Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

Amanda’s Magical Readathon Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! I hope everyone had as much fun with this readathon as I did! I hope you all had a fabulous April and are getting ready for an even better May. Today we’re here to talk about how I did for the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon. If you want to know more about this I’ll leave a link here to my TBR post which has all of the things you need to know about this readathon! Without any further delay, here are the prompts I completed and the books I read.

Ancient Runes – Retelling

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Arithmancy – Work written by more than one author

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Astronomy – “Star” in the title

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Care of Magical Creatures – Land animal on the cover

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Charms – Age line: Read an adult work

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

Defense Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: Title starts with an ‘R’

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Divination – Set in the future

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Herbology – Plant on the cover

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

History of Magic – Published at least 10 years ago

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Muggle Studies – Contemporary

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Potions – Next Ingredient: Sequel

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Transfiguration – Sprayed edges or red cover

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Did you participate last month? What did you read during the month of April?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Summary:
Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.
But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.
War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?
In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.
War Storm (Red Queen, #4)Review:
I wanted to like this finale more than I did. As with most books, there were things I liked and things I didn’t. I think I’m going to organize this review like I have with a few other series conclusions in the past because there’s just too much going on for me to talk about it in my traditional format.

Things I liked-

The changing perspectives was probably my favorite thing about this book. It was done in the previous book too (see my review for King’s Cage). I really felt like we got to see into the heads of the rest of the characters that play a part in this story. I started to really feel for certain characters (read: Evangeline) instead of hating them like I did in previous books. Seeing things from her point of view, what her thoughts and opinions were rather than just the face she puts on for the world was really interesting and was the best part of this book. The same goes for Iris. I liked seeing her plans and thoughts. The way that her country works and what her values and ideals were.

I liked seeing the different parts of the world. We get to see the Lakelands and more of Montfort. I enjoyed exploring more of the world. Along with this, we’re learning more about the Newbloods and how the world is changing.

Finally, I liked the action. The fighting was exciting and fun. I thought the battles they chose and the places they strike were good choices. I was convinced that Aveyard was going to kill a certain character, but she didn’t thankfully.

Things I didn’t like-

The ending. I wanted more. This was not very satisfying to me.

Mare and Cal. I remember being pretty broken up with their drama in the last book, but reading this one and the choices they both make just annoyed me. I wanted them to just get over it all. I didn’t care if they ended up together or not. I didn’t care about them in general.

Which leads me to the rest of the characters. For a book so thick, there was so much focus on characters I didn’t care about. In the first few books, we’re learning all about these Newbloods. Rescuing them and training them, but then we just get two or three sentences here and there about them and no further development. I really didn’t appreciate that.

Overall-

I’m happy for the series to finally be over and to see it concluded (though I am excited for the novella collection coming out in May.) I found myself really struggling to pick this book up and actually want to read it. I think maybe pushing myself to finish it despite these feelings made me enjoy it less but I didn’t want to keep waiting and then forget everything from the first three books. I’m glad I read the series because I did enjoy it, but I’m equally glad for it to be over.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

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

Amanda’s April Wrap Up

Happy May lovelies! Today we’re here with another wrap-up. For the month of  May, I managed to read seventeen books! A great month! I participated in the Magical Readathon as well as Tome Topple this month so most of these books were to fill challenges for those wicked fun readathons.

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Physical Books
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

eBooks
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
King of Fools by Amanda Foody
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Audiobooks
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

How many books did you read this month? Did you find any new favorites or reread any old ones?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Everything & Anything · 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!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently in the middle of Again, but Better by Christine Riccio and Cress by Marissa Meyer.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finished Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett.

Antonia- I just finished Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll try to read something off my TBR for the Asian Readathon.

Antonia- Next I’ll read Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas.

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