Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

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

Things I liked-

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

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

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

Things I didn’t like-

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

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

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

Overall-

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything · The Readers Favorites

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

GoodReads Summary:
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
Daisy Jones & The SixReview:
There were so many things I loved about Daisy Jones and the Six that I honestly don’t even know where to start. Taylor Jenkins Reid is so incredibly talented. I can only hope to be as skilled as she is one day. I listened to the audiobook for this story and I’m very glad I did. I’ll talk about that first. This audiobook was narrated by a full cast. Each character had its own narrator which is one of my favorite things. I adore audiobooks with full casts. Each narrator bought life and personality to their character. I loved the interview formatting of the story as well. Bringing up an event or time period and then letting each of the characters tell the story of that event the way they remembered it was so complex and captivating. Which brings me to one of the things that really fascinated me about this story. Because it was the memories of all seven of the band members, plus a few other characters, no one characters told the same story. They each told things they were they remembered so the experiences varied from character to character. I think that added so much complexity to the story. It really made you think about how no two people have the same memories or experiences of the same events. Another thing that Taylor Jenkins Reid does really well is writing a story that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until she’s finished. After reading this book, it was hard not to think that these were all real people and a totally true story. The fact that Reid can make me think, “wait this didn’t happen?” really just blows me away.
I’m not going to talk about each character because there were entirely too many and that would make this review way too long. The characters each had their own personality and their own voice which I appreciate. They were distinct and vibrant, each in their own ways. They all had different goals and motivations which really made for a great story. They brought such fun and excitement and life into the story. I think the character were really what made Daisy Jones and the Six was it was. The story was all about the characters and their experiences and their feelings. There wasn’t really a specific plot outside of following the band members and other miscellaneous people as they rose to fame and then eventually fell apart. I think this story was written beautifully. I loved the whole experience. I cannot wait to see what Taylor Jenkins Reid comes up with next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

Summary:
It’s been only months since Eragon first uttered “brisingr,” the ancient language term for fire. Since then, he’s not only learned to create magic with words—he’s been challenged to his very core. Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still, there is more adventure at hand, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.
When danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices—choices that will take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimaginable sacrifice.
Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?
Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle, #3)Review:
I’m going to be honest here. I had a really hard time with this book. It didn’t keep my interest like the first two did. I don’t know if that’s because of the different perspectives or something else, but I kept putting it down and really had to convince myself to pick it up again. Part of me is wondering how I’m going to get through the final book.
Things I liked are as follows; I love that we’re seeing some really great character development from Eragon. He’s grown so much from the annoying boy he was in the first book. I’ve really grown to care about him and his journey. He’s making better choices and really thinking about the effects that his actions have on the world around him. I also really enjoyed the big reveals we were given. We learn a few things that pull the story together. I thought they were unexpected and I really enjoyed the plot twists. I also enjoying seeing more of the world this story takes place in. Eragon travels all over and I love seeing the world because it’s full of so many interesting characters and places. There are some great relationships that have been developed over the time line of the story and the just get better and better.
What I didn’t like; no surprise here. Roran, Eragon’s cousin. I just don’t care about him. I think I might have cared had we learned about him in another way, but when the story is in his perspective it just makes me want to put the book down. I don’t care what he thinks or says. Katrina is annoying with always worrying and him never wanting to worry her. I just don’t care about him. I don’t know what it is.
Overall, I’m still hooked enough into the story, especially since I’ve read three of the four books. So, I’ll be continuing onto the fourth book because I need to know how Eragon is going to defeat the villain. I am excited to see how this saga is concluded and what Eragon comes up with to beat the big bad.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but to never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spellbook of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.
When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As danger closes in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)Review:
If you’re new here, the first thing you need to know is that I’m complete and total Shadowhunter trash. If you’re not new here then you’ve probably read all my other reviews for all the previous Shadowhunters books. So, this won’t come as a surprise to you, but I absolutely adored this book. Check out my review for the first book in the series, Lady Midnighthere.
Just like in my review for the first book in The Dark Artifices, I’m going to say that I think these books are my favorite of all the Shadowhunter books so far. I attribute this fact completely to the fact that so many of the characters we already know and love are part of this story or at least make an appearance in the story. We see Clary and Jace, Tessa and Jem, and we even get a bit of Magnus and Alec. Though I still really adore the main characters that we follow in TDA.
Emma is sassy, fierce, loyal, and kicks butt. She’s constantly said to be the next Jace Herondale and I love that. She and Cortana are a serious force to be reckoned with and she proves that again and again. I can’t wait to see who’s butt she kicks in the final book. Then there’s her parabatai, Julian. I love Julian because he does anything and everything in his power to protect his family and to do the right thing. He is smart and charming. I adore these two as a pair and as individuals.
The rest of the Blackthorn clan add all the good things to the book. Livia and Tiberius are totally my favorites. Then add Kit into their madness and they’re the best squad out there. They get up to all kinds of trouble and I loved every page of their antics. They had me laughing and crying and my heart full of all the emotions. Livia and Ty’s relationship were so great. They just understand one another on totally another level. Then there’s Kit and Ty and they are the most dynamic duo there ever was. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next. Then there’s Drusilla. She is the character I can’t wait to see more from. She played her own part, but it just wasn’t enough for my liking. I’m excited to see what she gets up to in the final book. Also, there’s Mark Blackthorn. He is one of my favorites too. Honestly, I just love every single one of the Blackthorns. I would die for all of them.
There are so many other characters in Lord of Shadows that I could mention, but I’m only going to mention two more. Cristina is another that I just love. She’s so full of love for everyone. She wants good things for everyone and will help in whatever way she can. I wish that Emma and Cristina were parabatai instead of her and Julian. Finally, there’s Kieran. He’s the cause of so much conflict, but I can’t help but love him anyway. I just need to know where the story is going to go next.
The way that Lord of Shadows ended was NOT OKAY WITH ME. Not in the least. So, I’m really glad I already own Queen of Air and Darkness so that I can start it as soon as possible. If you haven’t read any of the Shadowhunter books, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

GoodReads Summary:
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So, when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
Monday's Not ComingReview:
I was gifted this book by my wonderful secret Santa this past Christmas. I thought the Fierce Females Readathon would be the perfect opportunity to dive into this story. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews so I was interested to see what it was all about.
I’m not going to go into too much detail because this is technically a mystery. So, I don’t want to give anything away. This review will be pretty brief. Overall, I enjoyed the story. Parts of it were pretty slow because we were getting the history of the main character and her best friend. The first half of the book kind of dragged because of this. There was so much we needed to learn about Claudia and Monday so there was a lot of storytelling and backstory so it was a bit slow going to begin with. Along with this, was the one thing I didn’t like about the book. Though I don’t know how it could have been done differently. The story jumps all over the place. It alternates between several different time periods. Though they are clearly labeled, it was still a little annoying that it jumps all over the place. I still enjoyed the overall story. I was totally shocked by the ending, there were some parts that I predicted but the plot twist still had me saying, “What the F?” This is a story that’s going to stick with me for a while. I will definitely be recommending it in the future.

Keep  on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
Immortal warlock Magnus Bane’s life has been long adventure-filled, and never dull. Though snippets of his past have been hinted at in the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices, here his deepest secrets are revealed: his involvement in the French Revolution, his witness to the speakeasies are sleaze of Prohibition, and his place between Valentine and the New York Institute…the first time around. Bug smuggling Marie Antoinette out of France is nothing compared to his befriending vampires like Camille Belcourt…or his first date with Alec Lightwood.
The eleven stories in this collection fill in many a delightful gap in Magnus Bane’s colorful history. Shadowhunter fans won’t want to miss a single delicious detail!
The Bane ChroniclesReview:
This novella bind up was honestly so fun. I listened on audio and each of the stories had their own narrator, but I would much rather have listened to Jesse Williams narrate the whole book. I laughed out loud while listening more times than I could keep track of. I really enjoyed this view deeper into Magnus’s character. It made me all that much more excited for his and Alec’s book coming out later this year. Seeing Magnus in these historical settings like the French Revolution, meeting Will’s dad and hearing his origin story, and then Will’s son and seeing a piece of his story (but are we going to see more of him in Chain of Gold??), Prohibition, and seeing the beginning of the first battles with Valentine. I just overall really liked these small peaks into stories that we’ve been given little tastes of in the full series, but here we get a bit more. My only complaint would be that they’re too short. I want more. I want more of Magnus and Alec’s first date, of Magnus panicking about what to get Alec for his birthday. I loved learning more about Magnus, but I just feel like I didn’t get enough. I’m hoping that will be cured by The Red Scrolls of Magic coming out later this year. If you love the Shadowhunter books but haven’t read the novellas you definitely need to. They just add so much to the experience.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Summary:
Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, vital skills of the Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure who he can trust.
Meanwhile, his cousin, Roran, must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall—one that puts Eragon in even graver danger.
Will the kind’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life…
Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2)Review:
Eldest is the second book in the Inheritance Cycle. I’m buddy reading this series with Antonia because she’s wonderful and bought the whole series for me as a Christmas gift. Check out my review for the first book, Eragon, here.
I enjoyed this book, not quite as much as the first, but I enjoyed it. There was a lot of traveling and learning in this book that tends to come with fantasy books but I don’t mind that. I really enjoyed following Eragon as he learned all about the history of the Dragon Riders and elf culture. I thought the world in this book is incredible. It’s so complex, intricate, and well built. The writing is also intricate and well done. The story flows smoothly and is filled with creative and interesting language.
I believe that the most impressive part about this book is Eragon’s character growth. He learns so much about himself and about the world around him in these pages. By the final page he is not the same boy that he was on page one. He really takes the things he learns and adapts his world view and opinions. He’s not afraid of learning new things and letting those things change him. He becomes a man in this book.
I was blown away again and again by the plot twists Paolini threw at us. I’m not sure how many texts I sent to Antonia saying, “WHAT DID HE JUST DO” because the author had me dropping my jaw a fair few times at the end of the story.
We were introduced to a few new characters in this second book. the one that I’m most interested to learn more about is the elf that trained Eragon in the Dragon Rider ways. I just have a feeling that there’s more to his story that we haven’t learned yet.
The only aspect of this story that I didn’t enjoy was the changing perspectives. I’m usually all for different perspectives, but one of the points of view was from Roran (Eragon’s cousin)and I just couldn’t bring myself to care about those chapters at all.
Overall, this was pretty much what I was expecting from this sequel. We traveled. We learned. We grew. I loved it and I’m very excited to see where the story goes from here.

“How terrible,” said Eragon,”to die alone, seperate even from the one who is closest to you.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.