2020 Blogging & Reading Goals

Today we are both here to talk a bit about what our goals are for this new year. Most people have new year’s resolutions, but we’re going to stick with goals because goals are something to work toward and resolutions are something to change. Let’s get right into it!

Amanda’s 2020 Goals

  1. I want to focus on reading the books that I already own (mostly backlist) instead of getting caught up in new releases. Additionally, I want to make an effort to read the physical copies of these books instead of checking the ebooks out from my library and reading off of my phone. Reading physical books is my preferred format and I’d like to attempt to get back to reading primarily in that format.
  2. The past year or so I’ve gotten back into GoodReads with rating and sharing my reviews on there. I’m pretty liberal with my ratings and I base them completely off of enjoyment. But in 2020, I’d like to be a little more critical with my ratings, basing them a bit more on my overall thoughts on all the aspects of the book.
  3. I’d like to, by the end of 2020, finish all of the series (that are already completely published) that I’m currently in the middle of. This will include any that I pick up in 2020. I don’t want to enter 2021 with any unfinished series. I’m hoping to pick up books in a series one right after another this year instead of starting a series and slowly reading it with other books in between.
  4. Finally, I’d like to get back to writing my reviews shortly after I finish the book. Toward the end of 2019,  I got in the habit of letting my reviews build up until I have five or six to write. I don’t want that to become a lasting habit. So, I’m doing well with this so far, but I’m writing it down to hold myself accountable.

Antonia’s 2020 Goals

  1. My first and main goal is simply to read more this year. I completely failed my goal for December and really want to start this year better.
  2. I’d like to get a little more involved with the blog this year starting with Top Ten Tuesday. It’s such a fun weekly post (one of the first we got into when we started the blog) and I’m hoping it’ll get me more motivated.

These are some of our goals for the new year! Do you have any blogging goals? Any goals specific to your reading habits? Leave a comment and share!

 

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween Freebie

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 Freebie. I will be listing ten books I want to read on Halloween night.

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Devouring by Simon Holt

The Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

These are just some of the choices I have to read for my Halloween Readathon! This year I’ll be taking my little girl trick or treating for the first time, so we shall see what I end up getting to read.  What books would you pick to read on Halloween? Leave a comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Book Titles

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 – Extraordinary Book Titles. I’m just going to pick a handful of my favorites.

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We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

What book titles do you think are extraordinary? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Intimidating TBR

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 – Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why (maybe you’re scared of it, worried it won’t live up to the hype, etc.)

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read this yet. I think the hype is what makes me hesitant to pick it up.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
There’s literally no reason why I haven’t read this one yet.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This is another that I’ve put off because of the hype that surrounds it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I read Strange the Dreamer and didn’t love it, so I’m hesitant to pick up another of her books.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Superhero books are really hit or miss for me. I love Leigh, so I don’t want to read this and not like it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Eight hundred twenty-seven pages. That’s all I have to say.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
I know I’m going to love this. I really don’t know why I haven’t picked it up.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Something about starting a new series is just intimidating.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Another book that is so well-loved that I’m scared of not liking.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
Something about historical fiction, it seems to be a rare mood for me. Because of this, I don’t pick it up very often despite almost always loving the books I read in the genre.

What books do you have on your TBR that you just haven’t managed to pick up? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Comfort Zone

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 – Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone (i.e., a genre you don’t typically read or subject matter you’re not usually drawn to). This is a tough one for me because I read a huge variety of books and I wouldn’t say that I have a ‘comfort zone.’

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Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo
Science Fiction Graphic Novel

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Non-Fiction

Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect by Zander Cannon
Fantasy Graphic Novel

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Non-Fiction

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanah Ganucheau
Contemporary Graphic Novel

Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Adult Contemporary

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Science Fiction

The Recovering:  Intoxication and  its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
Non-Fiction/Memoir

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Historical Fiction

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Non-Fiction/Memoir

These are the books I came up with for books that I enjoyed that were outside of my comfort zone. I’ve recently started reading graphic novels, so the ones I’ve enjoyed made this list because they’re still new for me. I also have a fair bit of non-fiction because it’s not something I usually read. Most on this list I only read because of book club. What books made your Top Ten Tuesday list this week? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Barnes & Nobel Book Haul!

Hi, lovelies! I’m just stopping by this evening to share with you all the things I got this weekend at the Barnes & Nobel Book Haul Blowout! I have been looking forward to this all weekend! I think I picked up quite a few books that I’m really excited about. So, expect to see them in any of my TBR’s in the near future.

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I picked up a few that I was missing from the always wonderful Rick Riordan. I was very excited to see these on sale because I never see his books on sale!

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

I also grabbed a few that I’ve seen so many others talking about. I wanted to get them so I could understand why everyone is talking about them!

Furyborn Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

There were a few that I’ve seen before but I haven’t really heard anything about them aside from what they’re about.

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody

And finally, I picked up two books by the same author that I’ve never heard of but the synopsis sounded pretty interesting for both of them.

H2O by Virginia Bergin

The XY by Virginia Bergin

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The next book is the one full-price book I bought and I’m blaming entirely on Heathur from Aphrodite Reads because she does nothing but sing its praises. It’s going to be a buddy read for the upcoming round of ZodiacAThon.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

 

 

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The graphic novel was an impulse buy. I went over to the graphic novel section to look for the next volume of a series I started recently but instead, I found something I never knew I needed. I don’t play video games pretty much ever, but a friend of mine got me into Life is Strange and I’m so glad.

Life is Strange: Dust by Emma Vieceli, Claudia Leonardi, & Andrea Izzo

 

 

So, there you have it. These are all of the books I picked up today on my trip to Barnes and Nobel. I have to thank my dad because this haul was a belated birthday gift from him. I cannot wait to dive into these new books, but for now, they have found a new home on my TBR bookshelves.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s July Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! I’m here with a very belated wrap up for the month of July. I’ve been a bit lazy with setting up my blog posts which is why this wrap up is so late. But! I’m here and I’m sharing all of the wonderful (or not so wonderful) things that I read in the month of July. Without any further delay (because I’ve delayed enough with my laziness) here are the things I read.

Physical Books
Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Under Currents by Nora Roberts
The Library Book by Susan Orlean

eBooks
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
All Our Broken Pieces L.D. Crichton
The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Moon Cakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu
Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Audiobooks
Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I managed to read twenty books in July. Not my best month, but still one that I’m very happy with. Tell me what you read last month!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads Summary:

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.91shyghsqsl

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

 

Once again I couldn’t wait to start this book after the suspense-filled ending of Siege and Storm (you can read my review of it here). The Darkling finally made his move; the Second Army has been destroyed, the palace taken over, the king, queen, and prince are possibly dead, and Alina is hiding underground without her powers.
I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. At the beginning, it felt like there was no hope for Alina and her friends to be able to defeat the Darkling. He simply has too much power and experience for the ragtag group of rebels to make much difference. To change this, Alina and her friends go on a nearly impossible quest to try to find the firebird. The third of Morozova’s amplifiers could make Alina powerful enough to face the Darkling once and for all but the firebird is a legend they’re not sure even exists. I really enjoyed this quest; the interactions between this group of misfits were fun and it was nice to get away from the politics of the second book. The twist involving the firebird, the third amplifier, and Mal wasn’t much of a plot twist for me. Usually I like little subtle hints in books that make you go “Ohh” when you eventually figure it out but I thought these ones were pretty obvious. I’d guessed this outcome back in the second book but it wasn’t revealed until two-thirds of the way through this one.
Alina is still my favorite character. She’s strong and brave but also very flawed. Despite everything though, she always tries to be a good leader first and foremost. I loved watching her continue to grow throughout this book.
I’m also glad I started to like Mal again. My opinion of him has sort of been a rollercoaster throughout the series but he managed to redeem himself by the end. He hasn’t always been there for Alina the way he should but he stepped up when it mattered and I ended up admiring the person he becomes.
Nikolai is also one of my favorites. He’s still the dashing, witty pirate we met in the last book but behind that he’s intelligent and kind. I was more devastated by what happens to him than by any other event from these books so that should tell you how much I love him.
I don’t have much to say about the Darkling that I haven’t already said in my previous reviews because his part in this book is mostly from a distance. His unpredictability makes him an exceptional villain and I liked the way Bardugo ended things for his character.
Overall this way an amazing conclusion to the series and I highly recommend it to everyone who likes YA and fantasy. As always, thanks for reading and I’d love to know what you think in the comments.

-Antonia

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads Summary: Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.91wvknclkul

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

 

After almost a year, I finally got around to finishing this series. I did reread the first book but, since my thoughts on it remain the same, I won’t write another review for it. You can read my review of Shadow and Bone here.

I loved this book. After the whirlwind ending of the first book, it seemed like this one might start slow, but it picked up almost immediately and the whirlwind started again. That’s one of the things I love about this series; it’s so fast paced that I read each book in only a day or two. Even during slower moments there’s so much underlying suspense that you can’t wait to see what happens next.

The setting is amazing. As I said in my review of the first book, I struggle a lot with visualizing settings, especially fantasy settings. Bardugo describes the places and people in her books so well though that I found it easy to see everything. Even with the war, this is a world I think I could live in.

Alina is a character I continue to admire. She’s gone through so much in her life and the events of the last book have left her shaken. Terrible things have happened to her and she’s done terrible things as well. She barely knows who she is anymore and she’s fighting so hard to separate her actions from those of the Darkling. No matter what she does she always keeps fighting to be a good person and I love that about her. I think she really stepped up in this book to try to be a good leader even if she still makes mistakes sometimes.

Mal started to annoy me again in this book. He annoyed me in the beginning, then I loved him by the end of the first book and the beginning of this one, then he started to annoy me again, but I feel like it wasn’t so much his fault. Mal and Alina start this book in a really good place in their relationship. Sure, they’ve got problems, but most of them stem from the war and their terror of the Darkling. Then, suddenly, the relationship’s broken and Mal’s acting like a jerk and Alina won’t just talk to him. It didn’t feel like a natural progression to the relationship. It felt like Bardugo just created problems in the relationship to add more tension to the plot and not because that’s where the relationship was going. It’s the only serious problem I had with this book. I would have understood them having a little trouble because their entire lives are made up of stressful situations and that would wear on any relationship, but the complete 180 seemed forced to me.

I absolutely love Sturmhond. It seemed like every time I turned a page there was a new facet to his personality that made me love him more. Even the negative traits just made him more interesting. I won’t give away too much about him but he’s definitely one of the more unique characters I’ve read about recently.

The Darkling is still an awesome villain even though we don’t see him quite as much in this book. The affects the end of the first book had on him have somehow made him more twisted and it was difficult to figure out what he might do next. Also, (sorry everyone) I still don’t love him.

Overall this was an amazing sequel that I highly recommend to everyone who enjoys YA and fantasy. It has the romance and magic that you expect from this genre with a heavy dose of darkness and what people are capable of under pressure thrown in. I’d love to hear your own thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!

-Antonia

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy Day Reads

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 – Rainy Day Reads

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The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

Shadow and Bone by Leigh  Bardugo

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Dry by Neal  & Jarrod Shusterman

The Mortal Instruments by  Cassandra Clare

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

These are all books I can pick up to forget the rainy weather outside. What books do you like to pick up on a rainy day?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s March Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! It’s April fools day but its no joke that I managed to read twenty-four books in the month of March. I was motivated by the NoVaTeen Book Festival to read books by a handful of new authors before I got the chance to meet them. Because of that, I read a large number of eBooks from my library (and I found a few new favorites!) So, without further delay here, are all the things (good and bad) that I read in March.

Physical Books
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

EBooks
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
A Long way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf Alrashidi
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Audiobooks
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

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What did you read this month? Did we read any of the same books? Did you find any new favorite books or authors like I did?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

GoodReads Summary:
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So, when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
Monday's Not ComingReview:
I was gifted this book by my wonderful secret Santa this past Christmas. I thought the Fierce Females Readathon would be the perfect opportunity to dive into this story. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews so I was interested to see what it was all about.
I’m not going to go into too much detail because this is technically a mystery. So, I don’t want to give anything away. This review will be pretty brief. Overall, I enjoyed the story. Parts of it were pretty slow because we were getting the history of the main character and her best friend. The first half of the book kind of dragged because of this. There was so much we needed to learn about Claudia and Monday so there was a lot of storytelling and backstory so it was a bit slow going to begin with. Along with this, was the one thing I didn’t like about the book. Though I don’t know how it could have been done differently. The story jumps all over the place. It alternates between several different time periods. Though they are clearly labeled, it was still a little annoying that it jumps all over the place. I still enjoyed the overall story. I was totally shocked by the ending, there were some parts that I predicted but the plot twist still had me saying, “What the F?” This is a story that’s going to stick with me for a while. I will definitely be recommending it in the future.

Keep  on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Fierce Female Readathon Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! I’m here (again) to share with you my wrap up for the Fierce Female Readathon! This month I and a few others had tons of fun sharing all kinds of fierce females. There was also this readathon! There were five challenges and a group book and two weeks for reading! Here’s how I did.

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Read the group book

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Read a book with girl/female/woman in the title

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (I’m stretching this one a bit)

Read a book written by a woman of color

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Read a fierce female recommendation from the book community

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Read a nonfiction book written by or featuring a fierce female
OR
read a book based off a woman in history

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson (not pictured)

Read a book with a fierce female leading a resistance 

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

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These are the books I read for the Fierce Female Readathon. What books did you read?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #FierceFemaleReadathon #FierceFemaleReadsFebruary and #FierceFemaleFridays and tag Ashley and me in your posts! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and/or GoodReads to keep up to date with any announcements and see what I’m reading!

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Amanda’s February Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! Happy first day of March! I’m here today to share with you all the books I read this month. I am pretty proud of myself because I managed to read quite a few books in the month of February. I almost read a book a day. I read a total of twenty-five books. I only accomplished this by doing pretty much nothing other than reading, helped by a fair few snowy and rainy days. Let’s break down what I read.

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Physical Books
Sawkill Girls by Clair Legrand
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

eBooks
A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Shienmel
Robbergirl by S.T. Gibson
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Air Awakens (series) by Elise Kova
The Dysasters by P.C. and Kristen Cast
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

Audiobooks
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

As usual, I read mostly eBooks, but I read a fair amount of physical books. Seventeen of these were books that I own. Five of them were ARCs I was  very lucky to receive and three were from my library. I’m super happy about the physical books I read becasue I need to focus more on my physical  TBR list. Let me know below what books and how many you read in the month  of February!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey

Summary: The last city on Earth is contaminated. Now blood is the only thing that can wash it clean.

Julia is trapped inside the Blue as the Nobles fight over the few humans who are still alive. When the dust settles and she finds herself shackled to a new master, she knows she must escape or die.

Meanwhile, Cam has gathered a handful of comrades and is on his way into the Red to rescue his queen. But not all of his friends can be trusted, and not all of them will make it back alive.

The Silver Queen is the second book in Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy, set in a dystopian Europe where vampiric Nobles control the last remnants of the human race.

Review: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
This is the second book in the Sovereign series. You can read my review of the first book here.
So I just reread my review of the first book to remind myself of which points I’ve already spoken about so I don’t repeat myself too much but I’ve just confused myself more. My feelings about the second book are practically opposite of what they were from the first; at least as far as the characters are concerned.
Originally I felt more connected with Cam and Felix’s relationship than I did Julia and Lucas’s. However, after the second book that’s been reversed for me. Maybe it’s because I started liking Felix less and less the more I read but I no longer support their relationship.
My favorite part of Julia and Lucas’s relationship is that, after he abandoned her in the Blue, she still loves him but no longer trusts him the same way. She’s learned to be independent and even after they’re reunited she questions their relationship. Not just because of the way he left her but because she realizes they’re different people now.
That being said, the romances are still my least favorite part of these books. They feel a little forced to me and I would’ve liked the story more if they weren’t part of it at all.
I like Julia even more now than I did after the first book. Things have changed. She’s had to learn things about herself and the world the hard way, make tough choices, fend for herself. I really admire the strength of her character after everything she’s been through.
Cam is still one of my favorites (except where Felix is concerned). Even after all this time he still tries to believe the best in people. He’s a soldier but doesn’t really want to be and I think those two aspects of his personality were blended really well. I can’t wait to see how the events of this book affect him in the next one.
Another problem I had was the maturity of the characters. Julia, Claudia, Lucas being immature sometimes I can understand. They’re young and emotional, it makes sense. Cameron and the other immortals being immature though? Many of these characters are close to a thousand years old. I could forgive it once or twice, especially where love is involved because people do stupid things when they’re in love and I don’t believe that gets better with age. That wasn’t the case here though. The immortals made the same kinds of decisions that the teenagers did and that didn’t seem realistic to me at all. It felt like some of their actions were forced to steer the plot in a certain direction and not because it was natural for that particular character.
My absolute favorite part of the book was the world-building. It really feels like a dystopian world. Travel takes weeks or even months because the closest thing to vehicles they have are horses and there aren’t many of them. There is no communication over distances because there’s no internet or mail system and they can’t train birds to send messages because animals have contaminated blood.
Even the different cures and contaminations were well thought out and interesting. (I won’t go into too much detail about that though to avoid spoilers.) I think Jaffrey did an amazing job on the world-building aspect of it and kept really great continuity throughout.
I only wish I could have seen some of what’s happening in other parts of the world. We really only get glimpses into a handful of settlements in what seems to be Europe. I’d love to know what’s happening in America and Africa and to find out how different places might be handling this new world. I can’t really be mad about it though because it would ruin that communication continuity I was just talking about.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I had a few problems with the characters but the plot and world-building more than made up for it. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA, dystopian, and paranormal. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia