Here we are, in July, and I have taken another blogging break. As always with my blogging breaks, this wasn’t intentional – I was traveling, my book was releasing, and I was burned out. So I took a month off, but I’m back. (I promise this time, because I love blogging and miss it when I’m gone.) Some small changes will be taking place here – all of my Friday Reads posts are going to move over to my bookstagram (@amandareadsandwrites on Insta, if you’re curious), and I’ll be doing more book reviews on Friday. That’s the other thing – I have about 40 book reviews to write! Aside from Amanda Reads and Top 5 Wednesday, I’ll be writing up those reviews, slowly but surely. Plus! I’m going to add Top 10 Tuesday to the mix! Because why not – I love lists. 🙂
The other change is going to come in the form of these Amanda Reads posts. No more summaries, because book reviews! Just a rating as my wrap-up, and I’ll go back and add links to the reviews when they finally come. I have so many ARCs to read, and I have to get up to speed on those so I can keep getting more ARCs (because that’s the vicious cycle, my friends).
Who needs backlist, anyway? Kidding, I do. Ha. I need all the books.
Without further ado, the rating system (with graphics!):
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
I’m so happy Sarah Dessen is back! I wasn’t sure she’d write YA again. I finished this the day before I met her at BookCon, and it was worth it. SO GOOD. But also, content warning: school shooting.
Rating: 4 dogs petted. If you love traditional Sarah Dessen, you’ll love this story.
March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Explosive end to this graphic novel trilogy. This should be required reading for everyone.
Rating: 4+ dogs petted. I can’t express how good this is.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Why did I wait so long to read this trilogy?? Leigh Bardugo writes so well! And this beginning – wow. I was in love with Mal from like, the very first page. And Alina is so relatable. I LOVED IT.
Rating: 4 dogs petted. Anyone who likes young adult fantasy should be reading Leigh Bardugo.
The Duff by Kody Keplinger
I wanted a contemporary cleanse after the splendor that was Shadow and Bone. This was it. This book was such a product of its time (the Mean Girls era), but I still enjoyed it a ton.
Rating: 3 dogs petted. Super fun contemporary YA that normalizes sex!
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
My Goodreads review has me pretty speechless at the end of this one. My only complaint is that this definitely suffered from middle-book syndrome. But also. Mal! Nikolai! I love them both SO MUCH I’m not crying YOU’RE CRYING.
Rating: 3 dogs petted. Middle book syndrome, but also, SO GOOD.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The twists! The ending! My emotions! I still can’t form sentences. I want Mal and Nikolai to live with me forever. That’s the thing about fiction, though. They can. ❤
Rating: 4+ dogs petted. Best (and most satisfying) ending to a YA fantasy trilogy yet.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Middle grade! A bit of a mystery! Spoiler alert (sort of): time travel! This was fast and fun and I enjoyed it immensely.
Rating: 3 dogs petted. Fast and fun and I’d recommend to those who love middle grade with a little mystery.
No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky
This book surprised me! The writing was wonderful and the main character is half Mexican, like me! It felt it on a very deep level, and I love Goldy Moldavsky. LOVED IT.
Rating: 4 dogs petted. A very real look at summer camp for high schoolers. And super funny!
I did a lot of reading in June, as you can see! Reviews will start showing up next week, and I’ll probably skip between books read earlier this year and books read recently. Happy July!
Oh! And Something Beautiful is out in the world now! Let me know if you read and review – I’ll promote it!