Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

GoodReads Summary:
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
Red, White & Royal BlueReview:
I received and eARC of Red, White and Royal Blue via NetGalley I exchange for my honest review. After seeing everyone and their siblings absolutely raving about this book, I knew I needed to read it asap. I’m glad that I did because this book was funny and enjoyable from beginning to end.
I totally loved Alex. He was funny and someone I’d totally be friends with in real life. I loved the relationship he had with the White House Trio. The three were a well-oiled machine and I love sibling relationships and friendships like this one. Alex’s mom and dad were also characters I liked. A female president? Yes please. She was a mother and the most powerful woman in the world and I liked that we got to see a little bit of her trying to balance that.
Henry and Alex were the best hate to love relationship I’ve seen in a long time. They were hilarious and several times I almost woke up my sleeping child because I was laughing so hard while reading. They were both sassy but also heart meltingly sweet and I freaking loved it.
There was so much to this story that I don’t know how to put my words into thoughts. So I’m going to keep this short. Overall, I adored the story. It made me laugh. It held me in suspense. It worried and delighted me. I loved all the different relationships (including the security people) that were present and added just that little bit more. I can’t wait to see what Casey McQuiston comes out with next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Book Adaptations

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 – Page to Screen Freebie. I’m going to be talking about my some recent book adaptations I’ve seen and also some adaptations that are in the works.

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Recently Watched

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // Love, Simon
I adored this book to movie adaptation. I loved all the actors and actresses. I think they did the book justice. It’s a movie I will be watching again.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer // Annihilation
I liked the first book in the series. I actually only read it because it was on a ‘recently adapted’ list at my library. The book was weird and bizarre and interesting, the second and third were just infuriating. The movie was a lot like the second and third books; bizarre and frustrating.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins // The Hunger Games
I recently did a reread of the whole series via audiobook and the books were just as good as  I remembered them to be. Then, I watched the movies with my husband and those were just as good too.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy // Dumplin’
This Netflix adaptation took the book world by storm. I, like many others, actually ended up enjoying the movie more than the book. Though I hope they adapt  Puddin’ too because I actually liked that book.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman // The Magicians
This was another that surprised me. I found that I enjoyed (and am still enjoying) the Scy-fy show better than the books. I liked the books well enough, but I am loving the show. It’s taken its liberties and made some changes, but I’m still enjoying the adaptation. The cast is great, some of them are so perfect for their characters, and I understand most of the changes (except why they changed Janet’s name to Margo).

Highly Anticipated

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Hulu is making this one into a mini-series and after YEARS of waiting, my favorite book will finally be getting adapting to the screen and I’m dying of excitement.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Reese Witherspoon is adapting this so I have really high hopes that she’ll do it justice.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Grishaverse is getting a Netflix series and every time I see Leigh post on Instagram about it I can’t help but “squeeeee!”

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I keep seeing updated from the author and I’m interested to see how the screen adaptation is going to turn out.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I just googled 2019 adaptations because I couldn’t think of any others off the top of my head and IM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. The book tore my heart out and I hope the movie does too.

Have you watched any adaptations lately? Are there any upcoming that you’re excited for? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Summary:
Seeking women ages 18-32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.
When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychological study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.
Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she beings to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking.
Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us come an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.
An Anonymous GirlReview:
I’ve heard so many good things about An Anonymous Girl so when it was suggested as the next book for my local book club I was beyond excited. So many people I know have really enjoyed this book, so I had a feeling I was going to as well. I was not disappointed.
I thought I had this book all figured out in the first fifty pages. But boy was I wrong. There were things that I guessed and was right, but then I’d find out that I was right except not really and we’d get another twist. There was so much going on that I stopped trying to guess what was going to happen next because I didn’t really know.
I thought there were a lot of aspects within the story that made me think more than I expected (and my book club girls confirmed this!) I didn’t expect it to be a particularly thought-provoking book. I don’t want to say anything specific because of potential spoilers but if you’ve read this and want to discuss let me know! The one thing I do want to say is that it certainly doesn’t make me want to trust any sort of psychologist in my life.
I really enjoyed the two different perspectives. Following the main character Jess as her life goes from mostly normal to absolutely nuts was interesting. I really liked Jess at first, the whole morality conversation was an interesting one and I think Jess really showed her limits and what she’d do to protect herself and her loved ones. I also really enjoyed the chapters told in second person. I thought that was a really interesting way to tell the story. It was complex and gripping. It had my sympathizing with someone who may not have deserved it.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It was thrilling and interesting, complex and unpredictable. I flew through the pages and couldn’t stop until I knew how the story was going to end. I cannot recommend this book enough. I’m going to have to get my husband’s mom and sister to read this because it’s a book that fits their reading tastes.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

Summary:
Blue skies. Green grass. Clear ocean water.
An island paradise like the ones that existed before the Melt.
A lucky five hundred lottery winners will be the first to go, the first to leave their polluted, dilapidated homes behind and start a new life. It sounds perfect. Like a dream.
The only problem? Marin Carey spent her childhood on those seas and knows there’s no island paradise out there. She’s corsario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him, and she knows a con when she sees one. So where are the first five hundred really going?
PacificaReview:
This is the second book by Kristen Simmons that I have tried because she is going to be at an event I am also going to be at. Sadly, I am once again disappointed. I liked Pacifica more than her other novel, but I don’t think I’ll be trying any other books by her.
I have the same issues with this story that I did with ARTICLE 5. The setting was incredible. A dystopian California full of political drama and ruined by natural disasters along with other human causes. The world was interesting and chaotic and filled with all the things I like (read: pirates, futuristic messed up America, hate to love).
Despite the potential this story had with the setting, I just didn’t care about the characters. They were alright. They weren’t anything special. The typical misunderstood poor girl and privileged boy from the nice side of town. One teaches the other how messed up the world really is and all the things that the rich people are doing wrong. I just didn’t care about any of it. I really wish I did because it could have been a story I really like but I just wasn’t invested in these characters.
I wish I had liked this story more, but I didn’t. It had all of the elements of a story I would like, but the characters just fell flat for me.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

GoodReads Review:
From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again.
Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?
Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!
Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.
Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.
Again, but BetterReview:
I was very kindly provided this ARC via NetGalley to read in exchange for an honest review. I’m an avid BookTube watcher and Christine is one of my favorites to watch. She’s just so full of energy and personality. I was very excited to see that she was coming out with a book.
Christine’s personality is very much present in this book. The main character Shane is definitely someone that reminds me of Christine, from what I know of her as an outside perspective. It also sounds like some of this was taken from her own experiences of studying abroad. This kind of annoyed me in the beginning, but I kind of enjoyed it by the end of the book. Shane was very young and even sometimes a little annoying at times in the first half of the book. She was quirky, but almost too much so. She definitely made me laugh a few times. And I really understood the struggle with her family. But I thought she had a little too much annoyance for her cousins and I’m glad of how she amended that in the later half.
I was surprised by the second half of this story. It went in a direction that I certainly did not expect. I really liked the second half. Everything about it was better. Shane had grown, the writing was better. It was just all around more enjoyable.
I’d say this was an average debut novel. I’ve already preordered it and I’m happy to support Christine. I’m excited to see her writing grow and get better the more that she writes.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GoodReads Summary:
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.
Obsidian (Lux, #1)Review:
This book will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s the reason that Antonia and I started this very blog. We were inspired by the main character, Katy, who was a book blogger. We read this and thought, “What if we did that?” And so, Classy As F*ck Book Reviews was born. I have to shout out a thank you to the Trashback Book club for prompting me to reread this book this month. Each month we read a paranormal book from the early 2000s. And it’s honestly been so bad but so much fun.
This book objectively was not great. I enjoyed it immensely, for mostly nostalgic reasons. But I enjoyed it nonetheless and I’m excited to reread the rest of the series.
I still loved Katy in all her book blogging and gardening nerdiness. She was fiery and fierce even when she just wanted to escape into her current read or go home and get her book mail.
Daemon is trash and I love him for it. The hate to love trope is strong inn this one. I loved every page of Daemon and Katy bantering and swearing at each other. He’s such a jerk and I’m honestly so here for it.
Then there’s the whole aliens of light thing. Very interesting but also bizarre. I don’t remember as much as I would like to about the rest of the series so I’m in the dark about a lot. I’m interesting to relearn what has happened to Dawson and what will happen next with Katy and Daemon.
This book was honestly not great, I loved it despite its flaws. I have to say, also,  that I’m totally obsessed with  the new covers for this series. They were redone  to  match w ith the  cover of The Darkest Star (the spin off series) and I love them so much.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Summary:
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few dozen of them. Zeus’s master lightning bold has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanReview:
I have been planning to read The Lightning Thief for so freaking long that part of me is relieved to finally have done it just for the fact that I can now say I’ve read it. But I’m also glad I read it. It was such a fun story that held so many different kinds of people. I’m sure so many kids have read this and finally found themselves to be represented in a book, finally been able to really relate to a main character in a book. I’m so glad that this story exists.
I thought Percy was a fun main character. He was excited and full of adventure. He knew right from wrong and stood up for what he believed in. I really appreciated that about him.
Annabel was my favorite of course. If I were a demigod, I would definitely be one of Athena’s children. She was funny and smart. She never hesitated to call Percy out when she thought he was being dumb. She almost always had a plan. I love what she brought to the story. She went out of her way to help Percy even though they weren’t supposed to get along because of their parents.
I loved the mythological aspects of the story. I adore the way that Rick Riordan told this story with the Gods and the different parts they played. I loved the politics that he added. It wasn’t hard for me to get fully immersed in the world.
Overall, I had a good time reading this story. There were great lessons within told by believable, loveable, and entertaining characters. I can’t wait to see what other wild antics these characters will get up to in the next books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.