Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

GoodReads Summary:
The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks, and vampires. There, the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters’ world. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is a sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray. And Jem is searching through the Shadow Markets, in many different cities over long years, for a relic from his past.
Follow Jem and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festival, Anna Lightwood’s doomed romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin, and Tessa Gray as she is plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah.
Ghosts of the Shadow MarketReview:
Will there ever be a Shadowhunter book that I don’t love? Unlikely. I even love the ones I don’t like that much. That sounds like nonsense, but unless you are part of the Shadowhunter fan club, you wouldn’t quite understand.
This particular novella collection, Ghosts of the Shadow Market, was not my favorite of the novella bind ups, but I still really enjoyed it. I think I love Jem a bit more because of this book. The Infernal Devices was never been my favorite series, I liked them well enough but I don’t love the time period it was set in. So I really enjoyed getting to see Jem on his mission throughout the years. I completely adored any and all interactions with Lily Chen. She had me cracking up. I especially loved the stories with Alec and Magnus (duh!)
Overall, I really enjoyed getting some further insight into the Shadowhunter world and particularly The Dark Artifices tidbits that were given. There were some hints at what will be happening in the final (?) Shadowhunter series, The Wicked Powers, and I just ate it all up. So, if you like the Shadowhunter universe go pick this up and you won’t regret it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Back to School

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 – back to school/learning freebie. So for this, I’m going to choose my top ten favorite books that take place in or at a school. In no specific order here’s my top ten for this week.
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1. Looking for Alaska by John Green – A book that kickstarted my secret desire to go to a boarding school or live in a dorm of some sort (something I never got to do.) Even though this book 1000% broke my heart into a million pieces, I loved the unique experience these characters had living away from their parents, making friends and the adventures.
2. The Seven Realms & The Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima – Oden’s Ford, the school in these two series was a really interesting one. It trained everyone from all of the realms, warriors, wizards, and healers alike, regardless of the war going on around them. It’s a place of peace and learning in a tumultuous time.
3. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – Featuring a school that trains girls how to be upper-class ladies so that they may find husbands and work on developing the new world into a proper society.
4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson – Another boarding school adventure. But this one is a murder mystery. Everything about this school intrigued me. They give their students the freedom to study what they want, for no cost at all.
5. The Secret of Spellshadow Manor by Bella Forrest – This was a fantastic series that featured several different schools. Not always good at teaching their students and some of them were pretty twisted, but it made for a really good story.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – Am I even a real bookworm if I don’t have this book/series on this list?
7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – Good old St. Vlad’s.
8. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – This heartfelt story follows Laurel through her first year of high school where she’s trying to figure out who she is without her sister and what her place in this seemingly foreign world. I love this book very much.
9. Evernight by Claudia Gray – I’m putting this in here for a throwback. An oldie, but goodie. Evernight Academy was such a creative idea, a place for vampires to figure out how to really blend in with the rest of the world. I still think, years after reading this series, which was a great twist on the vampire craze.
10. First Year by Rachel E. Carter – With a choice of working a trade or attempting to earn an apprenticeship as a soldier, mage or knight Ryiah always dreamed of becoming a mage. This series follows her through her incredible journey during her schooling.

Here’s my top ten for this week’s school-related freebie topic. What books do you think I should have included in my list? Let me know your top ten in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Everything & Anything · I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and we’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so we can all blog hop and share the character love.

i heart characters

This weeks topic is Character Who’d Run into a Fire to _____ (Fill in the blank! The sky is the limit… if they’d run into a fire for any reason then they’re who you want to showcase!)

Amanda- This prompt has me super torn between two characters. So I shall briefly mention them both. The first is Stevie Bell from Maureen Johnson’s new series, Truly Devious. Stevie would run into a fire to solve a case. She’s an aspiring Sherlock Holmes and will do anything (including damage every relationship she has) to get to the bottom of a mystery.

The second character is Lady Jane Grey from My Lady Jane by Jodi Meadows,  Brodi Ashton, and Cynthia Hand. Lady Jane Grey would run into a fire to save her books from burning up. She is a true bookworm and is who I thought of first for this prompt because if I were to ever run into a fire it would be to save my husband, baby, dog, and books. Lady Jane would run into a fire to save her horsey husband and her books and I love her for it.

Antonia- I LOVE THIS PROMPT. It has so many amazing possibilities. The first one to pop into my head though was Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. He would run into a fire to freak out people who don’t know he’s fireproof. I can absolutely see him in the flames, screaming like he’s being burned alive. I think it’d fit his goofy sense of humor perfectly.

 

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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Mash Ups

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. Every week there’s a new topic where we get to choose our top ten and write about it. This week’s topic is top ten books I would mash together. I think this is a wicked interesting topic. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about it, so in no particular order, here goes!

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1. Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank & Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – These are books about an aspiring private investigator and books about a bond enforcement officer. I think Rose and Stephanie would make one hell of a hilarious pair.
2. Renegades by Marissa Meyer & Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti – Two different types of superhero books. Both with similar abilities, sort of. But the worlds they take place in are pretty different. I think it would be interesting to see these two worlds collide.
3. Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow & One Small Thing by Erin Watt – Both are novels involving girls who are struggling with their feelings about a guy. Both thinking that their feelings are wrong and should be stifled and ignored. I think the two female main characters would be great friends and would be able to help one another immensely by sharing their experiences.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson & The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – These are both murder mystery sort of books but with a ton of different subplots along the way. I think they would be interesting to see together. Seeing the characters with their hugely different personalities would be funny.
5. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson & Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson – This is a choice for similar reasons to above except these are young adult murder mysteries. Again, the personalities in these stories would make for an interesting read.
6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas & Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – If the Sara(h)’s wrote a book together I would be able to die happy as soon as I finished it. These specific books would be so cool to see together. In ACOTAR, there’s Fae with seasonal courts and magical abilities and in Snow Like Ashes there are different kingdoms for the seasons with different sorts of magical abilities. I think they would mesh well together with the similarities in the stories.
7. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare & A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – Both of these series have a great variety of supernatural characters like vampires and werewolves and others unique to their books. Their also both full of headstrong characters that strive to do the ‘right’ thing at all costs. I would love to see these characters and worlds collide.
8. The Young Elites by Marie Lu & Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – These two came together in my head because of their magic systems. Both books have people with abilities that are not accepted in their worlds. Both have fantastic villains. Now that I’m typing this, I would LOVE to see the Darkling and Adelina join forces and run the world.
9. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins & Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – I really think that Charlie could have been another character in Impulse. She for sure could have been a fourth perspective in that story. These characters could all relate for sure.
10. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead & A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands – I obviously had to throw my two favorite vampire worlds together. I think these worlds would be awesome to see together because of the different ways that vampires are created and the similarities that are already there.

This week’s topic was a hard one for me! I had a ton of fun looking at my shelves and thinking about all the different worlds I love colliding. I tried to pick bookish worlds that already had a little bit in common. I wanted my mashups to mostly make sense. Which bookish worlds would you want to see collide?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

GoodReads Summary:
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

Review:
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and all the others that Maureen Johnson has written. So when I saw that it was immediately available to borrow as an audiobook from my library I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did.
If you like murder mysteries this will absolutely be a book for you. The story follows two mysteries. One that happened years ago that, while someone was convicted of the crime, many still think of as unsolved, and another following our main character, Stevie, and the adventure she embarks on in an attempt to solve the decades-old murder. I was sucked into this mystery right from the start. I love stories about kids going away to boarding school and Ellingham Academy is one that sounds awesome. The school itself is shrouded in mystery with tunnels and mysterious students and what not. I think this book ultimately left me with more questions than it answered.
The characters were fantastic. Stevie is a Sherlock Holmes nerd and aspires to be a detective when she’s old enough. She’s constantly questioning everything she sees and everything she knows. She’s just an inquisitive person. This seems to rub some individuals the wrong way. Her two closest friends, Nate and Janelle, are great. They both have distinct and unique personalities that made me laugh and kept me interested. I liked this combination of three together. They balanced one another out well enough. Then there were the other three students living in the same dorm as the three friends. Because they all lived together they became a makeshift group of friends who sat together at lunch and dinner times and did other miscellaneous things as a group. Ellie was totally out there. I liked her for most of the book. She was the wild child, the free spirit that did what felt good and said what came to her mind. Hayes was the airhead. An aspiring actor, he came off as kind of flaky to me. He seemed to have a bigger sense of self like he thought he was better or more important than everyone else but didn’t make it super obvious like the typical snob. Then there’s David. I liked him right from the start, even though Stevie didn’t. I don’t know what it was that made me like him, but I liked him the whole book. He was probably my second favorite after Stevie. He was just so intriguing I guess. I think maybe it’s because learning more about him was like pulling teeth. Stevie mostly tried to stay away from him, until she stopped trying to stay away and started to try to get to know him. Much to her frustration, he wasn’t interested in letting her learn a whole lot about him. I think that mystery is part of what made me like him so much. And then, of course, the way this book ended (HELLO CLIFFHANGER) just makes me want the next book so that I can know what is actually going on in the world because the lack of information is literally going to kill me.
Anyway, overall, aside from the cliffhanger that left me asking more questions than I got answered through the whole book, I loved it. I thought the audiobook was read very well. The story was interesting and kept my attention the whole time. I ate up every word of both present day and past mysteries. I can’t wait for the next book to come out so that maybe I can have my sanity returned because I don’t even know what just happened with that ending.

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!

Everything & Anything · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda-

ebook – Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to fly through this book. It feels like I’ve been reading it forever. I think it’s because it’s full of Japanese mythology which is a topic unfamiliar to me so I’m reading slowly so I don’t miss anything important.
audiobookAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman. This book has been super hard to get through. It’s such a long audiobook and I actually had to return it and then put another hold on it from my library. I’ve made it about halfway through and I’m making more progress on it later today. It’s interesting but a lot of detail so it requires more of my focus than other audiobooks.
physical book – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. When the final book in this series came out I knew I was going to have to reread the whole series (I like to reread but I also only remembered a few basic details from this series). I’ve finally made the attempt to start the series reread but I plan to read other things and not binge read these books.

Antonia-

I’m currently reading If I Should Die by Amy Plum. This series has exceeded my expectations and I’m really excited to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda-

audiobook – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. It was fantastic and my review will be posting sometime in the next few weeks.
physical book – Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. I just finished reading this last night. I have already written the review and it will also be posted in the next few weeks.

Antonia-

I just finished Until I Die by Amy Plum. I’m really enjoying this series so far. You’ll see a review for this one tomorrow.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda-

ebook – Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow. I received this in return for an honest review. I’ve heard good things about it and the description sounds super interesting.
audiobookThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This has been on my TBR list forever so when I saw it was available to borrow from my library’s audiobook collection I made sure to grab it.
physical book – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This has been on my TBR list for at least a year and I’m trying to make a conscious effort to knock off some of the books that have been on there for a while.

Antonia-

Next I think I’ll read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Amanda’s been yelling at me to read this series for forever and I’m excited to finally get around to it.

These are this week’s W’s! What’s your reading update for this week? Let us know your W’s in the comments and thanks for reading!

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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Beach/Pool Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten books to read by the pool/ at the beach OR it can also serve as your summer TBR. I’m going to be doing a combination of both because I’ve recently gone a little book crazy and ordered some new books so my TBR list grew by about thirty books (whoops). It’s also the perfect time of year for some of my favorite beach/pool reads so I’m going to list the books that are on my TBR that I would consider to be beach reads for me. Here is my list, in the order of my excitement to read them.

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1. The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser – This is one of the books that is on its way to me after my recent buying spree. The description of this book sounds super interesting. One of those books you have to read in one sitting.
2. The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison – This thriller is one I’ve been waiting for it to come out for what feels like forever. I’m super excited to read this. I love a good thriller on the beach, getting lost in the sound of the waves and the excitement of the story.
3. Triangles by Ellen Hopkins – I read this book years ago. But I don’t know where it went. So I bought it again and it should be arriving sometime this week. I love anything written by Ellen Hopkins so when I saw this during the book sale (where I went buying crazy) I had to get it. I got a few other books by her as well.
4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for almost six months. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Every time I read the back I think, “wow this sounds good, why haven’t I read this yet?” So hopefully I’ll read it while I’m lounging around my aunt’s pool this summer.
5. A Voyage of Founders by Bella Forrest – This is season eight of the Shade of Vampire series. I don’t know what it is about these books, but I just can’t put them down. I’m waiting to read this one by the pool or at the beach, but in reality, I could read it anywhere at any time.
6. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld – Afterworlds will be a reread for me. You can check out my review for this book here. I loved this book, but when I first read it I had gotten it from the library. So I recently bought it at the book sale I keep mentioning. So I’m excited to reread it because I remember how much I liked it.
7. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – This is another reread as well as another library find. I bought this on my Kindle before my husband and I moved (drove) across the country. I didn’t end up reading it while we were in the car, but I do want to read it soon.
8. Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts – Another buy from the book sale. I know I’ve read this trilogy, but I don’t remember what it was about. I could have made this list of beach/pool reads out of JUST Nora Robert’s books so I thought I’d include one that I already own that I know I’m going to read soon(ish).
9. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson – I bought this book (and the second) on my Kindle, again before moving across the country. I didn’t end up reading it, but it’s still high on my list.
10. Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich – I wouldn’t be Amanda if I didn’t include this on my beach/pool reads list. I can read any of Evanovich’s books by the water. They’re the perfect beach reads, lighthearted and funny. It doesn’t matter which book in the series you pick, they will all have you smiling and laughing to yourself.

This is my top ten for this week! What’s yours?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.