The Iron Will of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

GoodReads Summary:
Genie Lo thought she was busy last year, juggling her academic career with protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as the Heaven-appointed Guardian of California, she’s responsible for the well-being of all yaoguai and spirits on Earth. Even the ones who interrupt her long-weekend visit to a prestigious college, bearing terrible news about a cosmos-threatening force of destruction in a nearby alternate dimension.
The goddess Guanyin and Genie’s boyfriend, Quentin Sun Wukong, do their best to help, but it’s really the Jade Emperor who’s supposed to handle crises of this magnitude. Unfortunately for Genie and the rest of existence, he’s gone AWOL. Fed up with the Jade Emperor’s negligence, Genie spots an opportunity to change the system for the better by undertaking a quest that spans multiple planes of reality along with an adventuring party of quarrelsome Chinese gods. But when faced with true danger, Genie and her friends realize that what will save the universe this time isn’t strength, but sacrifice.
The Iron Will of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #2)Review:
Wow, this book was an adventure. I adored this series so much. I chose to listen to this book via audiobook and I’m so glad I did. I waited for my library to order it. The narrator did such an incredible job with all the different voices for all the characters and she really made it such a fun story to listen to.
We’re following Genie after the events of the first book. She’s gained a position of power on Earth as the person in charge of the demons leftover from the last book. I thought these parts of her being the guardian were really interesting. I thought she made a good leader, if not a bit impulsive. I really loved her growth in this story. She’s grown so much from the driven and obsessively focused girl she was in the last book. She also continues to grow in this story.
My favorite parts of this book were definitely her relationship with Quentin. They have a big fight and say hurtful things to one another, but the parts where they work through that and get back to a good place were just so fantastic. My next favorite part of this book was Genie’s relationship with Guanyin. They went from a sort of awkward intimidating relationship in the first book to more equals (as much as a human and a god can be). I really enjoyed their almost sister-like relationship.
Overall, this story was action-packed and chock full of mythology. I loved the mythological parts of the story. They were so beyond interesting. I loved Genie and everything else about this series. I really don’t know why more people don’t read and talk about this series. It was diverse and so much fun.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

GoodReads Summary:
War between the devas and the demons is imminent, and the Otherworld is on high alert. When intelligence from the human world reveals that the Sleeper is holding a powerful clairvoyant and her sister captive, 14-year-old Aru and her friends launch a search-and-rescue mission. The captives, a pair of twins, turn out to be the newest Pandava sisters, though, according to a prophecy, one sister is not true.
During the celebration of Holi, the heavenly attendants stage a massage PR rebranding campaign to convince everyone that the Pandavas are to be trusted. As much as Aru relishes the attention, she fears that she is destined to bring destruction to her sisters, as the Sleeper has predicted. Aru believes that the only way to prove her reputation is to find the Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree that came out of the Ocean of Milk when it was churned. If she can reach it before the Sleeper, perhaps she can turn everything around with one wish.
Careful what you wish for, Aru…
Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes (Pandava Quartet #3)Review:
I have a fierce love for this series. I love Aru Shah with my whole heart. So, I’m not sure how I’m going to explain my feelings for this book. I might just keep this short and tell you to read it a hundred times and then end it. Just kidding.
We’re following Aru, Mini, and Brynn as their trying to save the world from the Sleeper. There’s also Aidan and Rudy that tag along with the girls. I love this found family so much. We find two new Pandava sisters at the start of this story. Twins named Sheela and Nikita, who have very interesting abilities. I loved how quickly the three pull Sheela and Nikita into their loving arms. I love that even though most of them have families to go back to that are loving and supportive, these sisters (and Aidan and Rudy) have made a family of their own. The found family aspect of this story was so wonderful.
The stakes have never been higher for this group. They’ve failed a few minor missions and are feeling lower than low. So, they take off on their own without permission from the higher-ups. I loved the nonstop action of the story, even while they were just traveling from one task to the next, they were met with challenges that they faced bravely and always together.
Overall, I adored this story just like all the previous books. I am already dying for the next installment to know what happens next. The friendships are wonderful, the writing is amazing. I adore the world and the mythology that this story centers around. I love everything about this book and the rest of the series. If you haven’t read it yet you’re really missing out.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.
Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.
Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?
Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.
Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.
Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.
The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)Review:
I cannot start this review any other way besides saying, WHAT THE F WAS THAT ENDING. I’m genuinely upset about the lack of reuniting with a certain friend group. To the point where I had to text Antonia and scream to her about it (with a context text to let me know I wasn’t talking about someone we knew in real life).
I really liked how everything was wrapped up with the big bad in this story. I thought the end result was full of action and drama. I loved the team that came together and ended up really loving one another, despite their many differences. I think Riordan is the king of lovable friend groups. I really liked how each of their stories ended (aside from the lack of the reuniting with on particular character that I mentioned above). They each made life-changing decisions and I really liked these choices.
I’m going to keep this review on the shorter side because I honestly feel like I’ve said everything and more in my previous four reviews. I love this series. I love these characters. I love Rick Riordan. I am very excited to keep reading his books. If you haven’t, start now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.
Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.
Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.
Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.
The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)Review:
I have to mention first off that the audiobook narrator was changed for this book (and I’ve just learned the final book as well) and I’m extremely upset by this. Though I don’t hate the new narrator the voices he does for the characters are obviously different than those of the previous narrator from the last three books in this series (and also the original Percy Jackson series.) I did grow used to the new narrator, thankfully.
Okay, I loved this book. If you haven’t read the first three books in the series please stop reading right now and skip to my last “overall” paragraph because I’m going to talk about what’s going on in this book which will spoil events in the previous ones.
Percy and Annabeth have ended up in Tartarus and while it was terrible for them I really enjoyed their chapters. Seeing monsters we’ve met before and exploring a new aspect of the myths we’ve heard about was fascinating. They face serious threats (though there’s another book so it’s hard to imagine they were actually in life-threatening danger) but are aided by unlikely friends. I loved Bob and Small Bob. They were excellent and I hope we see them again.
Then there’s Leo, he also finds someone we’ve met before and I freaking loved it. I just adored him finally getting his own romance. I like the connections that we see and he’s always figuring out bizarre ways to fix the countless problems this crew encounters.
Hazel and frank I’m going to mention together because I love them. I love how happy their relationship is. They’ve both grown so much and experienced more than any kid their age should. But they handle everything really well and are really learning more about themselves and their abilities.
Piper and Jason are also growing and learning about themselves. I love that piper is continuing to gain confidence in herself, her abilities, and the fact that she is an important member of the team. Jason deals with inner conflicts that I think we will see more in the final book.
I also have to mention Coach Hedge. He was annoying in the first book but now he’s really a member of this little family. I love that we see him become more vulnerable. The moment where he finally tells frank what’s going on made me so happy.
Then there’s Nico. Oh, Nico. I love this dark little bean. He confides in Jason a secret that I totally didn’t expect but one that made me love him just that much more. I think he and Hazel’s growing sibling relationship was precious.
Overall, this book was filled with wonderful characters that each have distinct personalities and important roles. I adored the mythology, the old and new monsters and gods/goddesses. I am very excited to see what’s going to happen in the finale.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.
And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .
The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)Review:
Book three in The Heroes of Olympus was a wild ride. Part of me felt like it was nonstop action and another part of me felt like it was a little slow. I know this doesn’t make any sense. But there was always something going on and all the characters have such big feelings that even when the action is slow the story is not.
I don’t really feel like getting into each of the characters, but overall, they all continue to grow. A few things I do want to mention are the weirdness between Leo, frank, and hazel. I loved this connection. I thought it was such an interesting twist within the story.
The mystery about Annabeth’s mission to follow the mark of Athena was another compelling part of the story. I like that some of the characters knew little bits that helped Annabeth. I enjoyed this side quest that was ongoing alongside the ultimate goal of stopping Gia.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the romance with hazel and frank. I loved getting to see more of Percy and Annabeth. Piper and Leo were also enjoyable. The action was exciting. We got to meet new (and old) gods and goddesses which is always interesting. As with my other reviews, I’m currently listening to book four while typing this review on my phone. I just cannot get enough of this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

GoodReads Summary:
Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code. But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches. Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1)Review:
Can I just call this Percy Jackson but with Asian mythology? Because that’s what it was except definitely for a bit older age range. They definitely swear and I loved it. This story was so much fun. I absolutely adored the mythology and learning more about Asian myths that I’m not familiar with. I also loved the modern setting and how these mythological figures were integrated into today’s world. The story was fast-paced and exciting. It was full of action, but not overtaken by it. There were scenes about college coaching and things like that which I thought was a nice contrast from the action and adventure.
I really liked Genie. She was honestly just really funny. She struggled to balance her regular life with her new godly (I’m not sure that’s the right word, but that’s what we’re going with) abilities and responsibilities. She steps up and helps when she thinks she should and stands up for her beliefs (even against actual gods and goddesses) when she thinks they’re wrong. I completely loved her.
Overall, I think this is a book that people should be talking about. I’d never heard of it until the author was announced to be at a book event I’m going to this year. I’m so glad I found it because it was just genuinely fun to listen to.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2)Review:
In this second installment, we get to see what Percy Jackson is up to again, along with two new characters hazel and frank. I liked these characters, but honestly, I missed Leo, piper, and Jason. I found myself liking Hazel and Frank’s chapters more than Percy’s. He wasn’t the main event in this book and I’m not totally mad about that. I still like him and I wanted him to regain his memories, but I was rooting mostly for frank and hazel.
Percys lost all his memories, so we know more than he does. I think this is why I didn’t care that much about his chapters. They were filled with him wondering what was going on and the next steps of the newest quest.
Hazel was really interesting. She’s been brought back from the dead with all the nonsense going on thanks to Mother Earth. I really liked the connections to the character we’ve already met. I also thought her curse was really interesting. I’m intrigued to see where her story goes, especially since I’m already a bit into the next book and there are some mysterious things going on. I liked that hazel gains confidence and makes peace with her past. She really grew throughout this story.
Then there’s frank. I really liked Frank. He’s been told he could be anything his whole life but he still doesn’t have much confidence in himself. He’s seen as a goofy kid when he’s really so much more. He has a lot of growth too and I really enjoyed learning more about him and his abilities.
I think my favorite thing about this book was finally getting a peek inside the Roman demigod camp. It was so different from the camp half-blood we already know and love. It was fascinating to see how different things were for the gods during Roman times and how the Roman demigods have thrived in that culture.
Overall, I enjoyed these characters and their adventures. But mostly I just wanted them to meet up with the gang from the first book. There wasn’t as much mystery or questions in this book because we learned so much in book one. I’m super excited to continue the series now that all seven that the prophecy speaks of have come together.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?
Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.
Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?
The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)Review:
I was honestly so excited to get back into the world of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. This new series is one I’ve been excited for since reading the first, but even more so after finishing The Lost Hero. As I type this review (on my phone) I’m listening to the first chapter of the second book. There’s just something so fun about these stories and their characters.
Let’s jump into the characters. I absolutely adore Piper and Leo. They’re great best friends to Jason. We follow Jason at first, who has no memories and has somehow ended up on a school bus. Jason, despite not knowing literally anything, manages the challenges they face really well. I liked his natural leadership and his growing friendship with Leo and Piper.
Piper was probably my favorite. She’s torn between saving her dad, which means betraying her friends or being a hero. I thought this was such a complex inner battle. I loved how her story turned out. I also really loved seeing her grow and gain confidence, which as a daughter of Aphrodite is important with her ability to charm speak as it’s based on confidence.
Leo was adorable. He is the son of Hephaestus. He also has a rare fire ability. So, he’s learning how to control his ability and also trying to make himself believe that he is just as important to the team as the others. I thought he was great, the comedic relief but also a character with substance.
I really like the godly interactions. We get to see Hera quite a bit and though she isn’t well-liked, I could understand her feelings. I really loved Piper and Leo both getting to talk to their godly parents. I thought those interactions came at just the right times.
Overall, I loved this. As I mentioned I’m currently already listening to book two and it’s giving me all of the answers I still wanted from book one. There are so many questions were still left with, but were also given many answers. Riordan writes the story in the perfect way where were given enough information to be kept interested, but not too much we feel like everything is over. I also had a few things figured out but not all the details. Any mythology lovers are going to adore this series for sure.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

GoodReads Summary:
She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)Review:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, though they are companion novels and not truly a series. I loved this second book much more than the first. All of the things that made me not totally adore the first book were resolved in this book. I’ll stop being vague and get right into it.
First of all, it’s an enemies to lovers trope which is always a good time for me. Gauri is the princess of her kingdom and Vikram the prince of his. They are at war. When Vikram gets invited to the magical Tournament of Wishes, but is told he must find and bring his partner. The moment he sees Gauri, he knows she is the one he was told about.
I loved Vikram. He seems like he doesn’t take anything seriously, but he does. He just has that positive personality that means he makes jokes at the wrong times and is just generally an upbeat person. I really loved him. I think the contrast of Gauri’s character was so well done. She’s a warrior and all she wants is to be the leader to her people she knows she can be. I really enjoyed both characters accepting their desires and facing their fears.
Their banter had me cackling. I really loved their constant teasing and shots at one another. It was definitely my favorite part of this story. We really got to see their relationship for and develop together as we also got to see them grow individually. This was something I missed in the last book because the characters already had a past together. Also, the timeline wasn’t at all confusing like it was in the first book which I appreciated. I also really loved that we get to see bits and pieces of the previous book. The characters didn’t play a huge part, but we saw them and I enjoyed that.
I loved this world that we were in. The magical and the mythical were well explained and honestly so fascinating. I was completely captivated by this world and all of the characters in it. I adored the romance, especially the ending. I have loved everything I’ve read by this author and I’m not really excited to pick up the first book in her newest series.

Quotes:

“A story had no owner ship. A story could break its bones, grow wings, soar out of reach and dive out of sight in the time it took just to draw breath. It meant we weren’t walking a cut path. We carved it into existence with
every step.”

“It felt silly to say that he couldn’t bear to lose her. He never had her. She was not a thing to be possessed. But her entrance in his life had conjured light. And losing the light of her would plunge him into a darkness he’d never find his way out of.”

“Surviving isn’t just about cutting out your heart and burning every feeling into ash. Sometimes it means taking what ever is thrown at you, beautiful or grotesque, poisonous or blissful, and carving out your life with the pieces you’re given.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

GoodReads Summary:
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)Review:
After reading Roshani’s middle-grade books, I was interested in picking up one of her YA releases. I loved her writing in her other books and short stories that I’ve read so I was excited about this one.
I did really enjoy The Star-Touched Queen, despite the few points that had me wildly confused. I liked our main character, Maya. She was the outcast daughter because of the horoscope she was born with. Most of the others avoided her and blamed bad things on her. Regardless of this, she’s trying to work on skills and learn. She spies on her father’s meetings and keeps up with the local politics. So, she already knows when her father comes to tell her that she must choose a husband. I really liked Maya. She’s swept up into an unfamiliar place and does her best to stay positive and figure out what she’s gotten herself into.
I also really liked Amar. I liked that we didn’t really know what he was hiding either, but that we were given hints to try and figure it out. I wish there had been an easier way for this pair. At first, I thought their relationship was sort of insta-love, but after learning the memories that Maya had lost, I really loved them together.
My biggest complaint about this book was that sometimes I found myself just wildly confused. I felt like the timeline was never very clear and that made bits and pieces of the story really confusing. It got better in the second half of the book.
I love the world and the mythology involved in this story. I really enjoyed all of the mythical beasts that were talked about and introduced. I also really love Kamala.
Finally, Roshani’s writing is absolutely stunning. I could have highlighted half of this book if I had gone into the story intending to annotate. I didn’t, but I love the writing. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and it would have been a five-star read had I not been so confused in the first half of the story.

Quotes:

“I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones. I wanted the impossible, which made it that much easier to push out of my mind.”

“The truth,” said Amar, taking a step closer to me, “is that you look neither lovely nor demure. You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way.”

“My star-touched queen,” he said softly, as if he was remembering something from long ago. “I would break the world to give you what you want.”

“The worms do not take heed of caste and rank when they feast on our ashes,” the Raja said. “Your subjects will not remember you. They will not remember the shade of your eyes, the colors you favored, or the beauty of your wives. They will only remember your impression upon their hearts and whether you filled them with glee or grief. That is your immortality.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

GoodReads Summary:
You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.
You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.
Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.
You Are Not AloneReview:
What a wild ride this book was. I have to start by sending a thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book. There were parts that were kind of confusing because there were so many characters. Let me explain. We start by meeting Shay. She witnesses a woman, Amanda, kill herself via jumping in front of a train. Shay is understandable thrown by this and through a series of events, meets Amanda’s friends. Enter the Moore sisters. The most interesting thing with this book was that I liked all of the characters. I understood and even cheered for their actions at times. But as the story went on things got darker and it was an uncomfortable feeling to have once cheered for the things these sisters did. Along with the Moore sisters, there were a few others in their friend group. Once we start to meet them, the chapters start to jump around in time to explain how these friends met the Moore sisters. This was where it was confusing. Trying to remember all of the names and the origin story of each of these women was a lot. This was a pretty short book, so to be given so much information about characters whose story would quickly be over was too much. I liked the chapters of Amanda’s final days that were included, but I think the history of the other friends could have just been explained in the Moore sister’s chapters.
This book was fast-paced and compelling. I liked all of the characters and really came to love Shay. I loved that Shay figured out what was going on before it was too late. I liked that the authors made the Moore sisters so likable that when their true colors were shown it was uncomfortable for me as the reader. I’m always impressed by this author duo and You Are Not Alone was no exception.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

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GoodReads Summary:
Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he’s going to spend on his grandparents’ farm in Alabama, where he’s being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie’s journal. Tristan chases after it-–is that a doll?-–and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature’s hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American gods John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)Review:
I’ve only really started getting into middle-grade books this year. I’m so happy that I have because I’ve found some absolutely incredible books. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky is one of those books.
We follow Tristian Strong as he falls into a world where all the myths he was taught growing up, actually exist and live. His entrance into their world had caused some pretty bad things, so he must stay and help fix them before he can figure out how to get back home.
I loved this. I loved Tristian, and I loved seeing him learn that all the stories are true. I also really loved all of the Gods and characters we meet. Specifically, Gum Baby. Gum Baby absolutely was the best part of this story. She was hilarious and sassy and I loved her so much. I really loved learning about African mythology that I’ve never known previously. They were just fascinating.
This story was action-packed. Every time the squad finished their latest task, something else goes wrong. I really enjoyed that because this book was almost 500 pages long, but I felt like it flew by. I was paced well and I didn’t want to put it down because so much was going on.
Overall, I cannot wait to read the next one. I loved the mythology this story is based on. I loved the messages brought up. I thought it was well written and more than entertaining. Also, I loved Gum Baby. I also really liked that this book can stand on its own as a whole story. There will be another book, but even if there wasn’t. This story had an ending that was good enough for this to be a standalone.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

GoodReads Summary:
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her friends—before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s…
Everneath (Everneath, #1)Review:
I have to start this review by saying that I have read this book before. I know that I have read it, but I didn’t remember any of the story while I was rereading (which is the whole reason I reread it). Everneath was a very run of the mill 2012 paranormal YA fantasy story. I think the concept was better than its execution, but for a debut novel, it could have been much worse. I don’t want to talk too negatively about this book because I had fun while I was reading it but there were definitely some issues.
The pacing was pretty good. Each chapter started with a certain about of time left until her ‘return.’ But there were also flashback chapters that counted down until when she first vanished. I thought this was a fun way to tell the story.
There were a few things that I thought could have been further explained when it came to the world-building. I understand that we only got to know as much as Nikki knew, but I still think there were certainly more opportunities to fill out the world. I was left with too many questions.
The love triangle was…weird. It wasn’t really a love triangle because it was clear who Nikki really cared about. It was a little annoying too with Cole constantly trying to tell Nikki that he loved her, but never really showed it. I liked all the characters well enough, but I think the best friend Jules could have been further developed. I’m hoping we will get that in the next books.
Finally, I wish the author had shown more than told. There were a few times within chapters where there were mini headings that stated the location. Times that could have been shown to us rather than told in this way. There were a handful of other parts of the story that were told when they could have been shown.
Overall, this was a book that I enjoyed despite the things I didn’t love. It was a pretty average read for me. I will continue the series because I own all three books and I’m still a bit curious as to how things will turn out for our stubborn little Nikki.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes

Summary:
Zane Obispo spends every day exploring the sleeping volcano in his backyard. “The Beast,” as he calls it, is the one place where he can escape other kids, who make fun of him because he has a limp and walks with a cane.
After a twin-engine plane crashes into the Beast, a mysterious girl named Brooks shows up at Zane’s doorstep insisting that they meet at the volcano, where she will reveal a terrible secret. Zane agrees, mostly because beautiful girls like her don’t usually talk to him. Brooks tells him that the volcano is actually a centuries-old prison for the Maya god of death, whose destiny is directly tied to Zane’s.
No way, Zane thinks. He’s just a thirteen-year-old nobody, and destiny or no destiny, he wants nothing to do with any of it, especially some god of death. But Brooks opens his eyes to the truth: magic, monsters, and gods are real, and Zane is at the center of an ancient prophecy that could mean the destruction of the world. Suddenly finding himself entangled in a web of dangerous secrets, Zane embarks on a quest that will take him far from home and test him to the very core.
Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.
The Storm Runner (The Storm Runner, #1)Review:
The Storm Runner is a book that follows an unlikely hero on a quest to save the world. Where have I heard that one before? There were things I liked about this book and I wouldn’t say that there were things I didn’t like; I just think that this book didn’t hit the mark for me.
I liked the mythology that we learned about in this story. I thought it was the most interest part of the story. I would have liked to have more vivid and descriptive settings though. Zane finds himself in some pretty interesting places, but I think they could have been built up a little more.
I didn’t find myself connecting with the characters as much as I have with some of the others I’ve read that are middle-grade books. I’m not sure if that’s due to my reading so many middle-grade books that focus on mythology or that I’ve really loved the others that I’ve read.
I don’t want to say that there was anything wrong with The Storm Runner because there certainly wasn’t. It was fun to read. It was fast-paced, but not too much so. There was adventure and mystery. I just didn’t connect to the story in the way I expected to.
Overall, this was a fun story but it was average for me. I think it’s definitely worth reading. The mythology was fascinating and we follow the main character who has a physical disability. I liked this book and will be continuing the series without a doubt.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Summary:
All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.
While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.
In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.
The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)Review:
This final book in the Percy Jackson series was everything I wanted and more. Though I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, I’m alright with it because I know there are more books with the characters I’ve come to love so much.
My feelings on Percy haven’t changed. I still admire and adore him. His bravery is like no other. The same goes for Annabeth. I adore her so much. She’s clever and loyal. She never backs down from a fight. I’m so happy their relationship finally developed further and it’s not a minute too soon. Grover has grown so much and I love that too. He’s fulfilled his dreams and continues to work hard and help as much as he can. I love the whole cast. I loved seeing them all work together and save the world.
I cannot say enough how much I really enjoy the way Riordan brings the mythology alive and into the modern world. I think he does it so well. He gives these characters life and history and I enjoy reading about them so much.
Overall, I was happy with this final book. I didn’t love the ending because it didn’t really give closure. It left kind of open ended as if there was just going to be the next book in the series. I know there is more books following these characters, but I thought there would be a little bit more closure of the series. I still enjoyed reading it. I’m so glad I finally managed to read this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.