Book Tag – Cookies!

I saw this tag posted by Boston Book Reader and thought it looked like fun! I hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed writing!

Chocolate Chip – A classic book you love or really enjoyed

Amanda: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Antonia: The Count of Monte Cristo is my new favorite classic.

Thin Mints – A fandom that you really want to join and/or a hyped up book you want to read

Amanda: The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. I have this on my shelves and I’m DYINGG to read it.

Antonia: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.

Shortbread – An author you can’t get enough of

Amanda: John Green forever, but also Sarah J. Maas.

Antonia: I literally never get sick of Nora Roberts.

Samoas – An emotional rollercoaster

Amanda: Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Antonia: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.

Oreos – A book whose cover was better than the story or whose story was better than the cover

Amanda: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco i didn’t like this story as much as i thought i would but the cover is to die for.

Antonia: I absolutely love the cover for The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey but didn’t love the story quite as much.

Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties) – A book that wasn’t what you expected

Amanda: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. I didnt expect to learn so much about the French Revolution and enjoy it.

Antonia: I really wasnt expecting much from The Dragon’s Gift series by Linsey Hall but ended up absolutely loving all the subseries.

Snickerdoodles – A book you may never stop loving or rereading

Amanda: I’m going to have to say A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (but only because i already answered a question with Looking for Alaska)

Antonia: The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory will forever be my favorite.

Book Tag – Back to School

It’s that time of year bookworms! Back to school is an exciting time of year. New pens, pencils, and markers. New notebooks and planners. Back to school shopping was always my favorite kind of shopping! This tag originally comes from a YouTuber named Jenny Unscripted.

English/Language Arts – Name your favorite author or books’ writing style

Amanda- John Green is my favorite author. But Ellen Hopkins is my favorite writing style. The way she writes her books in such a poetic way is incredible.

Antonia- I really love the way Patrick Rothfuss writes in The Kingkiller Chronicles. It’s as though the main character is telling the story directly to you and it adds so much depth to his character.

Math – A book that made you frustrated

Amanda- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. I just wanted to get some answers. I almost dnf’d it.

Antonia- Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. I character I loved from the previous series died in this one and I’m still so mad about it. (Note: I resent the fact that this one is for math because math was always my favorite subject.)

Science – A book that made you think or question things

Amanda- Any book by John Green. Also The Alchemist by Paul Coelho.

Antonia- The Shack by William P. Young.

History – Your favorite book from a different time period

Amanda: My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows for a historical fiction. And The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien for a book that’s actually from a different time period.

Antonia- I love any of the regency romance novels by Julia Quinn.

Art – Your favorite book with pictures

Amanda- Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast. This book (and the second one) have actual pages with pictures in them rather than just cute little pictures with the chapter headings.

Antonia- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

Drama – A book you would love to see adapted to a movie or TV show

Amanda- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas would be excellent to see as a tv show for sure.

Antonia- I totally agree with Amanda but to choose my own, I think The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory would make amazing movies.

Music – Name a character you think would have the same musical taste as you

Amanda- I think Charlie from Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow has potential to have the same musical taste as me. Likely some moody alternative music but also sometimes some poppin’ rap/hiphop.

Antonia- Simone from Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. She mentions what music she’s listening to often and I loved all her choices.

Lunch – A food you would love to try from a book

Amanda- I’m going to be basic on this one but I’d love to try butterbeer or any of the candies from the Harry Potter books.

Antonia- I always wanted to try all the foods from the epic feasts in the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.

Bus Ride Home – A book or author that is relaxing

Amanda- I’d have to say the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. Reading this series is like hanging out with an old friend. Always a good time guaranteed to have some laughs.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. I’ve read it so many times at this point that it’s like hanging out with an old friend.

Extra Credit – A book someone else told you to read and you ended up enjoying it

Amanda- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. My step sister told me to read this and I’m glad she did. It was super good.

Antonia- Most of the books Amanda yells at me to read. Most recently was the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

GoodReads Summary:
A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.
He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.
At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.
Review:
I found this book available as an ebook from my library. I’ve been getting ebooks from my library on my phone ever since I had a baby because reading on my phone is the best for those late night breastfeeding sessions. I was planning to spend time with my Kindle, but it’s a bit hard to hold while trying to keep the baby in the right position to feed so I mostly read on my phone. Because of this, I have found a few new books that weren’t on my TBR list. The Magicians was one of those. I did want to read this eventually because I wanted to read it before I watched the Netflix show. I’m excited to watch the show now that I’ve read the book and see what the differences are.
This book is totally not what I expected. It was way more detailed and the story was way more in-depth and involved than I was anticipating. The Magicians follows our main character, Quentin, on his journey to find happiness. On this journey, he finds magic, love, and some interesting adventures. Much of this book focuses on a book series that has stuck with Quentin for his whole life. It’s a series that reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia in a few ways. He dreams of visiting this far off world one day and going on a quest to save the world. Quentin ends up on several different adventures of his own, though none of them are what he expected at all. The storyline of this book was a little bizarre to me. We spent so much time following Quentin through his schooling and the copious amount of time he spent drinking and not nearly as much time on the crazy situations that he finds himself in. I spent more than half of the book wondering where the story was going and what the real plot of the story was. I definitely didn’t predict what ended up happening in any way.
As for Quentin, he annoyed me many times. He’s so stuck in his depression that anytime he gets what he thinks will make him happy it never lasts long. He finds out he’s a magician and that’s not enough to keep him happy despite the fact that he’s learning new things every day and he’s found himself in this incredible new part of the world that he never knew existed. He finds a good group of friends that he has fun with and that’s not enough to keep him happy. He somehow manages to get a girlfriend who is smart and caring and loves him but still, that’s not enough. It was honestly just annoying. Instead of doing something or trying to figure out why he’s never happy he just accepts that he’s not meant to be satisfied or happy no matter what he has in his life. It was an interesting addition to the story, the whole idea that maybe magicians aren’t meant to be happy and all that (there’s more to this idea). But Quentin was just a little annoying in his misery.
The supporting characters added a little extra to the story. While they could have been a little further developed with more backstory and maybe their own personal development aside from being students with Quentin and learning magic. I liked their personalities but they were a little shallow as their own characters. They had personalities, but they weren’t fully developed. I think they could have been done better.
Overall, this story was totally not what I was expecting. I liked the story well enough. It was certainly interesting; though I think certain parts of the story could have been done a little differently it was a great read for sure. I would have liked more development for the supporting characters and a little less of Quentin complaining about being unhappy. The storyline was creative and kept my interest.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Book Tag – The Summer Tag

I found this book tag over on Boston Book Reader who has all the fun book tags! I thought this would be a fun one now that summer is coming to an end.

What book cover makes you think of summer?

Amanda- Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow.

Antonia- Island of Glass by Nora Roberts

What book has brightened your day?

Amanda- The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. This series never fails to make me laugh.

Antonia- How am I supposed to choose? Books from my childhood are usually the ones that make me happiest.

Find a book cover with yellow on it.

Amanda- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Strong Larsson.

Antonia- Warrior Rising by P.C. Cast.

What is your favorite summer beach read?

Amanda- Pretty much anything by Nora Roberts or Janet Evanovich.

Antonia- I love reading Julia Quinn’s books at the beach. They make me laugh so hard.

What action book had you running to the ice cream man for some snacks?

Amanda- Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts for sure had me running for snacks to keep my hands as busy as my brain was.

Antonia- Hmm… I pretty much always have snacks no matter what so I can’t really answer this.

What book has left you with a bad or painful ending like a summer sunburn?

Amanda- Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. The events that occurred in this book were not okay.

Antonia- Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I loved this series but the ending killed me.

What book gave you happy feelings at the ending like a sunset at the end of a wonderful day?

Amanda- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. This book was too good and I totally loved the ending.

Antonia- Beheld by Alex Flinn. This book had me grinning like a lunatic.

What book cover reminds you of a sunset?

Amanda- Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. It actually has a sunset on the cover.

Antonia- If I Should Die by Amy Plum. It also has a sunset on the cover.

What is one book or series you hope to read this summer?

Amanda- The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. Summer is basically over at this point so my hope of reading this series is quickly dwindling.

Antonia- I’d like to finish the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova.

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

Summary: Sometimes, there is nowhere safe to hide.

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.

The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies’ room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone–until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

But one person wasn’t satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait–and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

Review: This book was amazing, as all of Nora’s are. She’s been an auto-buy author of mine since the first time I picked up one of her books and I’ve never been disappointed. This book was suspenseful, heart-wrenching, funny, and romantic.
I especially loved that it followed these characters over a fourteen year period. It starts with the mall shooting, then shows glimpses of the survivors over the years as they learn to cope with what happened to them, until it reaches present day when most of the story takes place. It was amazing to see the way these characters grew over the years and the different ways they handled (or didn’t) the trauma.
Simone was an awesome character. She goes from a teenager who’s life is ruined because she got dumped to a strong-willed, confident woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone. She tried to bury her feelings after the shooting; if she kept it locked up, it didn’t happen. I enjoyed watching her slowly open up and actually confront what had happened to her. She definitely has flaws but that only made her more relatable. I also loved how she dealt with her emotions through her art. Being a sculptor, she had a unique perspective that I found very interesting.
Reed is the best kind of male MC; he’s sexy, funny, romantic, tough and not afraid of his sensitive side. He’s perfectly comfortable going from the badass cop to chatting about art with Simone and CiCi. I really hate the super macho guys who think if they’re sensitive that makes them less of a man. Reed doesn’t have that hold-up and it made me love him even more.
CiCi is my favorite. She’s Simone’s grandmother, also an artist, and she’s basically the grandma we all wish we could have. She doesn’t act her age and is unapologetic about who she is. She was so quirky and fun that her character was definitely the highlight of the book for me.
The plot was intricate without being confusing. Since we got to follow the villain, Patricia’s, POV as well, we got to see both sides of the conflict. I like when a story does this because I still get the mystery and suspense that I want without being confused because I only have one side of the story. Patricia made an excellent villain. She was cold, violent, intelligent and psychotic, the kind of villain I adore but who still keeps me up at night.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery or romance. Nora blends the different themes perfectly in this book to make an amazing rollercoaster of a read.
I’d love to know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

GoodReads Summary:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
Review:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is a well-known book in a series that is loved by many readers. I am one of those readers that loves this series. I read this book for the first time years and years ago. Since then I have read all of Clare’s other books as well. I’ve also had to get rid of my books and recollected the entire series once again. Since completing my recollection, along with the upcoming release of the newest book (Queen of Air and Darkness), I knew I wanted to reread all of her books so that the stories are fresh in my mind but also so that I can finally take the time to review them all.
I’m really glad that I decided to do this reread because I found that I had forgotten more than I thought I had. I remembered the basic storyline. Shadowhunters (created by the angels) keep the downworlders (werewolves, vampires, fairies, etc.) accountable for their actions and make sure they’re following the laws. They also hunt demons that manage to find their way into our world. The story is set in a realistic world with the fictitious world belonging to the shadowhunters skillfully interwoven with our own. Clare builds an incredible world that is somehow hidden alongside the real world. The world is believable and almost makes me question whether or not something like that could really exist, hidden from most people.
The characters that make up this story are something else. Clary is our main character. A girl who finds out that her mother has been hiding her true heritage from her to keep her safe from her psychotic father. Clary will always have a special place in my heart, but during this reread she kind of annoyed me a few times. When she finds out that there’s this whole other world out there she doesn’t hesitate for a second before involving herself in as much crap as she can. I understand one of her loved ones disappears, but she does this even before that happens. She gets herself into situations that she’s completely unprepared for and with this, puts the other’s she’s with in danger to appease what she wants. Other than this, Clary is determined and strong. Being thrown into the insanity that is the shadowhunter world, she does pretty well for herself. She’s smart and clever with a tendency to find herself in ridiculous situations but also to get herself out of these situations. She’s fiercely loyal and just a little reckless. All of these things combine for a very interesting girl.
Our love interest, Jace Wayland. He’s everything you want from a book boyfriend. Attractive but also standoffish and a little bit of a jerk. Dangerous and full of secrets. Mysterious but also makes himself vulnerable to Clary with his horrible past that’s left him a little damaged. I liked learning about Jace and seeing him open up to Clary throughout these pages. I’m excited to reread the rest of the books and read more about him to see what else I’ve forgotten.
There are too many supporting characters for me to name them all but I want to point out that there here. They each have such distinct personalities that we see shine through the background. They all play their own parts and add so much fun and craziness to the story. I loved that they are all fully developed and each has their own dramas going on outside of the main storyline. We get to see these characters grow and overcome their own personal struggles and I loved that.
The plot twists in this story were crazy. I knew what they were because I’ve read this before but they still snuck up on me. There were a few minor ones I’d forgotten too. Cassandra Clare is an excellent writer. I’m excited to continue the series.
If you haven’t read any of The Mortal Instruments books you are truly missing out. I had the pleasure of reading the 10th-anniversary edition and the illustrations were beautiful. I liked having this special edition because it just added that much more to the story. Overall, everyone should read these books. They take place in an amazing world with wonderful main characters and even better supporting characters. I’d recommend to anyone for sure.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Goodreads summary:
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?
It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.
In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Review:
Okay, I totally loved this story. I borrowed this book as an audiobook from my library because I liked the look of the cover. Then I read the book summary and thought it could be something I would like. I had doubts at first because I was really annoyed listening to the narrator reading the email addresses over and over and I almost DNF’d the book about 20% in. But I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t.
I LOVED Jessie. She’s a girl who’s trying to find herself. Her mom died and she’s trying to figure out how to continue living without the one woman that’s supposed to be there for her whole life. On top of all of this her dad has married a new woman, a complete stranger, and totally changed her life by making her move across the country. So this poor girl is still trying to figure out how to keep on living without her mother and also going to a new school where she doesn’t know anyone, living in a new house that doesn’t feel like her own, trying to figure out how to accept all these changes and be happy. I admire the crap out of Jessie for the strength she shows because I would have lost my freaking mind trying to deal with all of that at sixteen.
Enter “Somebody, Nobody.” This mysterious person who starts emailing Jessie with the advice of who to befriend, who to avoid, and how to survive at this crazy new school. I loved the idea of SN keeping an eye out for Jessie and helping her navigate this new school. Though about halfway through the story I just wanted to yell at him to TELL JESSIE WHO HE IS ALREADY. (We sadly don’t find out who SN is until Jessie does.) We are left guessing at the identity of SN for most of the book. I liked this a little because I spent most of the book arguing in my head with Jessie about whom she thinks SN is. That’s all I will say about SN except that I totally knew who it was and I’m SO HAPPY that SN is who I thought they were.
I think the family dynamic was written really well. I come from a pretty dysfunctional family. I have step parents and siblings and know how hard it is to adjust to having a new family living in one house and learning how all the different people work together and around one another. The family dynamic was written and portrayed accurately and I really liked that. I feel like there aren’t enough books that have stepfamilies and crazy broken, makeshift families that are outside of the norm of a mom and a dad or a single parent home.
I ended up really loving this book way more than I thought I was going to. I thought I would like it well enough, but I definitely loved it. There really is nothing negative to say about it aside from the annoyingness of reading the email addresses, but that’s only because it’s an audiobook. I adored the characters. They all played their own parts very well and each added something to the story. I loved the message that the story gave. Jessie learned so much about herself, but she also learned so much about how she treats others and what she deserves from life. I think this is an excellent young adult story and should be read by anyone and everyone.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Book Tag – Unpopular Opinions

Hello, Bookworms! This book tag was created over on YouTube by The Book Archer. I love a good book discussion and I thought this unpopular opinions could really provoke some interesting thoughts from us as well as anyone that’s interested in commenting!

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?
Amanda- I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman. I listened to this recently and I just didn’t love it. I was disappointed because so many peope liked it. I had high hopes and ended up disappointed.
Antonia- Divergent by Veronica Roth. So many people love these books but I could never make myself get into them.

What is a popular book or series that everyone else seemed to hate but you loved?
Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I understand why so many people hate these books, but I love them anyway.
Antonia- The Age of X series by Richelle Mead. The ending of the second book outraged fans. (I don’t want to give anything away so this might not make much sense if you haven’t read it.) Readers were so mad about what happened that I think that’s a big part of why we haven’t seen anything about a third book. I suppose I sort of understand where people are coming from but I had absolutely no problems with this book.

What book or series had a love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with?
Amanda- Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter. I wanted Kylie to love Derek so badly. I love me some fae and I totally shipped Derek and Kylie instead of Lucas. But I guess you can’t win them all.
Antonia- I guess I’ve been really lucky in this regard. I avoid love triangles as much as I can. I’ve certainly wanted an MC to end up with someone else but I’m always at least a somewhat happy with their choice by the end of it. The most recent example is Talon by Julie Kagawa. I spent most of the series wanting Ember to end up with Riley but I loved Garret by the end of the series.

What is a popular genre that you hardly reach for?
Amanda- Horror. I do NOT like to be scared. I don’t like horror books or movies or anything scary.
Antonia- Same^. I am such a wuss when it comes to scary stuff.

What is a popular or beloved character that you do not like?
Amanda- I don’t want to say that I didn’t like him because I could totally change my mind with the second book. Adrian from Renegades by Marissa Meyer was honestly so annoying.
Antonia- Jason Grace from The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I wouldn’t say I dislike him but he’s definitely my least favorite of the group.

Who is a popular author that you can’t seem to get into?
Amanda- Holly Black, but not because I don’t like what she’s written more because I just haven’t had any strong desire to pick up any of her books and read them. Though everyone rants and raved about her books so I will likely read them eventually.
Antonia- Neil Gaiman, I’ve wanted to read his books for a long time but can’t manage to actually start one.

What is a popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?
Amanda- Insta Love. So overrated and overdone.
Antonia- In an effort to stop being a broken record, I’ll pick something different for once. (*Cough* Love Triangles.) Damsel in Distress is one that I would have thought we’d be done with at this point but that I still see way too much. Granted, a woman being saved isn’t something we can entirely avoid and I don’t think we should. People need saving sometimes, especially when there’s lots of action. I just want them to be saved by another woman, or a man needing to be saved. I’m really sick of books where you have this super strong, powerful woman who suddenly needs to be saved by the male MC. She can save herself thanks very much.

What is a popular book or series that you have no interest in reading?
Amanda- Every Day by David Levithan. Just meh.
Antonia- Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I love the show but could really care less about the books.

What is a movie or TV show adaptation of a book or series that you liked more than the books?
Amanda- The Vampire Diaries. I totally loved the books, but once I watched the show I could never go back and read the books again even though the show was super different in the end.
Antonia- This is such an impossible question for bookworms to answer. The only one I can think of is The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I much preferred the ending of the movie to that of the book.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

GoodReads Summary:
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

Review:
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White is a book that I read years ago when the whole series was first released. I remember liking this book so much more than I did this time. Though last time I read the books and this time I listened to the audiobook via my library.
I loved the audiobook honestly. I loved the narrator. She did a great job differentiating between the various characters. She was an excellent voice for Evie. She really kept me interested in the story even when Evie’s actions and some of the things she said had me rolling my eyes.
The story and plot was super interesting. I liked the uniqueness of the paranormals characters. This wasn’t just another supernatural story with the same old characters. There were obviously the usual vampire and werewolves, but they weren’t the typical beautiful vampires and big macho wolves. I like that White made these popular kinds of characters unique and different.
I adored our love interest, Lend. He’s a shapeshifter so he can be whatever hunk we want him to be. He’s also fiercely loyal to those that are part of his circle. He’s funny and sarcastic and sweet. I just loved Lend. I loved how he wanted to look out for Evie and do everything he could to help her in whatever way she wanted, even if that way was getting to spend a day in high school.
As for our main character, Evie.  Honestly, she annoyed me a little. She’s kind of super immature and I can’t remember if that changes in the next books, but I’m hoping that it does. She was super boy crazy until she met Lend. Then she was Lend crazy. She was so focused on wanting to have a ‘normal teenage life’ getting to go to high school and prom and all of the things she would see on her favorite high school drama TV show. I understand it a bit because she’s never had a normal life. She craves the normalcy that she sees on her favorite show, but she just talks and thinks about it to the point where it’s a little annoying. Even after her situation changes, but she’s still getting new information that could help with the craziness that’s part of the story, she doesn’t do anything to help or share her information at first. She tries to just pretend she’s not a part of it anymore and give up any sort of responsibility. She drove me a little nuts for a decent amount of this book, but she got a bit better at the end. She made the right choices and accepted responsibility, her part in all of everything going on.
Overall, I really liked the unique plot. I liked the interesting twists on the typical paranormal sorts of characters. I loved Lend and I grew to love Evie. I’m excited to see where the second book goes. This book was one that I picked for the Transfiguration (a book with a shapeshifter) requirement during the Magical Readathon – O.W.L.s.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Book Tag – Courts of Prythian

Now that Antonia has finally gotten around to reading my favorite series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, we can do this fun book tag. I love all things ACOTAR related. So I’ve been dying to do this one.

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Seasonal Courts

Spring Court – High Lord Tamlin

“Beautiful, everlasting spring but with a bit of a dark side, much like its High Lord, who you might have loved when the series started and rooted for him and Feyre but now you feel completely different.”

Name a book or series that you loved in the beginning and ended up hating.

Amanda- House of Night by P.C. & Kristin Cast. I loved this series so much in the beginning, but after so many books I just couldn’t bother keeping up and finishing it.

Antonia- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I wouldn’t necessarily say hate, but I was obsessed with these books when I was fifteen and after the movies I just couldn’t do it anymore. I tried to reread them years after the movies came out and couldn’t get past the first couple chapters.

Summer Court – High Lord Tarquin

“A court that wants equality for all fae and is working on achieving that. A place that receives everyone.”

Name a book or series with the most diverse characters that you’ve read.

Amanda- Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima. (reviewed here). This is book three in the Shattered Realms series. This series is full of diverse characters from all over their world. People with powers, people without powers, dark-skinned islanders, light-skinned northerners, LBGTQ characters and dragons of course.

Antonia- Most recently I’d say Year One by Nora Roberts. It follows several characters during the apocalypse and they’re all so unique. Even the supporting characters had their own distinct personalities.

Autumn Court – High Lord Beron

“Filled with conflict and power struggles under the rule of ruthless High Lord.  Most likely where we will be going in the next books in the series.”

Name a book or series that you could not put down because you had to know what happened next.

Amanda- I’m going to choose an audiobook for this question. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. I could NOT stop listening to this book. It was read by the narrator wonderfully and the story was absolutely incredible. I’m still not so patiently waiting for the second audiobook be available from my library. Read my review for this story here!

Antonia- Well I’d like to say ACOTAR but in an effort to not be too redundant I’ll pick The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. This entire series had me hooked but I absolutely could not stop with this amazing conclusion.

Winter Court – High Lord Kallias

“A beautiful and cold landscape and very hard to read people.”

Name a book or series that you picked up because of its cover and it ended up being hard to read.

Amanda- The Princess series by Alexa Riley. I found these on my Kindle and loved the pretty dresses on the covers. I’m a sucker for some pretty dresses. But these were just not good. They’re super short so I read a few, but they were just bad and hard to read.

Antonia- The Everneath series by Brodi Ashton. I absolutely love these covers and bought them immediately but now I find myself really reluctant to actually pick them up for some reason.

Solar Courts

Dawn Court – High Lord Thesan

“Healing and inventions are the core of this court.”

Name a book that lightens your mood after reading it.

Amanda- Any of the books in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. They’re funny and entertaining and never fail to make me laugh.

Antonia- Anything by Nora Roberts or Julia Quinn usually does it for me. They’re funny, have swoon-worthy romances, and fantastic characters.

Day Court – High Lord Helion

“The court of light and knowledge.”

Name a book that you found to be the most inspiring.

Amanda- A book that my aunt forced me to borrow, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. This was an incredible story of hardship and struggle and I’m super glad I read it. Check out my review here.

Antonia- The Shack by William P. Young. I first read this in high school and, especially at a time when I was trying to figure out who I was as a person, this book really made me question what my beliefs were; not specifically religious beliefs, it more made me look outside of myself and the little world I lived in. It really inspired me to form my own opinions about life instead of constantly listening to what other people told me I should think.

Night Court – High Lord Rhysand & High Lady Feyre

“With its two subcourts, it’s the perfect example of the dual nature of everything.”

Court of Nightmares 

“Just as the name states this court is full of monsters and evil intentions.”

Name a book, series, or character that you hate with a passion.

Amanda- I don’t usually hate books and if I do I certainly don’t continue reading the series. So a character that I hate with a fiery passion is Maeve from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. She’s a crazy lady that needs to be put down. I’m so psyched for the final book to come out later this year.

Antonia- Fallen by Lauren Kate. You can read my review of this one here.

Court of Dreams

“The utopic court, where we all would love to live.”

Name your favorite read of the year (so far). A book that blended everything you were looking for.

Amanda- Air Awakens by Elise Kova. Strong female lead. Crazy adventure. Hunky book boyfriend. Crazy cool magic. Five stars for sure.

Antonia- Once again, I’ll resist choosing ACOTAR. I think the Talon series by Julie Kagawa. All of the books exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend them.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

Summary:
You make think you know the story. It goes like this: once upon a time, there was a sixteen-year-old girl named Jane Grey, who was forced to marry a complete stranger (Lord Guildford or Gilford or Gifford-something-or-other), and shortly thereafter found herself ruler of a country. She was queen for nine days. Then she quite literally lost her head.
We have a different tale to tell.
Pay attention. We’ve tweaked some minor details. We’ve completely rearranged major details. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent (or not-so-innocent, or simply because we thought a name was terrible and we liked another name better). And we’ve added a touch of magic to keep things interesting. So really anything could happen.
This is how we think Jane’s story should have gone.
Review:
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and it’s second that came out this summer (My Plain Jane). My bookish twin, The Bookish Chick (check her out she’s amazing!) ranted and raved about the audiobook and I knew I had to read it. I couldn’t wait for the audiobook to be available through my library so I bought the book when I saw it available on Book Outlet.
This story does not disappoint in the least. It’s full of hilarious and loveable characters. I knew I was going to love this book after ten pages. I was cracking up pretty much the entire book.
I adored Jane. A fellow bookworm that’s not afraid to speak her mind. She ends up in all kinds of ridiculous situations and manages to get herself out of them as well. She’s smart and clever, funny and sassy, but also kind and loving. She’s incredibly protective over those that she loves and will do anything in her power to make sure they’re safe. I adored everything about Jane.
Gifford, preferred to be called G, was entertaining, but slightly annoying. He doubted Jane for most of the story and it really bugged me. Instead of just talking to Jane and asking her about the things he was assuming, he just let himself stew and feel bad. Other than this, I liked him. He did what he thought was right. He tried to protect Jane, even if that meant causing her to be ridiculously mad at him.
Edward, King of England, was funny and infuriating. He had some really backward ideas for most of the story. Ideas about men being superior to women and such. I liked Edward only because of the wonderful development he did throughout the story. He met a girl that helped him see how wrong all of his ideas really were. I liked that we got to see this change and development. It’s really what made me like him.
Overall this book was hilarious and I just couldn’t get enough. I don’t know too much about the real story of Lady Jane Grey, but I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as entertaining as this book. If you like historical fiction, you’re going to love this story. The characters were wonderful and kept me wanting to get the rest of their story. I also loved that the narrators kept chiming in with little tidbits. It just made the story that much better. I really liked that the narrators (I don’t know if it’s called the same thing as is it with the movies, but I’m going to go with it) broke the fourth wall and addressed the readers directly. It was a really interesting aspect of the story and just added that little extra. I think all different kinds of readers would love this story. I will for sure be recommending this book to many readers.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Book Tag – TBR

Huge thanks to Inkish Kingdoms for tagging us in this TBR Book Tag! It looks like fun. Besides who doesn’t love talking about books that they want to read? Let’s dive right in!

How do you keep track of your TBR list?

Amanda- I mostly don’t. It’s all in my head. I have a general ‘oh I want to read that in the near future’ list that lives in my brain. But I don’t read off of any list, I look at my shelves and pick whatever looks good. I have recently started marking books on GoodReads as ‘to read’ but they’re all books that I mostly already have at home.

Antonia- It’s mostly just in my head as well. The closest I get to an actual list is books I want to get but once I actually have them it depends entirely on what I feel like reading at the time.

Is your TBR list mostly print or ebook?

Amanda- Mostly print as of now. I recently have gone a little book buying crazy. Once I read some of the books I just bought my ebook TBR list will likely be longer because I’ve been neglecting my Kindle for sure.

Antonia- Mine probably leans a little more towards print but I go through random phases where I’ll just read kindle nonstop then switch to print for awhile.

How do you determine which book from your TBR list to read next?

Amanda- I mentioned above that I mostly just look at my shelves and pick whatever looks good at the moment. I don’t do well with specific lists. One it makes it to the “official TBR list” I’m actually less likely to ever read it.

Antonia- Whatever I’m in the mood for. Usually I’ll just stare at my shelves for awhile or read a few summaries and one tends to jump out and say “You have to read me now!”.

What book has been on your TBR list the longest?

Amanda- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I bought this months and months ago (at this point it’s probably closer to a year ago) and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, but for some reason, I just can’t get myself to pick it up.

Antonia- Hmm… Probably Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. I got so mad at the beginning of the book that I never managed to finish it. Now that I have the second and third books I plan on picking it up again soon.

What book have you recently added to your TBR list?

Amanda- Why do all of these book tags want just one book as an answer? I’m a bookworm and I did just say that I bought a ton of books recently. So here’s a few I’m most excited about.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Antonia- ^Same.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
The Mythean Arcana series by Linsey Hall
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

What book on your TBR list is there strictly because of the cover?

Amanda- Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten. I love simple covers.

Antonia- Everneath by Brodi Ashton. The covers have such gorgeous dresses that I just had to get them.

What book on your TBR list do you never actually plan to read?

Amanda- The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz. I bought this only because I have all of the other books in the series. It sits on my shelf and begs me to read it but I don’t know how likely it is that I’ll ever get around to it.

Antonia- I don’t think I have anything right now. A couple years ago I moved and had to get rid of most of my books so everything I have now are either favorites or ones I’ve gotten recently.

What unpublished book is on your TBR list that you’re excited for?

Amanda- Again, just one book? Really you should just go check out the whole page we have dedicated to books that are being released this year.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Windrider by P.C. Cast

Just to name a few.

Antonia- Again, same. I’m really excited for both Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts.

What’s a book on your TBR list that basically everyone has read but you?

Amanda- Warcross by Marie Lu. I have this. It’s staring at me from my shelf as I type this, but I just haven’t read it yet.

Antonia- Probably Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve been seeing this for forever but never bothered with it until Amanda made me read A Court of Thorns and Roses which I loved so much I HAVE to read her other series.

What’s a book on your TBR list that everyone recommends?

Amanda- Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. I’ve heard amazing things about this book. I recently bought it and hope to get around to reading it soon.

Antonia- A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve heard a ton of good things about this one even though a lot of people (myself included) don’t like novellas.

What’s a book on your TBR list that you’re very excited to read?

Amanda- All of them? Otherwise, they wouldn’t be on my TBR list, right?

Antonia- Definitely all of them. None stand out more than the others right now.

How many books are on your GoodReads TBR shelf?

Amanda- There are 65 books that I have labeled as ‘Want to Read’ on GoodReads. Most of which are books that I’ve bought recently and plan to attempt to read in the near future.

Antonia- I don’t use my GoodReads TBR shelf. I could never keep track of adding books and taking them off.

That’s all for this one bookworms! We’re going to tag anyone who reads this and feels like doing the book tag! Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your TBR books in the comments!

ABC Book Challenge |H|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we will be talking about books with the letter H.

For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – H

Most Memorable Books 

Amanda

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – As one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite series this book is an obvious choice for this weeks letter.

(The) Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco – This one was memorable for me because the first book in the series was not one of my favorites and I was really hoping this book would redeem the series a bit and it certainly did. Check out my review here.

Antonia

Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts – The fourth book in The Bride Quartet. It was such a nice ending to this series about these four women and their amazing friendship

(The) House of Hades by Rick Riordan – This one was probably my favorite of the series. All the Percabeth feels.

 

 

Books Still on our TBR List

Amanda

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – I read this book shortly after it was published, but I don’t remember a single thing about it. I’ve been hearing about how good it was recently, so I’ve had the urge to reread it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling – This book is on my August TBR list. I’m planning to read these books to my daughter after she’s born. Start on making her a bookworm and potterhead as early as I can.

Antonia

Here, There be Dragons by James A. Owen – I’ve had my eye on this series for a long time but recently saw a few reviews that convinced me to finally get it. It seems like the ultimate bookworm book and I’m so excited to read it.

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This is the first in her The Covenant series and I’ve actually read it before but for some reason just never got farther into the books. I’d like to finally read them all the way through.

 

 

 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Summary:
Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.
A murder… A tragic accident… Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare, but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Review:
Big Little Lies has been on my TBR list for well over a year. It has been calling to me, begging for me to pick it up and read it for so long. I honestly don’t know what took me so long to pick this up, but I am sure glad that I did. I started this book a few days ago at the beach and made it about fifty pages in. I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. I spent most of my birthday reading and made it more than halfway through. I had to finish the book the next day.
I loved everything about this story. It had me laughing out loud – which certainly caused a few funny looks from my husband. These characters kept me laughing. The story kept me on my toes. I was never really sure what to expect. It was written with the perfect amount of suspense. My questions were slowly answered in an acceptable pace. So many mysteries like this don’t answer my questions until the end all in a rush. We were given just enough information to keep the reader wondering what was going to happen next. I like books like this that give me answers as we go along. This was a murder mystery and we didn’t even find out who was killed until the last hundred pages of the book.
The characters are what really made this story. Madeline was hilarious. She stood up for what she felt was right. She didn’t take crap from anyone and stuck to her guns. I really liked Madeline the best. I really felt for her. I think because I am a kid from a family of divorce with half-siblings and step-parents and a complicated situation. I feel for her and the struggle she goes through with her older daughter Abigail. Madeline was a super relatable character and I really enjoyed her inner conversation. She had me laughing out loud quite a bit.
Jane, our young single mother, is one we get to know slowly. She’s just trying to do the best she can for her kid. Doing the best she can to leave the past where it belongs and raise her son to be a good human. Jane had the most plot twists following her and they each more than surprised me. I liked Jane and really felt that she deserved all the good things that she found once she moved to the little beach town this story takes place in.
Celeste is the one that I pitied. She lived what everyone thought was a perfect life, but in reality, was living in her own sort of hell. I admired her strength but I also felt super bad for her when she fell into the stereotype of her situation. Sometimes I just wanted to shake her and others I was sitting there cheering her on.
The relationship that these three women had was my absolute favorite. They stuck up for one another and supported each other. They had me laughing and almost crying through the whole book. Between the relationship between these three and the dynamic of all the other school mothers, this story was excellent.
There were plot twists galore that I didn’t see coming in any way shape or form. The characters were fabulous. They made me feel all of the emotions but mostly made me laugh my butt off. I loved every page of this book and I can’t wait to read more stuff by Liane Moriarty.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!