Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween

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 – Halloween/Creepy Freebie. I’m going to make a list that I think is fitting for the spooky season.

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1. The Diviners by Libba Bray – All the spooky feels. Listening to this on audiobook gave me some serious chills.
2. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer – Weird, creepy and spooky all in one. I made the mistake of reading this at night and had some weiiiird dreams that night.
3. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – This definitely wasn’t one of my favorites I’ve read lately but it’s definitely got the creepy Halloween vibes.
4. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – Accused witches coming back from the dead and drowning boys every summer, spooky season approved.
5. Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Magic isn’t always spooky but The Wood definitely adds a creep factor to this surprisingly dark story.
6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – The not knowing makes this story a little spooky. Mr. Wednesday only lets us (and Shadow) know what he wants us to know when he wants us to know it.
7. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – The mystery factor is what makes this book spooky. That and the crazy ass monsters that Tea has under her control.
8. The Devouring by Simon Holt – This series is seriously spooky. An excellent read for the Halloween season.
9. Secret of McKinley Mansion by K.F. Breene – I actually had to watch a Disney movie after I finished this book. I made the mistake of reading it before bed and I was seriously creeped out.
10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m not finished with this series, but the first book is pretty spooky. Especially after learning what we did about Noah.

What books are you going to be reading this Halloween?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

GoodReads Summary:
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course, that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
Review:
My brain is definitely still processing everything that happened in this book. I tried to sort out my feelings by reading other reviews and that failed because I found out that there were quite a lot of readers that didn’t like this story at all. That really surprised me because I enjoyed this story. I think that’s because I tend to look at the positive things rather than zeroing in on the negatives.
I liked this story. I thought I’d give it a try because I’ve seen such rave reviews for Novik’s newest book, Spinning Silver. Uprooted was available through my library so I was excited to see what everyone was so excited about.
At the beginning of the book, I was a little unsure as to where this story was going to take me. Hearing about this mysterious man that takes a girl from one of the villages every ten years made me wonder what exactly was going to happen. And then learning about the unknown evil that is “The Wood.” The farther I got into this book the more I enjoyed it. There was a darkness within it that I wasn’t expecting from reading the synopsis. I think this darkness made me like it just that much more. I liked the interesting aspect of “The Wood” being this unknown evil and the fights or battles leading up to the crazy climax of Uprooted. This was a fairytale sort of book so the darkness was an interesting twist. I think this darkness is what kept me so interested in the book. I needed to know what was going to happen.
As for the characters, our female lead wasn’t anything to write home about. She was a messy, plain girl that can’t seem to do anything right. Suddenly she finds out that she’s special and has magical powers, but of course, she’s not magical in the traditional way. Her powers don’t work in the usual way so her mentor’s attempts to teach her fall short and he makes her life much harder than it needs to be. Really the only special thing about her is her complete lack of sense, she’s headstrong and has no regard for her own safety. She does show how much she cares for her loved ones. Saving those she cares for is usually the reason she’s running into danger that she knows she may not survive. She’s brave and a little outrageous and I liked seeing it come out of her as the story progressed and she really grew into herself. She started to gain confidence and care less that she was sort of a hot mess. I liked that about her. I also like where the story left her. It was an excellent conclusion to this crazy story.
The Dragon was a character that I really wasn’t sure how to feel about. I’m still not sure how to feel about him. Somehow we’re supposed to see him as a love interest but his relationship with our female lead was pretty aggressive. He spends most of the beginning of the book insulting her for being sloppy, for not being able to do magic the way he wants her to, for being outspoken and caring too much about the people from her village she’s had to leave behind. I understand why he felt that he needed to be such a jerk the whole time, but by the end of the book, he totally should have changed his attitude a bit more. He definitely could have lightened up a bit. I think he overplayed the jerk role just a little bit.
Overall I enjoyed this story. Uprooted was a story that grabbed me and wouldn’t spit me out until the last page. There was darkness within these pages that I didn’t anticipate but it really just made the story even better. Most fairytale type stories don’t have darkness aside from the villain and this story was full of twists and turns that were unexpected that definitely left me needing some time to comprehend what I’d read. The characters could have been better developed. There wasn’t a whole lot of character development in regards to them changing and growing for the better, but they did what the needed to. I would definitely read this story again and I’m excited to read the other works that Novik has written.

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!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I am currently listening to Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel, the third and final book in the Themis Files trilogy. Head to our master review list to see my thoughts on the first two books in the series.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I’ve been interested in this premise since I first saw it and have finally gotten around to reading it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I just finished The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I received it as an ARC courtesy of NetGalley. Keep an eye out for my review in the next few weeks!

Antonia- I just finished Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. Check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I am hoping to read Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard or Uprooted by Naomi Novik or Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy. I have too many books in too many different formats available to me right now so I never know what I’m going to read until I choose.

Antonia- I’m not sure. I’ll probably try to finish the Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.