Amanda’s Boarding School Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been starting to plan my TBR for spooky season and I realized that I’ve been reading boarding school stories recently. I thought that was funny since it wasn’t planned. I have a few more I want to read during spooky season, so maybe I’ll talk about those in my wrap up.

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
“Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game. Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.  The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.”

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Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
“Our story begins in 1902, at The Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it The Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, The Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way. Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer, Merritt Emmons, publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded-Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins. A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period illustrations.”

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
“Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them. After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger… and the Strigoi are always close by. Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…”

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Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
“Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better. Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute. The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess. She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland. At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?”

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Love Jacaranda by Alex Flinn
“Jacaranda Abbott has always tried to keep her mouth shut. As a foster kid, she’s learned the hard way that the less she talks about her mother and why she’s in jail, the better. But when a video of Jacaranda singing goes viral, a mysterious benefactor offers her a life-changing opportunity—a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school to study musical theater. Eager to start over somewhere new, Jacaranda leaps at the chance. She pours her heart out in emails to the benefactor she’s never met. Suddenly she’s swept up in a world of privilege where the competition is fierce and the talent is next level. As Jacaranda—Jackie to her new friends—tries to find her place, a charming boy from this world of wealth catches her eye. She begins to fall for him, but can he accept her for who she really is?

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Looking for Alaska by John Green
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.”

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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
“The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar. From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.”

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The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
“When Moira Dreyfuss’s parents announce that they’re sending her to an all-girls boarding school deep in the Maine woods, Moira isn’t fooled. She knows her parents are punishing her; she’s been too much trouble since her best friend, Nathan, died―and for a while before that. At the Castle School, isolated from the rest of the world, Moira will be expected to pour her heart out to the odd headmaster, Dr. Prince. But she isn’t interested in getting over Nathan’s death or befriending her fellow students. On her first night there, Moira hears distant music. On her second, she discovers the lock on her window is broken. On her third, she and her roommate venture outside…and learn that they’re not so isolated after all. There’s another, very different, Castle School nearby―this one filled with boys whose parents sent them away, too. Moira is convinced that the Castle Schools and the doctors who run them are hiding something. But exploring the schools will force Moira to confront her overwhelming grief―and the real reasons her parents sent her away.”

Well, this is it friends. These are some books that have a boarding school setting that I enjoyed reading. Boarding school is a buzz word for me. I love to read about boarding schools, so hopefully you’ll enjoy some of these recommendations.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Ten: Hocus Pocus Book Tag

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Hi, lovelies! Antonia and I are here with another fun Spooktober themed book tag. Who doesn’t love Hocus Pocus? This movie is a total classic and I was excited to see that it has its own book tag. It’s the perfect post for Blogtober. I found this tag over at Romance Book Binge. Let’s get to it!

A great trilogy

Amanda- One of the best trilogies I’ve read this year so far was definitely the Book of the Ancestor trilogy by Mark Lawrence.

Antonia- One that I’ve been most excited about recently is the Chronicles of the One trilogy by Nora Roberts. The first two books were amazing and the last comes out in December. I. Can’t. Wait.

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Winifred Sanderson: A book with a truly evil female villain.

Amanda- All I’m going to say is House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig.

Antonia- The first one that comes to mind since I’m rereading it is Levana from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. She’s definitely a little crazy.

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Sarah Sanderson: A book that uncannily attracts children.

Amanda- Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chockshi is a great middle grade series that I want everyone to read.

Antonia- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis was one of my parent’s favorites, one of my favorites and now my nephew loves them too.

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Mary Sanderson: A book that is just plain silly.

Amanda- I laughed all the way through The Disasters by M.K. England.

Antonia- The BFG by Roald Dahl is by far the silliest book I’ve read.

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Max: A book that is trying really hard to be cool, but doesn’t always succeed.

Amanda- The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Antonia- The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast were equal parts interesting storyline and too much teenage angst.

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Dani: A book that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.

Amanda- I just finished this one and adored it. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.

Antonia- Crank by Ellen Hopkins. It was the first book I was introduced to that didn’t sugarcoat things like drugs and teenage pregnancy.

Binx: A book series that just won’t die.

Amanda- Welll, I’m currently rereading the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. So, I think that’s pretty fitting.

Antonia- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is one I wish disappeared into a black hole forever ago.

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Ice: A book with a character that’s dumb as a rock.

Amanda- Scam from the Zeroes trilogy by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, & Margo Lanagan. He gets it together, eventually.

Antonia- Winter from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is one who definitely isn’t all there but eventually you learn it’s less her being stupid and more that she’s just crazy.

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The Black Flame Candle: A book or series you wish you could resurrect.

Amanda- I actually sort of am resurrecting this series. I just found The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa and borrowed it from Antonia. So, I’m hoping to reread these soon.

Antonia- The Age of X series by Richelle Mead. As far as I can tell this series is never going past book two because of low sales and that really pisses me off.

Headless Billy Butcherson: A book that’s not as bad as people make it out to be.

Amanda- Again, but Better by Christine Riccio. I know this book has flaws, but I liked it anyway.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. I think the terrible movie had an adverse affect on peoples opinions of the book.

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Winifred Sanderson’s Spell Book: A book with a mind of its own.

Amanda- The Disasters by M.K. England

Antonia- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Garry Marshall: A book with a cameo.

Amanda- I actually recently buddy read Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum. She totally made a reference to another one of her books (Tell Me Three Things) which totally made me laugh.

Antonia- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. I don’t remember exactly which books but a couple of them make subtle references to the Kane Chronicles and vice versa.

That’s all the questions for this one! We loved this tag, it was so fun to think of books for these questions. Now we’re off to watch some Hocus Pocus of course.

Now, we shall tag some lovely bloggers to also participate!

 

 

Blogtober Day One: Amanda’s Bookeyman-A-Thon TBR

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Hi, lovelies! I’m here today to say Happy October! It’s the prime time of the spooky season and I’m so excited to be participating in a Spooktober readathon that is hosted by two of my favorite bookish friends, Alana @ The Bookish Chick & Books in the Skye. I shall leave the link to the twitter thread with all of the info here. I have chosen Team Clan because fifteen-year-old me would never let me choose anything other than the Vampires. There are a few challenges that I will list below with my chosen books. The Bookeyman-A-Thon will be going on for the whole month of Spooktober. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some spooky books.

Read the Group Book:

Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Read a book you’ve been dying to sink your teeth into – Read a backlist book:

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

You need to feed and all you see is blood – Read a book with a red cover:

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

Make your immortality count and become well known – Read a book with over 15,000 ratings on GoodReads:

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Sunrise Challenge: You need to avoid the sunlight – Read a book only at night:

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

I’m beyond excited for these prompts and the books I’ve chosen to read for this readathon. Tell me in the comments about what you’re planning to read for the spookiest month of the year!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

GoodReads Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”
Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
Review:
I’m sad to say that I’m a little disappointed by this book. I had some pretty high hopes for this story. I thought it was going to be the perfect seasonal read for the spooky season. But this story was more than I was hoping for.
I loved the idea behind the book. Fairytales come to life. But they’re not the fairytales we all know and love. They’re twisted and dark and even a little scary. I was so here for this idea. I love some twisted fairytales. This was sadly the best part of the book.
Our main character, Alice, was annoying. She was a flawed girl which is something I usually like but I think it was overdone. I’m not going to spill any of the beans. But the plot twist involving her was predictable and I just didn’t love it. I also didn’t like that we never actually got to hear her whole story (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read the book.) She has some serious anger issues and was so frustrating. She has it in her head that she needs to go to this incredibly dangerous place, the Hinterland, to rescue her mother. Okay a quest, I get that. What I don’t get is why make it sound so dangerous and have literally everyone tells you not to go so that when Alice ignores them and goes anyway it makes her look dumb.
I think this story had so much potential but got really confusing toward the end. Once Alice goes into the Hinterland the story gets really screwy. This was a little annoying because the first half of the book is her just trying to find the Hinterland. So half the book was pretty slow with little bits of excitement and the last half of the book was nothing but excitement. The pace was a little off and could have been done differently.
I also alternated my reading of this book between audiobook and paper copy. The audiobook was excellent. I’m not sure who the narrator was but she did an excellent job telling the story. I feel like I’m kind of picky when it comes to audiobook narrators, so I have to start remembering the narrators I do like to find other books narrated by them.
Anyway, I had high hopes for The Hazel Wood because of the hype surrounding it. So while I was a little disappointed with the story, I don’t want to say that it was bad. But I don’t think that it lives up to all of the hype surrounding the story. It was definitely super creepy/ spooky though so it’s a great read for the spooky season. Let me know what you thought of The Hazel Wood in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so you and others can blog hop and share the character love.

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This weeks topic is Plagued by Ghosts (A character who IS a ghost or can see and/or interacts with the spiritual realm.)

Amanda

Okay so who here has read The Wicked Deep. our main character sees ghosts. Penny is sort of an outsider in her town. She lives on the island with the lighthouse and takes a little boat to the mainland everyday for school and everything. While I didn’t absolutely love Penny, she was definitely intriguing in this book. A great book for spooky season if you’re looking for something to read this Halloween!

Antonia

The In The Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts follows three women as they deal with a ghost who’s haunting their house. The ghost has a sad, twisted backstory that I completely loved.