IT’S OUR BLOGIVERSARY!

First off, we would like to sincerely thank everyone who has followed us, encouraged us or just quietly taken a look at our blog. When we started this blog one year ago we never imagined such a welcoming book blogging community and we’re so happy to be a part of it.

We’ve officially posted 55 book reviews, 26 Top Ten Tuesday and several WWW Wednesdays. We can’t wait for another year of sharing our book thoughts with all of you and reading yours as well.

To commemorate this exciting occasion (at least for us), we’ve each come up with our three favorite reviews from the past year.

Amanda’s Favorite Reviews:

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

I chose these three because I think I wrote them really well and they’re reviews that I’m really proud of. I’d also like to mention how happy I am that people enjoy what we write and I’m so glad to have this opportunity to work on my writing skills doing something I love.

Antonia’s Favorite Reviews:

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

I chose mine for the same reasons as Amanda and also because these are a few of my favorite books. I love that when I read these reviews I can feel how happy I was when I read the books. Like Amanda, this is an opportunity I’m completely grateful for. I couldn’t imagine not being able to share my love of books.

Once again, thank you for all the support you’ve given us this year.

Love,

Amanda and Antonia

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary: Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be ‘cursed’?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.
As if that’s not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she’s leaning towards the werewolf…
Definitely not normal.


Oh my god. The Reckoning was one of those books that sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. On multiple occasions someone would have to say my name over and over until I heard them. I couldn’t have put this book down if I wanted to.
Chloe and Derek FINALLY realize they like each other. (I’m only slightly ashamed to admit I was more concerned about that than the fact they were running for their lives. I can’t help it; I’m a hopeless romantic.)
Chloe continued to impress me throughout this book. She’s come so far from the nice, shy girl she used to be. She’s become a bit of an expert at plotting and scheming and she’s not as afraid of her powers anymore. I loved watching Chloe grow throughout this series. She became someone I would love to be friends with.
I also loved watching Derek come out of his shell. He’s still quiet and brooding but he opens up so much to Chloe that I got to see how sweet he can be.
I still love Simon and Tori as secondary characters. They both add their own unique talents and personalities to the group. Simon might not have terribly strong magic but he sort of acts as the group’s optimism. He keeps everyone’s spirits up when things aren’t looking so great. Tori mostly adds her powerful witchcraft but she’s also fairly intelligent. She can hack computers and gets important information for the group.
This book had more action and more magic than the other two. There were quite of few rather shocking twists that actually had my jaw dropping. I don’t want to give anything away, but what the group thinks they know drastically changes a few times.
I was a little surprised by how things were resolved in the end. I’d sort of expected Chloe to suddenly come out with this crazy new power in order to save everyone but I’m glad she didn’t. It wouldn’t have been realistic. The group always gets out of situations by working together (and a decent amount of luck) so I ended up loving the way they worked together at the end.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was how many questions it left me with. When it ended, Chloe and her friends are safe but they’re stilling running. Their powers are still out of control, they still can’t fit in with humans, and the Edison group still wants to kill them. I also don’t know most of what the Edison group had been up to. We know why they started the Genesis II experiments but don’t know anything about the dozens of other experiments. It also hadn’t been clear about why the mafia-type group that plays a small part toward the end has any interest in the kids. I really hate when books leave me with questions. I understand it’s unrealistic for them to be completely happy and safe all of a sudden. I know their lives will be difficult for awhile. Despite that, I’d much rather be able to pretend everything’s perfect at the end.
Overall, I absolutely adored this series. It sucked me in and kept me on my toes. They’re funny, suspenseful, filled with action and make you think. They completely exceeded the expectations I had when I first picked them up. I’d recommend them to anyone who enjoys YA, action, paranormal, and romance. I’d love to hear your own thoughts.
-Antonia

*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!

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary:Chloe Saunders is on the run
and raising hell. Literally.
Chloe Saunders is not your average supernatural teenager. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister team of scientists, she can barely control her terrifying powers. Now the team that created her has decided it’s time to end the experiment. Permanently.
Now Chloe is running for her life along with a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and a temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom – but can Chloe trust her new friends?


I really can’t stress enough how much I love these books. As good as The Summoning was The Awakening was so much better. The action has picked up speed and so has the magic.
I love Chloe even more than I did after the first book. She’s become a bit of a badass. When shy, I-apologize-every-minute Chloe feels threatened, she turns into I-can-raise-the-dead-don’t-fuck-with-me Chloe. She’s fantastic. Her powers are growing and she’s figuring out how to use them. She’s done letting the Edison group get away with treating her and the other kids like shit and she’s done letting them do their experiments. She really steps up in this book against the Edison group and in trying to protect her friends.
Which leads me to Derek. Now I know they’re going to love each other forever even if they still don’t understand. It’s not their faults; they have a lot on their minds. But I have no doubt it’s going to happen and I absolutely can’t wait. They’re so perfect together I can’t believe no one sees it.
Next I’ll talk about the secondary characters again. There aren’t any new ones but the previous ones have drastically changed. I hate Rae. She really is just a stupid little bitch and I hope I don’t have to read about her again. Also, I sort of love Tori. She’s gotten over herself a lot. Her mom’s even crazier than she thought and she’s not stupid enough to stick around and see what happens. She stays with Chloe, Derek and Simon because they all have a common enemy but I think she and Chloe are actually beginning to care about each other and become friends. I can’t wait to read more about her in the next book.
What I liked in this book was getting to see Chloe and Derek trying to blend in with humans. I hadn’t thought about the fact it might be hard for them. I guessed Derek might have a hard time because he’s antisocial, but Chloe was fairly normal before Lyle house. However, at least for the foreseeable future, Chloe can’t tell the difference between a ghost and a living person unless they do something ghost-y like walk through walls. There was a part when Derek and Chloe get separated from the others and they’re trying to get food from a coffee shop. A woman comes up to Chloe and starts talking to her. It’s not until Chloe notices everyone laughing and whispering about her that she realizes the woman’s a ghost. I didn’t think how difficult it could be for her and I liked being able to see some of that in this book.
You can expect a review for The Reckoning, the conclusion to the Darkest Powers Trilogy, soon. I absolutely cannot wait to see how it ends. Let me know what you think and how your opinions might differ.
-Antonia

*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!

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary: My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost – and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House…before its skeletons come back to haunt me.


I’ll confess. I honestly didn’t expect to like these books. I was at the library and didn’t want to bring only one book home and didn’t have much time to look. So I just grabbed The Summoning and The Awakening thinking I’d probably at least be able to get through the first at some point. I ended up reading them in a day each. I loved these books.
Chloe was a strong, interesting narrator who kept exceeding my expectations. She was really shy and sweet in the beginning. She could definitely be considered too nice. I’d assumed she would just slide along through the whole book letting everyone else do the hard work. (Unfortunately, I’ve found that many female MC’s in young adult books have an annoying lack of backbone and let their men take care of them. This is NOT the type of protagonist I enjoy reading about.) However, I found Chloe surprisingly resourceful. She was obviously scared when she started seeing ghosts and even more scared every time she learned something new about Lyle house and being a necromancer. But she never let it stop her from learning more and fighting back and I loved that about her.
I loved Derek almost instantly. He’s moody and quiet and a little bit of an asshole. But he’s also loyal, funny, and almost annoyingly protective of the people he cares about i.e. his brother, Simon, and eventually Chloe. Not long after I decided I loved him I also decided he and Chloe need to love each other for forever. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen during this book, though they’re pretty good friends now so I’ve decided to be hopeful.
There were quite a few secondary characters and I’m fairly undecided about most of them. Simon is funny and I’d like him better if I wasn’t worried he’d get in the way of Chloe and Derek loving each other. I really like Liz (a ghost) and can’t wait to see more of her. Rae was nice but a little on the annoying side. She never seemed to take anything seriously. I hated Tori. She was a spoiled little bitch. I get her mother is an even bigger bitch but that’s no excuse for the things she does.
I really liked the way Armstrong portrays the different supernatural races and the politics behind them. It made it different from the many other YA paranormal books. I also really loved that Chloe is a necromancer. It’s something that I haven’t seen a lot of in books and it made it really unique.
The ending of this book drove me nuts. Everything goes to shit… then it ends… I’m just happy I don’t have to wait for any of these books to be published because I can’t wait to finish them.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult, paranormal fantasy, and romance. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Amanda hasn’t read these books yet so I have no one to talk to about them. If you’ve read them, I would love to know what you think of them.
-Antonia

*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!

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Goodreads Summary: Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.
She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.
This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

The only reason I picked up these books was because of the covers. Each one has the most gorgeous dress on it and I couldn’t keep myself from finding out what it was about. I loved the first two books in the Ruby Red trilogy and Emerald Green didn’t disappoint me. Everything was tied up perfectly, all my questions were answered, and there was a perfect mix of humor, suspense and action that I’ve come to expect from these books.
Since these books deal with time travel, there’s tons of information between the present and the past that can get pretty confusing. Gier filled in many of the blanks by providing information between chapters in the form of transcripts and articles from the Temple’s archives of the past. It really helped me to get a little bit more information because it drives me nuts when I don’t know any more than the characters do.
I’ll start with Gwyneth. I wasn’t sure how much I liked her at the beginning of the series. She’s fifteen so I know I can’t exactly expect constant maturity but her naiveté seriously irritated me. She got better in the second book and finally stepped up in the third and got the shit done that she needed to do. When I started the third book, I fully expected her to just lose all my respect. Gideon had just broken her heart and I figured she would curl up into a ball and have a weeklong pity party. I was wrong. The pity party lasted a few hours while she cried on the phone to her best friend before she got to work trying to find the message her grandfather left before he died. Being in love with Gideon didn’t make her weak like the Count expected. It made her strong. Yeah, her heart’s broken and she still has to look Gideon in the face everyday but instead of being pathetic about it, she’s mad. It reminds me of the quote “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. I loved the fact that everyone kept underestimating Gwen because it just gave her chances to prove them wrong.
Gideon. Irritated. Me. I loved him for the second half of the book once he finally decided to stop being an idiot. However, the majority of the time before that point he was just being a stubborn asshole. If he’d just talked to Gwen everything would have been fine. Maybe something like, “Hey, Gwen, I’m only pretending to hate you because the Count thinks he can use our relationship as leverage against us.” She probably wouldn’t have been particularly happy about it but she would have understood. Half the events of the first two books probably wouldn’t have happened if Gideon had just tried working with Gwen.
Lesley is Gwen’s best friend. I’ve loved her since the beginning. She’s really outgoing and funny and always throws herself into situations in order to help Gwen. She’s really smart and comes in handy decoding the many cryptic codes and prophecies that Gwen comes across. She was also Gwen’s rock throughout the entire series. Whenever Gwen had any kind of problem Lesley was there to help her through it.
Raphael is Gideon’s brother. He came in during the second book and played a small part. He was more important in the third book and although he’s funny, I’d mostly ignored him until he became a love interest for Lesley.
Xemerius is the ghost of a demon in gargoyle form. (Gwen can see ghosts.) I adored him. He was hilarious, sarcastic, and very overdramatic. He wasn’t particularly helpful most of the time. He would occasionally find something that was hidden or keep lookout for Gwen but for the most part he only added comedic relief.
Lastly, there are the Guardians and the people at the Temple. I hated all of them. They were ridiculous. They hated Gwen just because they’d always thought her cousin would be the Ruby and were pissed they were wrong. They don’t trust her, they ignore her and they underestimate her. If those assholes just got over themselves and decided to work with Gwen instead of against her everything would have been much easier. The fact they refused to listen to her over and over again only allowed the Count to continue his evil plans.
Overall, I loved these books. I would recommend them to anyone who likes romance, scifi/fantasy, and young adult. They are directed slightly more toward the younger side of YA but not so much to be childish. Please tell me what your own thoughts are.
-Antonia

*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!

The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Goodreads Summary:He thinks she’s an annoying know-it-all…

Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she’s long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

She thinks he’s just plain mad…

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn’t matter. She doesn’t care that his leg is less than perfect, it’s his personality she can’t abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless…

I love Julia Quinn. Her books always, without out fail, make me laugh out loud even if I’m out somewhere public causing everyone to stare at me like I’m a lunatic. She uses the perfect mix of humor and sappy that I really can’t get enough of. I love the relationships between her characters. They banter and they fight and they love each other. It’s perfect. It never seems unrealistic. Sisters act exactly as my sisters and I act. Friends act just like Amanda and I are together. I always want to be best friends with the heroine and the hero always makes me swoon (well, he would if I knew how to swoon). I’ve read every one of her books and always await the next with as much patience as I can manage when books are involved. Her newest book (my Christmas present from Amanda) did not disappoint me.
I’ll begin by explaining the duel which is also explained in the other two books of the series. Approximately three years before the events of this book, Hugh, Sarah’s cousin Daniel, and a couple of their friends were drunkenly playing cards. Hugh accused Daniel of cheating, they argued, and Hugh challenged him to a duel. Still slightly drunk at dawn they meet and are still determined to go through with it. Neither actually wanted to shoot the other and were fully expected to just shoot past the others shoulder and be done with it. Except Hugh accidentally shoots Daniel in the shoulder. And Daniel accidentally shoots him in the legging, hitting an artery and almost killing him. Daniel’s forced to leave the country by Hugh’s father threatening to kill him until Hugh manages to convince his father to back off. Because of this, Sarah hates Hugh for causing her family so much pain.
I’ll start with Lady Sarah Pleinsworth. She knows how to act like a lady when she needs to, but when she’s with her friends or her family she’s dramatic, sarcastic and tends to exaggerate. I hadn’t been entirely sure how much I liked her at the beginning of the book. Then she met Hugh and my opinion did a complete 180. He really brings out the worst in her and vice versa. The conversations that ensue are nothing short of hilarious. They’re forced together for a few weeks for Sarah’s two cousins’ weddings. After spending time with him, Sarah begins to realize he isn’t the complete asshole she thought he was. He’s actually a decent person. And has nice eyes. And he’s very handsome. And Sarah is absolutely horrified that she’s thinking any of this purely because it’s Hugh and she’s supposed to hate him.
After the duel, Hugh becomes crippled and struggles to walk even with a cane. Between the duel and his disability, he holds an awkward place in society; he indirectly forced a popular member of the aristocracy to flee the country, it’s unlikely anyone would be willing to marry a cripple, and he can’t dance or hunt or do much of anything physical. Hugh feels terrible that he couldn’t keep his father from trying to kill Daniel and feels responsible for everything that occurred because of the duel, even the parts that weren’t his fault. He doesn’t want to hate Sarah, but he thinks she’s dramatic and silly and she was really quite a bitch when they first met. Until he realizes he’s attracted to her and she’s sort of cute when she’s dramatic and she’s actually pretty clever.
I loved Sarah and Hugh as enemies. I loved Sarah and Hugh as friends. And I love Sarah and Hugh in love. They’re adorable and funny and I just really want to be best friends with them. Hugh just wants to protect her even though he can’t even catch her from falling out of a carriage because of his leg. Sarah just wants to help him and make him happy because she doesn’t see him as a cripple at all.
I loved this book. It had the perfect amount of everything. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance or books that make you laugh. As always, I’d love to hear your own thoughts and feedback.
-Antonia

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

Summary:
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his long time girlfriend and is living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, excitement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, This is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Review:
I didn’t know The Cuckoo’s Calling was actually written by J.K Rowling until about halfway through reading it. It was a buy based on the interesting cover. So, I’m like halfway through the book and I decide to read the summary and I found out J.K. Rowling wrote it. It definitely changed how I was reading the book.
The Cuckoo’s Calling was a very complex book. There was quite a bit of detail. It took me longer to get through than usual. Partially because there were a few really detailed boring parts. But mostly because there was so much important information that’s relevant to the story. This was a typical murder mystery, with some twists. There were many surprises. I didn’t see any of them coming. The Cuckoo’s Calling was suspenseful and full of action. It was a very good mystery novel. The characters were really interesting. I think they were very well developed characters. I feel like this book is harder to review than others because of its author. I really enjoyed this book even though it had some pretty slow parts.
The characters were phenomenal. The book is written in the third person but opens up with Robin Ellacott. It seemed, at first, that this book was going to be about Robin. It was, to an extent. She was more of a secondary character. Regardless, I loved Robin. At first, she was just doing what she was told and trying to find a better job. But she got sucked into the investigating and ended up helping quite a bit. Robin was spunky and enthusiastic and very determined. She tried her hardest at everything she did, and I really enjoyed that.
Then comes our main character, Cormoran Strike. He’s a private investigator trying to solve the murder of the famous Lula Landry. Strike was a very interesting character. He’d just gotten out of a very serious relationship, had no money, and was living in his office. Strike was a very proud man. He didn’t like to ask for help or let anyone know that something was wrong. He was very independent and had to do almost everything himself. Cormoran was the kind of person that did anything and everything he could to figure out what happened and help others. I really like everything about him, except that he wouldn’t talk to anyone about the problems in his life.
Last is John Bristow. He’s kind of the villain of our story. Although he may not seem like it in the beginning. He hires Strike to figure out what actually happened to his sister. Bristow was very deceiving in The Cuckoo’s Calling. He seemed like he wanted to help, but ended up getting in the way more than helping. John liked to act like he was smart and knew everything, but he wasn’t and didn’t. I liked his character at the beginning of the book, but by the end, he was really just an annoyance to everyone.
Overall, The Cuckoo’s Calling was an excellent mystery novel. There was all the action, suspense, and drama that’s expected. Even though there were some slow parts because of the amount of detail, I still really enjoyed this book. I’d suggest this one to any of our older readers because it is definitely an adult book.

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!

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Person X


I have been waiting for this Top Ten Tuesday. For those of you who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is top ten recommendations to X person. It could be a family member, a friend, a specific group of people, etc. I chose my boyfriend, Max. He’s not as avid a reader as me or Amanda, but he does read some. However, I would love to get him to expand into some of the books I enjoy because, let’s face it; we all want to share our book families with every person we know.

1. The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- Mostly because this is hands down my favorite series and I want everyone in the world to read it. Most people I know who read aren’t really into fantasy so much, but Max read and really liked Game of Thrones, so I’m hoping he’ll eventually agree to read this series.
2. The BFG by Roald Dahl- This one technically includes every book by Dahl but The BFG has always been my favorite and I think he’ll enjoy the humor of this book more than some of the others.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis- I’m actually not sure if he’s already read this or not… If he hasn’t then that’s a tragic mistake I’m going to have to correct as soon as possible.
4. The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist- I loved these books. I think Max might really like them. They have a little bit of everything you could find in fantasy.
5. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton- This is such a guy book and the scifi is right up his alley.
6. The Xanth series by Piers Anthony- I think these books would make him laugh. They have a little bit of everything.
7. The Dragon Jousters by Mercedes Lackey- Another one of my favorites by her.
8. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead- This book might be a little on the girl side but there’s a lot of scifi in it that I think he might like.
9. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien- It’s the history of middle earth and I believe anyone who claims to be a LotR fan should read it.
10. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn- This book is on the list solely because I believe every man should read a trashy romance novel at least once in their life. This is my go to book when I introduce romance novels to someone.

These are my picks and I hope Max eventually reads them all. Who would you recommend books to if you could?
-Antonia

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead (Antonia’s review)

Goodreads Summary: In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

I don’t even know where to start. Every single part of this book intrigued me. Every time I got used to a new concept, another was thrown at me. Every time a question was answered it gave me five more. The first couple chapters were a little slow, but as soon as I got past that (around where Justin and Mae met) I could not put it down.
The main reason I read this book was because of Richelle Mead. I adore her books and was so happy when I learned she started a new series. However I think I might have picked this book up regardless. I love books about mythology. I love books about magic. And although they’re not autobuy subjects of mine, I really enjoy futuristic and dystopian books too. This book has all of it. Mead managed to throw so many different subjects and concepts into this book; and managed to make them work really well together. Quite often so many topics are overwhelming and confusing. This book was overwhelming in a “I wish I could read this faster I just want to know what happens!” kind of way. And the only confusion I had was when Mead deliberately made me want to know more and more and more.
As for the characters, I loved all of them. Mae is my favorite. She’s so strong and independent which I completely respect. But she still has vulnerabilities that she hides because she’s too proud to show anyone that side of her. I think that’s what annoyed Amanda a little bit, but that side of Mae was what made it easy for me to relate to her.
Now I’ll talk about Justin. Oh, Justin… I could never keep track of how I felt about him. Half the time I was just so aggravated with him and the other half I was violently in love with him. He was an asshole; he was arrogant; he was caring; he had a strong sense of self preservation; he was funny. He was such a well-rounded character that I couldn’t help but be invested in his story even when I didn’t like him all that much.
There were quite a few secondary characters. Tessa was the young girl that Justin brought back to the RUNA with him on a student visa. She was cute and sweet for most of the book. Then before I noticed it happening, she became confident and grew into herself. I can’t wait to see her grow more. Mae’s friends Val and Dag were a great addition to add humor into different sections. Every time I read about them I was laughing. I also really enjoyed what Justin’s friend Leo added to the story as a technical genius, though his boyfriend Dominic was rather annoying.
There were only one or two things I wish had been different. I think I would have liked it better if there was slightly less religion. I’m not one of those people that hate to see religion in books. I actually like it because you don’t see it too often. And it worked as such an amazing contrast to the mythology and magic. However, there were some parts where it was a bit too much for me and I would have rather had more of the myth or magic.
The other is that I really wish I had more answers to my questions. It’s just so goddamn hard to wait. I need to know everything right now!
Overall, I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone. Since it has a little bit of everything in it, I think anyone who likes dystopian or paranormal or romance or scifi would enjoy this book.
As always, let me know what you think and if you’ve read it I’d love to hear your opinion.
-Antonia

*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!

Six Months Later – Natalie D. Richards

Summary:
She has everything she’s ever wanted. But not her memory…
When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the last six months of her life.
Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her.
What happened to her? Remembering the truth can be more dangerous than she knows…

Review:
So, I bought this book for my little sister with the hopes of turning her into a bookworm like me. And of course I bought a book that I thought could be good too. I didn’t expect much from Six Months Later, but boy was I wrong. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this. This book took me on a wild ride. Once I picked it up, I just couldn’t stop! Every page had me asking more questions. I just wanted to know what was going on! Six Months Later had enough suspense to last a lifetime. I had an idea of what the huge reveal was, but I didn’t even know the half of it. Six Months Later was written very well. It wasn’t too descriptive, just enough to get the perfect picture in your head. I’m not sure why I noticed this, but there were an unusual amount of metaphors. I liked pretty much everything about this book except one thing. The ending. It didn’t have a bad ending, it was just really vague. It left me with so many questions and I just wanted more!
The main character, Chloe, was one that I really liked. She was definitely someone I would be friends with in real life. She’s stubborn, persistent, loving, and funny. She “wakes up” and six months of her life have gone by. She has no idea what’s happened. But she’s sure as hell going to find out. Chloe is the girl that doesn’t do anything unless she’s doing it with all she has. Something’s happened to her and she’s not just going to sit back and let it happen. She’s a pretty good judge of character. I just loved her so much. And I’m glad Six Months Later ended the way that it did.
Maggie is, or was, Chloe’s best friend. I felt really bad for Maggie while reading. In the six months Chloe doesn’t remember the two stop being friends. It takes Maggie a while to get past their problems and help Chloe anyway. I loved Maggie. After everything they went through she’s hesitant to help her friend, which I would be too. But once Maggie finds out what’s actually happening she’s ready to forgive and forget. She’s smart and loyal, determined and clever. A girl I’d love to have on my side. I really liked Maggie as Chloe’s partner in crime.
Now, my favorite, the boy, Adam. He’s the typical bad boy, except he’s really smart, and isn’t a bad boy really. He just makes everyone think he is. Adam is pretty much my dream guy. He does anything he can for those he cares about. There was a part that I wasn’t too happy with him, but I understood his reasons. Adam’s smart, and dedicated. Dedicated to making a better future for himself and I admired that about him quite a bit.
This book exceeded pretty much every one of my expectations. I’m glad I tried to bribe my sister into liking books more so that I could read this. It was exciting and suspenseful and seriously good. I definitely suggest it to all young adult readers.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Allegiant – Veronica Roth

Summary:
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered-fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world pass the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature-and of herself-while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Review:
I just finished Allegiant and I’m still wiping the tears off my face. I can’t believe some of the things that happened. I really enjoyed watching these characters grow up and change as their lives changed. I really really liked Allegiant, but I’d have to say that Divergent is still my favorite. But there were so many things I liked about this book. One thing that made it a different experience was that it was told from both Tris’s and Four’s perspective. This was something I really liked because we could see more into Four’s head and know him better. Something else I made note of in the story that I liked was that even though Four and Tris are in a serious relationship, the things that go on between them are always kept appropriate for the younger readers. I thought that was nice. Allegiant was full of action and surprises and suspense. There were so many twists and turns, things I didn’t see coming. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved almost every page. I definitely think one of the twists could have been avoided and things written differently. But I’m not Veronica Roth, and she must have written it this way for a reason. Another thing I really liked about Allegiant was that it had so many good quotes. This is definitely going to be a series I read again and highlight next time.
Now, to the characters. Christina plays a bigger part in this book than she did in the two previous. I really enjoyed reading about so much of her. She’s spunky and funny and similar to a couple of my friends actually. She supports Tris so much in this book. The two had their ups and downs and worked through them. Christina becomes Tris’s go to person, after Four of course. Next is Peter. He doesn’t play a huge part in this story. But we still get to see him grow into an even more terrible person. He only does whats best for him. But at the end of the book I kind of seriously admire him. He knows that he’s an awful person, and makes the executive decision to do something about it. He gives himself a chance to start over. and I thought that was deserving of my respect.
I loved Caleb in the first book and hated him in the second. In Allegiant he tried to make things better. He put forth the effort. Not a lot of effort, but it was there. And in the end I forgave him just like Tris did. Caleb did quite a few stupid things, that he eventually came to deeply regret. Things that he was willing to give his life to make up for. At the end of Allegiant, I don’t hate Caleb, but I’m also not his biggest fan.
Four is the love of my life. But not really, because he and Tris are too perfect for each other for anyone to mess with that. In Allegiant, we get to read part of the book from Four’s perspective, which I loved because we got to know how he thinks and way more about him. He does something kind of dumb in the beginning of the book that Tris ends up forgiving him for. Four has a really hard time excepting his flaws and insecurities which is the only thing I don’t like about him. He’s way too hard on himself, mostly for things that he has no control over. Tris makes Four a better person, as well as the other way around. I love the relationship between these two so much. One thing I love is that unlike most other couples they actually talk to each other. They fix their problems. They get to the root of whats going wrong and make it better. And they survive as a couple because of this. They are just perfect for each other.
And now, we talk about Tris. Tris has gone through so much in these three books. She’s dealt with way more than any normal person could handle. She’s so strong. And I loved reading about her growing into a better person. She has a lot of people do many different tests on her. And she’s genuinely interested in learning about herself, which I think is awesome. She tries her best to understand herself as well as others. Tris really becomes the best possible version of herself, she’s very selfless. She puts herself in hard situations in place of people that really don’t deserve it. She knows exactly what she needs to change to become the person she aspires to be which is something not many people can do. “Then I thought of how strong I have become, how secure I feel with the person I am now, and how all along the way he has told me that I am brave, I am respected, I am loved and worth loving.”
I had a really hard time putting this book down once I picked it up. I bought it after dinner last night, read about a third of it before I fell asleep. Then I had to work this morning, and all I talked about all day long was how badly I just wanted to read my book. Allegiant was a thrilling, suspenseful, heartbreaking end to a very well loved trilogy. There were thing’s I never expected to happen and things that made me cry like a baby. As a whole, I really enjoyed reading Allegiant and being part of this story. Although I don’t agree with all of the writing choices made, I think it was a good end to the trilogy and I look forward to whatever else Veronica Roth writes.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Insurgent – Veronica Roth

Summary:
One choice can transform you-or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves-and herself-while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable-and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Review:
I love Veronica Roth so much for writing these books and giving me the opportunity to read them. So far I haven’t been even a little disappointed with what I’ve read. Insurgent, the second book in the trilogy, was a fast paced read filled with excitement and I loved every page. It started pretty much right where Divergent left off, which I loved. Series that skip months at a time between books kind of get on my nerves. I like knowing everything, so don’t skip anything! I explained all about how the government works in my review of the first book, so if you don’t understand, read that review first. I’m really glad these are longer books because I just can’t get enough. Every page has something exciting or important to the story which helped keep me interested throughout the whole book. One thing I really liked about Insurgent was the descriptions Roth gave us. You can picture everything perfectly. It was just worded really well, there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of detail or too little amount. This book has a sense of urgency to it. Which made me want to read it faster and just figure out what happens! I’m usually not terribly good at guessing what’s going to happen next, but with Insurgent I figured out what the big secret was about halfway through the book. There were a few other things that I guessed right, which made me feel clever. If you read my review of Divergent, you’ll know about my unhealthy love for this set of fictional characters. That didn’t change with the second book, I actually think I love them more, so lets talk about them!
Again, I’m going to save the best for last, so I’ll start with Tris’s fellow initiates. Christina and Tris have issues for most of the book, but Christina comes around eventually and becomes Tris’s partner in crime. Uriah and Marlene become closer and spend more time with Tris in the second book. They help her and become one of her supports. I love them both. Last is Peter and Drew (Molly isn’t around). Drew’s part isn’t huge. He mostly has funny eye patches and is a bad guy that does normal bad guy things. Peter, however, is someone I still haven’t quite figured out. He ends up helping quite a bit in a few different situations. But in others he’s the bad guy again and hurts Tris and her friends. I’m curious to see where his character will go in the next book.
I mentioned Caleb, Beatrice’s brother, in my review of the first book. But I don’t have anything to say about him that wouldn’t be a huge spoiler. I just can’t even with him right now.
Next comes Four. He’s definitely grown a lot in the second book. He also definitely still has issues. But he’s not the moody mysterious hot guy anymore. All the chaos has done him well. He’s grown up that bit more that he needed. Four and Tris fight a fair bit during Insurgent. Four usually picks fights with her. Sometimes with very damn good reason, and sometimes with misguided ideas, but never to hurt her. He’s always looking out for her with everything he does. She is his main concern at all times. Although, he lets some of his trust issues come between them and things are rocky for a bit. They make it through when he comes to his senses. When they’re not fighting Four just has so much faith in Tris, he supports her completely and totally, when she’s not endangering herself. I want a love like theirs. At one point Tris thinks, “I am his, and he is mine, and it has been that way all along.” I want someone to feel like this about me.
Now, the best for last, Tris. She has grown up so much in this book. At the beginning she was getting herself into situations she couldn’t handle sometimes just for the hell of it, but mostly because she feels responsible. Tris feels that she’s very important, which she is to an extent. But some of the things she does are super unnecessary. She is determined and persistent, sometimes selfless, and always brave. Tris is an awesome main character and I can’t wait to see where she goes next.
Overall, I loved this book. In case you didn’t catch that already. I definitely liked Divergent better, although I’m hoping Allegiant is my favorite. Insurgent was filled with action and suspense, romance and friendship, and just all around craziness. I loved every page. I hope you will too.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Summary:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-old’s must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Review:
When I sat down to write this review I thought, hmm…how to start? This is what I came up with.
Divergent: 1) differing; deviating
2) (of a mathematical expression) having no finite limits
The definition of the title of this book is extremely relevant to every word of this book. The characters, the plot, the vocabulary. They all differ from what’s defined as normal. Sure, some parts aren’t so different, but as a whole Divergent by Veronica Roth was exactly what it’s title defined. I loved almost everything about this book. The characters were phenomenal and I love them, with that unhealthy, the don’t actually exist , I’ll pine for them forever kind of love. The story line is dystopian, the world’s already ended, and we have a new, better functioning system in place. But we all know those don’t usually last. The way this system works is a fair bit different than most of the others I’ve read. It’s a solid plan, as long as every member of each faction believes and acts how their faction is supposed to. Which, again, never lasts. There’s always that one that’s greedy and wants to change things. Divergent has chaos, romance, upheaval, and an almost happy ending. I’m just really glad there wasn’t a huge heartbreaking cliff hangar. Roth makes it obvious she wrote somethings a certain way for a reason. It’s written very well; It doesn’t jump from here to there and back again. It was pretty fast paced, with the occasional slow part. Although there wasn’t a cliff hangar, there were quite a few surprises. I’d start to guess at things, be wrong, start to accept that I was wrong, then BAM the truth comes out and I was right the whole time. Divergent was a very well written faced paced thrill ride that I hope every book is when I open to the first page, and I loved every minute of it.
Usually I start with the man character, but I don’t think I will in this case. Saving the best for last and all that. So, Caleb Prior, Beatrice’s older brother, caught me by surprise quite a few times. I originally thought he was the golden child that followed all the rules and would do exactly as expected. He didn’t. Every time I thought he’d do one thing, he’d do the opposite. We see Caleb mostly in the beginning and then the end of Divergent, and I hope we see more of him in the next book.
I’m going to mention Tris’ fellow initiatives as a whole because some of them don’t deserve their own paragraphs and some wouldn’t be able to make a whole paragraph. First there’s Christina and Will, who are some of Tris’ few friends on this adventure. They’re supportive and there for her when she needs them. They don’t exclude her and her through almost everything she goes through. Then there’s Uriah and Marlene. Uriah makes friends with Tris and introduces her to Marlene. The two aren’t a huge shoulder to lean on, but they’re familiar faces. They defend her and look out for her when they can. Last are Peter, Molly, and Drew. They’re assholes and I hate them. They pick on Tris relentlessly. They even try to kill her once or twice. They’re bullies and they don’t deserve the kindness Tris shows them.
Which brings me to Tris herself, which I lied about her being last. There’s one more after her, but I did say I was saving the best for last. Tris is your typical girl that makes crazy choices, and you’re always rooting for her. She’s bold, and brave, and seriously smart. She knows exactly how to act in every situation to tip it in her advantage. I liked being able to follow this story from her perspective. Watching how she thinks about all the choices she had to make. I think Tris was my favorite because she stands up for what she believes in and works her way to the top.
Now, saving the best for last I introduce Four. Yes, he’s actually called Four. He has another name, but I can’t mention it because you have to be as mind blown as I was. I adore Four; he’s hot, obviously, H[e’s really up and down the entire book. Four and Tris end up involved at one point and I just love them together. But he’s kind of moody. He tries to do the right thing all the time. But seems to get himself in bad situations a fair amount. I just love him so much, so you should too.
I bought the second book in the trilogy earlier today, Insurgent, and I can’t wait to start it. Divergent was such a good book. I think it could have just ended there. I mean, there would be alot that just went unanswered. I’m just so glad there’s two more books. Divergent was wonderfully written. Suspense, excitement, chaos, romance, adventure on every page. I loved every minute of it. So you should go to you local book store or library or wherever you go to get books and get this book and love it as much as I do.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Origin – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Summary:
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.
After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.
All Katy can do is survive.
Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?
Together, they can face anything.
But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?
And will they even be together?
Review:
How should I start this review? Oh, right, how about with HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HOLY FUCKING SHIT…I work at a tourist store, so now that summers over I do a lot of sitting around. The perfect opportunity for some reading. Origin came out recently and Antonia and I HAD to have it. She was nice enough to let me read it first. So, I started it when I got to work at 9:30am, it’s now 1:30pm and I might have a mental breakdown at work. Four hours to read 364 pages, while helping the occasional customer, eating my lunch and texting Antonia freaking out without giving her any details. EVERYONE needs to read this series just so you can read Origin. It was without a doubt the best book in the series, which is subject to change after the fifth book comes out.
Okay, now onto the actual reviewing of the book rather than just fangirling. This series holds a certain sentimental value to me because it is partially where the idea for this review blog came from. The main character, Katy, runs a video book review blog. The storyline that Jennifer L. Armentrout came up with is amazing. I thought it was going to be another paranormal romance series, and boy was I wrong. Armentrout puts her own twist on every aspect of this story. She makes it unique and spectacular. Origin was suspenseful, VERY suspenseful. And if any of you have actually read my reviews you’d know I’m terrible at guessing what comes next. That was no different with Origin. I was shocked with all the twists, turns and surprises Armentrout threw in. I loved every single thing about this book. It made me laugh, made me smile, gave me butterflies; it also made me cry and infuriated me. Origin made me feel any and every emotion in the period of four-ish hours. I literally sat at work going between laughing and crying. That’s how you know it’s seriously good. So read it, because I said so.
The fictional characters that have stolen my heart are next. This series is pretty much 100% about Katy and Daemon, but I’ll start with Katy. I kind of seriously adore her. She takes absolutely no bullshit from anyone, especially Daemon. She’s stubborn and very independent, although Daemon tries his best to shelter her from everything and anything. Kat would do anything for the people she cares about, even some people she’s not fond of but knows Daemon cares about them. She’s fiercely protective of whats hers. Katy’s brave and loyal and gives her all with everything she does. She’s an amazing female lead.
Daemon is the typical asshole with the typical excuse that it’s for her own good. I didn’t like Daemon at the beginning of the series, but he seriously proves himself in Origin, as well as the second and third books. He really loves Katy so much. At the beginning of Origin Daemon says, “I’ll burn the world down to save her.” If I ever find someone that loves me half as much as Daemon loves Katy, I will be the luckiest girl in the world. Daemon shows that his love for Katy is more important than literally anything else. He makes some pretty irrational decisions to save and protect her. In the end, he would do everything exactly the same. Daemon is very protective of his loved one, the people he considers his family, but his loyalty is only to Katy. He makes quite a few really difficult decisions and has to deal with a lot of seriously not okay shit. Katy makes everything better for him. He is strong, but stronger with her. If Daemon existed in real life, I would find him, kidnap him and marry him. But only is Katy didn’t exist as well, because she wouldn’t have any of that.
There are so many other characters I want to mention but they would give too much away. I can mention Archer though. He’s with Katy pretty much every minute while she’s being held captive. I kind of seriously adore him and my adoration just kept growing the more I read about him. He’s technically the enemy, but it’s obvious that he struggles with the beliefs of “his side”. Archer looks out for Katy while she’s captive. He seemed like a good guy in shitty circumstances. If I had him looking out for me, I’d be set for life. I seriously hope to see him in the next book.
Overall, you guys can probably tell I liked this book very much. If I rated the books I review with stars, Origin by Jennifer L Armentrout would get all five stars. It has an amazing plot. A strong female lead (to an extent), romance, a deadly gorgeous male main character, suspense, danger, and action. I would love to be able to tell you, readers, that it has a happy ending, but HOLY FUCKING CLIFFHANGERS. Armentrout has done this to me four times now. Ridiculous cliffhangers, then she makes me wait FOREVER to get the next book and find out what happens. Every reader’s worst nightmare. The Lux series is an amazing series that I suggest to anyone and everyone. But really, go to the bookstore and buy them. Right now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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