Book Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

Bring out your contemporary’s! This month I am reading a lot of different books and decided to start it off with The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon.

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Synopsis

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

The main reason I picked up this book was because the movie came out recently and I wanted to read it before I watched the movie to see if the movie could do the book justice. I am really glad I picked this book up!

It was told from multiple perspectives and the entirety of the book was spanned over just one day. It explores the life of Natasha whose family is getting deported and her struggle trying to do everything in her power to stay in America. It also follows Daniel as he is on his way to his interview to get into a prestigious school to become a doctor. Their paths cross by complete luck (or was it fate) and you see them get to know each other.

I love when books play off of the “everything happens for a reason” bit and it shows how everything is connected and how it all played out because of certain events. This and books involving time always get me.

I don’t necessarily believe in the whole Insta love thing but I could see how it was kind of essential for this book.

The ending was absolutely amazing! I can’t say anything because I refuse to spoil this book but if you do pick it up, go all the way to the end because it is worth it.

There were a lot of side characters in the book and my favorite character actually was one of these side characters. Daniel and Natasha would annoy me at times but in their own little ways.

Honestly, this was a fun, easy contemporary read and is great to pick up for the summer and read at the beach or on the patio.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this book in physical format with my own money and read it because I wanted to.


Check out my May Wrap Up video where I talk about all the books I read in May and what I ended up thinking about them.

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Book Review: The Infinite Noise

Another day and another book read! I took part in a buddy read with my friend Josh from highliterature.com and he actually suggested this book as it was on his TBR. It is called The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen and is contemporary with some sci-fi aspects to it (superpowers).

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Synopsis: From Lauren Shippen, the creator of the beloved and award-winning podcast The Bright Sessions, comes the first novel in a series that follows the struggles and discoveries of three teenagers with supernatural abilities who end up on the couch of Dr. Bright, a mysterious therapist who specializes in atypicals.

“What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in therapy?” (Vox on The Bright Sessions).

This book was ok. It didn’t have a very big synopsis which was alright because it left it open to the imagination but I guess I expected more from it. When it mentions the X-men in a quote about it, you would think that it has to be good right? Wrong. It wasn’t horrible but there was a lot lacking.

First off, I did enjoy the development of relationships. As Caleb and Adam become friends, you see different sides of each of them that exposes their feelings and shows how they react to different situations.

Caleb’s chapters were a little too much for me because they were overly descriptive. I found them hard to get through as I would get lost in the depiction of how he was feeling. I also believe that the author wanted to express the struggles of his power so kudos because I could feel the frustration as well. *Not sarcastic, I actually believe she did a good job with this*.

Adam’s chapters were more relatable and fun. He was a nerd and the goody two shoe type which is kind of how I felt that I was like in high school so I connected with his character.

The plot progressed kind of slowly which brought it down a bit and overall, not much happened. I was hoping for something with a little more action in it since the characters have weird powers but there were no battle scenes or anything like that. It was more a studious version of an origin story where they learned how to handle their powers.

It might be time to pick up another fantasy book to satisfy that action craving I am having.

I would recommend it if you want a contemporary book about young love. Also, it is very much LGBTQ+ positive so if you want another book with a healthy representation of this, then you have found your book.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by my friend Josh from highliterature.com to buddy read with him. This was my honest opinion on what I thought about the book.


I recently did the “Do I Have That Book?” tag and I had so much fun making this video! I would love if you could check it out and leave a like or comment what you thought!

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Cover Reveal: The Heart Of The Matter

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A Mother’s Love: The HEART of the Matter

Genre: Anthology/ Short Stories

Expected Publication Date: May 14th (Mother’s Day)

Where would we be without the LOVE of a Mother? That’s what’s so special about this anthology, it’s all about a Mother’s Love!

An endearing novel about the strength and resiliency of a mother’s love. . . . By loving their children more than themselves, the women in this anthology go to the extreme to protect and safe-guard their children. Oftentimes, at the cost of their own happiness.
These nine authors provide readers with heartening tales of inspiration, forgiveness and sacrifices, all coming from a place of love…A mother’s heart!

The Scent of a Man: Dr. Julia E. Antoine
Holding On to Love: Solange St. Brice
A Mother’s Miracle: P. A. Smith
A Very British Mother: Lucinda E. Clarke
Dead Witch Talking: T. A. Moorman
The Blue Box: Jan Raymond
One Night of Love: Izzibella Beau
Welcome Home: Erin Eldridge
No Greater Love: Mariyam Hasnain

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

JULIA E. ANTOINE, aka Ju Ephraime, is the author of numerous bestsellers and award-winning novels, including, I Will Follow: to Eternity and Beyond and her highlander historical series, The Campbell Brothers. Dr. Antoine always knew she would be a writer. She started writing short stories for the local radio station in her hometown before she had even graduated high school. These days her time is spent plotting and creating new stories. When she’s not plotting out her next book, she travels extensively researching new locations to color her stories. She lives in the New England area with her wonderful life companion and her favorite pet, her dog, Gus.

Visit her at www.juliaeantoine.com or www.too-clever.com

Pre-Order in Time for Mother’s Day!

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I recently got back from my vacation to Ireland and Scotland and made a video about it. Feel free to check it out if you want to see how my trip went!

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Top 5 Book Box Subscriptions

Hey bookworms, it has been a while since I have just sat down and taken the time to appreciate books and all they have to offer. Most of my posts involve a review or a highlight of some sort but today I wanted to talk about Book Subscription Boxes and where to find them. I believe they are becoming a huge part of the bookish community as they give us (the readers) a monthly dose of some good (or bad, depending on how you feel about it) literature with some fun/exciting book themed goodies.

I personally have collaborated with one and I have observed many others through my Instagram page and Twitter feed so I will list the ones that appeal to me and include links to their websites so you can check them out for yourself!

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Book Box Love was created to enjoy, celebrate and support incredible Canadian talent. I personally acquired a sponsored box from this company and only had good things to say about it. Each box includes:

  • The best new books by Canadian authors!
  • Hand-made, exclusive bookish gifts by local artists.
  • Treats.  Because you deserve it.

A monthly box goes for about $60 which I realize is a little expensive but it is because all the products come hand made from local Canadian vendors. We are giving back to Canada by supporting this box. *Insert Canadian Mountie chant for more maple syrup and poutine*.

2. LitJoy Crate

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LitJoy Crate is a simple, creative, and easy way to read more and more often! They offer products that create lifelong readers and foster a love of literature! Each box includes:

  • Receive a new release YA novel and 2-3 items directly related to the book every month
  • Perfect for any reader age 14 and up
  • Ships on the 20th of each month (except in December it ships on the 10th)

They have 2 options for this. One is the full bundle which costs $29.99 and then there is the box with just the YA book in it and this one is $18.99.

3. SweetReads Box

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Pour yourself a cup of tea, cozy up into your favorite chair and get ready for some well deserved ME time. This is another Canadian book box subscription. Each box includes:

  • Bestselling Fiction Novel
  • Beautifully Crafted Items
  • Artisan Drinks
  • Gourmet Goodies

Each of these boxes has quite a bit in them which is why this one goes for $58.99 + shipping. It is a little more expensive but well worth the cost for the value of items in it each month.

4. Unplugged Book Box

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Unplugged Book Box is a seasonally inspired monthly subscription box featuring one hardcover NEW RELEASE Young Adult or New Adult book (published within 2 months of shipment) + 4 to 6 bookish self-care goodies that help you focus on you.

Each of these boxes goes for $34.99 if you choose month to month. They have other options for 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month payments.

5. Totally Booked Crate

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They are always seeking to create the BEST box every month and are committed to offering you a great read. Their team will do all the necessary research or even read the book, to carefully select the one special book they know you, their reader, will enjoy and love. And they are dedicated to providing you with the perfect crate made with high-quality materials. Each box contains:

  • A new release book
  • 3-5 curated items
  • Book swag

This box goes for $29.99 a month. It also has the option for longer commitments.

And that wraps up my list! Let me know in the comments below if you agree and what you think! If you have any other recommendations, let me know!


There is a new book on the block that I am promoting. This one is called Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi. Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s day to everyone out there! Spend today with your loved one and do something special even if that is only watching a show together or just spending some quality time hanging out.

Or if you are single, don’t sweat it. Today is your day to celebrate you and your awesomeness!

This is a short and sweet post but just wanted to let everyone know to enjoy their day regardless of being in a relationship or not. We don’t celebrate ourselves enough and we all deserve it. Stay tuned for a review of the second book in a trilogy I am reading. It will be posted tomorrow :).

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Book Review​: Treading The Uneven Road

Bookworms! I have the pleasure of sharing another review with you. This one was called Treading The Uneven Road by L.M. Brown and was published by Fomite Press.

Cover of Threading The Uneven Road

Synopsis: The stories in this linked collection are set in a small village in the Northwest of Ireland in the early 1980’s and 90’s. A bypass around the village has rid them of their once busy traffic. The residents feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later.

The collection is not only about the characters need for salvation but it is about a society that is unraveling. In Amends, we hear about the Bishop who has fathered a child. A priest is beckoned by a dying man to be mocked. The world inside and outside the village is changing. In every story, the characters need to make a choice on how they might carry on.

This book was a breath of fresh air. Not only did it satisfy my craving of travel with its beautiful descriptions of Northwest Ireland and the surrounding landscapes, but it also brought on this feeling of “lust” (not sure if this is the right word) to go there and see it for myself.

A lot of times, I won’t read a synopsis and jump right into a book so that I am completely unprepared and surprised by everything. An example would be to watch a movie without seeing the trailer for the non-readers out there. So I was very excited when I realized that all of these short stories were connected to the next and previous stories and the characters were the same in most of them. It was like revealing a little bit more of the townsfolk piece by piece from different viewpoints.

The story about Patrick was my favorite. He had a rough encounter that left his relationship with his father very tense (I won’t say what it is, no spoilers here). It made me feel for Patrick and just want him to succeed and be happy. The only downfall to this story is that I wanted more of it. It left me wondering if he would be ok and I just wasn’t ready to leave it at that.

All of these stories were just people being themselves and trying to fit into society or be what society wanted them to be. The feelings were raw and powerful and it came through in the way the author wrote about her characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants intricate storytelling of an Irish village and all the components that make up its inner workings. It wasn’t a “WOW this is amazing” book but more of a subtle “wow I quite enjoyed that”.

Book Rating: 4/5

About the Author
L.M Brown is the author of the novel Debris. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines. She grew up in Sligo, Ireland, but now resides in Massachusetts with her husband, three daughters, a dog and a bearded dragon.

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.

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Book Review: The Suitcase and The Jar

I had the pleasure of reviewing a book called The Suitcase and The Jar by Becky Livingston. This book was sent to me by a publishing company called Caitlin Press. They are based out of British Columbia and were excited to do this collaboration with me when I approached them back in late October. Sara joined me and read this one as well so we will have 2 reviews below (one from me and one from her).

Synopsis: When a brain tumor takes the life of Becky Livingston’s twenty-three-year-old daughter Rachel, her life takes an unconventional turn. Rachel, an avid traveler, had one wish: to keep exploring the world.

So, for twenty-six months Livingston travels — untethered and alone — to Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, India, England, Ireland, and North America, coast to coast. In her suitcase: Rachel’s ashes, heavy but compact. As she gradually merges her daughter’s remains with the elements, Livingston learns how to forge a new sense of belonging in an unfamiliar world.

Is it reckless for a fifty-three-year-old mother to quit her job and set off overseas with no agenda or timeline? Is such a journey squandering a life, or saving it?

Sara’s Review: This book is a memoir of a mother who has lost one of her daughters. She travels the world by house-sitting internationally, and she has brought a jar of her daughter’s ashes with her to leave in the places she finds beautiful. Throughout the book, Livingston reveals, through memories, her daughter’s life and death, as well as how she begins to attempt to piece her life back together after the loss.

This book was a very intriguing read, at first, as the writing is so brilliantly done that it is very easy to understand and empathize the author’s loss. I enjoyed the way we were both observing the loss as well as reading about poignant memories of her daughter before her death. As we learn about and grow with the author as she begins to feel like she can move on, I was particularly intrigued by the realizations and personal growth that was achieved and expressed. The writing in this novel does an excellent job of articulating something as inarticulate as an extreme loss, especially the loss of a child too young.

Through Livingston’s journey of acceptance both before and after her daughter’s death, it is so easy to feel her pain and understand all her feelings and reactions. I really enjoyed being able to experience something like this in such a beautiful and well-composed way, especially as it is a memoir rather than fiction.

Eventually, unfortunately, the book begins to feel like you’ve read it before, in that near the last quarter of the book it seems as though all the feelings have been adequately expressed, and it begins to feel repetitive. Though still beautifully written, you begin to feel like Livingston is just restating what she has already written in slightly changed ways. Although I can’t quite complain about a “character” in a non-fiction book, there were times when I had trouble understanding what comes off as selfishness from the author. Although she suffered the terrible loss of her daughter, she has another daughter whom she completely leaves and loses touch with during her journey, and evidently was too distracted by her sick daughter to ever be close to her second daughter even before the death.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It was well constructed, I enjoyed the style and the writing, I was able to fully empathize with the author, and the story was beautiful and sad and meaningful. I only wish that it had been about 50 pages more succinct, and then I think that I would be more apt to recommend this book to others.

Sara’s Book Rating: 4/5

My Review: I can honestly say that I have never read a book like this before. It was very unique to see the perspective of the mother throughout her daughter’s slow decline from her brain tumor. Grief can play so many roles in one’s life and Becky had to deal with the loss of her fiance and the loss of her daughter to the same type of tumor. She explains how she dealt with this grief in many different ways and how there is no shelf life for the feeling of loss when someone you spend your life raising dies before you do.

What inspired me was the nomad lifestyle she took on to explore and distribute some of her daughter’s ashes in places all over the world. It helped her in her grieving process and it was a way to fulfill Rachel’s love of traveling in a way she never could. I wish I could go travel the world like Becky did (not under the same circumstances but to be able to see the many amazing places and destinations this world has to offer).

I find at some parts of the book, it gets a bit repetitive but this could be to illustrate the same routine that Becky had to go through while being a mother caring for family members that were terminally ill.

Overall, it was an enlightening book about a mother’s journey to figure out what life has to offer after losing what was most important to her.

My Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can get this book directly from the publisher on Caitlin Press or you can buy it on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by Caitlin Press in physical paperback format to read and give an honest review.

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Book Review: Foe by Iain Reid

Wow. Just wow. This book was awesome! Hey bookworms, I have another review to share with you. This one is called Foe by Iain Red. and was sent to me by NetGalley for review.

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Synopsis: In Iain Reid’s second haunting, philosophical puzzle of a novel, set in the near-future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with alarming news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm…very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Henrietta won’t have a chance to miss him, because she won’t be left alone—not even for a moment. Henrietta will have company. Familiar company.

It would be classified as a sci-fi psychological thriller? It’s Iain Reid. His books for lack of a better word f**k with your head but in a good way that keeps you drawn into the story and wanting more.

I figured out the twist pretty quickly but read the entire story to get the satisfaction that I was right. It was like unpeeling an onion layer by layer and unveiling each new part to the story that gave you just a little bit more.

The character development was wonderful. The main characters become so engrossed in their lives together yet are so far apart from each other at the same time. They get set in routine but don’t actually realize what the other is feeling.

If you don’t want to know any more, go buy this book! But below I will reveal a spoiler so don’t read it if you don’t want to know the end.

SPOILER BEGINNING

SPOILER HERE - READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

So I knew right from the beginning that Junior wasn’t human due to the fact that when he spoke, there were no parentheses around his words. None the less, I was still engrossed in his character development and loved learning about the Installation and where the real Junior has been all along.

I also love that Henrietta actually left the real Junior at the end to make a life for herself that was her own and where she wasn’t expected to be at Junior’s beck and call. The fact that Junior couldn’t tell the difference between real Hen and a fake shows a lot about his personality and his connection or lack thereof with the real Hen.

SPOILER END

This book is a must-read recommendation from me! I want to talk about it with others and hear their opinions. If you have read the book, leave a comment below about what you thought.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format from NetGalley to read and give an honest review.

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Guest Post: Jodi Picoult Interview

Hey bookworms! So I have been connecting with a lot of different bloggers lately and one had reached out to me about the interview she had with Jodi Picoult. I decided I would share her post because it was a good interview and I am sure that many of you know who Jodi Picoult is and would be interested.

But first, a little blurb about Ana!

Ana Milosavic works in marketing in the tech space, and on the side runs a blog that is focused on career growth and journeys and helping others achieve their own version of success. Ana hopes that her interviews with women in all stages of their career will help others reach goals they thought were unachievable, and will give them a realistic expectation of what it takes to get to their dream job – while breaking many glass ceilings along the way! As a huge bookworm (and leader of two book clubs in Vancouver, Canada), she was very excited to get the chance to interview author Jodi Picoult. Ana and Jodi discuss career, including Jodi’s inspirations, best and worst career advice, mentors and much more.

Website: anamilosavic.com

Instagram: @amilosavic


Interview with Jodi Picoult

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Occupation:
Writer

Why do you do what you do?
I can’t not write.

What’s your current dream job?
To be a writer… and a Broadway librettist.

Tell us what your average day looks like.
I get up and run for a few miles, then go up to my computer and edit my way through whatever I was writing yesterday, and when I get to a blank spot I keep writing. I continue until about 4 pm.

It’s great to see that you are living your dream job! Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still writing novels, and perhaps winning a Tony.

Amazing, I have zero doubt! Have you had any big career struggles so far?
It was very hard, at the beginning, to write what I wanted to write – fiction that asked moral questions. There were not many writers doing such and finding an audience was a slow climb. Also, being categorized as commercial fiction or women’s fiction has prevented people from taking my work seriously.

And what has been your biggest career win so far?
11 consecutive #1 NYT bestsellers.

Now that’s a career win! Is there any career advice you’ve received that you still hold on to?
Don’t write about the dinosaurs ’til they become oil – in other words, don’t write about what happens to you until you have time to process your emotions and regard the incident from an objective POV.

What about bad career advice?
Write that sells.

You have achieved so much already! What is the one thing you are most proud of?
My three children, who are all changing the world in various ways.

Is there one person that has inspired you in your career?
My editor, Jennifer Hershey – who is extraordinary at her craft – and my publicist, Susan Corcoran, who makes my life so much easier.

I think mentors are so important to a successful career. Do you have any mentors?
My former professor, Mary Morris, who taught me everything I know.

When do you feel the most confident?
When I’m standing in front of an audience talking about one of my books.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Currently coveting: Chocolate.

Favorite way to sweat: Hiking.

Favorite book: Too many to name.

Morning person or night owl? Morning person.

Favorite food: Chocolate ice cream.

Favorite city: London.

You can see Ana’s full interview here!

*Disclaimer: This content was sent to me by Ana Milosavic to post on my blog.*


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Book Review: Suffering Ends When Awakening Begins

SO I heard you were looking for another book review. Surprise! I have one right here 🙂 This one is called Suffering Ends When The Awakening Begins by Robert Crown.

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Synopsis: How Does a Child’s Life Change When His Mother Tries to Murder Him? It’s one of the most profound betrayals imaginable, and it can follow the victim into adulthood, into all he does with his life, tainting his sense of self and his relationships with others. How does a man’s life change when he discovers that with his thoughts, his imagination, and his ability to listen to his higher self, he has the power to overcome the devastating events of his past and build a new life and a family?

This book was a true story about the author’s life and all the hardships he endured while growing up. The first chapter had me captivated from the very first line as it starts off with his mom almost killing him as a child. The worst part was that she was trying to do it intentionally! I felt like I was reading a script from CSI where they examined a crime scene and kind of put together what happened before the victims became the victims. I honestly feel like I would be very messed up for the rest of my life if this happened to me. So kudos to the author for turning out ok after that.

I kept reading and thinking, “wow this guy can’t catch a break”. There were so many circumstances in his life that just didn’t work out for him. The pros were that this author had me reading constantly. I was so intrigued and captivated by his life that I didn’t want to put the book down. He has a good message at the end of the book that is worth reading it for.

The cons were that there were some small spelling mistakes. Not a crazy amount, but just enough to bug me. Luckily they were spread out so it was easy to pass off.

*Update: Apparently I had an earlier version of the book before the revisions so these little spelling mistakes have been corrected.*

Overall, I would recommend this book if you want an inspiring story about a guy that managed to turn his life around after hitting rock bottom.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and give it a rating on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format to read and give an honest review.


There is also another book on the block that you should check out if you haven’t heard of it yet. It is called Addicted To Hate by Lucia Mann and it is a great one! You can find it on Amazon or on her website: www.luciamann.com!

 

Addicted to Hate - Front Cover

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