Down the TBR Hole #9

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Down the TBR Hole was created by Lost in a Story. Its purpose is to help narrow down your TBR list on Goodreads by selecting 5 or more titles each week and deciding if you want to keep it on your TBR or get rid of it! I was inspired by Melanie @ Meltotheany to start this blog series as my TBR pile is OUT OF CONTROL!

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

On the chopping block this week:

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A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray:

This is the third book in the Firebird series. And while I did enjoy the first two books, it definitely had some flaws and problematic things. However I still want to know how this book ends, so it’s going to stay on my TBR.

VERDICT: KEEP

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi:

Another YA dystopia… nah.

VERDICT: DELETE

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by various authors:

I’ve heard many great things about this collection of short horror stories and it includes some of my favorite authors. Definitely keeping.

VERDICT: KEEP

Shutter by Courtney Alameda:

This creepy plot still intrigues me but I really don’t see myself reaching for it any time soon.

VERDICT: DELETE

Catacomb by Madeline Roux:

The first two books were a complete mess.

VERDICT: DELETE

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs:

This is a tough one. I actually loved the first two books but I gradually lost interest in the world as my tastes have changed over the years. I think, for now, it’ll have to do.

VERDICT: DELETE

 

Thanks for taking a look at my TBR! Please feel free to recommend what books I should add (or remove) from my TBR! You can go here to view my to-read shelf, or here to add me as a friend on Goodreads! 🙂

xx,

Amy

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Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

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fourstars

Title: Small Spaces

Author: Katherine Arden

Pages: 256

Genre: Middle grade, paranormal, horror, fantasy

My rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

I truly appreciate Katherine Arden so much as a writer. She paints such perfect pictures and makes you feel like you’re right there. I was first introduced to her writing when I read The Bear and the Nightingale, and while these two stories are geared toward different age groups, Arden once again brought us all the the spooky, dark vibes.

Small Spaces follows Ollie, a sixth-grader from Vermont who is recovering from the death of her mom. She’s depressed and tends to isolate herself from friends and her father. One day she comes across a woman crying. The woman is holding a book called Small Spaces, and she wants to throw it into the creek. Ollie believes books shouldn’t be thrown away so she takes it. The following day she and her classmates go on a field trip to a farm, and Ollie begins to notice strange similarities between the farm and the spooky contents in the book. Ollie and her two classmates, Brian and Coco, now have to work together to figure out how to escape the woods and save their friends.

Small Spaces is such a perfect read for Halloween. I think even if you’re an adult you’ll still love the haunted setting and atmospheric writing. I can’t really gauge the “creep factor” for children, but I think if I had to rate it on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the scariest) I’d probably give it 3.5. While I didn’t find it to be scary I can see this perhaps freaking out young readers since there are some creepy scenes that involve ghosts, dark woods, and being chased.

But aside from the horror plot line, there were so many wonderful themes I appreciated. This story beautifully showcases the importance of friendship and teamwork. It’s about standing up for someone and caring for them in dire times. It’s about facing your fears while also coming to terms with loss and healing emotionally.

Arden also includes some of the best characters. Coco reminded me a lot of Luna Lovegood, how she dances to beat of her own drum and doesn’t care what others think. And Brian is a sporty “jock” from Jamaica who isn’t afraid to step up to help others. While this book does have some bullying I love how Arden addresses stereotypes and shows us how these children handle it.

Overall this book was such a treat to read and I really hope we see more middle grade books from Katherine Arden. I am so happy I read this in the Fall. ❤

Content/trigger warning: Loss of a parent, minor bullying, depression.

fourstars

xx,

Amy

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Big Books!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

This week’s topic is “longest books I’ve ever read.” I didn’t really like the topic because the majority of “big” books (to me) that I’ve read were around 600’ish pages. So instead I’m going to share the 5 big books I’m looking forward to reading this year as well as 5 big books I previously read.

5 Big Books I’m Planning to Read:

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: 848 pages

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas: About 1,000 pages (According to the author)

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare: 720 pages

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare: 701 pages

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare: 720 pages

5 Big Books I’ve Previously Read:

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Winter by Marissa Meyer: 827 pages

It by Stephen King: 1,116 pages

11/22/63 by Stephen King: 849 pages

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling: 870 pages

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling: 759 pages

 

Apparently this is the year of Cassandra Clare books for me! And I am SO HYPE for Kingdom of Ash! But I hope this was a fun topic for you. I don’t even know if these are the longest books I’ve ever read, but I used Goodreads to quickly look up their page numbers. I have no idea if it’s accurate! LOL. 🙂

xx,

amy

 

 

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

fivestars

Title: The Tea Dragon Society

Author: Katie O’Neill

Pages: 72

Genre: Middle grade, graphic novel, fantasy

My rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

I first learned about this adorable middle grade graphic novel from Melanie. After catching a few glimpse of the pages I knew I had to read it. And I am so glad I did. This graphic novel is so cute and had me grinning from ear to ear.

This book follows Greta, a blacksmith apprentice who comes from a long line of blacksmiths. Her mother is her teacher, but she also teaches Greta that while blacksmithing may not be a popular occupation anymore, it is a tradition and art form that should not be lost. One day Greta finds a lost tea dragon and she returns it to its rightful owner, Hesekiel. From there Greta befriends Hesekiel and his husband, Erik, and a prophetess named Minette who has trouble remembering things.

Hesekiel explains to Greta the importance of tea dragons and how rare they are. Tea dragons grow tea leaves on their horns or antlers, and you can use those leaves to brew tea. Drinking the tea allows you to see a person’s memories. There used to be a time when tea dragons and their owners were part of a society, but sadly over the years, the society dissolved. However with Greta and Minette helping out, the future of the tea dragon society looks promising.

I totally didn’t expect to feel all the feels when reading this graphic novel. And the fact that Katie O’Neill could make me teary-eyed in just 72 pages means something. I loved seeing how Hesekiel and Erik met, and how much they cherish each other. But I also loved the friendships, LGBTQIAP+ main characters, disability rep (Erik is in a wheel chair), found family, and the importance of traditions this book highlights. All of the characters are also people of color. There is just so much good in this book, and the art is quite possibly the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen.

fivestars

xx,

Amy

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare

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twostars

Title: City of Fallen Angels

Series: The Mortal Instruments, #4

Author: Cassandra Clare

Pages: 424

Genre: YA Fantasy, urban fantasy

City of Bones Rating: ★★

City of Ashes Rating: ★★★

City of Glass Rating: ★★★★

City of Fallen Angels Rating: ★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

SIGH.

I am going to preface this by saying I was not a huge fan of City of Bones. I gave it 2 stars, but I did end up enjoying the series as a whole. I immensely enjoyed The Infernal Devices, and I feel like the two trilogies cannot be compared. And, quite frankly, I didn’t think three additional TMI books were necessary. But, I know this series means a lot to so many people, and there is a lot of nostalgia tied into it. So let me also point out that I am in my 30’s and this is my first time reading TMI. So there are several tropes and teen drama that I just do not care for anymore.

But with that being said, I think this series is very consumable and has stood well over time despite the YA fantasy market being over saturated with similar books. I am definitely still going to read the rest of this series because I truly do love the world and how all the characters are connected.

There may be some spoilers in this post as I am having a hard time conveying just how much I did not enjoy certain things. So, once again, I’ll shower you with my thoughts!

What I Liked:

  1. The subtle clues that tie into The Infernal Devices. I loved seeing the similarities between Isabelle and Cecily. And the silver snuff box was mentioned, too!
  2. Brother Zachariah! ❤ I was so happy our Jem made an appearance.
  3. I’m super curious how Camille’s role is going to play out in this series. It was nice to see her again after TID.
  4. Isabelle is the best. Hands down. She’s the one person who didn’t royally piss me off.

What I Disliked:

  1. Simon really disappointed me in this one. I really sympathized with him in the last three books and thought his development was great. But now he’s stringing along two girls at the same time? Huh? I don’t care if y’all haven’t had the “exclusively dating” talk yet. Don’t date two people and then not tell them about the other person!
  2. Jace and Clary. Oh boy. I actually don’t despise Clary like others do, but Jace really made me rage in this one. He’s ignoring Clary to protect her!? HOW? Dude. Ya’ll need to work on your communication skills because I just cannot handle how dumb their plot line was.
  3. I used to really like Alec but WOW. His whining and anger toward Magnus for *GASP* dating other people in the past was so gross and misguided. Magnus is, like, a bajillion (not really) years old. Did Alec expect Magnus to have never found love in past relationships? Is he not supposed to have ANY possessions from the hundreds of years he’s lived that might have some reminder about a past ex? This story line permanently left me shaking my head.
  4. Lilith. What a pointless and useless villain. I get it — they needed a way to bring Sebastian/Jonathan back. But she was such a horrible plot device.
  5. Jordan and Maia. Uh, are we going to ignore the abuse? I don’t care if he was just turned into a werewolf. He straight up abused Maia. He needs to go away.
  6. The ending… didn’t really have a resolution?

I don’t know. I guess I feel like we are back at square one in City of Bones again, where all of Jace and Clary’s relationship has regressed and we are starting over. I also feel like Alec used to be so mature and level-headed, and now he’s the biggest brat ever. Just WTF happened?

I’m sorry, I truly am not wanting to offend anyone. And I really do think these books have held up well over the years. I think I’ll enjoy the rest of the series more as I’ve heard good things about City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire. But, yikes, this one just did not do it for me. I’m sad.

twostars

xx,

Amy

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3) by Cassandra Clare

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fourstars

Title: Clockwork Princess

Series: The Infernal Devices, #3

Author: Cassandra Clare

Pages: 567

Genre: YA Fantasy, urban fantasy

Clockwork Angel Rating: ★★★★

Clockwork Prince Rating: ★★★★

Clockwork Princess Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

HOW am I supposed to recover from that epilogue!?

Let me just say that this is a very high 4-star rating. I almost gave it 5, but there were some pacing issues for me toward the middle of the book. But honestly, this book was SO good and will stick with me for a very long time.

Once again I’m just going to shower you with my overall thoughts because my head is still swimming from that finale.

Cassandra Clare has proven, again, that she can write romance extremely well. While The Infernal Devices has been a romance-heavy series, I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it (even the love triangle!). There is just so much good in the relationship between Tessa, Jem, and Will. And I was so pleased with how it all came together. This quote, in particular, will forever stick with me: “Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two.”

And I truly feel like that quote doesn’t just pertain to Tessa, but to Will and Jem, too. The love between Will and Jem was so profound that my heart was racing when their parabatai bond was broken. And, just… I was not expecting the twists that came. Kudos to proving me wrong that this ending was SO NOT predictable.

Aside from the romance, I believe Cassandra Clare is so good at constructing these families that expand generations. I loved searching for any clues as to who is related to who, and where it all leads to in the present Shadowhunters series. The family tree is, hands down, the most interesting thing to read about. I promptly skimmed through the illustrated Shadowhunters book (sans The Dark Artifices since I’m not that far along yet) just so I could visualize everyone. (Side note: While the illustrations are beautiful, I think the illustrated book does a fairly poor job at providing character info and family lineage details.)

So, while I pretty much adored everything in this book, I did have a few qualms. One thing is that I wish we got to see more of Tessa’s power. We got a larger glimpse at her powers in Clockwork Angel, but after that, it didn’t seem to be too focused on what she could do. Tessa is such a strong willed person with highly powerful gifts, so I wish we could’ve seen that more. Also the pacing got a bit slow for me during some parts, and the sub-plot regarding the Consul wanting to overthrow Charlotte got way too redundant and overkill.

But that epilogue. I will never get over it. It was perfect, beautiful, and deeply shattered my heart in the best and worst ways. I can only hope we get to see some of our favorites again as the rest of the Shadowhunters series goes on, because I cannot let these beautiful characters go.

fourstars

Buddy read with Melanie, Sol, Chelsea, & Terri!

xx,

Amy

 

 

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

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fourstars

Title: Clockwork Prince

Series: The Infernal Devices, #2

Author: Cassandra Clare

Pages: 502

Genre: YA Fantasy, urban fantasy

My rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Once again I am blown away by how much Cassandra Clare’s story-telling and writing has improved since the third book in The Mortal Instruments series. I also feel the need to repeat this a lot, but keep in mind I am in my 30’s and this is my first time reading through the entire Shadowhunters series, so I was not in love with the first three books in The Mortal Instruments. I also read a lot of YA so that may also affect my overall judgment for these books.

But, seriously, The Infernal Devices are my favorite books by Cassandra Clare to date. First and foremost, I love the Victorian London setting. I am a sucker for all things Victorian, so just the setting alone scored major brownie points for me. And then once you introduce some snarky, smartass characters, strong women, and some steampunk vibes — I am all in.

Clockwork Prince picks up after Tessa’s world crumbles at the end of Clockwork Angel. She’s dealing with the aftermath of the battle with the Magister, her brother Nate’s betrayal, Will’s shitty-ass attitude (what even?), and oh, she might be a warlock? Tessa is just trying to find her place in this Shadowhunter world, but she’s going to have to do some digging to find out.

But what really sets apart this series for me is how character-driven it is. Sure, the romance plays a major role, but it just feels so tangible and relatable. And it’s not just the romantic relationships that stands out, but rather the love we find in friendships and found families. And that it is normal and relatable to love more than one person.

So that brings me to the elephant in the room: the love triangle. Y’all, I was living for this triangle, and I am not usually a fan of them. But this love triangle was done so well. I am worried it’s going to go into a predictable direction (ie: Tessa choosing Jem because she feels sorry he’s dying?)… so I am crossing my fingers it doesn’t come to that! And despite my hatred for how Will treated Tessa at the end of Clockwork Angel, it is so obvious she loves him more than Jem. So I don’t know… I just hope my Jem doesn’t get wronged, because my heart will break into a million pieces.

And speaking of Will, we got to finally see WHY he’s been acting like such a standoffish jerk, and wow — it really broke my heart. But I’m so glad the cat’s finally out of the bag and he can now be his true self — and profess his love to Tessa.

Aside from the romance, I am really looking forward to seeing the direction this story is going to go in the finale. I truly do not like Benedict Lightwood and I am anxious to see how Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood fit into the series. Also? WTF, Jessamine. I never liked her and this book solidified why. Nate can also KFO. 🙂

I know this isn’t quite a “review”… but more of me showering you with my random thoughts! This series has been out for a very long time but I’ve been having a blast slowly chipping my way through them so I can prepare myself for the release of Queen of Air and Darkness!

fourstars

Buddy read with Melanie!

xx,

Amy

Vengeful (Villains, #2) by V.E. Schwab

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fivestars

Title: Vengeful

Series: Villains, #2

Author: V.E. Schwab

Pages: 480

Genre: Fantasy, urban fantasy

Vicious Rating: ★★★★★

Vengeful Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab’s first adult novel.

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

The following review will contain spoilers from Vicious, book 1 in the Villains series.

Oh how I’ve waited so long for this sequel and I was not disappointed! I fell in love with our favorite antiheroes, Eli Ever and Victor Vale, a few years ago when I read Vicious. And I just knew Vengeful was going to pack an even bigger punch.

Vengeful isn’t your typical good vs. evil or heroes vs. villains story.  It is more than a villains origin story. This is a series about power, revenge, faith vs. science, and humanity. Schwab loves to toe that grey line of morality so much that I’m constantly questioning who to root for.

This book follows several POVs in the past and present timelines. While this format may not be everyone’s favorite, I truly feel like Schwab pulled this off very well, and the multiple timelines created so much build-up for the end. Schwab’s prose and world building is so much more extensive in this sequel. And the voices she gave to each of these characters had me flip flopping so much between love/hate/understanding.

Vengeful starts with a bang — one of my favorite opening scenes in a book this year — where we are introduced to Marcella: the power-hungry wife of a mobster. And if you’ve read Vicious then you’ll know how an EO (ExtraOrdinary) is born, and oh man, you are going to LOVE this murderous, angry, powerful woman.

I’m not going to talk too much about Eli and Victor’s story lines, but let’s just say they are both out for blood, albeit for different reasons. Eli is serving time while Victor’s life, and powers, seems to be slipping away. They are, quite possibly, my favorite antiheroes ever. Eli’s back story totally added another layer to his character for me, and seeing Victor slowly coming undone was heart wrenching. It is also briefly mentioned that Victor is asexual — rep that I appreciate Schwab confirming.

We are also reunited again with Sydney, Dol, Dominic, and Mitch. They may be an odd bunch, but they make a great team and I especially adored Sydney and Mitch’s relationship (like siblings). Sydney also gets her own POV which added more growth to her character. I felt myself connecting so much to her; I could feel her guilt, her feelings of loss, and her love for her found family.

But there’s another new female character that I want to briefly discuss, and that’s June. June is also extremely powerful and badass, but I couldn’t find myself really connecting with her. She spent several years corresponding with Sydney (a minor) via text, and I couldn’t help but feel awkward that June was basically… grooming Sydney? Her motives for wanting to protect Sydney were never really explained, but June kept building Sydney’s trust over time. I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something and it’ll be explained later in another book (if there is going to be another one?).

I’ll just leave with this: If you love morally ambiguous characters, action, and mayhem, please pick up these books. What some of these characters do is so heinous and sick, and yet I find myself rooting for them and sympathizing with them. I’m not going to sit here and say that these hero-origin or villain-origin stories are original. But I was so immersed in the world and the backstories, and just waiting for the “final showdown” had me on the edge of my seat. There were so many gears turning, so many players in the game, I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I am begging for Schwab to write another Villains book, because I need more EOs , Victor, and Eli in my life.

Content/trigger warnings: domestic abuse, child abuse, suicide, drug use, murder/torture/experimentation.

fivestars

xx,

Amy

Top Ten Tuesday: Atmospheric Paranormal Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

Happy October, friends! This is my favorite month and I am so excited for all the decorations, festivities, and spoopy books! I decided to change up today’s topic and instead share with you some of my suggestions if you’re in the mood for an atmospheric read that contains paranormal elements. These might not necessarily be horror, but they all have some sort of paranormal or magical themes, which fits the overall ambiance of October! Also I love a good, atmospheric book during this season.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw:

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I adored this haunting tale about sisters who were accused of witchcraft and drowned, and how every Summer Solstice they come back to take a girl. The Pacific Northwest setting is so perfect and I just loved the small town vibes.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle:

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This is a tale about friendship and being careful what you wish for. So many good woodsy vibes set in Ireland.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater:

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Friendships, ghosts, and legends. I’ve only read the first book in this series but I love how Maggie Stiefvater builds her worlds.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden:

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This book is a wintery, Russian folklore enthusiast’s dream. It’s definitely a slow burn, but you’ll seriously feel like you’re transported to a snowy farm house surrounded by magical woods. You can’t get much more atmospheric than this!

Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore:

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Blanca y Roja is one of my favorite reads of 2018. I legit felt like I was right there in those woods with the del Cisne sisters. This book pulls inspiration from well known fairy tales and haunting legends.

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft:

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This is an anthology of several short stories, many of which are super atmospheric and will transport you right into the magic. Some worlds are more brutal than others, and some of the themes can be very heavy, but they are so worth the read.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand:

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All I’m going to say is that this entire book takes place on an island, with dense woods, where there’s an unknown killer/entity hunting people.

Labyrinth Lost and Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova:

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Labyrinth Lost is the first book and it’s probably the more atmospheric out of the two. These witchy books follow bruja sisters through some very strange and unusual places.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart:

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We Were Liars is another book that takes place on a secluded island that has its own secrets. This isn’t my most favorite book, but I know so many people love it! But I really loved the eerie, isolated vibes.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling:

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Let’s just always assume Harry Potter will make it on most of my lists. LOL. But, yeah, it’s pretty self explanatory why!

Well, that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! I am wishing you all the best October reads, and I can’t wait to hear what you all end up reading this month. ❤

 

xx,

Amy

September 2018 Wrap Up

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Hi, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic reading month. I read some great books in September. I can’t believe how fast it flew by and I am very thankful for all the amazing reading opportunities I had: the best buddy reads, ARCs, and getting to be part of the reviewing campaign for Holly Black’s new e-novella, The Lost Sisters! I also participated in ContemporaryAThon, which I… sort of didn’t quite read everything I intended to. LOL.

But overall I finished 13 books in September. Below are links to my reviews, too!

Physical Books

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Lumberjanes, Vol. 3 by Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters ★★★ (ContemporaryAThon)

Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire, #1) by Grace Draven ★★★★★ | Buddy read with Melanie!

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★ | Buddy read with Melanie!

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★ | Buddy read with Melanie, Sol, Chelsea, & Terri!

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich ★★★ (ContemporaryAThon)

Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore ★★★★★ | Buddy read with Melanie and Jen!

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young ★★★ | Buddy read with Lilly, Leigh, & Melanie! (ContemporaryAThon)

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare ★★

eBooks:

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The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air, #1.5) by Holly Black ★★★★★

E-novella provided by NOVL for The Lost Sisters campaign!

Digital Galleys via NetGalley & Edelweiss:

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Paramnesia (The Deadish Chronicles, #1) by Brian Wilkinson ★★★★

I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz ★★★★

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold ★★★

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd ★

I know October is already shaping up to be a fun month filled with haunting reads, and I am so ready! I will also be co-hosting #FridayFrightAthon, so please check out that page for more info. I’d be so honored if you joined us!

And now onward to October’s reading! I am wishing you all the happy fall reads, and some spooky Halloween books if that floats your boat! 🙂

xx,

Amy