting against a corrupt system is something I always want to read about.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

GoodReads Summary:
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents the sequel to the critically acclaimed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence. Among many other challenges, Sal and Gabi have to try to make everything right with our world when there is a rogue Gabi from another universe running loose.
Sal Vidon doesn’t want to live a Mami-free life. Pulling different versions of his mother from other universes is how he copes with missing his own, who died years ago. But Sal’s father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut down all the wormholes Sal creates, because Papi thinks they are eroding the very fabric of our world. All of Papi’s efforts are in vain, however, because a Gabi from another universe has gone rogue and is popping up all over the place, seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed. While Sal and Gabi work together to keep both Papi and Rogue Gabi under control, they also have to solve the mystery of Yasmany, who has gone missing from school. Could it have something to do with the wormhole in the back of his locker?
Readers who enjoyed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe will relish being back in the world of Culeco Academy and the Coral Castle along with such unforgettable characters as American Stepmom, the Gabi-Dads, Principal Torres, and the sassy entropy sweeper. With multiple Sals and Gabis in charge, it’s no wonder this sequel offers even more hilarious weirdness and love than the first book.
Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #2)Review:
I absolutely adored Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (read my review here), so I was beyond excited for this sequel. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to finally pick it up, but it was everything I expected.
So, in the last book, Sal and Gabi finally let their parents in on what they’ve been doing with the holes that Sal can make in the universe. That’s one aspect I really liked about this book (and series) the parents were actually involved in what was going on, for the most part. In this sequel, Sal is definitely hiding some things from his Papi, but he did it for what he thought were the right reasons. I really also loved the school that Sal and Gabi go to. There’s such a sense of community and it’s just such a wonderful place. I can only hope to find a school like that for my child in the future.
The thing I liked best about this story was the characters. Sal is a boy that has diabetes. He doesn’t let it hinder his life, but it’s very present in the story. I really liked this aspect of the story. On top of Sal’s diabetes, he’s Cuban (as are many of the other characters in the story.) I loved that the main cast of characters was diverse and interesting.
Gabi, Sal’s best friend, is equally one of the best parts of this book. She’s such a take-charge girl and I love her so much. She has such a huge heart and does anything she can for the people in her life. I love her caring personality and I love her family. She has such an interesting and wonderful family dynamic that I loved seeing in this book. She has many dads and I love how different and loving her family is.
Overall, this book was amazing. The story was interesting and kept me wanting to read non-stop, but also want to read it slowly so that it wouldn’t be over. This story is so full of love, supportive friendships, adventure, and a whole bunch of science I could never understand. This series is one I will scream about forever.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

GoodReads Summary:
A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.
Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.
Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.
As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…
A Rogue of One's Own (A League of Extraordinary Women, #2)Review:
A Rogue of One’s Own follows Lady Lucie who spearheads a group of suffragists who are fighting for their rights as women. They are trying to fight against something being passed in the government that would essentially make women property once they got married. Lucie is very passionate about women’s rights. So passionate that it’s the reason she’s estranged from her family. I really liked Lucie. She was a fun character that cares deeply about important things. Lucie is adaptable. When obstacles find their way in her path, she paves a new one and I really liked this about her. She’s stubborn and always has a plan. But she also has wonderful friends who help her come up with new ideas when she’s at a loss for what to do next. I liked that Lucie’s friendships were just as much a part of this book as the romance.
Enter romantic interest: Tristan. Tristian was a friend of Lucie’s brother, so he was around every summer during her childhood. He played endless pranks on Lucie so she doesn’t like him much. But when he buys the other half of the publishing company she’s hoping to use to further her causes, it causes trouble.
I wouldn’t quite call this a hate-to-love romance because yes, Lucie hates Tristan, but Tristan doesn’t hate Lucie and never has. I really enjoyed the banter between the two. Lucie comes to realize her feelings was also great. The best part was Lucie coming to terms with falling in love while also still being the spearhead of a very important cause for women. She’s struggling to make both work in her life, but she realizes that she isn’t willing to give either of them up.
Overall, this story was entertaining and very enjoyable. I loved Lucie and I loved Tristan. I enjoyed the romance and the steamier scenes. I adored the friendships and family drama. If you like historical romance, you’ll love this one.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Black Veins by Ashia Monet

GoodReads Summary:
In a world where magic thrives in secret city corners, a group of magicians embark on a road trip—and it’s the “no-love-interest”, found family adventure you’ve been searching for.
Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop, so why should she care about having apocalyptic abilities?
She’s given a reason when magician anarchists crash into said coffee shop and kidnap her family.
Heartbroken but determined, Blythe knows she can’t save them alone. A war is brewing between two magician governments and tensions are too high. So, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled—the other Guardians.
The Black Veins (Dead Magic Book 1)Review:
The Black Veins was a really fun and diverse story. In this world, magic is real. But it’s a secret. There are spells to hide magical places (like Blythe’s family’s coffee shop) from those without magic. I thought the world itself was really interesting. There is a government to the magical world. But there’s also more than one. The Black Veins is one and the other is newer, the Trident Republic which is painted to be the enemy. Blythe hears a song one night, a song that leads her almost right off the edge of her roof. This is when the Black Veins steps in and decides it’s time for the Guardians to go somewhere safe. So, Blythe gets ready to leave her family and to be taken in by the Black Veins, but before that can happen her entire family is kidnapped by the Trident Republic. Blythe goes with the Black Veins when they come for her, but she has a different mission: to convince the other Guardians to help rescue her family by going to the most dangerous place for them.
The best part of this book was the characters. Each of the Guardians was so different. I really loved them all. I think a part of that was the fact that they didn’t really get along at first. None of them wanted to be there, leaving their homes and family. Some were snarky, some scared, but I loved all of them. And I grew to love them as they grew to one another.
Overall, this book was wonderful. It was diverse and full of amazing relationships. There was action and adventure, grief, and emotion, all of the best things. I cannot wait to read more of this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

GoodReads Summary:
As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.
Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.
Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.
The Gravity of UsReview:
I made the best decision ever and chose to listen to the audiobook for this story. The audiobook was incredible. There is one narrator that tells most of the story. These are the parts of Cal’s story. But there are also some interludes where we get bits and pieces of the TV show that surrounds NASA and this is narrated by several different people. It was so well done and I enjoyed it so much.
I really liked Cal. He knew what he wanted from life and he was doing his best to go get it. But also, he’s still a teenager so he has to listen to his parents. I really liked how passionate he was about being a reporter. He has a large following and pushes the limits of his life to continue giving his loyal followers content.
I also really liked how Cal’s views changed after moving. He was desperate to move back to Brooklyn as soon as he moved. But the longer he was there the more he made friends and ended up liking his new home. I think what it comes down to is Cal really showed growth. He made great new relationships (though he neglected his old one which I didn’t like.) He also eventually took the time to understand his parents more and I loved this aspect. Cal resented his dad a little for uprooting the family, but once Cal realized how important being an astronaut was to his dad, he tried to understand and be more supportive.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved Cal. There were great new friendships. I loved the romance. The boys were sweet and I loved how they communicated. There was also anxiety and depression representation. I really liked this story and I will definitely be reading more by this author.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)Review:
Just like the first book, I loved everything about this story. If it was reasonable to just copy my review for that here, I would totally do it. The Obelisk Gate was just as much of a wild ride as The Fifth Season. The world is just so fascinating there’s no stopping being sucked into the story, dying to find out more about what’s happening.
What I really loved about this book was that for some of the chapters we get to see what’s been happening with Nassun, Essun’s daughter. The way that Jemisin connects the two stories is mind-blowing. All of the little bits and pieces we’re getting to figure out just made me want to read faster and faster, but I’m loving the world and its characters that I want to slow down so I can stay engrossed in the story for as long as possible.
I really loved seeing Essun’s past come back to her present. It was one of the best parts of the story because it gave me some of my favorite things from the first book back.
I’m typing this as fast as I can so that I can spend more time reading book three before I have to go to bed tonight. I loved this world. The magic and politics were so interesting, but there’s also the way we’re left wondering how the world got to be the way it is. Some characters seem to know more about it and I’m dying to learn more.
This story remains incredibly diverse with race and skin color, sexuality, and gender identity. I loved this aspect so much. I loved how these things were made to be normal in this world.
Overall, I loved this book. I cannot wait to finish the series. The story just goes by so quickly because it is so easy to get pulled into the world with these characters. Jemisin’s writing is incredible. If I am ever half the writer that she is, it would be a wonder. I found myself not realizing that I’d almost finished the story. This is a world I never want to leave and will definitely be returning to.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
It’s been six weeks since Magnus and his friends returned from defeating Fenris Wolf and the fire giants. Magnus has adjusted to life at the Hotel Valhalla—as much as a once-homeless and previously alive kid can. As a son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of Odin’s chosen warriors, but he has a few good peeps among his hallmates on floor nineteen, and he’s been dutifully training for Ragnarok along with everyone else. His days have settled into a new kind of normal.
But Magnus should have known there’s no such thing as normal in the Nine Worlds. His friends Hearthstone and Blitzen have disappeared. A new hallmate is creating chaos. According to a very nervous goat, a certain object belonging to Thor is still missing, and the thunder god’s enemies will stop at nothing to gain control of it.
Time to summon Jack, the Sword of Summer, and take action. Too bad the only action Jack seems to be interested in is dates with other magical weapons…
The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2)Review:
I have loved every single one of Riordan’s books I’ve read so far. I don’t know what it is about this series but I just don’t love it as much as his others. There are many things I do like. For example, Magnus was a homeless kid in Boston before he died and I think it’s so great that this is a thing that exists because homelessness is a topic generally avoided and Riordan didn’t do that. This series is also filled with a diverse cast of characters. The newest edition, Alex, is gender fluid. I can’t speak to the quality of the representation but I thought it was really interesting to read Magnus’s questions and Alex’s answers. I also love Samira. I love that even though she’s sucked into the world of Norse mythology, she still holds strong to her faith and beliefs. I thought this was a great part of the story.
My biggest issue with this book was that literally, everything was such high stakes. I guess I understand because it’s the second book in a series, but it was too much sometimes. Every step toward their goal was ‘complete this task or DIE’ and it just seemed a little unnecessary.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. The characters were 100% the best part. I loved the diverse cast and getting to see them learning more about one another. I plan to finish the series for sure to see how everything ends up. Also, the way this story ended had me screaming. I cannot wait for the two different groups to meet up.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.