February Wrap-Up

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Hey guys, so I’ve been inactive throughout February as it’s been a rather crappy month for me and I’ve not really been in the right frame of mind to be posting a lot. I’ve also done a lousy job of reading all the books I planned on getting through and have only read three this month (that’s including the one I was almost finished at the end of January). So in all it’s been horrible.


Personal Recap

So last month I mentioned that I had been job hunting and that I had received a second interview for a job as a support worker in after school care. I’m pleased to say that I got the job and I’m currently awaiting a start date! I’m honestly so excited to finally be able to do something I’m good at and hopefully will enjoy. Other than that, I’ve not really done much else apart from go to lots of gigs and I also went to Birmingham for a few days which was quite nice.


Bookish Recap

Like I said at the start of the post, my reading was awful in February. The only books I got through were;

  • Even Angels Fall – F.L Darbyshire
  • Seed – Lisa Heathfield
  • Fallout –Gwenda Bond

Seed’ has genuinely became one of my favourite books now that I’ve had time to think about the book, plot and characters. Everything about it was just so unique and different from anything I’ve read and I still love how realistic Lisa Heathfield made it seem.

Books I Received:

  • Solitaire – Alice Oseman

Books I Bought:

  • I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai*
  • Waiting For Callback – Perdita & Honor Cargill
  • Faceless – Alyssa Sheinmel
  • Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell**
  • Spot The Difference – Juno Dawson**
  • The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
  • How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne

Reviews Posted:

Part of the reason I never did much reading in February is because I wasn’t really enjoying ‘Fallout’ but I felt like I had to finish it because I had been asked to review it for a website. It took almost the full month just to read that one book and it made me realise that with how I’ve been feeling mentally the past few weeks it’s best I no longer take review requests for a while. I’ve got so many books that I’ve bought over the last year and a half and I haven’t had a chance to read any of them yet because I had a huge list of books to review and I’m using a lot of time reading some books that I’m not even enjoying when I could be reading something else. I tried to organise the requests I got better this year and it was all right in January but more have came through than I expected and it’s starting to stress me out a lot and if I don’t do something now, then the list and my mental health is just going to get worse. As of today, I will no longer be accepting review requests however I am more than willing to host blog tours and giveaways for any authors/publishers etc. I do apologise to you all but at the minute I have to put myself first and plus I don’t want to start hating something I’m passionate about.


 

So there we have my February wrap-up guys. I am gutted to be taking my review requests down but for now it’s probably the best thing to do. I’ll still be posting reviews of the books I’m reading so it’s not as if that will be stopping. It will just be books I’ve bought to enjoy that I review instead.

How did you guys get on in February? Let me know in the comments or even link me to your post!!

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Review: Lois Lane: Fallout -Gwenda Bond

23110163Title: Fallout (Lois Lane #1) 

Author: Gwenda Bond

Genre: Sci-fi, Young Adult, Mystery

Format: Hardback

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: I first came across this book when Maximum Pop tweeted a giveaway for it and after reading what people were saying about it I decided to enter because well why not plus the cover was exciting! When I found out I was one of the lucky winners picked to review it I was so excited because I had heard so many good things about it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I hoped for and I was slightly disappointed. I couldn’t get into the story at all and for the majority of it I was bored.

In ‘Fallout’ we’re introduced to Lois Lane, the daughter of an Army General as her and her family settle for good (hopefully) in Metropolis. On her first day of school she is introduced to a strangely connected group called the Warheads who are making life miserable for young Anavi. Lois then decides to find out more information about the Warheads and see if there’s a way she can stop them all whilst trying to make new friends. Although I wasn’t really into the story, I did really like Lois’ character. She was funny, witty and strong-minded. I was kind of surprised by her forwardness at the beginning of the book when she butts into a conversation the head teacher is having with a fellow student. As the story starts to unfold we also see how smart and sneaky she can be.

As for the story, I can’t quite put my finger on it but I just couldn’t get into it at all. There were times I thought I would start enjoying it but then it would just go back to how it was and I would get bored again. I didn’t quite understand the game in the book either which is a huge part of the plot so that’s probably the main reason I never understood it.

With the question rising of “would you read another book by Gwenda Bond?” I think I probably would as I don’t want the one book I’ve read to ruin her other books which may be better!

If you’re into gaming and mystery books then this is probably the book for you. Thank you again to Maximum Pop books for sending me a copy to review!

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Review: Seed – Lisa Heathfield

23711685Title: Seed

Author: Lisa Heathfield

Genre: Young Adult

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: This is the first book I’ve read that deals with cults and it was so good! ‘Seed’ follows 15 year-old Pearl and her friends as they gradually start to realise that everything they’ve ever believed is a lie. With the help of her friends they try to plan a way to escape or get help before it’s too late.

I fell in love with this story because it was something I’d never really experienced in a book before and so it was exciting for me to find something new that I really liked! The characters were extremely likeable, the story was realistic and I was gripped throughout the whole book. The first page I found quite humorous as it’s a moment every girl experience and it lead me to believe it was going to be a funny book but four pages later it took a dark turn and the whole thing changed! Within the first few chapters I had a few questions which were more or less answered the more you read.

As I mentioned above, Lisa Heathfield created characters that were extremely loveable but also created frightening characters such as Papa S. We’re first introduced to Papa S within the first few pages but we’re not really given much information about him. It’s a bit later on when things start to get a bit weird. He is the one that everyone at Seed worships and when a girl is picked to become his “companion” then they see it as being a privilege. As the story goes we begin to see how warped this character is and it was scary to see just how much control this man had over his people. He seems to get away with absolutely everything he does because all he has to say is “Nature told me to do it.” which is terrifying and disgusting because of all the bad things he did.

Pearl was such a young and naive character that did everything she was taught to do without question and would always get scared when her friends went against the rules which was sad to see as the reader because you can see what’s happening and you just want her to realise so she can escape and do something about the events that take place in Seed. Kate on the other-hand was wise and knew what was happening before everyone else all because of her relationship with a boy from “the Outside.” So much happens to both Kate and Pearl throughout the book and at certain parts is broke my heart to watch them come to terms with everything. One of the hardest things about the book for me was finding out that Pearl didn’t know who her mum was and it seemed that all she really wanted to do was find out who it was to give her that closure. As someone who’s really close to my mum, it hurt reading this because I could never imagine a world without my mum and even trying to put myself in that situation broke my heart.

There isn’t really anything I can fault with this book. I enjoyed everything about it and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel. I don’t think I would’ve discovered this book if I wasn’t part of the UKYA In The Rain book club so I’m thankful for being a part of that so I do have the chance to read amazing books like this! If you’re looking for a chilling and gripping book then I highly recommend you read this book!

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When Black Women Fall Blog Tour

Hey guys! So today’s post is part of the “When Black Women Fall” blog tour. In this post I’ll tell you about the topic and how you can be part of the giveaway being held during this tour!


About the Giveaway

What Is It?
The “When Black Women Fall” promo features romances in the contemporary, historical, paranormal, science fiction and fantasy, and erotica genres. The two requirements for inclusion are that the heroine must be of African/African-American descent, and she must fall in love: same race, interracial, LGBT, aliens, cyborg—doesn’t matter to us, as long as it’s a black woman falling in love!

The group will be giving away a basket that includes a Kindle, along with a few quintessential romance novels featuring black heroines, and a gift certificate for the beauty and cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter. For the week leading up to Valentine’s Day during Black History month, Heartspell Media is spreading the word about “When Black Women Fall” — a week-long promo featuring romances with African-American heroines.

When is it?

February 8-14, 2016. The week leading up to Valentine’s Day during Black History month. To find the books, get a free excerpt book, and enter the giveaway, visit When Black Women Fall.


 

Romance novels are increasingly featuring heroes and heroines of color, from Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series to Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. As society and its citizens increase in diversity so does the market. With more and more authors bypassing publishers and uploading these colorful romances on their own, starved readers now have a buffet of books to choose from.

On this tour, you will find that when black women fall in love it’s a sign of the times in these contemporary offerings.

In Farrah Rochon’s “All You Can Handle” love was the last thing professional pastry chef Sonny White was looking for, but she finds it in a sleepy town with a motorcycle riding hottie.

In Lena Hart’s “Because You Love Me”
when an old desire is reawakened Sabrina will discover that even an imperfect love can triumph over all.

In Xio Axelrod’s “Falling Stars” Hollywood actress’ Val Saunders finds her career skyrocketing which makes her real-life attraction to her on-screen love interest come at the worst possible time.

In Ines Johnson’s “Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story” having given up on fairytales after falling for her toad of an ex, Pumpkin is afraid to take a chance on a prince charming who comes to her rescue.

In Kim Golden’s “Maybe Baby” Laney must choose between the man who offers her financial security and the one who makes her mind and body sing.

In Victoria H. Smith’s “The Space Between” Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles, namely a man who lights a fire inside of her that challenges everything she thought she wanted.

In Christina C. Jones’ “Inevitable Conclusions” Friends? Lovers? Both? For Kora and Tariq, those lines have been blurred for a long time.

When black women fall in love it’s a magical affair as you’ll find in these paranormal stories of love.

In L Penelope’s “Angelborn” he gave up eternity for love… and lost. Will Maia be his second chance?

In Laverne Thompson’s “Angel Rising” Thalya, a soulless creature, meets her match when she hungers for the love of the man assigned to hunt her.

When black women fall in love it’s a defining moment as you’ll find in this historical romance.

In Piper Huguley’s “The Preacher’s Promise” Amanda Stewart aims to teach newly freed slaves, but meets with the resistance from the town preacher. Can these two put aside their differences and come together?

When black women fall in love it’s full of growing pains as you’ll see in this new adult romance.

In Twyla Turner’s “Chasing Day” Daylen is the shy cellist who falls in love with her best friend who also happens to be the popular quarterback.

When black women fall in love it can get a little spicy as you’ll find in this erotica novellete.

In Harper Miller’s “Entwined” trouble finds Gabby when she meets an ex-marine looking to release a little tension.

From February 8-14, the intersection of Valentine’s Day and Black History month, check out one of these romances at a discounted price and enter for your chance to win a giveaway basket that includes a Kindle, along with a few quintessential romance novels featuring black heroines, and a gift certificate for the beauty and cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter!

To find the books, get a free excerpt book, and enter the giveaway, visit When Black Women Fall.

Review: Even Angels Fall – F.L Darbyshire

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Title: Even Angels Fall

Author: F.L Darbyshire

Genre: New Adult

Format: Kindle

Themes covered: Loss, Family, Friendship, Love, Dangers of drugs

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: Amazon

Review: The first thing I have to say about this book is that it should maybe have come with a trigger warning for drugs as drug use is in the book every so often.

Following the death of Abbey’s twin, her family make the move to Leeds where she now has to start all over again. As her family starts to collapse from the grief of their loss, Abbey, meets new friends and starts to enjoy her life again. But will everything be as it seems or is the life they lead just a ticking time-bomb?

Even Angels Fall’ broke my heart in so many ways. As someone’s who’s watched family fall apart due to grief I found Abbey very relatable in that sense. As things were starting to look up for the group of friends, something would go wrong but you always had that hope that things would get better again and they could live a happy life. I found that all the characters in this book were really likeable however, there were parts where some of the characters did annoy me. For example, one of the things that annoyed me was when Abbey is at the hospital with her sister who is about to give birth and when their mum shows up, Abbey decides to leave because she still isn’t ready to face her yet. Like NOOOOO!!! situations like a new baby or something can completely calm a situation down and help make things better but she didn’t even give it a chance and yeah I just didn’t like that that happened. Lucy was my favourite character. She was just so bubbly and she was everything that Abbey needed to help her get through the huge loss she suffered. It broke my heart reading about her struggles later on in the book and seeing Abbey trying to comfort her too.

There’s not much I disliked about this book but at times there could’ve been another chapter or it could’ve been made clear that some parts were separate paragraphs because at certain points you’d be reading one thing and then it would skip ahead to something else and it would take a while to figure out what was happening. In saying that though, it could’ve just been the way it was laid out on the kindle edition.

I do highly recommend this book although bare in mind there is quite a bit of drug use throughout it! After reading this, I believe F.L Darbyshire can go very far in the writing world as she did a brilliant job of creating a story full of love, friendship, loss and family as well as creating loveable and relatable characters.

*I received a digital copy of this in exchange of an honest review.*

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February TBR

Good afternoon guys! Throughout January I won a couple of book giveaways and so February will be a month dedicated to reading them because I just can’t wait any longer. I plan on reading a total of 6 books! Hopefully I’ll be able to do it.

February TBR

The books I’m planning on reading are:

  • Seed – Lisa Heathfield (this is for UKYA In The Rain)
  • One – Sarah Crossan
  • Not If I See You First – Eric Lindstrom
  • This Raging Light – Estelle Laure
  • Fallout (Lois Lane #1) – Gwenda Bond
  • The Dead House – Dawn Kurtagich

All of these books apart from ‘Seed’ and ‘The Dead House’ I won from Maximum Pop Books and I won ‘One’ from Sarah Crossan herself. I’m so excited to read them all and review them too!

Right now I’m just finishing off ‘Even Angels Fall’ by F.L Darbyshire which I received to review. I’m so late in posting the review of it but I have just under 100 pages left so it should be up in the next few days!

What are you guys planning on reading this month?

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January Wrap-Up

JANUARY

Hey guys! I surprised myself with how much I actually read this month because I was so busy with work etc but I think I did pretty well!


Personal Recap

Most of January has been spent job hunting as well as working in the two jobs I currently have. I never realised how hard it would be growing up and never in my life thought I would need 3 jobs in order to actually live. With a car and dig money to pay, both jobs I have don’t pay any of that and so I’ve had to look for another! I had an interview yesterday for an after school care club and it must’ve went well as I received a phone call earlier today to say I’ve made it to the second part of the interview so fingers crossed that part goes well too!


Bookish Recap

This month was such a good reading month because I enjoyed pretty much all the books I read apart from one.

Books I received:

  • One – Sarah Crossan
  • Not If I See You First – Eric Lindstrom
  • Fallout (Lois Lane #1) – Gwenda Bond
  • The Tattooed Heart – Michael Grant
  • Ink & Blood – William Dickson*

*I actually got given Ink & Blood from our alarm maintenance man who received it from a customer so I could read it and let him know all about it haha!

Books I Bought:

  • Seed – Lisa Heathfield
  • The Miseducation Of Cameron Post – Emily M. Danforth

Books I read:

 

  • The Mine – John A Heldt
  • The Knife Of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
  • The New World – Patrick Ness
  • The Ask And The Answer – Patrick Ness
  • The Wide, Wide Sea – Patrick Ness
  • Monsters Of Men – Patrick Ness
  • Snowscape – Patrick Ness
  • Exposure – Helen Dunmore (DNF)

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I reviewed almost all the books I read this month apart from the three small novellas and Exposure as I didn’t finish that. I received a copy of it from Netgalley in exchange of a review and so I posted a short one on that site. I just couldn’t get into the story and the characters annoyed me and it was just very boring for me. However, I loved every other book I read!

Reviews posted:


 

So there we have it, my January wrap-up! Hopefully next month will be another good reading month as I have so much I have to read! My February tbr will be up tomorrow so keep an eye out for that!

What books did you guys read this month?? Have you read any of the above books and what did you think?

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Review: Monsters Of Men – Patrick Ness

8100904Title: Monsters Of Men (Chaos Walking #3)

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Format: Paperback

Themes dealt with: War, Terrorism

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: The Book People (you can buy the trilogy for only £6.99 on this site!!)

Review: *THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD*

Okay let me just start by saying that this book should’ve been called The Book Of Death because it’s just full of it! If you’ve read my reviews of ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go’ and ‘The Ask And The Answer’ then you’ll know I absolutely adore this series and with the way the second one ended I just couldn’t wait to pick up book three. When you first start the book, you’re thrown right into the action as the war begins between Mayor Prentiss, Mistress Coyle and The Spackle and this gave me so much hope for another fantastic book.

Unlike the first two books in the series, ‘Monster’s Of Men’ doesn’t exactly contain chapters. It’s more or less split into parts so for example, the first part is called “It Begins” which is told from both Todd and Viola’s POV. Seventy-seven pages later we’re introduced to a third person and then each part splits. This for me is when things started to go slightly downhill. I was left feeling confused over the strange language the third person spoke in and the way they described things. Each time ‘the land’, ‘the sky’, ‘the clearing’, etc were mentioned, I was getting more and more confused.

Ness’ ability to make you have so many mixed feelings towards certain characters is unlike anything I’ve ever read and it’s one of the reasons I love his writing. Let’s take Mayor Prentiss for example. In the first book I didn’t really care much for him, coming to the second book I despised him and then the more I read this book I was confused about how to feel. Could he have changed? Was he truthful to Todd and did he really care? I was scared to like him because I didn’t know if I could trust him or not but he continued to change his ways throughout the book leaving you with a lot of hope for him. Mistress Coyle was another character I wasn’t sure about. She didn’t really seem to care about what she put Viola through, just as long as she was winning. Both these characters made me sort of think about war and I can’t seem to stop thinking that, war happens because leaders can’t seem to agree over something but rather than sit down and discuss it, they get their people to fight their battles for them (and die in the process) whilst they sit and watch it going on rather than deal with it like mature adults.

Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with this book. I was so disappointed by it and I expected something better than what I got. My main problem was the whole ‘third person’ part because when reading the majority of Todd and Viola’s parts, I was really enjoying it! But any time I seen the third person appear then I just wanted to finish their part asap because it bored me. The biggest thing I loved about this series was that with each book you can see just how much Todd and Viola have grown and how mature they’ve became and it’s one of the reasons I do love this series because I haven’t seen much of that in a series of books.

Although I didn’t enjoy this book I do highly recommend this series as it’s unlike any YA fantasy I’ve read before and Ness’ work is starting to become some of my favourites. Like the other books, this book is no different when it comes to the heartbreaking scenes so watch out for them!


 

If you have read or are planning to read these books please do let me know your thoughts!!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added To My TBR

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Hey guys! I’m extremely late in posting this as I didn’t realise I was going to be out all day.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and Bookish.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

I’ve added so many books to my TBR recently and it’s an absolute nightmare because WHEN AM I GOING TO FIND THE TIME TO READ EVERYTHING I WANT TO???? I’m just going to put the first ten book from my ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads!

 


 

Goodreads tbr

  1. Even Angel’s Fall – F.L. Darbyshire
  2. Exposure – Helen Dunmore
  3. Fallout (Lois Lane #1) – Gwenda Bond
  4. The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury
  5. The Version Of Us – Laura Barnett
  6. Suicide Watch – Kelley York
  7. The Evolution Of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
  8. Falling Into Place – Amy Zhang
  9. Seed – Lisa Heathfield
  10. Panther – David Owen

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What books have you guys recently added to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below or if you’ve posted it on your own blog send me a link so I can check it out!! 

Love,

 

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Review: The Ask And The Answer – Patrick Ness

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Title: The Ask And The Answer (Chaos Walking #2)

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: The Book People (you can buy the trilogy for only £6.99 on this site!!)

Review: *THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD!!*

I’m honestly in love with this series! ‘The Ask And The Answer’ definitely did not disappoint as a sequel. This book deals with so many huge issues such as feminism, genocide, terrorism and war ethics. Like the first book, we’re following the story of both Todd and Viola only this time it’s told from both points of view rather than  just Todd’s which I actually liked as it gave us a chance to get to know Viola and how she thinks a bit better. This book was more action-packed, violent and so much darker than the first one and there was so much tension between certain characters which I loved because it made me want to read on to find out how the relationship between characters would work out. There were a lot of surprises in this book too which made me extremely confused as to how I felt about people and events that took place.

I can’t get enough of the characters in this series although I do have huge trust issues with a few of them in this book. One of the reasons I love the characters is because they’re all so interesting and diverse which helps make this book such a good read. Some of the characters are pretty scary, especially Mayor Prentiss and Mr Hammar. Mayor Prentiss is a man who manipulates people into doing what he wants using his unique power that not many people have. Ness does a fantastic job of making you feel confused about this character and what his motive is throughout the book. Mr Hammar on the other hand is a man who prefers to use physical abuse to torture victims and when I think back to the first book there was evidence even then of how evil this character is. Although Mr Hammar is a minor character, Ness’ characterisation of him makes him stick in your head after the book is done.

Davy Prentiss, was a character I absolutely despised in ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go‘ but you really got to know more about him and his character in this novel which is one of the things that left me really confused because I wasn’t sure if you could trust him or not. I really wanted to hate him because of his actions in the first book but we soon find out that like Todd, he’s been deceived by his father his whole life. It just shows that both him and Todd are much more similar than we were first led to believe and it slowly made me start to like his character (as much as I didn’t want to).

Although there’s not much I can fault about this book, there’s two things I’m still slightly confused about. Spackle being the first. I’m genuinely so confused as to who the Spackle are. It’s explained that they’re some sort of alien but I still don’t quite get what’s actually going on with them. Have the humans moved to a new planet (I’m guessing since it’s called New World) or have the aliens came to earth? Why is there such a problem between the species? Can they not just come to an agreement and live in harmony? With the way this book ended and from the 88 pages I’ve read of ‘Monster’s Of Men’ I’m hoping all my questions are going to be answered. Age is the other thing I’m confused about. In ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go’ we’re told that Todd is 12 (a month away from turning 13) then when Viola appears we find out he should really be around 14 but after reading this book, both the characters seem so much older! It could be because of everything they’ve been/going through in the past and because war’s on the horizon they have a lot of grown up decisions to make but I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be another thing explained in book three!

Ness is a writer who does a brilliant job of making you feel as though you’re right there in the book, in the middle of the action with the characters watching everything going on as you read which is what I absolutely love in a book. Everything is so vivid in my head and I can see it all happening so clearly as though I’m watching a movie rather than reading a book which makes it better! He’s one of the few writers I’ve known who has the power to do this for me and he’s gradually becoming one of my favourite authors.

Like the first book, I found it to be quite slow at the beginning and so I’ve taken .5 stars off the rating but apart from that this book was incredible! If you’re looking for something that’s full of action, violence, deceit and hope then I highly recommend this book and series to you. I’ve been an emotional wreck whilst reading both books and there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be the same reading book three but it’s so worth it because the plot and the characters are just phenomenal.

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