Reviews

Book Review | A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

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*Book given for review by Wunderkind PR*

A Constellation of Roses
Description: 

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots. –goodreads.com

 


What I Liked

I would like to start off with something some might not see as a positive, but this was one emotional book. It felt like a roller coaster, but in a really good way. It did not feel like a soap opera. This book follows a young girl named Trix who has had a very hard life. She was stealing to survive and life, she really didn’t trust anyone but 2 friends, one who liked like her and another who was in jail.

This book starts off right away and slowly you see the world build and Trix. She is a really complex character with a ton of development, which I loved. I was rooting for her the entire time and I just wanted her to begin to trust people and connect with her family. The author wrote her in an amazing way. The world she built was believable, and tangible even though there was a few magical elements tossed in. I had genuine emotional reactions to a few of the events in the book, I don’t want to get too specific, but I cried and I wanted to smack a few characters in the face. On the other hand there were some I just wanted to hug and celebrate with when things went right. I will note that even the side characters of sort made an impression on me.

Another thing I really enjoyed the book was the little magical element. This element was woven into the story is such a believable way. It is subtle and well thought out due to the diversity of magic help by some of the characters. These little gifts are listed in the books description and I knew they were coming up, but I really loved how they fit into the characters personalities and were presented.

Honestly, I could go on and on, this is pretty much a gushfest and I am totally okay with that because this book earned it.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. I loved every page of this book. It was beautifully written and constructed. This, I do not say often.


Overall Thoughts

I thought this was an amazing read, it could easily be one of my top books of the year. As I have said the author is very talented. Her writing is well balanced and easily creates a world and characters that the reader can fall into with out a problem. I was engaged in the story from page one and I wanted more when it was over. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

5stars


Author Links

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Book Information

Publication Date: November 5th 2019

Publisher: HarperTeen

List Price: $17.99

ISBN: 9780062747105

Pages: 336 pages

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TBR

TBR | November 2019

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Hello and welcome to my TBR for the 11th month of the year! I cannot believe how quickly this year is now going since we are in the home stretch. This month I was thinking I was going to really keep an eye on my reading challenges, but I wanted to read so much I had to go to twitter and ask for some volunteers to send me some numbers so I could narrow my TBR down in addition to reading a book that was on my post Lists | Top 5 Books I Want to Read Before 2020. Anyway, on the to TBR!


I am going to go a little out of order here, but Middlemarch was the only book on this list I picked for myself. It is the last classic on my shelf and I honestly am very much in a classic reading mood. It is also one of the five books I want to read before 2019 comes to an end. I picked this book up on a whim at a local independent bookstore because I never read any of Eliot’s works and I felt like I would really enjoy this one.

Next up is The Bone Season, which is number 27 on my TBR. This number was picked by Rosie, you can check out her blog by clicking here. I am really happy that this number was picked because I picked this book up in October, but I didn’t get a chance to read it and I was bummed out.

The next number that was picked was number 10 by Katerina, you can find her tweet below. Number 10 was It Would Be Night in Caracas, which I was given when I went to BookCon earlier this year. I am excited to have this on my TBR because the story sounds so interesting.

The next number is 25, picked by Emma, you can check out her blog by clicking the link here. Number 25 is Nothing to See Here, which was my Book of the Month from last month, so I guess Emma is trying to get me to catch up on those books. I am excited to get to this one though, I mean the cover has an illustration of a person on fire… I need to know why!

The next book I am going to be reading this month is The Toll with Reg, Jenna, and Amy as part of our buddy reading group. I am so excited to be reading the final book in the Scythe series by Neal Shusterman. All of us have pretty much loved this series since we read the first one together.

Well, there you have it the 5 books I am planning on reading in the month of November. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who sent me numbers, but there was no way I would have been able to read 16 books this month. I wish I could though!


What books are you planning to read this month?

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 5 Books I Want to Read Before 2020

Lists

Hello everyone, today I wanted to take a moment to talk about the top 5 books I want to read before the end of 2019. We are officially into the last quarter of the year, which always goes by super quickly. It is a time to focus to meet my goals if I have not already. On top of that, there is one Beat my Backlist book that still needs to be read and I will have read all the books I bought before 2019. Anyway, on to the books!


The one I think I am most excited to get to would be The Institute by Stephen King. It is no secret that I really enjoy creepy/horror reads and I really enjoy King’s works. I am really excited to have my hands on his most recent release and I want to read it before the year is through. 

Next in line would be It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo & Translator Elizabeth Bryer. I am really excited to be reading a book set in South America. I don’t know about you, but it is not a setting I come across often in books and I would honestly like to read more. 

Now, The Overstory by Richard Powers is one I need to read for my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019 challenge so I really need to get my butt in gear. I have two books left to go and for some reason this one is the one I have owned the longest, but have not felt the need or want to read. So, I am hoping putting it on this list will really put my butt in gear. At this one I have the other from the library and plan on starting it within the week. *Update* I have read this since prewriting this post, I am updating this to the final book on this list I need to read, The Long Take by Robin Robertson. This is what happens when I prewrite posts too darn early.

Then, we have Middlemarch by George Eliot. I picked up this classic it sounds so interesting. I decided that I would read it over the summer when I  was enjoying the weather outside… well. Summer is now over and I still have not read it. I would say that now my goal is to just read it before the year is finished. I feel like Classics are really good cold weather reads anyway. 

Lastly, we have Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I am really interested in this series, but I always out it off because it is digital. While I do enjoy reading on my kindle, I always find myself only really using it for library books not for my owned TBR books. I need to change this ASAP and read this. Also, it is the oldest owned book on my owned TBR. So, it is really time to get my butt into gear. 


What 5 books do you want to read before the year is up?

Which one do you think I should read first?

Who things I will actually read all of these before the year is up? 😂

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark August | NEWTs Readathon 2019

NEWTS 2019

We are officially coming to the middle mark of the #NEWTsReadathon! I cannot believe it is already halfway through this fun adventure of a readathon. I have been having so much fun with my exams, I have been liking my reads more than I had anticipated. Now, I don’t want to make this introduction to long, but I am going to review the NEWTs I have passed, my current scores, and give some mini reviews of the books I have read. I hope you enjoy!

OWLs  Passed: Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies, Charms, Transfiguration, Arithmancy


-Mandatory-

Herbology

  • A: Audiobook: Supermarket by Bobby Hall
  • E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
  • O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson 

Potions

  • A: Friends Fav: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman *cough* Jenna, Reg *cough*
  • E: Yellow on the Cover, Yay Hufflepuff!: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 

Care of Magical Creatures

  • A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • E: Under 300 Pages:

-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Needful Things by Stephen King
  • E: Standalone: Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Charms

  • A: Beautiful Cover: Smashed by Junji Ito
  • E: Read a Comic:

-Current NEWT Scores-

Herbology: O

Potion: A

Care of Magical Creatures: A

Charms: A

Arithmancy: A


-Reviews-

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t think I could say this about a series, but I liked this book better than the first. I am not a big romance in books lover unless I specifically pick up a book looking for that. I was happy to say that this book had a lot of action and a lot of stuff going on and love took a back seat. I don’t want to say too much, but the writing was good and I really enjoyed where the story went. I am looking forward to the next one coming out.

View all my reviews


The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1)The Alienist by Caleb Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not disappointed by this 1800s historical classic mystery. The length was perfect, I didn’t feel like there were parts that could have been cut. On top of that the pacing was also wonderful. The array of characters of our main group are great great chemistry, but also realistic.

There are some strong characters in here and some you don’t always feel like you can trust. I love when I find characters I adore, but there is just something a little unsettling. I find that leads me to question a lot more and read more intently to see if I can catch anything. I also loved the use of real historical figures and characters in this book, it really made this historical fiction feel like it was real. I have to say it is one of my favorite things when a historical fiction surrounds people who actually lived.

Overall, this was a great adventure and I am very, very happy that this is a series.I recommend it to anyone looking for a good on your toes mystery. I will warn there is some graphic treatment of children in this story. So if that bothers you this might not be for you.

View all my reviews


SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hate to say this, but I did not enjoy this book really at all. The writing was almost childish and gave me Catcher in the Rye vibes, but not in the good way. At first I was enjoying this, but as I read more and more I became bored and kinda just stopped caring pretty early on. I only finished this because the blurb sounded interesting and I was hoping it would turn around and this would just be a lull in the writing.

It is jumbled at times and idk, I feel like it needed to be more flushed out before being published. It also needed a better editor.

I feel like Hall with some practice, studies writing, and has a good editor could write something good in the future, so I am not writing him off.

View all my reviews


Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “Powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this nonfiction account of the trial of Madeline Pollard vs Colonel W.C.P. Breckinridge, which took on the inequality in morality between men and women within US society. The author made this case accessible and I was interested throughout reading. I liked how the author described the history of moral judging through US history how it shifted from equal blame during colonial times, to mainly being a woman’s problem. The coverage of the court case was detailed and I also really liked how the author covered the holes and inconsistencies in both arguments. On top of that, I enjoyed how the author described the effects of the court case on women, Madeline, Breckinridge and the futures they lived.

View all my reviews


Everything UnderEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is going to be a really weird review. I liked the story, but the way it was portrayed irritated me. There are no ” marks, “You” is used so much, the POV was personally aggravating to read. Now all of these are personal preference and does not in any way mean that the book is bad, but it was very much not for me. Also, why do chapters have the same names? I didn’t know these things mattered go much to me until now.

If you read the first chapter of this book or a sample I feel like you will know right away if this book is for you or not.

View all my reviews


Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: suicide

View all my reviews


Needful ThingsNeedful Things by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another wonderful novel by Stephen King. I really liked the slow build of this novel that intertwines the entire small town. It is very dark at times and can be quite gory from time to time, but physical horror is not all that is present in this novel. There is a psychological aspect to this that really makes you think about human nature and how easily some people can loose their values and morals especially when their hearts desires are on the line.

TW: suicide

View all my reviews


What is your favorite book so far this month?

How are your NEWTs going? Which exam are you taking now?

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Books I Loved with Love

Recs

Happy Valentines day to those who celebrate and happy Thursday to those who do not. Since today is my posting day and I do love a good romance in a book from time to time I thought I would share some of them with you. Now, I know that not everyone is going to agree with my choices, but the great thing about books is that there are so many that everyone can find the ones they enjoy. Now, on to the books I love with love!

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman-

The Rules of Magic
This books revolves around a family curse where only bad things happen when you find the person you fall in love with. It is the prequel to Practical Magic and I absolutely loved the various relationships in this book. While I was heart broken quite a few times it was wonderful seeing some of the characters find love.


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon-

When Dimple Met Rishi

This book was so adorable and so cute. I read it in a single day, that is how much I liked this book. I also loved how the relationship started in this book because I can relate to it on some level with my boyfriend. In addition, I felt like I learned a lot while reading it too.


 

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry-

The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1)

This book really had me smiling at multiple points. The relationship in this starts in such a funny way, but seems to genuine. While they have their share of drama and things working against them I enjoyed it a ton.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion-

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)

I fell in love with this book. I found it funny, cute, and I not only enjoyed the romance in this book, but I really liked the friendship and honesty inside of it as well.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli-

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)

I feel like at this point this entire book is me just gushing how much I enjoy all of these books, but this book was adorable, but a mystery as well. I highly suggest this book. It is cute, has great characters, and it is just adorable and wonderful.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott-

Little WomenThis book is a classic I am just in love with. I love the relationship and love felt within their family, Jo and her man, and Meg and her husband. I just really enjoy all of the relationships that blossom in this book and in this series.

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What book romance do you just love? What did you think of my choices? Are there any books you would ad?

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Hauls

Weeks in Review | November 4th-November 10th

a week in review

So, I am still trying to get back in the habit of writing here, it is funny how 2 weeks without a computer gets you so out of wack. I should be picking up my new one within the next week, fingers crossed. While I am waiting for that and I was able to borrow one temporarily I thought I would continue on sharing what I read this week, what I acquired, some stats and what I have written.

DividerBooks I Finished

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I ended up liking this book so much more than I thought I would. I normally rarely read about celebrities or actors I like in real life, so I always thought, “Why would I care about one that didn’t even exist?”. Well, I have to say that this book proved that point wrong. Within the first chapter I was already hooked. They methods used by the author to tell Evelyn Hugo’s story were wonderful and made it feel so tangible. Not only did the author tell an addicting story of this woman, but she told a story of so much more than that. That is the part of the story I did not expect and loved. The author did some great things with this book and I highly recommend.

5stars

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

So, since I have been slowly collecting these Hufflepuff editions I have been wanting to reread these stories all over again and tab them up. Well, this week I finally did it because I stopped myself from feeling guilty about rereading when I have so many others I need to get to on my shelf. I am so glad that I stopped caring and did. This story continues to be a 5 star read.

5stars

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

So, not only did I reread one of the Harry Potter books, I reread this one as well. I read them both in two days and it was magical. I wish I had more time this week to continue. I think I will go for one a month at least in the next few so I can tab more of my books up. Then when more Hufflepuff editions come out I can transfer them.

5stars

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

If you have been around for any point on my blog you will know I love Little Women with all of my heart. This pasty summer I was lucky enough to visit the house in which it was written. While I was there I picked up this book and I finally read it for Nonfiction November. I found a lot of this book to be wonderful, I learned a lot about Louisa and her family even though I have read about her in the past. Part 2 and 3 are better considered a historiography of the story and how it was viewed as a book throughout time, which I loved! I think some parts I could have done without, but overall I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about this story and the women who penned it.

4stars

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

I happened to put this on hold at my library after watching an interview of these two. While I have been a fan of both of these humans for years I never really read much about them. When it became available I picked it up and dived right in. I really liked the way this book is told as if it is a conversation. You get true picture of their relationship and their personalities. It gives the story life and it made me fly right thorough it. I you are interesting in either one of these humans I highly suggest picking up this comedic memoir.

4stars

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

I have had this book on hold at my library since I read Practical Magic a few months ago. So far I am really enjoying this prequel and I am already mad because I am emotional about the events that have happened already. How does Alice Hoffman get me like this every time I read one of her books? Once again it is a magical story of a family that you can’t held but love and root for.

A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

A Noise DownstairsI am barely into this book because I am a horribly buddy-reader this week. I have read about 9% and I am already curious to see where this novel goes. I have no doubt that this is going to be a wild book that will cause me to gasp in shock a few times.

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Books Added

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter
I decided to pick up this novel because I have been hearing so many great things about it. I also feel like I am going to want a larger read for the winter time. I loved that this teased a but of a mystery, but also the fact that it is set in the past and I love a good historical fiction.

“My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?” –goodreads.com

Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes

Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing

I came across this author a few years ago when I was either reading about Stephen Kings recommended books/authors or when I was looking at his twitter feed, sadly I cannot remember. Since then I have read 2 of her books and wow, they are a trip. She is a gift author and when I saw this edition on sale I knew I needed to get my hands on it. She is a great thriller writer and I feel like she is not talked about enough at times.

“A Punk Lolita fighter-pilot rescues Tokyo from a marauding art installation. A young architect’s life is derailed by an inquisitive girl who happens to be a ghost. Loyalty to a favorite product can be addictive when it gets under your skin.

In her edgy and satiric debut collection, award-winning South African author Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls) never holds back. Ranging from Johannesburg to outer space, Beukes is a fierce and captivating presence in the literary landscape.” –goodreads.com

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

For Better and Worse

This was my Book of the Month pick of November, the reason I picked this book out of all the others was simply the description. How can I not want to read about a couple that plans the perfect murder and not want to read that happens and ensues from there? Also, I was curious to see how the author portrays their son who sadly is a victim of an awful crime.

Till death do us part

When they fell in love back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke joked that they were so brilliant, together they could plan the perfect murder. After fifteen rocky years of marriage, they had better hope they’re right.

Their young son Jacob’s principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. It’s a horrifying situation—and the poison spreads rapidly. One night before bed, Jacob tells Natalie he is a victim, too. In that moment, her concept of justice changes forever. Natalie decides the predator must die.

To shelter Jacob from the trauma of a trial, Natalie concocts an elaborate murder plot and Will becomes her unwilling partner. The Clarkes are about to find out what happens when your life partner becomes your accomplice—and your alibi. “-goodreads.com 

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What was the last book you read?

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Revisiting

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books Vol. 2

revisiting

Hello all! Today I wanted to talk about my latest update with my ______ Picks My Books Series. In this blog post I will talk about my experiences with the books Amy picked for  me in my first Book Buddy Picks My Books, I promise Jenna and Reg I am slowly making my way through your books too! Also, if you would like to pick out my next books I have a few details at the bottom of this post. Without more of a delay, here we go!

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Previous Installments

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 3

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

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Books Amy Picked for Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first book I read was In the Days of Rain, a memoir of a family. I read through this book quickly, I was really interested in the story of this family and how they came to be prominent members of a cult through generations to then leaving and dealing with that. I also enjoyed the psychological implications that this book exposed me too through the authors own father. I felt it was interesting his feelings towards religion following the family leaving. I also loved how the author explored her own feelings and you can see her own feelings and how it affected her life in many ways, even in how she breaks up the novel.

4stars

The Second book I just finished buddy reading and I have to admit I read it a lot faster than I was meant to. I really enjoyed reading this magical realism novel. It was just the right about of magic and done in a ways that made it seem like it could happen in the real world. The main character and the supporting characters were well written and man was there one part where I got really mad, but the ending of the book made me feel a bit better about it. Additionally, the authors style was lovely as well. I highly recommend it if you are looking for something in the genre.

4stars

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Overall, you can see that I really ended up enjoying the books Amy picked out for me and I kinda expected it because out reading tastes are so similar. I just want to say thank you Amy for picking such wonderful books for me to read!

Also, If you would like to pick out my next or future reads please leave a comment down below saying you are interested and the your top two genres of books to read.

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