Unpopular Opinion Alert: Review of The Bad Ones by Stylo Fantome

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The Bad Ones by Style Fantome – 2 Stars

Yep. Another book everyone seems to love that I did not. AWKWARD. I think I need to add “Black Sheep” to my name.

The Bad Ones tells the story of Dulcie and Con, two kids with depraved/dark minds who don’t think twice about acting out on their sick thoughts. The story starts with them as teens, and follows them throughout adulthood.

Once they realize they are basically one in the same, Con and Dulcie get together as lovers and “partners in crime.”

There were some things missing in this that I personally feel would have greatly improved the story for me. I don’t feel like the development of the characters was done properly. Yes, we know they are “crazy” but I would have liked to get a more in-depth look as to why. Especially when the story starts with Con and Dulcie as teenagers. This is when we first get a feel for how dark they really are, but I would have liked the author to have delved deeper and spend more time on the characters around that age. We only get a minor glance during this period of time, and it is then fast forwarded to three years later and what they do during that time is kind of skirted over. Con, for me, was the more developed character between the two (though not by much) while Dulcie’s behavior felt very contrived and she herself felt one dimensional.

I definitely enjoyed the first half of this way more than the second, where for me it just went downhill. As adults, I again felt like they were underdeveloped (which as I said I think could have been solved by spending more time discussing their teenage years) which caused me to lose interest in where it was all going. I just didn’t get a good grasp on who they truly were or why they were that way. And it’s not because I felt like this would give me justification for their actions – I didn’t need that at all. I just wanted to get a better look into their psyche and what made them them.

All in all this was an okay read, but it didn’t blow me away as I hoped it would. I found it to be pretty flat with little substance, lacking any real depth and more a story about two weird teenagers killing people for fun.

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Sidebarred by Emma Chase – LOVED IT!

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Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5) by Emma Chase – 5 Stars

*This review contains minor spoilers from Sustained. If you haven’t read it yet (seriously what the hell are you waiting for?), you may want to avoid the last few paragraphs*

I just want to start this review by saying this novella made me so deliriously, ridiculously happy. That is the only way I can really describe what it was like to be able to read more on Chelsea and Jake. They feel like a couple I know and who I want nothing but the best for. And yes, I am aware how completely crazy I sound but that is how attached I have become to this couple, and to this series.

This has been such a feel good, hysterical, romantic, all around awesome series. And for those who haven’t read about Chelsea and Jake yet (their book, Sustained, can also be read as a standalone) their life can be compared to Cheaper By The Dozen – but with a really hot dad (Jake) who you want to bang and a sweet amazing mom/aunt (Chelsea) you would want as your BFF.

I don’t want to say much on the plot, given the blurb is a little vague, and you’ll want to save the sweet surprise for when you read this. So I’ll just talk more about my favorite couple from this series. Jake is still the strong, sexy, take charge man he was in Sustained. Still just as protective of Chelsea and the kids as ever. But what I like most about Jake? When he gets all Tarzan angry. JEEZUS. I know that sounds odd, and out of all the traits I could have picked, I picked that one. But when this man sees red, I swoon.

My voice is low, deadly. “You fuck with my wife, you fuck with me. And in case you haven’t realized it yet, I’ll spell it out for you: you do NOT want to fuck with ME.”

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And when he talks about Chelsea? My god.

“I’m not good with flowery, romantic kind of words. But she makes me wish I was. Because she’s more than my wife- more than the owner of the pussy that has me so very whipped. She’s my love, my home, the solace to my soul, the keeper of my heart, the center of my entire fucking world. The only reason I believe in my own goodness is because I see it reflected in her eyes.”

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This novella had me cracking up, tearing up, and was just pure perfection. I loved reading more on those hysterical McQuaid kids and seeing what Stanton, Sophia, Brent and Kennedy have been up to. I could read about this couple and the others from this series and never tire of them.

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review*


Sidebarred it out April 24th!

Reading order of The Legal Briefs Series can be found here.

(All can be read as standalones, though Sidebarred should be read after Appealed, as it contains some spoilers from the previous books.)

Review of Calico by Callie Hart

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Calico by Callie Hart – 4 Stars 

“I couldn’t have forgotten about you even if I’d tried. The seas could have frozen over. The heavens could have come crashing down to earth. Time could have stood still, and I never would have been able to cleanse myself of you.”

Calico was such an emotional, beautiful read! Though I have seen some call it “angsty” I wouldn’t really call it that. To me this was more of a slow and steady paced story, where the reader is taken on the journey of Callan and Coralie, following their love and then the ultimate demise of their relationship.

Coralie and Callan meet as teenagers. They have a slow-budding relationship and eventually fall deeply in love. But Coralie has been keeping something from Callan. And this something causes her extreme suffering and eventually forces her to leave him and the town where they live. Fast forward 12 years, and Callan and Coralie cross paths again. Coralie still thinks they shouldn’t be together because of the secrets and lies she has kept from him, but Callan isn’t let her get away so easily this time.

“I wake up sometimes and I can’t fucking breathe, Coralie. Just like you do. I walk down the street and I see you everywhere. Just like you see me. I find myself inside some woman I just fucking met and it’s your mouth I feel on mine, your hands I feel on my body, your voice I hear calling out my fucking name. You can’t tell me that you’re not imagining me inside you every single goddamn time you have sex with someone else, Coralie. You just can’t, because I know it’s not true.”

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how insanely romantic and loving Callan was. I was expecting him to be an asshole but he was the complete opposite. ESPECIALLY when they were teenagers. The way Callan cared for Coralie was so freaking beautiful. The way he fought and cared for her gave me chills. And I can’t not mention how damn sexy he was either:

“I’m going to kiss you soon, bluebird,” Callan whispers into my hair. “And if you don’t stop me, I’m going to touch you. I’m going to take your clothes from your body and I’m going to kiss every single inch of you. I want you to melt for me. I want to feel your body sing for me.”

…and then this little gem

Callan stands over me, studying every last inch of me, the most intense expression on his face. He shakes his head, his lips curling up at one side. “You’re about to come so hard,” he tells me. “You have NO idea.”

Calico is told in dual POV, and alternates from past to present. I don’t want to say anymore on the plot, or why these two split, or if they can work out what’s happened to them. You’ll need to read and find out ;). I really did enjoy this and found it to be raw, really emotional, and beautiful. The only reason I am not giving it a full 5 stars is because I felt like it dragged in some places and I don’t quite understand why they both spent those years apart without trying to contact the other. It didn’t make sense to me. Coralie explains her reasoning, but after so many years had passed, I just didn’t get why she couldn’t contact Callan knowing how hurt and lost she was without him. And same goes for Callan. For the way he loved Coralie and how abruptly things ended, I would have thought he would have tried to track her down and not let anything get in his way to get her back. Instead he just let her go and then took the opportunity of her being back in their hometown to see her again.


Calico is out now!

Calico by Callie Hart is Live!!!

 

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Calico by Callie Hart
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/25WPN9p
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/e0MJir

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Synopsis:

Coralie

Twelve years ago, I ran to stay alive.

Port Royal, South Carolina, was my home. I was born there. I fell in love there. And I nearly died there. I never thought I’d go back. Now, after so many years, I have to return to bury the man who made my life a living hell. Some nights, I used to cry myself to sleep, praying my father would die. Other nights were different. Other nights, there was him.

Callan Cross.

My first confidante. My first kiss. My first love. My first everything: Callan was the glue that held me together when everything else was falling apart. He was my savior. He was there for me whenever I needed him…

Until he wasn’t.

Every night, I’ve seen the love of my life in my sleep.
I just never thought I’d have to face him again.

Callan

Twelve years ago, I f*#@ed up big time.

Living life through a camera lens is sometimes easier than dealing with it head on. Scratch that. It’s always easier. For over a decade, I’ve been a master of my art, taking photographs all over the world. Yet despite all of the countries I’ve visited, the amazing things I’ve seen, the beautiful women I’ve screwed, my heart has remained in pieces.

Coralie’s the only woman I’ve ever loved, will ever love. And I’m determined to show her that we’re meant to be together. Even if it means unearthing the bones of the past in the process.

A lifetime and a thousand miles have stood between us.
Now, there’s no length of time I won’t wait, no distance I won’t travel, in order to make her mine.

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Meet Callie Hart:

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Callie Hart is an obsessive romantic who loves throwing a dark twist into her stories. Her characters are imperfect, flawed individuals who dictate when she eats, sleeps and breathes. Callie’s Internationally Bestselling Blood & Roses series has garnered well over 1000 5 star reviews.

 

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Bad Ones by Stylo Fantome now live!

The Bad Ones RDB

Happy Release Day to Stylo Fantome and her new book THE BAD ONES! Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card too – good luck! #ConnedIntoBeingBad

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The Bad Ones ebook cover

Synopsis

Love isn’t always bright and shiny.

Sometimes, it’s dirty and wrong, buried six feet deep in a secret place where only wild things dare to go. Hidden behind a big black curtain that covers things no one should ever see.

Sometimes it happens between two people who should never be allowed to come together. One who is a match, and the other who just happens to be gasoline.

One strike is all it takes to burn the whole world down, and that’s exactly what they plan on doing.

Even if it kills them.

warning: this book contains graphic sex, extremely brutal violence, bad language, and people repeatedly and knowingly breaking the law.

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Excerpt

Con finally unlocked the doors and she hefted herself into the massive vehicle. They sat in silence for a while, their breath fogging up the glass. Then he opened his mouth.

“Did he touch you?”

Dulcie knew he wasn’t asking about the homeless man.

“Not in any way that counts,” she replied, turning to look at him. His hands had moved to grip the steering wheel.

“So he has touched you.”

“Jared was just an experiment, I wanted to see if -”

“You let him fucking touch you.”

You fucking left me!” she was suddenly screaming. He didn’t even flinch, just gripped the steering wheel harder. “You fucking left me in this fucking town, without a goddamn goodbye! Without a goddamn word! God, you have no idea what it’s been like. That fucking camera, all those drawings. And there’s all these people, and talking, and feeling this way, and all the blackness, and I don’t even know what’s wrong with me, and nothing. You come back, and it’s like nothing to you. Oh hey, Dulcie. Where’s your sketchbook, Dulcie. Come to a party, Dulcie. Let me just fuck this chick in the woods, Dulcie. So you know what? Yeah, he fucking touched me. I let him fucking touch me. And I hated every minute of it, and I would pretend it was you, and I would hate you, and I would hate myself, and I just let it happen.

Con lunged across the seat, and absurdly, her first thought was “wow, he’s really fast” before his fingers wrapped around her throat. She wasn’t fazed, though, and she pushed right back, slapping him across the face. This only caused him to clench both hands around her neck and he yanked her forward, dragging her to him so their faces were only inches apart.

“Stupid little Dulcie,” he whispered, his breath hot against her lips. She held onto his wrists and glared at him, but didn’t try to pull away. His fingers got tighter. “So scared of the big bad wolf.”

“I’m not … scared of you,” she managed to gasp out, but then his grip grew so tight he completely cut off her oxygen.

“Of course you aren’t scared of me. I’m not the wolf. You are.”

So that’s what was hiding behind the curtain. I wish you’d told me sooner, Con. We could’ve reveled in our darkness together.

It felt like a weight was lifted off her back. She’d been pretending for so long, and she hadn’t even realized it. Had conditioned herself to do it. It was easier to believe Con was the darkness, and she was simply drawn to it. Basking in his wake. But it was all a lie – she was every bit as dark as him. They were the same animal. She’d just been better at deceiving herself. And now they’d evolved into something else, into a new, higher being.

Her lungs were throbbing, screaming for oxygen. She could feel her pulse pounding behind her face. Her mouth was open, but she couldn’t make a sound. Black spots danced in front of her eyes, yet still they stared at each other. Recognizing each other, maybe for the first time ever.

Maybe for the last time.

What a way to die, looking into the face of this beautiful boy. What a gift.

 

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AboutTheAuthor

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Crazy woman living in an undisclosed location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since …, forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I’m clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there’s your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can’t understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.

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Giveaway

Stylo Fantome’s THE BAD ONES Release Day Blitz

 

Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G Audio Book and Giveaway!

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Sincerely, Carter

by Whitney G.

Publication Date: April 29, 2015

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Friends to Lovers

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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Just friends.We’re just friends.

No, really. She’s just my best friend…

Arizona Turner has been my best friend since fourth grade, even when we “hated” each other. We’ve been there for one another through first kisses, first “times,” and we’ve been each other’s constant when good relationships turned bad. (We even went to colleges that were minutes away from each other…)

Throughout the years, and despite what anyone says, we’ve never crossed the line.

Never thought about it.

Never wanted to.

Until one night changed everything.

At least, it should’ve …

Just friends.

We’re just friends.

I’m only saying this until I figure out if she’s still “just” my best friend…

About Whitney G.

A self diagnosed candy addict, travel junkie, and hypochondriac, Whitney Gracia Williams LOVES to write about characters that make you laugh, cry, and want to (in the case of Claire Gracen) reach through your Kindle and slap them.

She is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Reasonable Doubt,the Mid Life Love Series, the Jilted Bride Series, the My Last Resolution Series, Wasted Love, and Captain of My Soul.

When she’s not locked inside her room, feverishly typing away on her laptop.

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HOLY HELL THAT WAS GOOD! Too Late by Colleen Hoover

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5 STARS!!!

“Worries flow from her lips like the random words that flow from her fingertips. I reach out and try to catch them, clenching then in my fists, wanting nothing more than to catch them all.”

HOLY HELL!

I didn’t know Colleen had this in her. This story was so freaking addicting, so angsty, so damn stressful I felt like I was having a heart attack atleast 8 times. Props to anyone who read this piece by piece as she was releasing chapters. There is no way in hell I could have read each chapter and then waited for the next without throwing my iPad across the room.

For those who don’t already know, Too Late is a story Colleen has posted on Wattpad, which is now complete.

You can read it for free here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/54616251-too-late

I don’t want to say too much on the plot because you ALL NEED TO READ THIS. Fans of Colleen will be pleasantly surprised with how dark and sexy she went with this.

But the short version is this: Sloan is a college student and is in a relationship with Asa who is a complete psycho controlling asshole drug dealer. Can you tell I didn’t like him much? Sloan is pretty much forced to be with him (and when you read you’ll see why). During a class, Sloan meets Carter. Sweet, sweet, amazing, my new book boyfriend, OMG I LOVE HIM SO MUCH, Carter. She learns Carter (really named Luke) is undercover and trying to take down Asa. Anddddd that’s all you’ll get from me on the plot. But I just want to point out that Carter/Luke and Sloan were the cutest damn thing. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I gasped and screamed and just melted because of these two.

“You’re all I see, Sloan. Beyond the job, beyond right and wrong. You’re all I see.”

My mouth finds hers again and I kiss her the way she deserves to be kissed. With conviction. With respect. With feeling.

She begins to move on top of me and she’s all I see.
I close my eyes and she’s all I fucking see.”

READ IT READ IT READ IT! Trust me when I say this was SO wildly entertaining and a must read! SO GOOD!

Unpopular Opinion Alert: Review of Bang by EK Blair

I really tried with this book. And with the amount of people I know that love this series I was giddy to start.

I read that prologue and was all like ..
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BUT. I read the first chapter. And then the second. And I realized my biggest pet peeve in writing was so prevalent here. I CANNOT STAND when each and every single sentence starts with a verb.

I hate it. It drives me mental. And Almost. Every. Single. Sentence. Started. This. Way.

On top of this huge pet peeve of mine, there were
So
Many
Fucking
Commas.

Commas. COMMAS EVERYWHERE. The precise problem with this is every single time there is a comma, your brain pauses while reading. You paused after the word comma in the previous sentence didn’t you? So if I am reading a sentence, that is like this, and I have to keep pausing, because there is a comma, every 5 words, it takes me completely out of the story.

This is honestly how my brain process these types of sentences:

Rounding the bar, *PAUSE*, he backs me against the countertop, *PAUSE*, and hisses, “Now it’s time for you to cut the shit.” The kettle starts to squeal, *PAUSE*, and before I can get to it, *PAUSE*, he reaches over and slams it on the other burner, *PAUSE*, startling me, *FUCKING PAUSE*, and flips the knob off. Caging me in with his arms, *PAUSE*, his tone is hard when he says, “Your games are starting to piss me off.”

Do you see what I mean?

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Getting through one page gave me a headache. I kid you not. I have SUCH a hard time connecting or being immersed in the story when my brain keeps pausing to process wtf I am reading. It was like she was trying to condense a whole paragraph into one sentence and it caused such a disruptive / detached reading experience.

I know this is personal preference and I know this type of writing style doesn’t bother most people. But I cannot get into books written this way. Call me picky. I do not care.

Now for the actual plot/characters- I found the beginning extremely boring and skimmed a lot of this. I read 30% in like one hour because of the amount of skimming I did. I struggled to feel a connection to the heroine and didn’t really care for the men in her life either. And while I can appreciate the amount of time and effort it must take to write a mind fuck book like this, it just wasn’t for me and I felt it was poorly executed.

Many will probably not agree with what I said here and that’s totally fine. Some might not question some of the things I did while reading or find some things as far fetched as I did. And if you’re one of the few people who have yet to read this, don’t let this review dissuade you. You may like it WAY more than I did.


Bang – Book 1 of The Black Lotus Series is currently free

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – can this woman write a bad book?

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The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – 5 Stars

The Sky Is Everywhere is the story about Lennie – a girl who lost her sister and best friend, who is confused and lonely and heartbroken and finds solace in sharing her grief with her sister’s boyfriend, but also with the new boy in town, Joe. It’s a story about first loves and grief and everything that happens when the person Lennie loves most is ripped from her life and how she copes. Do note though – while Lennie seeks comfort from both boys, I really didn’t consider this a love triangle. (And if you read this you’ll understand why. And trust me when I say, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.)

Jandy Nelson is my new queen of YA. I will read anything this woman writes from now until forever. She writes YA like nothing I have read before, with such heart and feeling and every emotion there is. I am utterly obsessed with her stories.

My FAVORITE thing about her writing is the relationships she depicts. The moments and thoughts and dialogue she writes literally make my heart clench. But my favorite thing about this book?

Lennie and Joe:

“I think if we don’t stop kissing, the world is going to explode.”
“Oh God,” he whispers, reaching his hand behind my neck and bringing my lips to his. “Let’s let the whole fucking world explode this time.”
And we do.
___
“…they made me fall more in love with you.” And then he smiles, and in all the places around the globe where it’s night, day breaks.
___
…and then we’re kissing so far into the sky I don’t think we’re ever coming back. If anyone asks where we are, just tell them to look up.

.
.
.

……..sorry. Had to take a moment to regroup there. I’m not crying writing and rereading these quotes or anything. Nope. I’m good now.

Anyone who is a fan of YA should read this book.
Anyone who is a fan of books about first loves and loss and forgiveness and family and regret needs to read this book.
Anyone who is looking for an insanely touching, heartbreaking, incredibly written, sensational read, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.


Review: On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

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On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – 5 Stars

So you know when you’re watching TV, and land on some movie but have no idea what it’s about? But for whatever reason you can’t look away, or change the channel, and now an hour has gone by and you’re totally immersed and haven’t moved an inch and you’re like HOLY SHIT THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD I CANNOT MOVE UNTIL IT’S DONE WHY HAVEN’T I WATCHED THIS SOONER.

Yea, that was this book for me.

I started it, was lost for like the first 30%, but then when 50% came around, I COULDN’T. FREAKING. STOP. The beginning was a little confusing because the author just kind of throws you into the story with zero background or knowledge of what’s going on. But as the story goes on, little hints and clues and these crazy coincidences start to appear and the whole time you’re like holy shit didn’t this happen before? Wait, is she that girl? OMG IT IS! What does this mean??!?

I’m going to try to explain what this story is all about without spoiling anything so if you do happen to pick this up (AND YOU TOTALLY SHOULD) you’ll have a little background.

The heroine Taylor – who I would like to point out was such a great complex character – was abandoned on the Jellicoe Road when she was 11. She doesn’t know why but is brought to the Jellicoe School. And at this school, the kids are spread among ‘houses’ (think of a type of sorority/fraternity). Taylor is elected to be the leader of her house and to lead the school’s annual territory wars versus the Townies (the kids who go to I guess what would be equivalent to public school) and the Cadets (kids from a type of military school). And among the wars and fights and negotiations for things like access to biking trails and club houses, etc., Taylor is trying to figure out why her house mother has gone missing, why she dreams of the same boy every night and if he is trying to tell her something, why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and how it’s all connected.

Insert Jonah Griggs. The leader of the Cadets, and the boy who stole the show and my heart. He is without a FREAKING DOUBT what made this story for me. He and Taylor have a history (even though they are supposed to hate each other while the ‘wars’ are going on.) His backstory was absolutely heartbreaking. The romance in this was very subtle but his moments with Taylor were so powerful and romantic and beautiful and had me wanting to cry like a child. All he wants is to help her heal and figure out the mystery of her past.

“I’m here because of you. You’re my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don’t think that will be happening in my lifetime.”
__

“What are you thinking? “I whisper after a while.

“That you deserve romance,” he says.

And this whole book is so much more than the mystery. It’s about love and family and friendship and acceptance and fate and okay I need to stop before I start crying because I really fell in love with this whole thing. I didn’t expect to love this book so much, and just want to SHOUT about how much I did. I love picking up books not knowing where the hell it is all going and just being blown away in the end. And that’s exactly what happened.


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