My Watch List (1)

Posted November 21, 2019 by Rowena in Features, Movies, TV Shows | 3 Comments

Nick over at The Infinite Limits of Love has a feature up on her blog where she talks about what she’s watching in movies and on TV. I’ll be doing the same thing here, just not every week since I don’t watch movies like that and I don’t always have anything to say about the shows that I’m watching.

Here’s the latest batch of stuff that I’ve been watching. Check it out!

Movies

After (2019)
Released on April 12, 2019
Starring: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Khadijha Red Thunder, Selma Blair
Run Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Genres: Drama, Romance
Source: Netflix
Rating: PG-13

Based on Anna Todd’s novel, AFTER follows Tessa (Langford), a dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart, as she enters her first semester in college. Armed with grand ambitions for her future, her guarded world opens up when she meets the dark and mysterious Hardin Scott (Tiffin), a magnetic, brooding rebel who makes her question all she thought she knew about herself and what she wants out of life.

I’ve heared loads of mixed reviews on this movie. People who read the book and didn’t like the book, liked the movie. People who haven’t read the book but loved the movie, stuff like that. I wasn’t all that interested in watching it because I heard the book was so bad but Brenna loved this movie. She said that it made her cry, it made her happy and she liked everything about it. So on a lazy weekend, I decided to watch this movie on Netflix. Now, I never read the book so I went into this movie with no expectations or really knowing anything about it. The only thing I knew was that Selma Blair played the girl’s Mom.

I didn’t absolutely hate this movie but I didn’t love it either. The main characters were immature and it was hard for me to connect with either of them. Harden was a whiny little baby that I wanted to kick in the balls. I felt bad for Tessa even though the Mom in me wanted to spank her for her stupid decisions. I did enjoy parts of the movie though. The parts where they’re falling in love was fun to watch and I thought both actors portrayed their characters well. So while it wasn’t the best, it was still enjoyable.

3 out of 5

Destination Wedding (2018)
Released on August 2, 2018
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder
Run Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Source: Amazon Prime
Rating: R

When Frank and Lindsay meet on their way to a destination wedding, they soon discover they have a lot in common: they both hate the bride, the groom, the wedding, themselves, and each other. As the weekend’s events continually force them together — and their cheerlessness immediately isolates them from the other guests — Frank and Lindsay find that if you verbally spar with someone long enough, anything can happen.

This was a movie that I was actually looking forward to watching. I kept putting it off and putting it off so when I finally watched it, I was ready for some Keanu and Winona romance…only this movie was boring. I should say that a lot of the movie was boring to me. They spent the entire movie just talking shit about the groom and everything else in their lives. Legit, that’s the only thing that happens in this movie. They meet on the airplane on their way to the same wedding. They talk shit on the airplane. They get to resort where the wedding is going to take place and find out that their rooms are next door to each other and they talk shit over there. They get to the rehearsal dinner (though why the ex-girlfriend of the groom was invited to that, I still don’t understand) and they sit together and talk shit there. They meet up again at the wedding, talk some more shit, have sex with each other and then they go home. All the while, they’re talking shit. Not even Keanu Reeves could save this movie for me.

1 out of 5

Last Christmas (2019)
Released on November 8, 2019
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson
Run Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Source: AMC Movie Theaters
Rating: PG-13

Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Her last date with disaster? That of having accepted to work as Santa’s elf for a department store. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.

I went to see this movie for my birthday last week for two reasons. 1) Brenna and her cousins were going to see it and I wanted to crash their cousin date and 2) I wanted to see if I was right about Henry Golding’s character. If you’re on Twitter and part of Romancelandia, then I’m sure you heard the theories going around about this movie so I’m not even going to go into all of that and I’m not going to ruin the surprise or anything, just know that I was right and I was wrong about Henry Golding’s character. I’m just going to leave it at that.

My issues with this movie stemmed from Emilia Clarke’s character. Her name is Katarina, she got sick and she’s better now but she lives her life in constant fear and while I could understand that, the way that she treated other people in her life, the people that cared for her? Ugh, I hated it. She also does something that I couldn’t stand and almost couldn’t come back from. I’ll hide that spoiler below so click at your own risk.

View Spoiler »

 

She does make up for all of the shit that pissed me off but I really hate when characters lash out when they’re hurting and scared. If you’re scared then be scared but dragging other people into your drama annoys me. Still, there were parts of this story that made me laugh, I enjoyed Kate’s family and even the romance between Kate and Tom. The ending was okay, cheesy but not bad. So this wasn’t a complete downer but it was cheesy.

3.25 out of 5

TV Shows

All American (Season 2)
Starring: Daniel Ezra, Bre-Z, Samantha Logan, Cody Christian, Michael Evans Behling, Greta Onieogou
Genres: Drama, Sports
Network: The CW
Rating: TV-14

Spencer James is a rising high school football player and A student at South Crenshaw High, but when coach Billy Baker recruits him to join his team in Beverly Hills, Spencer’s mother, Grace, and his best friend, Coop, convince him it’s an opportunity he has to seize. Forced to move in with Billy and his family to protect his transfer permit to Beverly, Billy’s son Jordan, who is also the starting quarterback, is less than thrilled to be sharing his father’s attention — or the team spotlight. While Spencer struggles to find his footing, he makes an unlikely friend in Jordan’s sister, who is struggling with her own demons.

I was complete trash for this show last season and that hasn’t changed now that we’re about halfway through the second season. There is so much going on with each character and I’m loving the build-up, the pay off and just everything about this show. From Spencer’s family drama with his father, to Layla’s personal drama with her depression, and then Jordan’s drama with Simone (Hot damn, Jordan!) and Billy’s family drama?? I seriously can’t get enough of this show. It’s a hot mess and I’m here for all of it. Right now, I’m shipping Olivia and Asher and I’ve been shipping them since last season. Their story isn’t an easy one but boy am I here for it all. I love how everyone has their own thing that they’re battling week in and week out but each character is linked with each other in one way or another. I’m loving all of the drama and this is one of the shows that I will not be giving up on, not like the other shows that I used to watch religiously and just don’t anymore. This is one of the good ones.

A Million Little Things (Season 2)
Starring: David Giuntoli, Romany Malco, Allison Miller, Grace Park, Christina Moses, James Roday, Stephanie Szostak
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Network: ABC
Rating: TV-14

It has been said that friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things. That is certainly true for a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way, they discover that friends may be the one thing that can save them from themselves.

When it comes to TV Shows, I got a type. The more dramatic, the more I love it. I’m okay with cheesy drama (hello, Vampire Diaries anyone??) and this show is stacked to the ceiling with drama but man do I love it. Every episode feels like a season finale and I’m here for all of the drama. I’m constantly wrapped up in what everyone has going on and even though I’m not that wild about some of the characters (Delilah annoys the shit out of me and Maggie makes it super hard to connect with her at times), I love the characters that I love enough to overlook the characters I want to strangle week in and week out. I completely adore Katherine. I LOVE Gary and my favorites definitely include Rome and Regina. I just love them to pieces. Season 2 is shaping up to be just as compelling as Season 1 was and I’m thrilled. I’ve given up on a lot of shows in the last few months but this isn’t one of them. I love this show.

Dollface (Season 1)
Starring: Kat Dennings, Brenda Song, Shay Mitchell, Esther Povitsky, Beth Grant, Connor Hines
Genres: Comedy
Network: Hulu
Rating: TV-MA

After being dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Jules must deal with her own imagination to literally and metaphorically reenter the world of women and rekindle the female friendships she left behind.

I don’t watch too many comedies, cause I’m hella extra but I binge-watched the entire first season of this series in one day. I laughed my ass off too. Not a lot of these girl squad comedies work for me but this one did. Was it corny and over the top? Sometimes but that was kind of what made it work. The actual cat lady? Loved her. Jules girl squad was the bomb, I loved each of them though my favorite was Izzy. This was a good first season and I’m looking forward to watching the second one (because Hulu better bring this show back!) So much fun!

Have you watched any of these movies or TV Shows? What did you think about them? Share in the comments!


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The Wednesday Post (23)

Posted November 20, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tessa over at Wishful Endings and it was based on Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog. I’m bringing them together and calling it The Wednesday Post. Here’s what I’m up to this week.

WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

Goddess of Spring (Goddess Summoning #2) by P.C. Cast

It took me so damn long to read this book. I was bored in the beginning, I didn’t like the heroine all that well, Hades portrayal was all wrong to me and after all was said and done, I thought the book was okay. I think I would have preferred if we got to see Persophone’s adventure on earth than Lina’s adventure in the Underworld. Honestly though? I’m just glad that I’m done with that book and I can finally move on.

What are you currently reading?

Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues #1) by Julie Anne Long

I’m still in the early days of this book but so far, I’m enjoying this book heaps more than I enjoyed Goddess of Spring. I haven’t read too many books by Julie Anne Long but Holly loved this book so I know that I’m going to love it too so I’m excited to keep reading.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Kingmaker (All the King’s Men #1) by Kennedry Ryan
The Rebel King (All the King’s Men #2) by Kennedy Ryan

The last couple of weeks I’ve been lying to y’all. I keep saying that I’m going to read this book and that book but I’m not reading shit. But this week? I’m for real. After I finish Lady Derring, I’m moving on to this duet of books. I need some new Kennedy Ryan goodness in my life and Nick won’t stop screaming at the top of her lungs about these books. I have to check them out. See you guys on the other side.

Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (23)Crush the King by Jennifer Estep
Series: Crown of Shards #3
Published by Harper Collins, Harper Voyager on March 17, 2020
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads

A fierce gladiator queen must face off against her enemies in an epic battle in this next thrilling installment of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep’s Crown of Shards series—an action-packed adventure full of magic, murderous machinations, courtly intrigue, and pulse-pounding romance.

Queen Everleigh Blair of Bellona has survived the mass murder of the royal family, become a fearsome warrior trained by an elite gladiator troupe, and unleashed her ability to destroy magic. After surviving yet another assassination attempt orchestrated by the conniving king of Morta, Evie has had enough. It’s time to turn the tables and take the fight to her enemies. 

There is no better opportunity to strike than during the Regalia Games, a time when warriors, nobles, and royals from all the kingdoms come together to compete in various sporting events. With the help of her loyal friends, Evie goes on the attack at the Regalia, but things don’t turn out the way she hopes. Soon, she is facing a terrifying new threat, and she will have to dig deep and learn even more about her growing magic if she has any chance of defeating her foes.

Because to secure her throne and ensure her kingdom’s survival, Evie must think like a true Bellonan: she must outsmart and outwit her enemies . . . and crush the king.

I still need to read the second book in this series but that doesn’t mean that I’m not excited for this release. This series started off strong and I’m determined to catch up on this series before this one comes out. I have until March 17, 2020 to get caught up on this series and I’m going to do it. I need to know what Everleigh is up to and what’s going on with her and and her boo thang from the first book.

So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about?
Are you looking forward to Crush the King? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?


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Top Ten Tuesday: Changes in My Reading

Posted November 19, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 2 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday started over at The Broke and the Bookish back in 2010 but has moved over to That Artsy Girl. Each week, a topic is chosen and participants share their top ten lists on their blogs or if you don’t have a blog, you can leave your lists in the comment section of your favorite book blogs.

This week’s topic is:

Changes In My Reading Life (Maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now)

So this week’s topic is the topic mentioned above but that was too hard. I couldn’t think of 10 things that changed for me over the years, in my reading life. So I changed the topic to meet my needs. Ha. Instead of sharing 10 things that have changed over the years for me, I’m going to list 10 books that I never would have read back in the day. When I first started reading romance, I read a lot of historicals. I’d say that for the first year or so, all I read were historicals and the contemporaries that Judith McNaught had released back then. I read everything by Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey. It wasn’t until the next couple of years that I started to really get into contemporary romances. Once I started reading and enjoying contemporary romances, for me, I never went back. Contemporary romance remains my favorite genre of romance to read. But back then? I wouldn’t have touched a paranormal romance. Urban Fantasy? Yeah right, that would have never happened. Steampunk? Hahaha, yeah..no. It took Holly years to get me to read most of the books on this list but that is the biggest change in my reading life…I now read a lot more paranormal and urban fantasy books. I enjoy them and don’t see that changing any time soon.

Here are the books that made my top ten this week. Check it out:

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews
Released on October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 406
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin #1) by G.A. Aiken
Released on September 1, 2008
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

It’s not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear – a lot – or else salute. It’s true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother’s soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe – a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn’t get any stranger. She’s wrong…

On the Edge (The Edge #1) by Ilona Andrews
Released on October 1, 2009
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 309
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews
Released on March 27, 2007
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 261
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs
Released on May 7, 2019
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

In this powerful entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves…

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter.

And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word.

We will die to keep it.

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
Released on March 5, 2013
Publisher: Penguin, Roc
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 433
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

s a “cassandra sangue,” or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut–a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard–a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook
Released on November 1, 2011
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power – and fear – of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

American Witch (American Witch #1) by Thea Harris
Released on April 29, 2019
Publisher: Self Published
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 420
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the first in a new spellbinding trilogy…

Power can change a person…

For months Molly Sullivan endures the inexplicable: electrical surges, car breakdowns, visions. She even wonders if she might be the cause… and wonders if she might be crazy. Then she discovers her husband has cheated on her. Again. Now Molly realizes she is a newly awakening witch and a woman pushed over the edge.

Revenge can shape a person…

Josiah Mason is a Powerful witch and the leader of a secret coven with a shared goal: to destroy an ancient enemy who has ruined many lives. Josiah lost years to this man, and his sole focus is revenge. He’s prepared for every contingency—except encountering a beautiful new witch who understands nothing of the immense Power building within her or the attraction she wields over him.

Danger can bring them together…

When divorcing her husband, Molly uncovers a dangerous secret he’s willing to kill to protect. She turns to Josiah for help, and they discover a connection between Molly’s husband and Josiah’s enemy.

As they work together, a spark ignites between them that threatens to become an inferno. But Molly is done compromising herself for any man, and Josiah’s mission is his top priority. And the enemy is cunning, cruel, and drawing ever closer.

As the danger escalates, so does the tension between them. Is a lasting relationship possible? Will either of them live long enough to try?

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Releases on December 3, 2019
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh pivots in a new direction with her first mainstream thriller that will be sure to keep readers on their toes.

Anahera Rawiri left New Zealand at twenty-one, fleeing small-town poverty and the ghosts of her childhood with no plans to look back. But eight years later, she returns, seeking familiarity as respite from the shattered remains of her new life. And despite the changes brought on by a bump in tourism–the shiny new welcome sign at the town line and a decidedly less shiny new police presence–Golden Cove appears much as it ever was: a small settlement on the savage West Coast of the South Island, populated by all the remembered faces and set against a backdrop of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves.

Detective Will Gallagher knows all about ghosts; his own chased him out of a promising career in Christchurch, landing him as the sole cop in a quaint town where his most pressing concerns are petty theft and the occasional drunk. When Golden Cove resident Miri Hinewai goes out for a run and fails to return, Will finds himself heading up a missing person’s search that rapidly escalates into an official investigation after this case is connected with similar ones from the past. As an outsider, Will begins to rely on Anahera’s knowledge of the area and its residents to help him delve into Golden Cove’s secrets, and to determine whether it shelters something far more dangerous than just an unforgiving landscape.

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings #1) by Nalini Singh
Released on September 5, 2006
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley Sensation
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 334
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind-and none of the heart.

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation” – the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

What about you? Are there any books that you would have never read before but because your reading tastes have changed, you’ve read them now? What does your list look like? I’d love to read all about it in the comments so please share with the class!


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