What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Belated Summer Edition

book recommendations and books to read



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Book Talk: The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Sticking with the official summary to be safe and not to give away things:

“Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.”

a2britney-confused-gif[Keep Reading]

Book Talk: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Etta is just living her life in present day when suddenly she finds herself falling through time and dropped on a ship in the 1700’s aboard a ship Nicholas, another time traveler, works on. He’s to take Etta to an evil man who he had hoped to get away from and never have to deal with again. He’s looking for something (that would totes give him like Time Travel Overload status) that is hidden by another time traveler and he believes Etta can find it which Etta is like HUH? I don’t even know how I got here but then he throws a little life plot twist her way to make her realize she might have a better shot at finding it than she thought — and the stakes are HIGH. So Etta and Nicholas take off across and time and continents to follow clues, find what he wants and stay one step ahead of Ironwood who will use it for bad.

a2HOW CAN I WAIT FOR BOOK 2?!? Someone please let me time travel to the day this releases!!

a4One of my all time favorite books is The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggar and, to be honest, I haven’t read many time travel books since then.  Passenger made me remember how much I enjoy the time travel storyline in fiction. Particularly from the point of view of a character who is just living her life as a competitive violinist (as one does) and has no idea time travel exists but suddenly is caught up in this high stakes race against the clock because apparently there’s some things she didn’t know about her heritage and now a baddie is holding her hostage to find what he’s looking for.

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Book Talk: The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



There are 2 earths — duplicates of everything on this parallel earth. But one earth is failing because two can not exist in the universe and a mission has been created, by people of the failing planet, to invade the other and take it for themselves. They’ve been training kids, like the main character Lira, to become cold killers and sleeper agents until the big invasion happens. So Lira finishes her training and is brought to where she must kill her duplicate and then assume her life while she waits for the time when all the sleeper agents are in place and the battle to take this planet for themselves will happen.


a4The Unquiet was one of the most unsettling and unflinching books I’ve read this year for sure. I expected it to go in a certain direction and it absolutely didn’t and I was left like DAAAAMN I SEE YOU, BOOK. Predictable it was not at all! It was also a very unique science fiction read — unlike anything I’ve read personally!

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Book Talk: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”


Rosie’s whole life has been photography and when she gets the chance to attend the prestigious Forge School there’s no way she’ll turn that down — even if that means being part of the Big Brother-esque reality show based on the school called The Forge Show. Part of the curriculum is that the students sleep for 12 hours to enhance their creativity by way of a sleeping pill. Rosie, feeling overwhelmed by the reality show and the fact she’s at the bottom of the popularity charts that could send her home, decides to skip out on her sleeping pill and discovers things aren’t as they seem behind the cameras — things that seem sinister and just really off.


a4The Vault of Dreamers was one I almost put down because I was feeling impatient even though the premise was KICKASS, became glad that I kept reading in the middle but the ending kind of made me twitchy and the jury will still be out on whether I’m glad I persevered until the sequel (YEA..I thought it was a standalone).  So let’s break it down because it was up and down.

The beginning: I was SO confused because I felt like I was just dropped into this story because it started a couple days into the reality show rather than day 1 or before she arrived at this school. Also we were never told if this was the future or present (but a randomly dropped sentence later on clears that up). I just felt SO confused and really struggled to care about Rosie or really what was going on. I need to care about SOMETHING and the allure of this kickass premise and general intrigue was fading with all the trying to catch up via flashbacks to why Rosie was there and what the deal with the Forge School was.

The middle until the end: HOLY CRAP. HOLY CRAP. I was racing through it. The suspense and mystery, the whole Big Brother element (I am a BIG fan of that show), the craziness of the Forge School, the way it SO COMPLETELY MESSES WITH YOUR MIND. I seriously was like OMGOMGOMG I need to know what is happening at this creepy ass school. I was tense every time Rosie was sleuthing around and audible gasps could be heard. As we get closer to the end I DID NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. Was Rosie dreaming? Is she going crazy? Is there something sinister? WHO CAN SHE TRUST? WHAT IS GOING ONNNNN? The way that the author was able to make ME so unbelievably unsure of what was going on and the whole elaborate THING happening at the Forge School was so incredibly fascinating.

The ending: I just don’t even know what happened. I just don’t.  It was a confusing blur to me in a way but at least we got a pretty big nod to the WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON HERE question.  My brain was spinning. I’m not sure I even quite understand the ending (CAN SOMEBODY EXPLAIN THE ENDING TO ME TO MAKE SURE I AM ON THE SAME PAGE??). I THOUGHT it was a standalone so it was puzzling and then I was like IT HAS TO BE A SERIES because WHAT EVEN. So then I found out it IS a series or at least a duology. It’s weird because it actually totally COULD be an ending and no need for a sequel but then the other part of me is like WHAT?!?



factors+ Plot, how I flew through it and couldn’t put it down after the slow beginning
beginning struggles, the ending, some confusing bits, a little bit of indifference to characters

Re-readability: Probably not but I might need a little refresher before the sequel.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Probably not honestly. Most of the books staying on my shelf I have a really deep connection with.

a5people who like interesting science fiction concepts that mix with a psychological thriller type read.

a8The Vault of Dreamers was quite the ride — honestly a bit like a rollercoaster. The beginning was that slow and painful ascent to where THE GOOD STUFF HAPPENS (aka the adrenaline and the stomach dropping panicky-glee thing) and then from there was this exhilarating ride that seemed to be over before I knew it — complete with that neck-breaking stop at the end of the ride. Such an interesting concept complete with psychological chaos. Was definitely a plot driven read for me because once it got good it was GOOD.


review-on-post-itThe Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O'Brien


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does this series feel like something you’d be into?
* What did you think about the ending?? (pls mark spoilers!)


The Perpetual Page-Turner


Book Talk: Gone by Michael Grant

 Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



So one day everything is normal and the next….poof. Everyone over the age of 14 is gone without an explanation. Chaos ensues because no adults + no power or internet or anything like that. The teens try to make some sort of order and help the little kids and form a society of sorts in the meantime. They are dealing with rationing food, lawlessness and bullies. Not to mention strange things are happening — mutating animals, some of the kids have some sort of superpowers — and things begin to get a bit sinister. The kids try to stay alive and fight off the rich, dangerous kids who have tried to take control all while they try to figure out what happened to the adults before THEY turn 14 and POOF.

a2I just want to know THE THINGS.

a4This was our book club pick and as a group it was a very mixed bag about this one! It isn’t at all my typical read but I was highly entertained throughout most of it. Definitely reads a bit younger than I typically read though.

1. Gone by Michael Grant was SUPER fast-paced: As I was reading I found myself kind of amazed with how quickly the pages were turning. I was like staring at my hands like WHAT IS THIS? HOW AM I READING THIS FAST? It was easy to jump right into the breakneck speed that this chunkster of a book as events unfold upon the disappearance of everyone over like 14. If you like your books with ACTION ACTION ACTION you might want to cozy up with this one! It’s a book I plan to give my 12 & 14 year old nephews who need to be immediately hooked and wanting fight and chase scenes and CRAZY action! Twist and turns and secrets and surprises are in store if you read this one.

2. I was LOVING it…until about halfway through: Gone was kind of like what happens to me when I run. I start out running like a crazy person all fast and barely breaking a sweat feeling good…and then I hit a wall. A wall that makes me just want to fall down and sleep right where I am. I was so into this book and then halfway through THINGS happened and I was just like UMM WHAT (talking werewolves kind of stuff) and it kind of diminished some of my enjoyment. It also started to get a little muddled and confusing and some action scenes were just jumbly. I would have to reread parts over for clarification…and this is not a difficult book.

3. There is SO much going on in this book: I don’t think I realized what this book would entail. The premise was fantastic right away — WHERE DID ALL THE ADULTS GO? Where did these powers come from? How do we form a society/some sort of order without adults? WHAT HAPPENED. Oh and then there is this thing and that thing that I can’t tell you because spoilers. I felt very intrigued but all at the same time very overwhelmed. Lots of different side stories and people and little details that I’m sure will come together but WOWSA…overload at points. But overall I was just getting more and more sucked into this carefully crafted story that I know is going to be some crazy complex web going forward! So many questions, tidbit of answers.

4. I’m really undecided if I want to continue on even though I did enjoy it enough: Here’s the thing. I was REALLY enjoying it because it was different for me — fast paced, action-y and had all sorts of fun elements to make it addictive. But then, like I said, halfway through it was just MEH. I want to KNOW THE THINGS because there are SO many answers I need + I want to see how this society of no adults continues on but I’m struggling with if all the books in the series are worth the investment. It’s a commitment. They are a big and it’s a long series and I didn’t care about the characters. But I want answers.



factors+ non-stop action, high enjoyment, cool premise, surprising elements, world-building overall
hitting a wall halfway through, lots of little annoying things, weird elements that made me go EH?, writing just okay, flat characters

Re-readability: No.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? No. I plan to library these if I continue on.

a5readers who like fast paced/action-y novels, people who like a mismash genre-wise, might give it to reluctant readers because it’s easy to get sucked into

a8My enjoyment level was pretty high for this book — minus some annoyances and the second half not capturing my attention the way the first half did. There was a lot of interesting things going on here — people over 14 disappearing, a dome that formed around the town, superpowers, strange things occurring and more PLUS survival, how to create order in chaos and good vs. bad. It’s an entertaining, fast paced and suspenseful and my curiosity wants me to continue on but I’m not sure yet.

review-on-post-itGone by Michael Grant


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* Should I continue on with this series??
*Anyone else get super irritated with the “brah” talk. Too old for that. haha

The Perpetual Page-Turner


The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey | Book Review

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey reviewBook Title/Author: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
: Putnam Juvenile – May 7th 2013
Genre: YA Science Fiction — Post Apocalyptic
Series: Yes, it’s book 1.
Other Books From Author: The Monstrumologist, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!




Cassie finds herself alone on the cusp of the 5th Wave of the alien apocalypse. The first waves were devastating by taking out the power, plaguing people with a terrible illness, and taking out entire parts of the US by floods. Her family is gone. She survives and trusts nobody because of the 4th Wave and the Silencers who look just like humans— until she meets a man Evan who takes her in and may be her only chance for survival and finding her brother.

I honestly was not sure about this book prior to picking it up. I had never read about ALIENS before but I’ve been apparently expanding my reading tastes lately (I mean, really, would have never thought I’d read about cyborgs and love it). I am always interested in apocalypse type novels so I was like alien apocalypse? LET’S DO THIS. I was scared about the hype and also intrigued (I mean, $750,000 marketing campaign??) but I really had no expectations for it so it really worked in my favor.

So, The 5th Wave was quite awesome. Really awesome, in fact. I won’t go and say it’s an all time favorite book but I REALLY enjoyed it & it’s up there pretty high for me this year! It was one of the most action-packed, exhilarating books I’ve read in while that left me on the edge of my seat and dying for the sequel. One of those reads where you sit down to read for an hour and suddenly you find it dark out and you are in a completely different position than you remember being hours later because you are THAT absorbed by it. Seriously, when did I move??

I really enjoyed the balance of the present action with the back story of the prior Waves and I was so intrigued by each wave and could just see it all happening in a very cinematic way — the fear of these approaching aliens and the electricity being cut off to the burying of your loved ones after watching a nasty disease take hold of them. I really love minimalistic, survival type books (and tv shows — Walking Dead, Revolution) so this really appealed to me as we watch the humans living like this and, by contrast, made me so intrigued by the high tech nature of these aliens. They definitely weren’t your E.T.-esque aliens but rather cunningly smart and way more advanced aliens. They made us look like chumps in this book. I felt like I was accusing everyone in this book of secretly being an alien.

The action scenes in this book were AWESOME. I could envision them and sometimes I had to remind myself that I was in fact NOT running from the aliens while carrying a big gun. The 5th Wave brought those quality blockbuster-like, heart-pounding moments where things were blowing up and shit was going down and I was jumping up and down in my seat saying, “RUN! RUN! RUN!” I even think my non-reader of a husband was at least a little intrigued at what I was reading and I KNOW if this was a movie he’d think it was pretty kickass. Because it was. The 5th Wave also ruined my recently polished nails with all the nail-biting I was doing as twists and turns surfaced — I totally predicted some things correctly but Yancey pulled out his magic bag of tricks and surprised me with other things.

Beyond the thrilling nature of this book and the intriguing alien-filled apocalyptic world, I really did feel like I got to know the main characters well and I could feel their dilemmas in this new world and their want to survive. The struggle between maintaining that mortality in a world that is so very different was palpable and I could feel that war waging within them when it came to make decisions for survival that crossed their previous moral boundaries. I really UNDERSTOOD Cassie the most in this aspect and I found her to be very strong. We see how she adapted but we still know that her heart isn’t as hardened as could happen in this situation. My heart felt like it was shredding just having to watch Cassie experience trying to keep that morality that made her human but also fighting like hell to survive.

There were things that kept it from reaching my ALL TIME FAVES status. I don’t want to go into too much detail but I really didn’t like a  romance presented during this book. It could have been more interesting maybe as a friendship and I kind of saw it coming. At times,  I cut it slack because I thought,  “WELL, if I’d been on my own for a while I might crave another human intensely.” But it kind of distracted me and I thought for as smart as she was she let her guard down so easily there. The other thing I had a hard time with was sometimes I could not figure out how much time had elapsed and sometimes couldn’t figure out if it was months that had gone by between certain things or days. I also found there to be some coincidences — especially that, when all these people have died and scattered, she meets up with a CERTAIN person. But the romantic in me was also happy about this because HEY IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD! SECOND CHANCES YAY!

The 5th Wave was overall an awesome book and a fabulous start to a series I cannot wait to really get into. I never would have thought an alien apocalyptic story would garner such love from me  but this was not only a thrilling and all-consuming reading experience but I loved how it really explored morality and the courage to survive amidst a collapsing world shown through characters I grew to love and understand. And it was well written to boot! This will be one I will be buying for  both my nephews AND my niece and recommending to people who would probably never pick this up on their own. Hell, it would be one book I might make the husband read. I have no doubt this is going to be the next big series that my friends outside of the bookish world will be reading when it catches on. I’ve already put it on their radars for sure!


 Recommends To People Who Like: Survival stories, science fiction, apocalypse stories with science fiction elements, The Walking Dead, aliens, action-packed books that don’t skimp also on good writing, strong characters



Let’s Talk: Have you read this one??  Heard of it?  If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Was it worth all the hype?





Review: Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

Book Title/Author: Eve & Adam by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate
Publisher/Year: Feiwel & Friends – October 2nd 2012
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series: Not sure! I’ve heard yes and no!
Other Books From Author: The Gone series, The Magnificent 12 series, The Animorphs series

Amazon| Goodreads |
I received this on NetGalley from the publisher. Though kind and much appreciated, this did not sway my opinions in any way.

After getting hit by a car and sustaining life threatening injuries, Eve thinks she is going to die and by all means she should have died based on her injuries. Before she even has been at the hospital for a full day, her mother — the powerful figure behind a bio/pharmaceutical/research corporation  — has already demanded that she be released and transferred to her own facility to be taken care of. Eve thinks this is strange but even stranger is this boy Solo and the way she feels after the accident. While Eve is healing, her mother lets her play a simulation in which she is able to create a perfect person so naturally, like any girl would, she starts to build her dream guy from head to toe. As Eve works on her mom’s project, she starts to realize she has NO idea what idea secrets abound at her mom’s super secretive corporation….thanks to someone else who KNOWS the secrets and wants revenge.

Man, you guys. I was really excited about this one and was expecting this really fascinating science fiction book where morality and the “Frankenstein/Creator” notion would be really interestingly woven into this story. But, while entertaining and a fast paced read, I felt more frustrated by this one honestly. I really kept waiting to like it more than I did and it just never happened. I know it was supposed to be more lighthearted and not super serious (I read somewhere the authors said that) but I just thought I was getting something else from the summary. The premise failed to deliver, for me, what I thought was just going to be a really riveting science fiction novel.

I read this in pretty much a day so obviously there were some really great things about it that kept me reading! It was VERY fast paced which was a perk but, as I’ll mention below, also a drawback. There were some incredibly interesting aspects and I just couldn’t wait for Eve to finish creating Adam so I could see what would happen and I was just reading with bated breath until the moment when THINGS would be revealed to Eve or when Solo was in a sticky situation. Also, it was very unique and there was a lot of pretty funny parts in this…which I was not expecting in the least. I can’t say I’ve read anything like it really! I also really enjoyed some of the characters — Eve, Solo and surprisingly Eve’s mom even though she was pretty much the worst mom ever. She kind of reminded me of Mrs. Grayson from Revenge but more humorous.

While there were some really great characters, there were also some really flat characters and characters I felt were so overly cliched (Aislin). I mean, I was expecting Adam to play such a big part in this novel but he was so boring and all I gathered was that he was so super hot and people stared. I mean, I know he’s a “creation” but he just seemed flat to me. Maybe that was the point? I don’t know. My biggest thing, aside from my expectations of what I thought this book would be, was that there was just TOO MUCH GOING ON. I love a fast paced, page turning book but there was just too much. It was kind of like when you see somebody on What Not To Wear and they have an outfit with just TOO MUCH GOING ON especially too many accessories. And your eyes and your brain cannot process or take it all in. And if they just stripped a few of the gaudy necklaces, the arm’s length of bracelets and the crazy patterned separates and just stuck with one or two focal pieces it’d be a really cute outfit. That’s really how I felt. There was just so much going on that it distracted me and some things I felt were out of place and didn’t mean much to me (the whole thing with Eve’s bff’s dead beat boyfriend) and sometimes things were weirdly wrapped up or not wrapped up. I don’t know. There was just too much in a short space and it didn’t jive well with me.


Eve and Adam just wasn’t for me apparently. It might have been a case of my expectations of the book versus what I got. I was expecting some really crazy science fiction story with deep meaning and exploration of mortality and playing God and I just didn’t really get that at all. It was less serious and more funny — which is fine but just not at all what I was hoping for with an AMAZING premise like that. I don’t know..by the time I got to the end I just felt very unsatisfied. Like eating a salad when you really just want steak and potatoes.

While it wasn’t necessarily a win for me, others really loved it. Check out other reviews of Eve and Adam from Kindle Book Love Blog or Live To Read.


You May Also Like: Beta by Rachel Cohn, The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna, Origin by Jessica Khoury, Bumped by Megan McCafferty (like Eve & Adam, Bumped takes a lighter, more humorous approach to a subject that could be heavier — Bumped was very much satire).


Let’s Talky Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? Did you like it better than me? Did anyone else think it was going to be a lot more science fiction-y and maybe more ‘serious’? I was really surprised/taken aback by how light and funny  it was.

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Book cover for Origin by Jessica KhouryBook Title/Author: Origin by Jessica Khoury
Publisher/Year: : Razorbill September 2012
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: None  — debut!

Amazon| Goodreads | Jessica Khoury’s Website

The Story

Deep in the Amazonian jungle, hidden from the world, seventeen year old Pia has been raised by a group of scientists. She was created in their laboratory and is their hope for an immortal race as she is the only human being on the earth to be immortal. She’s trained in science and tested physically and mentally. She’s never left the confines of their gated and guarded area….until one night when she discovers a gaping hole in the fence that leads to the jungle that beckons her into the unknown.  Her night of rebellion puts her face to face with a boy her own age from a nearby village and she starts to questions everything she’s learned about the world, about her self and about her purpose.

The Review:

This book was one of my most anticipated reads of this year! I mean it just was such an interesting premise, had a great setting, the promise of some morally questionable things happening. I had pretty high expectations for it! What did I think? I liked it. I did. It was a good read but it never made it to that GREAT point that I had been waiting for. But let’s talk about what I really enjoyed about it:

The readability of this book was crazy! I read it hastily and with blinders on –nothing else seemed to matter whilst I was reading. I was drawn in from the start with this refreshing premise and Pia was such a great character who I felt was so authentic to what I thought someone in her position would be. In some books the heroine seems to ditch everything she’s ever known right away when faced with some doubts but Pia, being the scientist she was trained to be, didn’t. I thought that felt real. And I just felt so horrible for Pia at times when she started to realize what her purpose was. I also really LOVED the fact that this dealt with Big Moral Issues and science but never had a preachy air. There was also some good action in the right places that contrasted some of the more science-y aspects of the book.

The thing that was MOST outstanding was how Khoury wrote Pia’s setting. It was GORGEOUS. I could see the lush rain forest, hear the rhythms and sounds of it and feel humid air. I could feel like I was in Pia’s shoes as she tried to maneuver around the rainforest and how expansive it  must have felt and how scary and menacing it must have felt in the dark — not knowing what the sound was or what animals were lurking. She just wrote it so vividly that I feel like Khoury just HAD to have visited the Amazon.

There was SO MUCH GOOD. I’m telling you. I was expecting this to be one of my favorite reads. It started out good and then I was really starting to love it A TON and then I was waiting for it to hit this point of amazingness that I knew it could reach and I just flat out didn’t like where it went at some points. Towards the end some things felt rushed and I felt confused about some of the more scientific explanations surrounding Pia’s immortality. I just wonder if I didn’t glean the right information and it was given. I know that doesn’t make sense but I felt like I was just waiting for something maybe deeper? Something that would make me feel more? I’m not really sure that I can put my finger on it but I know it wasn’t there to transition from a GOOD book that will be wildly popular (and deservedly so because there is much to like) to a really AMAZING book that will really move me…something I think could have happened with a storyline like this!

I do have ONE element that I can actually explain that I didn’t enjoy and that was the romance. I just wish it was a friendship rather than trying to make it a romance. It was too insta-lovey (which can work for me sometimes) and lackluster. I just felt like she fell in love with the first person she saw outside her community and I never felt it. I just really thought a friendship could have meant more for me. I just never really believed in their romance and that’s important to me.


My Final Thought

I think this book is going to be really popular! There is a lot of really excellent things about it — it begs to not be put down, it has an incredible setting that was written well, just really great writing in general and a really intriguing plot! It was a good book and I can’t deny how I flew through it and really enjoyed the ride. But unfortunately there was something missing within the pages (something I can’t really explain plus a lackluster romance) that couldn’t ever bring the book to be an AMAZING experience. I’ll recommend it because there’s a lot of good in it but I can’t say it ever reached the potential I saw for it to become that 5 star-favorite kind of book.


You May Also Like: Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate, The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

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