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

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy Day Reads

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 – Rainy Day Reads

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The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

Shadow and Bone by Leigh  Bardugo

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Dry by Neal  & Jarrod Shusterman

The Mortal Instruments by  Cassandra Clare

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

These are all books I can pick up to forget the rainy weather outside. What books do you like to pick up on a rainy day?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · TBR Lists & Wrap Ups

Amanda’s March Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! It’s April fools day but its no joke that I managed to read twenty-four books in the month of March. I was motivated by the NoVaTeen Book Festival to read books by a handful of new authors before I got the chance to meet them. Because of that, I read a large number of eBooks from my library (and I found a few new favorites!) So, without further delay here, are all the things (good and bad) that I read in March.

Physical Books
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

EBooks
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
A Long way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf Alrashidi
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Audiobooks
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

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What did you read this month? Did we read any of the same books? Did you find any new favorite books or authors like I did?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

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

Keep  on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything · TBR Lists & Wrap Ups

Amanda’s Fierce Female Readathon Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! I’m here (again) to share with you my wrap up for the Fierce Female Readathon! This month I and a few others had tons of fun sharing all kinds of fierce females. There was also this readathon! There were five challenges and a group book and two weeks for reading! Here’s how I did.

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Read the group book

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Read a book with girl/female/woman in the title

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (I’m stretching this one a bit)

Read a book written by a woman of color

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Read a fierce female recommendation from the book community

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Read a nonfiction book written by or featuring a fierce female
OR
read a book based off a woman in history

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson (not pictured)

Read a book with a fierce female leading a resistance 

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

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These are the books I read for the Fierce Female Readathon. What books did you read?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #FierceFemaleReadathon #FierceFemaleReadsFebruary and #FierceFemaleFridays and tag Ashley and me in your posts! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and/or GoodReads to keep up to date with any announcements and see what I’m reading!

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Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything · TBR Lists & Wrap Ups

Amanda’s February Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! Happy first day of March! I’m here today to share with you all the books I read this month. I am pretty proud of myself because I managed to read quite a few books in the month of February. I almost read a book a day. I read a total of twenty-five books. I only accomplished this by doing pretty much nothing other than reading, helped by a fair few snowy and rainy days. Let’s break down what I read.

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Physical Books
Sawkill Girls by Clair Legrand
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

eBooks
A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Shienmel
Robbergirl by S.T. Gibson
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Air Awakens (series) by Elise Kova
The Dysasters by P.C. and Kristen Cast
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

Audiobooks
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

As usual, I read mostly eBooks, but I read a fair amount of physical books. Seventeen of these were books that I own. Five of them were ARCs I was  very lucky to receive and three were from my library. I’m super happy about the physical books I read becasue I need to focus more on my physical  TBR list. Let me know below what books and how many you read in the month  of February!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Antonia's Antics · Everything & Anything

The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey

Summary: The last city on Earth is contaminated. Now blood is the only thing that can wash it clean.

Julia is trapped inside the Blue as the Nobles fight over the few humans who are still alive. When the dust settles and she finds herself shackled to a new master, she knows she must escape or die.

Meanwhile, Cam has gathered a handful of comrades and is on his way into the Red to rescue his queen. But not all of his friends can be trusted, and not all of them will make it back alive.

The Silver Queen is the second book in Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy, set in a dystopian Europe where vampiric Nobles control the last remnants of the human race.

Review: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
This is the second book in the Sovereign series. You can read my review of the first book here.
So I just reread my review of the first book to remind myself of which points I’ve already spoken about so I don’t repeat myself too much but I’ve just confused myself more. My feelings about the second book are practically opposite of what they were from the first; at least as far as the characters are concerned.
Originally I felt more connected with Cam and Felix’s relationship than I did Julia and Lucas’s. However, after the second book that’s been reversed for me. Maybe it’s because I started liking Felix less and less the more I read but I no longer support their relationship.
My favorite part of Julia and Lucas’s relationship is that, after he abandoned her in the Blue, she still loves him but no longer trusts him the same way. She’s learned to be independent and even after they’re reunited she questions their relationship. Not just because of the way he left her but because she realizes they’re different people now.
That being said, the romances are still my least favorite part of these books. They feel a little forced to me and I would’ve liked the story more if they weren’t part of it at all.
I like Julia even more now than I did after the first book. Things have changed. She’s had to learn things about herself and the world the hard way, make tough choices, fend for herself. I really admire the strength of her character after everything she’s been through.
Cam is still one of my favorites (except where Felix is concerned). Even after all this time he still tries to believe the best in people. He’s a soldier but doesn’t really want to be and I think those two aspects of his personality were blended really well. I can’t wait to see how the events of this book affect him in the next one.
Another problem I had was the maturity of the characters. Julia, Claudia, Lucas being immature sometimes I can understand. They’re young and emotional, it makes sense. Cameron and the other immortals being immature though? Many of these characters are close to a thousand years old. I could forgive it once or twice, especially where love is involved because people do stupid things when they’re in love and I don’t believe that gets better with age. That wasn’t the case here though. The immortals made the same kinds of decisions that the teenagers did and that didn’t seem realistic to me at all. It felt like some of their actions were forced to steer the plot in a certain direction and not because it was natural for that particular character.
My absolute favorite part of the book was the world-building. It really feels like a dystopian world. Travel takes weeks or even months because the closest thing to vehicles they have are horses and there aren’t many of them. There is no communication over distances because there’s no internet or mail system and they can’t train birds to send messages because animals have contaminated blood.
Even the different cures and contaminations were well thought out and interesting. (I won’t go into too much detail about that though to avoid spoilers.) I think Jaffrey did an amazing job on the world-building aspect of it and kept really great continuity throughout.
I only wish I could have seen some of what’s happening in other parts of the world. We really only get glimpses into a handful of settlements in what seems to be Europe. I’d love to know what’s happening in America and Africa and to find out how different places might be handling this new world. I can’t really be mad about it though because it would ruin that communication continuity I was just talking about.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I had a few problems with the characters but the plot and world-building more than made up for it. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA, dystopian, and paranormal. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia

Antonia's Antics · Everything & Anything

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Summary: When kingdom come, there will be one.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Review: I have very mixed feelings about this book. Overall I enjoyed reading it, but I had a few problems that kept me from loving it.
One of my main concerns before starting the book was how Blake would be able to make triplet queens who have to kill each other for the throne while also making them likable. I could never imagine harming my sisters so the idea seemed ridiculous to me, though it makes more sense when you find out the queens are separated as small children.
I found that it did make me like them less. Mirabella at least struggles with the thought of killing her sisters because she has memories of them as children (the others do not). Her fight between what she’s been taught her whole life and how she feels seemed more realistic to me. However, she still kills an innocent girl as a sacrifice to the goddess.
Katherine seemed sweet at the beginning but she’s killed many people and is the most willing to kill her sisters. She’s the only one by the end of the book to actively make an attempt to kill one of the others.
Arsinoe is my favorite of the three. She’s the most down to earth because of how she was raised; not like a future queen but more like the way children should be raised. She has actual friends and free reign of the village while her sisters have basically been locked up their entire lives. Unfortunately, her only real qualm about having to kill her sisters is that she’s the one most likely to die because she’s ungifted, not because murder is wrong.
Which is my main problem with this society. Literally no one thinks that a succession based on children murdering each other is wrong. People constantly look at the queens sadly because it’s just so tragic but no one ever says outright “Hey, this is wrong and we need to change”.
My other issue with this society is how the succession works. The last queen standing becomes ruler of Fennbirn; until she gives birth. So if they’re sixteen when they ascend the throne they rule for maybe about ten years since women had children at much younger ages in societies like these. Then once she’s given birth to the next queens, she immediately steps down as queen and leaves Fennbirn forever. Until the queens come of age at sixteen and start killing each other, the council rules and the council is generally made up of whichever people supported the last queen. So, since poisoner queens have sat on the throne for a few generations, this society has been ruled entirely by poisoners the entire time. Though it’s mentioned at the beginning that people with the poisoner gift can also heal, none of the poisoners are shown with any redeeming qualities. They’re only ever portrayed as ruthless murderers.
So generally, this council rules longer than the queens do and it only ever changes after three teenage sisters viciously murder each other. My main thought for the entirety of this book was that this society could not be sustainable.
I liked most of the other characters though some were a little two-dimensional. I liked Joseph particularly until he does something that seemed vastly out of character to me and for the rest of the book I found him extremely annoying.
Jules and Camden were amazing; I’d read a book just about them.
The story was a little slow, the only thing that kept it from dragging for me was that the POV changes happened pretty quickly so it felt like it was moving faster than it was. However, all the POV’s made it so that I didn’t get to know the characters as well as I’d like to.
The plot was certainly unique. There were several twists (especially the one at the end) that made me like the story more and more. Despite the problems I had, I’m definitely invested enough to read the next book and am extremely curious as to where the plot could possibly go next.
I’d recommend this to anyone who likes YA fantasy, especially those who enjoy darker themes. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia