Book Tags & Challenges · Everything & Anything

Book Tag – Cookies!

I saw this tag posted by Boston Book Reader and thought it looked like fun! I hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed writing!

Chocolate Chip – A classic book you love or really enjoyed

Amanda: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Antonia: The Count of Monte Cristo is my new favorite classic.

Thin Mints – A fandom that you really want to join and/or a hyped up book you want to read

Amanda: The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. I have this on my shelves and I’m DYINGG to read it.

Antonia: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.

Shortbread – An author you can’t get enough of

Amanda: John Green forever, but also Sarah J. Maas.

Antonia: I literally never get sick of Nora Roberts.

Samoas – An emotional rollercoaster

Amanda: Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Antonia: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.

Oreos – A book whose cover was better than the story or whose story was better than the cover

Amanda: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco i didn’t like this story as much as i thought i would but the cover is to die for.

Antonia: I absolutely love the cover for The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey but didn’t love the story quite as much.

Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties) – A book that wasn’t what you expected

Amanda: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. I didnt expect to learn so much about the French Revolution and enjoy it.

Antonia: I really wasnt expecting much from The Dragon’s Gift series by Linsey Hall but ended up absolutely loving all the subseries.

Snickerdoodles – A book you may never stop loving or rereading

Amanda: I’m going to have to say A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (but only because i already answered a question with Looking for Alaska)

Antonia: The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory will forever be my favorite.

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Book Tags & Challenges · Everything & Anything

Book Tag – Back to School

It’s that time of year bookworms! Back to school is an exciting time of year. New pens, pencils, and markers. New notebooks and planners. Back to school shopping was always my favorite kind of shopping! This tag originally comes from a YouTuber named Jenny Unscripted.

English/Language Arts – Name your favorite author or books’ writing style

Amanda- John Green is my favorite author. But Ellen Hopkins is my favorite writing style. The way she writes her books in such a poetic way is incredible.

Antonia- I really love the way Patrick Rothfuss writes in The Kingkiller Chronicles. It’s as though the main character is telling the story directly to you and it adds so much depth to his character.

Math – A book that made you frustrated

Amanda- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. I just wanted to get some answers. I almost dnf’d it.

Antonia- Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. I character I loved from the previous series died in this one and I’m still so mad about it. (Note: I resent the fact that this one is for math because math was always my favorite subject.)

Science – A book that made you think or question things

Amanda- Any book by John Green. Also The Alchemist by Paul Coelho.

Antonia- The Shack by William P. Young.

History – Your favorite book from a different time period

Amanda: My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows for a historical fiction. And The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien for a book that’s actually from a different time period.

Antonia- I love any of the regency romance novels by Julia Quinn.

Art – Your favorite book with pictures

Amanda- Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast. This book (and the second one) have actual pages with pictures in them rather than just cute little pictures with the chapter headings.

Antonia- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

Drama – A book you would love to see adapted to a movie or TV show

Amanda- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas would be excellent to see as a tv show for sure.

Antonia- I totally agree with Amanda but to choose my own, I think The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory would make amazing movies.

Music – Name a character you think would have the same musical taste as you

Amanda- I think Charlie from Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow has potential to have the same musical taste as me. Likely some moody alternative music but also sometimes some poppin’ rap/hiphop.

Antonia- Simone from Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. She mentions what music she’s listening to often and I loved all her choices.

Lunch – A food you would love to try from a book

Amanda- I’m going to be basic on this one but I’d love to try butterbeer or any of the candies from the Harry Potter books.

Antonia- I always wanted to try all the foods from the epic feasts in the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.

Bus Ride Home – A book or author that is relaxing

Amanda- I’d have to say the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. Reading this series is like hanging out with an old friend. Always a good time guaranteed to have some laughs.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. I’ve read it so many times at this point that it’s like hanging out with an old friend.

Extra Credit – A book someone else told you to read and you ended up enjoying it

Amanda- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. My step sister told me to read this and I’m glad she did. It was super good.

Antonia- Most of the books Amanda yells at me to read. Most recently was the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova.

Book Tags & Challenges · Everything & Anything

Book Tag – The Summer Tag

I found this book tag over on Boston Book Reader who has all the fun book tags! I thought this would be a fun one now that summer is coming to an end.

What book cover makes you think of summer?

Amanda- Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow.

Antonia- Island of Glass by Nora Roberts

What book has brightened your day?

Amanda- The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. This series never fails to make me laugh.

Antonia- How am I supposed to choose? Books from my childhood are usually the ones that make me happiest.

Find a book cover with yellow on it.

Amanda- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Strong Larsson.

Antonia- Warrior Rising by P.C. Cast.

What is your favorite summer beach read?

Amanda- Pretty much anything by Nora Roberts or Janet Evanovich.

Antonia- I love reading Julia Quinn’s books at the beach. They make me laugh so hard.

What action book had you running to the ice cream man for some snacks?

Amanda- Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts for sure had me running for snacks to keep my hands as busy as my brain was.

Antonia- Hmm… I pretty much always have snacks no matter what so I can’t really answer this.

What book has left you with a bad or painful ending like a summer sunburn?

Amanda- Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. The events that occurred in this book were not okay.

Antonia- Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I loved this series but the ending killed me.

What book gave you happy feelings at the ending like a sunset at the end of a wonderful day?

Amanda- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. This book was too good and I totally loved the ending.

Antonia- Beheld by Alex Flinn. This book had me grinning like a lunatic.

What book cover reminds you of a sunset?

Amanda- Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. It actually has a sunset on the cover.

Antonia- If I Should Die by Amy Plum. It also has a sunset on the cover.

What is one book or series you hope to read this summer?

Amanda- The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. Summer is basically over at this point so my hope of reading this series is quickly dwindling.

Antonia- I’d like to finish the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything · Top Ten Tuesday

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

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 top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Goodreads summary:
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?
It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.
In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Review:
Okay, I totally loved this story. I borrowed this book as an audiobook from my library because I liked the look of the cover. Then I read the book summary and thought it could be something I would like. I had doubts at first because I was really annoyed listening to the narrator reading the email addresses over and over and I almost DNF’d the book about 20% in. But I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t.
I LOVED Jessie. She’s a girl who’s trying to find herself. Her mom died and she’s trying to figure out how to continue living without the one woman that’s supposed to be there for her whole life. On top of all of this her dad has married a new woman, a complete stranger, and totally changed her life by making her move across the country. So this poor girl is still trying to figure out how to keep on living without her mother and also going to a new school where she doesn’t know anyone, living in a new house that doesn’t feel like her own, trying to figure out how to accept all these changes and be happy. I admire the crap out of Jessie for the strength she shows because I would have lost my freaking mind trying to deal with all of that at sixteen.
Enter “Somebody, Nobody.” This mysterious person who starts emailing Jessie with the advice of who to befriend, who to avoid, and how to survive at this crazy new school. I loved the idea of SN keeping an eye out for Jessie and helping her navigate this new school. Though about halfway through the story I just wanted to yell at him to TELL JESSIE WHO HE IS ALREADY. (We sadly don’t find out who SN is until Jessie does.) We are left guessing at the identity of SN for most of the book. I liked this a little because I spent most of the book arguing in my head with Jessie about whom she thinks SN is. That’s all I will say about SN except that I totally knew who it was and I’m SO HAPPY that SN is who I thought they were.
I think the family dynamic was written really well. I come from a pretty dysfunctional family. I have step parents and siblings and know how hard it is to adjust to having a new family living in one house and learning how all the different people work together and around one another. The family dynamic was written and portrayed accurately and I really liked that. I feel like there aren’t enough books that have stepfamilies and crazy broken, makeshift families that are outside of the norm of a mom and a dad or a single parent home.
I ended up really loving this book way more than I thought I was going to. I thought I would like it well enough, but I definitely loved it. There really is nothing negative to say about it aside from the annoyingness of reading the email addresses, but that’s only because it’s an audiobook. I adored the characters. They all played their own parts very well and each added something to the story. I loved the message that the story gave. Jessie learned so much about herself, but she also learned so much about how she treats others and what she deserves from life. I think this is an excellent young adult story and should be read by anyone and everyone.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

GoodReads Summary:
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now, discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.
A storm is coming….
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. It is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.
Along the way, Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Review:
This review is almost painful for me to write. I have so many different thoughts on this story, but also not that many. How that even makes sense, I’m unsure. I’ve recently dived into the world of audiobooks from my library. So I get the audiobook for two weeks on the app my library uses. Let me just tell you. This book was so long and so, just, so much that I could only listen to it at certain times and in small doses. Because of this, I had to renew (which meant that I had to put it on hold, again, and wait another two weeks to get the book back because it’s popular and many others were requesting to borrow the audiobook as well) this audiobook FOUR TIMES. This book is a twenty-hour long audiobook because it’s the anniversary edition, so we get a bunch of extra tidbits from the author in the beginning and the end. I feel like I invested so much more than twenty hours into listening to this book.
Okay, now to my thoughts on the actual story. First of all, I loved that we were given a few tidbits actually read by the author. It was a nice touch to this book. Second, the narrators did an AMAZING job reading this book. There were SO many different characters and so many different things all going on at the same time in different places. I think the narrators did an excellent job of giving each of the characters a different voice and really showing the personality that Gaiman wrote for them.
I am having a hard time thinking of the words I’d like to use to describe American Gods. It was such a complex story with so many details and plotlines and characters. It was just on the border of being too much. There were definitely a few times I asked myself what was going on and what the relevance to the story of our main character was, but everything was always brought back together and connected. I found myself saying, “No waaay.” And “Oh my god, shut up,” quite a few times when Gaiman caught me by surprise with the direction of the story and some details here and there.
As I mentioned, American Gods is full of different characters so I’m not going to talk about them like I usually do in my reviews. I will, however, talk about the characters overall. They were incredibly written. Each character had such a distinct personality. Some funny, some terrifying, some annoying. Each character played an important part in the plot and brought something unique to the story being told. The characters were well written and I felt like I really knew them by the end of the book. I mourned some and was glad to lose others. I admired all of them.
The story itself was astounding in all the best ways. Right, when I thought I knew what was going on Gaiman said, “HAHA, YOU THOUGHT.” And totally changed the direction of the story. This happened a few times before we had enough of the pieces to actually understand the story. I can only hope to be as excellent of a writer as Neil Gaiman someday. The way he led us around on this wild ride wondering where the hell we were going and why we got in the car in the first place. There were so many aspects and elements to American Gods, but not so much that it was hard to keep them straight, instead of leaving the reader wondering what the hell was actually going on. I found myself asking that frequently in the first half of listening to this book. “What the hell is even happening right now, I just don’t get it.” Now, on the other side of the book, having learned what was actually going on I’m still a bit blown away and processing the crazy words that make up this adventure.
To keep it simple, this book was awesome. It was an investment, of my time and emotions. The characters were wonderfully written and the story was incredibly complex. If you like mythology stories, you’ll love this book. Just make sure you have the time and mental wherewithal to handle the craziness that is American Gods.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

ABC book challenge · Everything & Anything

ABC Book Challenge |J|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we are talking about books with the letter J.

For those of you that are new here – each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A all the way through Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are sadly still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – J

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Jane, Unlimited by Kristen Cashore – I was so excited for Cashore to come out with another book. I absolutely adored the Graceling books (once Antonia finally bugged me enough that I read them). So I was excited to see what she was going to come up with next. I liked it well enough, but not nearly as much as her other books.

Antonia

Joust by Mercedes Lackey – This is the first in her Dragon Jousters series. It’s one of my favorites. Dragons are pretty much an autobuy topic for me and I absolutely love the way Lackey portrayed them in this series; more like really intelligent animals that can be domesticated. I highly recommend this one to any fantasy lovers.

Books Still on Our TBR Lists

Amanda

(A) Jungle of Rogues by Bella Forrest – This is the fourth book in the newest season of Forrest’s A Shade of Vampire series. I haven’t read any of the books in this season yet because I hate waiting for the next one to come out. I also have a ridiculous TBR list, so I’m fine waiting and being able to binge read the whole series in a few days.

Antonia

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne – I’ve read Around the World in 80 Days and loved it so I’ve been wanting to read more of Verne’s books.