Wednesday 30 January 2019

Heir to the Sky - Book Review

Heir to the Sky
by Amanda Sun

What is it about:
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family, by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman, and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

What did I think of it:
I really enjoyed Sun's Paper Gods trilogy so had to try this book.

And although the story has its moments I was annoyed by the lack of explanation in the worldbuilding. Monsters threatened to erase humans from the earth three hundred years ago, so a phoenix created the floating kingdom. So far so good. But I wanted to know more. Had the monsters always been there? If so, what caused the scales to tip in favor of the monsters? If they hadn't always been there: where did they come from?

As the story unfolded more questions arose that didn't get a satisfying answer. Yes, apparently Kali doesn't know everything, but that's not an excuse for vague worldbuilding.

Annoyances over the worldbuilding aside the story was entertaining, but then it ended in a way that made it hard for me to believe in the outcome, so all in all this was a nice but lacking read.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining Fantasy read.

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Tuesday 29 January 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Haunting the Deep

I seem to remember Mom saying they were from New York. I think some of them survived the Titanic. But I really don't know much more than that.

(page 24, Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 28 January 2019

Release Alert - Oria's Enchantment

Book 5 in the Sorcerous Moons series is out and it is awesome!

Oria’s Enchantment (Sorcerous Moons #5)
by Jeffe Kennedy

The Temptation of Power

No longer a princess and not yet a queen, the sorceress Oria welcomes the rush of power the ancient mask brings her—though the obsessive connection to it frightens her and alarms her barbarian husband, Lonen. But retreat is not an option. She must wrestle the magic to prevent an annihilating war, even if she must make the ultimate sacrifice.

A World in Flames

If Lonen wants to reclaim his throne—and save his people from destruction—he must return by sunset on the seventh day. What he thought would be a short and simple journey, however, leads them deeper into the mountains—and Oria deeper into the thrall of foul magic. Until he must choose between two terrible paths.

A Heart-Wrenching Choice

Struggling with conflicting loyalties, Oria and Lonen fight to find a way to be together… lest they be separated forever, and their realms go down in flames with them.

Find Buy Links here

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Half-Blood - Book Review

Half-Blood (Covenant #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What is it about:
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.

If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

What did I think of it:
This was a bit of a wonky read for me.

I liked the writing and the world building, but I didn't really connect with Alexandria/Alex. She knows she will be turned into a mindless drone if she is caught breaking the rules, still she constantly breaks rules, starts fights and acts selfish and childish. Her bitch-fights with another girl and her slut-shaming thoughts and remarks didn't really endear her to me either.

That being said: I was curious enough about the world, the story, and other characters that I kept reading. I also hoped Alex would shape up a bit. That last hope was too much it turned out, but I did enjoy the book overall enough to finish it.

As I don't think I'll ever really like Alex, and I suspect there will be a love triangle in future books, I don't think I'll continue this series, but I might give another book by Armentrout a try.

Why should you read it:
It's well written and has cool world building.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Heir to the Sky

I'm going to die here on this forsaken wasteland.
No one is coming for me.

(page 73, Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 21 January 2019

My Fair Concubine - Book Review

My Fair Concubine (Tang Dynasty #3)
by Jeannie Lin

What is it about:
The Nobleman Who Turned a Tea Girl Into a Princess...

Yan Ling tries hard to be servile—it's what's expected of a girl of her class. Being intelligent and strong-minded, she finds it a constant battle.

Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit—until he realizes she's the answer to his problems. He has to deliver the emperor a "princess." In two months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman?

Yet it's hard to teach good etiquette when all Fei Long wants to do is break it, by taking this tea girl for his own...

What did I think of it:
I love the original play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, and even the My Fair Lady musical version where they give it a happy end (It must be the songs that put me in a forgiving mood). So I couldn't resist giving this historical romance re-imagining a try. Voodoo Bride was happy to have a reading buddy for once.

And this is a fun romance. Fei Long is as stubborn as Higgins, but doesn't have his stick as far up his ass as Higgins has,luckily enough for Yan Ling. His sister was promised to a foreign chieftain as a bride, but she runs off. When Fei Long meets Yan Ling he comes up with a plan: train Yan Ling and let her take his sister's place as bride.

I loved Yan Ling from the start. She is down on her luck and goes along with Fei Long's crazy plan out of desperation. She tries her best to be the well controlled and graceful creature Fei Long is trying to turn her into, but her passionate nature keeps intruding.

I loved reading about this time period in China, and I loved the characters and the slow burn romance between Yan Ling and Fei Long. Although Pygmalion is the inspiration for this story Lin manages to make this a unique and enjoyable romance that is fun and satisfying.

All in all a very enjoyable read and I will read more by Lin if I can find the books, as several of the print versions are out of print.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun re-imagining of Pygmalion

buy from Amazon

Friday 18 January 2019

Fifth Grave Past the Light - Book Review

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson #5)
by Darynda Jones

What is it about:
Charley Davidson isn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper. She's more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire. However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case. Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth...but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason. When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma is the serial killer's next target, Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes's help. Arsonist or not, he's the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.

What did I think of it:
This is yet another fun addition to the series were humor and suspense mix perfectly.

I will confess that Cookie, Charley's assistant is my favorite character, and in this book she shines once again. Charley is on game once again as well, and I was rooting for her to discover what was going on and to solve the case.

Even though Charley and Reyes are getting more intimate it's clear they still aren't honest enough towards each other and I predict lots of relationship trouble yet to come. Other characters are vying for stirring up trouble and danger as well.

There was one event where I hope Charley will do everything in her power to set things right in the next book, because if she doesn't my respect for her will dwindle.

Overall this is a very enjoyable and fun book though, and I'll pick up the next book soon.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and very entertaining UF read.

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 16 January 2019

A New Bookcase

Yesterday we went to IKEA to get me a present for my birthday.
We had french fries at the restaurant. Yum!

And this is what I got:
A bookcase on wheels!

More room for my books.
We immediately began rearranging.

Doesn't it look awesome!?
Because of the wheels it can be easily moved to get to the books in the bookcase behind it.

After midnight we celebrated the start of my birthday.

Inherit the Stars - Book Review

Inherit the Stars (Inherit the Stars #1)
by Tessa Elwood

What is it about:

As the youngest daughter of the House of Fane, Asa lives every day of her life in honor of both, for herself and her people. But as her kingdom's food and energy crisis peaks, Asa must find more to fuel Fane's survival.

Taking the place of her older sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the prosperous House of Westlet, seems like a straightforward solution. Forging an unforeseen bond, however, leads to an unavoidable division of loyalties. One simple truth lies at the heart of the matter, and only Asa can decide which one to tell.

What did I think of it:
This is a cool read.

Asa is impulsive and naive. In the first chapter she trying to get her sister to a medic on the moon of a planet where riots broke out, telling the commander of the army to not retaliate while the rioting civilians are bombing the army.

This naive, idealistic view of the world keeps influencing Asa throughout the story: Food shortage? Can't be, she just bought a pastry at a shop!

Instead of being annoyed by this (like many other reviewers apparently are) I actually liked this. Asa was steadfast in her naive view of the world, making it an actual character flaw instead of an easy tool to get the story going. I will tell you that her naive bumbling made me suspect all kinds of other characters of all kinds of nasty plots, just because she was so trusting and not because they did anything to deserve my mistrust.

Out of love for her oldest sister she takes the place of the middle sister in an arranged marriage and that's when she really gets herself in over her head. I loved seeing her blunder about trying to make the allegiance work and to prove she is an asset instead of a liability.

If there's two things I could say against this story it's that I'd have loved to see a bit more of Asa and both her sister and her husband together. Most of what Asa does is out of love for her sister, but we never get to see the two of them interact. Same goes for Asa and her husband: I wanted more scenes where I could really feel them connect.

Even without those things I did very much enjoy this book and I'll definitely get my trotters on the other book in this duology.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable SF YA read.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 15 January 2019

To Ruin a Gentleman - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

To Ruin a Gentleman (The Scarlet Chronicles #1)
by Shana Galen

What is it about:
The true story of the Scarlet Pimpernel . . .
Angelette, the recently widowed Comtesse d'Avignon, only invited Viscount Daventry to her country house party as a favor to her sister. When the handsome British lord arrives—two days late—he's full of unnerving tales of unrest and violence in Paris. Angelette assumes it's all exaggeration...until her chateau is attacked and her life threatened. Daventry rescues her, and the two are forced to run for their lives. But when danger closes in, will the viscount stand at her side or save himself?

Is not the one you've been told.
Hugh Daventry visits France frequently to import wine for the family business. On his way out of the country, he stops at the comtesse's house party out of obligation. But after meeting the raven-haired beauty, he tries to persuade her to leave France with him. When the peasants attack, he realizes he's already too late, and now he must protect Angelette, whose sharp tongue is far from angelic. Too soon the couple is caught up in the rising revolution, dodging bloodthirsty mobs, hiding from soldiers, and embroiled in the attack of the Bastille. Hugh wants nothing but to leave tumultuous France for the calm of England. He knows Angelette is intelligent and resourceful—a survivor. But can Hugh survive without her?

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is a delicious and suspenseful novella.

Set at the start of the French Revolution this novella shows a bit about the tumult and riots that take the country. Hugh and Angelette have to flee from the angry revolutionaries to stay alive and fall in love in the mean time.

This novella is the start of a series and it manages to deliver both in the whirlwind romance between Hugh and Angelette and in making you eager for more in this series. I couldn't put this book down. I had to see how the two of them would make it out alive and I wanted to see them give in to the attraction that sparked between them from the start.

I liked that Angelette is strong and independent. She might have been surprised by the outbreak of the revolution, but that doesn't mean she will just lay down and surrender. Hugh wants nothing more than to return to his own country, but can he leave Angelette behind?

All in all a satisfying read. I'll be sure to get hold of the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a delicious Historical Romance.

find buy links here

Monday 14 January 2019

Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Book Review

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3)
by Jenny Han

What is it about:
Lara Jean is having the best senior year.

And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks . . . until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

What did I think of it:
This is an awesome conclusion to this trilogy.

Where there was a bit of a love triangle thingy in the other books, it was absent here. I liked that the conflict in this book was about where they wanted to go with their life and relationship and about growing up and becoming your own person.

Lara Jean certainly showed a lot more maturity than in previous books, and while once again they weren't communicating enough, I loved how Lara Jean and Peter were together.

All in all this book is the perfect fun and fluffy farewell to Lara Jean and you bet I'll reread this trilogy and will investigate other books by Han.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable fluffy YA read.

buy from bookdepository

Friday 11 January 2019

P.S. I Still Love You - Book Review

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2)
by Jenny Han

What is it about:
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

What did I think of it:
I very much enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, so I eagerly picked up the next book.

And this is once again a very enjoyable and mostly fluffy read.

There is a bit more drama than in the first book. There were moments I wanted to bang Lara Jean's and Peter's heads together. Yes, this may be the first time for Lara Jean to be in a relationship, and the second time for Peter, but why they couldn't just communicate was beyond me.

Kitty and Margo were both just as annoying as in the first book. Kitty with her petty meddling and attention seeking, Margot with giving the worst relationship advice ever. Why she thinks she is an expert is a mystery for the ages.

That being said: I did have a great time with this book. It's mostly light, fun, and entertaining. I could mostly relate to how Lara Jean felt, and I loved that there was a healthy relationship between Lara Jean and her father. All in all a great read and I immediately picked up the last book after finishing this one.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and enjoyable YA read.

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Wednesday 9 January 2019

To Kill a Kingdom - Book Review

To Kill a Kingdom
by Alexandra Christo

What is it about:
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

What did I think of it:
You'd think that I'd have figured out before starting on this book that this is a re-imagining of The Little Mermaid...

Maybe it's good that I didn't figure it out though, because even though I love the original fairytale, I despise what Disney did with it. So had I known, I'd probably avoided this book in fear the author based it on the Disney version.

That being said:

This is such a beautiful story!

I loved Lira. She acts ruthless, a product of the world she grew up in, but at heart she is passionate and caring for those she loves. It is this love that gets her in trouble. Helping her cousin she breaks a rule that makes that her cruel mother punishes her.

Elian was a bit harder to like at first. Although I could understand he wants his own life, I also thought he was a bit selfish. Luckily he soon grew on me and I could root for him as well as for Lira.

I love what Christo did with this story. Yes, it's based on The Little Mermaid, but Christo made the story her own and gave new emotion and suspense to this tale. I was on the edge of my seat and had to keep reading to see where the story would lead and if Lira would get a happy end or if she was doomed like the mermaid in Anderson's tale.

All in all this was a really beautiful read and even better than I expected going in. You bet this book goes on my keeper shelves and that I'll keep an eye on other books by Christo.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and suspenseful YA Fantasy read.

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Tuesday 8 January 2019

Teaser Tuesdays - Empire of Sand

Mehr leaned back against the wall. She felt dizzy. Her father stayed where he was, standing erect with his hands clasped behind him and his gaze fixed on the middle distance.

(page 77, Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri)

Buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 7 January 2019

To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Book Review

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1)
by Jenny Han

What is it about:
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her
heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

What did I think of it:
I saw the Netflix movie that is based on this book and really liked it. So I decided to give the book a try as well.

I must say the movie made some changes to the story that made that some of the characters are more sympathetic in the movie than in the book.

Not that I didn't like the book. To be honest, I think the book is better than the movie. For those who haven't seen the movie or read the book:

Lara Jean's secret love letters get send to the boys she wrote them to. One of these boys is her sister's ex-boyfriend. In a foolish attempt to make things less awkward she pretends to have a relationship with another boy: Peter. Peter decides to play along for his own reasons.

I loved Lara Jean and Peter. They have so much more depth and background than can be shown in a movie. I loved reading about their fake relationship and how Lara Jean is forced into the spotlight instead of hiding in her usual shadows.

Lara Jean's sisters however...

In the movie her older sister Margot only has a very small part. In the book more is revealed about Margot. She's the typical older sister who decided to take care of her younger sisters, and thinks this allows her to control them. I seriously disliked her. The younger sister is even worse. She was a spoiled spiteful little shit, imo.

The sisters aside, I very much enjoyed this book. It's fun and fluffy, the perfect read when you want to relax. I'll be picking up the next book in this trilogy soon.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and fluffy YA read.

buy from bookdepository

Friday 4 January 2019

Scarlet - Book Review

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
by Marissa Meyer

What is it about:
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

What did I think of it:
This second book is just as cool as the first. The story of this book is loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood and you can definitely recognize elements from the fairytale, but once again Meyer made the story her own.

I liked that the story switched between Scarlet and Cinder. Cinder was left in a rather precarious situation at the end of the first book, so I was glad I didn't have to wait for later books to see how she was doing.

Both Cinder's storyline and Scarlet's were cool and full of action. Usually I can get impatient with one storyline when there are more, but I liked both of them equally. I was also glad that some chapters showed how Kai is faring as well.

I loved the enigmatic Wolf who offers Scarlet help, even though events from the original fairytale told me he might not be trustworthy. I kept rooting for him to win Scarlet's trust and for the two of them to work together.

At the ending of this book the problems are far from over, but Cinder and Scarlet are one step closer to solving them. You bet I'll be picking up the next book soon.

Why should you read it:
It's a really enjoyable SF fairytale retelling.

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 2 January 2019

The Vampire Knitting Club - Book Review

The Vampire Knitting Club (Vampire Knitting Club #1)
by Nancy Warren

What is it about:
Vampires who knit
A troublemaking witch
Who killed Granny — and is she really dead?

At a crossroads between a cringe-worthy past (Todd the Toad) and an uncertain future (she's not exactly homeless, but it's close), Lucy Swift travels to Oxford to visit her grandmother. With Gran's undying love to count on and Cardinal Woolsey's, Gran's knitting shop, to keep her busy, Lucy can catch her breath and figure out what she's going to do.

Except it turns out that Gran is the undying. Or at least, the undead. But there's a death certificate. And a will, leaving the knitting shop to Lucy. And a lot of people going in and out who never use the door—including Gran, who is just as loving as ever, and prone to knitting sweaters at warp speed, late at night. What exactly is going on?

When Lucy discovers that Gran did not die peacefully in her sleep, but was murdered, she has to bring the killer to justice without tipping off the law that there's no body in the grave. Between a hot 600-year-old vampire and a dishy detective inspector, both of whom always seem to be there for her, Lucy finds her life getting more complicated than a triple cable cardigan.
The only one who seems to know what's going on is her cat ... or is it ... her familiar?

What did I think of it:
I couldn't resist the title of this book. I mean: knitting vampires!

And this is a really enjoyable cozy paranormal mystery.

Lucy inherits her grandmother's knitting shop, but soon discovers her grandmother might be dead, but she's still knitting. As Lucy discovers one paranormal secret after the other she also gets involved in the mystery of her grandmother's untimely demise.

I had lots fun with this book and got my wish: knitting vampires! I'm not sure why so many vampires thought knitting was so much fun, but who doesn't enjoy the image of a coven of knitting vampires, so I didn't care about the why.

The mysteries and secrets weren't too complicated, but enjoyable. I really liked several of the characters, especially Lucy's grandmother and some of the other vampires. All in all this book is a really nice and fun introduction to a promising series. I'll most definitely pick up the next book somewhere in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Cozy Paranormal Mystery

Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Happy New Year!

I wish everyone a wonderful, magical, and book-filled 2019.
May your reads be amazing and plenty.