Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Contemporary January Recommendations – Magical Edition

Hi, lovelies! We’re halfway through Contemporary January already! So many books to be read and so many recommendations to be made. This week we are talking about two topics that I couldn’t find enough to give them lists of their own so I will be including them in one post together for their recommendations as well as their TBR list.

Check out Alana’s recommendations this week here.

Contemp Jan

Retellings

Splintered by A.G. Howard
An Alice in Wonderland retelling. I loved this trilogy. It was so fun and twisty.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
A classic, but with zombies. What could go wrong?

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz
This was a fun cutesy romance retelling set in modern times.

Timeless Fairy Tales by K.M. Shea
This series is one I found on Kindle Unlimited. Its a whole series of retellings from The Beauty and the Beast to the Twelve Dancing Princess. They’re fun and quick to read.

Quincey Wolf’s Glass Vault by Candice Robinson
A twisted modern story that features fairytale characters here and there.

Magical Realism

The Shack by William Paul Young
A story that blew me away. I’ve loved all the books I’ve read by this author.

Teardrop by Lauren Kate
A story about a girl that can’t cry? Count me in.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
If you haven’t heard of the Night Circus then what rock have you been living under?

These are just some of the books I really enjoyed that fall under the category of magical realism or a retelling. What retellings do you love? Which books with magical realism are on your favorites list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContemporaryJanuary and tag me & Alana if you’re joining in! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and/or GoodReads to keep up to date with any announcements and see what I’m reading!

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Summary:
Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves feels like a plus-size black sheep in her picture-perfect family, especially next to her star-athlete big brother, Byron. Not to mention that her best friend, Shannon, has moved across the country, leaving Virginia to navigate an awkward budding relationship with Froggy Welsh the Fourth all alone. Froggy might like her now, but she has her doubts about how he’ll react if he ever looks under all her layers of clothes.
In order to survive, Virginia decides to follow the Fat Girl Code of Conduct, and it seems to work-until a shocking act causes the Shreves family façade to crumble. As Virginia’s world spins out of orbit, she realizes that being true to herself might be the only way back.
Review:
I picked this book up from BookOutlet at the end of 2018 after seeing it talked about in the last live show of the year for the Booksplosion book club. I joined reading along with some of my favorite booktubers toward the end of the year, so I missed quite a few books they read this year. After I saw them talk about their books, I found a few of them on BookOutlet and figured I’d give them a try.
I ended up really enjoying this book. I went into the story without any expectations. I didn’t even read the synopsis before picking this up. But it was short and it fits for Contemporary January. I found myself flying through this story so quickly. I was entertained and quickly invested in Virginia.
There were times I didn’t like the story because Virginia was doing some unhealthy shit to attempt to lose weight and I didn’t appreciate that, but I think it was realistic and written well. The negatives were acknowledged and Virginia even talks about how she knows she shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing but she wants to lose weight fast instead of making sure to eat right and exercise. I think this story was an excellent conversation about weight and familial expectations and putting both of those aside to be happy with yourself and your own choices.
I really enjoyed the second half of this book the most. Virginia starts to stand up for herself and for what she wants. She starts doing things to better her life and makes better choices. I enjoyed seeing her grow and develop into a person that does what’s best for herself. I liked seeing her be able to stand up to her family and tell them how they make her feel and how their expectations weigh on her.
Overall, I liked this story. It was fun and entertaining. I liked our main character and I really enjoyed seeing her character growth. This was a great story about learning to love yourself, but also how to make better choices and do the things that you really enjoy.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Click on the book cover! It’s an affiliate link so we will make a small percentage from your purchase, feel free to support us!

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Summary:
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she’d somehow landed a boyfriend, they never managed to know much about each other. Now Penny is heading to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer. It’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.
Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the good-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration when he’s a famous movie director, but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.
When Sam and Penny cross paths, it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch-via text- and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to, you know, see each other.
Review:
I was super nervous to read this book because I have seen so so many mixed reviews. From what I’ve seen people have either loved this book and given it five stars or totally hated it. I was a little surprised to find that I found myself landing somewhere in the middle. I gave it three stars on GoodReads.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It was entertaining and I feel that I read it pretty quickly once I actually got more than fifty pages into it. As with any book, there were things I liked and things I didn’t like. In this case, the things I didn’t like weren’t anything too crazy, mostly just things that I think could have been done better.
One of those things was the relationship between the three girls that were introduced to at the beginning of the story. Penny’s roommate pulls her into her circle and the three girls are made out to be best friends, but there were really only two memorable scenes with the three of them actually going somewhere. I think the friendship could have been more fleshed out and better. I also thought Sam’s past could have been a bit more in depth. There were a few things that he talks about that just seems a bit vague to me. I actually think all around there were just several opportunities to go into more detail with the story, like Penny’s classes and other various things.
I liked Penny (mostly). I liked that she was a writer. I thought this was a really interesting aspect of the story. I loved the scenes with the friend she makes in her writing class and I really loved the parts we did get to read of the story she wrote. She was a little annoying here and there, but c’mon, what eighteen-year-old isn’t a little annoying?
I really liked Sam. I’m a sucker for the damaged boy with issues that finds the girl he feels like he can finally talk to. I think Sam’s character could have been so much more. There are so many things mentioned that could have been further elaborated on but weren’t. Most of the story talks about his ex-girlfriend. I think I would have liked him even more if we had gotten more of the Sam that is in the second half of the book rather than the ex-girlfriend drama we got for most of the story.
On the whole, I enjoyed this book. It was a mostly fluffy romance that could have been better. I really think that everything could have been just more. More detail, more information, more development.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Click on the book cover! It’s an affiliate link so we will make a small percentage from your purchase, feel free to support us!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading Eragon as a buddy read with Antonia! I’m also reading Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia

Antonia- What she said. This is a reread of The Inheritance Cycle that I’m long overdue for. I’m also in the middle of Mossflower by Brian Jacques, another reread.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi.

Antonia- I most recently finished An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll probably pick up One of us is Lying because I’m thinking I’ll want to get into a good mystery.

Antonia- Next I’ll probably keep working on one of the many books I received as gifts for my birthday and Christmas.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – New To Me

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 – New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018.

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Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
The Illuminae Files

Becky Albertalli
Simon vs. the Homo Spaiens Agenda

Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Marisha Pessl
Neverworld Wake

Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season 

Hank Green
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Naomi Novik
Uprooted

Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus

Liane Moriarty
Big Little Lies

Rin Chupeco
The Bone Witch

Elise Kova
Air Awakens

Sylvain Neuvel
The Themis Files

Audrey Coulthurst
Of Fire and Stars

What authors did you read for the first time in 2018? Which ones will you be reading more from, which ones did you not like?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Book Tags & Challenges · Everything & Anything · TBR Lists & Wrap Ups

Contemporary January TBR List – Realistic Fiction Edition

Hi, lovelies! I’m here with another TBR list for you all. I love sharing these because it lets you guys know what I will be/ have available to read within the near future, especially this month. I also love sharing these because I can get opinions from those that may have already read some of these books. Today I’m here to share with you the books on my TBR that fit into the genre of realistic fiction. These are mostly books are hard topics, things like death and grief, rape, gun violence, weigh, disabilities, drugs, and addiction. As tough as these topics can be, I love to read about them because they are so important. It’s so so necessary for these subjects to be talked about more often and with more openness. Without further delay, these are the books on my shelf that I’ve yet to read.

Contemp Jan

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett
The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith
A Heart in A Body in The World by Deb Caletti
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang
Blind by Rachel DeWoskin
The Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

These are all of the books I’m hoping to read (but know I won’t get to most of them) during this Contemporary January. Have you read any of these? Will you be reading any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContemporaryJanuary and tag me & Alana if you’re joining in! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and/or GoodReads to keep up to date with any announcements and see what I’m reading!

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich

Summary:
Nothing’s more Jersey than a good delicatessen. And if you’re visiting Trenton, you can’t do better than the Red River Deli.
The coleslaw’s edible and the oil in the deep fryer gets changed-eventually. It’s a tribute to quality management, but that’s now in jeopardy because the last three managers have vanished. The only clue to each disappearance is one shoe left behind.
Stephanie Plum, Jersey girl and bounty hunter extraordinaire, is stepping into the manager’s shoes…well, shoe. The hottest detective on the force, Stephanie’s boyfriend, Joe Morelli, is running down clues, and the always mysterious Ranger is sticking too Stephanie like pork roll to an egg sandwich.
If Stephanie intends to avoid disappearing and hold on to 100 percent of her footwear, she has to do more than man the potato salad-she needs to find out who took the previous victims. Each disappearance leads to more questions, but with Stephanie and Lula running the deli, the most pressing question remains: How many ‘l’s in salmonella?
Review:
The Stephanie Plum series is one that I’ve been reading for almost as long as I’ve been a reader. My mom and Nana showed me these books when I was probably really too young to be reading them, but I’ve loved them since then. I’m going to keep this review pretty short and sweet because it’s easy to say all the things I want to about this book/series.
I love Stephanie. I always will. She is the best kind of hot mess express and its always a hilariously good time. Add Lula to the situation and you have a book that’s going to make you laugh out loud page after page. I think this book was fresh and new with the girls working in a deli instead of attempting to chase down their skips. It was fun and chaotic, like it always is when these girls get together.
I hate love triangles, BUT this series is my one exception. The seemingly never-ending love triangle between Ranger, Stephanie, and Morelli is what I LIVE FOR. I’m Team Ranger forever though and I think that’s why I like it, because she hasn’t ended up with him yet.
I will forever love the characters in this series. It’s like coming home to a familiar place when reading these books. It’s always a good time. Full of fun and laughter and chaos. The Stephanie Plum books never fail to provide a good time and entertainment. I will recommend these forever. They’re lighthearted and a good time, everytime.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Click on the book cover! It’s an affiliate link so we will make a small percentage from your purchase, feel free to support us!