ARC Review: Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Title: Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura Silverman

Published: 02 May 2017 | Sourcebooks Fire

Date Read: 13 May 2017

Synopsis:

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves

*ARC Kindly provided by Sourcebooks Fire thru Edelweiss for review*

The Girl Out of the Water is one of my most anticipated books this year. The first few pages seems a bit slow for me but reaching the 15% mark and I immediately plowed thru the book.

Anise is our main character who loves surfing. To say she loves surfing is an understatement because Anise and the waves flowed as one whenever she surfs. She’s athletic and competitive which I immediately saw on the first pages of the book.

“How much will I miss while I’m gone? What if so much changes and I don’t even recognize home?”

For this summer, she has everything planned – from surfing the waves, planning the yearly summer party and saying goodbye to some of her friends that are bound for college and joining the military.

Anise has never traveled out of town, she’s a true-blue Santa Cruz Girl. Until an accident happened and summer plans was put into a halt. Her aunt residing in the land-lock state of Nebraska was into an accident and Anise and her dad are bound to help. There’s no ocean and waves in Nebraska and none of her friends were there.

“I know I should want to go, I should want to help my family. But knowing and wanting are two very different things.”

I can see myself in Anise – comforted by the familiar things and is a bit afraid of changes. I understand where she’s coming from especially on how she feels when her summer plans were suddenly changed. The ocean was Anise’s comfort zone and when she finds herself landlocked in the middle of Nebraska she doesn’t know what to do. Without the water and surfing she feels like she’s losing herself.

But despite all of that and after all the attitude and even though she did have a hard time coming into terms on the changes on her summer plans, she did manage to help her dad, her aunt and her cousins. I think that summer helped Anise grow and move out of her own shell.

Just like your normal teenager, she may come off as flighty and have the “I don’t care in the world” attitude but she’s struggling with several personal issues. She has an abandonment issues with her mom.  Her mom who is an absentee wife and a wrecking force who goes in and out of Anise and her dad’s life without notice, not caring what destruction she leaves in her wake. I really appreciate how this issue was also handled on this book. It was heartbreaking and tough.

The story was also filled some amazing set of characters who are there to help Anise achieve her happy summer.

Anise’s father is great. Though he’s the one who has been under the spell of Anise’s mom and experienced her wrath tenfold, he didn’t let that deteriorate that love he has for Anise. He worked hard and bring Anise up greatly. I really appreciate how open he is with his daughter. He’s one of the best dad characters I’ve read!

I also appreciate the participation on Anise’s cousins. Though they are all young, they were able to contribute a part in the story that makes it whole.

“Disabilities are a part of us, but they are in no way our full definition.”

I really like Lincoln. He’s one-armed, straight-forward, fun, polite and talented especially on skateboarding. Lincoln is a nice guy. The skateboard place at the park was his turf. His attitude was so infectious and I really like how his character was built up. He’s also sensitive in way that he knows when to deal or say things at the right time.

Lincoln and Anise’ chemistry was so on point. They have their similarities and differences which I think makes them for compatible for each other. I really enjoy their bickering and skateboarding moments.

As to story progressed more, I wanted Anise to resolve her issues. I wanted for her to find healing with the help of her dad, aunt, cousins, friend and Lincoln because she truly deserves it.

“Home isn’t a place. It’s people. And I’ve always been with my people.”

The topic of family has played a huge part into this story. I really love how Anise’s family dynamics was written. They are not perfect but they are an inspiration. I’m so happy how Anise’s story turned out. She grew and learned. It was a tough and shaky journey but everything did work out well.

“One day, years from now, when these memories have blended together, I won’t remember the time I missed Eric’s wipeout or the time I missed Cassie’s dance recital, I’ll just remember I grew up with a group of really amazing friends.”

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Girl Out of The Water. It was interesting, touching, realistic and relatable. The ending was a bit open but it was a good conclusion to the story. This is another lovely coming of age story.

Anticipated Releases: July 2017

Hey Everyone! I’m back for another edition of my Anticipated Releases for the upcoming month. Correct me if I’m wrong but July is the start of summer in most parts of the US right? That’s why this post will be filled with YA-Summery Contemporary reads that I’m so excited to read.

I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll have the time to read them all because I’m really excited about these books.

So, not to keep you waiting any longer, here are my 10 Anticipated Reads for July…

Because of Lila (Sea Breeze Meets Rosemary Beach #2) by Abbi Glines
Release Date: 11 July 2017

As much as I always rant about Abbi Glines’s stories having the same plot line I just can’t stop reading her series’. Especially the whole Rosemary and Sea Breeze Series continuation. I actually can’t remember who’s offspring is Lila from the series but what I do know is that this will surely be another story filled with predictable complications and steamy scenes but this will surely be a quick fun read for me.


I See London, I See France (I See London, I See France #1) by Sarah Mlynowski
Release Date: 11 July 2017

Ahhhh! You guys know how much I love stories that involves travelling and this one is definitely up into my alley. This is a story about two best-friends going on a European adventure including Eiffel-Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers. But of course, everything didn’t go out as planned but when you’re in Europe, make the most out of it, right?


This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
Release Date: 11 July 2017

Paula Stokes is bringing us another thought-provoking  and a hold-on-to-your-seat story. When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened. This will surely be a compelling story that examines the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.


What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Release Date: 11 July 2017

I’ve loved Julie Buxbaum ever since reading Tell Me Three Things and with her new novel comes a new adventure when an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker. Loss/Death is part of the story as well so it would surely be another emotional roller-coaster read but nevertheless, I’m pretty much excited for this as well.


All Closed Off (Rusk University #4) by Cora Carmack
Release Date: 18 July 2017

I waited two long years for the next installment of this series by Cora Carmack. To say I’m excited to read All Closed Off is a complete understatement because I’M OVERLY EXCITED-GIMME THAT BOOK NOW-EXCITED! 😆 I might do a re-reading (if my time and schedule permits) of the first three books to refresh my memory of who the characters are and what happened as well.


The Color Project by Sierra Abrams
Release Date: 18 July 2017

I finished reading this book last week and it was beautiful! The Color Project is a story about different kinds of love and holding on to that love especially at times of unimaginable pain and sorrow. You’ll definitely love thw who set of characters, The Color Project concept and the whole story. Hands-down one of the best books I’ve read this year. I had a great time reading this book. I laughed and cried but as I’ve said, I ended up feeling revived and holding a bunch of hope after.I’m excited for everyone to read this one soon.


Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn
Release Date: 18 July 2017

Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined Quinn’s life, that is. And now that Wesley’s back Quinn is determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired from the place they are working at.

I’ve always been a sucker for friends-turn-to-lover type of stories. I’m interested to know what happened between Wesley and Quinn and why they suddenly become not friends anymore.


16 Ways to Break A Heart by Lauren Strasnick
Release Date: 25 July 2017

Okay, this is another case of “I loved the cover so I might read it” book for me. But aside from the lovely cover, the blurb of the cover interests me. I find it mysterious and I’m intrigued what really happened between the two leads – Natalie and Dan. I’m also also excited to experience the she said/he said perspective of the story. I’m wondering why it has a pretty low rating on Goodreads but most of my friends there rated it okay and their reviews are okay as well. But nonetheless, I’m still excited to read this one.


Lucky in Love by Kasie West
Release Date: 25 July 2017

Another story from Kasie West that will surely make us squeal with giddiness and happiness. I love how the blurb of the story goes “a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.”  Pretty exciting, right?

 


Changes in Latitudes by Jen Malone
Release Date: 25 July 2017

Jen Malone puts a new meaning to a “road” trip story. Cassie is the lead character. Her parents divorced. And now, her mother is taking Cassie and her brother on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico.

Any story that involves travelling and I’m all up for it. I loved Jen Malone’s 2016 novel Wonderlost which is about travelling as well. It has some complications in the story which I’m pretty interested how will work out. I’m excited to see the places the story is going to take me!


You, what are your anticipated books for June? Feel free to share them with me on the comment page below. 💜

 

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: The Color Project by Sierra Abrams

Title: The Color Project

Author: Sierra Abrams

Published: 18 July 2017 | Gatekeeper Press

Date Read: 12 June 2017

Synopsis:

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble |  Book Depository  

I don’t know how to start writing my review for this book. Even after a week I finished reading it (and recommending it to my bookish friends) The Color Project still left me at lost for words. So, basically, I’m going to just gush all my feels about this book over this review!

The Color Project started out okay for me. We have our main character Bee who despises using her real name and lives with her loving parents and siblings. The first few pages felt familiar as to what your typical YA story would be especially that first meet-up with Levi.

“I notice that his eyes are a light brown, almost golden. And then I try to un-notice because those eyes are still looking right at me.”

Okay, that first meet-up was cute and immediately made me gush about Bee and Levi, but it was your typical YA first-meet. But then, as I go on to the pages, I was immediately sucked into this wonderful world of Bee and Levi and The Color Project and from then and there I was invested all in.

The characters that were introduced were all wonderful. I easily connected with them. I feel their every feel – happiness and pain.

I love Bee because she’s the sweetest. Though I might have disagreed on her decisions and actions on the latter parts of the book, I completely understand her. In all honesty, I see myself on her several times into the book – especially with her being a hopeless romantic, a book pusher and having a unique bond with her dad. She’s a very relatable character that was well written.

Levi is such a sweet-heart! I love how despite his young-age he accomplished a huge thing. I really admire his will to help people that are in need.

“The world spins, and I feel pain everywhere, and I die a little bit inside with every tear I shed, so that I’m left feeling like a husk, empty, ruined, devoured.”

It is hard to tell what happened on the latter part of the books without spoiling anything but let me tell you that it is complicated and painful. But don’t fret because everything will turn out okay and you will be leaving the world of The Color Project with a bunch of hope in your hands. The story is sad, yes, it is, but it was told beautifully.

“Who said you aren’t allowed to get lost every once on a while? I love you, lost or found.”

The Color Project is a story about different kinds of love and holding on to that love especially at times of unimaginable pain and sorrow. I love Sierra’s writing especially the way she has shown the authenticity and realness of the story.

Overall, I’m truly grateful to read this book. Hands-down one of the best books I’ve read this year. I had a great time reading this book. I laughed and cried but as I’ve said, I ended up feeling revived and holding a bunch of hope after. I can’t wait for all of you guys to read this as well.

At 7 years old, Sierra Abrams decided that one day she would publish a book. For over a decade, in between exploring other career options, she kept coming back to that very first dream. Now her life consists of writing books of all kinds… Kissing books, angsty books, killing books, whimsical books, and sometimes books that are all of the above. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, traveling, consuming sushi, or daydreaming about Henry Cavill.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

  • Get a chance to win a finished copy of The Color Project! 🙂 


ARC Review: Deacon Locke Went to Prom by Brian Katcher

Title: Deacon Locke Went to Prom

Author: Brian Katcher

Published: 09 May 2017 | Katherine Tegen Books

Date Read: 13 May 2017

Synopsis:

In this funny, offbeat, and smile-inducing contemporary romance from award-winning author Brian Katcher, the love life of an awkward teen takes an unforgettable turn after he brings his grandmother to prom.

Promposals are taking over Deacon Locke’s high school and there is no place left to hide. But even with graduation looming, shy and unusually tall Deacon doesn’t think he can get up the nerve to ask anyone to the dance. Especially given all the theatrics.

It isn’t until Deacon confides in his witty and outgoing best friend Jean that he realizes should could be a great person to take. Only problem is Jean isn’t your typical prom date. She’s older. A lot older. And she’s Deacon’s grandmother.

But when Deacon meets Soraya—a girl unlike any other he’s ever met—he fears he has totally squandered his chances of having a prom he’ll never forget. Deacon couldn’t be more wrong. About everything.

*ARC Kindly provided by Katherine Tegen Books thru Edelweiss for review*

Deacon Locke is probably one of the awkward-est but cutest characters I’ve ever encountered and his story is as well one of the cutest & simplest story I’ve read this year!

Deacon Locke Went To Prom is a story about a shy guy who decided to bring his grandma to his prom and ended up being instantly internet famous. Ohhh, yes, that quick. This is not the first insta-internet-famous story I’ve read. There are several YA books with the same insta-internet-famous plot line. I think, this goes to show how influential the social media is really getting right now.

Anyway, back to the story. The story flowed smoothly for me but I was just a bit left perplexed by the thought of Deacon not owning a cellphone and having no interest with social media. There might be some millennials – like Deacon – that may not be interested in social media but not owning a cellphone? Hmmm.

The first part of the story focuses on Deacon’s Prom dilemma while the second half is a bit more personal and emotional for me. I love how the story transitioned from focusing on the normal teenage dilemma such as prom then proceeding to turn the story into stuffs that I guess is more serious.

On to the characters, there’s only a handful of characters introduced but they all captured my interest!

I loved Deacon and I want to hug him for the entire duration of the story. He’s awkward and I really liked him. With Deacon, what you see is what you get. He’s a bit of a nerd when it comes to astronomy, has a dry sense of humor but over all a very good guy.

Elijah – Deacon’s friend is such a sweetheart as well and I really liked how he’s pushing Deacon out of his shell. Soraya is the love interest in the story but since the story doesn’t really revolve on the love story aspect of it we only get a few glimpses of Soraya here and there (but don’t fret there’s a HEA here *wink*). Jean – Deacon’s grandmother also captured my heart. She’s a great character and though her love and support for Deacon isn’t really shown verbally, you can see thru the actions she’s making for him that he do love our main guy.

“Like the universe, my future is limitless. And like the universe, my future is mostly uncharted and kind of scary.”

In all, Deacon’s story was cute, plain and simple. More than everything, this is a coming of age book with Deacon deciding what he wants for his life and his future.

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: Obsidian and Stars (Ivory and Bone #2) by Julie Eshbaugh

Title: Obsidian and Stars (Ivory and Bone #2)

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Published: 13 June 2017 | Harper Teen

Date Read: 11 June 2017

Synopsis:

In the sequel to Ivory and Bone—the prehistoric fantasy novel that New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman described as a “richly crafted world of life-and-death stakes”—the story shifts to Mya’s viewpoint as vengeful adversaries force her to flee the life she once knew.

After surviving the chaotic battle that erupted after Lo and the Bosha clan attacked, now Mya is looking ahead to her future with Kol. All the things that once felt so uncertain are finally falling into place. But the same night as Kol and Mya’s betrothal announcement, Mya’s brother Chev reveals his plan to marry his youngest sister Lees to his friend Morsk. The only way to avoid this terrible turn of events, Morsk informs Mya when he corners her later, is for Mya to take Lees’ place and marry him herself.

Refusing to marry anyone other than her beloved, and in an effort to protect her sister, Mya runs away to a secret island with Lees. And though it seems like the safest place to hide until things back home blow over, Mya soon realizes she’s been followed. Lurking deep in the recesses of this dangerous place are rivals from Mya’s past whose thirst for revenge exceeds all reason.

With the lives of her loved ones on the line, Mya must make a move before the enemies of her past become the undoing of her future.

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*ARC Kindly provided by Harper Teen thru Edelweiss and FFBC for review*

Ivory and Bone is one of the YA books that I’ve read last year that left its mark on me what with its prehistoric setting and all the tribes and clans. I loved that first installment to this series that’s why I’m so ecstatic to be given a chance to read Obsidian and Stars a bit earlier that its release date and you guys and girls, its definitely worth the wait!!!

I’m going to start this off by giving my kudos to the author Julie Eshbaugh for keeping me at the edge of my seat for most the time that I am reading Obsidian and Stars. Not even into 20% of the story, my adrenaline is already pumped-up! It was non-stop heart stopping adventures and fight-scenes.

Obsidian and Stars was told in a new POV that is of Mya’s. If you can still remember, the first book was told in Kol’s POV. Mya’s POV was so much different than of Kol’s but I do enjoy getting to know her – how she values her family more than anything and how strong-willed she is to fight for what’s right and of justice. Reading on Mya’s perspective also gives us a different view on her and Kol’s relationship – their chemistry is still undeniably there! *wink*

The story was supposed to focus on Mya and Kol’s wedding until an unexpected thing happened and Mya needs to save her younger sister. And from there, more trouble seems to come their way. The plot twists and the unexpected things that happened are what really makes me love this book.

As much as the 1st book Ivory and Bone intrigued me, I enjoyed reading Obsidian and Stars so much more. I also love how the vividness of the author’s description and her prose is still present on this story. As I’ve mentioned already, the actions kept me at the edge of my seat most of the time. Obsidian and Star was fast-paced and really an enjoyable read.

The story wrapped-up nicely though there are still questions in me that are left unanswered, nevertheless, it was a bitter sweet ending for me. I’ve read that this will be the last book for this series – making it a duology instead of a trilogy – but I’m excited to see what’s more that is instore for us from Julie Eshbaugh.

Julie Eshbaugh is the author of Ivory and Bone (HarperCollins, 2016). She used to have trouble staying in one spot, having lived in places as varied as Utah, France, and New York City. Julie eventually returned home to the Philadelphia area, where she now lives with her husband, son, cat and dog. Her favorite moments are when the unexpected happens and she cheers loudest when the pitcher gets a hit.
  • 1 Finished copy of Obsidian and Stars is up for grabs!
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US vs UK Book Covers

Let’s all be honest, book covers always plays a role whenever we choose something to read. It’s a break it or make it moment at times. When I started blogging, I keep wondering why does a book have different covers? Why is there a need to have different covers when what is inside will be just the same? Good thing, I found an article online (which I can no longer find right now) that one of the reason behind the difference in the covers is because of the market. UK and US markets has different taste in colors and graphics thus the difference in book covers.

Last April, I did the Dream Book Covers Tag where I listed several of my favorite book covers.  Today, I’m doing another post – still related to book covers – but focuses on the difference between US and UK Book covers and which I loved more. 😉

Note: US Book Covers are on the left screen side while UK Book Covers are on the right screen side.

A Thousand Nights (A Thousand Nights, #1) by E.K. Johnston

I loved the purple back drop of both covers but I appreciated more the details and graphic play made on the US Cover.

And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga, #1) by Kiersten White

I haven’t read this book yet (I know, It’s a shame I haven’t read this) so I don’t have a bit of an idea what’s the relevance of the cover to the story. But my eyes are making heart-eyes on the US Cover. Don’t take this the wrong way but I’m actually not a big fan of book covers with people in it.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I loved the UK Cover of Caraval and I loved Caraval! I guess it’s a tie between these two covers. But they do have a limited UK Edition where the hardcovers  have special graphics on the front cover when you removed the jacket. Please do check it our here.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I’ve always been in love with Marissa Meyer’s books and her book covers. For this specific book, hands down, it’s the US Cover. I loved all the thorny-stems and the color play between black and white. The UK Cover didn’t appeal greatly to me.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

This one will be a tie. I loved both the covers and the minimalist in me is happy dancing!! I love the simplicity of both the covers and how it greatly depicts what is inside the book as well.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins

This is one of my favorite Christmas Anthology book and I really do love both covers! I loved the holiday vibes it  gave and the light but vibrant colors used.

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Both covers gave me creepy vibes! Again, I wasn’t able to read this book yet so I really don’t know the relevance of the graphics to the story but I really appreciate it. This one will be a tie on both covers.

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1) by Alwyn Hamilton

I own the US Cover copy and I could definitely say that it was soooo beautiful. The metallic gold and blue colors are of great combination.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Whenever I see the US Book cover it never fails to remind me of The Empire State Building. Anyway, between these two, I could say that the UK cover was pretty but the US Cover captured my attention more than the UK one.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab

Both covers scream “mystery” just like what this story is about. The graphics on both covers are relevant to the story so I guess, this one’s a tie as well.


You, which of the covers above you like best? Which other books can you add up on this list? Please do leave your comments below. 💜

Blog Tour & ARC Review + Giveaway: The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone

Title: The Unlikelies

Author: Carrie Firestone

Published: 06 June 2017 | Little, Brown and Company

Date Read: 31 May 2017

Synopsis:

Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.

Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.

Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?

This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

*ARC kindly provided by Little, Brown and Company for review*

What really caught my attention before reading The Unlikelies was its blurb mentioning it’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I loved The Breakfast and I will surely not miss the chance to read a YA Story with a bit of The Breakfast club in it.

The Unlikelies was a quick and easy summer read letting us see the there’s still a bit of goodness left in the Internet. The whole storyline was unique and catchy however, the drama felt a bit unbelievable. The characters were just okay as well. I did enjoy their whole journey in standing up to online bashers and/or trolls up until they end up on bend with actual bad guys IRL. The story handled the sensitive subject of addiction and drugs with care.

Overall, it was indeed a quick read for me.

 

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