WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions to share you’re weekly reading update!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently rereading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I’m also reading The One True Me and You by Remi K. England.

Antonia- I’m currently reading The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty.

What did you most recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finishing Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist.

Antonia- I most recently read The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty.

What will you be reading next?

Amanda- Next, I plan to continue my reread of The Bone Season series.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Gilded by Marissa Meyer.

Thanks for reading another weekly reading update! Share your answers or your post in the comments below!

Amanda’s 12 Favorite Young Adult Books of 2021

Hi, lovelies! I’m back again with more of my favorite reads of 2021! For today’s list, I will be sharing my young adult favorites. Again, these are all books that I read in 2021, not just 2021 releases. I read so many excellent books this year, so the ones that made this list are truly top-tier books, in my opinion.

Mystery/Horror

All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Review

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Review

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Review

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
Review

The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis
Review

Fantasy

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
Review

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
Review

Science Fiction

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Review

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Review

Roxy by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman
Review

Contemporary

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield
Review

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Review

These are my favorite young adult books that I read in 2021. Are there any on my list that made your list too?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s 2021 Reading Statistics (Year End Wrap Up)

Hi, lovelies! It’s time for one of my absolute favorite posts of the year. I love reading these and even though it’s a lot of work, I love putting mine together every January. Today I have my 2021 reading statistics for your viewing pleasure. I’ve made some charts and graphs to really show some of the things that I’ve tracked about the books I’ve read this past year. Let’s get right into it!

This is my breakdown by month of how many books I read. I hit a bit of a slump in the summertime (which was when I found out I was pregnant and I basically slept for a month). I was surprised to see how much more I read in January than any of the other months. What month did you read the most books in?
I’m not super surprised with these results for my star ratings. I DNF’d quite a few books this year instead of finishing them and rating them poorly. So, there really weren’t that many books for me to rate lower than 3 stars.
I was absolutely surprised to see how close it came to being perfectly even for my reading between the three formats of my choice (physical books, eBooks, and Audiobooks). I didn’t think I’d read nearly as many audiobooks as I did and I thought I read way more eBooks than I did. Do you read in more than one format?
This one actually surprised me a little bit. I tracked what the age ranges were of the books I read because I like to see if I’m reading more adult, young adult, or middle-grade books. I’m sad to see that I didn’t read very much middle grade at all in 2021. But I am surprised to see that young adult took the lead. I’ve had some trouble with YA books in the latter half of the year with not enjoying them as much. So, I fully expect this to look different in 2022.
Since I made a chart specifically for age ranges, I didn’t separate my genre graph with age ranges at all this year like I have in the past. I’m glad that I did it this way because now it’s a smaller and easier-to-read graph. These results are pretty expected. I’m hoping to read more evenly across the genres in 2022, but I’m sure that won’t actually happen. What genre did you read the most of in 2021?
This is a pretty similar result to last year, which is funny because in my post for last year I said that I would try to make backlist books one of my priorities. I very obviously didn’t do that. Did you read more new releases or more backlist books last year?
This was the chart I was the most excited to see the result of. Last year, I tracked these things separately, but this year I thought I’d put them all together to see where I was getting my books from. I am pleased to see that I mostly read books that I already owned with just a bit of Kindle Unlimited and library borrows, as well as, keeping up with my NetGalley ARC’s.
I’m not really surprised by these results for my page number statistics. Storygraph has been telling me all year I read books in the 300s page range. In 2022, I’d really like to focus on reading the bigger books that I own. This goal will certainly be helped with all of the tomes I bought in December 2021. Did you read bigger books or smaller books mostly in 2021?
I’m not sure whether I’m surprised or not at the fact that I read a significant amount more of series than I did of standalone. I guess I’m not surprised because I didn’t read as much romance or contemporary as I have in previous years. I think my 2022 statistics will look very similar to this because I have quite a few series I’m planning to start in 2022. Did you read more series or more standalones in 2021?
I love tracking whether I’m rereading a book or reading a book for the first time. I was expecting this result as I focused on reading mostly the books I already owned and hadn’t read yet. But in 2022, I have lots of plans to reread certain series and books. Did you reread many books last year?

There we have it! These are my reading statistics for the year 2021. I think it was really interesting that some of these results surprised me and others didn’t really. This yearly post definitely shows me what I need some of my goals to be in the coming year. Some for me are to read bigger books and reread some books I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. What are your reading goals for 2022?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions to share you’re weekly reading update!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading Seven Mercies by Elizabeth May & Laura Lam. I’m also listening to Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar.

Antonia- I’m currently reading The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty.

What did you most recently finish reading?

Amanda- Most recently, I finished The Iron Sword by Julie Kagawa.

Antonia- I most recently read The Becoming by Nora Roberts.

What will you be reading next?

Amanda- I’m planning to start Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace next.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Gilded by Marissa Meyer.

Thanks for reading another weekly reading update! Share your answers or your post in the comments below!

Amanda’s 11 Favorite Adult Books of 2021

Hello, lovelies! The time is here for my list of favorites that I read last year! This year, I’m going to separate my lists into age ranges for each post. I also will be making these lists of books that I read in 2021, not just 2021 releases.

Romance

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Review

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Review

Science Fiction/Fantasy

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
Review

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
Review

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Review

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Review

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Review

Mystery/Horror

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Review

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Review

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Review

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
Review

Which adult books made your 2021 favorites list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions to share you’re weekly reading update!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently buddy reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson with Books in the Skye. I’m also listening to The Humans by Matt Haig for book club this month.

Antonia- I’m currently reading The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty.

What did you most recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finished reading Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins. You can see my blog tour review for that tomorrow.

Antonia- I most recently read The Becoming by Nora Roberts.

What will you be reading next?

Amanda- I have a few options. I’m really wanting to pick up Dustborn by Erin Bowman which is one of my TBR jar picks for January. But I also need to read Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee which is one of my NetGalley eARCs that I need to read this month.

Antonia- Next I’ll read The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty.

Thanks for reading another weekly reading update! Share your answers or your post in the comments below!

Blogmas Day Twenty-Seven: Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #5

Hello, lovelies! I thought it would be fitting to do one last update for my NetGalley Shelf series this year. I’m definitely going to be continuing this series every so often next year. I’m writing this post early, so hopefully when this posts, the only eARCs that are left on my TBR section are 2022 releases. I’ve recently been approved for a bunch of exciting 2022 eARCs, so I really tried to focus on finishing up the last few 2021 eARCs that I let fall behind before going into the new year. I’m so, so pleased with the fact that I managed to read every single 2021 (and earlier) eARC that I had on my approval list. I will say that I DNF’d quite a few of these books, but I did my best to give them a fair try.

For transparency’s sake, when I did my first NetGalley Shelf post I had a feedback ratio of 72% with 122 books approved and 88 with feedback already sent. As of now, I have a ratio of 83% with 192 books approved and 159 books with feedback already sent. The difference of 10% feels like a real accomplishment and I hope to continue to keep my requests under better control in 2022.

Check out my previous updates for my NetGalley Shelf series here:
Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf
Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #2
Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #3
Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #4

Approvals I’ve Read

We Are Meridians by S. Ghali
Publication date: August 27, 2019
I was approved for this book over a year after its publication, so I didn’t really make it a huge priority to read. I’m glad I did finally read it though. It’s more of a sci-fi thriller and it was exciting. The start of the book was a bit slow but once it gets going I really flew through the story. I liked the world and history of the people we read about. I liked the characters. I would definitely read a sequel if it’s released.

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Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg
Publication date: November 1, 2020
I was a part of the blog tour for this book. Find my spotlight post here. I tried to read the finished copy via Kindle Unlimited but I ended up DNFing it about 50 pages in. This is a fantasy story set in a historical London setting and that can be really hit or miss for me depending on my mood. I might try to read this series again in the future, but for now it’s a DNF.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
I attempted to read this in several formats, the eARC and the audiobook from the library but I can’t seem to make it past 15%. I think this is a ‘me thing’ and doesn’t have anything to do with the book. It’s just not for me. Maybe I’ll try a different book by this author and see if that goes better.

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The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee
Publication date: August 3, 2021
I had fun reading this romance. It was a fun, tension-filled story that ended with a happily ever after. I still love the small town of Wheldon.

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publication date: August 17, 2021
I sadly DNF’d this book back in October. Her books have been hit or miss for me and I wasn’t really into this one after about 20% so I chose to DNF instead of struggling through it and probably rating it low.

Cazadora by Romina Garber
Publication date: August 17, 2021
I loved Lobizona, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed the sequel. It was fast-paced (though my one complaint was that the characters seemed a bit aimless at the beginning of the story). And I really loved seeing these characters again. I’m hoping that Garber will write more books set in this world.

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The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma
Publication date: August 31, 2021
I have nothing negative to say about this book. The world-building was interesting and well explained. The characters were well developed and complex. I just couldn’t connect to the story which is my own personal issue with the fantasy genre at the moment.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
This was a fun queer romance that followed a Bachelor style reality show. It did a really great job talking about mental illness. I think this one will absolutely be a hit with romance readers.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune
Publication date: September 21, 2021
I DNF’d this book at 38%. The main character, Wallace, was incredibly unlikeable and I didn’t really care to read about him trying to redeem himself now that he’s literally dead. I liked the concept. I liked Hugo, Nelson, and Mei but they weren’t enough to keep me interested in this very slow story about a man that was terrible his whole life.

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Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Publication date: September 21, 2021
When I requested this, I read “giant transforming robots” in the synopsis and that’s honestly all I needed to know. So, then I actually read the book and holy shit this book was so good. It’s inspired by the only female Empress of China in history but set in another world. It’s full of fire and anger at the way things are for women. But there’s also love and romance, which I didn’t think I was going to like but actually loved. I cannot say enough good things about this book. Please go buy it and read it now.

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
Publication date: September 28, 2021
I ended up borrowing the finished copy of the audiobook from my library for The Last Graduate. I DNF’d this book at 40%. It felt identical to the first book, which I didn’t really love. So, I don’t feel the need to continue the story if it’s just going to be a copy of the first book with different classes now that they’re seniors.

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Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi
Publication date: October 5, 2021
I enjoyed this one. My biggest complaint was that I wanted it to be longer. I think I would have absolutely loved this if it had been a full-length novel. But it was so short I felt like I couldn’t really connect with the characters or let myself get invested in their story.

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia
Publication date: October 5, 2021
I love this series. This one was a bit heavier with the inclusion of bits of American history in the southern states, and Tristan felt like he’d forgotten some of his character development. But it was still an action-packed, adventure story filled with interesting myths and folklore.

Luminous by Mara Rutherford
Publication date: October 5, 2021
This was a well-written and compelling standalone fantasy. The world and the magic were really interesting. The characters were easy to care about. There’s a childhood friends to lovers romance which is one of my favorite tropes. But the villain was the star of the show. I really liked him, even more as we learned more about him.

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A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: October 5, 2021
I loved this. I read it super late, so I bought and read a finished copy. It’s a really compelling twist on Sleeping Beauty with a main character that is dying. I absolutely loved this and I already cannot wait for the next book in the series. I hope Harrow does all the fairytales and not just the two that have been announced.

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin
Publication date: October 12, 2021
Another DNF I’m afraid. I just was so incredibly confused even 20% into the story and I didn’t want to suffer through a whole book being confused. I’ve not heard good reviews about this one, so I decided to DNF instead of giving it another low rating.

Truth of the Divine by Lindsay Ellis
Publication date: October 12, 2021
I didn’t really like this book. I enjoyed the first one but made the mistake of reading the reviews for Axiom’s End before I started Truth of the Divine. So, I couldn’t help but look for all of the things that were mentioned in the reviews for the first book. I was hopeful that Ellis had improved upon those things, but that wasn’t the case. There were some parts regarding sex and intimacy that made me uncomfortable, but I think Ellis did a great job with the conversation of “what rights would humanity give to aliens if they came to Earth?”

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The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
Publication date: October 19, 2021
I loved this. It was weird and creepy and dark. The characters were excellent. The setting was perfect for October (when I read it). The magic was interesting and compelling. I’d definitely recommend this one.

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
Publication date: October 19, 2021
I loved this book. I was actually a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I really loved the fantasy elements and the world-building with the Low Gods and their magic. I loved the morally grey main character, Vanja. I loved the romances and the friendship. I totally recommend this one.

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood
Publication date: October 19, 2021
I loved most things about this book. The world and magic were fascinating. I loved learning about Andromeda’s backstory and debtera training. I loved her relationship with her mentor, Jember. But I didn’t really care for the romance.

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You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith
Publication date: November 2, 2021
I was a part of the blog tour team for this book. So, I was given an advanced copy to read via NetGalley (thanks, Inkyard Press!) I had fun reading this one. I think it’s definitely for fans of YA contemporary. It’s also definitely a love letter to Philadelphia, PA. I liked the characters and the romance.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
I am pretty bummed to say that I didn’t like this. I genuinely didn’t like most of the characters. I didn’t like how/where the story ended. I didn’t love the magic. I don’t know that I’ll be continuing on with this series.

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Publication date: November 9, 2021
I really liked the concept of the story where Julie gets to talk to her dead boyfriend on the phone and take the time that she needs to move on from his death. But I just genuinely didn’t like Julie despite the growth and development that she goes through in the story. I still had a fun time reading this, it just didn’t emotionally destroy me like I anticipated it was going to.

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The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart
Publication date: November 9, 2021
I really liked the first book and I liked this second book even more. It was really fun to see these characters gain power and try to figure out how to use that power to help their people, but also how to gain favor and alliances. The magic was fascinating and I can’t wait for the third book.

Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee
Publication date: November 30, 2021
While I really didn’t care for the pacing of this story and how it spans a period of 20 years or so, I did love the characters and the latest chaos that Hilo probably caused. I think a lot of people will really love this conclusion.

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
I DNF’d this after like 10 pages. I had no business requesting this. Even when I do read YA contemporary, this doesn’t really fit into what I do read. I tend to read more hard hitting realistic fiction and not YA romance.

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A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw
Publication date: December 7, 2021
I really loved this one. It’s a good one for spooky season, but I think it’s also just a solid wintertime mystery/fantasy. There’s magic, murder, and characters you can’t help but get invested in. I think Ernshaw’s adult debut was absolutely even better than her YA books (which I also loved). It still has the same magical and mysterious feel that her YA books have, the writing is beautiful, but it’s just a bit darker.

The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White
Publication date: December 7, 2021
I was really happy with this series finale. I think the story was a fast-paced and enjoyable read. I think all the loose ends were tied up and I wasn’t really left wanting for anything.

No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Goedjen
Publication date: December 7, 2021
This book was weird as heck, but I think I liked it? It was confusing right up until the big reveal and I still am not sure if I liked the weird science fiction twist. But it was written in such a compelling way that I couldn’t put it down.

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Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
Publication date: January 4, 2022
I loved this book. I love this series. This one follows Cora after the events of Come Tumbling Down. It’s not a happy story, much like some of the others in this series. But I loved Cora and the twists and turns of the story. I thought seeing the other school for children that had found doors was really interesting. I already cannot wait for more books in this series.

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord
Publication date: January 4, 2022
I loved Tweet Cute and You Have a Match, so I expected to enjoy this one as well. It follows Millie who was a great main character. There’s lots of high school theatre stuff for those that like that. But I really enjoyed the searching for her mom aspect and the romance in the story. The theatre stuff mostly went over my head. I think this one will definitely be a hit like her first two books.

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long
Publication date: January 11, 2022
I liked this one. The world was interesting and I think the world-building was well done. It was a well-written story with a good balance of showing and telling. I think the main character was developed nicely. I would have liked to know the supporting characters a bit better. But overall, I enjoyed this book.

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The Thousand Eyes by A.K. Larkwood
Publication date: February 15, 2022
I was approved for this right before I read The Unspoken Name for the Clear Your Shit Readathon and I’m so glad that I was. I binge-read this book the minute I finished the first one. The world is opened up more and we meet new characters. I loved it just as much as I did the first book (though I really missed Csorwe). I will definitely be reading more from this author and recommending this series to anyone and everyone.

Approvals on my TBR

Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee
Publication date: January 4, 2022
I loved Dragon Pearl so I have high expectations that I will love this book as well. I believe it’s set in the same world but follows a different set of characters, which should be really fun.

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The Kindred by Alechia Dow
Publication date: January 4, 2022
I really loved The Sound of Stars by this author. This one sounds like it’s going to be more science fiction than the last and I’m totally here for that.

Love At First Spite by Anna E. Collins
Publication date: January 4, 2022
I’m on a blog tour for this one and a few other early 2022 romances. I honestly don’t know much about this book, but I’m always down for a good romance novel.

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen
Publication date: January 25, 2022
Chen’s books have been hit or miss for me. But this one sounds like something I’ll enjoy. It seems like it’ll have some aliens and a bit of family drama which are two things I usually like in books.

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Seven Mercies by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May
Publication date: January 25, 2022
I genuinely didn’t think I was going to get approved for this. So, I definitely screamed a little bit when I got the email saying I was approved. This is the sequel to Seven Devils which I read and absolutely loved. I have really high hopes for this sequel.

The Broken Tower by Kelly Braffet
Publication date: January 25, 2022
I seem to have an issue with requesting sequels that I have no business requesting. I haven’t read the first book in this series yet, but I have borrowed it from my library and hope to enjoy both that book and this eARC which is the sequel.

The Iron Sword by Julie Kagawa
Publication date: February 1, 2022
I really loved The Iron Raven. I have no doubt that I’ll love this book too. I’ve been having issues with YA fantasy lately, but I think this series will hit all the right nostalgic notes for me to love it.

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Azura Ghost by Essa Hansen
Publication date: February 1, 2022
I did an oopsie with this one. I requested this after having it advertised in a NetGalley email to me. I quickly read the description and was interested because it’s adult science fiction. But after being approved, I went to add it to my ARC list on GoodReads and learned that this is the second book in a series, of which I have not read the first. But! Good news! My library has the first book as an eBook, so, I will read it there before I read this one.

Full Flight by Ashley Schumacher
Publication date: February 22, 2022
I honestly don’t know what this is about. But I really enjoyed Schumacher’s debut. Also, this cover is totally stunning and I am a sucker sometimes.

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Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin
Publication date: February 22, 2022
The first sentence of the synopsis is “Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they’ll never face the same fate” and that’s genuinely all I need to know.

The One True Me and You by Remi K. England
Publication date: March 1, 2022
I’ve loved all of England’s books so far, so I have high hopes for this one too.

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead
Publication date: March 1, 2022
This is the third and final romance that I’m on a blog tour team for. Once again, I don’t know much about it but I love finding new romance.

A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft
Publication date: March 8, 2022
I liked Saft’s first book and this one sounds right up my alley. Mythical creatures and an ancient magic secret? Yes, please.

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Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy
Publication date: March 22, 2022
This is another one of the romances that I’m a part of the blog tour for. I don’t know much about it, but the quick blurb I read sounded good and I’m always open to new romance books.

In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power
Publication date: April 5, 2022
I didn’t really love Power’s previous two books. But this one sounds pretty different, so I’m going to give it a try.

To Marry and To Meddle by Martha Waters
Publication date: April 5, 2022
I was sent an eARC of this one like I was for the first two books in the series. These are fun Regency romances, so I expect the same from this one.

This May End Badly by Samantha Markum
Publication date: April 12, 2022
The tagline for this book is “When a high stakes boarding school prank war leads to a fake dating scheme, two teens must decide if they are ready to take the ultimate risk — falling in love.” How could I not hit request after reading that?

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Hide by Kiersten White
Publication date: May 24, 2022
This is White’s adult debut and I’m incredibly excited about it just from what I’ve seen her share on Twitter. Hide and seek but deadly set in an amusement park? Oh heck yeah.

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler
Publication date: June 7, 2022
I saw this on NetGalley and wasn’t going to request it. But then I got an unsolicited email from someone at the publishers with a NetGalley widget. I loved Cool for the Summer so I figure I’d give this book a try too.

Breaking Time by Sasha Alsberg
Publication date: June 14, 2022
I genuinely don’t know why I requested this. But I was approved, so here goes nothing.

This is my final NetGalley Shelf update of 2021. Let me know if you like seeing these posts because I’ve really been enjoying creating them. It’s been a fun way to keep myself accountable and I feel like I’ve gotten to see real progress with reading and reviewing my NetGalley eARC’s.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Day Twenty-Four: Amanda’s End of Year-A-Thon TBR

Hello, lovelies! End of Year-A-Thon has arrived! Check out my announcement post or Vicky’s announcement post for all the details. This readathon starts the day after Christmas, the 26th, and will run right up until 11:59pm on the 31st. We have some totally optional prompts if you like to have prompts to create a TBR list. That’s what I’m going to be sharing with you all today. I like to have prompts to pick options from my unread books, so let’s get into the books I’ve picked to go with our five prompts.

A book that was published in 2021

Float Plan by Trish Doller

A book from a series you’ve already started, but haven’t finished

Tarnished Empire by Danielle L. Jensen

A book by an own voices author

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

Your most recently acquired book (bought, borrowed, gifted, etc.)

The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities by Rick Riordan & other authors

A book with gold on the cover

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

There we have it. These are the five books that I’m hoping to read in this final week of 2021. Are you participating in my readathon? If you are, share your TBR list in the comments so I can see them!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

Summary:
It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.
Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

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Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this book. But I actually waited too long to read that arc, so, I bought the finished copy and read that because I’ve loved all of Harrow’s writing so far. A Spindle Splintered was no different.
The story follows Zinnia, who isn’t likely going to live past her 21st birthday. She’s not cursed, just dying due to something in the water supply that her mother drank while pregnant with Zinnia. Her whole life, Sleeping Beauty has been her favorite fairytale. She’s read every version of the story she can find. So, on the night of her 21st birthday, she’s celebrating with her best friend, Charm, when she’s transported to another world, to another Sleeping Beauty. Here she meets Primrose and the two work together to try to change their fate.
This was a novella, so it’s super short. I absolutely wanted more of this story. I wanted to know more about the rules that Zin made for herself and more about her experience of leaving high school early and starting college early. I wanted more stories of her and Charm when they were growing up. I absolutely want to know more about the witch that we get to meet. Despite my desire to want more, this still felt like a fully-formed story with world-building and character development that I was happy with.
I really liked Zin. She knows she is dying and, at this point, is just waiting for it to happen. She literally says that she’s waiting out the clock. It was sad to think of her just waiting to die. But it sounded hard to live the way that she did. I really loved Zin getting to know Primrose. I liked that there was more to her than what we could assumed when looking at a princess. She’s brave and clever.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It talks a lot about different versions of the same story. Also there’s a female/female relationship that was so easy to love. I think that all the characters were ones that I got invested in very quickly. I loved the feminist aspect of the story and I absolutely cannot wait to read the second book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Day Twenty: Unread 2021 Releases

Hi, bookworms! Last year, we shared a post with all of the books published in 2021 that we’d bought but hadn’t read yet. So, this list will consist completely of books that we bought this year that were released this year.

Amanda’s Unread 2021 Releases

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard
Float Plan by Trish Doller
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Tarnished Empire by Danielle L. Jensen
The House of Always by Jenn Lyons
The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell
The Becoming by Nora Roberts
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson
The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon

Antonia’s Unread 2021 Releases

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal
All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace
The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold

These are all of the 2021 book releases that we own, but didn’t manage to pick up this year. Do you have any unread 2021 releases on your bookshelves?

Blogmas Book Review: The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochran

Summary:
Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.
Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.
As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.
In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy—reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch—an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.

Book Cover

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This story is basically what would happen if the star of the bachelor fell in love with one of the crew members instead of one of the fellow contestants. But also, make it gay and bring some really great conversations in about mental health.
I loved this. I thought the forbidden romance between the star of the show, Charlie, and his producer, Dev, was really well done. We see them make excuses for their actions, but there’s still an ‘oh no, what if we get caught’ element to the story and that’s a trope that I totally eat up. I liked both Charlie and Dev. They both struggle with different mental illnesses. Charlie has OCD and anxiety and Dev has clinical depression. It was so heartwarming to see them interact when they were struggling with their mental illnesses and they simply asked what the other one needed. Saying “what do you need from me?” is such a simple way to show someone you love that you’re listening and that you’re there for them. I also think this book did a great job showing lots of different aspects of having a mental illness. The stigma is shown and talked about with how people with mental illness are treated in the workplace. I think the representation was so great.
Overall, I liked this book. I was easily invested in the romance. I didn’t totally hate the third act break up. I had a lot of fun with the reality tv aspect of the story too. I really loved how things turned out with the reality show. I really loved all of the characters. Dev and Charlie were a very lovable couple, but their friends were also such great additions to the story. I definitely think this one is going to be a hit with romance readers.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

Summary:
Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual strangers. Especially when that particular stranger is her best friend’s new brother-in-law. It isn’t an easy decision, though. Seth Kim is temptation personified. His unreasonably handsome looks and charming personality makes him easy on the eyes and good for her ego.
When a friendly game of Truth or Dare leads to an uncomplicated four-date arrangement with Seth, Tara can’t say she minds. But their dates, while sweet and sexy, have a tendency to hit roadblocks. Thankfully, their non-dates and chance meetings get frequent and heated.
Seth is leaving for a new job in Paris in a month and a no-strings attached fling seemed like a nice little distraction for both… But soon Seth realizes that Tara Park doesn’t come in a “nice & little” package–she’s funny and bold, sweet and sexy, and everything he ever wanted and never expected to find. Neither of them are ready for something serious and both have past relationship baggage they’ve been ignoring, but with a shot at forever on the line will they follow their hearts and take a chance on happily-ever-after?

Book Cover

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced copy, here is my honest review. The Dating Dare follows Tara (who is the bff from A Sweet)and Seth (the brother of the love interest in A Sweet Mess). The story starts off at the wedding of the couple from A Sweet Mess. Tara tells Seth to stop staring at her and they are immediately flirting and the attraction between them is obvious. The issue is that both Seth and Tara have sworn off of serious relationships because they were both hurt very badly in their first serious relationships in college. So, Seth dares Tara to go on four dates with him and not fall in love with him while he’s house sitting for his brother, before he leaves to move to Paris. Obviously the two fall in love, but not without some bumps in the road.
I liked this book. It was a fun romance that had great sexual tension and flirting. The lead up and tension to the pair finally having sex was excellent. They kept finding themselves out in public or in other places where it wasn’t really appropriate to get naked and I thought that was a funny, but good way to build up the anticipation of them finally getting together. I didn’t love that both Seth and Tara had the same emotional issues. I don’t know why I didn’t like that though. There was just something about it that had me rolling my eyes a little bit. I also didn’t love that they didn’t really talk about any of those things until after they finally mended things after the third act break up.
Overall, I had fun reading this book. Their dates were fun and sweet. It was a bit funny to see them try to keep things between them a secret. I liked the familiar setting of Wheldon. And I was happy to see them end up together at the end of the book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Day Seventeen: Series to Finish Wrap Up

Hi, book friends! For Blogtober, we shared a list of series that we wanted to try to finish before the end of the year. You can find that post here. We’re back today to share an update on how we did with finishing (or not) those series.

Amanda’s Series Wrap Up

Age of Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
I successfully finished this series. The third and final book was released in September and I wanted to read it then, but didn’t manage to read it until October. But I absolutely loved the way this series was wrapped up and I think the third book will make an appearance on my favorite books of 2021 list next month.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
The final installment of this trilogy was also published in September and I read it as my first book for October. I absolutely devoured it. Chokshi’s one of my favorite authors and The Bronzed Beasts just solidified that even further. Her writing is absolutely stunning and the characters in this series are absolutely to die for. I was really happy to see how the story played out for these characters and I was really satisfied with the conclusion.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I’m still working my way through this one, but I honestly didn’t expect to finish it (especially considering it’s not even finished being published). But I finally finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes again and I’m making progress on An Echo in the Bone. I might finish it by the end of the year, but I honestly don’t think I will.

Antonia’s Series Wrap Up

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
I read the first book but haven’t gotten around to the rest of the series. They’re still on my list for the new year.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand
I actually DNF’d the first book in this series though I’m hoping to try them again in the future. I didn’t love the way the story was set up and had trouble connecting with the characters.

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

I haven’t had time to finish the first book, I’m about halfway through now but I’m really enjoying it so far so should finish soon.

Do you have any series that you are trying to finish before the end of the year?

Blogmas Day Fifteen: WWW Wednesday

Hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The God of Lost Words by A.J. Hackwith. Im also reading The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and I just started the audiobook for In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner.

Antonia- I’m currently reading All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace.

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I most recently finish book 14 in the Ice Planet Barbarians series by Ruby Dixon, which has been my newest addiction.

Antonia- I most recently read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

What will you read next?

Amanda- Next, I’m hoping to pick up The Becoming by Nora Roberts or Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan. But I just got approved for a bunch of really exciting NetGalley ARC’s so who knows what I’ll actually read next.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll start A Spindle Splintered by Alex E. Harrow.

Share your answers or your post with us!

Blogmas Day Twelve: Five Star Predictions Wrap Up!

Hello, bookworms! We’ve reached the end of another round of 5-star predictions. We’re going to wrap up our last predictions, but we won’t be making any new predictions until the new year. We are both mood readers, so we’re going to give ourselves some time without a list of books that we need to read for blog posts. So, expect our five start predictions to continue, but not until the new year.

Amanda’s Predictions

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
This was indeed 5-stars. I loved the first book and I loved this one just as much. I absolutely cannot wait for the third book in this series to see what else could possibly happen to these characters.

The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young
I did really enjoy this book, but it wasn’t quite a 5-star read for me.

Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee
I absolutely devoured this book. I have loved all of the books that have come out of Rick Riordan Presents and this book was no different. This was an easy book to give five stars to.

Antonia’s Predictions

Furyborn by Claire Legrand
I actually momentarily DNF’d this one. I really liked the world and was intrigued by the plot but had a few issues early on that made it really hard for me to connect. I do plan to try this one again soon when I’m in the mood for it.

Winterkeep by Kristen Cashore
I’d definitely rate this one five stars. I loved all the characters, especially the POV’s of the non-human characters because they were so unique and fun. There were parts where the story slowed down a bit but the action would pick up again fairly quickly and kept me hooked enough that I read most of the book in just a couple sittings.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
I really liked this one but don’t think it quite hit five stars for me. It was really close but it took me a little while to connect with Yelena in the beginning and I had a few issues with her and Valek’s relationship. That being said, I really liked the story and world building and have high hopes for the rest of the series.

There you have it, our last round for 2021 of five-star predictions. What was your most recent five star read?