Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanah Ganucheau

GoodReads Summary:
Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.
Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.
BloomReview:
I’m so glad that I waited to pick this up. I bought this when I went to the NoVaTeen Book Festival. But I didn’t pick it up until today. I read this sitting in my backyard in the sunshine and it was perfect. This was the perfect book for summertime. Full of fun and love and lessons.
The main character, Ari, is such an unlikable little punk at the start of the story. But he makes mistakes and then learns from those mistakes.
Hector was the sweetest little bean and I loved him. I would have liked to learn more about him. I also mostly liked their friends. One was a jerk, but I think he was supposed to be unlikeable.
Overall, , I loved this. The characters were enjoyable. The art style was fun and beautiful.  If you’re looking for the perfect graphic novel to read this summer. I have it right here for you. You don’t need to look any further.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

GoodReads Summary:
The Fated Sky continued the grand sweep of alternate history begun in The Calculating Stars. It is 1961, and the International Aerospace Coalition has established a colony on the moon. Elma York, the noted Lady Astronaut, is working on rotation, flying shuttles on the moon and returning regularly to Earth.
But humanity must get a foothold on Mars. The first exploratory mission is being planned, and none of the women astronauts is on the crew list. The international Aerospace Coalition has grave reservations about sending their “Lady Astronauts” on such a dangerous mission. The problem with that is the need for midjourney navigation calculations. The new electronic computation machines are not reliable and not easily programmed. It might be okay for a backup, but there will have to be a human computer on board. And all the computers are women.
The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2)Review:
I have been living for Science Fiction lately. I’ve read so many good ones, including the first book in this series. Sadly, the sequel, The Fated Sky, just wasn’t as good as the first one. I think that’s because less happened. They were in space for most of the book, so while things were happening, the characters didn’t really go anywhere other than their space shuttle.
I still enjoyed this book, just not as much as the first. Another reason I think that is, is that Elma and her husband were separated for most of it. Their relationship was one of my favorite things about the first book. While we still got interactions from them, it was much less than in the first book.
Despite that, I still had fun reading this. The math and science of piloting a space ship are totally over my head, but I don’t think that took away from the story at all. We’re getting to know a lot of new characters, the fellow astronauts on board with Elma. I thought this was interesting because there was conflict with some and resolutions with others. The characters were the best part of this book.
I was a little thrown by the jump in time at the start of this book. It takes place ten years after the meteor hit, and that took a little bit of getting used to.
Overall, this was enjoyable. I liked the characters, the space setting, the challenges and seeing the characters overcome things. This is such an interesting alternate universe and I can’t wait to read more.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Summary:
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep.
Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Review:
Alright lovelies, let’s talk about one of the most hyped books on the internet, Strange the Dreamer. I finally did it. I’ve been trying to get through all the nominees for the BookTube SFF Awards and this duology has been on the bottom of my list because I tend to procrastinate reading hyped books. Part of me is glad to finally be able to say I read this and another part of me is sad because I didn’t love it as much as the rest of the world seems to.
I’m happy to say that I loved the plot and the characters. I really was sucked into the world. I was so invested in Lazlo and then in Sairi and how their stories were going to turn out (spoiler alert: not in any way that I even slightly predicted). The relationship was a little instalovey but I didn’t really care. Lazlo and Sairi were both so insatiably curious about the world and the things they wanted from the world. I couldn’t help but love them, especially for each other.
The world was incredible and mostly well built. There was mythology and history and I just wanted to know more about the mysterious Weep. I thought the gods and the godspawn were fascinating. I loved learning more about the world as the story progressed.
Now, don’t hate me dear lovelies. I really didn’t like the writing. I think everyone in the world knows about Laini Taylor’s flowery purple prose. I’m sorry but I hated it. I can honestly say that I skipped pages here and there because it was filled with descriptions that I just didn’t think were needed. I skimmed constantly through the book. I had a hard time with it because sometimes it really pulled me right out of the story. I’m certainly going to be reading the sequel, but I’ll likely face the same situation.
Overall, I’m glad that I finally read this beloved book. And I mostly enjoyed the reading experience. Especially with that ending. I’m excited to read Muse of Nightmares and see how the story ends.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.
But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.
Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.
Daughter of the Burning CityReview:
Daughter of the Burning City was not at all what I expected. I really enjoyed it, but I was not expecting a murder mystery set in a carnival, which is what we got. I really liked so many things about this story. First, I’d like to say that there’s a hugely diverse cast of characters from those that are bisexual, gay, and I believe one of them was somewhere one the ace spectrum. There are characters of all sort of race and even one that is a giant tree.
Next, I’d like to mention the world-building. I loved the setting of the Gommorah festival. It was complex and dark in some places and bright in others. Then we learn about the rest of the world, full of strict religion and hatred for those that are a part of the festival. We learn that Sorina’s adoptive father and the festival’s proprietors play more of a part in history than we’d previously known.
The mystery of those that are being murdered was not at all what I predicted. There were several theories that I had along the way and none of them were correct. I love mysteries that keep me guessing and then leaving me spinning when we finally find out the truth.
I really enjoyed the characters and their abilities. I loved Sorina and the family she created for herself. They were really such a sweet family with such good family dynamics despite the fact that they are technically illusions.
I also really enjoyed the magic that we learned about, but I would have liked to know just a little bit more.
Overall, I really enjoyed Daughter of the Burning City. It was a complex world filled with mystery and drama and love. I adore Amanda Foody and her writing and I cannot read what she comes up with in the future.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

Summary:
Hundreds of years ago, the last humans left Earth. After centuries wandering empty space, humanity was welcomes—mostly—by the species that govern the Milky Way, and their generational journey came to an end.
But this is old history. Today the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. When a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who have not yet left for alien cities struggle to find their way in an uncertain future. Among them are a mother, a young apprentice, an alien academic, a caretaker for the dead, a man searching for a place to belong, and an archivist, who ensures no one’s story is forgotten. Each has their own voice, but all seek answers to inescapable questions:
Why remain among the stars when there are habitable worlds within reach? And what is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?
Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3)Review:
I’ve been living for science fiction lately. This series has been so fun to read these past few months. Check out my review for the first book here and the second HERE. I hadn’t heard of this series until the BookTube SFF Awards but I’m glad to have found them because they’re so fun and interesting and I don’t know why people don’t talk more about this series.
Record of a Spaceborn Few follows a handful of characters that all live on the Exodus. I thought it was so interesting to finally get a view into the spacecraft that has been vaguely talked about in the previous books. I thought it was fascinating to learn about the culture and the day to day life within the Exodus. I loved learning about the different characters. There was one character that was a visiting alien and was learning about life on the Exodus and I adored them. They asked such good questions and I appreciated it.
The characters are the life of this book. We follow a few different perspectives which was a little annoying at first because it didn’t seem like they were going to come together. They did eventually, but not in the way I expected.
One of my favorite things about this series is the diversity. This book (and the previous two) have such a variety of characters that’s done in such a unique way. The author has come up with gender neutral pronouns. There are so many sexualities and species and genders and species. This series is probably the most diverse that I’ve ever read and I love every part of it.
Overall, I don’t think I liked this book as much as the first two, but I still really enjoyed it. I’d recommend this book to anyone that loves character driven stories because this series has minimal plot and focuses mainly on the characters and their development.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

GoodReads Summary:
When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.
Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.
Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.
Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.
100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.
100 Days of SunlightReview:
I was provided a copy of this book to read via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 100 Days of Sunlight was so sweet and full of sunshine. I really liked this book.
We follow Tessa after she’s been in an accident. She’s lost her eyesight, but it’s likely going to come back in 100 days. She’s angry and sad and seems to be really struggling. She’s a writer and a blogger (I loved this!) and her grandparents put an ad in the newspaper to hire someone to come and help her get back to writing. She rejects everything about this.
Enter Weston. He won’t give up, even when Tessa is kind of horrible to him. He knows how she’s feeling. He lost both of his legs, but Tessa doesn’t know this. I loved hearing his story and how strong he was after losing his legs. His infectious optimism had me grinning. I loved his relationship with Tessa, but he really made me mad toward the end of the book.
I really enjoyed the set-up of this book. There are five parts, each based on the five senses. Weston tries to show Tessa that there is a whole world still out there that she can experience with her other senses until she gets her sight back.
Overall, I loved this. I hope that Abbie Emmons continues writing because I devoured this book. I highly recommend it to anyone that loves some romance alongside a little bit of struggling and life lessons.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Cover Redesigns

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 – Cover redesigns I loved/hated

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I hate covers with people on them (usually) so I totally loved the redesign.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I adored the original covers for this series, but I also really adore the new covers.

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
I have the original cover of this one, with the faces. So I much prefer the new one.

Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins
While I didn’t hate the original, it was a little juvenile. I completely love the new one with the illustrated characters.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Another cover with faces, the new one isn’t as nostalgic as the old but I still like it better.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
I don’t know why on earth they did this to Zentner’s wonderful book. The new cover is literally just a quote and I hate it.

Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
I love the purple reflective cover, and I do like the redesign. I think the new cover reflects the story a bit better but I still prefer the original.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
WHY DID THEY DO THIS TO THIS POOR BOOK.

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
I like the original and the redesign. I think the original was a bit too similar to the covers of its sister series, so I understand the change.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The original cover was nothing to write home about, but the redesign is everything I never knew I needed in a book cover.

Tell me about your favorite or least favorite book cover redesigns in the comments below!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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