Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything · Top Ten Tuesday

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Fall TBR List

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 Fall 2018 TBR.
top 10 tuesday
1. The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin – I’ve heard so many good things about these books. I bought them recently and I really want to get around to reading them.
2. The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead – The third and final book in The Glittering Court series I’m excited to pick this one up and see where Tamsin’s story takes us.
3. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – I’m rereading all of Clare’s books before Queen of Air and Darkness comes out in December.
4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – With all the bloggers that rant and rave about this book and the rest of the series I’m a little ashamed to say I haven’t read it yet. I have all of them but haven’t managed to pick them up for some reason.
5. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Another book that my fellow bloggers have brought to my attention. It’s sitting on my shelf begging me to pick it up.
6. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – I’m rereading this series since buying the final book, War Storm. Glass Sword is next up for this series.
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I’m due for a reread of the series. I just had a baby so I think I’m going to read them out loud to my daughter, an attempt to make her a baby Potterhead.
8. The Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas – I bought this book of novellas, finally. I’m not ready for the heartbreak it’s going to cause but it’s on the list.
9. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – Another book of novellas that I’m super excited to dive into.
10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Bookstagram led me to this series. I’ve heard mixed reviews but I really think I’m going to like it.

What books are on you TBR list for the upcoming season?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Everything & Anything · Amanda's Adventures · The Readers Favorites

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

GoodReads Summary:
As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.
Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.
Review:
Much like the first book in this series, (Sleeping Giants, find my review here!) I have nothing but good things to say. I listened to this story as an audiobook from my wonderful library.
The narrators, there are several that read this book, did an incredible job making this book sound more like a performance than a story. They really brought the characters to life. I cannot say enough about how great the audiobook narration was done. This series is for sure one that I will recommend as part of my favorite audiobooks to listen to. They will be hard to knock out of first place.
The storyline was incredible, so interesting and creative. This book never has a dull moment. There wasn’t a single point where I lost interest or was in any way bored. There was so much action and drama and I just needed to know what was going to happen next. I was left guessing through the whole story. I had no clue what I was in for. Waking Gods is written just like the first book, as a series of interviews, personal journals recordings, radio broadcasts, and recorded speeches. I think this was such an excellent way to tell this story. The plot twist that we were left with at the end of Sleeping Giants was a big one and we get some answers and follow through when it comes to that, though this sequel takes place about ten years after the ending of the first book. We also get a few more big twists. Waking Gods essentially ripped my heart out and stomped on it, like five times, but I loved every second of it. I would say more than that but I don’t want to give any spoilers.
The characters are still fabulous. I love Rose and the drama that comes along with her. We’re basically seeing a totally different Rose in this sequel. I loved getting to know this new Rose and seeing her deal with the craziness that is going on around her. Kara and Vincent were still super entertaining. I love how far their relationship has come in the last ten years. They ended up exactly where I wanted them to be. I think my favorite part of Waking Gods was FINALLY getting to know more about our mysterious interviewer, though we still haven’t learned his name. We find out his backstory and how he got into the influential position that he’s in. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters better.
Overall, I loved Waking Gods. I loved every minute of my listening experience. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the third (and I think final) book in the series. With the way that the second book ended (yes, cliffhanger!) I am super anxious for the audiobook to be available from my library. I don’t want to have to wait for Only Human. I need to know what happens and I need to know now. I’ve come to care for these characters. I am invested in this story. Read it and you will be too.

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!

Everything & Anything

ABC Book Challenge |L|

For those of you that are new here – each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A all the way through Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are sadly still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

This week’s letter is – L

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Looking for Alaska by John Green – This is my all time favorite book. My husband showed it to me when we were in high school and he was just my best friend. This book helped me think about and deal with things I didn’t know how to yet.

Antonia

(The) Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. One of my favorite childhood books. I will always adore this series.

Books Still on Our TBR Lists

Amanda

(The) The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – This book of novellas is a recent buy for me. I love Bardugo’s writing so I’m excited to see what’s in store for me with this one.

Antonia

(The) Liar by Nora Roberts- I haven’t read this one since it first came out and I hardly remember it. (Which is actually really unusual for me.) I’ve been thinking of rereading this one soon.

 

Book Tags & Challenges · Everything & Anything

Book Tag – The Summer Tag

I found this book tag over on Boston Book Reader who has all the fun book tags! I thought this would be a fun one now that summer is coming to an end.

What book cover makes you think of summer?

Amanda- Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow.

Antonia- Island of Glass by Nora Roberts

What book has brightened your day?

Amanda- The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. This series never fails to make me laugh.

Antonia- How am I supposed to choose? Books from my childhood are usually the ones that make me happiest.

Find a book cover with yellow on it.

Amanda- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Strong Larsson.

Antonia- Warrior Rising by P.C. Cast.

What is your favorite summer beach read?

Amanda- Pretty much anything by Nora Roberts or Janet Evanovich.

Antonia- I love reading Julia Quinn’s books at the beach. They make me laugh so hard.

What action book had you running to the ice cream man for some snacks?

Amanda- Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts for sure had me running for snacks to keep my hands as busy as my brain was.

Antonia- Hmm… I pretty much always have snacks no matter what so I can’t really answer this.

What book has left you with a bad or painful ending like a summer sunburn?

Amanda- Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. The events that occurred in this book were not okay.

Antonia- Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I loved this series but the ending killed me.

What book gave you happy feelings at the ending like a sunset at the end of a wonderful day?

Amanda- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. This book was too good and I totally loved the ending.

Antonia- Beheld by Alex Flinn. This book had me grinning like a lunatic.

What book cover reminds you of a sunset?

Amanda- Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. It actually has a sunset on the cover.

Antonia- If I Should Die by Amy Plum. It also has a sunset on the cover.

What is one book or series you hope to read this summer?

Amanda- The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. Summer is basically over at this point so my hope of reading this series is quickly dwindling.

Antonia- I’d like to finish the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova.

Everything & Anything · I Heart Characters!

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.

i heart characters.jpg

This weeks topic is Bam! The Opposite Sex (A character you’d like to read about but the opposite sex of what they identified within the original story!)

Amanda

I have two choices for this weeks topic. I just couldn’t decide between the two, but one option was a female main character and the other choice was a male main character so I thought it worked out well.

The first is from my favorite book, Looking for Alaska by John Green. Our main character, Miles Halter (also known as Pudge) goes off to boarding school where his whole life changes. He makes new friends and does things that he’d never done before, smoking cigarettes, pranking other students, drinking. He falls in love with a girl and learns a lot about himself, about love, and about life. I have always wondered how this story would be different or the same had the main character been a girl instead of Miles. I think I may write this story one day, but I wonder how Miles experience would differ from the boarding school experiences of a female.

The second choice I have for this topic is my favorite series, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. So I’d really love to read this series from Rhysands perspective, but that’s not really the question I’m being asked. I also think it would be so interesting and totally change the whole story had our main character, Feyre, been a male main character. This would be interesting because I think all the other roles would need to be reversed as well. So Rhysand would need to be a female and being a High Lord that might mean that all the other High Lords would be made female as well to have the story make sense. This role reversal would be excellent.

Antonia

Oh, man. All of them? I think gender-swaps are fascinating.

I think Bloodlines by Richelle Mead would be really cool if Adrian and Sydney’s roles were reversed. While they’re very complex, their personalities definitely fit with what you might typically expect as male and female. I’d love to see those stereotypes erased. Have a female vampire who’s kind of a player and a guy who’s a little neurotic and body-conscious.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Summary:
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow.
Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three troubled girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into Sparrow’s harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives, unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople will turn against one another. Penny and Bo will suspect the other of hiding secrets. And death with come swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
Bu only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo or save herself.
Review:
The Wicked Deep was brought to my attention through the book blogging world. The beautiful cover was featured on countless bookstagrams and bookish twitters because it photographs so well. Once I read the synopsis I was more than interested. Vengeful sisters and murder? Count me in.
There was a little while during the story that I wasn’t really sure where things were going. Were they going to figure out how to get rid of the Swan sisters for good? What was the end goal here? Then I found out and man I totally should have seen that plot twist coming. I’m honestly not sure how I missed it, all the clues were there.
I don’t think I have anything negative to say about The Wicked Deep. It has an incredibly unique storyline with fully developed and interesting characters that pull you in and leave you with all the feels.
Penny, our main character, is an outsider in her town. I immediately liked her because she chooses to stay on the island and care for her mother. She’s a girl that really cares about the people in her life and is loyal to no end. After learning about certain events in the book I really felt bad for Penny because someone did her real dirty and she will never even find out about it. So many secrets are being kept from her right through the ending and I just felt bad for her.
Our love interest, Bo. He’s mysterious. That typical guy from out of town who comes into town with a secret. We slowly learn more about him as Penny gets to know him. I really liked Bo. Though he was ignorant to the craziness that is the Swan Season in the town of Sparrow, he sticks it out to try to find the answers he’s looking for. He’s determined but finds himself caring for Penny and her island.
I liked the relationship between Penny and Bo. It wasn’t insta-lovey thank god. I can’t handle instalove relationships. There was definitely some infatuation on Penny’s part in the beginning. Their relationship had actual development which I liked. They were both keeping secrets but working together on the island to fix the orchard among other things gives them time to bond and talk and really get comfortable with one another. With this time spent together, they slowly start to open up and reveal their secrets to each other. I liked the pace of their relationship. It’s the same for the whole story. It’s paced nicely. The story flows well, giving us a smooth story that’s not rushed at the end to give us an ending or too slow in the beginning trying to give us all the background information we need.
Overall, I liked this book about as much as I expected to. I knew I was going to like this story just from the synopsis. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The unique storyline was one that I loved. It’s creative and unlike anything I’ve read before which is impressive because I’ve read quite a few books. The characters are relatable and real. They make you feel all the things and you can’t help but care about them. This was a fun read for sure and I’d recommend it to anyone that liked young adult books.

“Love is an enchantress—devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.”

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!

Everything & Anything · Antonia's Antics

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

Summary: Sometimes, there is nowhere safe to hide.

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.

The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies’ room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone–until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

But one person wasn’t satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait–and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

Review: This book was amazing, as all of Nora’s are. She’s been an auto-buy author of mine since the first time I picked up one of her books and I’ve never been disappointed. This book was suspenseful, heart-wrenching, funny, and romantic.
I especially loved that it followed these characters over a fourteen year period. It starts with the mall shooting, then shows glimpses of the survivors over the years as they learn to cope with what happened to them, until it reaches present day when most of the story takes place. It was amazing to see the way these characters grew over the years and the different ways they handled (or didn’t) the trauma.
Simone was an awesome character. She goes from a teenager who’s life is ruined because she got dumped to a strong-willed, confident woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone. She tried to bury her feelings after the shooting; if she kept it locked up, it didn’t happen. I enjoyed watching her slowly open up and actually confront what had happened to her. She definitely has flaws but that only made her more relatable. I also loved how she dealt with her emotions through her art. Being a sculptor, she had a unique perspective that I found very interesting.
Reed is the best kind of male MC; he’s sexy, funny, romantic, tough and not afraid of his sensitive side. He’s perfectly comfortable going from the badass cop to chatting about art with Simone and CiCi. I really hate the super macho guys who think if they’re sensitive that makes them less of a man. Reed doesn’t have that hold-up and it made me love him even more.
CiCi is my favorite. She’s Simone’s grandmother, also an artist, and she’s basically the grandma we all wish we could have. She doesn’t act her age and is unapologetic about who she is. She was so quirky and fun that her character was definitely the highlight of the book for me.
The plot was intricate without being confusing. Since we got to follow the villain, Patricia’s, POV as well, we got to see both sides of the conflict. I like when a story does this because I still get the mystery and suspense that I want without being confused because I only have one side of the story. Patricia made an excellent villain. She was cold, violent, intelligent and psychotic, the kind of villain I adore but who still keeps me up at night.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery or romance. Nora blends the different themes perfectly in this book to make an amazing rollercoaster of a read.
I’d love to know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia