Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week’s topic is top ten bookish worlds I’d want to (or wouldn’t want to) live in. I like both of these, so this week I’m going to do five that I would want to live in and five that I wouldn’t want to live in. Here’s my top ten for this week!

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Bookish worlds I would like to live in

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Yes I know that they just went through a huge war and a ton of people died, but now all is hopefully well and I’d love to live here. I would love to get to visit all the different seasonal courts and the solar courts. I would also enjoy helping (or trying to) create a better world with the fae and the humans. Plus, who wouldn’t want to live in a world with Rhysand, Cassian and Aziel?

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling – Would I be a twenty something year old bookworm if I hadn’t read Harry Potter and fantasized about getting my letter and attending Hogwarts?

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – This is a world similar to ACOTAR with the different seasonal territories that I would love to visit. But in this book universe they have magical abilities instead of being Fae. So who wouldn’t want to have magic and be able to visit whatever season you wanted?

Zodiac by Romina Russell – One word: Space. I love outer space and most space themed books are ones that I’ll buy as soon as I know they take place among the stars. This book universe sounds so cool. The different zodiac planets with the different personalities, I just love everything about this series.

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld – Superheros are yet another autobuy topic. So this book, while it’s set in a regular realistic world, it has kids with super powers. Yes, please?

Bookish worlds I would not want to live in –

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – While I love these books and I love  the characters and the story, I wouldn’t want to live in this world. A world that’s on the brink of war and treats most of the people horribly. No thank you.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Living in this super oppressive world? No way. I wouldn’t survive in this book universe for very long and if I did, I would be very miserable.

Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast – I love this story and all of the characters in it. But I definitely wouldn’t want to live in this ruined futuristic world.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – This book universe seems how I imagine England in the 1800s. I’ve always said that I would live in that time period, but only if I was a woman of wealth. The same goes for this world except I still don’t think I’d want to live there because well, electricity and running water and the internet and all of the modern day amenities I probably couldn’t live without.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima – This book universe is one that I wouldn’t want to live in for one reason that I could use for so many other series that I considered putting here. I wouldn’t want to live in a world that was in the middle of fighting a war. Even though by the end of the series the war is over, there’s always going to be another war in these kinds of worlds even if that story doesn’t get written. Yes, I would love to see this world and meet the characters that I love, but I wouldn’t want to have to constantly worry about the next battle to be fought.

This week’s topic was so fun I considered doing one post with worlds I would want to live in and a different post with worlds I wouldn’t want to live in, but I just did five of each here. What bookish world would you or wouldn’t you want to live in and why?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Best Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish (feel free to put your own spin on it). This week is “Best Character Names (make this as narrow/broad as you’d like)”. Since this weekly post is something that is completely up to me and my opinion, I’m going to choose names that I liked or really stuck with me for one reason or another. This is also in no particular order.

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Alaska – The main character of my favorite book Looking for Alaska by John Green. This name has always stuck with me, maybe because it’s my favorite book. But I think it’s more the story behind the name. Alaksa’s parents let her change her name once she reached a certain age and she chose Alaska because it means “that which the sea breaks against” and that’s just beautiful to me.

The A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – Every name in this series by Sarah J. Maas is one that I really liked. Again, this may be because this is one of my favorite series, but as you read through the books the names just keep getting more interesting. Our main character Feyre, her sisters (Nesta and Elaine), her two love interests, Tamlin and Rhysand. Theres not a single character in this book that doesn’t have an interesting name that’s stuck with me.

Celaena Sardothien – This is the main character from Sarah J. Maas’s other series, Throne of Glass. She’s a kick butt assassin who we later find out is someone who goes by another name (that I’m not going to say because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it) that is just as cool as the name we first know her by. There are other characters in this series with cool names, but Celaena’s is one that’s stuck with me.

Adrian sul’Han – From The Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. So I love all the names of the royal family in this series and the one before it, but I didn’t want to be a copy cat and steal one of the ones Antonia chose, so I’m doing the kids. I really like the way that royalty is named in this series, using the names of those that came before them.

Cass, Del and Nix – They’re from the first three series in the Dragon’s Gift Universe by Linsey Hall. Their full names are Cassiopeia, Delphine, and Pheonix. They named themselves after the stars and I just love that. They named themselves in their past when they escaped something horrible together with no memories of before, so they chose constellations. But we find out that they all chose the right names for themselves when the girls learn more about their pasts later in their lives.

Zeroes Series – By Scott Westerfeld. I had to have at least one “superhero” book on this list. I just really love the whole super hero trend going on. And this one is great because they’re a bunch of kids that try to do good and usually just mess things up. But they’ve got some cool and funny names.

Rhoma Grace – The main character of the Zodiac series by Romina Russell. I think she makes the list just because I really liked her as a character. Also this series is mostly in outer space and traveling among a few different planets and there are lots of cool and interesting space names throughout the whole series.

Lexi JardineShadows of the Immortals series by Marina Finnlayson. This series really stuck with me. And interestingly enough for our main character, we have another situation where her name isn’t actually what she thinks her name is. Again, I won’t say what her name really is because I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s a plot twist for sure. I liked this character and all the others in this series some have basic names, but their characters are so much more than their names. Also, there’s a ton of different gods and goddesses from different cultures and I love stuff like that.

Mae WaylanderThe White Hart Series by Sarah Dalton. Our main character, Mae Waylander, a peasant girl who has the name of a hero, I just hear her name and it gives me hero feels.

Aza – She’s our main character in Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I just like this name. It’s interesting to me, just like who she is as a character.

These are my top ten “best” character names. Mostly they’re just names I liked enough to remember while I was making this list. What’s your top ten on this fine Tuesday evening?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld

Summary:
Believing is dangerous. Darcy Patel is afraid to believe all the hype. But it’s really happening-her teen novel is getting published. Instead of heading to college, she’s living in New York City, where she’s welcomed into the dazzling world of YA publishing. That means books tours, parties with her favorite authors, and finding a place to live that won’t leave her penniless. It means sleepless nights rewriting her first draft and struggling to find the perfect ending…all while dealing with the intoxicating, terrifying experience of falling in love-with another writer.
Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, the thrilling story of Lizzie, who wills her way into the afterworld to survive a deadly terrorist attack. With survival comes the responsibility to guide the restless spirits that walk our world, including one ghost with whom she shares a surprising personal connection. But Lizzie’s not alone in her new calling-she has counsel from a fellow spirit guide, a very desirable one, who is torn between wanting Lizzie and warning her that…believing is dangerous.

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Review:
So yesterday I made my first trip to my new local library since I moved her three months ago. I’ve been reading all the new books I’ve bought and rereading all the books I brought with me and I finally finished everything on my book shelf. So it was the perfect time for an adventure to the library. I’m glad I did because I picked up three new books which will all be reviewed here in the near future.
The first book I got was Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. He’s an author I’ve read quite a bit of and I’ve liked everything I’ve read by him. When I read the description I was very intrigued. A book about a teenage girl successfully writing and publishing a book, who wouldn’t love that? And when I learned that we would get to read about our main character while also reading the story she wrote, I knew I had to read it.
I loved following Darcy as she came up into the publishing world. As someone who would love to be a successful published author one day, she was really awesome to read about. I loved learning more about the publishing world. Reading about Darcy’s struggle to make her editor happy by changing different parts of her story was really interesting to me because I know what the struggle of writing and not being happy with parts and rewriting. I liked Darcy. She was very unsure of herself for a lot of this book, while she knew what she wanted, she didn’t seem to have much confidence in herself. She was always second guessing herself, always wondering if her book was really that good, if she’s made the right choices. While I understand being eighteen and unsure of what to do with my life, I feel like she should have had more faith in herself, after all, she’s in the process of getting a book published at the age of eighteen. That’s pretty impressive. I loved all of the friends Darcy made once she moved to New York City. Imogen was definitely my favorite. I loved their blossoming relationship, but again, if Darcy would have been a little more confident the couple would have avoided more than one major blowout. But to be fair, every relationship has ups and downs, it wouldn’t be realistic if they didn’t fight a little bit. The rest of Darcy’s friends were awesome, they added a bit of hilarity to the story. I loved them all. I think I loved Darcy’s younger sister the most. At fourteen she’s a firecracker. She always has something witty to say and she’s Darcy’s biggest supporter. I loved how close these two were. Their love for one another was very clear and I really enjoyed their relationship.
Now, Darcy’s story was told in alternating chapters and I can’t decide which story I liked better. I loved being able to read the finished story as Darcy learned what she needed to change and how she was going to do that. Her story about Lizzie was fascinating, and very unique. I don’t know where to start. The story was gripping, every chapter change I almost just skipped to the next one to find out what happened next in Lizzie’s life. I’m not going to go into too much detail because I don’t want to give anything away. But I loved Lizzie’s story just as much as Darcy’s.
I really enjoyed this book. It took me less than a day to finish it because I just couldn’t put it down. Scott Westerfeld has outdone himself yet again. I recommend this book to anyone that likes to read. So go buy it, or get it from the library like I did.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

WWWWWhat are you currently reading?

Amanda- Technically I’m not currently reading anything. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m going to start Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith tomorrow. It’s the third in the Cormoran Strike series. I loved the first two, so I have high hopes for the third.

Antonia- I’m currently in the middle of two books. Beastly by Alex Flinn is one of my all time favorites. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it and I never get sick of it. It’s an amazing modern adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. You can read my review of it here. The other book I’m reading is Soundless by Richelle Mead. Mead is one of my favorite authors and her newest book is unlike any of her others. I fully expect this one to be a new favorite of mine.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently read Zeroes co written by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. You can read my review HERE. I really enjoyed this book. I’m still very upset I have to wait until September for the next to be released.

Antonia- I just finished reading A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn for the second or third time. As you can tell, she’s one of my favorite authors. This one is an adorable, unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- Honestly, I haven’t thought that far ahead. I keep looking at my shelf trying to decide. Im torn between a few different choices; The newest Stephanie Plum, Tricky Twenty Two, by Janet Evanovich, The Heir by Kiera Cass, or rereading one of my favorites, The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks.

Antonia- I’m not sure yet because I never really decide until I pick one up and start reading it. But I recently read the first book in J.D. Robb’s In Death series and I can’t wait to find out what happens to the characters next.

What are your answers?

Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, & Deborah Biancotti

Summary:

Don’t call them heroes. But these six California teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t-like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery and lands him in deep. The only people who can help are the Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals across the city. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.

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Review:

So I have to admit that I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do. It’s been two months since I’ve actually finished a book. This book has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas, just staring at me, waiting for me to pick it up. Zeroes got me back into my constant need to read. I just wish the sequel, Swarm, would be out before September! Once I started this book I just could not put it down. I bought it because I’ve liked everything I’ve ever read by Scott Westerfeld. I actually didn’t realize it was co-written until about halfway through it when a coworker asked what I was reading. I will definitely be looking into other books by Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti.

Zeroes was beyond good. I was hooked from the first chapter. Who wouldn’t be hooked when it comes to books about superpowers? The story starts following a boy who has two voices. His every day voice and one that when used is always unpredictable. Ethan is one of six we meet in this story. His power is the most unique of the six. The more you read the more you see how Ethan feels alone, like nobody understands his lack of control over his power. There were many self realizations with the characters, but I think Ethan’s was the most profound. He went through so much craziness and chaos all caused by his voice. I really enjoyed seeing Ethan learn when not to use his power even though he very well could have. Part of this lesson comes from Kelsie and his determination to help her.

Kelsie is the newest Zero on the team. She, like Ethan, feels very alone through most of the book. Her dad, Jerry, keeps getting into trouble and that trouble has found its way to Kelsie, partly because of her father and partially because of her determination to rescue her father from his latest antics. Kelsie is a take no shit kind of girl. Someone I would definitely get along with in real life. She does what she needs to for the people she cares about. She goes through the biggest struggles compared to her newfound friends. Her dad robbed a bank and went to jail. Then got out of jail and got hooked on the drugs he was supposed to sell for a very dangerous family. And while all of this is happening his daughter is trying to figure out how to help him, which is how she meets the rest of the Zeroes. They show her that she isn’t alone with her powers and that they will always be there by her side when she needs them.

That was another one of my favorite parts of this book, the protectiveness the Zeroes felt for one another. Even though most of them hadn’t spoken in over a year when Ethan’s voice said some things Ethan couldn’t take back, they still come to his rescue when he calls for help. Nate or Bellwether or Glorious Leader, the ring leader of the Zeroes always has a plan. He always knows exactly what to say to motivate the team. His ability to lead large groups, to give them a focus, is his superpower. Its way too complicated to fully explain (you’ll just have to read it!) Nate is the one that keeps this odd group together, always getting everyone together, always the one with the plan for what to do next. I’m excited to see more of him in the next book.

Thibault or Anonymous is without a doubt my favorite character. He has the power of forgetfulness.  He is a very forgetful person. So much so that for the first half of the book all five of the other characters continuously forgot he was in the room, and struggle to remember his name or what he looks like after he leaves the room. His power would be the most difficult to deal with in my opinion. To be completely forgotten by anyone and everyone as soon as you left the room. Thibault was the most hurt by Ethan’s voice a year ago. So when he was the only one that could hide Ethan from the trouble he got himself into it was very interesting to follow his thoughts while he decided whether or not to forgive Ethan and the relationship that the two developed after he did.

Thibault also very slowly developed a relationship with Riley or Flicker as she likes to be called. Flicker is blind, but her superpower is to see through the eyes of others. She can flit from one pair of eyes to another to another to see what they see. Flicker always wants to help. She likes being a part of the Zeroes, a part of something that can do good. She decides that she needs to know this Anonymous character so she has her sister make up stories laced with facts so that she will not forget him. She goes so far as to figure out where he lives, which ends up saving him and Ethan. Flicker, after Nate, is the most confident of the group. She is just so enthusiastic and adorable and all around loveable.

The last of the six is Crash. I think she grows the most after Ethan. She struggles as much as him, if not more, with her power. She was raised to ‘do no harm.’ Her power of crashing technology doesn’t always help with that. As we read we see her try to give up on the Zeroes more than once, but in the end realizes that she is a part of them whether she likes it or not.  Her power changes a bit at one point and she realizes it’s not all bad. She struggles more than anyone with her power, controlling what she can do and the effects of what she has done after she loses control. She’s very hard on herself and her mistakes. And that drives her to be better, to learn more control over her ability. Crash realizes, like Kelsie, that the Zeroes are here for her whether she wants them or not.

Zeroes was such a good read. It was fast paced. The authors left you wanting more on each page, only giving bits and pieces of the story at a time. I finished this book in less than a day. The story is out of the box. Maybe not the superhero part, but their powers are all very different and unique. The story of these six kids is a crazy one, but definitely worth the read. There are many relatable thoughts and feelings from each character and we get to see them overcome their fears and worries. This book was super motivational. It’s a great young adult novel. There are always others that feel the same as you, and there is always a way to overcome it. I really enjoyed reading Zeroes, so go to the book store or library or wherever you get your books and read this!

 

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.