Amanda’s 2019 Fantasy Favorites

I have one last favorites post for you all, lovelies. Let’s talk about fantasy favorites. I had a very up and down relationship with the fantasy genre this year. I really couldn’t get into any fantasy that I picked up until about halfway through the year. So, these are the books that actually caught my attention and managed to make my favorites.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Vortex Visions by Elise Kova

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Roar by Cora Carmack

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

What fantasy books did you read in 2019 that I need to add to my TBR? Leave a comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s YA Favorites of 2019

Helllo, lovelies! I’m back again today with another favorites list. Today’s list is going to be my 19 favorite YA books that I read in 2019. I’m excited and anxious to make this list. It’s always hard to narrow  down favorites. This list won’t be in order of how much I liked them becasue they are all such different books and I don’t feel like I could even decide an order, but they will be in the order that I read them becasue I’m pulling them from my GoodReads.

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Anger is a Gift  by Mark Oshiro

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

The  Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton

The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

These are my nineteen favorite YA reads of 2019. Some are backlist and some are new releases. What books made your favorites list for young adult books this year?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Favorite Graphic Novels of 2019

Heyyy, lovelies! Today’s list, as you can see from the title is my favorite graphic novels that I read in 2019. I read my first ever graphic novels this year, so this is a list I’ve never been able to make before. This list is in no particular order, just a list of the graphic novels I loved this year.

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savannah Ganucheau

This was so sweet and wholesome. I will love my bakery boys forever and ever.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Witchy and gay. What more could a girl ask for?

Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect by Zander Cannon

I adored the monsters in this story. I recently bought the second volume and plan to pick it up in early 2020.

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo

I loved the art and Raven’s backstory. I seriously cannot wait for the next book they come out with for Beast Boy.

Spell on Wheels by Kath Leth & Megan Levens

This was so fun. And perfect for the spooky season. I loved the friendship, the art, and the story.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

This one had my heart so full. I loved the art and the colors. The story was so sweet and wholesome and I loved everything about it.

Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Hockey is one of the things that brought my husband and I together in high school, so I love all things related to hockey. This was no different except my love was only amplified by Bitty’s love for baking pies.

The Wicked + The Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson

This was an impulse buy when I was at my local comic store. I am so glad I did. I adored this. The twist on the Gods and the darkness were everything I never knew I needed.

The Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld & Alex Puvilland

I love Westerfeld in general. After hearing him talk about the process of writing this story, I wanted to read it. I’m glad I did becasue I loved it. The images and colors were stunning and the story was captivating and mysterious.

So, that’s all I have for you today. My 2019 favorites, graphic novel edition. Leave me a comment with your favorites from last year! I’m always looking for  new graphic novels to read, so please spam me with recommendations.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s 19 Favorites of 2019

Hellllo, lovelies! It is officially 2020 meaning that this is the start of all of the ‘best of 2019’ bookish lists. Yes folks, I will be participating in that as well. I’m going to have this overall list of favorites be 19 for 2019, but I also have a few other lists up my sleeve. These books are in no particular order becasue I don’t want to have to  choose the order.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

King of Fools by Amanda Foody

All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton

This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

The Disasters by M.K. England

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

These are nineteen of my favorite books of 2019. I’ve linked all  their reviews for you’re reading pleasure, also to share why I loved these books. Link me your favorites lists so I can see what books you loved last year!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Day Twenty-Two: Favorite Booktubers

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Hi, lovelies! It’s now day seven of Blogtober and I’m here with another post that is all about people in our fabulous bookish community. Today’s post is all about those that are braver and more tech-savvy than I. They all have YouTube channels! I don’t have cable, just streaming services and YouTube. So, I often just watch these BookTubers instead of T.V. and boy do they know how to entertain. If you aren’t subscribed, you should be.

Alexandra Roselyn

Heathur @ Aphrodite Reads

Rocky @ Blonde with a Book

Brittany the Bibliophile

Chami

Chandler Ainsley

Chelsea Palmer

Chelsea Dolling Reads

Spencer @ Common Spence

Rihannon @ Crescent Moon Reads

Emily @ Em Likes Books

Emmma Books

Daria @ Full of Lit

G-Swizzle Books

Hailey in Bookland

HelloKatryna

Hey Olivia Reads

Jesse The Reader

Jessica C Reads

Jessica Nicole Dickerson

Karli’s Books

Katie’s Book Nook

Kerri the Book Belle

Library of Alexa

Caz @ Little Book Owl

Melanie @ Meltotheany

Michelle Reads YA

Natasha @ myreadingisodd

Kat @ Paperback Dreams

Regan @ Peruse Project

Peyton Reads

Piera Ford

Pierina Reads

Christine @ polandbananasBOOKS

Madison Mary @ Princess of Paperback

Read by Zoe

Read with Cindy

Hannah @ Snow White Reader

Sophie @ Sophiesticated Books

Kelly @ Struggling Bookaholic

Solomon @ The Bookish King

Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes

Victoria Schaz

XCatherineReads

Danielle @ YA Allegiance

Zoe @ yerabooknerdzoe

I could go on and on with this list. But I will stop here. These are just a few of my absolute favorites that I make a point to watch their videos as soon as they give me new content to watch. If you’re a BookTube lover, these are people that you definitely need to subscribe to.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Summary:
The Carls just appeared. Roaming through New York City at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship – like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor – April and her best friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life.  News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world – from Beijing to Buenos Aires – and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. All eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.
Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how social media is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring from the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye. The beginning of an exciting fiction career, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a bold a
Review:
I’m going to start off by saying that I am without a doubt 100% (probably more) a total fangirl when it comes to the Green Brothers. Whether it be Hank or John, I will read ALL their books and watch ALL their videos. I have been watching VlogBrothers since they were Brotherhood 2.0 only communicating to one another via YouTube videos. So when I found out that Hank Green was writing/had written a book, I quite literally screamed out loud. I knew I would buy it and love it. I even preordered it through Waterstones (which is in the UK and I live in the US) because they were the first that I saw to announce they had signed copies). I ALSO bought the Barnes and Nobel special edition because I participated in the book club where this book was chosen. To read about that click here!
Okay, now to talk about the actual book. This is considered an ‘adult contemporary’ novel, but it definitely has some science-fictiony aspects to it. I’m not going to say anything more about that for fear of giving spoilers. I knew I would like this story, but I actually surprised myself by absolutely loving it. It had me laughing out loud and even shedding a tear or two.
April May is our main character and our narrator. She’s telling us the story in the first person as if she’s actually speaking to us and telling us the story. (This is one of my favorite kinds of narrators.) So we get the story as April May experienced it with little tidbits of what she knows or how she feels now. April was honestly so fricking relatable. There were definitely some times where I said, woooah what did you do that for? But more often than not I found myself saying, yup I’ve been there I understand where that’s coming from. She’s a character with countless flaws but she recognizes each and every one of said flaws. She knows she’s not perfect but keeps moving forward anyway. She’s very critical of herself, something that most people can relate to. With a tendency toward self-destructive behavior, she acknowledges what she could or should have done differently but knows she can’t change the past. Even when she got a bit too intense I liked her because she’s also funny and genuinely entertaining. She was a relatable kind of girl and I love characters I can relate to.

I Have No Idea Why I Can’t Ever Shut The Fuck Up: The April May Story.”

Andy was a great supporting character. I came to see him as April May’s sidekick of sorts that after a certain point was just along for the ride. He was a better friend than April might have deserved. He was there when she needed him even when she was kind of being a jerk. I liked how down to earth and just genuinely excited Andy got about everything happening.

“Just because someone has power over you doesn’t mean they’re going to use it to hurt you.”

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was such an interesting and unique story I couldn’t put it down. I actually waited until a month after it was released to read it because I needed to make sure I could read it in one sitting and not be disturbed by my newborn baby. So after putting the baby to sleep, I spent five hours on my couch fllyyying through this story. I loved the perspective because I feel like it was almost like we were getting to know what Hank goes through being a well known YouTuber. (Obviously not to the extent of April May, but a sense of what his life is like.) I could just feel how parts of this story came right from Hanks real life experiences. I thought that was awesome. It’s such a unique perspective, one that so few people have, so it was cool to learn about it.

“The power that each of us has over complete strangers to make them feel terrible and frightened and weak is amazing.”

One of the best things about this book was all of the serious and relevant topics it hit on. Now, I’m going to say right now that I’m a straight white female that grew up in a middle-class family so, I am not the right person to be judging if these portrayals were accurate, but I mention them anyway because they were certainly thought-provoking to me. There’s discussion about race, sexuality and sexual preference, terrorism, cyberbullying, so many things that are constantly being discussed in today’s world. Hank’s characters were diverse and interesting. They were flawed and so realistic. They talked about real-world problems in real ways that made me seriously think about these issues.

“This is what humanity is, solidarity in the face of fear. Hope in the face of destruction.”

The last thing I want to mention is that while yes this is technically an adult novel. I definitely think some readers on the high end of young adults could read this and enjoy it. Those readers that are about to enter adulthood could definitely read and learn from this book because the worse thing is really the extensive swearing (but cmon what 15-18-year-old doesn’t swear, I know I did.)
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a new favorite of mine for sure. I will be reading this book many times in the future. I loved everything about this story. I loved all the twists and turns. I loved every surprise. This was a well written, creative and funny story that I would love to recommend to anyone.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

GoodReads Summary:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Review:
I have been on a science fiction reading spree. I’ve also been trying to catch up on the books that have been super hyped up that I’ve learned about through Bookstagram. It seems that I’ve missed out on a ton of great reads. This one is included. This series seems to almost have a cult following and I’m starting to understand why.

“You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.”

Illuminae is written in an interesting format. Rather than being written in the traditional style of a novel, this story is told through a series of interviews, instant messages, emails, transcribed video surveillance and materials retrieved from inside the artificial intelligence that ran the Alexander spacecraft. I think this is a really inventive way to tell this story. It shakes up the story and definitely kept me enthralled in the story. I think this formatting also gives the illusion (or maybe it’s not an illusion) that I’m reading the book faster. I feel like I flew through this story trying to get to the ending.

The way this story is told I think also allows the readers to get to know the characters in a unique way. Traditionally the reader is inside the characters head learning who they are, but with Illuminae we get to know Katy, Ezra and gang through their actions and how they treat one another rather from any inner thoughts or ideas. I loved Katy. She’s a fierce female lead and I loved that she was brainy and nerdy but also had a sensitive, vulnerable side that she let us see here and there. Ezra is totally my newest book boyfriend. I love how things turned out with him because I definitely almost cried at certain points in his story. I liked Ezra because he complimented Katy in an interesting way. They both push one another to do the best thing for the most amount of people, even if that means sacrificing themselves. I’m interested to see where Ezra’s story goes especially with the ending of the book.

AIDAN is the artificial intelligence that pilots and runs the Alexander spacecraft adds a very interesting aspect to our story. I was totally creeped out by AIDAN for many reasons.

“But what I do is not murder. It is mercy.”

Alright, you psycho computer. Having artificial intelligence turn evil and take over the world is honestly one of my biggest irrational fears of how humanity / the world will end. So AIDAN’s role in story totally added a creepy and dark aspect to this otherwise thrilling book. I’m incredibly impressed by these authors because by the end of the book I didn’t totally hate AIDAN. Somehow they gave this computer some unimaginable character development. Somehow AIDAN grows and learns and loves Katy. I grew to like AIDAN and get excited for what he (it?) might do next.

Overall this story absolutely lived up to all the hype that I’ve heard from the bookish community. I cannot wait to get my hands on the second and third books in the series. I adored Katy and Ezra and even AIDAN. There were also some wonderful supporting characters that added so much to the story. This book was full of action and adventure, suspense and mystery, menace and intrigue. There were characters to love and also characters to hate. I recommend this to any and all lovers of science fiction. This will for sure be a book that I will read again. I might even have to go out and buy the series so I don’t have to wait to get it from the library every time I want to read it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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