Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks my Book! This month my book was picked by the lovely Nicky who you can find on twitter as @cre8ive_nicky. As you can see from the title, she picked This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, this is a thriller which I have not read as much as I once did so I was both nervous and looking forward to reading their pick. Now, here. we are I read this picks and here are my thoughts

One Sentence Review

A long winded dark tale told through letters that jumps around in time.

Description

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

This was a very interestingly set up thriller, one of the main things I liked was that it utilized written letters throughout. This is one of my favorite things found in a novel so I was glad to see it here. It is nice to see an author play with this.

Other than the utilization of letters, there was not a ton I enjoyed about this book. That is not to say it is bad, just nothing specifically stood out or made an impression on me to the point I feel the need to point it out. The writing was okay, the plot was a bit jarring, but interesting. I thought the author had a very interesting imagination.

What I Didn’t Like

This was kind of a confusing read, it jumped around in time quite a bit. On top of that, the chapters were quite annoying, they were VERY long and I need natural breaking points in my books otherwise I get worn down while reading. I hate just stopping in the middle of a chapter so this was a bit frustrating.

Overall

I am really not sure about this thriller. I didn’t hate it, but it was not my favorite either. I thought it did some fun things with writing letters and it was dark and kept me on my toes. Sadly, the actual formatting of the book really took away from it for me personally. Like I said I was confused a lot because it jumped in time abruptly and the long chapters made it drag for me. I feel like if this sounds like an interesting read and long chapters and jumping around in time a lot doesn’t bother you, I feel like this would be a win for you.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Annelies, who you can find on twitter as @AnneliesExpl or on their blog called Annelies Explores. I am really looking forward to reading the book they picked for me, it just sounds grand!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my March TBR list! I cannot believe I am already planning my reading for March, I still feel like February just begun and I have a ton of time to keep reading my February TBR. Nope, not the case at all. I will have to move a few books from February to March since I just ran out of time…oops! Anyway, this month quite a few of the books I don’t quite have a physical copies for so they are not in the picture. Some are ebooks and another is a preorder I can’t wait to get my hands on.


The Books

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, ebook not pictured. This is a book for my read a shortlist challenge for 2021, if you want to see the details you can see that in my post called, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. I am excited to get to this one because it was awarded the International Booker Prize so I have high hopes especially since I have enjoyed the other books on this list so far.

The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray, audiobook not pictured. I am really excited to get to this book, I have not read a book quite like this one is described in some time and I think it will be very refreshing and uplifting.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb, pre-ordered not pictured. This is the book I currently and waiting for release day, which is early on in March. This will be the third book I have read by Hobb this year and I am really enjoying her style of writing and the world she has created.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, pictured. I started this tome in February and I really want to continue and finish it up over the next month. As always I am curious as to what Clair and Jamie will be getting into. I am actually crocheting a few Outlander inspired things as I read this book, which has really added to the fun.

Dead Blonds and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle, pictured. I have had this non-fiction on my shelf for a bit and I am really feeling the urge to read it now. The second part of this title is “Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power”, I mean that alone just draws me in.

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, pictured. I am reading this with Jenna this month so we can discuss it as we read, which I think will be really good and spark some very good discussions on systematic racism.


What do you plan on reading this month?

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Reviews

Wrap Up | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my February wrap up. Another month down, can you believe it? I know February is a short month, but I felt like it went faster than usual. I did manage to read quite a bit this month and found quite a few I really enjoyed.


Our Little CrueltiesOur Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I really hated all of the characters of this book. But, like always Liz Nugent was a wonderful writer.

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a reread for me, this time around I still really loved the dynamics between Aziraphale and Crowley as well as the version of the world that Pratchett and Gaiman have created. It is fun, pokes fun, and at times just turns ideas on their head. This was one of my favorite books of 2019 and it is still a gem and I am so glad I took the time this month to reread it and was so happy to have read it with Lauren.

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This month I read a total of 8 books, not bad for a shorter month! In total that was 2,383 pages, which tuned out to be 4 fiction and 4 nonfiction. I read an ebook, an audiobook, 2 hard covers, and 4 softcover books. One of my reads was from the library and the others were from my own shelves. The rating broke down to: 3-5 stars, 2-4 stars, and 3-3 stars.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | BuzzFeed’s “Which Book Perfectly Matches Your Personality?” Picks My Read

Hello and welcome to a post where I let a BuzzFeed Quiz pick one of my reads. This is a cobiination of having some fun, challenging mtself to read a book I didn’t think I would read and how accuraet thtis little quiz could be. I took this quiz in either July or August of 2020, as you can see it took me a little bit to get around to getting the book and reading it, but I did it! Anyway, here is the link to the quiz if you want to take it yourself: Which Book Perfectly Matches Your Personality?. It was a quick and fun quiz for me personally.


The Outcome/The Book

The book the quiz picked for me was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It mainly picked this due to my imagination and I am fond of exploring. Which, from seeing the animated movie years and years ago I can see how this book could tie into this assumption of me. Now the question is, will I enjoy reading the book? Also, how accurate is this assumption?


Now, this review is just going to be for Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland even though I also read the second book in the series because I had a bind up edition. I have to say, I have watched the movie quite a few times as a child, the 1951 version, and it was still very clear in my head many years later. While reading I was very vividly able to picture what was happening, with the occasional switch up due to the adaptation. I will say, while I was able to imagine everything I still was bored a bit by it.

I think this happened for a combination of things. I think the way the story is told, it was a bit dry even with all this outlandish and silly things happened. I think it did not personally mesh well for me. But, I will say I think this is because it is a classic and it was written for the time. We don’t really talk like we did in 1865 and this novel was written for that time and I feel like it would have been more natural then. I also felt like being so familiar with the plot also added to this. It didn’t have the magic of being totally random and outlandish like the story truly is.

This is not to say that I did not enjoy the adventure. It was fun to see characters I have not seen in year and years. The Mad Hatter and the Rabbit were always my favorites. It was also fun to see if the Cheshire Cat was as terrifying as I remembered. Also, if you really want to be terrified… look at the original illustration for the Cheshire Cat. Obviously, this book is a classic written in 1865, so it has its voice and such reflect that. It is interesting to picture a child reading this book during this time period and comparing it to the books I read as a child myself.

Overall, I ended up giving three stars. I did enjoy it, but it was just an average read. I think if I want this story ever again I will just watch the 1951 film again. I will say, I thought this was a fun experiment to try and I want to give these types of quizzes a try again.


What did you think about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reading check in! I am off to a wonderful start this month because I took part in the 24 in 48 Readathon that book place over the weekend of the 6th. I have really enjoyed a majority of what I have read, so I am excited to share a few of them with you. Without more of a delay, here are the books that I read!


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking GlassAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found I enjoyed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland much more than Through the Looking Glass. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland seemed more like a fantastical tale and adventures. The second, while still seemed like an adventure, it didn’t have the same feel or appeal.

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Sister OutsiderSister Outsider by Audre Lorde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This author really has a way with words. Their writing was beautiful and I really enjoyed this collection of essays. Her voice was unique, which I really enjoyed. I would really like to read more of her poetry because I feel like I would really enjoy it. The content of these essays revolve around many topics such as friendship, race, and sexuality.

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White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of ColorWhite Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very interesting book, it examines our history and todays society in quite a few countries. It really examines the faults of feminism as a movement and as well as how white women use tears to hide and “protect” themselves instead of having meaningful conversations and a have a refusal to be uncomfortable. This not only is in response to just one minority, but a look at white women’s response and their role in racism when dealing with POC.

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Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. The murder of the witch is told through the POV of multiple people. With each perspective you learn more about the past and the murder itself. I liked how it also was a social commentary with a mixture of a thriller.

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World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other AstonishmentsWorld of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought this was a very unique way to organize a memoir. Throughout the book the author takes a plant or animal and relates it to a personal part in their life, both childhood and more current. While also doing that you learned about the animals or plants. I will say, if you know a lot about animals it starts to drag a bit and I would have loved to hear more about the authors life.

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Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout HistoryLady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I felt that this was a really well done book. It talked about quite a few women from different countries and time periods. They even mentioned some more that lacked accounts that they really wished there was more on so they could add them to this collection. Not only did this book talk about these serial killers, it also talked about how society viewed them with bias. They were not seen the same way as their male counter parts. Some were even allowed to go free because they were pretty or using their role as a mother to gain sympathy. It was also well organized and it read more like a narrative than a lecture.

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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I am currently 46% though this reread and I am really enjoying it. For me this was one of my favorite books a year or two ago and honestly, it is still one of my all time favorite reads. The dynamics in this book are just great and I can’t wait to continue

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent, I am current 30% through this thriller. I am reading it with Reg and Jenna, we have all read books by Liz Nugent together in the past and have loved her stuff. This one so far is living up the hype for me. I will say, it does not led itself to an audiobook though. I think if you do listen to the audiobook have the physical book in front of you because it jumps around in time and it can be a bit confusing.



What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

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Reviews

Book Review | Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham

*Book given by SRL Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

Not Quite Out

Description:

William Anson is done with relationships, thanks. He’s starting the second year of his medicine degree single, focused, and ready to mingle with purely platonic intentions.

Meeting Daniel, a barely recovered drug addict ready to start living life on his own terms, might just change that.

There are two problems.

One: William isn’t out.

What’s the point in telling your friends you’re bisexual when you aren’t going to date anyone?

Two: Daniel’s abusive ex-boyfriend still roams the university campus, searching for cracks in Daniel’s recovery.

No matter how quickly William falls for Daniel, their friendship is too important to risk ruining over a crush.

William is fine with being just friends for the rest of forever.

Well, not quite. 


What I Liked

First and for most, I love the heart the main character William. Right off the bat you can see how much he cares for others and will do anything in his power to help and care for others. I really enjoyed reading about him and his life and experience because I liked him. Yes, he is human and when someone new comes into your life you sometimes unintentionally loose track of everyone else. But, is this not something you have done at one time in your life or witness your friends doing? Outside of the main character, I really enjoyed his circle of friends. They were supportive and truly cared about one another. I love a good friendship and to have multiple in this book was just great.

The next thing I liked about this book was how the author handled abuse in relationships. While there are many types of abuse, unfortunately, and every situation is different. I like how the main thing the author showed in this novel was to be there for the person going throughout. That is the most important thing, be there and make it known you are there to help them. This theme flows throughout the book, support. Support your friend, support your family and support those around you.

Just being there and supporting someone through difficult situations is the best thing you can do and also realizing that what is difficult to one person might not be for someone else. As I said earlier this book is filled with great relationships in this regard. While, these characters had their human flaws, for the most part they waited until their friends were ready to talk and express themselves on their own term.

One of the last things I would like to point out is that this is the authors debut novel. If I had not seen that on her website, I would not have realized it. I thought the plot moved at a great pace that suited the plot very well. I didn’t feel just thrown into the story, I felt guided, but it was not a show and tell. The setting was wonderful and I thought very well done. I mean, I do love a book set in college. More new adult please!


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, there was not much I didn’t like about this book as you can tell from above. The only thing that really stuck out to me was that at one point it seemed more like a soap opera. This only happened at one point in the book and to be honest, the rest of the book was filled with heartfelt relationships and took on some serious topics in a manner that I have seen in my life through myself, friends, and family. Grounding the plot and narrative in the “real” world, might be why this one point stuck out to me personally.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I read it a lot quicker than I thought I would. The dynamics were great and I felt the author did a wonderful job talking about topics that could be triggering for some. But, I also liked how the author talked about these topics and how wrong things can go, but also show how good it can go as well. I felt it showcases how everyone has their own experience and how varied they can truly be, but also shows that good outcomes are possible and are constantly being experienced by people. But, it also shows that someone who is in a bad situation or has had a bad experience, you don’t have to stay there and you can have a happy and healthy future. At the end of the book I shrieked in delight, much to the surprise to my partner. I really did enjoy this and I can’t wait to see what this author does next.


Author Links

Louise Willingham

Retail Links

Amazon UK          Amazon US          Bookshop UK          Waterstones          Foyles          Hive         Barnes and Noble           Book Depository         Books-A-Million          Blackwells          Barnes and Noble

Book Information

Publication Date: February 9th, 2021

Publisher: SRL Publishing

List Price: £10.49 or $13.99

ISBN: 978-1916337367

Pages: 334 pages

blue background with text reading:
Tuesday 2nd - Tuesday 16th February
Not Quite Out Blog Tour
Tuesday 2nd Salem sunriseabramtru
Wednesday 3rd Vasudha booksnsunshine
Friday 5th Amy proseamongstthi
Saturday 6th Cheryl cr_burman
Monday 8th Madeleine ramblingmads
Tuesday 9th Jacob a.veryqueerbookclub
Thursday 11th Jeni shelf_blame
Friday 12th Jess chapterchatmer
Sunday 14th Rue sparks_writes
Tuesday 16th Luna bookishluna
credit to Louise Willingham for this graphic.

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crochet Talk | Upcoming Projects

Hello and welcome to this crochet talk post. I was planning on sharing some recently finished projects, but I am in the middle of two big ones that might take some time. So, I wanted to share some projects I plan on working on in the next month or two and the supplies I plan on using. I promise, the next post will be book related, but I love sharing all of my interests here.


Yarn in a basket and antique scissors, discussed below.

Toe Up Socks by Patons

A friend of mine who knits mentioned that she was making socks and then I realized I have never crocheted a pair of socks yet and I wanted to give it a try. I actually went onto youtube and looked up some tutorials and came across The Crochet Crowd who had a blog post and a video following Patons’ pattern. So, I picked up a few supplies to give this project a try. I picked up hopefully enough for 2 pairs, one a gift and one for myself. We shall see how it goes.

  • 2 skeins Patons Kroy Socks in Gray Brown Marl
  • 2 skeins Patons Kroy Socks in Brown Rose Marl
  • Clover Soft Touch 3.25-mm Crochet Hook, never used a hook this small befor.

Drawstring Pom Pom Bags by Wannipa Yunker

A bit ago my bag I keep my dice in broke and I realized I needed a new one. I also recently made myself something that needs a bag as a home so when I was at the yarn store I googled drawstring bag crochet and came across this pattern by Wannipa Yunker on KNITCROADDICT. I loved it right away and bought enough yarn to make it a few times, there was a sale on top of it so it worked out perfectly.

  • 1 skein Lion Brand Yarns Wool Ease in Gold
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Yarns Wool Ease in Denim
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Yarns Wool Ease in Wheat

Snoopy by Amigurinos softies

I have been meaning to make another stuffed animal as of late and I decided to make a snoopy for my mother as a gift. I am looking forward to giving it a go. I did end up buying yarn a heavier weight than called for hopefully making it a little bigger than the dimensions listed. Fingers crossed, but either way I think it will be adorable.

  • 1 skein Big Twist Soft in Black
  • 2 skeins Bg Twist Soft in White

So, there are the next few crochet projects I am planning on working on soon. I am hoping that I can finish all of these in a month or two, but we shall see.

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To Be Read

Readathon Discussions | #24in48

Hello and welcome to a little post announcing my decision to take mark in the #24in48 this upcoming weekend that starts at midnight, 12:01ET. If you would like some more information from the source yourself you can find them at their website: 24in48.com and on their twitter: @24in48readathon. I just wanted a moment to share my TBR, which you can find below. I am mainly going to update on twitter, but I will post a wrap up when it is all said and done. Anyway, to anyone who is participating, I wish you the best of luck!



As you can see, I am planning on at least starting 4 books and hopefully finishing 3 of them. My priority is to finish up my buddy reading section for Good Omens with Lauren. Then I want to get to White Tears/Brown Scars next. After that I will see what I am feeling.


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To Be Read

To Be Read | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my TBR post for February. I am going to try to keep this TBR small so I can have some mood reading throughout the month as well, but we shall see how that goes. I have really been enjoying nonfiction lately, so this TBR could go out the window, but I have a few books I would like to get to regardless of my mood.


The Books

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Royal Assassin by Robin Hobbs

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, I was recommended this book on twitter by Amy when I recently put a post out to ask for nonfiction recommendations. As I mentioned I have been on a huge kick for nonfiction so I really want to get to this. I was so happy to see it sitting in my local bookstore.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, I want to read this book for a few reasons, the first being it is the book that has been on my TBR the longest. The second being it was my late aunts favorite book. I figure it would be a good book to throw into this months reading plans because all the other books are a bit more dense with world building, tough but essential conversations, and horror.

Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, here is a book that is tied to one of my 2021 goals. You can see more details on it on my post entitled, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. This is a book I have heard nothing but wonderful things and was placed on the Man Booker Shortlist last year. I am really excited to finally get to reading it.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I am rereading this as a buddy read with Lauren this month and I could not be more excited. I loved this book the first time I read it and I loved the show. Now that I am writing this out I kinda want to rewatch the show this weekend. lol.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, as some of you know, if you read my post Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals, I want to read two of Robin Hobbs series this year. I read the first book last month and I really want to keep up the momentum and read a book a month so I am not tying to stuff them into my reading and not enjoy them as much as I know I will.


If you are looking for a recommendation for Black History Month please see this tweet posted by Ibram X. Kendi on twitter. You can also check out this thread by Lane that showcases new releases by black authors.

What do you plan on reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my wrap up for the first month of 2021! I ended up reading a lot of nonfiction, but honestly I really liked what I read. Who would have thought the year would have stated off like that? Anyway, here are the books I finished reading this month.


The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, MississippiThe Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short book ended up having a ton inside of it. It had the story of Price Abd al-rahman Ibrahima, a history of a town built on slavery. The author goes into the history without sugar coating like quite a few of the people who live there do. He discusses the relationships and views between many of the towns citizens and how varied they are on the topic of their history itself and racism. He also highlights that there has been progress, but a lot more needs to be done. This town in particular was a very interesting microcosm of society as a whole to read about. I really liked how the author went to the town itself and interviewed many people within the town. Older people, younger people, white, black and those who lived there for generations and those who recently moved in.

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Assassin's Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition (Farseer Trilogy, #1)Assassin’s Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the start of this trilogy so much more than I thought I would. I thought it would be bogged down by world building, but it was done in such a masterfully natural way. I enjoyed the 1st period perspective, mainly because I enjoyed our main character Fitz so much. I am excited to continue this series next month.

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The Memory PoliceThe Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels and have not been for a long time. I read this novel mainly because it was part of my challenge to read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Award. I have to say I am thrilled it was on this list because I loved it. It was a dystopian novel, but was more. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy as well. The writing was grand and I give huge credit to the translator because it seems a lot of the magic of this novel remained in the tale.

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Not Quite OutNot Quite Out by Louise Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Given review copy via publisher in exchange of an honest review.

I really enjoyed the story quite a bit, a more detailed review will be posted on my blog on February 16th!

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TomieTomie by Junji Ito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read quite a few of Junji Ito’s work and I have loved all of those very much. As with those, his imagination and ideas are very original and the artwork is wonderful. Unfortunately about 1/3 of the way through this I started to loose interest because the plot began to feel repetitive.

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I managed to read a total of 9 books, 3,986 pages. Six of those books were fiction and the remaining 3 were nonfiction. I read 1 ebook, 1 audiobook, 5 hard cover and 2 soft cover books. I borrowed one of the books read this month from the library. I have 2 5 star reads, 6 4 star read and 1 3 star read.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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