Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Vortex Visions by Elise Kova

Summary:
Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.
The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have.
Powers that might well cost her the throne.
As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.
All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.
Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1)Review:
No surprise here, I absolutely loved this book. I loved everything about it. It’s taking everything in me right now to sit and write this review instead of starting the second book right now. I need to know what’s going to happen next.
I still adore this world. (check out my series review here for the original series!) I think the world that Elise Kova has created is so interesting and I really enjoyed getting to see more of in from Vi’s perspective. I’m hoping we get some more travel scenes like we did in the original series.
Vi’s character was my favorite. She’s snarky and sassy but also trying her best to be the perfect princess that she thinks she’s supposed to be. I loved her inner thoughts and struggles. I cannot wait to get to know Vi a little bit better. I also really hope we get to see some of my old favorites.
I have to mention that Elise Kova doesn’t pull any punches. I did some jaw-dropping and page gripping and mild inner shrieking. I read this book almost in one sitting because I adore these characters and I needed to know what was going to happen to them. There is so much up in the air and so many new things being introduced I really am too excited to continue this series in the world I already love so much.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures

Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

Summary:
All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation.
A lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who, against all odds, is finally his boyfriend. It doesn’t seem like too much for the centuries-old High Warlock to ask for. But no sooner have they settled in Paris than an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.
Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.
The first book in the Eldest Curses series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Cassandra Clare and award-winning science fiction author Wesley Chu, The Red Scrolls of Magic is a fast-paced adventure bursting with magic, humor, and (if demons stop getting in the way) romance that offers a fresh look at the world of the Shadowhunters.
The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1)Review:
Part of me wants to just write “I loved this book” over and over again as my whole review because I loved it so much. I have been a fan of the Shadowhunter world since The Mortal Instruments. I read those in high school and anxiously awaited each book as they were released. I was beyond excited when I found out Cassie was writing a series for Magnus and Alec.
I adored every part of this book. Being back in the Shadowhunter world is always a good time. But especially with Alec and Magnus. I loved seeing their inner dialogue. The way they think about one another is swoony and I love that they love one another so much. It was really such a pleasure to see their relationship develop and the antics they got up to.
I thought the plot was fast paced and exciting. I never found myself bored or wondering when things would pick up. Every time I sat down to read; I was sucked right into the story.
Overall, I adored this book. I enjoyed the characters, the story, the setting. I do not have a single bad thing to say about it. I cannot wait for the rest of this series to come out because I cannot get enough of Magnus and Alex.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Summary:
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.
While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.
But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all the other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm.
Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.
So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.
Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker side breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever. Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis artfully crafts three alternating perspectives into a dark and riveting exploration or what it means to be the female of the species.
The Female of the SpeciesReview:
The Female of the Species has been on my TBR list for entirely too long. I don’t know what took me so long but I’m really glad I finally read this. I found the audiobook available from my library and I’m so happy that I chose to read this via audio. The story is told in three different perspectives. We follow Alex, Peekay, and Jack. They each get their own chapters and their own narrators. I thought that McGinnis did an incredible job of giving each character their own distinct voice and personality.
Peekay was my favorite, but that’s probably because she reminded me a bit of myself when I was in high school. She can’t outrun the identity of being the preacher’s kid, but she manages to rebel where she can. She doesn’t hesitate to drink with her friends. She makes friends with Alex while they’re working together at the animal shelter. I really liked Peekay.
I also really liked Alex. I liked that she was quirky and didn’t talk like everyone else. Honestly, even though she took justice into her own hands, I found myself really sympathizing with her rather than being disturbed by her actions. I think most women can relate to wanting to take action against those that have done wrong. But most women would never actually take action like she does. I think Alex grew and developed wonderfully in this book right alongside Peekay.
Finally, Jack. He was my least favorite of the three. This is because despite him knowing and acknowledging when he was doing or about to do something wrong, sometimes he still did it. He was frustrating sometimes because I wanted to love him so much, but he wasn’t always a good dude. I liked him well enough. He was also a pretty realistic character if I were to compare him to the guys I went to high school with. I think that’s why I didn’t hate him, because despite his flaws, he was real.
Overall, I think this book brought really interesting conversations to the table in a way that was easy and accessible. This book wasn’t always easy to read but I think that was just a part of the experience. There were some hard parts involving animals that come with the characters working at an animal shelter. This was a heavy book, but I just found that I couldn’t put it down.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Summary:
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, Morrigan is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstones to heart attacks-and, worst of all, the curse dooms her to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s in Nevermoor that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wunderous Society. In order to join, and to stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children-or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #1)Review:
I flew through this story. I read it in almost one day. It was fun and whimsical with just a hint of darkness. I wasn’t as blown away as everyone else seems to be, but maybe that will happen in the second book. I’m going to keep this short and to the point because I’m not the intended audience for this book.
I enjoyed reading this. The world was interesting even though I would have liked a bit more detail and world building. I liked Morrigan and thought she was a good point of view for this story to be told. I thought her thoughts and feelings were interesting. She was probably my favorite part of the book. I thought the plot was interesting. All of the suspense leading up to the big bad Wundersmith kept me interested in the story and wanting to know what was going on.
Overall, I had fun reading this but it was very obviously a middle​e-grad​e story. I thought the characters were funny and odd. The whole story was whimsical and I can’t wait to see what chaos happens in book two.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Summary:
In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.
Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.
As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?
Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this astonishing and heart-stopping sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.
Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2)Review:
I’m honestly still reeling from everything that happened in Muse of Nightmares. I’m not sure how Laini Taylor managed to wrap everything up the way that she did. I’m in awe.
While I am able to acknowledge that the writing in this novel was beautiful, I do need to say that I didn’t like it. At times, it took me out of the story and I honestly had to just skip paragraphs and sometimes pages because the prose was so flowery.
Despite my dislike of the purple prose, I still really enjoyed the story and the plot. Muse of Nightmares went in a direction I don’t think anyone could have predicted. The things we learned and that these characters went through was wild. There’s really no other way to explain without giving anything away. I definitely had to put the book down and whisper “WTF” to myself a few times.
The characters were the highlight of this book and series for me. Lazlo was so loveable and kind and my favorite softboy. Sairi was so good at heart and her inner conflict between her family and the people below in Weep was a compelling one. I even came to love Minya despite her being the absolute worst.
Overall, I enjoyed the characters and the story (except the last two lines) but sometimes the flowery writing bothered me. I’m interested to see if she writes anything else in this bookish world.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half-blood​” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment.
In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)Review:
I don’t know how Riordan does it. I adored this story. Even during the times that I thought Percy was annoying and was doing/saying things I didn’t like I was still so interested and invested in the story. There is so much done right by this author that I don’t know I’ll remember to cover it all.
The characters are interesting and entertaining and learn things during​ their adventures. I loved Percy, even when I didn’t like him. I still love Annabeth. She’s smart and clever and manages to get them out of trouble even when it seems like the worst may happen. I loved Grover’s part in this story. I thought it was super funny. I even kind of liked Clarise. She’s basically the literal worst, but Riordan still managed to make me care about her and root for her to succeed. The only one I don’t like is Luke. He’s annoying and I just want Percy to beat him already.
The story was fun. These characters get into such wild messes and it’s always an exciting time when they try to get out of them. I loved the sea of monsters and the mythological aspects of the story. I thought seeing Circe was so interesting.
I listened to the audiobook for this story and I couldn’t stop listening. I just enjoyed the whole story so much. I’m sad that I didn’t read these when I was growing up because I​ know they would easily have become an absolute favorite of mine. I’m anxious to see what will happen next in the cards for these characters so I will be reading the third sooner rather than later.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Summary:
1777. Albany, New York.
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.
Alex and Eliza (Alex & Eliza, #1)Review:
I bought this book when I first discovered BookOutlet. It took me entirely too long to get to it. I found the audiobook through my library. It took me a little while to get invested in the story. But once I was, I couldn’t get enough.
I loved Eliza and her sisters. I’m a sucker for good sibling relationships and this one didn’t disappoint. Eliza was sassy and did her best to stand up for the things she believed in. She tried to be there for her sisters and also respect her parents wishes. I thought she was such a good main character.
Then there’s Alex. I thought he didn’t really have all that much depth in the beginning. But he had goals and dreams and just wanted to fight for what he thought was right.
While I don’t know how historically accurate the story is (because history is one of my least favorite subjects.) I still thought it did well with the language and societal customs.
Overall, I thought this was a sweet romance, with lots of complications. I’m really interested to see where the story will be taken in the next book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.