#young adult contemporary
abookishdreamer a month ago
WIP Intro- A Piece of Forever
"I never admitted this to him, but whenever I was with him, he made me feel invincible."
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Genre- YA Contemporary
POV- first person present tense (includes some flashbacks)
Setting- San Antonio, Texas
Status- outlining
Themes- grief, first love, loss, friendship, teenage pregnancy, adoption, family relationships...
Synopsis- To most people at Cunningham High, Natalie Santiago & Michael Callahan are the IT couple. The perfect pair. Peanut butter and jelly. Future NFL Quarterback & WNBA superstar! The tough no-nonsense Latina and the guy with the golden blonde hair & a smile as sweet as honey. Then, at the beginning of junior year, the balance shifts. First, Michael is killed in a car accident; soon afterward, Natalie learns that she's carrying his baby. For the first time, "Se帽orita chica dura" can't do this alone. She needs people- her family, her best friend Esme, Michael's parents, & the baby's prospective adoptive parents. These relationships may bend under the weight, but it'll never break- because a promise is something that's kept forever.
Natalie Santiago- main protagonist
Celeste & Nate Santiago- Natalie's parents
Victoria (Vicki) Santiago- Natalie's little sister
Esmerelda (Esme) Torres- Natalie's best friend
Elizabeth (Lizzie) & Ron Callahan- Michael's parents
Isaiah Hernandez- Esme's boyfriend, Michael's best friend
Zoe & Joel Graham- Natalie's baby prospective adoptive parents
Britney Alderson- Michael's ex-girlfriend
Devon Carter- Michael's best friend
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ghostofreadingpresent 5 months ago
5/5 Stars
Check trigger warnings before reading
I Was Born For This follows Angel, whose life revolves around the boy band The Ark, and Jimmy, who is a member of said boy band, when the two meet unexpectedly.
I loved I Was Born For This. This was my second time reading it, and it just got better. Out of all of Alice Oseman's work, it has to be my favourite. I love how accurately Oseman portrayed fandom life and culture, and I found myself relating to Angel a lot, especially as someone who does spend a lot of their time within fandom, even if it's not usually the fandom of a boy band.
In fact, all of the characters felt real, with their own flaws and personalities. I loved the dynamics between the characters and the emphasis on friendships rather than romantic relationships. I also loved how Internet friendships were shown, and how it doesn't suggest that Internet friendships aren't real ones.
All in all, this book is amazing, and I cannot recommend it enough. It has amazing LGBTQ+ and POC representation, and is a really interesting exploration into parasocial relationships in the from of a YA contemporary novel, discouraging the 'crazy fan girl' stereotype.
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tomesofthetrade a year ago
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鈥淐ourage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.鈥
- The Princess Diaries
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justalittlelitnerd a year ago
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鈽旳 Cuban Girl鈥檚 Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
鉁↙ila Reyes has plans. None of which include a summer in England away from her family, Miami, and the bakery she鈥檚 set to take over. But after a series of heartbreaking events her family makes the decision for her, her plans can wait. Well, that鈥檚 fine. Lila can suffer through the summer at her aunt鈥檚 bed and breakfast. Especially, when she convinces them to let her work in the kitchen. But nothing could have prepared her for Orion Maxwell. Or the choices she鈥檒l have to make before coming home.
馃挮I've seen a lot of reviews where people didn't really like Lila because she's stubborn and opinionated and a bit of a know it all. Which is fair, she's all of those things and more! But she's also 17 and the book is about her, flaws and all, she wasn't perfect before she was hit by tragedy and she's certainly not perfect after as she's figuring out how to grieve. Personally, I loved her because you see her open up and fall in love and grow in a way she might not have been able to if she hadn't left Miami. It was so much softer and sadder but also sweeter than I expected so if you're in your feels and looking for a book to match that feeling then I recommend picking this up!
馃尰 Have you read this yet? What's your fave "unlikable" character ever?
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codenamebooks 6 months ago
Dumplin鈥 (Reread) Book Review
by Julie Murphy |聽猸戔瓚猸戔瓚猸 | Goodreads | CW: fatphobia, negative self image
Willowdean just finished her sophomore year of high school. She has her best friend, Ellen, her job at Harpy鈥檚, where private-school Bo works too, and the shell of late-aunt鈥檚 bedroom, in the house she lives in with her mom. Every year her town hosts the annual beauty pageant but something gets under Willowdean鈥檚 skin this year that she needs to be in it because she should, despite the fact that she fat. Willowdean and her friend group of friend鈥檚 that don鈥檛 fit the typical beauty model embark on a journey of self-love while dealing with friendships, love, and classic small town drama.
The thing that made me adore this book so much this second time around was because I took so much more from it than my first read in early high school, which is surprising. So many of the things that Willowdean goes through in this novel, I have gone through recently, still are, or need to unlearn. With that being said, this book is so important for girls from middle-school young to college or even past it who don鈥檛 fit the Hollywood beauty standard. Past that, let me go in to more.
I鈥檝e found that I adore books that allow teenagers to be emotional and na茂ve and live deep in their fictional world. Young Adult Contemporaries (Romances specifically) allow them to not know anything about the world other than what they feel in any specific moment. Some people find this aggravating while I find this admirable. We, in the real world, are often forced to suppress our emotions to deal with difficult everyday decisions and so it鈥檚 nice to have an outlet through these teens that it鈥檚 okay to be upset over something that really won鈥檛 change anything in the grand scheme of life. Julie Murphy adds an extra layer to this because the things that Willowdean has to endure do become larger, real-world things, she just sees them on a much smaller scale than we do. She thinks Ellen is being unfair for joining the pageant when she always had the chance to and that鈥檚 okay; not having universal healthcare in America is unfair but we have to go in to debt anyway (that鈥檚 dramatic, but I mean the comparison). She offends Bo because she doesn鈥檛 understand not to judge him just because he goes to a private school and that鈥檚 okay; people judge my financial ability as a young Black woman and never have the chance (or want) to apologize.
Willowdean is a phenomenal main character. Seeing this plot through her eyes was such a smart choice because she is able to create everything else around her so beautifully. Every other character, although significantly less important than her, is full of life and personality and they all completely make sense. Her observations of their family members, the spaces they live in, how they interact with others and herself nail in perfectly who they are and why they do what they do. On top of that, the way she views and describes the town she lives in also shapes every plot point that occurs. The parking lot food truck taco date makes so much sense giving that there鈥檚, like six fast food restaurants, and two sit-down restaurants. And, of course, especially the pageant and the culture surrounding it with boot camps and secret rooms with crowns. The whole world Will lives in, despite being the exact some one we live in, comes alive through the lens of a 16-year old girl who has lived there her entire life.
Then moving on to, what I鈥檇 say is, the catalyst of the plot, the romance. Oh I loved it so much. It meaning Bo, but also his relationship with Willowdean. I鈥檓 not going to lie, I鈥檓 incredibly jealous that I鈥檝e never had a boy be as tender and open with me as Bo is with Will. Which is why this is the only plot line that would make me upset with Will! It was so obvious how not-himself Bo was allowing himself to be with her and, for also obvious and understandable reasons, she didn鈥檛 see that and throw herself into his arms. This is where I largely related to Will. Many of the things that she felt and recoiled from named feelings that I never even thought had names. It was amazingly rewritten how our own insecurities, no matter how secure we once have been, suddenly get in the way of amazing opportunities right in front of your face.
I honestly don鈥檛 think I have anything bad to say about this book. I read it because I finally bought the second book (and found out that there鈥檚 a third and a middle grade addition) and remembered nothing. I know they鈥檙e not technically sequential but I wanted to get back into the entire world and revisit the characters who will be the center of Puddin鈥.
If you love reads that explore relationships platonic, familial, and romantic, you should read this book! If you like small town depictions with a unique culture, read this book. If you enjoy honest girls who love themselves but sometimes find it hard, read this book.
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cynsworkshop 9 months ago
Watch "We Can Be Heroes Review" on YouTube
Today on YouTube we're discussing We Can Be Heroes, an important, relevant, and emotional novel that will stick with the reader.
Today on YouTube we鈥檙e discussing We Can Be Heroes, an important, relevant, and emotional novel that will stick with the reader. Don鈥檛 forget to follow Cyn鈥檚 Workshop on聽Facebook聽|聽Instagram聽|聽Twitter聽|聽Tumblr聽| Spotify | YouTube |聽BookBub聽| Goodreads |聽LinkedIn聽to stay tuned for future reviews. Like What You See? Please subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more reviews. Become a Supporter
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readintheclouds a year ago
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This book is amazing, heart wrenching, thrilling and completely captivating. It鈥檚 a YA contemporary that handles a lot of important themes in relation to today鈥檚 society, in a way that highlights how young women are treated in the justice system in response to sexual assault. I loved everything about this book, especially the ending which was an interesting concept. I listened to the audiobook for this which was narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, and I recommend this for anyone interested.
鈥淲hat a woman wears, or doesn鈥檛 wear, doesn鈥檛 give anyone the right to touch them.鈥
Content warnings: emotional abuse, child abuse, physical/sexual assault, addiction, mental illness.
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aw-my-books 2 years ago
鈥淟ast words are always harder to remember when no one knows that someone's about to die.鈥
鈥淟ooking for Alaska,鈥 John Green
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booksoanahasread a year ago
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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
If you haven鈥檛 read this book since it came out, you鈥檙e missing out. It isn鈥檛 my favourite novel by John Green, but it is wonderful. I first read it in my first year of highschool and I had a completely different reaction now. Thinking back to that time in my life, I found solace in it, but this time it just led to some discomfort.聽
The main character, Aza Holmes, is a peculiar girl. Sure, she has a mental illness, and it affects her so profoundly that it shakes the reader. She was so stuck inside her brain, which was swamped with thousands of perturbing thoughts. I wouldn鈥檛 characterise her as selfish though, I think she just couldn鈥檛 escape from the prison of her inner monologue.聽
I don鈥檛 usually write in my books and use post it notes, but this time I did, because having quotes marked paints a better picture of the life of Aza. For example, Ava admits that 鈥淭he thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward , it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely鈥 (page 7). The way she uses metaphors to property describe her situation is a recurring theme throughout the novel, which is a wonderful addition.聽
I loved Aza鈥檚 confession to feeling akin to Davis due to the fact that he writes in his blog that neither of them can choose their thoughts. This brings her closer to her since she finally feels that someone has the ability to understand her. Davis would be in awe of Aza if he had heard her saying that she felt close to him because they were both under the same sky.聽
The scene where Aza, Mychal, Daisy, and Davis are at Applebee鈥檚 and Aza feels completely detached from what the others were talking about was incredibly relatable, I鈥檝e felt like that many times (鈥渋t felt like I was watching the whole thing from somewhere else, like I was watching a movie about my life instead of living it.鈥) It was cathartic to see that I鈥檓 not the only one who feels like that at times. I haven鈥檛 even told anyone this, but when I reread that sequence, it was as if it were ghostwritten by my subconscious.聽
I think the quote from the novel that adequately sums up Aza鈥檚 relationship with Davis is 鈥淥ur hearts were broken in the same places. That鈥檚 something like love, but not quite the thing itself.鈥 They may have been perfect for each other were the circumstances slightly different. I was rooting for them, I hoped that it would all end in favour of both of them, which it did, but the ambiguity was dissatisfying.聽
The title of the novel is a perfect metaphor for the way to look at life. There is never one aspect that you can pinpoint that doesn鈥檛 build upon another, that doesn鈥檛 affect another. It鈥檚 turtles all the way down and that isn鈥檛 a problem, but rather the essence of life and the human spirit. Life can never depend on one simple fact, there are thousands of factors. Human spirit on the other hand is endless, whether it be for the welfare of others or the malevolence of certain groups.聽
The last page of the novel broke me on some level that I hadn鈥檛 known could be broken. The quote 鈥渘o one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again鈥 is absolutely heartbreaking, it is gut-wrenching. It just gets you thinking about the amount of people you鈥檝e said good-bye to and how you really do wish to see some of them again.聽
The way the things ended between Aza and Davis was agonising, I wish I could have gotten some closure, but ultimately in life you can never get the closure you want. You only get what you need.聽
Aza鈥檚 friendship with Daisy was supportive and I reveled in their closeness. I loved how they could be honest with one another and could properly communicate, the only exception is probably the car crash scene (and the Mongols). I think they are two fantastic women who can go through anything together. I loved them so much.聽
To conclude, this is a magnificent book and I do recommend it to anyone who really wants to dive into the brain of someone who has mental health problems, it gives a lot of insight. I鈥檒l leave you with this quote 鈥淚t鈥檚 quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.鈥
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thatsverypoetic a year ago
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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
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undecidedpersonality 2 years ago
My Favorite Quotes from聽鈥淎ll The Bright Places鈥
By Jennifer Niven
**spoiler free but read at your own risk**
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鈥溾榃e used to do this thing in California where sometimes my parents and Eleanor and I would get in the car and go on a bookstore hunt. We each chose a book we wanted to find, and we couldn鈥檛 go home till we鈥檇 found copies of all of them. We might hit up eight or ten stores in a day.鈥欌 page 129
鈥溾楯ust be careful鈥 implies that there鈥檚 an end to it all, maybe in an hour, maybe in three years, but an end just the same.鈥 page 145
鈥溾楤ecause it鈥檚 not a lie if it鈥檚 how you feel.鈥欌 page 195
鈥淐limbing out of quicksand can be a long process, so be sure to take breaks when you feel your breath running out or your body beginning to tire. Keep your head high so that you buy yourself more time.鈥 page 246
I honestly could have included ten times as many quotes because so much of this book was just beautiful. Both of our main characters had amazing ways with words, one through song the other through writing and so many things they said were just captivating and interesting but I was also so sucked in to reading that I felt like i couldn鈥檛 stop to mark every single one. If I ever do a reread of this book I will definitely focus on doing that.
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abookishdreamer a month ago
WIP Introduction- Shine Bright Like a Diamond! (Gorgeous Gems #1)
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Genre- YA Contemporary, young adult romance, coming-of-age
POV- first person present tense
Setting- Cleveland, Ohio
Status- outlining
Content warnings- some language & mild sexual content
Synopsis- Sixteen-year old Diamond Hutton has been "Hutton triplet number one" for as long as she can remember. Sometimes being an identical triplet made her feel like more of a circus attraction. She forged her own path when she got into athletics- especially double dutch. Having recently come out to (& with the full support of her best friends), Diamond decides to assert herself when she comes up with the idea that her and her friends should really make a thing at becoming a pro-double dutch team! As the Sista Steppers (and newcomers), Diamond gets more than she bargained for when she finds herself drawn to a girl named Sydney, an out & proud member of the reigning queens of double dutch- The Dutch Divas! As the double dutch competition heats up, so does the spark between Diamond and Sydney. Can two people who are still figuring themselves out figure out how to be together? Will Diamond have the confidence to live her life truly & happily?
Diamond Hutton (main protagonist)
Keisha Jones (Diamond's best friend)- the bubbly, sweet, petite "munchkin" Queen of pink!
Faith Ellis (Diamond's best friend)- the boy crazy expert "weaveologist" that can lay down baby hairs like nobody's business!
Tori Symanski (Diamond's best friend)- the tomboy, assertive "whoop-ass" of the friend group. Secret math genius & confident in her plus-size figure!
Sydney Davis (Diamond's love interest)- the eclectic, sporty extrovert with a smile & laugh to match!
Morgan Kennedy (antagonist & leader of the Dutch Divas)- the blunt sharp-tongued perfectionist that takes no prisoners!
Nia & Darius Hutton (Diamond's parents)
Emerald Hutton (Diamond's sister)
Aquamarine Hutton (Diamond's sister)
Kyanite Hutton (Diamond's younger brother)
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ghostofreadingpresent 5 months ago
Just saying.... my ask box is open if you wanna give me book recs or just talk about books.....
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tomesofthetrade a year ago
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鈥淢aybe nobody has a right to tell anybody to shut up.鈥
- The Princess Diaries
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justalittlelitnerd a year ago
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馃摃Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
馃挮Book of Dares shows how Dash and Lily meet through a book of dares Lily creates and leaves in The Strand to be discovered and then they proceed to send each other and wild dares throughout the city at Christmas time. Twelve Days shows Dash and Lily a year later as Dash tries to get Lily back in the Christmas spirit after a hard year. Mind the Gap is the newest installment and follows Dash and Lily as they try to make long distance work and Lily visits Dash for Christmas in London.
馃挒Dash and Lily hold a very special place in my heart so I was a little hesitant about an adaptation but I had higher expectations once I heard it would be a series and I hoped that Netflix would give it a decent budget. That being said I still waited a few weeks to watch to see what the initial reaction was and once I saw it was mostly positive I decided to give it a shot.
You can read more on my blog, but overall I think they captured the vibe of Dash and Lily and the festive nature of Christmas in NYC and complicated family dynamics and falling in love with someone in a very unique and slightly old-fashioned way. While they made some changes I didn't quite agree with and omitted some things I thought would've been perfect on-screen personally it didn't ruin the book for me and I think you could read or watch in whatever order tickles your fancy. I typically opt for reading the book first, but of course, that means I'll always be upset when they change things so maybe that's not the right way to go 馃槀
馃尰 What's your favorite book adaptation? Least favorite? Do you prefer to read the book or watch the movie first?
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codenamebooks 7 months ago
Instructions for Dancing Book Review
by Nicola Yoon | 猸戔瓚猸 stars | Goodreads | CW: divorce, cheating, death
Evie is dealing with the separation of her parents when she finds a pamphlet called Instructions for Dancing. It leads her to La Brea Dance where she meets X, a musician who she鈥檚 forced to dance with in hopes of saving the studio. She only agrees because she began to see visions of the beginning, present, and future of relationships when she sees them kiss and thinks going through with this is the only way to make it stop. She hopes she doesn鈥檛 fall for X in the process because love isn鈥檛 real, right?
I wish I could鈥檝e given this book more stars but a few too many things bothered me that I couldn鈥檛 move past. I love Nicola Yoon鈥檚 two other books (Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star) when I was a bit younger and this book made me believe it might have been because I was significantly more na茂ve of a reader. Or maybe I鈥檝e fallen to hard into fantasy that contemporary romances seem more trivial to me than they did before when I was almost read exclusively them. So as a disclaimer to this review, I want to give it some grace for the things that I didn鈥檛 enjoy because I can鈥檛 discern the difference between not liking the style and not being used to the style (anymore).
The romance in this book is good. This is exactly the kind of romance I鈥檓 looking for when I come to contemporary books. It makes me outwardly react to things happening on the page which means I鈥檓 invested. I blush when someone says a good one liner, I gasp when the temporary heartbreak happens, and I squeal in excitement at the first kiss. Nicola Yoon鈥檚 will always have that quality of fun romance despite certain factors that should be keeping the characters down, in this case, it was Evie鈥檚 cheating father and X鈥檚 best friend who recently died.
My biggest issue with the writing was that not a single thing was nuanced. It makes me wonder if Nicola Yoon undermines what the reader can understand and infer from actions and conversations the characters are having with each other. She explained every little turn of character thought or relationships in the plot.聽鈥淚t seemed like they were flirting,鈥 yeah, I picked that up from the obvious action markers of two best friends sounding shy with each other and I would鈥檝e understood that Evie understood that as flirting with a raise of the eyebrow. Evie doesn鈥檛 need to say it in her head. This also happens because since this story deals with magical realism. Evie reminds us once that her life聽鈥渋sn鈥檛 fiction鈥 because her life is totally a crazy bonkers movie never been seen before. That on top of the fact that we talk about books a lot due to Evie鈥檚 previous love for them, the book itself becomes self aware and leaves nothing to be revealed. I don鈥檛 like self aware novels unless it鈥檚 a we-know-the-end-from-the-beginning story told in 2nd person. But here, in a contemporary romance about high schoolers, it鈥檚 too on the nose and becomes annoying when I get giddy about possibly interpreting something and the main character says in point blank two lines later.
This might tie into the fact that I don鈥檛 love Evie as a main character. So many of her actions irritated me to no end, especially because she didn鈥檛 seem to have much of a thought process that concerned anyone else鈥檚 feelings. She did everything... because she did it. There wasn鈥檛 even a little bit of reasoning decided ultimately decided personality that processes why telling people certain information would be bad. She was inconsistent and not in a way I understood. She flipped on so many of her decisions and actions and thoughts and there wasn鈥檛 depth as to why. The lessons she鈥檚 learning over the course of this story are so quick from problem to resolution and they鈥檙e very universal that it doesn鈥檛 feel personal. I wasn鈥檛 learn anything about Evie鈥檚 growth. Almost like a therapist tells you this long-winded to connect to one thing you mentioned your life. A聽鈥渟ee, you have to be willing to let love in鈥 when you could鈥檝e concluded that from the very beginning that that was the lesson to be learned. It reads more like a middle grade.
There was one other thing that irked me that I think is a larger conversation in writing in general. This book was very obsessed with race that even for a Black author is uncomfortable. You do not, and should not, use someone鈥檚 race as an initial description if it has nothing to do with the situation following. This especially goes for characters that we鈥檙e only going to see once. We did not need to know that the girl at the tourist counter was white. Even for more important side characters like Cassidy and... the other one, their race had nothing to do with them eating pancakes at Surf City Waffles. Making characters be of color only works when it doesn鈥檛 seem like you鈥檙e trying to point out that hey! look at this diverse friend group, kind of cool right?
If you love quick paced romances, you鈥檒l enjoy this book. If you enjoy Nicola Yoon鈥檚 other books, you should give this one a try. If you like small magical realism, read this book!
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cynsworkshop 9 months ago
Watch "Indestructible Object Review" on YouTube
Today on YouTube we're discussing Indestructible Object, a novel that follows Lee as she struggles with herself, her life, asking whether love exists or not.
Today on YouTube we鈥檙e discussing Indestructible Object, a novel that follows Lee as she struggles with herself, her life, asking whether love exists or not. Don鈥檛 forget to follow Cyn鈥檚 Workshop on聽Facebook聽|聽Instagram聽|聽Twitter聽|聽Tumblr聽| Spotify | YouTube |聽BookBub聽| Goodreads |聽LinkedIn聽to stay tuned for future reviews. Like What You See? Please subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more鈥
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