Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Netflix Book Tag

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Hello again, bibliophiles!

I’ve been wanting to do this tag for a little while, but I figured that it would be good for today since I’ve pretty much been subsisting off of Netflix for most of this four-day weekend. (*coughcough I AM MOTHER coughcough MONTY PYTHON coughcough*) I found this tag on First Line Reader, and the tag was originally created by A Darker Shade of Whitney.

 

RECENTLY WATCHED: The last book you finished reading 

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I’ve been a big fan of Raina Telgemeier for years, and I was so excited to find Guts at the comic shop last week!

 

TOP PICKS: A book/books that have been recommended to you based on a book you have previously read

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Ghosting You was recommended to me not long ago, based on the fact that I read and adored Like a Love Story

 

RECENTLY ADDED: The last book you bought

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I bought both Sky Without Stars and Loki: Where Mischief Lies last week, and I’m excited to read them both!

 

POPULAR ON NETFLIX: Books that everyone knows about (2 you’ve read and 2 you haven’t or have no interest in reading)

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Both The Poet X and Red Queen have received tons of hype over the years, but I have very different opinions about them: the former was an absolute triumph, and the latter was…ugh. Nope.

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I’ve been recommended both The Hate U Give and One of Us is Lying countless times, but I’m not super invested in reading them. I might, but they’re low on my priority.

 

COMEDIES: A funny book

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I know I use this one every time I do a book tag, but Good Omens had me in stitches.

 

DRAMA: A character who is a drama king/queen

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Elliot from In Other Lands was the very definition of melodramatic…part of why I DNF’d this book, ultimately.

 

ANIMATED: A book with cartoons on the cover

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As iffy as Eliza and Her Monsters was, the cover was super cute.

 

WATCH AGAIN: A book/series you want to read again

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I haven’t read The Catcher in the Rye since we read it for my English class last year, but I enjoyed it immensely.

 

DOCUMENTARIES: A nonfiction book that you’d recommend to everybody 

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My nonfiction shelf is pretty slim, but for those of you who are writers/aspiring writers, I’d highly recommend On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

ACTION AND ADVENTURE: An action-packed book

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Though it was a bit more slow-burn at the beginning, The Smoke Thieves managed to keep me on my toes for a good 3/4 of the book.

 

NEW RELEASES: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read

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I had no idea this had come out until my school librarian (who I recommended the series to, and now loves it 😄) told me that it had come out! I cannot WAIT to get my hands on Honor Lost

 

I tag anyone that wants to participate! 

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Since I’ve already posted today, I won’t post a second song today, so just check out Goodreads Monday (2/17/20)–From Under the Mountain if you want to see what it is 🙂

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (2/17/20)–From Under the Mountain

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I’m so sad that I forgot about this one for a while, because it seems like everything that I’d want in a fantasy novel–witches, forbidden love, and apparently, loads of LGBTQ+/POC representation! I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

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Let’s begin, shall we?

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (2/17/20)–FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN (TRIDENT CHRONICLES, #1) by C.M. Spivey 

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

As the second child of the Aridan imperial family, nineteen-year-old Guerline knows exactly what is expected of her: be unobtrusive, be compliant, and do not fall in love with her low-born companion, Eva. She has succeeded at only two of those.

But before her feelings for Eva can become a point of contention for the royal house, Guerline’s calm and narrow life is ripped away from her—in the course of a single night—and she is abruptly cast in the role of empress.

Faced with a council that aggressively fears the four witch clans charged with protecting Arido and believes they are, in fact, waging war against the humans, Guerline struggles to maintain order. As her control over the land crumbles, she learns that the war is rooted in a conflict much older than she realized—one centuries in the making, which is now crawling from under the mountain and into the light. With the fate of Arido hanging in the balance, Guerline must decide who to trust when even her closest councilors seem to have an agenda.

Darkly cinematic, From Under the Mountain pairs the sweeping landscape of epic fantasy with the personal journey of finding one’s voice in the world, posing the question: how do you define evil, when everything society tells you is a lie?

 

So why do I want to read this? 

Wow, everything about this novel seems like the perfect ingredients for the fantasy book that I’ve always wanted to read! Aside from the aforementioned reasons, From Under the Mountain seems incredibly intricate and complex, touching on the gray area between good and evil, questioning how society defines the other, and discovering yourself–all themes that I always adore seeing in books. Plus, that cover looks pre-tty gorgeous, if I do say so myself. 😜

 

Today’s song:

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: February 10-16, 2020

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Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

You know what? This week’s been a pretty great one, all things considered. A four-day weekend, a book haul and a comic haul, lots of good reading and watching…life is good.

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I didn’t quite get to read all that I’d promised last week because of my lack of books prior to picking up my library haul, but thanks to the Kindle library and several issues of Batman: Universe, I’m still on track. Hopefully you’ve all had fun and productive weeks as well. 💗

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

You in Five Acts–Una LaMarche (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft–Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez (⭐️⭐️)

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Batman: Universe (Issues 1-6)–Brian Michael Bendis (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Rogue Princess–B.R. Myers (⭐️⭐️.5)

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Courtney Crumrin, Vol. 4: Monstrous Holiday–Ted Naifeh (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) (re-read)

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All the Impossible Things–Lindsay Lackey (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK

Guts–Raina Telgemeier

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The Downstairs Girl–Stacey Lee

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Nights at the Circus–Angela Carter

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Roar–Cora Carmack

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Sky Without Stars (System Divine, #1)–Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

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Loki-Where Mischief Lies–Mackenzi Lee

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Today’s song:

(Just saw these guys last night, they were amazing!)

 

That just about wraps up this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Movies

I Am Mother (Movie Review)

Not sure if I should start out this post with my usual bibliophile greeting, since this isn’t the most bookish of posts, but hey, we’re all bibliophiles here, aren’t we?

Last night, I finally got around to watching I Am Mother, a movie that caught my attention when it came out last summer. I won’t detail the main reason why until around the end of the post, but needless to say, I put off watching it for a while. I’m not sure where my expectations were, but I was pleasantly surprised (and a bit freaked out, not gonna lie) from the results. An incredibly tense and well-done film that’s lingered in my thoughts since the moment I switched the TV off.

BE WARNED: I’m not sure if or how I’ll go about reviewing this without substantially spoiling the film, so for those who haven’t seen I Am Mother and intend to, you may not want to read this. 

 

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Also…this poster…*chef’s kiss*

 

The film follows Mother, a caretaker droid with one task: to nurture the next generation of humanity after an extinction-level event wiped out much of the human race. In her lair, she raises her female child, referred to only as “Daughter,” teaching her about her species as she grows. But when she enters her teenage years, Daughter begins to grow suspicious that Mother may be hiding something from her. Her suspicions are confirmed when a woman shows up outside of her dwelling. She and Mother take the injured woman in; while Daughter is eager to care for her, Mother is more hesitant, almost reluctant to help her in any way. The woman (who also goes unnamed…nice…) is also reluctant of the droid’s help, claiming that it was a droid just like Mother who caused her injury.

Conflicted by the opposing truths of Mother and the woman, Daughter begins to delve deeper into her situation, spurred on by the woman, who claims that it was droids, not the contagion that Mother claimed, that wiped out the human race. A delve into the laboratory where the other embryos are kept leads Daughter to the discovery that Mother’s intentions are far more sinister; the droids intend to make a new human race, one less fallible than the humans of old, and the children who do not live up to the droid’s standards are terminated.

After the disturbing revelation, the woman convinces Daughter to go back outside with her, where they discover that the droids have already begun to lay the groundwork of their plan, making the air and ground fertile. But the woman has been withholding secrets as well–though she spoke of more humans, she appears to be the only one left in the vicinity. Betrayed by both sides, Daughter returns home with the intention of rescuing her newly born brother, who is currently under Mother’s care. Reluctantly, she shoots the droid who raised her from birth, saving her baby brother as she breaks down into tears. The film ends with her beginning to raise her brother, and staring hopefully into rows of unborn embryos in Mother’s laboratory.

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Nearly every scene in I Am Mother is beautifully shot; the director clearly has a penchant for symmetry, which shone through in every camera angle, from simple landscape shots of Mother’s dwelling, to a particular shot of Daughter staring at the woman through the infirmary window, the glass pane separating them an on-the-nose portrayal of their moral divisions. For the most part, the FX were well done, though Mother herself, though smooth in design and execution, didn’t seem quite as computerized as she was intended to be, mostly in the way she ran, however tense some of those scenes were.

As a whole, I enjoyed the acting a fair amount. The best of the cast, in my opinion, was Clara Rugaard (Daughter); she stunningly portrayed Daughter’s naïvete and eventual growth into an independent young adult. I didn’t particularly care for Hillary Swank (the woman from outside) as much, but she did an excellent job of making her pain seem all too real.

Now, for the most part, I feel that Rose Byrne was a good fit for the voice of Mother, though she did add to the feel of her not being mechanized quite enough. Though the writing shone through, her voice didn’t feel as though it belonged to a robot, though it was on its way to being there. I haven’t seen her in much other than her role as Moira McTaggert in the newer X-Men films, but I’d say she did a good job with Mother other than that.

Other than some political undertones (possible anti-abortion weirdness; I’m personally more pro-choice myself, but the undertones weren’t blatant, and I may have misinterpreted them. They don’t align with my personal beliefs, but hey, think and believe whatever you want, as long as you’re not hurting anybody) and a few more nitpicky aspects, my only problem with this film was the second-to-last scene. In it, we see the woman in her dwelling on the outside. It is revealed earlier that Mother is part of a hive-mind who is working to “repair” the human race, and her consciousness exists in all of the droids that we see throughout the film. One of these droids, not so unlike Mother herself, approaches the woman, makes a remark about how she’s surprised that she’s survived this long, and hints that it’s “almost as though she has a purpose.”

The scene is the last that we see of the woman and this droid, and goes unresolved for the rest of the film.

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What? WHAT? What exactly are they hinting at? If they have the audacity to leave such a cliffhanger unresolved, is there going to be a sequel???

I dunno. Anyway.

 

Before I end this review, I’d like to address one more question I’ve had about I Am Mother since the trailer was released. The plot, or at least the first third of it, almost resembled a favorite series of mine, almost to a T.

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Yep. That’s right. GUESS WHO’S BACK…

Regardless, the first novel follows a strikingly similar plot–that of an adolescent girl, raised by a robot called M.U.T.H.R. in an underground facility. As she grows, M.U.T.H.R. continually tells her that she is not ready to go to the surface world, and that her being human is “special”.

Sound familiar?

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Though I Am Mother takes a far more sinister turn, it shares some major similarities to the series, what with WondLa ending up as a journey on an unfamiliar Earth, now colonized by alien life forms while humans dwell in the shadows. The later books do take several dark turns, but not quite in the way that I Am Mother did. So why all these similarities? I’ve done a bit of digging on the internet, but all I’ve found is that either the (tiny but mighty) WondLa fandom just came out of its hole and said “Hey waaaaaaait a minute, that’s kinda funny…”, or that the film is “loosely based” on the novel. And if the latter is true, it’s very loosely based. Very. It went from “Sheesh, did they just paraphrase the dialogue from the first few chapters?” to “[glances at book] THIS is what it’s based off of?” in a split second. Even the outside view of Mother’s dwelling likened to the illustrations of the abandoned Sanctuaries in WondLa. I’m still scratching my head on this one, but either way, a very different interpretation, if that’s what it was.

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Though it wasn’t without its flaws, I Am Mother was certainly a well-done and thought-provoking movie that continually kept me on the edge of my seat. I’d give it a solid 8/10.

 

Today’s song:

(This one’s been lodged in my head since this morning…)

 

That just about wraps up this review! I hope you enjoyed this deviation from my normally bookish content…

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Random

Rating Bizarre Stock Photos 2

Hello there, bibliophiles! (My last brain cell, in a stage whisper: “General Kenobi…”)

And hey, Happy Valentine’s Day! I mean…I’m not a huge fan of all the mushy, capitalist expressions of love (because hey, if that’s what this holiday is all about, then ACT LIKE EVERY DAY IS VALENTINE’S DAY AND LOVE EACH OTHER, DANGIT), but if that’s your thing, hope you’re having a lovely day.

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I’ve been meaning to do this post for a little while, but let me give you a bit of context.

Around two years ago, I made a post rating a bunch of artfully disturbing stock photos that I’d found. The results? Almost every day, without fail, SOMEBODY ALWAYS FINDS IT AGAIN. IT’S GETTING SO MUCH TRAFFIC. SO MUCH.

So this post is partially because I found even more bizarre stock photos, but hey, let’s give the people what they want.

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Ah, yes. The ideal pastime for a Sunday afternoon. 7/10 because I’m worried about the repercussions

 

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Not gonna lie, I thought this was 20th Century Fox’s version of Quicksilver for a second there. 6/10 because his head seems abnormally large, and I don’t want to know what Quicksilver intends to do with that banana

 

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The new style that will sweep the nation in the 2020s: Spaghetti Punk. 9/10 sign me up

 

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Because chicken makes the world go ’round. 7/10 a beautiful vision of world peace and unity

 

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You see his long-eared shadow creep across the alley wall. The calculator poking out of his pocket glints in the fading light. He outstretches a hand to you, and presents you with an offer: “Perhaps you’d like a cabbage?” 

7/10 there’s something shady about this

 

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Writer’s block, man. 7/10 happens to all of us

 

 

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And soon, you will learn to embrace the Watermelon Within. 5/10 not much going on other than that, I’m afraid

 

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Well. All I can think of when I look at this is a slew of “we live in a society” jokes. 8/10 we really do live in a society

Today’s song:

Wow, look at me. I used to hate Black Sabbath with a passion (I mean…I liked one of their songs, but refused to admit it…), and now look at me…

 

Welp. I suppose that wraps it up. I’m sure the internet is overflowing with similar content, so I may make yet another stock photo rating post. In the meantime, have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (2/11/20)–Anya’s Ghost

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

In my recent scouring of my early TBR (which also included Zenn Scarlett), I came upon this little graphic novel and decided to give it a go. Though my expectations were just above average, I was pleasantly surprised at how clever, sarcastic, and spooky it turned out to be!

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Anya’s Ghost

As far as Anya is concerned, her life is decidedly the opposite of perfect; alienated from her Russian immigrant family, and all but friendless in high school, there’s little that interests her anymore. To make things worse, she falls down a well on her way to school one morning, and is trapped there for the whole night. But what she finds at the bottom of it may be the key to changing her life.

For residing in the well is the neglected ghost of a girl named Emily. With one of Emily’s tiniest bones with her at all times, Anya can confide in Emily at any time she wants, whether it be to cheat on a test or get secret intel on her longtime crush. But the more time she spends with Emily, both she and the ghostly girl begin to change. The ghost is hiding far more than Anya knows, and if they continue on as they are, it may cost Anya her very life.

 

 

Anya’s Ghost was an absolute joy to read!

First off, let me just say, this had the perfect balance of paranormal spookiness and teenage angst–similar to comics like Courtney Crumrin (which I highly recommend, if you haven’t read it). The art style is very stylized, but not so much in a way that it distracts from the writing or the plot–perfectly cute, if you ask me. 🙂

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Beyond that, the story spoke partially to some of my own experiences. As someone who’s fallen into the trap of manipulative relationships, Brosgol’s use of an arguably parasitic ghost as a sort of metaphor for these sorts of friends was a masterfully executed move. She perfectly captures what it feels to be a teenager, both in writing and in art style, and the feeling of being an outsider vying for clarity and friendship in an environment that feels so unkind. Though I wouldn’t quite award it the full five stars, Anya’s Ghost was a graphic novel that undoubtedly spoke to me, and perfectly balanced paranormal fantasy with the drama of high school. Four stars for me! 

 

Today’s song:

Alright, sorry, I know I pummel you with David Bowie and Radiohead, but I personally think this is a masterpiece. Plus, it managed to lodge itself in my head all morning, so there’s that.

 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (2/10/20)-Final Draft

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

While scouring the middle reaches of my TBR, this book stood out to me, especially from the synopsis; aside from the shenanigans that ensue from the switching of a creative writing teacher ([mournful sigh], oh, how I wish my school had more English options…[single tear slides down cheek]), the main character seems…a bit like me. Or, how I want to be, at least.

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Ooo…

GOODREADS MONDAY (2/10/20)-FINAL DRAFT by Riley Redgate

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

 

So why do I want to read this? 

As a young, aspiring writer myself, I’m intrigued to see how–or if–I relate to Laila. Beyond that, I’m interested to see how the near-fall-from-grace plotline is handled, tightroping the line between approval from others and mental stability.

Oh, hey, and I just noticed…

…IT’S SHELVED AS LGBTQ+ ON GOODREADS!

SUCCESS!

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Today’s song:

hadakjsdkajshkdjashdkjaskjhj such a good cover eeee

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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