Top Ten Tuesday 10/25/2016

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Woo hoo, first official book related post since I have been back! I love Top Ten Tuesdays and it could be because I love to make lists but I love also being able to quickly share some of my top ten favorite books pertaining to a certain topic. This Tuesday’s topic is:

Halloween related freebie: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc.

So my top ten list is going to be…Top Ten Young Adult Thrillers

*Seriously if you’re looking for some last minute creepy thrillers to get you in the mood for Halloween,  I would recommend any of these.*

1.) Ten by Gretchen McNeil

2.) The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

3.) Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

4.) The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

5.) The Ruining by Anna Collomore

6.) Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

7.) The Cellar by Natasha Preston

8.) The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

9.) The Rules by Nancy Holder

10.) One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

If you’re looking for more scary/thrillers leave me a comment and I can suggest some more as I had about 20 and had to cut the list in half.

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Top Ten Tuesday 03/01/2016

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Woo hoo, first Top Ten Tuesday post of 2016 and better late then never, right? I recently started posting reviews again and am hoping to post 1 per week. I recently went from ‘undecided’ as my major to ‘pre-nursing’ so college is kicking my ass right now which is why my posts have kind of been few and far between this year. I really want to try to get at least 1 review posted a week though. I also want to do a Top Ten Tuesday every now and then and I really liked this week’s topic so here it goes…

Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For X

X = Summer (surprise, surprise)

1.) Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

2.) Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

3.) Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

4.) Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

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5.) Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

6.) The Beach Lane Collection by Melissa de la Cruz

7.) The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han

8.) Five Summers by Una LaMarche

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9.) Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

10.) Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer) by Michelle Dalton

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There are obviously MANY more I could have included in this list. These are just some of my favorites that came to mind right away. I love love LOVE summer themed books so my Goodreads ‘Read’ list is filled with them.

(Two more I just thought of that I LOVED…

Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski )

The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

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Title & Author: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegen Books/May 10, 2016

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By the Author: The After Girls

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood best friend recently released from juvie, and the small-town lies that have kept them apart. A teen romance debut with a dark edge.

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.

Local teen convict released early.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.

“Everything is not what you think.”

Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

“You’re the one person who believes in me.”

Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

First let me start off by saying this is a summer based book and if you don’t know by now, I am obsessed with summer themed books. Leah Konen’s other YA book, The After Girls, has also been on my TBR list (as well as my bookshelf) for a while now and I definitely need to start reading it. The Last Time We Were Us was so, so good. It had me feeling so many mixed emotions throughout the book and had me racing through the pages at the end to see what had happened.

The romance in The Last Time We Were Us was insanely intense. I had no idea what was going to happen and definitely wasn’t expecting the ending to play out like it had. I can’t say I was shocked, but I also feel like some of the characters got what they had been asking for throughout the book. The book is also packed full of drama between multiple characters which kept it entertaining as well as kept me sucked into the book turning page after page. The book itself was longer than most I’ve read lately (almost 400 pages) but I was hooked and breezed through it.

I really liked the characters in The Last Time We Were Us. I have to admit though my favorite character was Jason Sullivan and I can’t really say why he was without giving anything away. I had mixed feelings about the main character Liz. There were times when I liked her and was rooting for her and other times when I wish I could have reached in the pages and smacked her. Innis Taylor was quite the character, once again can’t say much about him without giving things away. Liz’s friend MacKenzie was alright. She had a few good friend moments, but I felt like a majority of the time she was immature and over reacted to certain situations.

Overall if you’re into young adult contemporary and/or romance I definitely think you’d enjoy this book. It’s one of the better books I have read in 2016, it’s in my top 10 as of now. I could easily see this as a book I’d reread again in the future.

Waiting On Wednesday: 02/17/2016

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I haven’t done a Waiting on Wednesday post in I don’t know how long, so I thought why not do one this week? There are so many books coming out in 2016 that I am highly anticipating but this one may take the top spot. I read this author’s other young adult book that came out last year (2015) and absolutely loved it. I was beyond thrilled to see she had another young adult mystery book coming out as well but was disappointed that I will be waiting until August to read it. Here is my first Waiting on Wednesday book of 2016:

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The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy

Expected Publication: August 2, 2016

Lana used to know what was real.

That was before when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden step-brother, Ben, was alive, she could only dream about bonfiring with the populars, their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder. 

Alexandra Sirowy’s other young adult mystery, The Creeping, came out in August 2015. It was original and kept me turning page after page to find out the shocking ending. If you haven’t read The Creeping yet and you’re into young adult mysteries and thrillers, I’d definitely recommend you read The Creeping and adding The Telling to your TBR list.

Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

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Title & Author: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/April 26, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Another Little Piece, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, Among the Shadows

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

There’s a reason they say “be careful what you wish for.” Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for “balls of steel” and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it’s too late-after she brings some of her uncles’ moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn’t mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles’ moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their “important family legacy,” she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I’ve read Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn last fall and her other novel, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, has been on my TBR list for quite some time now. When I saw she had a new young adult book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy of it and I am SO happy I did. I raced through this book in about 2 days and enjoyed every single page. The characters were awesome, the whole storyline was amazing and the author did a great job adding not only comedy but some dark moments as well. Kate Karyus Quinn also made a reference to Another Little Piece (and she may have made one to (Don’t You) Forget About Me as well but I haven’t read it yet). The books themselves aren’t sequels or a series but seeing one tie into another was pretty cool and original.

“May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one.” I’m not going to lie, this line will haunt me if I ever hear someone say it out loud after reading this book. Lennie heard her uncles say this many times when someone would come through to buy their moonshine and would make a wish and toast the first sip. Of course she never realized that this was much more than just a toast, so when she sneaks out several jars of her uncles’ moonshine to take to a party, she causes so much havoc. Some characters, such as W2 and Zinkowski, have hilarious wishes that some true, others are far more serious and a few are innocent. Watching each wish unfold was entertaining and seeing the outcomes of their wishes made you constantly wonder what would happen next and if Lennie would be able to find a way to make everything go back to the way it was before the party.

All of the main characters in the book were enjoyable, even the bad ones. They all brought something to the story and without even one of them there would have been something missing. Lennie may not be the smartest character, but in her defense she didn’t have any idea of her wish granting abilities until after the damage was done. She was genuinely caring though and was trying to fulfill her dead best friend’s wish of going to a crazy party. Lennie’s dad was evil in every sort of way, her mother was mostly absent but played a huge part in the family legacy, and Lennie’s uncles honestly seemed like the cool uncles you’d want to hang around at a family party. They were tough on Lennie but only wanted the best for her and to protect her. Lennie’s friend Dylan and Dylan’s twin Smith proved to be two key characters. Although we don’t get to know Dylan before she is murdered, we get an interested undead version of her thanks to Lennie’s wish. Smith on the other hand was a character I thought I was going to despise from the beginning but grew to love as the book went on. Last was Lennie’s friend Larry, who you ended up feeling sorry for a majority of the time. It was clear he had a thing for Lennie and would do whatever would please her. He was also such a goody two shoes and momma’s boy that you felt bad he got stuck in such a crappy situation.

Overall, I really enjoyed Down With the Shine, enough to want to purchase my own copy to reread once it is published. I’m also making a mental note now to also purchase myself a copy of her other book, (Don’t You) Forget About Me. I would love to see Down With the Shine turned into a movie, definitely think it would be awesome to see on the big screen and I cannot wait to see what book she writes next.

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

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Title & Author: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Publisher/Year: Greenwillow Books/March 15, 2016

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Stefan Bachmann – Goodreads

My Rating: N/A*

*Will post an updated rating once book is completed.

What This Book Is About

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.

You cannot escape the palace.

You cannot guess its secrets.

(Summary from Goodreads)

  

I started reading A Drop of Night about a week or so ago. I thought it was going to be another YA thriller that would suck me in until the final page. As of now I am about only 50 pages into the book. When reading a book, I always give it the first 50 pages before I decide if I do not want to continue because I don’t like to mark a book as ‘did not finish’. I had another book waiting to be read, so I put this to the side and flew through the other.

There’s been some flashbacks to the 1780’s of when the underground palace was built. It’s hard to get into the back and forth from the 1780’s and present in the beginning and I found myself forgetting who is who when it came to the characters. The beginning also seems kind of slow and hazy. The main character Anouk clearly has issues with her family, and I’m still waiting to figure that all out.

I definitely want to power through this book and see where it leads to and how it ends. The summary reminded me a bit of 172 Hours on the Moon which made me interested in reading A Drop of Night. I will be updating this post with a rating as well as a review once I do finish the book which will hopefully be over the next couple of days, so be on the look out for that.

Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth

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Title & Author: Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth

Publisher/Year: Balzer + Bray/February 16,2016

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Format: ARC Paperback

Other Books by Author: Through to You

My Rating:4hearts

What This Book Is About

WHO KILLED GRETCHEN MEYER?

Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?

At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Lately I have been devouring creepy, thrilling books even though it has been the happy holiday season. Take the Fall had been on my radar so I was excited to be able to read and review it early. It definitely met what I had been expecting and I cannot wait to read Emily Hainsworth’s other YA novel now.

Take the Fall was definitely one of the best young adult mystery/thrillers I have ever read. I did not know who the killer was until I was reading it for myself at the end of the book. My shock level was easily a 9/10 as I had never seen that coming. Throughout the whole book I was constantly guessing and wondering who the killer could have been. It took me a total of 2 days to finish because I couldn’t put it down (aside from sleeping and going to work).

I thought the characters in this book were perfect. Sonia was the perfect grieving best friend who had all the right intentions of searching for her best friends killer as well as her attacker. Gretchen, while never alive in the book, was portrayed excellently through flashbacks and descriptions from her friends and enemies alike. Gretchen’s ex boyfriend Marcus fit the “bad boy” role quite well, but I found myself almost immediately siding with him and believing his innocence. Overall all the characters were great and there wasn’t one who I really didn’t like or couldn’t stand.

I did feel as though the beginning of the book was fast with Sonia’s attack, Gretchen’s murder and all the drama that followed. Towards the middle while Sonia was working with Marcus to clear his name and find the real attacker, I felt like the book kind of slowed down and not much was happening. Had the book been fast paced and had a few more unexpected twists I definitely would have rated this a 5. The ending though was so incredibly done and so unexpected that you need to read Take the Fall when it hits the shelves in February.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

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Title & Author: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories Edited by Stephanie Perkins (All authors listed at the top of the book cover)

Publisher/Year: St. Martin’s Press/2014

Source: Publisher in Exchange for an Honest Review

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4hearts*

*I definitely enjoyed some stories more than others. Some I would give a 5 heart rating to while others I’d give a 3, so I felt a 4 heart rating was fair since it was right in the middle.

What This Book Is About

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I would have loved to have had this review posted BEFORE the holiday but unfortunately I didn’t finish it until December 23 and I have a prior commitment to post a review on another book by December 25 at the latest.

As I said in the rating area, some of the stories I loved a lot more than the others. I would love to see some of these stories be made into a standalone novel, especially Rainbow Rowell’s, Kiersten White’s and Ally Carter’s. I will rate each of the stories individually, but they were all entertaining and fun to read especially with the approaching holidays.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 5/5
The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link: 2/5
Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña: 4/5
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: 3/5
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 3/5
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 4/5
Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 3/5
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 4/5
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 3/5
Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 4/5
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 4/5
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 2/5

I loved how the stories involved characters of all different races, backgrounds and even sexual orientations. They were all original and not your typical cookie cutter holiday romance stories. They also were mixed genres as well, some were contemporary and others fantasy. I definitely enjoyed this book and would recommend it to every single reader who is into young adult fiction. It would also make an excellent gift if you have a young adult reader in your life. You can’t go wrong with this book during the holiday season. There is a summer themed one scheduled for publication in 2016, also edited by Stephanie Perkins but featuring 11 different authors that I cannot wait to read.

Harmony House by Nic Sheff

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Title & Author: Harmony House by Nic Sheff

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/ March 22, 2016

Genre: YA Mystery, YA Thriller

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Goodreads 

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.

After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.

A classic horror story finds a terrifying home in Harmony House, drawing on favorite tropes and edgy, modern characters to create a chilling tale of blame, guilt, and ghostly revenge.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I absolutely love young adult thrillers and even though we’re in a happy holiday season at the moment, I jumped at the chance to read Harmony House. I was even more excited to read it because it takes place in New Jersey where I am from and currently live. The summary just sucked me in and I knew the ending was going to be something I hadn’t been expecting.

In my opinion there was different twists in the plot that I hadn’t been expecting and hadn’t seen coming. I was turning page after page to find out what was going on and what would happen next. It took me 2 days to finish reading Harmony House, and I enjoyed every minute of reading it. I’m not quite sure why it was a lower rating on Goodreads (currently 2.96) because I thought the plot line was original and was actually thrilling.

The characters were amazing. I was of course rooting for the main character Jen the whole time. She was not only easily likable but easily relatable. It was easy to see where her thoughts and feelings came from and I often noticed I felt the same feelings she was throughout the book. Jen’s dad was quite a character as well. Without giving too much away, it was so easy to not like him from the beginning. There were a few other characters that made small appearances throughout the book who really added to the storyline.

The way the author brought the story all together at the ending was something I didn’t see coming and it surprised me. I thought it was a great way to end the story and to explain everything that had been going on. The descriptions of all the scenery and the house itself was described in good detail to create the perfect mental images I needed in my head as I read the book.

I would definitely recommend reading Harmony House in March when it is published especially if you enjoy a good thriller. I hope Nic Sheff writes other young adult thrillers in the future that are just as amazing as Harmony House.

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy Blog Tour!

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Title & Author: The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/August 18, 2015

Genres: YA Thriller, YA Mystery, YA Horror

Other Books by Alexandra Sirowy: Debut novel!

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Romance, friendship, and dark, bone-chilling fear fill the pages of a summertime thriller in the spirit of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenTwelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.
 
Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her. Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work. And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.
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About the Author
Alexandra lives in a small town in Northern California. Although it’s fringed by forests and foothills like the town of Savage in THE CREEPING, it doesn’t have as many secrets (she thinks) or as dark of a history (fingers crossed). In addition to writing fiction, she loves traveling (Istanbul is her favorite), trees, lighthouses, seven layer cakes (who doesn’t?), running at dusk, music (the kind that makes your chest swell), and risky adventures. THE CREEPING is her debut novel. To learn more, visit her at alexandrasirowy.com and follow @AlexandraSirowy.
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Where to Buy
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My Thoughts on This Book
I just received my ARC in the mail of The Creeping yesterday and immediately began reading. The Creeping has been on my radar for months ever since I first saw on it on Goodreads. I love young adult thrillers/mysteries/horror novels and this seemed to fall into all of those categories. I immediately began reading this book when it came in yesterday. So far I’m sucked in and love it. It’s everything I had been expecting and more. I will post a full review on the book when I finish reading it which will hopefully be tomorrow or on Tuesday so be on the lookout for that.
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