A Guide To Alicia’s Perfect Night In

As a bibliophile/book worm/book lover, I know that one of my favorite things to do is having the perfect night in. Although these nights may be hard to come by, every once in a while I’ll find myself with the perfect amount of time to have the best night in. I was asked by Leesa Mattresses, a mattress company, to describe my perfect night in and I thought that it would a great idea for a blog post! Here is a little step by step guide to my perfect night in!

step 1) the music

It all begins by hitting the play button on a playlist or song I love. As cliche as it sounds, music really does change the atmosphere. Paying my favourite songs on a night in is a must. I honestly wouldn’t know what I would do without music. At the moment I have been obsessed with Ed Sheeran’s new song Shape of You.

step 2) scrolling through we heart it

Once I’m perfectly tucked under my covers, lying on my front with my laptop placed right in front of me and my headphones on, I’ll type in we heart it into my address bar and start scrolling through countless aesthetic photos. We Heart It is like a stress reliever and I love being able to feel inspired just by looking at a bunch of photos. I guess what they say is true: a picture tells a thousand words.

step 3) cuddling up with a good book

Once I feel the need to read a book, I’ll turn off all the electronics for the night and prop up the pillows to create the perfect reading nook. At the moment I’m in the mood for a good contemporary and so I really want to start reading the Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson which has been on my TBR for ages. I’ll grab a good book, flip open the crisp clean pages and begin to dive into a new world. I try to tell myself to read at least 100 pages and I’ll usually end up losing track of time and reading way more than 100 pages.

step 4) bullet journaling

I really like taking the time just before I head to sleep to plan and organize what I’m going to do the next day. I’ll plan my meals, create to-do lists, shopping lists and homework plans for the next day just before I go to sleep so I’m all ready and set to go for the next day. If I have time I might doodle a bit in my journal and tidy it up a bit.

step 5) lights out

Everybody need beauty sleep, including me and every perfect night in will include sleeping. So the last and final step to my perfect night in will be sleeping peacefully knowing that I had the best night in! 🙂

That’s all for my guide to my perfect night in! Everybody has a different perfect night in routine so I challenge all of you to create a blog post and come up with your own guide to your own perfect night in! Don’t forget to tag me in your posts if you do! I would love to see what you guys come up with! Thank you so much to Leesa Mattresses for reaching out to me, if you guys are interested you are interested in some mattress options check some out here!

Bye!!

Alicia

Taking On The New Year- 2017

2017

Hello!

I know this post is long overdue but I still wanted to write about the new year of 2017! You know that feeling you get when its the new year but you still don’t feel put together- that’s kind of how I feel at the moment. Hopefully, this post will let me clear things up and allow me to start afresh.

2016: a  reflection

When 2016 was beginning to draw to an end I felt slightly disappointed. In terms of world events, I was not too happy about the events that went down last year. However, in terms of my own personal achievements and life, I’m pretty content with where I am. 2016 was the year I began my Bookstagram (20th of January to be exact) and in less than a year I already have more than 4.2K followers which I am so happy with! Thank you to everyone who has supported and followed me because I would never have imagined surpassing 1000 yet alone 4000! In addition, 2016 was the year I completely changed my blog and I have gotten so much positive feedback from you guys and I feel like my blog has grown so much this year!

2017 goals:

There are so many things I want to achieve this year! Often my mind wanders and I end up setting unrealistic goals but this year I’m trying to avoid that. Here are some of the goals I want to achieve this year:

♡ Create and use a 2017 bullet journal
♡ Stop rushing things and take the time to step back and enjoy the moment
♡ Create timeless memories
♡ Branch out to other topics with my blog
♡ Organise school books and notes
♡ Meet new people and get closer to them
♡ Take the time to do the things you love
♡ Read at least 50 books
♡ Love everyone with all of your heart
♡ Take more photos

2017: Exciting Releases

There are so many exciting book releases this year that I can’t wait to get my hands on! Here are three of my most anticipated releases:

Hopefully, 2017 will be filled with happiness and excitement! I’m wishing you all a happy 2017! I just came back from a trip and (fingers crossed) I’ll be able to get my travel diary up soon! Thank you all for the amazing support I’ve received in 2016- it means the world to me!

Lots of love,
Alicia

 

Book Review: Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

Title: The Edge of Everything
Author: Jeff Giles
Release Date: February 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Overall Rating:  7/10
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Action, Romance

“The pain between his eyes was excruciating now.
It was time. ”
– Jeff Giles, The Edge of Everything ARC pg 78

Jeff Giles’ Edge of Everything was quite out of this world (get it because like the story is set outside of this world ahahah 🙂 ). I had no clue what to expect when I dived into this novel. I went in there completely blind and the story I discovered wasn’t quite what I expected but that didn’t mean it wasn’t good. I actually found myself enjoying this novel. It was a fresh and unique storyline and I found myself hooked to the storyline.

I love how Giles takes the cliche alien love story and makes it into something thats more gripping and more heart felt. I definitely felt a few gut and heart wrenches throughout the story. Especially, when *SPOILER ALERT* X leaves and she sees her father again. I also really enjoyed how there are so many different facets to the storyline and therefore, I was always questioning what would happen next. Jeff Giles’ writing is very real he doesn’t sugar coat things but the way he describes situations and characters painted a vivid picture into the minds of the readers.

However, I have to admit the world building wasn’t a highlight in this novel. I don’t know if it was just me but I found it quite difficult to understand the Lowlands concept. I understood that X had to take souls for him to be free but I still didn’t quite follow the other world. I was confused in many parts of the novel and I think it would have been much easier to understand the concepts if there was a bit more world building. I also didn’t quite enjoy the dual perspectives. I understand why it is necessary to have the two perspectives but I found it boring to read from Xs perspective because he lacked some personality.

In addition, the development of Zoe and X’s relationship was pretty poor. They fell in love in an instant and I didn’t really see the buildup or chemistry between the two at all. I found it difficult to connect to their relationship and in fact, I thought Zoe should have ended up with Dallas because I could definitely see the chemistry between the two. In hindsight, the storyline made this book really enjoyable and I actually found it easy to get deep into the novel.

song + book

if you liked these books, you’ll like jeff giles’ edge of everything

That’s all for this review! Have you read The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles? What was your latest read? I’m just about to fly out for a holiday, so hopefully I can get some posts up in the next few weeks!

#loveboosk

Book Review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

 

Title: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Release Date: September 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Overall Rating:  8/10
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Action, Fantasy, Romance

After seeing Stealing Snow plastered on Instagram pages and after letting the novel sit on my bookshelf for what seems like ages, I decided to give the novel a go. I hadn’t read any reviews on the book before hand and the moment I opened the book, I knew I would highly enjoy this novel. Despite the raging negative reviews, I’m going to keep to my opinion and say I LOVED THIS BOOK. It’s hard to find a good fantasy romance these days and this novel definitely satisfied my craving for one.

Stealing Snow starts off with a scene that left me questioning the main character- Snow. I wanted to know who she is, I wanted to know who Bale is and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. When I discovered that she was in a mental facility I was expecting Paige to pull a Vanishing Girls move on the novel in which the Snow Kingdom was all part of her imagination but I was proven wrong. I think a big part of why people didn’t like the novel was because of the similarities between Stealing Snow and Frozen but, to be honest, I thought this novel was better. I love how Paige takes this idea of a snow kingdom and snow powers and warps it into something that is more suited to a teenage audience. I found myself falling in love with the story line.

At times, Snow did get on my nerves but I enjoyed watching her grow as a person. I loved seeing how she dealt with being in a mental facility and how she was dealing with the information about her family. Some of her reckless decisions did cause me to cringe but there was something about her character I really enjoyed reading about. I think part of it was my interest in her history. The plot twists really hit me, I was definitely not expecting some of them. *SPOILER ALERT* Her secret twin sister and her backstabbing mother, are just two of the many examples of the plot twists that rocked me over the edge.

There was definitely one thing that was a flaw in this novel- the love square. NEVER in my life had I ever read a story in which the character had not one, not two but THREE love interests. In my opinion, I thought it was a little unbelievable and overwhelming. Whilst she was saving her poor, beloved Bale, she was kissing Kai and the chemistry between her and Jagger was insane. I didn’t really like this component to the story because it made the book seem less real and three-dimensional which was a shame. Hopefully, this clears up in the later books but just to clarify I’m leaning towards #TEAMKAI!

Overall, I highly enjoyed this novel and if you are craving a good fantasy definitely check this out. I have never read a book quite like this and I loved the mashup of the mental facility and the fantasy world. I have so many unanswered questions about the characters and story swimming around in my head. I can not wait to read the next book in the series.

song + book:

if you liked these books you’ll like danielle paige’s stealing snow

That’s all for my review of Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for sending this to me but please note that this does not alter or change my opinion on this novel. I know many people didn’t like this novel- so share your thoughts down below! I would love to hear them!

#lovebooks

December Favourites, Hauls + A Wrap-Up

Happy December Everybody!!!

How have you guys been? I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and/or a happy Hannukah- if you don’t celebrate any of these I hope you had a great holiday and I’m wishing you an early happy new year! December for me was filled with adventures, happiness, and joy. I definitely had an improving reading month, I received lots of books and gained lots of new favorite things! Tell me about your December month in the comments and link your December favorites, wrap-ups and hauls as well!

bookish wrap-up

I am pretty happy with the books I’ve read this month! In fact, I am currently reading We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan and I think I can finish it by the end of the month, which means I would have read four books. Although it doesn’t sound like much, that is so much better than by last few reading months, where I was in a constant state of frenzy and bookish slug. Here are the books I read this month!

The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew ★★☆☆☆

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige★★★★☆
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles ★★★☆☆
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

book haul!

So as the holidays are approaching, I got some books from publishers and bought some books for myself to read! I hauled these books:

The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak
Freeks by Amanda Hocking
The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
December/January Frankie Magazine

favourites

Volunteering

Early this month and late last month, I was lucky enough to get to go volunteering all around my city and it was such an unforgettable experience. I’m still young and that usually means organizations are less likely to take me on board as a volunteer but I finally had a chance to give back to my community. I cooked in soup kitchens, made little Christmas ornaments, sorted clothes and packed necessity bags, all around different communities. The feeling you get from volunteering is indescribable because not only are you supporting those in need, you are gaining new skills and friendships. I feel so blessed to live what I believe is a good life and I have always wanted to give back to the community, which is why I am so glad I had the chance to volunteer at so many charities this month and last month!

Kool & Co Candles

This month I also received these adorable candles from Kool & Co. I got one in Coconut and an Ariel-inspired scent. I love the smell and I also really like the fact that they are 100% soy-based which makes it better for your nose! I can’t wait to burn these candles during the winter! Here is a link to their shop!

Bella Boxes + Perfume

I also received the Bella Box, which is a monthly beauty subscription service. You can check out my review to that here!  I also got this VS Coconut Passion perfume spray. I got it a really good price and I couldn’t resist, I am so picky when it comes to perfume smells but I have a weak spot for anything that smells like vanilla, coconut or caramel. I love the smell of the spray and I am so glad I bought it!

Succulents +  Teas

I also got this adorable little succulent plant as a Christmas present! It’s fake because I literally can’t keep any plant alive 🙂 I use it as room decor and it just hangs from the roof of my room! I also got some French Earl Grey Tea from T2 for Christmas. I am actually not a huge fan of tea- I only like green tea and peppermint but I am trying to get into it. Hopefully, I’ll brew some of it up soon!

That’s all from me! I can’t wait to dive into some of the books I received this month! It’s the end of 2016 and I can’t wait to welcome to the new year! I hope you all had a great Christmas and don’t forget to tell me what you received and hauled this December, as well as link your December wrap-ups, favourites and hauls down below!

#lovebooks

Early Christmas Present… Bella Box Unboxing and Review!

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Hello! Hello! Hello!

The other day, I opened the door and to my delight, a box full of goodies arrived on my step: The Bella Box. I couldn’t be any more excited. My first ever subscription box and I couldn’t be any more satisfied with what I received. For those who have never heard of Bella Box subscription service, it is an Australian monthly box subscription service that delivers five or more beauty and lifestyle products and samples to your doorstep. You can then trial and use the products and if you find a product you really like you can buy the product from their website here.  Bella Boxes are normally $18 per box but I have a special link that can let you guys receive your first Bella box for $10. Check it out here!

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When you first open the box this is what it looks like. This month’s box was brown rather than its usual blue but that is due to the size of the products. I love how unique the packaging is. The Bella Box logo is placed all around the cardboard box and the black tissue paper is a simple yet nice touch to the design of the package. I do wish I could see the blue box packaging. In addition, I was given a personalized message in the box which was such a nice personal touch. I also received card with a list and description of the products featured in the box. The card included the theme of this month’s box which was “Summer Glow”, the price of the products and where to buy the products.

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the products:

Overall, I’m very happy with the products that Bella Box provided. They were all good quality and reputable products that were easy to use. The price is definitely worth it as you are given not only samples but also actual full sized products. There were some emerging brand products in the box, such as gilded cage as well as some famous products, such as Revlon. All the products in this month’s box are things that I love and would definitely use.

Left: Revlon Prodessional Uniq One Hair Treatment Right: Gilded Cage Charisma LIpgloss
Left: Revlon Professional Uniq One Hair Treatment Right: Gilded Cage Charisma Lipgloss
Left: Sunsense Daily Face SPF 50+ Invisible Tint Right: Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil-Control Foam Wash
Left: Sunsense Daily Face SPF 50+ Invisible Tint Right: Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil-Control Foam Wash
Left: Pure Paw Paw Ointment Right: Palmer's Coconut Oil Formul aBody Lotion and Avon Life Her EDP Spray
Left: Pure Paw Paw Ointment Right: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Body Lotion and Avon Life Her EDP Spray

These were products that were in my box. A 7-day fitness guide was also in my box! My favorite products are the Gilded Cage Charisma Lipgloss, the Revlon Professional Hair Treatment and the Pure Paw Paw Ointment, I can definitely see myself using these products in the future. Overall, I am impressed by the number of products they gave me. With seventeen dollars, I could never see myself buying so many products and so it definitely is worth the price. I actually really love this box and I highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of beauty products or is looking for a good Christmas present because this box is definitely worth the hype and price. Hopefully, I will get another one of these boxes in the future.

Final Ratings:

Presentation: ★★★★✰
Quality: ★★★★★
Products: ★★★★★
Price: ★★★★✰
Overall: ★★★★★

That’s all for my Bella Box review. Thank you so much to Bella Box for sending me the box and don’t forget to use my coupon link: http://bit.ly/2hLCB2D to check out the product! What do you think- will you be getting the Bella Box anytime soon?

#lovebooks

I received Bella Box from Bella Box Aust., in exchange for a review.  Please note that this does not alter, influence or change my opinions on the box, in this post.

Book Review: The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

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Title: The Light That Gets Lost
Author: Natasha Carthew
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Overall Rating:  5/10
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Action, Coming of Age

“He promised the demon that was forever watchful inside,”
Natasha Carthew, The Light That Gets Lost pg8

I recently read The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew but much to my surprise, I have mixed feelings upon finishing the novel. When I first picked it up the title and cover caught my attention, I loved the name of the novel and the blue colors splashed across the cover won me over- I couldn’t wait to read the book. However, after three chapters my heart sunk because it turns out this book wasn’t as good as it seems, in fact, I didn’t like it at all. There were bits that I thought were still somewhat well done and so lets begin with that.

I enjoyed how Carthew began with a really exciting prologue. The scene in which Trey’s family was in danger sparked lots of questions in me which caused me to really want to continue the story. I wanted to find out what happens to Trey, why his family was killed and many more questions. However, when Trey set foot in the camp the story began to tumble down for me.

I think a huge issue with this book was that I found it extremely hard to connect to the storyline and its characters. For one, I have never experience or been through the issues many of the characters faced and the character’s background and personalities weren’t quite like mine. For example, I couldn’t connect to Trey at all, his actions annoyed me and his decisions were nothing like what I would do. He was reckless and angered which got on my nerves during many situations. With Kay, I couldn’t quite connect with her either. I think that because I had couldn’t click or relate to the characters, I found it difficult to enjoy the book. I believe relatable characters or characters which pull you in are vital to creating a good book but there was a lack of that in this novel. The dialogue between the characters was also quite hard to understand the jargon and slang used by the characters made it pretty difficult to follow.The storyline was also quite hard to follow there were issues and problems here and there

The storyline was also quite hard to follow there were issues and problems here and there that added layers of confusion. I think there were too many loose ends in the book- the demons that lived inside of him was extremely confusing. There was no mention of demons in the first quarter of the book and they suddenly came into the story about 60% of the way through the novel. It made the story seem unrealistic and childish. I understand that it was a metaphor for his evil nature but I did not like the idea at all. In addition, the relationship development between Kay and Trey was quite poorly done. I didn’t see much romance or development between them and they didn’t even get together in the end. It felt like puppy love to me and I was really disappointed at the end of the book.

I wouldn’t say this book was a disappointment because I had high expectations, there were some things here and there that were enjoyable to read but overall, I didn’t quite enjoy it. I thought there were two many loose ends and I found it difficult to relate and connect with the characters. Perhaps, it was because I have never really experienced what had happened in the novel, which caused me to dislike the book. However, I have to say that I didn’t like it. Have you read The Light That Gets Lost? What did you think?

book + song:

if you liked these books you will love natasha carthew’s the light that gets lost

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#lovebooks❤

december bullet journal + essentials

 

fotorcreated-1Hello!!!

If you have been following me on Instagram (@hashtaglovebook.alicia) you would have probably seen my latest obsession with bullet journaling. I adore it! Every week whenever I can find five minutes for me to journal, I will seize the chance. There is just something so satisfying and calming about creating a personalised planner and organising your upcoming weeks and months.

I honestly can’t believe it already is December, this year has been a whirlwind of adventures and it has flashed before my eyes. Since it is nearing the end of November, I decided to draw up my monthly bullet journal for December. I filmed a little quick montage of a most of my planning. (I realised I wasn’t recording the last part of it so I don’t have all of the footage 🙂 ) I also am going to show you some of my stationary I use for my bullet journal as well!

bullet journal essentials:

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 bullet journal plan with me: december 2016:

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you want more bullet journal posts let me know! I had so much fun creating this one! Do you bullet journal as well? Send me some pictures, I would love to see yours!

Also I just started a facebook page today so definitely go check it out: https://www.facebook.com/hashtaglovebooks/
If you like my page, I’ll like your back! 🙂

#lovebooks Alicia

 

Blog Tour + Book Review: Moon Chosen: Tales of A New World by PC. Cast

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Title: Moon Chosen: Tales of a New World
Author: PC Cast
Series: Tales of a New World
Release Date: November 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Retail Price: $18.99
Overall Rating:  7.5/10
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Coming of Age, Adventure

“Become that which I see, mind and heart your image will be, salvation for these beloved three,”
PC Cast, Moon Chosen: Tales of A New World (ARC edition)

PC Cast’s Moon Chosen truly transports you to a new world. This novel was such a thrill ride! I found myself addicted to the story and I’m so glad this book saved me from my very long reading slump. There are so many elements of this book that made it a wonderful read.

I have to begin by talking about Cast’s writing style. Her writing style is one of the absolute best, this novel was so beautifully written that every word and every sentence painted such a vivid picture and story in my brain. It almost felt like every word was a colour and all the words blended together to create this artwork of a story. Everything is described in such depth and beauty! One of my favourite parts of the story was when Mari was pairing with Regel, her dog and although I have never had a dog, Cast’s description of Mari’s feelings made it feel like I had a dog before. Every character’s thoughts were so different, yet PC Cast managed to somehow make all of them flow and it is her writing style that makes the book a great read.

I also love how many different stories there were in the story. Often I hate jumping from perspective to perspective, story to story but I love how PC Cast managed to balance the two different characters- Nik and Mari together in one book. The story flowed and made sense, switching between the two lives gave the reader a break from one character and at times left you page turning to find out what happens next. At first, I was kind of confused as to who the two characters were and how they were related but as the story progressed they interlaced like webs and the story manage to fit together so well. About a quarter through the novel, I was predicting Nik and Mari’s relationship- I honestly thought they were brother and sister!

The characters are so much fun to read about because although they are totally different to us they were sassy and all had unique personalities. I loved Sora’s character although she was a bit shallow and I couldn’t forget Mari who I also really enjoyed reading about. I think Nik’s character still need more development and story to it but I’m sure we’ll be able to see more of him in the next few books. When Mari’s mother died, I was definitely not expecting that to happen!

The only main issue I had with the book was how slow some parts of the book were. I still enjoyed reading it because of Cast’s writing but looking back on the novel, I thought not much really happened in the first part of the book. Maybe it is due to the world building which was really well done. I clearly understand the ways of both tribes and it wasn’t hard to understand any of the terminology. However, I do wish the novel was more fast paced. PC Cast’s Moon Chosen was really a great read- the writing, character development, world building and multiple storylines really created a bow for this book. It wrapped up like a great little present and I’ll definitely be there for the next installment of this series!

song + book:

if you liked these books, you’ll love moon chosen: tales of a new world:

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This was part of a blog tour run by Pan Macmillan. Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan. I received PC Cast’s Moon Chosen from Pan Macmillan, in exchange for a review.  Please note that this does not alter, influence or change my opinions on the novel, in this post.

#lovebooks

Book Review: Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt

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dsc_0213_fotorTitle: Tell Us Something True
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Release Date: June 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating:  7.5/10
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Coming of Age

Dana Reinhardt’s Tell Us Something True is a simple but incredibly intriguing read. I’ll admit that when I picked up this book I was unsure about whether or not I would really like it- the plot sounded cheesy and the colour of the cover wasn’t really doing it many favours. However, the moment I read about River and the more I delved into the story I was addicted. It was an easy read because River’s voice has the typical voice of any teenage boy but the storyline made the novel extraordinary.

Tell Us Something True kind of reminds me of a modern West Side Story cross Beauty and the Beast. It might not make much sense but what I’m trying to say is I love how Reinhardt takes completely two different characters each with bad histories and makes them fall in love. I love seeing how their relationship developed and how their stories interlaced. When I discovered that Penny’s helper was Daphne’s mother my brain was exploding because I would never have guessed. Reinhardt really does take this classic foundation of a romance story and adds layers upon layers of new elements to create this fun read.

I also really like the character development of River because his coming of age and development are clearly evident, which I believe is an important theme in the novel. River grows from this dependent, young teenager to another more mature and older boy. I loved reading about who he was and then reading about who he then went on to become.

Dana Reinhardt’s Tell Us Something True is definitely a great read if you are looking for a fun, easy contemporary read. I think they only thing that let me down was the fact that it didn’t give much of a WOW factor but I believe that it was still a really intriguing novel!

song + book

if you liked these books, you’ll love tell us something true:

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what did you think of tell us something true? let me know down below!

#lovebooks