Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

King of Fools by Amanda Foody

GoodReads Summary:
On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.
Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.
As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…
Or die as legends.
King of Fools (The Shadow Game, #2)Review:
I have to start off by thanking NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for this ARC inn exchange for an honest review. I had been interested in reading Ace of Shades for some time and getting this ARC was the perfect opportunity. Read my review HERE. I’m also meeting Amanda Foody as one of her signing events when she tours for King of Fools. So, I’m very happy to have been able to read this book early.

“Ambition was the deadliest sin of all.”

I had so much fun reading King of Fools. I found that I enjoyed it more than the first book in the series. Already knowing the characters and a bit about the world helped. Though we did get to learn more about both, I think already knowing a bit helped me get into the story quicker and really enjoy the chaos and antics that ensued.

“He would rather die a legend than end his life in anonymity.”

I think my favorite thing about this book was getting more into the world. This place that Amanda Foody has created is compelling and dark and captivating. I absolutely adored the legends we got to read that separated each part of the story. I also really liked how much more time we got to spend in the world. Ace of Shades happened over the time period of a week or so but King of Fools happens over a period of months and I think that was good because so much happened. We learned so much about the world and the politics, things that needed to take time. It was paced nicely, though some of the time jumps were a little awkward.

“Because first they break the rules, then they break your bones…and then they break your heart.”

The characters were something else that I think were done well. They really developed in this book. They are all dealing with change and chaos and it really helps show each character’s true colors. Levi is complicated. Can’t have what he really wants, always seems to be disappointing his friends, taking risks at the expense of others. He says he learns from his mistakes but doesn’t hesitate to repeat them. I loved him anyway. He’s confident and clever. I’m very interested to see what’s going to happen with him in the final book. His best friend Jac was probably my favorite. He’s off on his own little side mission most of the book and I really related to him. He’s doing his part to help Levi while also doing his best to fight his own demons. Then there’s Enne. I didn’t love her in the first book but I do now. I feel bad for the way things ended for her, but I really grew to love her. She’s smart and (mostly) unapologetic. She took New Reynes by storm, her and her girl gang. The girl gang was absolutely my favorite. Lola was totally relatable in the sense that I talk a big game and wear a big bad face but really, I’m a cinnamon roll on the inside. And Grace, who has a counting ability but would rather be out killing someone. She’s brilliant and fierce and I totally adored her. There are so many more I could mention; we get quite the cast of character but I’ll stop here.

“Maybe your soul didn’t break like a bone. Maybe it broke like a promise.”

I do want to mention the villain or villains. I thought it was very interesting that there was one big bad villain, but the whole time we’re left wondering if she’s the one we really should be worries about or if there’s another big bad.

“Because the hero of one story is the villain of someone else’s. It’s all just a matter of who wins.”

Finally, the freaking ending. I was devastated. I almost threw my phone across the room because of certain things that happened toward the end of the book. I am hoping for some sort of explanation that makes it all go away in the third book, but I’m not confident that I’ll get it. Amanda Foody really hit me where it hurt in King of Fools.
I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait until the third book is out. Sadly, I have a long wait. But I know it will be worth it. I cannot wait to meet Amanda Foody in May and tell her just how much I loved this story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

GoodReads Review:
After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.
Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.
In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.
To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.
Serious MoonlightReview:
I was provided an ARC of Serious Moonlight through the always wonderful NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Like the other books that Jenn Bennett has written, I totally enjoyed this book. It had me smiling and laughing all over the place. I wouldn’t call it a new favorite, but I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it to my friends without hesitation. The story was fun and held my interest the entire time. I enjoyed the whole overall story, the romance and all the other pieces. I could totally picture the Seattle setting and thought it was so fun.
I think my favorite part of the story was the diversity of the characters. Our main character Birdie might have narcolepsy and I thought this was so freaking interesting. It was fascinating to learn about this condition and what it’s like to live with it. There’s also another character with depression. There was a conversation about suicide and teen pregnancy. I thought this book had all the right conversations and did it in the best way possible.
I loved the characters. They were all quirky in their own ways. They made me laugh and smile and feel all of the emotions.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It was such a fun and quick read. I just didn’t want it to end. I think this is a book most people will enjoy, so go pick it up today!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Dysasters by P.C. and Kristen Cast

GoodReads Summary:
Foster Stewart knows she’s different. Her life has never been “normal.” Talking to plants and controlling cloud formations aren’t things most seventeen-year olds are into. Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor is perfect. Star quarterback and all-around dreamy boy next door he never thought about his “extra” abilities. What quarterback wouldn’t want night vision? That’s not weird, right? It’s cool!
But on the night of their first meeting a deadly tornado brings them together and awakens their true abilities – the power to control the element air. Unbeknown to Tate and Foster, they are the first in a group of teens that were genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements. Which truly sucks for Foster, as she has to face the fact that Dr. Rick Stewart, her beloved scientist father, betrayed her and now wants to use her and the others for his own nefarious world domination plot.
Foster and Tate must stop Dr. Stewart and his minions before he destroys their lives and the world.
The Dysasters (The Dysasters #1)Review:
I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Dysasters to read and honestly review. Reading this ARC saved me two hours of driving and buying a book that I wouldn’t have liked. I planned to go to the book signing for this book in a few weeks and now I’m definitely not going. I had such high hopes for The Dysasters because I’ve loved some other books by these authors but this was just an all-around disappointment.
I didn’t like most of the characters. Foster and Tate were annoying. I didn’t really care about them at all. I think they were immature and rude to each other until all of a sudden, they’re making out and going on dates instead of trying to find the others like them. I think they were both not well developed and almost seemed like they were trying too hard. I’m not sure if Foster was supposed to be an unlikable main character, but I certainly didn’t like her. Tate was the opposite. I think he tried too hard to be a likable character (name dropping certain authors when talking about his five favorite books). It was overkill and make me not like him. They also don’t seem to be actively trying to figure out their abilities which really annoyed me. Charlotte and Bastien were not really present enough in the story for us to know, but I think they might be the only reason I attempt the next book. The only character I genuinely enjoyed was G-pa. Tate’s grandfather was smart and funny and didn’t take anyone’s shit. He made me laugh out loud.
Additionally, the writing could have been better. It almost seemed like it was meant for a younger audience because it was simpler except for the fact that half the characters cursed like sailors. There were a few times where it changed from telling the story in third person and then jumped to first person which was very jarring and just didn’t make sense. Then there were all the different POVs. There were too many perspective changes. And it didn’t make any sense when they changed. We saw the two characters with water powers for like one chapter a third of the way into the book and then didn’t see them again until over 60% of the way into the story. Then there were the changes between Foster/Tate and the villains. The villain’s chapters almost make it seem like we should sympathize with them, but I just didn’t care enough at all.
Overall, I would have DNF’d this book if it hadn’t been an ARC. The concept of the story is super cool but it was not well done at all. I didn’t really care about any of the characters. Everything seemed rushed, but also felt like nothing was happening at the same time. I think this could have been a five-star book, but something went wrong during the writing process. I really wanted to like this book. It was one of my anticipated released for 2019, but I am very sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it very much. To end this review on a more positive note, there were a few things that I did like. I liked the concept of the story as I said, so maybe they will get better as the series goes on. I loved the diversity. There are all kinds of people represented in this story and I think that was done well. I also liked the pictures. There were pictures here and there throughout the book and I think they definitely added to the story. Despite these few good things, I expected more from this story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

GoodReads Summary:
Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnite Matinee on the local cable station TV Six.
But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder.
Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too.
As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous.
Rayne & Delilah's Midnite MatineeReview:
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley to read in return for an honest review. This is one of my highly anticipated 2019 releases completely because of Chelsea Dolling Reads talking about it on her channel all the time. So, when I saw it on NetGalley I couldn’t resist hitting that request button. Much to my surprise, I was approved and immediately dove into the story. I have to mention, there was an author’s note in the beginning that I’m not sure if it will be in the final copy, but it talked about where the inspiration for this story came from and that it was intended to be funny with a few serious moments here and there (the opposite of the rest of his books that focus on heavy topics with a few moments of funny). I mention this because I have to say that Jeff Zentner NAILED it. I do most of my ebook reading when my daughter is napping, she’s usually falling asleep in my arms before I put her down. Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee was the WRONG book to read during naptime. I was legitimately laughing out loud at times and praying I hadn’t woken up my child. Thankfully, I didn’t but there were some really close calls.
I loved our two main characters. I’ll start with Josie. Josie reminds me of parts of myself in high school. All the good and positive (read: angsty) parts of myself. She’s happy with her friends she mostly knows what she’s doing with her life, she meets a great guy that she tries not to let take over her life despite the strong feelings she has for him. She also tries really hard to please everyone. She wants to make her parents happy, but making them happy means disappointing Delia which is the last thing she wants to do. She was also sassy and unapologetic about what she loves and wants. I really loved Josie.
As much as I enjoyed Josie, Delia was most definitely my favorite. I could relate all too well to the things she was going through. Dealing with the fact that her father left when she was a kid and she never knew why, she clings to his memory with their shared love of old horror movies. She spends this book clinging to those in her life that she loves and trying to come to terms with the fact that her father left. She is terrified that everyone she loves will always leave her. This is something I went through in high school and even parts of college. Having an absentee parent, one that leaves when you’re young, really leaves you with a lasting fear that if your own parent won’t stick around, why would anyone else? I felt for Delia because I have struggled with the same feelings that she is trying to accept and move past in these pages. But like Delia, I had a best friend that did her best to hold me together. We shared a love of books and she’s my partner in crime (Yes, I’m talking about Antonia.)
I think the friendship between Josie and Delia was the heart and soul of this book. The dynamic they have was everything. They made me laugh and warmed my heart with their love for one another. They fight and forgive and laugh and cry and I loved every page with my whole heart.
Overall, I adored this book. I recommend it to anyone that loves a friendship-based story. This was well written and full of everything good. Excellent and well-developed characters, funny moments, sad moments, heartwarming moments. I really couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

Summary:
Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.
Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.
A Danger to Herself and OthersReview:
This book was so good. I totally enjoyed it. It surprised me. It hit me in the feels. A Danger to Herself and Others tells the story of a girl in an institution. The story is told from our main characters perspective. She is totally an unreliable narrator, and we learn things as she learns them. She doesn’t always believe the things she’s being told. As the reader, I almost don’t believe the things she’s being told.
Hannah is complex and fascinating. At first, she’s arrogant and goes on and on about how she was the perfect kid and she’s so good at everything. But as the story progresses, she learns that her life is not what she’s always thought it was. It really brought her down a peg or two. The realizations she’s learned about herself really made it so I was able to sympathize with her. The world is taken out from under her feet and I totally felt for her. By the end of the story I really liked her.
Overall, A Danger to Herself and Others was a wild ride. Everything I thought I knew in the beginning was challenged and I felt like I didn’t know anything by the end, which is exactly how Hannah felt. I really enjoyed this. Thanks to NetGalley for providing this eARC for me to read and review. I will definitely be buying this when it’s released.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GoodReads Summary:
When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she’d only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head…
#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.
Review:
The Darkest Star was a book that I received from NetGalley as an ARC. Jennifer L. Armentrout’s first book in the Lux series, Obsidian, is actually the book that inspired myself and Antonia to create this book review blog in the first place. So when I saw that Armentrout was coming out with another installment in the same world featuring some of the characters we’ve grown to love very much I knew that I had to have it. When NetGalley approved me for this I think I actually shrieked out loud.
I tore through this story like no body’s business. I totally loved Evie. She’s a nice girl that gets her entire world shaken to its core. She was a realistic reaction to everything she goes through. Having a minor meltdown but still trying to keep it together. Talking about her problems with her friends. Even the ending was great. Nothing completely resolved, she acknowledges that she needs to take time to figure out who she really is, but is willing to do that surrounded by those that care about her. I liked Evie. She was a realistic and likable character.
Luc is a total book boyfriend babe. He’s our typical mysterious, protective, I-know-everything macho male main character. But I loved every second of it. He was just trying to look out for Evie because she didn’t really even know the whole story. Luc is a guy with a dark past. He is our ‘darkest star’ as the title tells us. I liked that with the mysterious vibe he gives there was actual darkness within him instead of just being mysterious because we didn’t know his history. He has a dark history and has dealt with hardships, done things he’d rather forget. I really loved Luc.

“We were all stars, but Luc … he was the darkest.”

This book was super quotable. I’m a bookworm that loves books that have memorable quotes. This one has a couple that I really love. It’s a wonderfully written story with characters that I love and can’t wait to read more about. The book was fast paced and exciting, giving us a little bit of information at a time, just enough to keep the reader interested and needing to know more.
I would recommend this to all the lovers of the Lux series for sure. And to those who don’t know about the Lux series, go look them up now and read them and love them.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
Review:
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa is a book that I received from Net Galley as an ARC to read and review. This book is scheduled for release later this year in the beginning of October. Julie Kagawa has become an auto-buy author for me, so when I heard about this book I was wicked excited for its release. I was even more excited after I read the synopsis. This book was different from her others. When Net Galley approved me I definitely squealed more than I’m willing to admit.
Our story starts with a girl, Yumeko, who is part human and part kitsune. I loved getting to see the world through her eyes as she went on the adventure in this book. She’s been raised by monks in an isolated part of the world that Kagawa has created. She has learned everything she knows about the world from the monks that raised her. So when everything falls apart and she needs to flee the only place that she’s ever known as home and essentially go and save the world. A lot of responsibility for a girl who’s never been out into the real world, so it was funny and interesting to see the world through her fresh eyes, to learn things as she embarks on her journey. She sees the best in everyone and looks on the bright side of everything.
This brings us to our second perspective, Tatsumi. He’s the complete opposite of Yumeko. He thinks the worst of everyone. He’s been all over the world doing his samurai duty. He’s seen the worst of the worst of people and other sorts of things. He is mostly pessimistic until he starts to travel with Yumeko. She starts to break down his walls, which may not be the best thing for him.
I so loved seeing them interact. These two characters were so opposite and it made for a funny and interesting story. The story itself was fabulous. I loved the Japanese mythology aspect of it. It’s something that I haven’t really read much about so it was new and unique to me. Because of this, I had to take my time with the book. It’s not a book that could binge because there’s so much information that I needed to read slowly and make sure I didn’t miss anything. Shadow of the Fox was a fascinating story and I don’t know when the second book comes out which makes me so sad.
Kagawa has done it again with a wonderfully written and extremely entertaining story that left me wanting so much more. She built an incredible world filled with characters that made me laugh and shake my head. I took like two weeks to read this book because I just did not want it to be over. For the readers out there that like mythology, this is for sure a book to keep your eye out for when it’s released this upcoming October.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our link (just click on the book cover) to support us!