Blogtober Day Seven: Amanda’s September Book Haul

Hello, lovelies! No huge surprise really, but I bought more books in September. I’m happy with what I bought and how many of them I’ve already read. Some were belated birthday gifts, some were given from others that don’t hoard books like I do, and the rest were absolutely impulse buys.

Books I’ve Read

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young

The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi

Books New to my TBR

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee

You’d Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow

The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore

I bought a few of these so that I could reread them. And I’m incredibly excited to read the ones new to my TBR. Some of them are on my TBR for October, so hopefully I’ll have them read by the end of the month. Did you buy any new books last month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Six: WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi. I’m listening to Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. I’m also reading an eARC of The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling.

Antonia- I just started The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson.

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I finished Cazadora by Romina Garner earlier this week.

Antonia- Most recently I read Legacy by Nora Roberts.

What will you read next?

Amanda- I’m planning to pick up Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool after I finish Chokshi’s book.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Furyborn by Claire Legrand.

What are your answers this week?

Blogtober Day Five (Part Two): Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Pet Peeves

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 my top ten bookish pet peeves.

Series that change cover designs mid way through publication.

Series with books of varying heights.

Sequels that continually have their publication date pushed back.

Dust jackets,

But also, books that don’t have dust jackets.

Books with incredibly small font,

And, books with very large font.

Sequel’s that spend an unnecessary amount of pages explaining what happened in the previous books.

Info dumping that’s disguised as world building.

Stickers on books covers (removable AND non-removable ones).

What are your bookish pet peeves?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Five (Part One): Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

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. This week’s topic is  Bookish Pet Peeves.

Being interrupted while reading

Stickers on book covers

Books in the same series that are different sizes (varying heights, paperback vs hardcover, etc.)

Sequels info-dumping what happened in the previous book (specifically in a long chunk at the beginning)

When instead of a synopsis on the back there’s just blurbs from the book or reviews- I want to know what the book is about

When publication dates are delayed or we have to wait years for a sequel

Book covers made for the movie/tv adaptation

Multiple names for the same character (first name, given name, title, nickname, name only their family uses, etc.)

That was all I could come up with this week. What bookish pet peeves do you have?

Blogtober Day Four: October Anticipated Releases

Hello, friends! We thought it would be fun to share all of the October book releases that we are excited for! As always, you can find our full list of 2021 anticipated releases here.

October 5, 2021
Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

October 5, 2021
The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

October 5, 2021
A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

October 5, 2021
Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond

October 5, 2021
Tonight We Rule the World by Zack Smedley

October 5, 2021
Luminous by Mara Rutherford

October 12, 2021
Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

October 12, 2021
Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan

October 12, 2021
I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin

October 19, 2021
A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout

October 19, 2021
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

October 19, 2021
City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn

October 19, 2021
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca

October 19, 2021
Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu

What October releases are you excited for? Any that are on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Blogtober Book Review: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Summary:
For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.
Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

Book Cover

Review:
The Nature of Witches is, for sure, going to make my list of 2021 favorite books. I have to admit that I bought this book because it has a stunning cover and it has a beautiful design under the dust jacket. I was also influenced by a friend of mine really loving it. I’m so glad that I gave in to my desires to buy this one because I really loved it.
The story follows Clara, and Everwitch (which means that she has the magic of all four seasons). The way the magic works in this world was one of my favorite kinds of magic systems I’ve ever read about. Witches have seasonal magic. So, they have magic all year round, but it’s significantly diminished outside of their season. I really liked this sense of balance that was a part of this world because there’s no one season of witches that’s most powerful, they all excel at different things, and they each get their turn to be ‘the most powerful.’ But Clara as an Everwitch, her magic changes as the seasons change. But being an Everwitch, there’s more responsibility on her, but also, there hasn’t been an Everwitch in so long that there is little to nothing really known about how they’re really supposed to help others. One of the downsides of the magic of an Everwitch is that their magic attacks those that they love. So, Clara killed her parents and her best friend. This was obviously traumatic, but it’s caused Clara to plan to obliterate her magic with the upcoming solar eclipse. Her plans are in place, so obviously something has to come in and shake things up and that’s when the story gets even better.
I really liked Clara. It could have been easy for her to be a ‘woe is me’ character that just pities herself, complains, and does nothing about it. But she wants things to change and has a plan to make that happen. I really enjoyed following her growth and development. I loved learning her backstory and what’s made her so fearful and cautious. I especially loved seeing Clara test the limits of her powers. I thought the concept of her personality changing with her magic (as the seasons change) was really interesting.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the setting of a school for witches. I loved that the witches are what keeps natural disasters in check. I even loved the conversations about how humans are killing the Earth. I thought the romance (both past and present) was one I could easily care about. I will absolutely be recommending this book and I cannot wait to read more from this author.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Summary:
Six months after Paola Santiago confronted the legendary La Llorona, life is nothing like she’d expected it to be. She is barely speaking to her best friends, Dante and Emma, and what’s worse, her mom has a totally annoying boyfriend. Even with her chupacabra puppy, Bruto, around, Pao can’t escape the feeling that she’s all alone in the world.
Pao has no one to tell that she’s having nightmares again, this time set in a terrifying forest. Even more troubling? At their center is her estranged father, an enigma of a man she barely remembers. And when Dante’s abuela falls mysteriously ill, it seems that the dad Pao never knew just might be the key to healing the eccentric old woman.
Pao’s search for her father will send her far from home, where she will encounter new monsters and ghosts, a devastating betrayal, and finally, the forest of her nightmares. Will the truths her father has been hiding save the people Pao loves, or destroy them?
Once again Tehlor Kay Mejia draws on her Mexican heritage to tell a wild and wondrous story that combines creatures from folklore with modern-day challenges.

Book Cover

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an early copy to read and review. I read this what feels like 100 years ago and forgot to write my review. So, this is going to be short and to the point. I really enjoyed this book. There’s really no surprise there. I loved all of Mejia’s other books and I’ve really enjoyed all of the Rick Riordan Presents books.
Paola is really struggling in this second book, so when she thinks that she needs to find her father, she gets the gang back together again.
I think the only thing I didn’t like about this book was that there was so much conflict between the three friends. Dante was just plain mean to Paola at times for reasons that we never got to see. All of the conflict happened off the page after the end of the first book and before this book started. I would have liked to have gotten to see that conflict rather than been told about it because it takes such a large amount of this book for Paola to work through these issues with her friends. So, this book was really missing the wonderful friendship aspect that we got from the first book.
Aside from that, I really liked this. Paola must stand up and face danger and adventure on her own this time. We get to see some familiar faces from the first book, which is always fun. I love the mythology and the world building that we get to see. I don’t know much about Mexican folklore, so all of the monsters and creatures were unique to me and so interesting to read about. I will absolutely be continuing this series and recommending it to others.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day One: Amanda’s October TBR Jar Picks & Gothtober Readathon TBR

Hello, lovelies! Once again, it’s a new month. It’s actually one of my favorite months, October! For me, spooky season starts in September, so I’ve been reading all the books I’ve saved for spooky season for the last month, but I’m excited to share what I’ve planned for this month. I’m going to keep this first Blogtober post as my TBR jar picks because I’ve really been enjoying picking books off my TBR shelf this way. I’m also doing a readathon which I’ll mention later in the post. I have lots of Blogtober content that I’m very excited to share with you all.

Fantasy
Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool

Backlist Book
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Thriller
The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Most Recent Purchase
The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi

Young Adult
The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young

I’m a bit behind on my eARC’s from NetGalley, so I have a few I want to read this month, as usual. These are just the ones that I couldn’t fit into TBR prompts for this month.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman

I’m also participating in the Gothtober Readathon (find all their information here on Twitter) again this year. This year it’s Angels vs. Demons (or vs. Death if you don’t want to be on a team). I’m going for Team Demon, which should surprise zero people. The prompts are listed in the graphic below, but I’m also sharing each prompt with my book selection.

Mythology
Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee

Omens
The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Found Family
The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi

Dark Romance
A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout

LGBTQ+ Representation
Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool

Murder
I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin

Classics
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

BIPOC Representation
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Disability Representation
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

What will you be reading this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Twin Paradox by Charles Wachter

Summary:
With ten years passing for every three minutes on a remote stretch of Texas coast, planes fall out of the sky, evolved species are on the hunt, and people die inside one of the most vicious ecosystems ever grown—all a result of the government’s efforts to slow down time.
A lot can happen in ten years. That’s the point. Governments are always racing for supremacy, for scientific breakthroughs, for technological advantages—and these things take time.
Until something goes wrong.
With the grounded yet massive world building of READY PLAYER ONE, thrilling scientific questions of JURASSIC PARK, and the time-bending teen drama of BEFORE I FALL, Wachter’s THE TWIN PARADOX is a brilliantly plotted tale that is both intimate and massive, relentless yet deliberate, and explores the themes of self-acceptance, self- confidence, and natural selection in a richly hued and unforgettable world. Ultimately the eternal question of Nature versus Nurture is boiled down into this fast-paced thriller told over the course of five days and culminates in one single question:
Do we get to choose who we are?

Book Cover

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I wasn’t sure what to expect when going into this story, but I finished this book with the only thought in my head being, ‘what the fuck did I just read?”
The Twin Paradox follows a group of teenagers that are graduated from their honors program in high school early. The day of their graduation, they find out that they are clones of famous intellectuals like Albert Einstein, Catherine the Great, Martin Luther King Jr., and Leonardo Da Vinci to name a few. They’re invited to do an internship with Gene-E Corp (the company that created them). But this internship comes with few details. When they arrive and start to tour the facility, the teens realize that there’s more too Gene-E Corp than they could have imagined.
This brings me to my biggest issue with this book: the science. There is so much science, math, and physics in this story and most, if not all, of it went right over my head. I had to just skim read and pretend like I knew what any of it meant. I think the science could have been simplified even just a little bit and that would have made my reading experience a little better.
Other than that, I actually liked this book. It surprised me. There was darkness to the story that I wasn’t expecting from the synopsis. But there was also some excellent suspense and mystery that kept the pace of the story moving forward. I also liked all of the characters. And the ones I didn’t like, seemed to be intentionally unlikable. I think the teens were really interesting to follow and acted like teenagers despite being clones of some of the greatest minds in history.
Overall, I liked this book…I think? It really surprised me in a lot of ways. I will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out next year.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

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

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently still (very slowly) rereading The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’m also reading Cazadora by Romina Garber. I’m listening to The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He.

Antonia- I’m in between books right now.

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I most recently finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Antonia- I most recently read Legacy by Nora Roberts.

What will you read next?

Amanda- I’m planning to pick up Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas for my next physical read. I have no clue what I’ll read next for eBooks or audio.

Antonia- I’m torn between starting either Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore and The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson.

What are your answers this week?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Freebie

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 a freebie, so, I’m going to share the ten most recent additions to my GoodReads “Want to Read” shelf.

For the Throne by Hannah Whitten

The Kindred by Alechia Dow

The Counselors by Jessica Goodman

Bad Girls Never Day Die by Jennifer Mathieu

Luminous by Mara Rutherford

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Geodjen

The Messengers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

That’s the ten books I’ve most recently added to my goodreads TBR. What did you pick for this week’s freebie topic?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie

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. This week’s topic is Freebie (Come up with your own topic or do a past TTT topic that you missed or would like to do again.). This week I’m going to do books by my favorite authors that I still need to read.

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn

Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What books do you still need to read from authors you love?

Amanda’s September Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! I really cannot believe that September is over. But I’m very excited for October to get here because I have lots of fun Blogtober content planned. I also just love the spooky season.

What I Read

Physical Books
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – 3 stars
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin – 5 stars
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto – 4 stars

eBooks
Holdout by Jeffery Kluger – 3.5 stars
The Twin Paradox by Charles Wachter – 3.5 stars
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 4 stars
How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao – 3 stars
The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 4 stars

Audiobooks
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – 4 stars
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – 5 stars
They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman – 4 stars
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – 4 stars
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole – 2 stars
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – 3.5 stars
One by One by Ruth Ware – 2 stars
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James – 4 stars
Recursion by Blake Crouch – 3 stars
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe – 4 stars
The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl – 4 stars
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James – 3.75 stars
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – 2 stars

Audiobooks
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – 4 stars
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – 5 stars
They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman – 4 stars
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – 4 stars
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole – 2 stars
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – 3.5 stars
One by One by Ruth Ware – 2 stars
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James – 4 stars
Recursion by Blake Crouch – 3 stars
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe – 4 stars
The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl – 4 stars
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James – 3.75 stars
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – 2 stars
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He – 2.5 stars
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides – 2.5 stars

Blogging Highlights

A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart (Book Review)

Amanda’s Poetry Collection

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth (Book Review)

Five Fantasy Adaptations Amanda Would Watch

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart (Book Review)

10 Backlist Books on Amanda’s TBR List

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers (Book Review)

Amanda’s Boarding School Recommendation

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (Book Review)

Other Blogger I’m Loving

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – audiobook review! from Evelyn Reads
Check out Evelyn’s review of one of my favorite audiobooks!

October TBR from Books in the Skye
See what Steph is reading for spooky season!

New Young Adult Book Releases This Week / 27th September from Vee Bookish
Vee talks about new releases. Some of these are perfect for the upcoming month of spooky reading!

Autumn Reads from Journey into Books
Michaela recommends some great books for the Autumn season.

Ranking Riley Sager Books from Falling Down the Book Hole
Ashley ranks all of Sager’s books. This was a fun one as I’ve recently read a few of their newer books.

Book Recommendations – 8 Latine Science-Fiction/Fantasy & Magical Realism from CW @ The Quiet Pond
As usual, some great recommendations from CW and just in time to get ready for sci-fi month in November!

How was September for you with reading and blogging?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

Summary:
Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.
Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.
Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.
It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.
And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.

Book Cover

Review:
A Lesson in Vengeance follows Felicity Morrow as she’s returns to the Dalloway School for her senior year. She’s been gone for a year after the death of her girlfriend, Alex. She’s been to the appropriate mental health professionals and is on a new medication to help her. When she starts back at Dalloway, she’s in the same dorm house as she was before, but everything is different. Most notably is her new roommate, Ellis. Ellis is an author and befriends Felicity because of Felicity’s knowledge of the Dalloway Five.
The Dalloway School has a supernatural history. There are rumors that five previous Dalloway girls haunt the Godwin House (where Felicity and Ellis dorm). Witchcraft and the supernatural are a part of the school’s history, but it’s not one the school really liked to acknowledge despite their large collection of books and documentation they keep in their library. I liked the setting of the school. I think a fancy boarding school in the middle of the woods is one of my favorite settings. I didn’t really love how pretentious all the girls were. There were two that weren’t horrible, and it’s because while they were rich, they were also the only two characters of color.
Felicity, while I felt bad for the things she’s been through, purposefully flushed her medication down the toilet and acted proud of it. She also suggested that another one of her dormmates do the same with her medication. None of that sat right with me. Then there’s Ellis, who was basically just nuts. She really could have benefited from some therapy.
Overall, I really wanted to like this book. But I spent most of it confused, and then when the confusion cleared, I was mad. I didn’t like the big twist or how the ending was. I had high hopes for this book, but I didn’t like it. It had so many things that usually work for me, but they didn’t work together in this particular story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

Suummary:
In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.
Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.
Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it.
But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy

Book Cover

Review:
I’ve been really liking the ‘what I liked/what I didn’t like’ format that I’ve been using for some of my recent reviews. So, I’m going to continue that with today’s review.

What I Liked:

I liked Jill. She was a main character that I felt I could be invested in. She’s a senior at Gold Coast Prep. She’s a Player (Gold Coast’s ‘secret’ society). But when questions arise about who actually killed her best friend, Shaila, Jill’s point of view changes. I liked that she didn’t just accept the status quo. She thought for herself, even if that meant upsetting her friends.

The mystery of who killed Shaila was a good one, in my opinion. I didn’t guess the twist until just a few pages before it was revealed.

I liked the setting of Gold Coast and all the parts of the story that surrounded the Players.

The story goes back and forth between the past and the present as a way for us to get to know Jill and her friends and the things they’ve been through since Freshman year. I liked this, mostly.

I listened to the audiobook for this one and I’m very glad that I did. I liked the narrator. I think she did a great job telling this story and keeping me engaged.

What I Didn’t Like:

I didn’t like pretty much any of the characters aside from Jill. Other than maybe Graham’s sister (I can’t remember her name). I liked her. But all Jill’s friends at Gold Coast we’re pretty terrible, honestly.

I liked some things about the story going back and forth between the present and the past, but I think because I was listening to the audiobook it wasn’t always clear when these jumps were happened. There were often clues I could pick up on, but I would have preferred a clearer distinction.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I’m looking forward to Goodman’s new release that I’m waiting for from the library. I liked the prep school setting. I think the ‘secret’ society was fun. But really, Jill made this story what it was, I think.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.