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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Anticipated Releases

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 – Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.

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June 25th, 2019
Call it What you Want by Brigid Kemmerer

September 17th, 2019
The Liars of Mariposa Island by Jennifer Mathieu

October 1st, 2019
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

October 8th, 2019
Sanctuary Highway by Ellen Hopkins

October 8th, 2019
The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

October 15th, 2019
The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

November 5th, 2019
The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

November 5th, 2019
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

November 5th, 2019
The Toll by Neal Shusterman

November 26th, 2019
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

These are the ten books I’m most excited about in the second half of  2019. BUT! There are so many more that I am anticipating. Check out the full list here! Let me know which books  you’re looking forward to in the comments!

Keep on  reading lovelies, Amanda

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Summary:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Review:
I loved this book. I am just loving this series more and more the further into it we get. I love the characters. I love the world. I love the narrator. I love the story. I think this one might be my favorite of the series, partially becasue of it being a Rapunzel retelling. Rapunzel is one of my favorite fairytales. I think Meyer has done such a great job incorporating the retellings into this futuristic world she’s created.
So, it’s told in omniscient third person, which means that the narrator is all knowing and we get to see everything that is going on with all of the relevant characters. I really love this because I love to see what the other characters are up to since they’ve been split up from the whole group. I love Cinder more than ever. She’s clever and doing her best to be what everyone needs her to be. Then there’s the Doctor. His story was honestly so sad and I wish it had ended in a different way. I wish we had more time with him. But he’s done all he can for the players involved. I love Thorne. He’s really growing out of his smart ass, cocky attitude and starting to take things more seriously. I think his disability of being blind was really interesting and I’m glad that sort of representation was put into the story. Cress was honestly probably my favorite character. She’s crash landed on earth and literally has no idea what’s going on. So of course, she gets into all kinds of trouble. Wolf is still a bit of a mystery to me. I want to know more and I want to see more growth. What we do get to see of Scarlet was interesting. I can’t wait to see more of what’s actually happening on Luna. I wish we had gotten to see a bit more of her, but I know we will get that in Winter.
Finally, I really have to mention Levana. She’s such an interesting villain. I’m excited to read her novella and learn more about her history and motivations. I think she’s fierce and intimidating and sometimes a bit terrifying. She’s vicious and ambitious and won’t stop until she’s gotten what she wants.
Last, the narrator for this series is really incredible. Some of the scenes with Levana where she’s mad and yelling is done so incredibly well. Then there’s the final scene with the Doctor and he’s whispering/singing. I just was blown away at this narrator’s ability to really make each character sound different and have their own voice. I was bought into the story and couldn’t stop listening until I got to the end. This narrator made the story just that much better and I will definitely be looking into what else she has narrated.
Overall, I love this book more than the first two. I’m interested to see if it will become my favorite in the series or if Winter will beat it. I cannot wait to get to the conclusion of this series so I’m going to end this hear and go start the final audiobook.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Summary:
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes the first book in a stunning new trilogy filled with twists and enchantment, as one girl learns the meaning of true power when she finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)Review:
The Cruel Prince is one of the most hyped books I’ve ever read in my entire reading life. I’ve read other more hyped books but I always seem to read them BEFORE they get to be so hyped. I was a bit worried going into this book that the hype would make me hate it. I think that’s also part of the reason that I’ve taken so long to get around to reading this. Without any further delay, here come my thoughts on this beloved story.

“Never? Never is like forever-too big for mortals to comprehend.”

I was a little surprised at just how political this book really was. It makes sense that it’s a real political story, but I was just surprised by how much the politics and day to day life in faerie really is. I wished we had gotten a little more world building. I think the combination of fantasy and the modern-day world was really interesting. I would have liked to get a bit more setting wise of faerie. I think there was so much opportunity to really give details about the world around Jude, but we didn’t get that. We just got politics.

“The human species pretends it is so resilient. Mortal lives are one long game of make-believe. If you couldn’t lie to yourselves, you’d cut your own throats to end your misery.”

I liked the characters and the family dynamic in this book. I was a bit surprised by how much they seemed to care about one another and how they actually showed affection and all of that. I’ve heard over and over how the characters are cruel and vicious. They were, but not the family. Everything Jude did toward the end of the book was for her younger brother. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. I love a good sibling story and I defiantly got some of that with this.

“I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.”

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I wasn’t blown out of the water like so many others but I enjoyed it. I read it quickly. The plot twists surprised me. The characters were compelling and interesting. It just didn’t make my new favorites list. I definitely am excited to pick up the sequel soon.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Antonia's Antics · Everything & Anything

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 Adventures · Everything & Anything · TBR Lists & Wrap Ups

Amanda’s Litha Witch-A-Thon TBR

Hi, lovelies! I’m here today to share with you my TBR for the wonderful Witch-A-Thon hosted by  Rihannon over at Crescent Moon Reads. They were kind enough to start this readathon and continue it through the seasons. This will be my first time participating and I’m excited to get reading! For all the information on the readathon check out this twitter thread. This runs from the 14th to the 21st and I can’t wait to start.

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Litha is the peak of Life and Warmth in the wheel, pick a book that promises to be a feel-good read!

The Red Scrolls of Magic  by  Cassandra Clare and Wesley  Chu

Trees are green and full again, pick a book that has a lot to do with trees (setting, cover, theme.)

Girls of July by Alex Flinn

The sun is full and bright, pick a book with yellow on the cover.

The Devil’s Thief  by Lisa Maxwell

Though Light is at full mast, every day after the solstice brings us closer to the dark, pick a book that deals with the dynamics of good vs evil.

Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard

It’s hot! Take a picture or video of you reading by the pool.

I will be at the pool often this summer but I don’t know that ill get to read much with a toddler to chase around.

It’s summer break for school-goers, choose a book that takes place during summer vacation.

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Read our group book.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

What are you planning to read for the Witch-A-Thon? Let me know below!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Unpopular Opinions

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 – Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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One

I love dog-earring pages. Fight me.

Two

I also have no issues with writing/highlighting in your books.

Three

I liked Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. I thought it was fun and enjoyable.

Four

I hate Deckled Edges. I think they look bad and they make it unnecessarily difficult to turn the page.

Five

Some movie adaptations are better than their  books (I’m looking  at you Dumplin’)

Six

Rainbow Bookshelves seriously stress me out. I love how they look but if I think about it too long it makes me anxious.

Seven

I didn’t love The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. I prefer The Mortal Instruments.

Eight

AUDIOBOOKS ARE A VALID FORM OF READING. I say I’m reading X book even if I’m listening to the audiobook.

Nine

I don’t like the horror genre and I will never willingly pick one up. I also don’t totally understand why people enjoy reading things that make them scared. (You do you, but I don’t enjoy being scared. No horror anything for me, books, movies, podcasts.)

Ten

I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a huge physical TBR. Many bookdragons are collectors and enjoy collecting books that everyone loves and talks about.

What are your unpopular opinions? Comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GoodReads Summary:
Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.
When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…
Storm and Fury (The Harbinger, #1)Review:
Jennifer L. Armentrout is an auto-buy author for me. She’s the reason that this blog even exists. So when I found out she was coming out with Storm and Fury I knew I had to have it. I have to send a huge thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book I exchange for an honest review.
Storm and Fury was everything I wanted. It was exciting and full of action but also swoony with some romance. I just adored everything about it.
The world building was incredible. This is a portal fantasy where these Wardens (basically gargoyles) exist to protect the world from demons. They’re kick-ass and can be pretty scary but I think it’s such a creative idea that I love it.
Enter Trinity. She’s living in a Warden community but she’s not a Warden. She’s also not totally human. Trinity was the best. She was sassy and funny and kick ass. She’s got a degenerative eye condition but doesn’t let that stand in her way of anything. I loved that about her. Despite the struggles in her life she still (mostly) does what she’s supposed too.
I loved Zayne. I read the other series with the Wardens years and years ago so I only vaguely remember it. But I remembered Zayne. Trin and Zayne were fiery and I loved every second of it. Their banter was my favorite part of the story. They were so argumentative and just hilarious.
I was so surprised by the plot in this story. I was blown away by the betrayal at the end. I thought the story was going to go one way and it went the complete opposite. I cannot wait to see where the next book will go. And in the meantime, I’ll be rereading the other series that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of.
Overall, this book was everything I wanted. If you want action, romance, kick-ass gargoyles, and a girl with an eye condition representing how strong she is this is the book for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.