The Guest List

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the guest list book by lucy foley
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Author: Lucy Foley

Published: June 2, 2020

Pages: 330

Goodreads Rating: 3.89/5

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why? 

My Mini Review:

This is a five star read mainly because I did not see that coming! I’ve read so many books that it’s hard for me to be surprised by a twist or an ending, and this one surprised me on both counts. This book had me hooked from the beginning and I just had to keep reading until I uncovered all its mysteries. It was very plot driven, and Foley did a good job flawlessly switching timelines. The characters had all the qualities that make for a good story. They were interesting, realistic, and had unique backgrounds and personalities. There were some surprising twists, and that “aha!” moment that keeps me coming back to this genre, you know that moment when you finally figure it out? I’m definitely going to have to read more from this author. I highly recommend this one to all Mystery/Thriller and who-done-it fans.

September TBR

I have some anticipated reads coming up in September so I’m super excited about those. I also have a tentative list of other books to choose from. I tried to include different genres so that I always have something to choose no matter what mood I’m in. Tell me about your most anticipated September books in the comments!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

the lost book of the white by cassandra clare eldest curses book 2
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The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2) by Cassandra Clare

This one will hopefully arrive on my doorstep on its release day September 1, and I cannot wait!

blood and honey by shelby mahurin serpent and dove book two
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Blood and Honey (Serpent and Dove, #2) by Shelby Mahurin

This one should also be arriving on my doorstep on September 1, and I’m going to have trouble choosing which one to read first!

to sleep in a sea of stars by christopher paolini
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To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Paolini hasn’t written anything since the Eragon series, which I loved, so I’m really looking forward to this one. It will be released September 15, and I have already pre-ordered it, but it might take me the rest of the month to read since it’s a massive 880 pages!!

Other books I plan to pick from:

-Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

-From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

-Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

-The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

-The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

-What You Wish For by Katherine Center

August Wrap-Up

I actually managed to read ten books in August. I imagine I will have to slow down a bit in September since I have started to homeschool my kid and will be devoting a lot of time to planning lessons and teaching. August was a great reading month with mostly five star reads. My favorite book was Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren. My most disappointing one was These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I guess I only enjoy the books Amie writes with Jay Kristoff.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

thunderhead book by neal shusterman arc of a scythe series
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman -you can read my review here

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren -you can read my review here.

midnight sun twilight book 5 by stephenie meyer
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/4

Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5) by Stephenie Meyer -you can read my review here.

twilight book one by stephenie meyer
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Twilight (#1) by Stephenie Meyer

I decided to do a reread of this one before I read Midnight Sun, and it turned out to be a great decision, because Midnight Sun runs alongside Twilight. I was able to appreciate Edward’s point of view much more after reading Bella’s very limited take on the story.

Obsidio Illuminae book three by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
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I was able to finish my reread of the Illuminae Files alongside by husband who was reading them for the first time, and he loved them. It’s always nice to share a book you love with a loved one. You can read my old review for this one here.

these broken stars book by amie kaufman and meagan spooner
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⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

What a gorgeous cover right? But I think this book was just an okay read and I don’t believe I will continue on with this series. I found the characters in this book overly dramatic and childish. I guess I only like the books Amie writes alongside Jay Kristoff. I did not write a full review for this one.

throne of glass series by sarah j maas
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Throne of Glass (#1) by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve been slowly rereading this series in between audio books because I missed these characters so much. If you haven’t read these books. I highly recommend them. Maas writes amazing Fantasy worlds with characters you will love. I had never listened to the audio books, and I am loving them.

the vanishing half by brit bennett
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

You can read my review for this one here.

the shadows book by alex north
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

The Shadows by Alex North

My review for this one will be coming soon!

wolfsong by tj klune book
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1) by T.J. Klune

My review for this one will be coming soon!

The Vanishing Half

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the vanishing half book by brit bennett
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Author: Brit Bennett

Published: June 2, 2020

Pages: 343

Goodreads Rating: 4.37/5

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

This was one of my Book of the Month picks. If you would like to save on your subscription please consider using my link and I will get a free book credit.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

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My Review:

This was such an amazing coming of age story spanning multiple generations. I loved all the different points of views and going back and forth in time. The plot was very character driven, and the characters were all unique and interconnected. Bennett did such a great job portraying how one person’s decisions can cause a ripple effect into the lives of those around them. It was so interesting to learn about “passing,” a term I was not familiar with before this.

My own great grandma was “so black she was blue” just like they described Jude in this book, then she went on to marry the whitest man she could find, and their kids did the same after that. Which explains why I’m so pale. No I’m not from Mallard, I am from Cuba. I still have what I call my “black nose” and thick curly hair that gets out of control if I don’t do what I can to tame it. But I know exactly where these features come from, even if I never got to meet her. I can’t imagine living my whole life not knowing my heritage like Kennedy did in the story.

If there is anything I learned from this book is that you have to know where you come from in order to see where you’re going. The Vanishing Half is definitely worth a read, especially during current times. I would recommend it to all Historical and Contemporary Fiction fans. I haven’t read The Mothers by Bennett yet, but I enjoyed her poetic writing style so much that I definitely will soon!

WWW Wednesday

www wednesday pic acotar books on a bicycle and acotar water bottle
Buy on Etsy Water bottle from The Bookish Creations Shop Use DEE15 to SAVE!

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday post! This week has flown by, and I can only hope the rest of the year does the same. I’m super excited for Fall, but I hate that many of the Fall activities, like taking my kids trick or treating, will not be possible this year. We will still be decorating some pumpkins, which is another one of my favorite things. What are some Fall activities you are looking forward to?

This is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer three questions: What are you reading now? What did you just read? What will you be reading next? Now on to the books!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

the shadows by alex north book
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What I’m reading now

I’m currently finishing up The Shadows by Alex North and Wolfsong by T.J. Klune. Both are great books and I cannot wait to tell you all about them.

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What I just read

I just read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet, and it was an amazing book but I haven’t had a chance to write a review yet.

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What I will be reading next

I’m super excited for all the September releases that I have been waiting for a while for. I have pre-ordered all of them and I cannot wait to get them in the mail 🙂

-Serpent and Honey (Serpent and Dove, #2) by Shelby Mahurin releases September 1.

-The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2) by Cassandra Clare releases September 1.

-To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini releases September 15.

Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments!

Thunderhead

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

thunderhead book by neal shusterman
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Author: Neal Shusterman

Published: January 9, 2018

Series: Arc of a Scythe, #2

Goodreads rating: 4.48/5

Genre: YA/ Sci-fi

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads: *Don’t read if you haven’t read the first book in this series*

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

My Mini Review:

I didn’t enjoy this second book in the Scythe series as much as I did the first one, but the plot was still interesting enough to keep me engaged. I liked when the Thunderhead was the narrator, its point of view was very enlightening (no pun intended), and it added a whole new dimension to the story. Grayson was also a nice new addition to the cast of characters, and he added a much needed perspective into the world of “unsavories.” The pacing was a bit too slow in the first half of the book, but it picked up on the second half. The ending was surprising to say the least, but I am not in a hurry to grab the next book in the series. Overall, I do recommend this series to all YA/Sci-fi fans, as it provides a fresh take on the human condition and what it means to be alive.

Love and Other Words

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

love and other words book by christina lauren
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Author: Christina Lauren

Published: April 10, 2018

Goodreads rating: 4.22/5

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book or any other book on Amazon, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

My Mini Review:

I knew as soon as I started to read this book that it would break me, but in a good way. The characters met at the same age my husband and I met, and I knew I would be getting flash backs to our own story the whole time. I was surprised to find so many similarities in our stories, but I was glad we didn’t struggle so much to reach our happy ending. I’m used to laughing out loud in all Christina Lauren books, and this one had its funny moments, but there was a more serious tone to the story. The main characters, Elliot and Macy, dealt with issues such as grief and post traumatic stress. Both their characters had amazing character arcs and they were beautifully developed. I highly recommend this book to all Romance and Women’s Fiction fans.

Midnight Sun

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

midnight sun twilight book 5 by stephenie meyer
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Author: Stephenie Meyer

Published: August 4, 2020

Series: Twilight, #5

Goodreads rating: 4.07/5

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book or any book on Amazon, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

My Mini Review:

I purchased this book purely for nostalgic reasons, but I ended up really enjoying it. Reading it took me back to my High School days, and it brought back memories of my first experience with YA/ Fantasy. Edward offered a fresh perspective on the story I know and love (though I am aware of its flaws), as well as some new background stories and info on the other Cullens which is one of the perks I was looking forward to. Being inside Edward’s mind and seeing things from his point of view was very interesting. It was entertaining to read what everyone around him was thinking, and I thought Meyer executed that aspect of the story really well. I was shocked by how many times Edward plans to kill Bella in the beginning, and in how many ways. If you are a true Twilight fan and are able to accept the story with its vampire stalker, insta-love, and all its flaws included, then I highly recommend this book. If you are not a fan of Twilight and think Midnight Sun will offer something different, then I recommend you skip it.

The Happy Ever After Playlist

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the happy ever after playlist book by abby jimenez picture
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Author: Abby Jimenez

Published: April 14, 2020

Pages: 401

Series: The Friend Zone, #2

Goodreads rating: 4.26/5

For fans of: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Domestic Fiction, The Friend Zone, Beach Read

Good to know before you read: explicit sex scenes, substance abuse, grief

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.

Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

My Mini Review:

I had a love-hate relationship with this book. For a book with the word “happy” in the title, it was actually really sad. The story dealt with themes such as overcoming grief, and struggling with substance abuse. It started out as a really nice story with a cute dog linking these two strangers together. Then, when I thought the story was all done and these two people had overcome all their differences and the main character had struggled more than enough, the story didn’t end. Instead, the plot went on this dramatic downward spiral with no end in sight and a lot of what I thought were unnecessary struggles and depressing moments.

It surprises me when almost all the characters in a book are all likeable, but unique in their own ways. My favorite of course was Tucker, since I am a sucker for smart dogs. I also enjoyed the friendship between Sloan and Kristen. The romance was a slow-burn one, which I felt was realistic given the fact that Sloan was still grieving. I liked that Sloan and Jason had good relationship role models, starting with their parents, and in Kristen and Josh. There was an emphasis on caring for family and friends and being there for them when they need you. I recommend this book if you love Romance and you can deal with some unnecessary drama.

Have you read this one? Are you planning to read it? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments!

booktag image

I Dare You Book Tag

I saw this book tag on Mani’s Book Corner and thought it looked really fun. If you are reading this then consider yourself tagged. Please remember to tag me back so I can read your answers. Now on to the books!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

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1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I am more likely to read newer books than older ones that have been sitting on my shelf for a while. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren has been out since 2018 and I keep putting it off. I tried the audio book at some point to see if that motivated me, but the narrator’s voice was really annoying so I stopped.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you will read next?

Current read: Gemina (Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Last read: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Next read: Obsidio (Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

lady midnight by Cassandra clare shadowhunters the dark artifices book one
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3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

I love ALMOST all Cassandra Clare books, and I adore Shadowhunters, but I just couldn’t get into Lady Midnight. Most probably it was due to it containing one of my most hated tropes “forbidden love” *shudders*

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you will read, but you probably won’t?

My pile of ARC’s. Just kidding! I do eventually read those 🙂

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

I haven’t read many classics, and I think when I retire and have the time I might make a list and read the most famous ones.

6. Last page: Do you read it first or wait to the end?

What kind of monster does this?! I have heard of people doing this, but I don’t like to spoil the ending for myself. I know the last page is out of context and I probably wouldn’t understand it if I read it, but then I would be wondering about it the whole book.

things you save in a fire book by katherine center
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7. Acknowledgements: are they a waste of paper and ink or interesting?

I like to read acknowledgements. Sometimes they are boring, but a lot of times they are interesting. For example, in Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center I got to learn that her husband is a firefighter and he was a really great help to her while writing and editing. I always like to learn things about the authors which makes their stories more real and relatable.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Definitely Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses, not only is she married to Rhysand (who is my book boyfriend), but she gets to live in the Night Court and be part of the Inner Circle.

treasure island book by robert louis stevenson
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9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

When I was thirteen I got Treasure Island from the school book fair. The class clown in my science classroom thought it would be funny to write on it. I’ve never liked writing on books, so I was pissed. That’s how our back and forth banter and eventually our relationship began. The class clown and the bookworm. That boy is now my husband. We have been together for sixteen years and counting.

P.S. He wrote “Hi”

P.S.S. He’s still a clown, and his dad jokes are the best 🙂

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I cannot think of one.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

I give books as gifts all the time. Sometimes I’ll read a book and it will remind me of someone and I’ll give them a copy. Last year for mother’s day I gave my grandma, mom, and my aunt all a copy of the same book (Angels and Demons by Dan Brown) so that they could do a buddy read.

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
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12. Which book has been with you the most places?

This battered paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has been with me since I was twelve years old. It has been through about ten moves and too many rereads to count.

13. Any required reading you hated in High School that wasn’t so bad a few years later?

I was that nerd that actually liked required reading AND enjoyed it. I do remember not really liking The Scarlet Letter, but I never reread it.

14. Used or brand new?

A good book is a good book to me no matter what condition it’s in. I enjoy browsing regular book stores, as well as used book stores.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes, but only one: The Da Vinci Code. I do plan to read the rest of the Robert Langdon series eventually.

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16. Have you ever seen a movie that you liked more than the book?

Never, for me the books are always better.

the hunger games book one by suzanne collins
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17. A book that’s made you hungry?

It’s so cliché that The Hunger Games make me hungry, but they do. It’s not the parts when they’re in the games and can’t get any food, or when they are back home in the Districts. It’s the parties with all the lavish food and drinks that really get me every time.

18. Who is the person who’s book advice you’ll always take?

All of you wonderful people who actually read and take the time to comment on my posts and give me bookish advice. Also, all my friends on Bookstagram and Goodreads who have really good taste in books. I really appreciate all of you ❤

19. Most read authors?

Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, and Nicolas Sparks. What a weird mix I know. I like to mix it up genre wise every once in a while.

20. Ship from two different books?

Mia from Nevernight and Mor from ACOTAR, dark and light, they would go so well together!