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Jess_Franzino

Jess_Franzino

Joined May 2018

Author | Hellenic Mythologist | Classicist| Ravenclaw | Brooklyn, NY | IG: @jessicafranzino
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Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
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Jess_Franzino
The Cold People | Christopher Pike
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Panpan

TBH, I mostly listened to this on Audible because I‘m about 5 books behind on my Goodreads goal (much thanks to only ‘counting‘ leisure books & not academic texts on there 🙄), & it was super short. Plus, MG ghost books are sorta my guilty pleasure, so I thought it would be fun. It was more “zombies” & “Walking Dead” than ghosts, which is not my cup of tea. Plus, if was just kinda “blah” as a whole.

BrittanyReads Hoodoo was a wonderful MG and Gallant (VE Schwab) isn't MG but sort of felt like it to me. Both great if you haven't read them! 1w
BrittanyReads Hoodoo is also a short one to help meet those goals!! The audio was good!! 1w
BrittanyReads Darcy Coates is good for a quick ghost story too! Just read Ashburn House and really enjoyed it more than I thought I would. 1w
9 likes3 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Oops. Totally missed the start date on this. It‘s ok, though, because I was sick for the past two days and wouldn‘t have gotten any reading done. Is it too late to join? If not, I‘ll goal myself at 20 hours. #marvellousmay

Andrew65 You are free to join at any time 😊 Hope you are feeling better. 1mo
10 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Hotel Magnifique | Emily J. Taylor
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Pickpick

I got this book the moment I saw that it was compared to “The Night Circus” & “Caraval”, as those are two of my all-tune favorite books. While I‘m not completely floored by it as I was the other two; it‘s still an astounding book and totally worth the read. The setting is very intriguing, and I especially loved the characters, who thankfully had a lot more layers & realism to them than is found in most YA fantasy.

16 likes1 stack add
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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

Absolutely stunning & a work of artistry. This is DEFINITELY not a MG or YA book, despite the narrator being 11. It‘s a retelling of ‘Hamlet‘ (not a single beat or character missed), with some hints of “The Oresteia” in it, but set in modern times. It‘s narrated by an 11-year-old boy whose father (a ghost) wants him to avenge his murder. The writing is kinda weird, but it‘s meant to sound like a young boy is narrating. (Con‘t in comments)

Jess_Franzino It‘s extremely haunting, especially if you listen to it on Audible, which uses a young boy as the narrator. I‘ve seen a lot of bad reviews about this book, but it seems that it‘s from people who didn‘t know what to expect. But, just stunning as a whole. 2mo
17 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

Loved this so much, that I read the whole thing in one night, & I‘m pretty sure it cured my reading-slump (finally!). This was better than the first book, and it answered a lot of questions that the first book left me with. I also find Carrie to be a far more interesting narrator than Cadence was.

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

This was SO much better than “Ariadne”! While I still will always despise Clytemnestra and find her to be just as bad as Agamemnon in canon; this book did an excellent job of showing the psychology behind her and Elektra. I‘m also glad that she didn‘t go with the version where Apollo r*pes Cassandra and also showed the youth & innocence of Orestes.

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

Between this book and “The Maidens”, I can say that I‘m definitely an Alex Michaelides fan & look forward to reading more books by him. As a Greek Classics scholar and someone who is writing a retelling, I appreciate how he uses the Greek myths in a way that deep dives into the history and psychology involved and then shows a different way of looking at the myths.

23 likes1 stack add
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Jess_Franzino
Dead Poets Society | N.H. Kleinbaum
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Pickpick

It‘s been so long since I‘ve seen the movie, that I totally forgot what happened. So, I decided to read the book. Despite how the book was written after the movie, it worked very well as a book , (even if just a play-by-play of the movie as other readers have mentioned), especially since being able to actually read the poetry & see how it applied to the plot allowed me to appreciate it on another level.

Cathythoughts I loved the movie … book sounds like a good one to read ❤️👍 3mo
Jess_Franzino @Cathythoughts It‘s pretty much word-for-word the movie , but with a movie that connected with literature, it lends well to being a book, even without anything extra added. 3mo
24 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Sin Eater: A Novel | Megan Campisi
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Pickpick

1st book of #20in4 done (though I only had a few chapters left). Absolutely stunning, & surprised this book doesn‘t have more hype. Set in a fictional version of 16th Century England, May is punished for stealing bread by having to live her life as a Sin Eater— someone who eats food that symbolizes the sins of the dying. Powerful, beautiful, & a rare historic piece where the protag fits with the era, as opposed to being modernized. All the stars!

15 likes2 stack adds
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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#20in4 is finally happening on a free weekend for me! Yay!

Andrew65 Brilliant. Great to have you with us, good luck. 😊👍 4mo
14 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
The Mary Shelley Club | Goldy Moldavsky
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Pickpick

This was better than I expected. At first I thought it was going to be a bit *too* YA-ish, but then it turned into a psychological thriller with a ton of dark twists and turns. I especially enjoyed it seeing how I adore horror movies & books.

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

This book was so very pretty. Pretty in a haunting, gothic sort of way. It‘s told from the POV of a ghost, in a world where ghosts are very well known to exist, (despite being loathed), and hunted. I‘m curious to read the rest of the series. Also, I‘m a sucker for books where ghosts are the narrator...strange as that is 😂

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Jess_Franzino
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Mehso-so

Seeing the amount of hype and awards this book has received, I decided to listen to it on Audible. While the writing is fantastic, I found it pretty dang boring aside from a few parts. Nothing against the writing or the book, just not for me. It had kind of a “Circe”-vibe, at least with the character of Kya. I also had trouble relating to/feeling for Circe, which I think was my same issue here. I feel weird for not relating/being moved. #20in4

abbyreadz Ugh I‘m almost done with it and feeling the same way. I‘m like??? Did I read this wrong?? Why is everyone so about this?? 4mo
Jess_Franzino @abbyreadz TBH, I think it was the character of Kya. I really don‘t like “I am so tough, yet watch me whine for 300+ pages” type characters, I think. 4mo
25 likes2 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Going to try #20in4 again, and likely won‘t get to 20, (again), though, this time it‘s because I‘m going to my dad‘s wedding tomorrow. Still, I have some travel time on the train and most of Sunday, so we shall see.

❤️I‘d like to finish both “Where the Crawdads Sing” (audiobook) & “Grace Year” (print). Though, I‘d settle for finishing the audiobook and getting a good chunk of the other book read.

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊👍 5mo
13 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Euripides: Bacchae | Euripides
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Pickpick

Admittedly, I don‘t feel like I read the best translation of the play, (it was the free one on Kindle Unlimited). Still, in studying the comparison between Dionysus and Orestes for the book I‘m writing, (in which I maintain that Orestes is supposed to be one of the reincarnations of Dionysus), this was super important. If read alongside Euripides‘ “Oresteia”, it‘s easy to spot how it‘s like “The Bacchae”, but inverted. Euripides knew 😉

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

Had planned to finish this a lot sooner, but ended up catching Omicron, which made me spend the past 5 days asleep 😩 I ‘read‘ this when I was 14 for school, (by ‘read‘ I mean the Cliffsnotes due to being an angsty teen). This was friggin‘ incredible. So glad I chose to revisit it. Had missed most of it the first time, so this was new to me. Love Atticus ❤️❤️❤️ Seriously, Atticus is the best.

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Jess_Franzino
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Just found out this was going on, but 10in2 (I guess, since I‘m starting halfway through 😂), would be rather helpful, seeing how I want to start 2022 off right, since 2021 was such a bad reading year for me. Need to get back in the groove of reading more than academic journals. Would love to finish “To Kill A Mockingbird” (audio) & “What Once Was Mine”, which I started at midnight, this weekend. #20in4

Andrew65 Great to have you with us. Enjoy your #10in2 🤣 6mo
11 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
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I spent most of December redoing my living room and decorating, resulting in most (if not all my books this month), being audio books. Also, side note, that‘s the “A Christmas Story Musical” on my tv. It‘s an absolute favorite in my house.

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Jess_Franzino
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Panpan

Well, this was horrid. Saw it on Audible and I love Christmas ghost stories, so I decided to give it a whirl. Weak writing, a lot of people “letting out breaths they didn‘t know they were holding”, the narration was poor, and a cat died 😢

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Jess_Franzino
Jacob T. Marley | R. William Bennett
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Pickpick

I love a good “Christmas Carol” retelling/reimagining, especially when they go deeper into the characters and keep true to the Dickensian spirit (no pun intended), of the original. This one was great. Focused on the impression Marley had on Scrooge in his life & after life.

hannah-leeloo I'll have to try this one. Have you read tagged book? I enjoyed that retelling too. 6mo
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Post says it all. Please drop any current #readathons you know of here, and help a #litten in a year-long reading slump out ❤️❤️❤️ #litsyhappenings

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Jess_Franzino
Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel | Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
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Pickpick

I love the musical and hated the movie. However, I must admit, it worked SO much better as a book. I especially loved the added insight of Conner through his POV chapters.

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

This was a fun way to get in the holiday spirit. Wonderfully written stories. Had a very “classic” feel to them, yet we‘re not overwrought and plenty spooky. It was one of the rare occasions where I enjoyed all the stories in an anthology.

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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Joining this super late, but I feel like reading will help my writers block with #NaNoWriMo . I‘ve also been bad at reading anything other than academic texts over the past year, so want to catch up with reading that isn‘t related to Greek Classics. Anywho, goaling myself at 15 hours. #NovelNovember

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck and hope it helps 😊👍 7mo
12 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Once Upon A Broken Heart | Stephanie Garber
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4/5. I love Stephanie Garber‘s writing, as well as the world she has created. However, I didn‘t find this book to be half as engrossing and immersive as the “Caraval” trilogy. Still, I feel like it will pick up in the sequels, as it definitely started to get much better towards the end.

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

Decided I needed a spooky, ghostly, Halloween read (since I love all things ghost-related), and this one definitely fit the the bill. It had a bit of a “Ring” vibe, especially in the vivid descriptions of the ghost (which is rather graphic, so warning if you‘re not into that kind of stuff). Also, some fun history in solving the background of Mary. Also a sequel, as it‘s a duology , which I‘ll def read.

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Jess_Franzino
Whisper Down the Lane: A Novel | Clay McLeod Chapman
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Pickpick

This was a straight up chilling psychological thriller. It was based off some real events that happened in the 80‘s, but a completely fictional account. The POV shifts between a little boy when he was 5 years old who perpetrated a lie (thinking it was a game), that ended up creating mass hysteria about Satanic cults, & then the boy as an adult when the past comes back to haunt him.

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Jess_Franzino
Thirteens | Kate Alice Marshall
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This was ridiculously good. Far better and more complex than I would have expected from a MG novel (though, I‘ve read several really good ones). It was extremely clever & so much mystery & intrigue! Plus, it was the perfect Halloween book!

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Jess_Franzino
The Burning Girls | C. J. Tudor
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Pickpick

I definitely feel like I would have gotten more out of this book if I had read it as opposed to listening to it on Audible. Still, it was very well written and I loved the history and psychology brought in. Also, some good creepy ghost moments.

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Jess_Franzino
One of Us Is Lying | Karen M. Mcmanus
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Pickpick

This was so much fun and really well written! I did actually guess the “whodunnit” a little over halfway through the book, but wasn‘t certain on it, as it seemed way too “out there”. However, the way it pieced together was phenomenal & rather dark. Also, loved the fleshed-out/flawed yet likable characters & their growth.

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

WHHYYY?! I mean, the title warned me, but dang, I‘m more wrecked than when I read “Song of Achilles”. This book is so crazy good, but your heart will get torn out of you. This might be my top book of 2021.

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Jess_Franzino
We Were Liars | E Lockhart
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Mehso-so

I def think I missed a lot in listening to it over Audible as opposed to reading it. Still, the narrator confused me. Like, metaphors & symbolism are great —so long as it‘s clear that‘s what it is. (Ie. I spent the 1st half of the book thinking her dad had literally shot her). Though, the twist haunts me, so , extra points for that. #20in4

BookDragonNotWorm The twist completely blindsided me and made me cry! Totally unexpected. 10mo
Jess_Franzino @BookDragonNotWorm Yeah. The twist has hurt me. Like, I had a literal bad dream last night from the twist 😢 I think I missed a lot of this book by listening to it rather than reading it, sadly. But that twist. Omg. 10mo
24 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

This was absolutely stunning. It‘s def not a YA paranormal book (as the description might suggest), but rather a beautiful piece of literary fiction. Thankfully, I went in knowing what to expect. A lot of thoughts on memory and history, as well as a bit of a gothic feel to it. I also enjoyed how it got a bit meta with itself. This book is super underrated. #20in4

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Jess_Franzino
Dark Waters | Katherine Arden
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While I didn‘t find it quite as spooky as the other two books in the series, it was still a lot of fun. I was a bit worried about things ending too fast and things not being resolved, but it does end with a good cliffhanger, so it ended up working well. Excited for the next in the series. #20in4

16 likes1 stack add
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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I keep trying to do these, as my reading has been lacking this year (well, other than Academic books/texts, which I don‘t “count” on Goodreads & whatnot). But, since my AC is broken I‘m too hot to write, so I can focus on reading. Maybe I‘ll get in a few hours. Readathons always help me. #20in4

Andrew65 Good luck 😊👍 10mo
16 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Bull | David Elliott
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My last post was about how I didn‘t care for “Ariadne”. Same myth, but THIS is what I was looking for! It‘s written in verse, & very much reminiscent of “Hamilton” in style. Stunning. Each of the characters has a unique voice. The rhymes are nothing short of brilliant, & the author pulls so much from myth and symbolism, not missing a beat. Finally a FRESH take, which most recent myth retellings have been lacking.

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Jess_Franzino
Ariadne | Jennifer Saint
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Bailedbailed

Oof. As a Greek Classicist & someone who is writing a “retelling” (though, not of the story of Ariadne), all I can say is that this is lazy. It retells the most basic , patriarchal , version of the myth and adds in a few quips about feminism to try & be like “Circe”, but completely misses the mark. All it takes is one google search to find out that Ariadne was originally associated with the Minoan Snake Goddess. But nah. Not going that route 🙄

GondorGirl Wow. I had this on my list, but I think I'll be removing it now. Thanks for saving me the disappointment. 11mo
Jess_Franzino @GondorGirl Glad to be of help! This really did one of the most bad*** women in mythology dirty. And the author‘s tackling Elektra next 🙄🙄🙄 There is ZERO way to make Elektra feminist (I‘ve tried in my own book. She‘s at best a victim). Unless, I guess, manipulating your very young brother is now “feminist”? Needless to say, I‘ll be skipping that one as well. The author needs to understand what a “feminist retelling” is. So disappointed. 11mo
19 likes2 comments
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Jess_Franzino
The Atlas Six | Olivie Blake
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I don‘t think I‘ve related more to any quote ever 🙄

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Jess_Franzino
The Maidens: A Novel | Alex Michaelides
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Totally surprised by the mixed reviews of this book, but maybe that‘s for people who are more interested in the mystery side than the themes. But, let me just say, that as a Classical Greek scholar and writer, this was just...*gives a chef‘s kiss of perfection*. I mean, on soooo many levels I can‘t go into on here because it would turn into a dissertation on the Rites of Eleusis and the archetypes of Hades & Persephone. #20in4Readathon

22 likes1 stack add
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Jess_Franzino
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Mehso-so

While the writing was absolutely beautiful, it just didn‘t “thrill” me in the way that Nikita Gill‘s other books did. Maybe it was because it was a novel in verse as opposed to an anthology, or perhaps I just wasn‘t interested in the subject matter. It‘s beautiful, just not my cup of tea.

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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Holy heck! I haven‘t done a readathon all year and it shows 😂 (I‘ve actually spent most of my time working on my novel and researching, so, kinda reading)? Anyway, glad I can on to Litsy today and saw this. Gonna give it a go.
#20in4readathon

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊 12mo
12 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
The Undrowned | K. R. Alexander
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For a “middle grade” horror, I found this book to be creepier than it had any right to be, which is a good thing. I also enjoyed how it went into the psychology of bullying and whatnot, even telling it from the POV of an unlikeable protag, who grew throughout. It‘s a bit juvenile, but still worth the read of you enjoy fun and creepy ghost stories like I do.

15 likes2 stack adds
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Jess_Franzino
Bookish and the Beast | Ashley Poston
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Pickpick

Such a cute Beauty & the Beast “retelling”, and such a creative take, too. I loved the parts that got a little meta, and even the inventive takes on “Gaston” and such. Vance is friggin‘ adorable.

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Jess_Franzino
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Pickpick

This was so cute and so much fun, well written, too. I need to read the rest of the series. Started with this one, despite how it‘s the second book in the series. I kinda wish I started with the first, as some of the characters from the first book were mentioned. That said, it‘s still good as a stand-alone. It made me miss BookCon.

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Jess_Franzino
Girls Like Us | Randi Pink
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This was both beautiful and heartwrenching. The writing was absolute poetry. Definitely worth the read.

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Jess_Franzino
Jumping Off Swings | Jo Knowles
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I read this book to help me with the book/series I‘m writing since it‘s an ensemble piece of how a girl‘s teen pregnancy not only effects her, but her group of friends, & something similar happens in my book, (aside from the whole part of my book taking place in Post Trojan War Greece 😂). I‘m shocked by the low reviews. A quick read, but poignant. Love how the “adult” situation is juxtaposed with imagery of their childhood. Stunning, really.

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Jess_Franzino
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I love MG ghost novels, I just find something comforting about them. And of all the MG ghost books I read, the Cassidy Blake series is one of my faves. I just hope this isn‘t the last one! I especially adore Jacob and Grim ♥️ This one took place in New Orleans and was jam-packed with historical ghosty goodies! So much fun!

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Jess_Franzino
Revenge of the Sluts | Natalie Walton
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This was waaay better than I expected, seeing how it‘s a Wattpad book, and any other Wattpad books I‘ve attempted in the past were very weakly written. This one was written very well and focuses on some important issues such as gendered double standards, slut shaming, and even internalized misogyny.

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Jess_Franzino
One for Sorrow: A Ghost Story | Mary Downing Hahn
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Pickpick

This was such a stunning ghost story! Beautifully written. However, the thing that really stood out to me was how it took place during the 1918 flu pandemic, and how the similarities to COVID, (from all places shutting down to “anti-maskers” 🙄), made me CERTAIN it was written during 2020 and recently published. Nope. 2017. DEFINITELY hits differently when read now rather than the year it was punished.

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Jess_Franzino
The Impossible Girl | Lydia Kang
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Took me a while to read because I just haven‘t been in much of a “reading mood” lately, (strange, I know), but this book was exquisite. I have truly become a big Lydia Kang fan and will definitely be reading her other work.

monalyisha SAME. I watched two seasons of Fleabag in two days, though...so I haven‘t been without accomplishment. 😅 1y
Jess_Franzino @monalyisha Glad I‘m not alone! I‘ve gotten a fair amount of writing done this month, but have literally read only 12 books since 2021 started. YIKES! I‘ve also been binging....everything 🙄 1y
26 likes2 comments