My Weekend Read

I’ve been in a general reading slump for the past couple weeks, but despite that, my weekend reading has actually been going really well! For the last two weekends, I’ve picked a book on Friday with the goal of reading it cover-to-cover over the weekend (because who doesn’t need one more excuse to read instead of study?)

Since this has worked out really well for me, I figured why not post about it? It also seems like a great way to get recommendations if you guys join in the fun! So keeping that in mind, here are the things I’m going to include in the post (and the things I’d love to know from those of you who also have weekend reads):

  • Which book is your weekend read?
  • What is the first sentence or synopsis?
  • Where did you first hear about it?/What convinced you to pick it up?
  • What format will you be reading in (hardcover, paperback, e-reader)?

Or you could go the TLDR route and just share what you’re currently reading 🙂

If you write up your own post, please just include a link back to Amorous Reads, and leave a link in the comments here so that others can find your post, too. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to know what you’re reading 😀

I’ll be posting occasional updates on my instagram and twitter accounts  (@amorousreads), so feel free to check in there, too!

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Now that the logistics are out of the way, here’s my first official weekend read:

These Shallow Graves
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

The first few sentences:

Josephine Montfort stared at the newly mounded grave in front of her and at the wooden cross marking it.

“This is the one you’re after. Kinch,” Flynn, the gravedigger, said, pointing at the name painted on the cross. “He died on Tuesday.”

I first saw this book on another blogger’s Top Ten Tuesday post last autumn – I wish I could remember which blog. The cover immediately caught my eye, and I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews since then, so I’m really excited to be giving it a go. I was lucky enough to find a used hardcover copy in pristine condition at my local bookstore, so that’s the one I’ll be reading.

What is your weekend read? I am always in need of recommendations, after all 😉

Minute Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (The Dowser, #1)
Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge (The Dowser, Book 1)
My Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I quickly fell into the peaceful rhythm of baking, my hands moving and mixing while my mind and eyes were on the next ingredient. I was a particular fan of icing, sometimes piling it high enough to double the height of the cupcake. My grandmother often dropped in when I was baking–as I still did five out of seven days a week. She said watching me bake was like watching an adept witch work a spell. Flattery will get you treats from me every time.

I don’t think I would have picked this one up if it hadn’t been one of my February book club picks, but I’m glad that I did. While I wouldn’t call it a new favorite, the story was quick, some of the characters were intriguing, and it gave me a MASSIVE craving for cupcakes (which I immediately satisfied by making a batch all for myself). While the story was pretty simplistic, I think more depth comes in the later books.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy lighthearted urban fantasy, devil-may-care heroines that are still growing into their boots, or stories in which food wins the award for best supporting character.

The most important recommendation of all: READ THIS WITH CUPCAKES ON HAND!

Top Ten Tuesday: A Valentine’s Day Rainbow

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to the book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books in a Valentine’s Day Rainbow

This week’s TTT is a Valentine’s Day freebie, so I decided to go with a color theme 🙂 As a result, this mini collection includes a pretty wide variety of romantic stories, including Adult and Young Adult, Contemporary and Fantasy, Series and Standalone. There’s even a novella thrown in.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)  Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)  First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)  Fangirl  A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – (YA, Retelling/Fantasy, Duology Book 1) – This is my favorite book of those I’ve read this year so far. The setting is absolutely stunning, and it’s perfect for being whisked away for a few hours.

Fated by Sarah Fine – (Adult, Mythology/Fantasy/Apocalyptic, Trilogy Book 3) – I love Sarah Fine’s work because it never fails to draw me into the story 100%. This is the third book in her adult series, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones – (Adult, Paranormal/Chick Lit/Urban Fantasy, Series Book 1) – A fun, quick read that is full of snark, this is a prime example of a beach book.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – (YA, Contemporary, Standalone) – One of my favorite YA novels, Fangirl is an excellent valentine’s day read!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – (YA, Retelling/Fantasy, Series Book 1) – This one is a loose Beauty and the Beast retelling with fae lore thrown in, and now is the perfect time to read it, since Book 2 is coming out in May.

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)  Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides, #1)  Entwined (Darkest London, #3.5)  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Die for Me by Amy Plum – (YA, Paranormal/Fantasy, Trilogy Book 1) – This is a perfect choice for fans of romantic paranormal YA! To top it off, the series is set in Paris, the author’s home, and is full of romantic Parisian atmosphere.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (YA, Contemporary, Companion Trilogy Book 1) – Another YA set in Paris, this one is contemporary fiction and ALSO full of romantic Parisian atmosphere 😉

Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee – (Adult, Contemporary, Series Book 1) – This is probably the most stereotypical romance novel on this list, but it is also a quick, fun read with a satisfying ending.

Entwined by Kristen Callihan – (Adult, Fantasy/Steampunk, Series Prequel Novella) – Despite being a companion novella to a larger series, this is a good representative of Callihan’s work, and the novella is perfectly enjoyable on its own. It is also one of my favorite novellas in general, and I think of the story as a loose retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – (YA, Contemporary/LGBT, Standalone) – This one was tied for my favorite 2015 read. I can’t recommend it enough 😀

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What books do you read around Valentine’s Day? Do you read romance or avoid the genre altogether? Link you own TTT in the comments so I can check out your freebie theme!

The Friday 56: The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

Friday56

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the participation rules couldn’t be simpler. You just pick any book you want, flip to page 56 (or 56% for e-readers), and choose a non-spoilery sentence or two to share with the world.

The Tropic of Serpents (Memoir by Lady Trent, #2)
The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan (Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 2)
From page 56:

“I have not kidnapped her, my lord,” I said, covering my nervousness with irritation.

Do you have your own Friday 56? Let me know in the comments!

Minute Review: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti

Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome, #1)
Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti (The Scorpius Syndrome, Book 1)
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

“If there are bullets, I’m between you and them. If you get taken, I’m hunting you down till my last breath. And if you end up in hell, I’ll storm the f*cking place until the fires go out.”

Mercury Striking was a whirlwind read for me, because every time I picked it up, I couldn’t seem to put it down without knowing what was coming next. It was a little more “alpha” than my usual read, but the overarching plot was intriguing and I’m curious to see what direction book 2 will take.

Recommendation: Read this if you love action-packed, post-apocalyptic romances full of alpha heroes and heroes-to-be. I also recommend this to romance readers who like comprehensive series plot despite each book focusing on a different main couple.

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(This ARC was generously provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

Minute Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories, #1)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (Glamourist Histories, Book 1)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

The room had vanished, its walls replaced entirely by arching trees; the ceiling, a sky overhead which shimmered with the light of stars and the moon. The trees rustled in response to a conjured breeze, which carried with it hints of jasmine and the pleasant, spicy scent of loam.

This is a sweet, quick romance, full of the imagery of a Regency English countryside, and I really enjoyed it. The hint of fantasy added a flair to the usual Austen-esque themes without turning it into a full-fledged fantasy novel.

Recommendation: Read this if you are intrigued by the idea of Regency romance with a touch of fantasy, or if you’re curious about the artistic possibilities of folding glamours.

The Friday 56: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Friday56

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the participation rules couldn’t be simpler. You just pick any book you want, flip to page 56 (or 56% for e-readers), and choose a non-spoilery sentence or two to share with the world.

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)
The Paper Magician
by Charlie N. Holmberg (The Paper Magician Trilogy, Book 1)

From page 56:

Fennel had taken to adventuring downstairs, and Ceony had shoved Jonto’s inanimate bones into a closet in the office and left him there. Now the place seemed… lifeless.

I really enjoyed this book, and it seemed like the perfect Friday 56 pick for this overcast day. Do you have your own Friday 56? Let me know in the comments!