Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Typographic Book Covers

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 typographic book covers (book covers with mostly words on it).

What book covers did you pick this week?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Five Blogging Tips Amanda Relies On

Hey, lovelies! I’ve been thinking about writing a ‘blogging tips’ post forever. But I never felt like someone that was qualified to talk about that. I realized that my tips are just things that work for me. Not everything that helps me succeed will work the same for you, but I want to share the things I’ve found really work for me after 7 years of blogging.

Schedule Your Posts

This is honestly the biggest thing that helps me post continuous content. I work on blog posts and reviews when I have free time, but I’m usually working a month ahead. So, since it’s September. I’m currently working on Blogtober posts and maybe even some things for #SciFiMonth in November.

I like to work ahead. It’s really great if I don’t end up having time (my kids certainly keep me busy), for a week or more to work on the blog, I usually have plenty of posts scheduled ahead of time to allow me that time.

Choose a Set Posting Schedule

I think it’s a great idea for anyone who blogs to have a consistent posting schedule. I post every day Monday through Friday, which is more than usual, I think. Each week here on the blog, we share Top Ten Tuesday, WWW Wednesday, a book review on Thursday (usually), and Monday & Friday I share recommendations or TBRs or other list-like posts.

Having this plan makes it easy to know what I’m going to post each week. I have what I call ‘post skeletons’ saved to my computer so once a month or so, I can copy that skeleton and just paste it as a new post for WWW Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday. Then Antonia and I can just add in our book selections as needed.

Plan Your Content

This sounds really similar to the above information, but since we know what kinds of things we will post M-F, I have a list of post ideas that I add to whenever I have a new idea. I keep this in my notes app, so I can add to it anywhere. This running list is really useful when I work on my Monday and Friday posts because often I’ll have made my entire list already (deciding which books to include in each post is what takes the longest for me), and then I just have to add the covers and descriptions.

I also want to talk about the recurring weekly posts we do. Top Ten Tuesday and WWW Wednesday are two read posts to participate in each week. Top Ten Tuesday gives us some of our highest number of views. These posts are great for any blogger, but I think especially for any new bloggers or anyone struggling to come up with bookish content to share.

Choose Topics That Interest You

This feels like it should be obvious but write and talk about the books and genres and things that interest you. It definitely comes across when I’m blogging just to get posts out compared to when I work really hard on posts I’m interested in and excited about sharing with the world.

Don’t buy and read only the popular books unless that’s what you’re really interested in reading and writing about. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like I can tell when someone is only reading popular books because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do, but they’re consistently not enjoying those books.

Read and write about things you’re interested in and passionate about. If you don’t, blogging will become another chore you have to check off your to-do list.

These are my few simple tips for anyone that wants to read them. I feel like I’ve been a blogger for so long that I should have more to say, but that’s all folks.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Fall 2022 TBR

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 books on my fall 2022 TBR list.

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece

We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu

The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel

Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco

When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke

The Scratch Daughters by Hannah Abigail Clarke

These are some of what I’m hoping to read this fall. Whats on your list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda Recommends Books to Read in One Sitting

Hey, lovelies! I’m back with another recommendations post! This one is some books I’ve read this year that I read in one (or two, since I have a small baby) sitting because I was so hooked I just couldn’t put the book down. Some of these I listened to the audiobook, some I read physically, and some I read the eBook.

Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
“Iris Gray knows witches aren’t welcome in most towns. When she was forced to leave her last home, she left behind a father who was no longer willing to start over. And while the Witches’ Council was lenient in their punishment, Iris knows they’re keeping tabs on her. Now settled in Washington, Iris never lets anyone see who she really is; instead, she vents her frustrations by writing curses she never intends to cast. Otherwise, she spends her days at the wildlife refuge which would be the perfect job if not for Pike Alder, the witch-hating aspiring ornithologist who interns with them. Iris concocts the perfect curse for Pike: one that will turn him into a witch. But just as she’s about to dispel it, a bird swoops down and steals the curse before flying away. If the bird dies, the curse will be unleashed―and the bird is a powerful amplifier, and unleashing the curse would turn not just Pike, but everyone in the region, into a witch. New witches have no idea how to control their magic and the consequences would be dire. And the Witches’ Council does not look kindly on multiple offenses; if they found out, Iris could be stripped of her magic for good. Iris begs Pike to help her track the bird, and they set out on a trek through the Pacific Northwest looking for a single bird that could destroy everything.”

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy
“A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income. In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.”

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers
“After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.
They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.
Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?”

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal
“The Earth is coming to the boiling point as the climate disaster of the Meteor strike becomes more and more clear, but the political situation is already overheated. Riots and sabotage plague the space program. The IAC’s goal of getting as many people as possible off Earth before it becomes uninhabitable is being threatened. Elma York is on her way to Mars, but the Moon colony is still being established. Her friend and fellow Lady Astronaut Nicole Wargin is thrilled to be one of those pioneer settlers, using her considerable flight and political skills to keep the program on track. But she is less happy that her husband, the Governor of Kansas, is considering a run for President.”

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
“Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.
Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?”

Off the Grid by Tess Sharpe
“This action-packed Middle Grade Novel features Maisie Lockwood on all-new adventures along with everyone’s favorite dinosaurs from Jurassic World Dominion—roaring into theaters June 10, 2022!
This original hardcover novel tells the all-new adventures of Maisie Lockwood as she navigates a world filled with dinosaurs both ferocious and friendly.”

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
“Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny. But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.
On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square. Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.”

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead
“Lee Stone is a twenty-first-century woman: she kicks butt at her job as a communications director at a women-run electric car company (that’s better than Tesla, thank you) and after work she is “Stoner,” drinking guys under the table and never letting any of them get too comfortable in her bed…That’s because Lee’s learned one big lesson: never trust love. After four major heartbreaks set her straight, from her father cheating on her mom all the way to Ben Laderman in grad school—who wasn’t actually cheating, but she could have sworn he was, so she reciprocated in kind. Then Ben shows up five years later, working as a policy expert for the most liberal governor in Texas history, just as Lee is trying to get a clean energy bill rolling. Things get complicated—and competitive as Lee and Ben are forced to work together. Tension builds just as old sparks reignite, fanning the flames for a romantic dustup the size of Texas.”

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer
“Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship? But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne. Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.”

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon
“Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire. The mysterious Domino Programme has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim – her former enemy – at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war. As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them – and could end with them…”

The Mask Falling is the fourth book in a series and I flew through all of them, but it’s the most recent one in the series I’ve read. The Relentless Moon is the third in a series, but it can be read as a standalone. I really enjoyed all of these and read them so, so quickly. Are there any books you’ve read recently that you read in one sitting?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Boarding School Recommendations

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 school freebie. So, I’m going to share my ten favorite books that take place at a boarding school.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

These are my favorite books with boarding school settings. A few of them are only sort of boarding schools but that’s okay. Do you have any books that are set at a boarding school?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White

Summary:
Twelve-year-old twins Theodora and Alexander and their older sister Wilhelmina Sinister-Winterbottom don’t know how they ended up with their Aunt Saffronia for an entire summer. She’s not exactly well equipped to handle children. The twins are determined to make it a good vacation, though, so when Aunt Saffronia suggests a waterpark, they hastily agree.
But Fathoms of Fun is not your typical waterpark. Instead of cabanas, guests rent mausoleums. The waterslides are gray tongues extending from horrible gargoyle faces. The few people they encounter are very, very odd. And the owner disappeared under bizarre circumstances, lost to the Cold, Unknowable Sea—the wave pool.
When Wil goes missing, rule following, cautious Alexander and competitive, brave Theo will have to work together to solve the mystery of Fathoms of Fun. But are they out of their depth?

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Wretched Waterpark follows two siblings as they are weirdly dropped off by their parents at an aunt’s house. They’ve never met this aunt before and they spend the whole week at the local Waterpark. But it’s not like any Waterpark they’ve been to before. Something weird is going on and they just might be nose enough to figure it out.
I liked the siblings as the main characters. I love a good sibling story and this one definitely covered that aspect. I think the relationship between the siblings is what really made this book shine.
The setting was pretty good too. This weird-ass Waterpark was full of slides and such, but the restaurant served fancy food, and there didn’t seem to be many other guests. I think White did a great job making it obvious that something was wrong at the park.
Overall, I had a good time reading this one. I liked that the siblings could depend on one another. But they were also distinct, and I enjoyed getting to know them all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

When Sparks Fly

Summary:
Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.
But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.
Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

Review:
When Sparks Fly follows Avery and Declan in alternating chapters. I liked that we got to see points of view from both of the love interests instead of just from Avery’s point of view. Avery gets into a car accident when Declan proves to be unreliable and Avery has to drive herself. She ends up with a few serious injuries. Declan is filled with guilt, feeling like all of this was his fault. So, he talks to his job about working from home, sets up their apartment, and becomes Avery’s at-home nurse.
These two are best friends. They’ve been best friends since college. They’re roommates. I love the friends-to-lovers trope, so I was very excited to follow them as things moved from platonic to romantic. I liked the romance. It was fun and silly and Avery and Declan’s friendship remained strong. I really liked the friends-to-lovers aspect of the story. I think Hunting did a great job making it believable.
Overall, I really had a great time reading this one. I loved the romance. I didn’t love the third act break up, but it was believable and true to the characters, I think. Outside of that, there were some great sibling moments between Avery and her sisters. I’m excited to read more about the sisters in the next books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Weeping Tide by Amanda Foody

Summary:
Barclay and his friends must save an island city from the Legendary Beast of the Sea in this second book in the Wilderlore series.
Something is wrong at the Sea. The weeping tide, a carnivorous algae bloom, is eating up all the fish. Beasts are terrorizing the nearby Elsewheres. And Lochmordra, the Legendary Beast, is rising at random and swallowing ships whole.
Barclay’s teacher, the famous Guardian Keeper Runa Rasgar, has been summoned to investigate, and as her apprentice, Barclay gets to join too. But Runa’s nemesis has also been called to the Sea, and he’s brought apprentices of his own. When the not-so friendly competition between them grows fierce, it’s Barclay—the only one from the Elsewheres—who can’t seem to keep up.
The key to stopping Lochmordra lies in his mythical home, but as the flood of the weeping tide encroaches, time is running out to find it. If the rival groups can’t cast aside old grudges and learn to work together, soon the Sea will be destroyed completely. And all the while Barclay must ask himself: is there truly a place for him in the Wilderlands?

Review:
The Weeping Tide is the next installment in the Wilderlore series. I really loved the first book and I’m happy to say that I loved this one just as much.
We follow Barclay as he and his fellow students travel to the Sea. There is something weird going on and Guardian Keepers begin to gather in order to work together to figure out what’s going on with the islands. We get to meet other apprentices. I really enjoyed this one. Barclay is dealing with some serious imposter syndrome, but he deals with it well. He works hard and keeps practicing.
What I loved most about this book was the world. Foody has created an amazing and interesting world here and I love being in it. The creatures and magic are fascinating and feel unique. I can’t wait to explore more of this world in future books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

Summary:
Melanie has a destiny, though it isn’t the one everyone assumes it to be. She’s delicate; she’s fragile; she’s dying. Now, truly, is the winter of her soul.
Harry doesn’t want to believe in destiny, because that means accepting the loss of the one person who gives his life meaning, who brings summer to his world.
So, when a new road is laid out in front of them—a road that will lead through untold dangers toward a possible lifetime together—walking down it seems to be the only option.
But others are following behind, with violence in their hearts.
It looks like Destiny has a plan for them, after all….

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Seasonal Fears is the sequel to Middlegame (which I read and loved last year). It’s set in the same world but follows new characters. We get to know Melanie and Harry. Melanie was created by alchemist parents. Her mother died while giving birth, along with Melanie’s twin sister. Harry is a local boy, one that Melanie has loved from childhood, and Harry loves Melanie just as much. But when the ruling Winter and Summer die, Mel and Harry are in for a big surprise.
I had a total blast reading this book. I feel like this one was a bit simpler than the first book only because the differences between the seasonal magic and whatever Roger and Dodger are, are many. Also, because of certain plot reasons, Harry just really struggles to understand what the hell is going on, so things are explained several times in a few different ways.
I really liked following Melanie and Harry. They were a really sweet young couple and their love was wholesome until it wasn’t. Their relationship progressed with the changes going on around them. They were both more mature than the other kids their age because Melanie was likely to die soon, so the pair knows how to deal with heavy things. But learning magic is real, and the lengths they need to go to in order to survive and stay together will take things down a darker path.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the surprises and twists. I loved the world of alchemy. I loved the characters. I highly recommend both this and Middlegame.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Tarnished Empire by Danielle L. Jensen

Summary:
A siege is laid against the last resistance to the Senate’s rule. As the battle rages, a commander, a soldier, and a rebel will decide how far they are willing to go for victory.
THE COMMANDER
Marcus is forced to choose between destroying the rebel forces and liberating his legion. He must face the true cost of being a leader. And an oppressor.
THE SOLDIER
Agrippa sets his sights on glory to fill the deepening void within him. He discovers that the price of fame might not just be paid in blood, it might be paid by his heart.
THE REBEL
Silvara joins the rebel forces to fight against the legions who would see her family dead. While she dreams of being a warrior, she finds her sharpest weapon is seduction. But to defeat the Empire, she’ll have to betray the young man who now has her heart.
DEFIANCE IS TREASON. TREASON IS DEATH.
Inspired by the harsh world of ancient Rome, readers are obsessed with this martial tale of fiery romance, friendship, and enmity. Told from three points of view, Tarnished Empire is filled with twists you’ll never see coming but will keep you turning the pages all night.
Tarnished Empire is set in the world of Danielle L. Jensen’s Dark Shores. But readers new to the world can begin here.

Review:
Tarnished Empire is a prequel to my beloved Dark Shores series. This follows Marcus, who we meet in the first book and Agrippa who I won’t get into specifics about.
I enjoyed this book. It’s written in the Danielle Jensen fashion where the story is full of action and excitement, but there’s an emotional upheaval and resolution to the story as well. We get all of those things in this book.
I was happy to read this and get new content set in one of my favorite worlds.
I don’t know that it added all that much extra to the overall story, but I had fun while reading it and I definitely enjoyed my time spend reading.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Summary:
If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.
After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.
But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.
Including Ivan Lukov.

Review:
From Lukov with Love follows Jasmine, an older ice skater with dreams of winning medals someday. She’s starting to feel like it might finally be time to give up, when she gets an offer from her arch nemesis and his manager.
The two begin to work together and they develop an odd sort of friendship. I loved seeing their friendship grow. Their snippy banter with one another didn’t change once they became more than friends and I really appreciated that. Often when things get romantic the relationship changes and that didn’t happen in this book and I really liked that.
I especially liked Jasmine’s family. Her mom and her sibling were an absolute riot and II would read a book just about them without the romance.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s one I will be highly recommending in the future. The only complaint that I had was that Ivan often made comments about Jasmine’s weight and I feel like that was never really addressed even though they touched on so many other subjects when becoming friends. I still liked the book and the romance.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis

Summary:
Tress Montor murdered Felicity Turnado—but she might not have to live with the guilt for long. With an infected arm held together by duct tape, the panther who clawed her open on the loose, and the whole town on the hunt for the lost homecoming queen, the odds are stacked against Tress. As her mind slides deeper into delirium, Tress is haunted by the growing sound of Felicity’s heartbeat pulsing from the “best friend” charm around her fevered neck.
Ribbit Usher has been a punchline his whole life—from his nickname to his latest turn as the unwitting star of a humiliating viral video. In the past he’s willingly played the fool, but now it’s time to fulfill his destiny. That means saving the girl, so that Felicity can take her place at his side and Ribbit can exact revenge on all who have done him wrong—which includes his cousin, Tress. Ribbit is held by a pact he made with his mother long ago, a pact that must be delivered upon in four days.
With time ticking down and an enemy she considers a friend lurking in the shadows, Tress’s grip on reality is failing. Can she keep both mind and body together long enough to finally find out what happened to her parents? 

Review:
The Last Laugh picks up right where The Initial Insult ends, but honestly this book felt like it didn’t need to be a whole book.
Things are not looking good for Tress when this story opens. But this book felt like it was essentially following Tress into madness. Maybe that was the point, but it wasn’t super enjoyable for me.
Overall, I’m going to keep this review short because I don’t have much to say. McGinnis does a great job setting the scene and making this story feel atmospheric. But I was left wondering what the point was if Felicity’s death was the big thing, it happened too soon.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

For the Throne by Hannah Whitten

Summary:
The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…

Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir.
Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally to claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. For the Wolf was one of my top favorite books last year, so I immediately requested this sequel when it came up on NetGalley. Yes, I absolutely screamed a little when I got the approval email.
For the Throne was everything I wanted it to be and more. We follow the same characters from the first book and more. There wasn’t a strict pattern of POV changes that I noticed. Each character made an appearance as it made sense for the story. The story starts off shortly after the events in the final pages for For The Wolf. All of our characters end up going on a journey, which eventually all leads them together.
The sisters, Neve and Redarys. I love them even more after I finished this book. There was such beauty to their relationship but it was a monstrous sort of love at times. I only wish we’d gotten more time of them together.
Red and Eammon are now one of my all-time favorite couples after this book. There were a few really excellent sex scenes for them and I just love their love.
Neve and Solmir going from enemies to lovers were excellent. I don’t usually like this trope. But I really loved seeing Neve start to feel bad for Solmir as she got to know him. We love monster men over here. Solmir was definitely not a super great guy, but I loved the way his story played out. Neve was a character I was rather excited to follow. Neve is at fault for basically everything that happened at the climax of the first book. So, I was very interested to see her deal with the emotions and consequences of that. I think Whitten did an excellent job making me love these people that have done some pretty horrible things. And oh man, I really love them all.
Overall, this series will hold a special place in my heart. I will reread these books again and again. I feel invested in these characters in a way that I found in a book for a long time. I hope this review doesn’t sound like nonsense and if it does, just know that I loved this book and the first one. Please go read them both.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper

Summary:
Jake is just starting to enjoy life as his school’s first openly gay kid. While his family and friends are accepting and supportive, the same can’t be said about everyone in their small town of Barton Springs, Ohio.
When Jake’s dad hangs a comically large pride flag in their front yard in an overblown show of love, the mayor begins to receive complaints. A few people are even concerned the flag will lead to something truly outlandish: a pride parade.
Except Jake doesn’t think that’s a ridiculous idea. Why can’t they hold a pride festival in Barton Springs? The problem is, Jake knows he’ll have to get approval from the town council, and the mayor won’t be on his side. And as Jake and his friends try to find a way to bring Pride to Barton Springs, it seems suspicious that the mayor’s son, Brett, suddenly wants to spend time with Jake.
But someone that cute couldn’t possibly be in league with his mayoral mother, could he?

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Small Town Pride follows Jake who has just come out to his parents. He’s told some friends, but then Jake’s dad raises a rainbow flag in their yard and effectively outs him to the rest of the town. Jake’s parents are overly supportive (it was so nice to see such loving and supportive parents, even if they still get things wrong sometimes), so when Jake floats the idea of having a pride parade in their small town, they’re all over helping him.
I really loved this book. It was a wholesome and heartwarming story about a young gay boy that just wants to feel loved and accepted by the small town he lives in and loves. He’s shown that he has more supporters than he realizes in this story and I thought it was absolutely beautiful.
Overall, I highly recommend this one. It really touched my heart getting to follow Jake through the ups and downs of creating and organizing an LGBTQIA event in a small town. I will be recommending this one to many in the future.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler

Summary:
Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.
The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.
Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.
Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.

Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved Adler’s Cool for the Summer, so I was excited to read another one of her books.
Home Field Advantage follows Jack and Amber, who both get their own chapters. Amber is a cheerleader in a small town. She has hopes to become captain next year when she’s a senior. Enter Jack, and she transfers in to be the school’s new quarterback. Now as if the fact that she’s a girl isn’t going to make things hard enough, the last quarterback died and their fellow students practically worship his memory.
So, obviously, the cheerleader and the quarterback get romantically involved. But Amber’s not out, so there are lots of complications. I liked the characters because they were real. They made mistakes and didn’t always consider possible consequences, but they make amends and they do their best to be better in the future. The friendships were easy to root for. I love small queer friend groups that turn into found family.
I’m not super into sports, so that was lost on me. Though I do want to mention that Jack’s love for the game really showed through. She uprooted half her family and changed everything for this thing that she loves. Adler did a great job showing the reader that passion.
If you like sports romance, this book is for you. If you like sapphic books, this book is for you. If you like both of those things, then you should definitely add this one to your list.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.