Blogtober Day Three: Amanda’s October TBR

Hello, lovelies! Welcome to the first day of Blogtober! It’s the third day of the month, I know, but I don’t post on the weekends anymore. This month I have some fun things planned. I have today a list of the books I’m likely to be choosing from to read for spooky season. I’m pretty behind with my NetGalley tbr, so I want to work on that. But I have some books on my physical tbr here too that piqued my interest for the reading mood I’m looking for this month.

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
The Yosemite Six by Tess Sharpe
Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
The High House by Jessie Greengrass

NetGalley TBR

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle
When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke
The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler
Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner
The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty
Little Eve by Catriona Ward
Built to Last by Erin Hahn
The Scratch Daughters by Hannah Abigail Clarke

I will definitely not manage to read all of these as I’m planning to do some prep work for NaNoWriMo next month. But I’m feeling the itch to read again, and my husband will be gone for a bit this month so, I’ll have more time to myself. What spooky books are you reading this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Books Amanda Expected to Love, But Didn’t

Hello, lovelies! I’ve had this idea on the back burner for a while. I wanted to share some books that I really thought I was going to totally love, but didn’t. These won’t be books that I actively disliked, just books that I thought I was going to like more than I did.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
I think maybe I didn’t get this one. It was weird and not in a fun, creepy way.

Yesterday is History by Kosoto Jackson
I felt like this book was too short. I didn’t feel like I got to know the characters well enough to believe anything they were doing or feeling.

Horrid by Katrina Leno
I hated the ending. I liked everything else about this book but the ending absolutely ruined it for me.

Majesty by Katherine McGee
I really liked the first one, but this one had so much girl hate and drama that I just didn’t want to even finish it.

Eve of Man by Giovanna Fletcher & Tom Fletcher
I dont remember what I specifically didn’t like about this. But I remember wanting to DNF it and being disappointed that I didn’t.

The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund
I liked this one well enough. It was just a little forgettable.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
The ending ruined this book for me. I think I buddy read this with my friend Alana and she felt the same way.

H2O by Virginia Bergin
This was okay, but definitely felt like early 2000s dystopian YA.

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
I think maybe I’m over the zombie books, honestly.

The Mall by Megan McCafferty
I wanted to love this one so badly. A scavenger hunt in the mall in the 90s? It sounds perfect, but it fell flat for me.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
I did like this one. But I liked her other popular book better and this felt like another fae story.

Are there any books you thought you were going to love and ended up just liking or feeling ‘meh’ about it?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda Recommends Tropes: Friends-to-Lovers

Hello, lovelies! I’ve been wanting to share some trope-specific recommendations for a long time. But I’ve been slowly reading and adding to my lists. I think I finally have a few lists that I can post this year. So, I obviously have to start with my favorite (and real-life) trope: friends to lovers.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
“Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough. When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.”

When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting
“Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy. But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur. Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.”

People You Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
“Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since. Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?”

Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
“Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan. Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush. Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.”

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Dating by Christina Lauren
“Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun. Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?”

I also have a few on my tbr that I’m excited to read and I’m pretty sure are friends to lovers. I’ll share those too!

The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Kulti by Mariana Zapata
Hands Down by Mariana Zapata

Do you like to read books with the friends to lovers trope? Let me know your favorites that I should read!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Traveling Library: Preorder Wishlist

Hey, lovelies! I’m absolutely done to do another preorder haul but with the move coming up, I knew I was going to need to wait until after we settled. So, since I can’t preorder anything, obviously all I can think about are the books coming out the rest of the year that I need to I’m buy once we’re in our new house. Since I’ve thought about this extensively, I wanted to share some upcoming releases that I will be preordering as soon as I’m unpacked.

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication date: August 30, 2022
“To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her. But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.
Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.”

The Yosemite Six by Tess Sharpe
Publication date: September 27, 2022
“This second action-packed Middle Grade Novel features Maisie Lockwood on all-new adventures along with everyone’s favorite dinosaurs from Jurassic World Dominion—roaring into theaters June 10, 2022!
Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World Dominion releases in theaters on June 10, 2022, bringing with it all the wonder, adventure, and thrills of one of the most popular and successful franchises in cinema history. This all-new motion picture event sees the return of favorite characters such as Owen Grady, Claire Dearing, Maisie Lockwood, Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Dr. Ian Malcolm as well as all the dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures that fans love, including Blue; Tyrannosaurus rex; and Mosasaurus! This second book in the series tells the all-new adventures of Maisie Lockwood as she navigates a world filled with dinosaurs both ferocious and friendly.”

The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
Publication date: October 11, 2022
“Tesla Crane, a brilliant inventor and an heiress, is on her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner, cruising between the Moon and Mars. She’s traveling incognito and is reveling in her anonymity. Then someone is murdered and the festering chowderheads who run security have the audacity to arrest her spouse. Armed with banter, martinis, and her small service dog, Tesla is determined to solve the crime so that the newlyweds can get back to canoodling–
And keep the real killer from striking again.”

Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai
Publication date: October 18, 2022
“Indian Matchmaking meets Date Night in this fun, romantic adventure in which a match-made couple about to be engaged gets caught up in a caper that puts their future—and lives—in danger. At thirty-five, with a stable job as an accountant, Mira Chaudhary wants nothing more than to find a boring man to spend the rest of her life with. Having had enough excitement in her younger days and desperately trying to escape her dysfunctional past, she turns to a matching app specializing in Indian American singles to help her find someone to settle down with.
Enter Naveen Desai. An English professor with an uneventful, normal, and—dare she say it, boring—life, Naveen is perfect. But just when things are going well, Mira receives news that her aunt has died. Suddenly a trip to Las Vegas to settle her aunt’s affairs turns into a mad dash to escape kidnappers, evade art thieves, and consorting with hackers who can decipher just what it was Mira’s aunt was involved with. Mira just hopes that Naveen isn’t chased away by the very same life of “excitement” that she’s been trying to get away from. But maybe, over the course of one wild night, Mira and Naveen will find the love connection that neither expected.”

A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
Publication date: November 1, 2022
“Country music’s golden boy Colton Wheeler felt the most perfect harmony when he was with Gretchen Winthrop. But for her, it was a love him and leave him situation. A year later, Colton is struggling to push his music forward in a new direction. If it weren’t about to be the most magical time of year and the support of the Bromance Book Club, he’d be wallowing in self-pity. It’s hard for immigration attorney Gretchen not to feel a little Scrooge-ish about the excess of Christmas when her clients are scrambling to afford their rent. So when her estranged, wealthy family reaches out with an offer that will allow her to better serve the community, she’s unable to say no. She just needs to convince Colton to be the new face of her family’s whiskey brand. No big deal…Colton agrees to consider Gretchen’s offer in exchange for three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club, Colton throws himself into the task of proving to her there’s a spark between them. But Gretchen and Colton will both need to overcome the ghosts of Christmas past to build a future together.”

The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin
Publication date: November 1, 2022
“Every great city has a soul. A human avatar that embodies their city’s heart and wields its magic. New York? She’s got six.
But all is not well in the city that never sleeps. Though Brooklyn, Manny, Bronca, Venezia, Padmini, and Neek have temporarily managed to stop the Woman in White from invading–and destroying the entire universe in the process–the mysterious capital “E” Enemy has more subtle powers at her disposal. A new candidate for mayor wielding the populist rhetoric of gentrification, xenophobia, and “law and order” may have what it takes to change the very nature of New York itself and take it down from the inside. In order to defeat him, and the Enemy who holds his purse strings, the avatars will have to join together with the other Great Cities of the world in order to bring her down for good and protect their world from complete destruction.”

Gleanings by Neal Shusterman
Publication date: November 8, 2022
“There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control.
Neal Shusterman—along with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman—returns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.
Gleanings shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honor–winning Scythe truly is.”

A Light in the Flame by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication date: November 15, 2022
“The truth about Sera’s plan is out, shattering the fragile trust forged between her and Nyktos. Surrounded by those distrustful of her, all Sera has is her duty. She will do anything to end Kolis, the false King of Gods, and his tyrannical rule of Iliseeum, thus stopping the threat he poses to the mortal realm. Nyktos has a plan, though, and as they work together, the last thing they need is the undeniable, scorching passion that continues to ignite between them. Sera cannot afford to fall for the tortured Primal, not when a life no longer bound to a destiny she never wanted is more attainable than ever. But memories of their shared pleasure and unrivaled desire are a siren’s call impossible to resist. And as Sera begins to realize that she wants to be more than a Consort in name only, the danger surrounding them intensifies. The attacks on the Shadowlands are increasing, and when Kolis summons them to Court, a whole new risk becomes apparent. The Primal power of Life is growing inside her, pushing her closer to the end of her Culling. And without Nyktos’s love—an emotion he’s incapable of feeling—she won’t survive her Ascension. That is if she even makes it to her Ascension and Kolis doesn’t get to her first. Because time is running out. For both her and the realms.”

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake
Publication date: November 22, 2022
“For Astrid Parker, failure is unacceptable. Ever since she broke up with her fiancé a year ago, she’s been focused on her career—her friends might say she’s obsessed, but she’s just driven. When Pru Everwood asks her to be the designer for the Everwood Inn’s renovation that will be broadcasted on a popular home improvement show, Innside America, Astrid knows this is the answer to everything that is wrong with her life. It’ll be the perfect distraction from her failed love life, and her perpetually displeased mother might finally give her nod of approval. However, Astrid never planned on Jordan Everwood, Pru’s granddaughter and lead carpenter for the inn’s renovation, who despises every modern design decision Astrid makes. Jordan is determined to preserve the history of her family’s inn, particularly as the rest of her life is in shambles. When that determination turns into a little light sabotage, ruffling Astrid’s perfect little feathers, the showrunners ask them to play up the tension. But somewhere along the way, their dislike for each other turns into something quite different, and Astrid must decide what success truly means. Is she going to pursue the life that she’s expected to lead, or the one she wants? “

Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca
Publication date: December 6, 2022
“A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa “Lulu” Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer. Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future. Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad boy grows as he shows her a side of himself no one else has seen. The stresses of her old lifestyle fade away as she learns to trust her intuition and follow her heart instead of her head. But when her time on the road is over, will Lulu go with her gut, or are she and Dex destined for separate paths?”

It’s a few books, but I’m trying to be more selective about the books I’m buying. All of these (except for Partners in Crime) are sequels to series’ I already own. Once I find my new local library, I want to visit it more often and try to read most newer releases that way (depending on their selection and whatnot). Do you have any preorders for these final months of the year?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

4 Anticipated Series Finales Releasing in 2022

Hi, lovelies! I just stumbled across my 2021 series finales and realized that I never did one for this year. So, I’m here today to remedy that and share with you four series that are coming to an end with their conclusions released in 2022.

August 30, 2022
The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
“To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her. But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.
Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.”

November 22, 2022 
The Choice by Nora Roberts
“Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen–for now. With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations–of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births–and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love. It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks–and her courage…”

November 29, 2022
Saint by Adrienne Young
(This only sort of counts because it’s a prequel. But I think this will be the last book in this world, sadly.)
New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns to the world of The Narrows with Saint, a captivating prequel to Fable and Namesake.
As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales. Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows. Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for. He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for―Saint.”

December 6, 2022 
The Shattered City by Lisa Maxwell
“Once, Esta believed that she could change the fate of magic. She traveled to the past and stopped the Magician from destroying a mystical book that held the key to freeing her people from the Brink, an energy barrier that traps all Mageus who cross it. But the Book was more than she bargained for. So was the Magician she was tasked to steal it from.
Hunted by an ancient evil, Esta and Harte have raced through time and across a continent to track down the powerful artifacts they need to bind the Book’s devastating power. They’ve lost family, betrayed friends, and done what they’d both vowed never to do: fallen in love with the one person who could truly destroy them. Now, with only one artifact left, their search has brought them back to New York, the city where it all began. But nothing in Manhattan is as they left it. Their friends have scattered, their enemies have grown more powerful, and as the deadly Brink beckons, their time is running out. If they can’t find a way to end the threat they’ve created, then the very heart of magic will die—and it will take the world down with it.”

Are there any series you love being wrapped up in 2022?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Beach Read Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! Summertime means going to the beach and reading on the beach is my favorite thing. I have a few books on my tbr that I’m saving for beach days this summer. I thought I’d share some books I’ve enjoyed on the beach in past summers.

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
“With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that. This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows. When reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.”

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
“Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.”

Fresh by Margot Wood
“Some students enter their freshman year of college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. Elliot McHugh is not one of those people. But picking a major is the last thing on Elliot’s mind when she’s too busy experiencing all that college has to offer—from dancing all night at off-campus parties, to testing her RA Rose’s patience, to making new friends, to having the best sex one can have on a twin-sized dorm room bed. But she may not be ready for the fallout when reality hits. When the sex she’s having isn’t that great. When finals creep up and smack her right in the face. Or when her roommate’s boyfriend turns out to be the biggest a-hole. Elliot may make epic mistakes, but if she’s honest with herself (and with you, dear reader), she may just find the person she wants to be. And maybe even fall in love in the process . . . Well, maybe.”

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle
“Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start. Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous—and it turns out he has very different vision for the property’s future. Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.”

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
“Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom. When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse? Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs. Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?”

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
“When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—”Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!“—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?”

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
“For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures. But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train. Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all. Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.”

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
“Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since. Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?”

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
“Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life. Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers. Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?”

Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
“The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club. Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.”

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochran
“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.”

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
“Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale.”

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
“One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…”

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
“Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway. On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day. Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life. The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.”

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
“Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect. The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge. There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute. Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.”

These are some books that I’ve personally read on the beach or that I think are fun and light-hearted enough to be a beach read. What kinds of books do you like to read on the beach?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s August TBR Jar Picks

Hello, lovelies! I’m probably over reaching with even making a tbr for this month (for anyone new here, I’m moving this month!) but I’m going for it anyway. This is what I’ve come up with.

Hyped Book
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
I’ve wanted to read this series forever. I own the first four boooks. I tried to start this via audio and had no idea what was going on. Then I tried the ebook, but there’s footnotes and I need to read books with footnotes physically.

New Release
Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
This is the last book I got from the subscription my mother-in-law gifted me for Christmas. It’s not something I’d usually pick up, which is why I picked it. I want to try new books now that I’m moving away from YA books a bit.

Science Fiction
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I’ve wanted to reread this series pretty much since I finished it the first time. It’s on my tbr for my road trip audiobooks.

Romance
The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley & Austin Seigemund-Broka
I’ve been ‘picking this one up next’ for the last like four books. I really want to read it though, so here it is on my tbr.

Most Recent Purchase
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
I recently found a hardcover (the one with the cool design under the dustjacket) ono Pango Books. So, I have been thinking about listening to the audiobooks for this series again while on my road trip.

And I’ll share my NetGalley books being published this month, but I want to say that I’m giving myself permission to read whatever catches my attention this month. I will have enough stress without worrying about reading stressing me out.

The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon
Ben and Beatriz by Katalina Gamarra
Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie
Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon, & Evelyn Skye
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What are you reading this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s July 2022 Wrap Up

Hey, lovelies! The end to another month means it’s time for another reading wrap up. Let’s talk about what books I read this month.

Physical Books
The Evolution of Claire by Tess Sharpe – 4 stars
Off the Grid by Tess Sharpe – 4 stars
The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal – 4 stars
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers – 5 stars
The Man Ban by Nicola Marsh – 3.75 stars
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – 4 stars

eBooks
None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney – 4 stars
Gallant by V.E. Schwab – 3 stars

Audiobooks
The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams – 4 stars
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 3.75 stars
Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur – 3 stars
Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur – 3.5 stars
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li – 3 stars
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel – 4 stars
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas – 4 stars
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James – 3.75 stars

What did you read this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s July TBR Jar Picks

Hello, lovelies! Another month down and we’ve reached July. My life is about to explode into chaos, so I’m making this post because it’s free content. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to read anything at all this month. But if/when I want to read, I can use this post as a guideline.

New Release
Off the Grid by Tess Sharpe
I love Jurassic Park and I’ve loved all of Sharpe’s books I’ve read, so I think I’ll love this.

Adult
When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
I bought this for myself as a treat for Mother’s Day and a book where there’s a historical event where a mass of women turn into dragons? Yes, I would like that.

1st in a Series
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
I wanted to read this at the end of last month but it didn’t happen. So, I’m determined to read it this month.

Standalone
The Man Ban by Nicola Marsh
This was an impulse buy romance. Romances have been easy for me to read lately, so this is here to make my tbr easier.

Young Adult
The Evolution of Claire by Tess Sharpe
I recently learned that Sharpe has written IP for Jurassic Park, so obviously I had to buy it. I want to read it asap and binge the movies before I eventually see the newest movie. I also want to read it before I read Sharpe’s newest Jurassic Park book (which is middle grade and on my tbr above).

And, of course, I’ll share my upcoming NetGalley reads as well. There’s a lot because I’ve fallen a few books behind, but I’m doing the best that I can.

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows
For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa

What are you reading this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s June & Clear Ur Sht Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! The end of another month means another post where I share the books that I’ve read. June was a pretty good month for me. I tried to focus on my Clear Ur Set Readathon TBR but was often distracted. I did mostly read books I own or NetGalley arcs though. I know the month isn’t over yet, but I have to stick to my posting schedule.

Physical Books
Book Lovers by Emily Henry – 4.5 stars
The Weeping Tide by Amanda Foody – 4.5 stars
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur – 3.5 stars
Nightwork by Nora Roberts – 4 stars
I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston – 4.5 stars
When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting – 3.75 stars
Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting – 3.75 stars
Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – 4.5 stars
Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond – 3 stars
My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey – 2 stars

eBooks
Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper – 4 stars
Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler – 4 stars
Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White – 3.5 stars
Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire – 4.5 stars
January Fifteenth by Rachel Swirsky – 3 stars
Breaking Time by Sasha Alsberg – 3 stars
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher – 3 stars
Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander – 3 stars
An Unreliable Magic by Rin Chupeco – 3.5 stars

Audiobooks
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – 4 stars
The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey – 3 stars
The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – 3 stars
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan – 3.75 stars
Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 3 stars
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 3 stars

Clear Ur Sht Readathon Wrap Up

Walkman // a book you’ve been avoiding the longest
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
I dnf’d this, but according to Narrator dnf’s count. Heck yeah.

Breakfast Club // read a book with food themes or items
Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Love & Food edited by Elsie Chapman
I also dnf’d this one.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun // read a book with multiple POVs
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
We love a reread and I had a great time rereading this one.

NES // read a sci-fi, or a book with technology in it
The Genesis Wars by Akemi Dawn Bowman
I, sadly, dnf’d this. I really loved the first book last year, but I didn’t love it as much upon rereading and this book just wasn’t holding my attention. I made it a little over halfway before I put it down for something else.

Polaroids // read a book with characters on the cover
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
I reread via the audiobook. It took me forever and I don’t think I enjoyed it as much this time around.

Care Bears // read a comforting book
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Read this outside in the sunshine and it was lovely. 10 out of 10, would recommend it.

Manic Monday // read a book you can finish over the weekend to avoid a manic Monday
Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
I also dnf’d this one.

Rainbow Brite // read a book with LGBTQIA+ representation
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
I got to read this at the beach! I mostly liked it, just didn’t love the bad first date as the main couple’s introduction.

I want to add down here at the end of this post that I dnf’d quite a few books. You can see the three that I said above for Clear Ur Sht, but I also dnf’d several others from my physical tbr and my NetGalley tbr. My impending move is looming and I’m trying to read as much of my physical tbr as I can.

What did you read this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #7

Hi, lovelies! I’m back with another NetGalley shelf update. I’ve read some good ones and some not-so-good ones. Let me know if you’ve read any of these!

As I always do with these posts, I’m going to share my NetGalley statistics for transparencies sake. Mostly because this looks like a large number of books, but I read them all and my numbers show that. I have 234 approved with feedback sent for 204 books. This gives me a feedback ratio of 87%, which I’m pretty proud of.

Approvals I’ve Read

The City of Dusk by Tara Sim
Publication date: March 22, 2022
I really enjoyed this one. It was a lot darker than I was anticipating. I loved all the characters that we followed. Their development was compelling and the story was engaging.

The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller
Publication date: March 22, 2022
I think I might not be smart enough for this story. I still had so many questions when I finished and now I remember nothing.

Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
Publication date: March 29, 2022
I very surprisingly DNF’d this book. I read about 25% and had no clue what was going on. So I restarted and then DNF’d at 10%. I couldn’t stand the main character’s boyfriend.

The Button Box by Bridget Hodder, Fawzia Gilani-Williams, & Harshad Marathe (Illustrator)
Publication date: April 1, 2022
I thought this was middle grade, but it’s more like a chapter book. I liked it. I thought it was a cute time travel fantasy that follows diverse characters.

In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power
Publication date: April 5, 2022
I DNF’d this around 15%. I think Power’s books might just not be for me.

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead
Publication date: April 5, 2022
This is a second chance romance (one of my favorite tropes) with a hot mess main character and the ex that she cheated on. I loved the main character, Lee. She’s a hot mess in the best kinds of ways. This book had me laughing out loud quite a few times while reading.

To Marry and To Meddle by Martha Waters
Publication date: April 5, 2022
This is my favorite book in the series so far. I laughed out loud so many times and just really had fun reading this one.

Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments by T.L. Huchu
Publication date: April 5, 2022
I liked the first book in this series, but I just didn’t care about this one. I read about 30% of the eARC and then found the audiobook from my library after the book’s release. I DNF’d at 84% and when I still didn’t care while the big reveals were going on I wasn’t going to listen to another two hours.

Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders
Publication date: April 5, 2022
I sadly DNF’d this one. I read 8% of the eARC and then restarted the story via the audiobook from my library. I just had no idea what was going on.

Very Bad People by Kit Frick
Publication date: April 5, 2022
I already remember little to nothing about this book. So, that’s not a good sign. What I do remember is not really liking the main character. This one just wasn’t for me.

This May End Badly by Samantha Markum
Publication date: April 12, 2022
I didn’t love this, but I didn’t hate it. It was an enjoyable and fun YA contemporary. I liked the main character. There were some moments that made me smile. But I don’t think it’s one that will stick with me.

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
Publication date: April 19, 2022
This was too slow for my liking. I ended up listening to the finished audiobook. I felt like the suspense and build-up were lacking and I didn’t like the twist at the end.

The Jade Setter of Janloon by Fonda Lee
Publication date: April 30, 2022
This felt weirdly unrelated to the rest of the books. I didn’t really like the main character very much.

An Unreliable Magic by Rin Chupeco
Publication date: May 3, 2022
I had a good time reading this book but it’s not a series that I think I will want to reread again and again. I do think there were some things at the ending that maybe hinted at another installment of this series which I would read. This book is diverse and full of action.

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire
Publication date: May 3, 2022
I really enjoyed this book. I think I liked Middlegame a bit more, but only because it was a total mindfuck. I still really enjoyed this one. The seasonal magic was interesting to learn about and I really liked the two main characters.

Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin
Publication date: May 24, 2022
I think this author nailed the horror aspects of this book. Definitely do not read this if you have any sort of issues with bugs. And while I liked the summer camp setting, I really wish the plot had gone a different way.

Hide by Kiersten White
Publication date: May 24, 2022
This is White’s adult debut and I’m incredibly sad to say that I didn’t love this book. I loved the first half, but then things got a little too fantastical for me. I wanted to love it but there were too many character points of view and I didn’t like the way things were wrapped up.

Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper
Publication date: May 31, 2022
This was the most wholesome and heartwarming book I’ve read in a long time. A young gay boy comes out to his parents and they try to plan a pride parade so that he feels loved and welcomed in the small town he lives in and loves.

Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White
Publication date: June 7, 2022
I had a good time reading this one. I liked that the siblings could depend on one another. But they were also distinct and I really liked getting to know them all. I love a good sibling story and this one definitely covered that aspect. I also think White did a great job making it obvious that something was wrong at the park. The setting was weird and creepy, unsettling more than anything really scary. I thought she did well with that part of this book.

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler 
Publication date: June 7, 2022
I really enjoyed this book. I’m not a huge football fan, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment. I really liked that this wasn’t a sad story about the two main characters dealing with homophobia, but it also wasn’t a totally happy story. It had the realities that queer teens face all over the world, but it was also filled with joy and love.

January Fifteenth by Rachel Swirsky
Publication date: June 14, 2022
I don’t usually read novellas but I love science fiction. This was an odd book in the sense that I didn’t expect it to be so sad. I should have expected it since most near-future sci-fi’s are sad. I still liked it. It was a good story and the format was creative. I can’t say that I had a good time reading it because it wasn’t a happy story. But I would recommend it in specific genre lists.

Breaking Time by Sasha Alsberg
Publication date: June 14, 2022
I know everyone is calling this a self-insert Outlander story, but I thought it was pretty different from the Outlander books. There was a lot more magic. It wasn’t anything that blew me away but I had fun while I was reading it. The characters were a bit predictable and surface-level, but sometimes that’s fun.

Beneath the Starlit Sea by Nicole Bea
Publication date: June 14, 2022
Dnf’d @ 33% She fell in insta-love with her captor. Sorry, the writing is really beautiful but I’m not here for it.

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: June 14, 2022
I really enjoyed this one. I loved seeing Zinnia again. I loved the romance. I loved all of it. I just wanted more.

What Moves the Dark by T. Kingfisher
Publication date: July 12, 2022
I think this was a good and creepy read. It’s quick and atmospheric and gave me the creepy crawlies a little bit. There was a little bit of gore when the character cut open a hare, but nothing worse than that.

Helltown by Casey Sherman
Publication date: July 12, 2022
I dnf’d at 8%. The book was incredibly graphic with describing the murders. No thank you.

Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander
Publication date: July 19, 2022
This is a sapphic romance. I really liked the two main characters. They had vibrant and bold personalities. Their attraction to one another was believable. I love second-chance romances, and this one was a good one. I really liked how the story concluded.

I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers
Publication date: September 13, 2022
I was incredibly confused this entire book. I’m sorry but I don’t think this ever delivered on what it was trying to do.

Approvals on my TBR

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
Publication date: May 17, 2022
I’ve seen this cover all over Twitter. So, I couldn’t help myself when I requested this one. But it sounds pretty good.

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows
Publication date: July 26, 2022
The synopsis sounds right up my alley. But also, this cover is stunning and I couldn’t help myself.

For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa
Publication date: July 26, 2022
I just couldn’t say no to the pun in the title. I’ve seen some friends on Twitter enjoy this one.

The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon
Publication date: August 2, 2022
I liked the first two in this series. So, I’m excited to be approved for the third.

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin
Publication date: August 9, 2022
I really loved Night Swim by this author. So, I thought I’d request her new release to see if I like more of her work.

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie
Publication date: August 23, 2022
This thriller sounds super good.

Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco
Publication date: September 13, 2022
Chupeco is an auto-buy author for me. I hit that request button so fast.

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
Publication date: September 27, 2022
I am beyond excited for Young’s adult debut. A spooky magical island? Yes, please.

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle
Publication date: October 4, 2022
Hogle has become an auto-buy author for me. So, I absolutely requested this holiday romance when I saw it.

Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner
Publication date: October 11, 2022
A queer rom-com where the main character hooks up with her best friend’s mom. How was I supposed to say no to that?

Built to Last by Erin Hahn
Publication date: October 18, 2022
I’ve liked some of Hahn’s YA romance, so I’m excited to try her adult romance debut.

The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang
Publication date: November 15, 2022
This was a cover request for me. The cover is stunning and then I read that it was about people with magical abilities and that is right up my alley.

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales
Publication date: December 6, 2022
A book where the main character goes on a reality dating show and falls in love with one of the fellow contestants? Yes fucking please.

What books are on your tbr?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s June 2022 TBR Jar Picks & Clear Your Sht Readathon TBR

Hello, lovelies! We have officially made it to the halfway point of 2022. Hopefully, the second half is as good as I’m expecting it to be! I hope 2022 has been treating everyone well and we’re all about to read some great books this month.

Romance
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Favorite Author
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Reread
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Young Adult
The Genesis Wars by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Most Recent Purchase
Book Lovers by Emily Henry

As usual, I’m going to share the books I need to read this month to try to keep up with my NetGalley eARCs.

Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
An Unreliable Magic by Rin Chupeco
Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire
The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper
Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler
Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White
Breaking Time by Sasha Aslberg
January Fifteenth by Rachel Swirsky

Clear Your Shit

Walkman // a book you’ve been avoiding the longest
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Breakfast Club // read a book with food themes or items
Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Love & Food edited by Elsie Chapman

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun // read a book with multiple POVs
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

NES // read a sci-fi, or a book with technology in it
The Genesis Wars by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Polaroids // read a book with characters on the cover
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Care Bears // read a comforting book
Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Manic Monday // read a book you can finish over the weekend to avoid a manic monday
Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

Rainbow Brite // read a book with LGBTQIA+ representation
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

I’m definitely being a little bit ambitious with this TBR, but I think if I get some of the audiobooks from the library I can manage it. What are you hoping to read this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s May 2022 Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! May is somehow already over. I had a great start to the month and tried to stay strong. Here are all the things I read this month!

Physical Books
From Lukov With Love by Mariana Zapata – 4 stars
The Suite Spot by Trish Doller – 2 stars
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – 4 stars
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars

eBooks
Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin – 2 stars
Hide by Kiersten White – 2 stars

Audiobooks
Youngbloods by Scott Westerfeld – 2 stars
The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell – 3 stars
Book of Night by Holly Black – 3 stars
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas – 3.75 stars
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – 5 stars
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – 4 stars

What was your favorite book you read in May?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s May TBR Jar Picks

Hi, lovelies! Happy May! Last month, I actually did pretty well with my TBR jar picks. I’m not pushing myself to focus only on these TBR books, because I’m just trying to read steadily so I don’t get into a reading slump. So, these are books that I want to read this month, but might possibly completely ignore.

Gifted to You
The Suite Spot by Trish Doller

Reread
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Middle Grade
The Weeping Tide by Amanda Foody

Romance
From Lukov With Love by Mariana Zapata

Standalone
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

As usual, I also have some NetGalley books to read for this month.

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire
The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
Hide by Kiersten White
Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin
Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper

What books are you hoping to read this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

10 Sequels Coming in 2022 on Amanda’s Anticipated Releases List

Hi, lovelies! While I was making my list for my ‘series to marathon’ post, I started to think about what series and sequels I’m excited to read that haven’t been published yet. A few of these just came out, but I’m including them anyway.

The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis
“Tress Montor murdered Felicity Turnado—but she might not have to live with the guilt for long. With an infected arm held together by duct tape, the panther who clawed her open on the loose, and the whole town on the hunt for the lost homecoming queen, the odds are stacked against Tress. As her mind slides deeper into delirium, Tress is haunted by the growing sound of Felicity’s heartbeat pulsing from the “best friend” charm around her fevered neck.
Ribbit Usher has been a punchline his whole life—from his nickname to his latest turn as the unwitting star of a humiliating viral video. In the past he’s willingly played the fool, but now it’s time to fulfill his destiny. That means saving the girl, so that Felicity can take her place at his side and Ribbit can exact revenge on all who have done him wrong—which includes his cousin, Tress. Ribbit is held by a pact he made with his mother long ago, a pact that must be delivered upon in four days. With time ticking down and an enemy she considers a friend lurking in the shadows, Tress’s grip on reality is failing. Can she keep both mind and body together long enough to finally find out what happened to her parents?”

Youngbloods by Scott Westerfeld
“Frey has spent her life in a family of deceivers, a stand-in for her sister, manipulated at her father’s command. Free from them at last, she is finding her own voice — and using it to question everything her family stood for.
Tally was once the most famous rebel in the world. But for over a decade, she’s kept to the shadows, allowing her myth to grow even as she receded. Now she sees that the revolution she led has not created a stable world. Freedom, she observes, has a way of destroying things. As the world is propelled further into conflict and conspiracy, Frey and Tally join forces to put a check on the people in power, while still trying to understand their own power and where it belongs.
With Youngbloods, master storyteller Scott Westerfeld decisively brings back his most iconic character and merges his Impostors and Uglies series into a breathtaking tale of rivalry, rebellion, and repercussion.”

Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi
“The Pandavas only have until the next full moon to stop the Sleeper from gaining access to the nectar of immortality, which will grant him infinite power. But how can Aru, Mini, and Brynne hope to defeat him without their celestial weapons? The Sleeper and his army are already plundering the labyrinth, and the sisters can’t even enter. Their quest to get in will have them calling on old friends, meeting new allies, and facing fearsome trials, like…performing in a rock concert? When the moment of confrontation finally arrives, it’s up to Aru to decide who deserves immortality, the devas or the asuras. The most unexpected answer will come from a most unexpected place. More surprises and delights, gods and demons, and laughs and tears await in this immensely satisfying conclusion to the wild ride that began with the lighting of a lamp.”

The Genesis Wars by Akemi Dawn Bowman
“It’s been ten months since Nami narrowly escaped the Four Courts and Ophelia’s wrath. Ten months since she was betrayed by someone she once considered a friend. Someone she poured her heart out to. And now her family here in the afterlife are gone, captured, and Nami is utterly alone. On the run, only steps ahead of the AI forces pursuing her, and desperate to free her friends, Nami must take the allies she can find, even if she doesn’t fully trust them. And as she tests the limits of her own power, she must also reckon with the responsibility that entails. Stakes are high as Nami navigates old enemies, unexpected allies, and an ever-changing landscape filled with dangers and twists at every turn. Along the way, she’ll learn powerful truths about who she can trust and the sacrifices that must be made in order to fight for a better, freer world for all.”

The Last Fallen Moon by Graci Kim
“For Riley Oh, life as the Godrealm’s last fallen star is not all it’s cracked up to be. Her new divine heritage doesn’t even come with cool magical powers; half of her friends and family (including her parents) can’t remember her; and to top it all off, the entire Gom clan is mad at her for killing the Cave Bear Goddess and stripping away their healing abilities. But when their anger boils over and a group of witches curses Riley’s home, she knows it’s up to her to restore magic back to her clan – even if it means sneaking into the Spiritrealm. Luckily, Riley has some backup. Along with her sister, Hattie, Riley meets Dahl, a heaven-born boy with shockingly white hair and a fondness for toilets who might not be telling the whole truth about who he is. Together they’ll fight vicious monsters, discover dark underwater worlds, and race to save the land of the dead from a fate that no one could have foreseen. And this time, Riley won’t let anything get in her way. Because she can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is coming their way – and the gifted community is going to need all the powers they can get.”

For the Throne by Hannah Whitten
“The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…
Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir. Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally to claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.”

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers
“After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home. They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.
Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?”

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
“To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her. But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.
Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.”

The Shattered City by Lisa Maxwell
“Once, Esta believed that she could change the fate of magic. She traveled to the past and stopped the Magician from destroying a mystical book that held the key to freeing her people from the Brink, an energy barrier that traps all Mageus who cross it. But the Book was more than she bargained for. So was the Magician she was tasked to steal it from. Hunted by an ancient evil, Esta and Harte have raced through time and across a continent to track down the powerful artifacts they need to bind the Book’s devastating power. They’ve lost family, betrayed friends, and done what they’d both vowed never to do: fallen in love with the one person who could truly destroy them. Now, with only one artifact left, their search has brought them back to New York, the city where it all began. But nothing in Manhattan is as they left it. Their friends have scattered, their enemies have grown more powerful, and as the deadly Brink beckons, their time is running out. If they can’t find a way to end the threat they’ve created, then the very heart of magic will die—and it will take the world down with it.”

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow
“Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues. Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can’t handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White’s Evil Queen has found out how her story ends and she’s desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone. Will Zinnia accept the Queen’s poisonous request, and save them both from the hot iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?”

What series continuations are you looking forward to coming out this year?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.