Unmissable Weekly: August 7, 2015

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

For Such a Time 01via

Claiming that success in the industry is merit-based and gender-irrelevant while simultaneously using your position as an established male creator to literally shout down women’s voices is willful ignorance. It isn’t eccentric; it isn’t cute, and it isn’t excused by the generation you’re from or the comic world you came up in. Unfortunately, it’s also not uncommon.

I don’t know about you but this Bill Willingham sounds like a jerktastic dude.

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Last fall, after he’d just found an unpublished story by John Steinbeck, Gulli told NPR’s Arun Rath that he’d actually been looking for one by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Now, he’s tracked it down — and he joined Rath again to talk about the find.

And so we carry on, eyes against the evident, uncovering ceaselessly the unpublished works of famous American writers.

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[Max von Sydow] has joined the sixth run of HBO’s Game of Thrones as the Three-Eyed Raven, a character who last appeared in the season 4 finale and was played by a different actor (Struan Rodger).

Because it isn’t Unmissable Weekly without a Game of Thrones story.

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In the Holocaust, over 6 million Jews, and more than 17 million people in total were killed by the Nazis. In For Such a Time, the hero is redeemed and forgiven for his role in a genocide. The stereotypes, the language, and the attempt at redeeming an SS officer as a hero belittle and demean the atrocities of the Holocaust. The heroine’s conversion at the end underscores the idea that the correct path is Christianity, erases her Jewish identity, and echoes the forced conversions of many Jews before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Admittedly, I am not the best person to speak about this. But I want to educate myself. And only by opening dialogues can we hear. And we need to listen. We need to keep talking.

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

You Know You Love Me

Gossip Girl Book Tag

Once upon a time, I wasn’t as TV noob as I am today—well, okay, I keep track of what’s out there except I do not watch them. But then, I had multiple television shows I was tuning in to, and one of them was The CW’s Gossip Girl, based on the novel series of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar. Looking back, to say I was into it would be a grand playing-it-cool. I was obsessed. It match-aired here in one of our local networks and I’d watch multiple replays—aside from the episode’s first screening—every week. My best friend and I would even talk in length about certain scenes, like the characters were friends of ours. Or, at the very least, schoolmates.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when fellow fans JM (of Book Freak Revelations), Kevin (of Tomebound) and Salve (of Cuckoo For Books) decided to initiate a book tag featuring the one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite, I was on board tout de suite. And without further ado…

…or not. There are two things to consider if you were to peruse this post, viz. a) it is based on the TV series, not the books, and b) some items contain substantial spoilers for the TV series.

*Click the cover to be directed to the book’s Goodreads page.*

SERENA VAN DER WOODSEN
The “It” book of YA fiction.

Gossip Girl Gif 01
via

Not only do I now realize how dreadfully Herculean the term “The “It” book” puts in one’s choice, it also requires a compelling argument. Hence, allow me to take a slightly different angle and pick Lara Jean’s story. Just because of how often I see this book (or the sequel) on Instagram.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before 01

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

BLAIR WALDORF
A book/character you love to hate.

Gossip Girl Gif 02via

Since my introduction is a trip down memory lane anyway, let’s carry on. I’m going with Jane of the Volturi. I recall hating how unfair her power is. Or maybe because it was sick and I wanted me some sick power? (What, don’t tell me you don’t ponder these philosophical stuff?)

Twilight 01   New Moon 01   Eclipse 01   Breaking Dawn 01

Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

CHUCK BASS
A roller coaster ride of a book.

Gossip Girl Gif 03via

There’s a collection of reasons why The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my top ten all-time favorite books, one of them being it made me feel all of these emotions.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

NATE ARCHIBALD
A book cover eye candy.

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Fun fact: I’m responsible for this particular item. Not-so-fun fact: I CAN PICK A MULTITUDE OF COVERS. Why do I have to do this on myself? In fact, I can dedicate a whole article about #coverlove and—oh wait, I did. But I’m zeroing in on Sarvenaz Tash’s upcoming 2016 novel. Look at the color scheme and overall vibe!

3P JKT Geeks_Guide.indd

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

DAN HUMPHREY
A book you think deserves more love than it gets.

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Oh! I have a bunch of titles but I recently finished Ford’s Suicide Notes and this was published in 2008 but why haven’t I heard of it?

Suicide Notes 01

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

JENNY HUMPHREY
A character that went through the most drastic transformation, for better or worse.

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A piece of (lemon) cake! Sansa Stark. Enough said.

A Game of ThronesA Clash of KingsA Storm of SwordsA Feast for CrowsA Dance with Dragons

A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin

VANESSA ABRAMS
A book that doesn’t have a lasting impression.

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So I picked this graphic novel during last year’s MIBF thinking there’s some awesome Starlord action. But what did I get? NO STARLORD! But I digress.

The Infinity Gauntlet 01

The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin

RUFUS & LILY
An OTP that could have been.

Gossip Girl Gif 08
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I usually don’t use the same title or series in a single tag but for this one I’ll bend. Okay. This is straight up fanfic, right? Someone write me my Sansa x Ser Loras story!

A Game of ThronesA Clash of KingsA Storm of SwordsA Feast for CrowsA Dance with Dragons

A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin

GEORGINA SPARKS
A villain who’s killing it with villainy.

Gossip Girl Gif 09
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The Dark Fairy from Cornelia Funke’s Mirrorworld Series easily comes to mind. I’d consume a whole book dedicated to her complexity.

Reckless 01   Fearless 01

Mirrorworld Series by Cornelia Funke

DOROTHA
A favorite sidekick character.

Gossip Girl Gif 10
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Given that Nico di Angelo isn’t one of The Seven, he’s basically a secondary character. And next to Annabeth and Percy, he is my favorite demigod from Uncle Rick’s Greek mythology retelling. It has always been this way, ever since the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series. And in fact, I was more invested in his and Reyna’s arc in The Blood of Olympus.

PJO #1PJO #2PJO #3PJO #4PJO #5
HOO #1HOO #2HOO #3HOO #4HOO #5

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

IVY DICKENS
A book you always mistake for something else.

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Not necessarily “always.” But somehow there was a phase when I almost always confused Half Bad and Red Rising. I DON’T KNOW WHY.

Half Bad 01   Red Rising 01

Half Bad by Sally Green • Red Rising by Pierce Brown

LOLA RHODES
A book/character you want to like more than you actually do.

Gossip Girl Gif 12
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Yesterday, I talked about how Neil Gaiman touched my life. It still saddens me how my first foray into his extensive list was a bit underwhelming. I did like Coraline, however.

Neverwhere 01

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

PRINCE LOUIS
A Prince-Charming-turned-A-plus-jerk character.

Due to the spoilery nature of this one, I will leave it blank and instead give you this:

Frozen Gif 01via

You know you love me. XOXO.

Tag you’re it:

Cristian @ The Bookish God
Inah @ The Bibliophile Confessions
Jayvee @ Writer For Misfits
Jem @ The Bibliophile Confessions
Justine @ Bookwormaniac
Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor
Liam @ Liam’s Library
Miggy @ The Quirky Reader
Shannelle @ The Art Of Escapism

And oh. JM posted his entry yesterday, Kevin’s will be up tomorrow and Salve’s on Friday.

Who is your favorite Upper East Sider?

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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Copying is Not a Bad Thing

On Neil Gaiman, Blogging and Influence.

Ever since I’ve seen Neil Gaiman’s commencement address for the 2012 graduating class of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia two years back—an address that will become enormously influential in my life and one that I’ll revisit time and again—I cannot not constantly ruminate on the wisdom it delivers. And among these many enduring lessons in creativity and art, and in life, one that particularly and often pervaded my mind is: “The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people.”

I was in the early stages of the inception of my first blog and I didn’t know what I was doing—in fact if you ask me now, I still don’t know. And here was a guy. A guy who’s been prolific and successful for years and he’s telling me it’s okay to find my voice in the words of another. I can tell you that was and is a strong message.

Just last month, two friends asked me separately who I look up to when it comes to blogging. In both instances I wasn’t able to name names right away; I had to think it through. And while on the process, because blogging is essentially writing, I returned to Gaiman’s dictum.

Before I go further, I would like to establish my interpretation of to copy in the sense that it was used by the English author. Gaiman, I’m most certainly confident, does not advocate plagiarism. In this case, “to copy” is to feel the style of another artist by writing (or whatever verb that matches your field of artistic endeavor) as closely as possible to his voice.

If my work—that is, my blog—is any evidence, it is safe to say that I still struggle with finding my own voice. Originality is, after all, a steady process of constant borrowing and repurposing. For a while I toyed with the idea that I can be as fun and funny as Cait of Paper Fury or as carefree and articulate as Elena of the now defunct Novel Sounds. I wanted to have provocative, in depth discussions worthy of Joey’s of Thoughts and Afterthoughts and to incorporate my personal life into my writing just as easily as Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner does. But all of these don’t come naturally to me, which is not to say that these people don’t influence me all the same, because they do. And lately, the necessity to self-examine is more timely than ever, as I muse over what I thrive to accomplish with Bookish and Awesome.

I am nowhere near having my answer. But I feel like I’ve stumbled upon the beginning of a thread.

Jen of Pop! Goes The Reader and Shannon of Awash With Wonder are two ladies who write with eloquence and sensitivity I deeply admire. The ease with which they choose their words is something I aim for. And while both are equally thoughtful, each write disparately, in subject and in style, from the other. You can accuse my reviews of being stiff, but I exert effort into producing them as thoughtful and sensitive as best I can. So I guess Jen and Shannon are my main influences. They definitely make me aspire to write better.

Is it okay then that I grapple with my own voice? We all go through it; the process has been humbling thus far. Is it okay to copy and be influenced by other artists? Yes. Because as Austin Kleon affirmed, “you are a mashup of what you let into your life.”

Who are your influences?

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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We Can Make an Extracurricular Activity Out of Googling Stuff

Real Neat Blog Award

As someone whose penchant for asking random questions not only subjected him to a couple of what-a-weirdo baffled stares in the past but also plunked him into awkward conversations, today’s Tag or Award or whatever is right up my alley. So thank you Wesaun @ Oreo and Books and Tam-Tam @ Thoughts And Afterthoughts who now knows what a horrible person I can be for the Real Neat Blog Award! You can check out their entries here and here, respectively.

And because I feel like info-dumping would bore you out of your mind, I’ll only answer seven questions instead of fourteen. Or maybe because I’m lazy. You decide.

IF YOU COULD HANG OUT WITH 2-3 CHARACTERS FOR A DAY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO (FICTIONAL), WHAT WOULD YOU DO AND WHY WOULD YOU DO IT?
I initially wanted to mash up fandoms for this idyllic one-day getaway but then I thought of Mim (Mosquitoland by David Arnold) and—nope, OF COURSE it has to be Mim, Beck and Walt. This trio is their own adventure. Like, we can make an extracurricular activity out of Googling stuff and we’d have a blast. I’m not even kidding. OR we can go to Le Cirque des Rêves (The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern). Yeah, that would be super awesome.

IF YOU COULD BUILD SOMETHING USING MULTIPLE COPIES OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK OF 2015, WHAT WOULD YOU BUILD AND WHY?
I’m gonna build my own red iron throne. GO FIGURE.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?
This is actually more complicated than black and white? Because the easy answer would be a light shade of teal. However, I also like three-shades-darker bean red, milk white and blue dress, especially together. And oh, mustard yellow. By the way, I’m talking HTML colors. Because I’m a nerd.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO THAT IS IN NO WAY RELATED TO THE BOOK WORLD, BOOKS, OR THE COMMUNITY?
I really enjoy going to the cinema alone. In fact, there was a time when I’d go watch a movie every week and that was my me-time. It’s just, there’s something about the alone-ness of it. Like, there’s this entranced moment after the film right? Where you think big thoughts, like maybe you can move to France or open a bake shop or do that one thing you’ve always wanted to do. And you never even do it. It’s just the feeling that you can maybe turn your life into a movie, you know? (Also, I think I’m paraphrasing Ezra Faulkner here.) That—those few minutes after the credits—that’s very special for me, and I want to savor it in silence.

YOU HAVE TO SWAP BLOGS WITH A BLOGGER (INCLUSIVE IS BOOKLR/BOOKTUBE/BOOKSTAGRAM) AND NEED TO OPERATE IT ON THE SAME SCHEDULE (OR NOT) LIKE THE ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATOR FOR A MONTH. WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE? WHY?
Cait of Paper Fury I choose you! Wait, no. Cait is not a Pokémon. But she’s definitely my choice. Just because I feel like running Paper Fury for a month would entail stretching my comfort zone even more. Gosh. I would have to read ten books or thirty seven to keep up.

WRITE A HAIKU WITH BOOK TITLES/AUTHOR NAMES.
Never let me go
Every day, at breaking dawn
Through the looking-glass

IMAGINE YOU HAVE SEVERAL ROWS OF SHELVING FILLED WITH A MULTITUDE OF BOOKS; FROM THOSE YOU OWN TO THOSE ON YOUR TBR—ALL OF WHICH YOU LOGGED ON GOODREADS. BEHIND THE SHELF IS A PANIC ROOM. TO GET INTO THE PANIC ROOM, YOU HAVE TO PULL OUT A BOOK (CAN YOU IMAGINE THE ACTION?). THERE IS AN INTRUDER IN YOUR HOUSE—A MURDERER?—WELL, YOU DON’T WANT TO FIND OUT. THE THING IS, THIS INDIVIDUAL HAS ACCESS TO YOUR GOODREADS ACCOUNT AND CAN SEE EVERY SINGLE TITLE YOU’VE LISTED. YOU’VE ALREADY CALLED THE COPS AND THEY’RE SET TO ARRIVE WITHIN MINUTES SO SAID INDIVIDUAL WON’T HAVE TIME TO PULL EVERY SINGLE BOOK OUT OF THE SHELVES TO GAIN ACCESS. WHICH BOOK DO YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR ACCESS CODE. JUSTIFY YOUR SELECTION.
Andrew Smith’s Winger because, DUH, that would be totally so unpredictable. Yeah, no. I don’t see the immediate use of Goodreads in this scenario? But anyway, I’d use Chocolat by Joanne Harris as access code because a) I only know two—and I mean two—people who have read the book, ergo, b) I hadn’t been as vocal about my fondness of it, and so c) it’d be a stretch for the intruder to single this title out. I think its spine is rather unremarkable, to boot.

There you go! If you’ve read Chocolat or know the specific name(s) of your favorite color(s), come talk to me. And also? I’m nominating these luscious waffles:

Cait @ Paper Fury
Eriele @ This Is Not Your Book Blog
Jayvee @ Writer For Misfits
JM @ Book Freak Revelations
Justine @ Bookwormaniac
Kevin @ Tome Bound
Liam @ Liam’s Library

Here are your questions:

  1. If you can only eat one group of food for the rest of your life, what would it be? (Classification can be as broad as “desserts” or as specific as “hamburgers.”)
  2. What is that book you wish you had when you were younger?
  3. Describe your coffee. (Or other favorite drink.)
  4. Which fictional character you’d switch lives with and why?
  5. Which album can you listen to on repeat for one whole day?
  6. In relation to the previous question, select a novel and do its soundtrack.
  7. And lastly, write a poem or haiku or song for either waffle or doughnut.

Books that were mentioned (click the cover to be directed to its Goodreads page):

Mosquitoland   The Night Circus 01   The Beginning of Everything

Never Let Me Go 01   Every Day 01   Breaking Dawn 01

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass 01   Winger 06   Chocolat

Pick one question from any of these and answer it in the comments below!

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

Stacking the Shelves #3

Stacking the Shelves 02

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews in which book bloggers share their latest bookish acquisition.

If there’s one thing to be said of today’s corporeal spoils, it has to be look at those covers!

Physical Copies

The League of Unexceptional Children 01The League of Unexceptional Children (ARC) by Gitty Daneshvari

In the tradition of my copies of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Fans of the Impossible Life, The League of Unexceptional Children, too, is gifted by the author herself. Thank you so much Gitty! Isn’t this one the prettiest?

Suicide Notes 01
Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

I don’t know if it’s the cover or the title—wait, what? No. I do not suggest I’m contemplating about offing myself—but when I saw this on display during a visit on my favorite book store, I felt like I had to have it. Call me a romantic or whatever. And no, I had zero knowledge of this title prior to that chance encounter, but hey, it’s from HarperTeen. So.

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden 01The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden (ARC) by Emma Trevayne

What is it with middle grade books being all attractive like that? I mean. Yeah, I got this from last week’s #BookwormsUnite, which was super awesome.

E-galleys

Li Jun and the Iron Road 01Li Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait with Paulette Bourgeois

I’m one of those Asians whom, now that I actually love reading, have consumed more, say, John Green books than literature that is reflective of my own continent. That needs to change, obviously, and this one promises a strong female lead.

Heartache and Other Natural Shocks 01
Heartache and Other Natural Shocks by Glenda Leznoff

Suicide and heartache. Uh, welcome to the fluffiness of my wolrd!

What about you? What did you pick up this week?

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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Unmissable Weekly: July 31, 2015

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

Nicola Peltz and Courtney Eatonvia

The Wrap reported Wednesday afternoon that Nicola Peltz and Courtney Eaton are testing for the titular role of Alaska. As we reported last week, Anya Taylor-Joy and Immy Waterhouse are also up for the part.

It looks like the search for Alaska is drawing to a close.

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Some Girls Are is not smut. Some Girls Are is not trash. It’s not a problem when someone chooses not to read any of my books, whatever their reasons, but it is problematic when that choice has been taken away from those who might feel differently.

It will never cease to amaze—and at the same time appall—me how one parent takes it upon him/herself to censor what a class or school can or cannot read.

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This certainly isn’t the first time Little Women has been adapted for the screen, the most recent version being Gillian Armstrong’s feature starring Winona Ryder and Christian Bale, but you’ve never seen the March sisters like this before. The logline describes Jolly’s script as “a hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation,” in which the sisters “band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia.”

This seems inspired by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, don’t you think? It’s interesting how writers continue to adapt beloved stories to reflect today’s sensibility.

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A Game of Thrones: Get into the Books is an interactive iPhone and iPad app that acts as a “bridge” between the books and the TV series by offering you 40 extracts from the books based on the key moments.

It even lets you avoid spoilers. That is if you’ve managed to avoid them this long, in which case Bravo! Brava! to you.

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

Monthly Bookish Awesomeness: July 2015

In which I recap what went down in the last four weeks here and outside the blog.

July had been utterly wondrous. I met the lovely Robyn Schneider—as smart and funny and nerdy as her work. My dearest godson Carlisle, who is the adorablest, turned three. I was more actively present in our church than ever and still had the energy to help organize a bloggers/readers meet up. I had my visa interview. And on top of these I managed to blog regularly and finish six (6!) books. Time is a peculiar thing.

Books I Read

Extraordinary Means 02Fans of the Impossible Life 02The Night We Said Yes 02

Other Stuff I Posted

Book Birthdays

Paperweight   You and Me and Him 01   Go Set a Watchman 01

Happy book birthday to Paperweight (7th, HarperTeen), You and Me and Him (7th, HMH Books for Young Readers), and Go Set a Watchman (14th, Harper), which all found a place in the shelves this month!

Book Radar

Never Always Sometimes 01   Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes 01   Another Day 01   The Rest of Us Just Live Here 01

This coming month, I’m excited for Never Always Sometimes (4th, Harlequin Teen), Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes (18th, Disney Hyperion Books) (!!!!!), Another Day (25th, Alfred A. Knopf BFYR), The Wild Ones (25th, Philomel Books), and The Rest of Us Just Live Here (27th, Walker Books).

Gold Star

#BOOKWORMSUNITE YOU GUYS!!!

It’s strange how we pulled this off but we did. Three weeks maybe. Three weeks was all it took to, in a whim, suggest a meet up, get an enthusiastic response, brainstorm, put the words out and make it happen. But stranger is the event itself. Stranger is people actually showing up. Stranger is people actually having fun. In fact, standing in that room, in a coffee shop roughly sixty miles from home, I’ve never felt more myself, more at ease with my own skin, amongst people I’ve only either met briefly before or known online. Some even were just introduced that afternoon. But I felt the camaraderie. It was heartwarming. And I’m grateful Dianne, Hazel, Inah, Faye and Aimee all said yes that fortunate day.

Shannelle 01Eriele 01image

Around the Interwebs

Now that I actually have a news feature, aptly called Unmissable Weekly, there will be less items in this section.

How was your month? What was the amazing book or film or music or dessert you consumed? Is there a post you think I should check out? Also, HAVE YOU READ Go Set a Watchman? Sound of in the comments below!

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

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