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Zoe-h

Zoe-h

Joined January 2021

(They/them)
review
Zoe-h
The Hazel Wood | Melissa Albert
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Pickpick

I was not expecting this book. I sort of thought it was a middle grade before I read it. This book was perfectly dark and grim, in a smooth way. I normally hate that kind of book, but this was amazing. Every now and then I‘d get a little confused, but I was still invested through it all. 5🌟

13 likes1 stack add
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Zoe-h
Only She Came Back | Margot Harrison
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Mehso-so

Thank you Little Brown for the ARC!

This was a good book, but it‘s not one I‘m going to remember for a while. There wasn‘t really a whole lot that made it significant to me. I didn‘t really get what Kiri was thinking half the time in the video or journal bits. 4⭐️

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Zoe-h
Emmett | L C Rosen
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Thank you to Little Brown for the ARC!

I would like to start by saying that I have yet to read Emma or other Jane Austen novels, so any reference went entirely over my head. I wouldn‘t have read this before I read Emma if it hadn‘t been an ARC. Nonetheless, the book was good. I thought it was much more about Emmett trying to figure out if he even wanted to date and not just have sex than a romance so it was a little disappointing that way. 4⭐️⬇️

Zoe-h ⬆️Release date is 11/7/23 4w
10 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
The Sun and the Star | Rick Riordan, Mark Oshiro
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I read Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro a few years ago. While that book was amazing, it was also extraordinarily dark. So naturally I was terrified for this book. But I felt that both Riordan‘s and Oshiro‘s writing came through in the perfect mesh. It was definitely the darkest Percy Jackson book I‘ve read and dealt with heavier themes, but I still loved it. 5🌟

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Zoe-h
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I loved how equally fairytale and down with the establishment this book was. The stories were cute and sometimes funny. I had never heard of half the fairytales in here, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 5⭐️

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Zoe-h
Brooms | Jasmine Walls
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I loved this graphic novel! I liked the art style and loved the characters. I‘m a little bit confused on the relation between Luella, Mattie and Emma. The story takes place on an alternate timeline where it‘s illegal for Black witches to use the magic. The characters still compete in secret broom racing competitions. 5🌟

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Zoe-h
The Guest List | Lucy Foley
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I got this book out of a blind date with a book. Good, but it didn‘t live up to the thriller vibes I expected. I wish the murder had been sooner. I had wanted it to happen early and then have a Clue-style mystery. The plot was still good and I liked the twists at the end, but it wasn‘t the murder mystery I had hoped for. 4⭐️

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Zoe-h
Phoebe's Diary | Phoebe Wahl
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Mehso-so

Thank you to Little Brown for the ARC!

I would like to start by saying that had this been a book I had had a choice in reading rather than a randomly sent ARC, I wouldn‘t have read it. This book meshed some VERY mature things with a really immature writing style that just felt wrong. The author would touch on things like fat-phobia or neglect from her boyfriend in one chapter and then completely ignore it the rest of the book. The ending ⬇️

Zoe-h ⬆️felt very abrupt and solved literally none of the problems brought up in the last three chapters. Just not my kind of book. 2.75⭐️

Book was released September 5.
1mo
9 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
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I didn‘t expect this book to be as heavy as it was. I thought it was just going to be a funny vampire story, not one with three immortal girls dealing with centuries of trauma and a toxic ex. Granted, it was still great, it just wasn‘t what I expected at all. 4⭐️

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Zoe-h
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Pickpick

Thank you to Christy Ottaviano Books for the ARC.

I would like to start by saying that it was clear that I‘m the target age group for this book. It was obviously made for those who are just learning about the treatment of Black people in the 50‘s and 60‘s who‘d never heard of segregation before. But, this book would also explain the word segregationist but not the phrase Black Nationalist. I found it interesting enough. 4⭐️
Released last Tuesday

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Zoe-h
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This was a cute story about found family. I never really understood James like at all. He would think one thing, go do the exact opposite and then think “why did I do that?” for the entire book. I think it would have been a much better book if the romance had been ditched entirely. 4⭐️

13 likes1 stack add
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Zoe-h
If the Shoe Fits | Julie Murphy
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While this was an amazing book, calling it a Cinderella retelling is a bit of a stretch. Sure, the beginning and ending go pretty well, but the middle had almost no ties to Cinderella. I loved that Cindy actually had a good relationship with her step mom and sisters. I wish that Jay had been in it a little more! 5🌟

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Zoe-h
Not Your Backup | C. B. Lee
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These books are the perfect lighthearted low quality books I need every now and then. The writing is mediocre and sometimes confusing and the plot is very predictable, but I still enjoy reading them. This was probably still my least favorite in the series just because I‘m not a fan of the jealous best friend of the chosen one trope. But hey, a fun read‘s a fun read. 5⭐️

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Zoe-h
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This was the first (of three-ish) classics I‘ve read that I‘ve actually enjoyed. Despite how long ago it was written, the writing flowed smoothly and didn‘t feel crammed with unnecessary descriptions (cough-Dickens-cough). 4.5⭐️

oddandbookish Little Women is one of my all time favorites! 3mo
13 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
So Let Them Burn | Kamilah Cole
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Thank you to Little Brown Publishing for the ARC.

I was obsessed with dragons when I was in elementary school, so this book really scratched an itch for me there. It had everything third-grade me would want. I did feel that Faron‘s story sort of dragged and I was sort of just rolling my eyes at her decisions the entire time. I did like Elara‘s story a lot more and was excited to read her side. 4⭐️

This goes on sale in January 2024.

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Zoe-h
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Bailedbailed

I was really looking forward to this book. I just didn‘t mesh with the writing style. It was very obvious that the author was not used to writing in this format because it just felt very juvenile and hard to push through, especially for a YA. There were also some iffy things around the white dude writing for a Black character that are definitely not normal things in that situation. Also the age of the drag queens was unaddressed beyond “you ⬇️

Zoe-h ⬆️ can‘t date him he‘s a minor” which by the way, is not a great leeway to more flirting between an adult of an unknown age and a 17 year old. 3mo
13 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
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I love SNL and so when I found this book, obviously I had to read it. It was absolutely hilarious. This covered everything in Colin Jost‘s life that he thought was worth mentioning, from Wrestle mania to getting potato salad thrown at him by Scottish teenagers. Warning: do not read if you can‘t deal with gross photos because yes, he was kind enough to include the time botflies laid eggs in his leg (with photos). 5🌟

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Zoe-h
Dead Dead Girls | Nekesa Afia
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Mehso-so

I had high hopes for this going in, how could I not when it‘s a historical fiction mystery set New York during the Harlem Renaissance? But unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. I did not fully under any of the characters and felt that all of them had only been written at the surface of their stories. I still don‘t really understand the motive for murder and still think it should have been someone else. 3⭐️

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Zoe-h
Here's to Us | Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera
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I feel like I have to say, the real star of this book is not the main characters, but Ben‘s best friend, Dylan. He stole the show with his jokes and puns. So many puns. This was the needed conclusion Arthur and Ben‘s stories, though I wish there had been a little more specificities in the flash forward. 5⭐️

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Zoe-h
Aces Wild: A Heist | Amanda DeWitt
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This is the funniest book I‘ve read since The Guncle. An all asexual online friend group meets in Las Vegas to find incriminating evidence of a casino owner. I mean, that‘s a great concept. The writing was a little difficult- I just didn‘t jive with it- but the jokes, characters, and plot were awesome. I wanted a little more heist, given it was the subtitle to this book, but it definitely delivered on everything else. 5⭐️

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Zoe-h
American Royals 02. Majesty | Katharine McGee
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Mehso-so

I have to say, I feel like this book just wanted to jam as may tropes in as possible. There was friends to lovers, forced proximity, fake dating, as well as a little bit of forbidden love. Eventually the number of them got tiring. I wished that there was more political drama. I would have five-starred a book just about Beatrice‘s struggles to be taken seriously as the first unwed queen of the US. 3⭐️

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Zoe-h
Serpent & Dove | Shelby Mahurin
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This book was the best witch book I‘ve read this year. The two main characters were perfect opposites of each other, and the alternating point of views made sure the reader never gets board with who‘s telling the story. I thought the use of French felt weird and out of place. Are they an English speaking country where everyone just says occasional phrases and swears in French? Why not on say it in full sentences? 5⭐️

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Zoe-h
The Booksmith | San Francisco, CA (Bookstore)
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Spent a day in San Francisco and came out with 6 new books! I got:
- The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks from Out of the Closet, a thrift store
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles from Borderlands, a specialty bookstore for sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and mystery
- Other Ever Afters and The Naturals from Books Inc
- Demon Copperhead and My Cat Yugoslavia from Booksmith (my favorite bookstore) Those two were both love at first line buys.

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Zoe-h
Tuesdays at the Castle | Jessica Day George
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This book holds a lot of nostalgia for me. It was on a Battle of the Books reading list and I read it upwards of ten times. I am happy to say it holds up. The ending was dumb and disappointing though. Definitely didn‘t remember that. 4.5⭐️

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Zoe-h
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I‘ve read a number of making-musical books, and none of them have ever included interviews from every part of the cast and crew, and it was a welcome addition. But I don‘t really want to read 4 very large pages about marketing and sales. I want to read 4 more pages of random cast stories and brooms breaking mid-scene. The editor also was bad catching punctuation mistakes and formatting. Also it could have used some flashy photos. 4⭐️

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Zoe-h
Out Now: Queer We Go Again! | Saundra Mitchell
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This was one of the better short story collections I‘ve read. Although there‘s the inevitable few that are too long and not my style, the ratio of those to good stories was a lot better than many other collections I‘ve read. 4⭐️

peanutnine I've been meaning to read this. Glad you liked it 😊 5mo
9 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
Melt With You | Jennifer Dugan
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This was a cute romance about two ex-best friends turned one night stands who are forced to go on a road trip in their parents romance-themed ice cream truck. This book was good, but their could have been so many more tropes added. The concept is cheesy, and it would have been better if the author leaned into that instead of spicing it in. 4.5⭐️

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Zoe-h
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Mehso-so

Weirdest mystery I‘ve ever read. The French people said oh-la-la. The conversations we‘re supposed to be in French while written in English , but every so often there would be an actual bit of French written in. The author was bad at writing puzzles and clues and I‘m sorry, but you cannot solve a mystery by adding on to a crossword puzzle you are making in your head that‘s not how that works. 3⭐️

13 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
What If It's Us | Becky Albertalli
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I can‘t believe it took me the entire book to realize the title was a Dear Evan Hansen reference. This was such a cute romance! I loved the idea of them trying to find each other in New York. I also would 100% read a spin-off from someone else‘s perspective. 5⭐️

Scochrane26 You know there‘s a sequel, right? 6mo
13 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
The Cousins | Karen M. Mcmanus
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Mehso-so

Despite goodreads, the cover, and the author, this book is NOT a thriller and it would have to nice to know that going in. It was like if Knives Out was a little more boring and less detective-y. It would have been a totally different experience if I knew it was a mystery going in and wasn‘t waiting for a family serial killer to show up. 3⭐️

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Zoe-h
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Pickpick

I probably would have enjoyed this book heaps more if the ebook copy I read didn‘t have full spaces between every paragraph and no distinguishing factor for when it changed perspectives. I also don‘t have any nostalgia for this book. I am not down for a 15 year old wanting to date a 20-something year old. I also felt way more invested in Tibby and Carmen‘s stories than Bridget and Lena‘s. This just wasn‘t for me. 3⭐️

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Zoe-h
This Side of Paradise | F.S. Fitzgerald
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Panpan

This was not good. It was literally just a privileged man whining that no girls loved him for 216 pages. And why was one chapter written like a play when all the others were normal? 2⭐️

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Zoe-h
Once & Future | Cori McCarthy, Amy Rose Capetta
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Panpan

This book was BAD. I didn‘t even read the last 20 pages of it. I wasn‘t even with it from the get go. The is book just had one of those plots where you were just enough invested to not bail but not enough to be excited to read it. I mean this was bad. 1⭐️

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Zoe-h
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I surprised it took me this long to read this book. I would have preferred to read one of the original ones that still had menstrual belts rather than pads. I feel like that would have made a bit more sense. I mean, you don‘t put a pad back in the box out of embarrassment. This was a great book! 5🌟

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Zoe-h
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I love this series! While yes I guessed (almost) all of the twists as they came, I was still incredibly invested in the plot and the characters. 5🌟

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Zoe-h
The Witch King | H. E. Edgmon
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I was so incredibly close to bailing on this. The few chapters of this book left me in a mix of wanting to read but feeling like everyone word was dragging me through molasses. In the end though, I stuck through it and after about 100 pages, the plot made it worth while. 5⭐️

peanutnine I had trouble getting into this at first too but also loved it in the end 😊 8mo
12 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
Both Sides Now | Peyton Thomas
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Wow, did I enjoy this read. While the beginning was slow, the rest of the book made everything worth it. I did, however, feel that Finch‘s parents were very one dimensional. But other than that my only complaint is the fact that the author had no clue how high school debates run. Maybe this is just from my personal experience, but you can‘t hypothetically change the time period during a round and a POI is not a part of a debate, ⬇️

Zoe-h ⬆️ it is a speech style which cannot be made up on the spot, which they also did in this book. Once my nerd self gets past that though, 5🌟 (edited) 8mo
9 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
The Ravens | Kass Morgan, Danielle Paige
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It‘s weird reading a book that expects a high understanding of the function of sororities and that of tarot. As someone only meeting one of those requirements, it took a little while for me to get into the feel of things. Once I got in, I was with it up until the very last page. I did feel that the characters were a little under developed, but I‘m not one to be too bothered by that. 5⭐️

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Zoe-h
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It‘s been a long time since I‘ve so deeply enjoyed a graphic novel. I loved the art style in this book and the mesh between older words and modern slang. The dresses in here were amazing! 5🌟

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Zoe-h
Rebel Spy | Veronica Rossi
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Mehso-so

For the last week I have been engrossed by this book. I was incredibly in to every twist and turn, that is, up until the last chapter, when the author ended the book with my personal least favorite ending: one styled similar to The Giver in which it is heavily open for interpretation. There were sooo many loose ends in this book. It just felt like a major let down. Ending it even two chapters earlier would have made it so much better. 3⭐️

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Zoe-h
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This is by far my favorite in the series so far. I greatly prefer the short-story format over the full-length novels that came before this. The best one, I think, in here was The Man with the Twisted Lip. It was the first one that had my jaw dropping at the twist. 4.5⭐️

batsy Love seeing those covers! 8mo
11 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
Dreadnought | April Daniels
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I am happy I didn‘t bail like I was planning to.After about 80 pages of casual references to suicidal thoughts and a nonstop parade of dreams getting crushed I was about done.But I kept going and after about 100 pages, the book got a lot better.Though I have to say, having a villain‘s plan be a almost carbon copy of an Agents of SHIELD season really took me out of it.Even though the book came out before that season, it was still disappointing. 4⭐️

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Zoe-h
Good Omens | Gaiman, Neal
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This book was so good! It was by far the funniest book I‘ve read all year. I loved all the stories about the Horsemen featuring what they‘d been doing while waiting for Armageddon. I‘ve never read a book that gave even the tiniest of background characters backstories. 5🌟

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Zoe-h
Blackout | Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon, Tiffany D Jackson, Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk
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As far as short story collections go, this one was pretty good. I wasn‘t a huge fan of the story that continued every other chapter and there were too many characters that linked in every chapter. Good concept though. 4⭐️

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Zoe-h
The Downstairs Girl | Stacey Lee
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It took a while for me to get into this book. I don‘t know if it was the short time spans I had to read it in or the book itself. Once I got into it though, I stayed in until the wack familial twists. I can deal with one, sure, when it‘s been focused on for a while in the book, but two is too much for me. Beyond that however, I enjoyed the read. 4⭐️

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Zoe-h
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Found this gorgeous copy at a used bookstore today! It only cost $15 and ones on Abe Books are going for 200! Half Priced Books is my best friend.

LiteraryinLawrence This looks stunning! 10mo
19 likes1 comment
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Zoe-h
The Final Gambit | Jennifer Lynn Barnes
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I love this series! Barnes does an amazing job of summarizing the past books enough so I don‘t feel lost reading it after a year long gap. I already preordered the next one today. The only thing I didn‘t like was that romance between Nash and Libby. The age gap was gross and weird, but I loved everything else! 5🌟

Also, I would totally reread this series from Xander‘s perspective:

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Zoe-h
Book Love | Debbie Tung
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Mehso-so

These were cute comics. I felt I just didn‘t get as much out of them as the description implied I would. I only really felt connected to one of them and had already seen almost everything in there before. Good, just not quite what I wanted. 3⭐️

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Zoe-h
Off the Record | Camryn Garrett
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Wow was this book great! It tackled so many issues in the world without every seeming like too much or overwhelming. Though some things were put on the back burner after the beginning, their morals continued in the rest of the book. The diversity was off the charts. I enjoyed every page of this book. My only wish was that it had done a one year later epilogue or something else so I could have gotten more closure. 5🌟

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Zoe-h
Meet Me in Mumbai | Sabina Khan
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This book is split in half, the first telling the story of a Indian teen living in Illinois who gets pregnant, and the second is her daughter growing up with an adopted family that doesn‘t look like her. I found the first half of the book exciting and I felt eager to read it but the second fell short. As the daughter comes into her own with her culture, the author attempts to also teach the reader some fun facts about India. ⬇️

Zoe-h ⬆️ But it ended up feeling like I was reading one of those narratives on a state test for school. And at the end, the story is still only told from the daughter‘s perspective despite the fact it‘s an important time for both of them. Such a good premise but the book fell short. 4⭐️ 11mo
7 likes1 comment