Bright Smoke Cold Fire Review

IMG_3947.JPGAbout a month or so ago I had the great pleasure of reading Bright Smoke Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge. This book is a Romeo and Juliet retelling where we follow four main characters as they work on seemingly separate missions. Romeo Mahyanai and Paris Catresou work to expose the higher ups of the Mahyanai clan, who seem to be breaking various laws that hold the dying city together. Juliet Castresou and Mahyanai Runajo work to save the city through finding the ancient knowledge that could save the city. In this book the small city known as Viyara is the last living civilization in a world ruled by the dead, and seem to simply be buying time until they all become a member of the undead.

Overall I give this book four out of five stars. It was an awesome read that I couldn’t put down. Ultimately this book lost the last start because I wanted to see more of the world, watch the characters grow more, and learn more about the magic system, the Juliet, and The Sisters of Throne. I felt like these characteristics really set this book apart from others but we didn’t see a lot of it, which could really set this book apart from a traditional retelling.

If you haven’t read the book I urge you to stop here, but if you’re ready for some spoilers keep reading.

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Shadow and Bone By Leigh Bardugo

A few months ago I finally got around to reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and  I’m very conflicted about how I feel about it. On the positive side I really did like the story and I got through the first two thirds in a day or two, but then I just sat on it and I didn’t end up loving it by the end. The story itself was very compelling, and I loved it, but I felt like many of the characters fell sort of flat and I didn’t really end up feeling like many of them grew over time. I am still going to continue with the series for two reasons. 1) I have the first book 2) I’m hoping the characters grow and become more 3D in the second book.

img_3608.jpgShadow and Bone is set in the Grisha universe, where the elite of the population have abilities to manipulate, create, or change things around them. Shadow and Bone is mainly about an orphan named Alina who lives in a country named Ravka and worked as a map maker for the military. Her best friend, Mal, knew her since she arrived at the orphanage and followed Alina as they both continue their paths in the military. That is, until the day they are sent on a mission to attempt to cross the fold, a great darkness that has taken part of the country hostage. While in the fold Alina releases a great power that fends off not only the darkness of the fold, but the monsters that live inside it. The problem? She didn’t know it was there, she doesn’t know how to control it, and she’s taken from her friend to be taken to the small palace and serve the Darkling. That’s where this story begins. During the book we follow Alina as she spends her time at the small palace developing her power, growing stronger, and falling in love.

Overall this book got a four out of five stars because I love the universe and the story was entertaining. I didn’t love the characters as much as I hoped to, but they have a lot of growing to do and I think in the next book is when that I will really happen because they are left to a much more difficult situation than what they’ve been used to. I also hope to watch as their relationship grows a little more.

Warning: stop here if you haven’t read the book. I recommend it if you’re looking for a new fantasy series, and I really do hope that you read it, but if you don’t want spoilers stop here. If you’re read it, keep going.

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National Novel Writing Month 2017 Results

Today I wanted to take a look back to November and talk about how National Novel Writing Month went for me and how my results turned out. This will be a short post, because I really don’t have a lot to say about it, but I feel like it’s something that needs to be addressed.

In total I wrote 32,143 words in November and I am insanely proud of that, even if I officially lost NaNoWriMo. I feel like I won overall, though. A lot happened in November, I took on more hours at work, and my boyfriend decided to buy a house so with all of that piled on top of just my “normal” life I don’t think I could have asked myself to do much more.

Although my goal was to write the 50,000 words the real goal was to get me excited about writing again, and I have to say that I accomplished that. Writing was something that I Was big into during high school and when I went to college it was something that I had to put down, even if it was a great coping strategy. I was doing way to much to have time to sit down and read so it just wasn’t going to happen. In that way I did win and that’s what I’m focusing on and what I’m very happy with.

The other thing that I want to note was that I went into NaNoWriMo as a pantser and without any plan, which was something I did not want to do at all. I liked the story that I spent time with but it isn’t something that I’m going to be continuing because I just don’t like it that much. For what it came from I am very proud of it, but it’s still not a story that I’m going to continue to work on.

How did your NaNoWriMo go? Let me know down below!

See you soon,

Amanda Ann

Diabolic Lovers Wrap Up


thRecently I have been in the mood for really trashy love/romance anime, so I decided to watch Diabolic Lovers.

I consider this to be such a trashy anime, and it just was so weird.

Honestly half way through it I had to ask myself why I was watching it and what was going on. But, I kept watching it an I found that I sort of enjoyed it. For me I can compare it to the book Twilight pretty easily because it was just sort of that idea of so many guys wanting one girl, but this one had a few differences.

Honestly I give this anime three out of five stars, it was ok, nothing honestly too memorable but still interesting.

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Roar By Cora Carmack

The second book that I picked up this September was Roar (Stormheart)by Cora Carmack, and I feel in love with the book. I was introduced to this book through FairyLoot unboxings because it was the included book one month and I found that I really did want to read it. I went back and forth about buying it for about a month before walking into Barnes and Nobel for the first time in a year and buying both books. (You can see all the books I bought in August in my video August Book Haul.)

roar-by-cora-carmackRoar follows the Stormling princess Aurora as she starts her journey of preparing to take the throne once her mother steps down from power. As customs state Aurora must be married by a specific time, and although it’s normal for Stormlings to marry for love Aurora agrees, or is forced into, an arranged marriage with a Stormling prince (from another kingdom). Her to be husband, Cassius, is the second son of the king of a neighboring kingdom and upon first meeting him Aurora begins to develop a crush. As she begins to trust him Aurora begins to debate telling him the secret that she has sacrificed so much to keep, that she has no Stormling powers. Due to this secret Aurora secluded herself from her people and those of the court, and has spent most of her life simply trying to become the ruler that her mother wants her to be.

Shortly after meeting Cassius Aurora finds out that he may not be what he seems. With help from her long time friend Aurora sets off to follow Cassius to find out what he’s hiding. During this time Aurora finds that she needs to be saved, and meets the storm hunter Locke. This is when Aurora finds out something that she never could have thought about, that people were selling the magic she needs for her Stormling powers on the black market. Finding this out Aurora sets off on a new task, to become a great storm hunter and find a way to take her throne using the skills that she learns. That is where our adventure begins.

The only thing that I regret about reading this book is that the next one won’t be released until May of 2018, and I don’t want to wait that long. This book got a 5/5 from me because I enjoyed watching the main character Aurora become her own and force herself through the challenges that were put in front of her. I also just fell in love with the Stormling world and I can’t wait to read more stories that have to do with this world. (I really hope this series will last for a while, because I’m that in love with this world and there is still so much to explore.)


That’s the end of the spoiler free part of this review, so if you haven’t read the book I would stop here. If you have read the book and you’re on the same hype I am, then keep reading!

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