Amanda’s April 2022 Wrap Up

Hey, lovelies! I honestly cannot believe that April is already over. I am a day early, but know what I will and won’t be finishing within the next day. I think I did a little better reading-wise this month. That is helped with my new baby slowly sleeping in longer stretches, so some of my brainpower is coming back. Let’s get into what I read this past month and how I read it.

Physical Books
Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake – 4 stars
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey – 4 stars
Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto – 3 stars
Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey – 3 stars
The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell – 4 stars

eBooks
Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead – 4.5 stars
The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller – 2.5 stars
To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters – 4.5 stars
The Button Box by Bridget Hodder, Fawzia Gilani-Williams, & Harshad Marathe – 3.5 stars
Very Bad People by Kit Frick – 2 stars
A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow – 3.5 stars
The Jade Setter of Janloon by Fonda Lee – 2 stars
I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers – 2 stars

Audiobooks
Thronebreakers by Rebecca Coffindaffer – 4.5 stars
Mickey7 by Edward Ashton – 2 stars
Yearbook by Seth Rogan
The Switch by Beth O’Leary – 4 stars
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman – 4 stars
The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis – 4 stars
The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis – 2 stars
Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi – 4 stars
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf – 2 stars
This May End Badly by Samantha Markum – 3 stars
Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments by T.L. Hucho – 2 stars
This May End Badly by Samantha Markum – 3 stars
Tarnished Empire by Danielle L. Jensen – 3.5 stars
Impostors by Scott Westerfeld – 4 stars
Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld – 3 stars
Mirror’s Edge by Scott Westerfeld – 3.75 stars

These are all the books that I read in April. What book did you enjoy most in April?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Books With X on the Cover

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. This week’s topic is Books with [___] On the Cover (Pick a thing (a color, an item, a place, an animal, a scripty font, a sexy person, etc.) and share covers that have that thing on the cover.) I’ve decided to do books with stars on the cover.

What do you love to see on book covers?

Amanda’s Climate Change Science Fiction Recommendations

Hello, lovelies! Happy Earth Day! I thought it would be fitting today to talk about some books I enjoyed that involve climate change. Now, I read a lot of science fiction, so many of these books the world has passed the tipping point, and the world as we know it is ending because of climate change.

The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
I highly recommend the audiobook for this one. There’s a full cast of narrators and they tell the story so well. We follow a ministry that’s set up by the governments of the world with the goal of battling the damage that people are doing to the Earth. I thought this story was a really interesting way to talk about climate change.

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
The world as we know it is ending. In this book, the world is suffering from extreme and frequent natural disasters. But six kids are selected to explore another planet for a new potential place for humans. Climate change isn’t the focus of the book, but I liked seeing this author’s version of the end of the world.

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead
This is a romance novel. But the two love interests are ex’s reuniting to work together on getting support for a bill that would switch all of Texas’ public transportation to electric vehicles. So, it still sort of works for this topic and I really loved it so much that I wanted to include it.

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson
I’m not going to say too much, but I definitely recommend this one. I think it’s going to land on my end-of-the-year favorites.

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
I don’t know that the world ‘ended’ via climate change. But there’s definitely some funky stuff going on with our dear Mother Earth in this one.

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
This follows a witch at a magical school. But the twist that Griffin put into the story with involving the magic with the Earth was incredibly interesting.

Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman
What happens when California runs out of water? I loved this book so much. I will recommend it forever.

Do you have any favorite books that involve climate change?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Middle-Grade March Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! I’m a little late with this list, but I didn’t even think of making a recommendation post for Middle-Grade March until a few days ago. But I love middle-grade books and I’ve read some really great ones that I really want to share. So, if you’re looking for something to read for the last few days of March and you want to read a middle-grade book, look no further.

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi
“It all begins on the night Rea turns twelve. After a big fight with her twin brother Rohan on their birthday, Rea’s life in the small village of Darjeeling, India, gets turned on its head. It’s four in the morning and Rohan is nowhere to be found. It hasn’t even been a day and Amma acts like Rohan’s gone forever. Her grandmother, too, is behaving strangely. Unwilling to give up on her brother, Rea and her friend Leela meet Mishti Daadi, a wrinkly old fortune-teller whose powers of divination set them off on a thrilling and secret quest. In the shade of night, they portal into an otherworldly realm and travel to Astranthia, a land full of magic and whimsy. There with the help of Xeranther, an Astranthian barrow boy, and Flula, a pari, Rea battles serpent-lilies and blood-sucking banshees, encounters a butterfly-faced woman and blue lizard-men, and learns that Rohan has been captured. Rea also discovers that she is a princess with magic. Only she has no idea how to use it. Struggling with the truth her Amma has kept hidden from her, Rea must solve clues that lead to Rohan, find a way to rescue him and save Astranthia from a potentially deadly fate. But the clock is ticking. Can she rescue Rohan, save Astranthia, and live to see it all?”

The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim
“Riley Oh can’t wait to see her sister get initiated into the Gom clan, a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Her sister, Hattie, will earn her Gi bracelet and finally be able to cast spells without adult supervision. Although Riley is desperate to follow in her sister’s footsteps when she herself turns thirteen, she’s a saram–a person without magic. Riley was adopted, and despite having memorized every healing spell she’s ever heard, she often feels like the odd one out in her family and the gifted community. Then Hattie gets an idea: what if the two of them could cast a spell that would allow Riley to share Hattie’s magic? Their sleuthing reveals a promising incantation in the family’s old spell book, and the sisters decide to perform it at Hattie’s initiation ceremony. If it works, no one will ever treat Riley as an outsider again. It’s a perfect plan! Until it isn’t. When the sisters attempt to violate the laws of the Godrealm, Hattie’s life ends up hanging in the balance, and to save her Riley has to fulfill an impossible task: find the last fallen star. But what even is the star, and how can she find it? As Riley embarks on her search, she finds herself meeting fantastic creatures and collaborating with her worst enemies. And when she uncovers secrets that challenge everything she has been taught to believe, Riley must decide what it means to be a witch, what it means to be family, and what it really means to belong.”

The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody
“The last thing Barclay Thorne ever wanted was an adventure. Thankfully, as an apprentice to the town’s mushroom farmer, Barclay need only work hard and follow the rules to one day become the head mushroom farmer himself. No danger required. But then Barclay accidentally breaks his town’s most sacred rule: never ever EVER stray into the Woods, for within the Woods lurk vicious magical Beasts. To Barclay’s horror, he faces a fate far worse than being eaten: he unwittingly bonds with a Beast and is run out of town by an angry mob. Determined to break this bond and return home, Barclay journeys to find the mysterious town of Lore Keepers, people who have also bonded with Beasts and share their powers. But after making new friends, entering a dangerous apprenticeship exam, and even facing the legendary Beast of the Woods, Barclay must make a difficult choice: return to the home and rules he’s always known, or embrace the adventure awaiting him.”

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
“Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?”

Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker
“Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.
Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.
They live on the same street. They live in different worlds.
On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under – an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures. And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.”

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
“Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths. Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right. . . .Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.”

The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmother’s legacy. I am yours to command.
Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink, and the two quickly become inseparable. But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side—and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive . . . before they are both lost to the darkness.”

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
“When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in this mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.”

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
“Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.”

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
“THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIN comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds. When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name. Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.”

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
“When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing. Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?”

These are some middle-grade books that I love and will recommend without hesitation. Have you read any of these? Are any of them on your TBR?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Series Amanda’s Wants to Start in 2022

Hello, lovelies! There are so many incredible books out in the world and I will very sadly never read them all in my lifetime. But I do have a running list of series that I’ve started to purchase and am really excited to read. So, I thought I would share some series that I’m planning to start (and hopefully finish) in 2022. I think this post will be a good way to keep me accountable and I can check back on this list later to see my progress. I’ll be sharing the first book of each series with their synopsis below.

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
“Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised. Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins. Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin is not destined to save the empire. He’s destined to destroy it.

The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey

The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey
“Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will. Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls. What he doesn’t know is – what happens when you aren’t given a choice?”

A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
“Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides. Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.”

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
“In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.”

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
“The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine. Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.”

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
“Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.”

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
“In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.”

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
“For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot. But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.”

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
“The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age—a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare. Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?”

What new series are you hoping to start in 2022?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Thirty-One: Amanda’s October Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies! It’s the end of another month and what a month it’s been. I read some great books and some not so great. But I’m happy with what I read.

What I Read

Physical Books
The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi – 5 stars
The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 5 stars
Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee – 5 stars
Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool – 5 stars
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle – 4.5 stars

eBooks
Cazadora by Romina Garber – 3.75 stars
The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling – 3.75 stars
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood – 3 stars
The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 4 stars
The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee – 3 stars
Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire – 4 stars
You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith – 3.5 stars
A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 4 stars
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen – 5 stars
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao – 5 stars

Audiobooks
The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young – 4 stars
The Bones Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones – 4 stars
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave – 3.5 stars
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman – 3 stars
My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows – 3.5 stars
Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis – 3 stars

Blogging Highlights

Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #4

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (Book Review)

Why Everyone Should Read Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (Book Review)

Amanda’s Autumn Book Recommendations

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten (Book Review)

Amanda’s October Anticipated Releases

Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares by Tehlor Kay Mejia (Book Review)

Series to Finish in 2021

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Book Review)

If You Liked This, Then Read That

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (Book Review)

17 Audiobooks to Read in October

Underrated October Recommendations

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling (Book Review)

Spooky Book Covers

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood (Book Review)

6 Fall Romance Recommendations

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin (Book Review)

Other Blog Posts I Loved

Top Ten Spooky Reads from Alyssa @ Read Em’ And Weep

The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl from The Elven Warrior

Top Six / Spooky Books Releasing In 2022 / Top Ten Tuesday from Vee_Bookish

Queer Latinx YA Recs from Gabi’s Book Reviews

My Friend Blurbs Books Based on Book Covers from Charvi @ Not Just Fiction

SciFi Month 2021 TBR from Caitlin @ Realms of my Mind

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Ryka Aoki, Author of Light from Uncommon Stars – On Inspiration, Learning the Violin, and the Magic of Queerness in Speculative Fiction from Skye @ The Quiet Pond

Spooky Season Post #5 | 25+ Young Adult Horror: 2021 Book Releases from Sofii @ A Book. A Thought.

Well, that’s all I have for you this month. How’d you do for reading and blogging?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

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Hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently rereading A Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’m also trying to quickly finish up A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I most recently finished A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout and The Anthropocine Reviewed by John Green.

Antonia- I most recently read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

What will you read next?

Amanda- I haven’t decided what my first read of spooky season will be yet. But if you want to check out my Magical Readathon TBR for the options, you can find that here.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Artemis by Andy Weir.

Answer the three W’s in the comments today or share your post with us!

Amanda’s July Wrap Up

Hey, lovelies! July was a much better reading month for me than June was. I’m really proud of how well I did working on my physical TBR and getting it down to a lower number. I also read some really great blog posts this month. I did better at regularly checking my feed to read stuff from the people I follow. So, lets get into it!

What I Read

Physical Books
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning – 4 stars
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson – 3 stars
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth – 4.5 stars
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer – 4.5 stars
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey – 4 stars
Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey – 4 stars
Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey – 3.5 stars
Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 5 stars

eBooks
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart – 4 stars
The Sea is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt – 2 stars
A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart – 4 stars
What We Devour by Linsey Miller – 4 stars
A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers – 4.5 stars
The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendigi – 3.5 stars

Blogging Highlights

Amanda’s Favorite Retellings

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (Book Review)

10 Popular YA Books on Amanda’s Physical TBR

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)

Amanda’s Summertime Book Recommendations

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi (Book Review)

5 Books Featuring Grief Amanda Recommends

Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia (Book Review)

Other Bloggers I’m Loving

Thoughts on Prologues and Epilogues (Let’s Talk Bookish) from Briana @ Pages Unbound
I thought this was a really interesting discussion post!

Summerween TBR Time! from Destiny @ Howling Pages
Check out some spooky books that Destiny is going to read in July.

My 2021 Goals | Mid-Year Check-In from Jess @ Jessticulates
Come see how Jess is doing for their 2021 goals! I think you’re killing it Jess!

Our Friend is Here! A Discussion with Ryan Douglass, Author of The Taking of Jake Livingston – On Why We Need Radical YA Books from Skye @ The Quiet Pond
I love everything that comes from the Quiet Pond, but this post in particular was a great read.

Discover A Reader’s Book Buying Process from Kal @ Reader Voracious
See the how and why behind Kal’s book buying habits!

Book Drop // Library Book Haul from Book Loaner
Check out this library haul!

100 Books By Trans and Non-Binary Authors from Vee @ Vee Bookish
Some great recommendations here. I love the idea of collaboration to come up with ha huge list of recommendations.

Book Recommendations: Pride Month Edition – 10 Books with Bisexual and Pansexual Rep to Read During Pride Month! from CW @ The Quiet Pond
There are some really great recommendations on this list!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

2020 Blogging & Reading Goals

Today we are both here to talk a bit about what our goals are for this new year. Most people have new year’s resolutions, but we’re going to stick with goals because goals are something to work toward and resolutions are something to change. Let’s get right into it!

Amanda’s 2020 Goals

  1. I want to focus on reading the books that I already own (mostly backlist) instead of getting caught up in new releases. Additionally, I want to make an effort to read the physical copies of these books instead of checking the ebooks out from my library and reading off of my phone. Reading physical books is my preferred format and I’d like to attempt to get back to reading primarily in that format.
  2. The past year or so I’ve gotten back into GoodReads with rating and sharing my reviews on there. I’m pretty liberal with my ratings and I base them completely off of enjoyment. But in 2020, I’d like to be a little more critical with my ratings, basing them a bit more on my overall thoughts on all the aspects of the book.
  3. I’d like to, by the end of 2020, finish all of the series (that are already completely published) that I’m currently in the middle of. This will include any that I pick up in 2020. I don’t want to enter 2021 with any unfinished series. I’m hoping to pick up books in a series one right after another this year instead of starting a series and slowly reading it with other books in between.
  4. Finally, I’d like to get back to writing my reviews shortly after I finish the book. Toward the end of 2019,  I got in the habit of letting my reviews build up until I have five or six to write. I don’t want that to become a lasting habit. So, I’m doing well with this so far, but I’m writing it down to hold myself accountable.

Antonia’s 2020 Goals

  1. My first and main goal is simply to read more this year. I completely failed my goal for December and really want to start this year better.
  2. I’d like to get a little more involved with the blog this year starting with Top Ten Tuesday. It’s such a fun weekly post (one of the first we got into when we started the blog) and I’m hoping it’ll get me more motivated.

These are some of our goals for the new year! Do you have any blogging goals? Any goals specific to your reading habits? Leave a comment and share!

 

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween Freebie

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 – Halloween Freebie. I will be listing ten books I want to read on Halloween night.

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Devouring by Simon Holt

The Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

These are just some of the choices I have to read for my Halloween Readathon! This year I’ll be taking my little girl trick or treating for the first time, so we shall see what I end up getting to read.  What books would you pick to read on Halloween? Leave a comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Book Titles

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 – Extraordinary Book Titles. I’m just going to pick a handful of my favorites.

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We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

What book titles do you think are extraordinary? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Intimidating TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why (maybe you’re scared of it, worried it won’t live up to the hype, etc.)

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read this yet. I think the hype is what makes me hesitant to pick it up.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
There’s literally no reason why I haven’t read this one yet.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This is another that I’ve put off because of the hype that surrounds it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I read Strange the Dreamer and didn’t love it, so I’m hesitant to pick up another of her books.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Superhero books are really hit or miss for me. I love Leigh, so I don’t want to read this and not like it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Eight hundred twenty-seven pages. That’s all I have to say.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
I know I’m going to love this. I really don’t know why I haven’t picked it up.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Something about starting a new series is just intimidating.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Another book that is so well-loved that I’m scared of not liking.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
Something about historical fiction, it seems to be a rare mood for me. Because of this, I don’t pick it up very often despite almost always loving the books I read in the genre.

What books do you have on your TBR that you just haven’t managed to pick up? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Comfort Zone

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 – Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone (i.e., a genre you don’t typically read or subject matter you’re not usually drawn to). This is a tough one for me because I read a huge variety of books and I wouldn’t say that I have a ‘comfort zone.’

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Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo
Science Fiction Graphic Novel

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Non-Fiction

Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect by Zander Cannon
Fantasy Graphic Novel

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Non-Fiction

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanah Ganucheau
Contemporary Graphic Novel

Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Adult Contemporary

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Science Fiction

The Recovering:  Intoxication and  its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
Non-Fiction/Memoir

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Historical Fiction

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Non-Fiction/Memoir

These are the books I came up with for books that I enjoyed that were outside of my comfort zone. I’ve recently started reading graphic novels, so the ones I’ve enjoyed made this list because they’re still new for me. I also have a fair bit of non-fiction because it’s not something I usually read. Most on this list I only read because of book club. What books made your Top Ten Tuesday list this week? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Barnes & Nobel Book Haul!

Hi, lovelies! I’m just stopping by this evening to share with you all the things I got this weekend at the Barnes & Nobel Book Haul Blowout! I have been looking forward to this all weekend! I think I picked up quite a few books that I’m really excited about. So, expect to see them in any of my TBR’s in the near future.

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I picked up a few that I was missing from the always wonderful Rick Riordan. I was very excited to see these on sale because I never see his books on sale!

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

I also grabbed a few that I’ve seen so many others talking about. I wanted to get them so I could understand why everyone is talking about them!

Furyborn Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

There were a few that I’ve seen before but I haven’t really heard anything about them aside from what they’re about.

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody

And finally, I picked up two books by the same author that I’ve never heard of but the synopsis sounded pretty interesting for both of them.

H2O by Virginia Bergin

The XY by Virginia Bergin

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The next book is the one full-price book I bought and I’m blaming entirely on Heathur from Aphrodite Reads because she does nothing but sing its praises. It’s going to be a buddy read for the upcoming round of ZodiacAThon.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

 

 

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The graphic novel was an impulse buy. I went over to the graphic novel section to look for the next volume of a series I started recently but instead, I found something I never knew I needed. I don’t play video games pretty much ever, but a friend of mine got me into Life is Strange and I’m so glad.

Life is Strange: Dust by Emma Vieceli, Claudia Leonardi, & Andrea Izzo

 

 

So, there you have it. These are all of the books I picked up today on my trip to Barnes and Nobel. I have to thank my dad because this haul was a belated birthday gift from him. I cannot wait to dive into these new books, but for now, they have found a new home on my TBR bookshelves.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s July Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! I’m here with a very belated wrap up for the month of July. I’ve been a bit lazy with setting up my blog posts which is why this wrap up is so late. But! I’m here and I’m sharing all of the wonderful (or not so wonderful) things that I read in the month of July. Without any further delay (because I’ve delayed enough with my laziness) here are the things I read.

Physical Books
Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Under Currents by Nora Roberts
The Library Book by Susan Orlean

eBooks
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
All Our Broken Pieces L.D. Crichton
The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Moon Cakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu
Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Audiobooks
Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I managed to read twenty books in July. Not my best month, but still one that I’m very happy with. Tell me what you read last month!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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