young adult

My Seven Favorite Books of 2017 (Out of 55 Read)

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Hi there people in the galaxy! Another year has gone by, and though my reading has been rather slow the second half of the year because of University, I’m still very proud of myself for the 55 books I’ve read this year. A couple of years ago that number would have seemed impossible to achieve. There have been so many great gems this year and I have decided to list my seven favorite books of the year. These really deserve all of the love in the world and if you haven’t read any of them yet, I hope you’ll add them to your 2018 TBR.

Continue Reading ➞

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ARC Review of 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

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27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Publication Date: October 3, 2017.

Publisher: Entangled: Teen.

Genres: Young Adult and Science Fiction.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository 

Synopsis: Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish. But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret. They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

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Thank you, Macmillan and Entangled: Teen, for my ARC of 27 Hours. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Before I read this book I was so intrigued by the world Tristina Wright has created in 27 Hours and I have now truly fallen in love with it. 27 Hours is an action-packed character driven story which will have you rooting for the main characters while you at the same time get to know this new world far away in outer space. There’s romance, friendship, family and so much more which are all explored through the four POVs of Rumor Mora, Jude Welton, Nyx Llorca, and Braeden Tennant. Through these four different teenagers, we are taken on a journey where everything they’ve ever believed will be challenged and thus they must fight for their survival and for what’s right.

The stories from Earth said the night sky there had been the color of the void and pricked with millions of stars. Only one moon had stamped a hole in the darkness. The sky above the colonized moon of Sahara was a jumble of blue-green nebula, Sahara’s host planet (which had some long number designation Rumor could never remember), and five other moons.

The characters in 27 Hours are all marginalized. Rumor is bisexual and multiracial; Jude is gay; Nyx is Latinx, deaf and pansexual; Braeden is asexual; Dahlia is transgender, bisexual and a dark-skinned Latinx; and lastly, Trick is a man of color and gay. However, despite the fact that a lot of on the page representation has been praised, there has also been criticism. The opinion on the racial representation has been divided. I would urge you to read reviews that bring up the topic of racism and colonization in 27 Hours before deciding to read the book since the issues with the representation and the potential harm the book may inflict is well described there. The criticism should not be taken lightly.

What made me like this book was the characters. I fell in love with every single one of them and was really invested in their journeys. The main characters are a strong cast of characters that a lot of ways remind me of the found family trope. Family doesn’t necessarily mean blood, but instead who you choose to love, to trust and to surround yourself with. I love the romance that we see developed throughout this story both between Rumor and Jude, and Nyx and Dahlia. Especially the last one killed me because it was slow-burn friends to lovers, which is my weak spot. I would have to say that Nyx is my favorite in the entire book, she is a badass who can use a sniper rifle. I love how she loves Dahlia and puts flowers in her hair at random moments. Moreover, I also love how sign language was such a big part of the story because of the fact that Nyx is deaf and that Dahlia and Braeden always thought about making sure Nyx understood what they and everyone around her were saying.

Nyx’s fingertips prickled, and her mouth went dry. Gods, crushes sucked so much. Especially ones on your best friend. Who had skin the color of deepest space and eyes like twin stars. Who preferred looser shirts that slipped off one shoulder and teased Nyx mercilessly with collarbone. Who wore a pair of green pants Nyx absolutely loved on her because they clung to her legs, her thighs, those hips. Hips made for grabbing.

If you want a book about marginalized teenagers saving their world, their moon, while exploring their feelings regarding love, lust, friendship, and loyalty then 27 Hours is for you. We are thrown right into the middle of the story and throughout the story, there is nothing but high stakes as the countdown towards dayside is ongoing. This book will make you laugh, cry and squeal. I cannot wait to see what the sequel will bring us, I have a mighty need for it. However, before you read 27 Hours, do proceed with caution and read other reviews that bring up the problematic aspects of this book.

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Halloween Book Recommendations For Every Type of Halloween – Sweet, Scary, or Magical

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Hi everyone and welcome to my Halloween post, filled with books that can occupy your mind this festive holiday season. However, as the title suggests, I have much more than just scary horror books to recommend you. I have something for everyone, no matter what kind of your Halloween person you are. If your favorite part of Halloween is the candy or the princesses costumes, don’t worry, I have book recommendations for you too. In this post, you’ll find book recommendations for those that prefer their Halloween to be sweet and cute, for those that love everything that’s scary and murderous during Halloween, and lastly, there are also books for those that love Halloween because of magic and the paranormal. There are seven books for every category, so go forth and find the perfect read for your Halloween. Books written by authors of color are marked with a (▽) symbol and books with a queer main character is marked with a (❊) symbol.

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First of all, I have book recommendations for everyone who treasures the candy and cute costumes during Halloween. If the princess and prince costumes, the fairytales, and just the fact that Halloween is an opportunity to escape the real world for a while is why you love the holiday, these seven following books are for you. They have happy endings, real-life royalty and are perfect to consume with a cup of pumpkin spice latte and a big bowl of Halloween candy.

Continue Reading ➞

ATTENTION – Here Are 17 Young Adult Books That Cost 2$ Or Less

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Hi everyone and welcome to another blog post filled with cheap books (*cue happy dancing*). If there’s one thing I love to do then it’s finding cheap books on Amazon, and in other amazing bookstores too of course. For my post today, I have discounted (or just very cheap) young adult books for you all. There are probably more out there but these 18 ones I’ve mentioned are all rather famous, and books I’m sure a lot of people want to get their hands on (especially for prices like these ones). Remember that these books were 2 USD or less for me at the American Kindle store but that prices may vary due to location and the deal running out so check an extra time before one-clicking these great looking books. Diverse reads, meaning books about and/or written by marginalized people, are marked with a star (☆) in the list below. The list is in alphabetical order.

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ARC Review of Ripped Pages by M. Hollis

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Ripped Pages by M. Hollis

Publication Date: September 22, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Retellings, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT, and Fantasy.

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Purchase here: Amazon | GumRoad

Synopsis: Princess Valentina lives a reasonably comfortable life, but after her mother’s death, her father gets tired of taking care of her and locks her in a tower. She spends years on her own, talking to the birds on her windowsill, and reading books with adventures she will never experience. Her plans of running away are usually left for another day because she knows the vast forest surrounding her tower is too dangerous to cross alone.

Until one day, another girl passes by on her horse and Valentina wonders if she’s finally brave enough to seize her chance of freedom.

Ripped Pages is a Rapunzel F/F retelling in the format of a novelette.

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Thank you, Maria Hollis, for my ARC of Ripped Pages. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Ripped Pages is a beautiful story that feels fresh, unique, and absolutely perfect. This f/f fairytale feels modern and timeless at the same and is a retelling of the classic story of Rapunzel. Ripped Pages is a short and quick read with only about 60 pages and I do think a lot of people will fall in love with it.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived a princess whose name was Valentina. She had long golden hair that her maids loved to take care of because of its beauty and softness. When she laughed, her plump cheeks turned a delightful shade of pink, and her bright green eyes were always lit with excitement over every little thing.

I love how this book was a retelling of Rapunzel yet it had unexpected twists that made it its own. Moreover, this fairytale retelling is diverse and just what I feel is needed in young adult literature. Ripped Pages is filled with cute and precious moments yet still deals with important and heavy topics that are in no way brushed over. These heavy topics are addressed in the beginning of the story in a clear trigger warning. Despite not being able to speak on these matters with authority, I do felt that the way they were handled were in a good way that felt appropriate for the story that was being told. However, like the author mentioned in her TW, proceed with caution since you know yourself the best.

Ripped Pages is a beautiful, soft, and romantic f/f story and is perfect for anyone looking for a book about a girl who after a long time of hardship finally gets her own chance at a happy ending. The main character Valentina is young and has found books as an escape, and throughout this story, she comes to terms with what it means to realize you are worthy of love, happiness, and freedom.

Valentina knew then what she wanted to be, more than anything in the world. A heroine; helping other women, having adventures and lifting curses from enchanted princesses.

Everyone, remember this, once upon a time in a place called earth a little novelette called Ripped Pages, written by a woman called Maria Hollis, came out and anyone who knew what is what knew that Ripped Pages was a book to get. Thus, mark your calendars for September 22, 2017, and buy this f/f fairytale as fast as you can.

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ARC Review of The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember

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The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember

Publication Date: August 22, 2017.

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press.

Genres: Fantasy and Young Adult.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Harmony Ink Press

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

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Thank you, Julia Ember and Harmony Ink Press, for my ARC of The Tiger’s Watch. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

As Julia Ember’s third published book, The Tiger’s Watch manages to still contain all the things I love about Ember’s work and continue to surprise me with new stories and concepts. The Tiger’s Watch is about Tashi, who is nonbinary, genderfluid, and uses they/them pronouns. Throughout the book, Tashi’s pronouns are respected and the few times someone uses the wrong pronouns for them, it’s immediately called out and corrected. The world we see in The Tiger’s Watch is filled with magic and culture, and Tashi among other selected are inhabitors: “As inhabitors, we all bonded with one animal at the age of eight, and our life force linked to theirs.” At first, the connection between Tashi and their golden tiger Katala reminded me of Sense8 with how they can enter each other’s minds and take over each other’s bodies. In their country, Tashi learned to become an inhabitor at an academy specifically meant for children, poor or orphaned, to be trained to become inhabitors and spies, with the ability to wield their unique magic.

“It was something we all were conditioned to understand, even if most of us never fully accepted it. Once you became an inhabitor and said the words of the binding spell, your soul literally fused with another creature’s. I could access Katala’s memories, feel her emotions, and see what she saw. When she or I died, the one who lived would slip away as Kalx was doing. For me, bonded as I was to a mountain tiger with a projected lifespan of more than thirty years, things didn’t seem so bleak. I could live to be forty or maybe older.”

I think what really makes you connect with The Tiger’s Watch and draws you is the characters, even if your feelings towards them are torn. Tashi really evolved in this book. They still doubt themselves at times, but they also come to the realization that they can be brave despite not always having been so in the past and Katala, their golden tiger and other half, balanced them out in the perfect way. However, it should be mentioned that all characters in this book, including Tashi, can be seen as morally ambiguous. There is no one that is 100 % good or evil, there is both in all of them and that makes the entire story that much more complex and intriguing. It’s a lot harder to know who to root for when you’re on the fence about everyone and their true intentions. I cannot wait to see where the sequel takes us because there is unfinished business, and questions I’m eager to get answers to.

The romance in the book is complex and for me, it was very unexpected. At first, I thought it was going in one direction and then it went into another. I’m still uncertain how I feel about any of the possible pairings that have been explored in this book. Despite this, I do lean more towards one of the pairings and hope it will be further developed in the future (or that maybe a new pairing pops up).

One thing I’d like to point out is that I do not share the marginalizations the main character, Tashi, and a few other the other main characters have. Therefore I cannot speak on the representation in the book. If I find any ownvoices reviews that discuss the representation I will make sure to update my review and include these reviews here.

The Tiger’s Watch is perfect for readers who love unique and diverse fantasy books, especially if you love ones you’ll get through quickly. There are characters you won’t be sure whether you hate or love, and there will probably even be some tears (there was for me). However, The Tiger’s Watch is a great read and I really recommend it.

P.S. A personal side note. I’m so happy, surprised, and grateful that a dream came through with this book; I was mentioned in the acknowledgments of the book. If you’ve read my blog post, Bookish Bucket List Goals, you already knew this was something I’ve always wanted to happen since I honestly think it’s the coolest thing ever. Anywho, I’m so glad to be a reader and supporter of Julia Ember’s books.

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Twelve Diverse Books Flying Under the Radar

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Hi everyone, welcome to my new blog post with a few diverse books I love but feel are underrated and are flying under the radar among book circles. In this blog post, I have 12 diverse books that I’ve read and loved, that also have less than 50 reviews on Amazon. Moreover, some of the books also have less than 100 ratings on Goodreads. I have marked these books with a star (✯). These 12 books are in need of some love, and I hope you’ll find a new gem to read and review among these.

The first four books that I definitely feel need more loving are,

  • Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw (). Goodreads & Amazon link. This book is about a fat bisexual woman of color who also happens to be a werebear and a fashionista. The ship is really cute, and I love how they play scrabble together.
  • Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell (). Goodreads & Amazon link. Fragile Chaos is about the god of war and his sacrificial bride. This ship is on fire, there is serious chemistry, and I love the entire world with the gods and goddesses.
  • The Little Queen by Meia Geddes (). Goodreads & Amazon link. This is a novella written in the style of a fairytale about a young queen who goes on adventures to learn about herself and on her journey falls in love with another young girl.
  • The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis. Goodreads & Amazon link. This book is a new adult story about two girls in a no strings attached relationship who fall in love and find out that there is something more between them.

Continue Reading ➞

ARC Review of The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

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The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Publication Date: August 8, 2017.

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, and Science Fiction.

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Purchase here: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

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Thank you, Hachette Book Group, for my advanced review copy of The Hearts We Sold. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Emily Lloyd-Jones’s novel The Heart We Sold is an amazing book and for me, it has cemented her as an author you should have on your radar. There are so many aspects of The Hearts We Sold I love and the fact that I went into this book with little to no expectations and hints of what would happen just made the journey all that more entertaining, beautiful, and heartbreaking. Readers should be aware, this story is both soft and dark: you will laugh, cry and swoon, and the ending is not your typical “and so they all lived happily ever after” because that is not the kind of story The Hearts We Sold is. This is a dark tale where there’s danger, and girls become knights in shining armor to fight demons and monsters, both literally and figuratively, and nothing is guaranteed or as it first seems.

But Dee was not angry.

She had walked willingly into a fairy tale, in a world where she could trade her heart for her freedom. She may as well have donned a red cloak and strode into a darkened forest.

She had always known there would be wolves.

I chose this.

The Hearts We Sold is about Deirdre “Dee” Moreno who goes to boarding school to escape her parents who are alcohol addicts and have emotionally abused her during a large part of her childhood. When she loses her scholarship due to budget cuts she is put in a difficult situation. With nowhere else to turn she goes to a demon. Demons are a daily part of the world in The Hearts We Sold where they grant wishes in exchange for body parts. Because of her situation, Dee does the unthinkable, she trades her heart in exchange for money so that she can continue to attend her school. After the deal is made, she is introduced to the demon’s troop, a group of heartless teens who are supposed to do the demon’s bidding for two years, in which he has their hearts. When their two-year period is over, the teens get their hearts, and their freedom, back.

James’s expression softened. “Look, I get it. You’re panicking right now.” He edged closer, until she had no choice but to look him in the eye. He made a motion as if to touch her arm, but then his hand fell away. “A demon just ripped your heart out. By all rules of the universe, you should be dead. I should be dead. But you know what we’re going to do in the meantime?”

“What?”

“Live,” he said.

I feel that what makes this book so amazing is definitely the characters. The main character Dee, who is Latino, really has been through a lot in her life and has never been able to rely on anyone. However, throughout this book, we see her meet James and form a connection, a friendship, and something more. James is an artist, he paints and he’s really good at it. He’s soft, funny, and kind, and I love how good Dee and James are for each other. However, despite the soft and cute romance that grows between Dee and James in this book, I would not call this book a romance novel.

Except for Dee and James, there were also a lot of other characters that played a large role in this book, and I love how diverse this group of teens was. There is Cora, a black girl and one fourth of the heartless troop, and Gremma, who is Dee’s boarding school roommate, a lesbian, and a total badass, and Riley, a trans girl who shows up towards the end of the book and who complements the group in the best way. This book is about relationships, survival, love, and trust, but most of all about friendships. You will, ultimately, root for these characters because of how close you feel to them and their connections with each other.

The Hearts We Sold is perfect for readers who love young adult books that feature the supernatural and high stakes, with characters you can relate to and will fall in love with. This book will surprise you, break your heart, and leave you with an ending that is bittersweet. However, you will love every minute of it. Make a deal with a demon, and get yourself a copy of The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones. 

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SURPRISE: I’m doing #ARCAugust ✯ Featuring My Entire August TBR

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Hi, galaxy travelers and readers! As the title of this post suggests, I made a last minute decision to, for the second year in a row, join ARC August hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. Last year I thought it went so-so for me since I didn’t read the books I wanted to go through during the month. However, I’m excited to give it another shot this year. Especially since I’m actually reading a lot more this summer. I’m very excited to share my August TBR with you all.

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The ARCs I want to get through during August are the following,

I have a few ARC requests pending so I might also add a few more books to my TBR before the month is over. I’m really hoping I’ll be accepted for them, but we’ll see how it goes.

Continue Reading ➞

ARC Review of Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

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Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Publication Date: August 8, 2017.

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Mental Illness, and Romance.

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Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: A stunning novel on love, loss, identity, and redemption, from Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Brandy Colbert.

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

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Thank you, Hachette Book Group, for my advanced review copy of Little & Lion. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Little & Lion is my favorite read this year and truth to be told, I love it in a way that is hard for me to describe. There are some books that you read that you just know will mean a lot to you and Little & Lion was definitely that for me. When I heard this book was being released, many months ago, I just knew I had to read it. My expectations were sky-high and for that reason, I was also scared to start it. However, as it turns out, the book exceeded all of my expectations.

Little & Lion is about Suzette, a black Jewish bisexual girl still trying to figure out who she is, and her brother Lionel, who is bipolar. Suzette and Lionel’s bond was formed as kids when Suzette’s mom, Nadine, and Lionel’s dad, Saul, started dating and then after two years decided to join their families and merge households. Despite the fact that there is a large dose of romance in this book, both for Suzette and for Lionel, Little & Lion is about family and Suzette’s and Lionel’s relationship as siblings. Their relationship is not always easy, especially with Lionel’s bipolar disorder. There are disagreements, secrets, and even distance. However, there is also so much love between the two. It’s clear that Suzette and Lionel’s bond is special and beautiful, which is further highlighted through flashback chapters, and I love that we got to see both the good and the bad of their relationship. It makes you root for them both that much more. Suzette and Lionel are characters you can relate to, and you will definitely question and cheer for decisions both of them make throughout the book. However, despite it all, by the end of it, they are in a good place with each other which is what I loved the most.

“It’s no big deal.” He looks at his feet, sticking up beneath the covers. “You’re my sisters.”

I know that’s what he’s saying every time he calls me Little—acknowledging that we’re siblings, even if we’re not related by blood. But I like hearing him say it so plainly. It makes me think there’ll never be a time when we question our bond.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of romance in this book and lots of drama that surrounds it. There is somewhat of a love square (instead of a triangle) at one point in the story, and I feel like it was done in such a way that it just made sense for the story and the characters. These teens are figuring out who they are, who they want to love and be and what that says about them. Teenage love is new and exciting and confusing, and it deserves to be just that. This also leads to me into Suzette and her bisexuality. First of all, I love how this story called out bisexual stereotypes and misconceptions. However, my favorite part of the story was definitely how we get to see Suzette realize that she is, in fact, bisexual. The reader gets to see Suzette’s doubts and thoughts, where she tries to decipher what her feelings for both girls and boys mean, and I think that will be meaningful for a lot of readers. Figuring out who you are is not always easy or instant, and I love how Little & Lion showed that.

Honestly, there is so much to love about Little & Lion. I love the way it makes me feel, I love that it made me both laugh and cry, and I love that there are so many characters to love in this book. Two people have gone unmentioned so far are the two love interests, Rafaela and Emil. I especially fell in love with Emil, who is black and Korean, because he is literally the sweetest guy ever. Moreover, another aspect I love about Little & Lion is what an important aspect Suzette’s Judaism had in the story. Suzette has to deal with a lot because of Jewish stereotypes that exist, particularly what it means to be both black and Jewish. However, she also mentions how her Judaism is her connection to Saul, her stepfather, and how she’s proud of it, and I thought that was really beautiful.

All in all, I love this story and recommend it to everyone who loves young adult literature (but also if you don’t, trust me, you won’t regret it). This book means a lot to me and even if this review appears to be coherent, I honestly just want to fangirl and scream over how much I adore this book. I will recommend this book for a long time to come and I’m sure I will be rereading my favorite parts whenever I want to experience the joyous feeling this book gave me, all over again. Don’t miss out on getting to know Suzette and Lionel, Little and Lion, and make sure this book is on your radar and TBR.

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