Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

GoodReads Summary:
When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.
Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.
Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.
Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.
100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.
100 Days of SunlightReview:
I was provided a copy of this book to read via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 100 Days of Sunlight was so sweet and full of sunshine. I really liked this book.
We follow Tessa after she’s been in an accident. She’s lost her eyesight, but it’s likely going to come back in 100 days. She’s angry and sad and seems to be really struggling. She’s a writer and a blogger (I loved this!) and her grandparents put an ad in the newspaper to hire someone to come and help her get back to writing. She rejects everything about this.
Enter Weston. He won’t give up, even when Tessa is kind of horrible to him. He knows how she’s feeling. He lost both of his legs, but Tessa doesn’t know this. I loved hearing his story and how strong he was after losing his legs. His infectious optimism had me grinning. I loved his relationship with Tessa, but he really made me mad toward the end of the book.
I really enjoyed the set-up of this book. There are five parts, each based on the five senses. Weston tries to show Tessa that there is a whole world still out there that she can experience with her other senses until she gets her sight back.
Overall, I loved this. I hope that Abbie Emmons continues writing because I devoured this book. I highly recommend it to anyone that loves some romance alongside a little bit of struggling and life lessons.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

GoodReads Summary:
You mustn’t go into the Darkwood, children. Not even to get your ball. Leave it. That ball belongs to the Witches and the Beasties, now. Those wicked Witches. Stealing your ball. Magic is forbidden in Myrsina, along with various other abominations, such as girls doing maths. This is bad news for Gretel Mudd, who doesn’t perform magic, but does know a lot of maths. When her clever inventions prompt the sinister masked Huntsmen who run the country to accuse her of Witchcraft, she is forced to flee into the neighboring Darkwood, where all the Witches and Monsters dwell. There, she happens upon Buttercup, a Witch who can’t help turning things into gingerbread, Jack Trott, who can make plants grow at will, the White Knight with her band of Dwarves and a talking spider called Trevor. These aren’t the terrifying villains she’s been warned about all her life. They’re actually quite nice. Well… most of them. With the Huntsmen on the warpath, Gretel must act fast to help the Witches save both the Darkwood and her home village, while unraveling​ the rhetoric and lies that have demonized magical beings for far too long.
Darkwood (The Darkwood Series)Review:
I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The only reason I requested this book was because Heathur @ Aphrodite Reads raved about it. I sadly, do not share that opinion. When adding this to my ‘currently reading’ shelf on GoodReads, I was very surprised to see that it’s a middle-grade fantasy. I’d only gotten about 10% into it before adding it on GoodReads, but it didn’t seem like a middle-grade​ story to me.
My first issue with this being middle grade is the language. There were a handful of words that I didn’t know the meaning of and others that I know but younger readers would likely struggle with. If you’re going to write a middle-grade​ book, you should make sure the intended audience won’t have to look up words every few pages.
The next issue was the writing style. The story jumped all over the place. It was told through the perspective of a bunch of​ different characters but there wasn’t really any warning when the perspective changed. It would have been different if these changes had been confined to their own chapters. But there were POV changes mid-chapter, more than once.
As for the story itself, I think there was some real potential here. There were a combination of fairytale characters that were a part of this world. The Darkwood also reminded me a bit of The Wood from Naomi Novik’s Uprooted. I was excited to see where the story was going in the first half, but the ending seemed rushed and so many things left as loose ends. I assume there is going to be a ​sequel, but too many things were left unresolved for my liking.
Overall, I thought this story had a lot of potential, but I didn’t love the execution. Though others have really enjoyed this story, so take my review with a grain of salt.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GoodReads Summary:
Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.
When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…
Storm and Fury (The Harbinger, #1)Review:
Jennifer L. Armentrout is an auto-buy author for me. She’s the reason that this blog even exists. So when I found out she was coming out with Storm and Fury I knew I had to have it. I have to send a huge thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book I exchange for an honest review.
Storm and Fury was everything I wanted. It was exciting and full of action but also swoony with some romance. I just adored everything about it.
The world building was incredible. This is a portal fantasy where these Wardens (basically gargoyles) exist to protect the world from demons. They’re kick-ass and can be pretty scary but I think it’s such a creative idea that I love it.
Enter Trinity. She’s living in a Warden community but she’s not a Warden. She’s also not totally human. Trinity was the best. She was sassy and funny and kick ass. She’s got a degenerative eye condition but doesn’t let that stand in her way of anything. I loved that about her. Despite the struggles in her life she still (mostly) does what she’s supposed too.
I loved Zayne. I read the other series with the Wardens years and years ago so I only vaguely remember it. But I remembered Zayne. Trin and Zayne were fiery and I loved every second of it. Their banter was my favorite part of the story. They were so argumentative and just hilarious.
I was so surprised by the plot in this story. I was blown away by the betrayal at the end. I thought the story was going to go one way and it went the complete opposite. I cannot wait to see where the next book will go. And in the meantime, I’ll be rereading the other series that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of.
Overall, this book was everything I wanted. If you want action, romance, kick-ass gargoyles, and a girl with an eye condition representing how strong she is this is the book for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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.

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.