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Books read in April 2017 

  
Another month over – how are we in May already?! I only read four books this month mainly because one of them was really long and recovering from my thyroid treatment I went on a Netflix binge and didn’t read as much as I thought I would. 

  
The Bone Season has sat on my shelf for so long I thought it was time I read it – another two books in the series are already out but it was long and slower paced than I thought it would be. I enjoyed it but maybe I’m too used to faster moving YA fantasies. 

  
The first book I read this month is the second novel by Girl on the Train bestseller Paula Hawkins. There are a lot of points of view at the start of this book which made it harder to get into it and I had to keep checking who people were but it’s an interesting thriller and keeps you guessing about whodunnit. 

  
Hot Mess was a proof sent by the publisher and it’s not released until July. This was a really fun book and being nearly thirty and single and will definitely appeal to fans of Bridget Jones and Sex and the City.

  
My favourite read this month though was The Power. It’s a literary international thriller about what happens when woman suddenly develop an electrical charge that can hurt or even kill, and suddenly women are in control. It’s a really interesting and compelling book with lots of action and ideas you’ll want to think hard about. It’s dark and disturbing and really hard to put down.

What have you guys enjoyed reading this month? 

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read in January 2017

A new year means new books hurrah! I want to read a few more nonfiction books this year as well as my usual pile of novels, and I’ve made a start on that this month.

Here are all the books I read in January. The novels are on the left and the non-fiction on the right.

  
On the non-fiction front, I finally read The Secret to help with my year of positivity. The main premise is that you can have anything you want if you ask the universe for it and really believe you’re going to get it, even act as if you already have it. I’m trying to keep all my goals in mind and believe they are going to be achieved. 

  
I also read Capture Your Style, which is written by Aimee Song who has a huge Instagram following. It’s all about how to create a great Instagram and I picked up some helpful tips. Have a look at mine and tell me what you think! (https://instagram.com/p/BP53xQKAKDJ/)

I read some great novels this month. There was a thriller theme to my reading as you can see – just one romance read. The Roanoke Girls is a controversial book that I’ve seen talked about a lot online and a proof came into the bookshop, which I read and I was gripped all the way through.

  
My favourite book this month though was The Trap by Melanie Raabe. It’s about a reclusive author who sees the man she thinks killed her sister years ago on TV. She decides to write a novel based on the murder and invite him to her house to interview her. I am always intrigued when the main character is a writer and thought this book was really cleverly done, and I couldn’t put it down! Definitely recommended.

Have you guys read any good books this month? Do you try to mix up novels and non-fiction?

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read in August 2015

  

We Never Asked For Wings – Vanessa Diffenbaugh 

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 How far would you go for your children?

Would you lie for them? Flee with them? Let someone else mother them if you thought they would do a better job?

As a single parent, Letty does everything for her two children – apart from raise them. Being a mother terrifies her more than she can admit, and so she’s always let her mother take that role. When Maria Elena ups and leaves, however, Letty has to confront her fears and become the parent she doesn’t think she can be.

Even as she tries to give her children a future, Letty’s teenage son, Alex, struggles to forgive his mother for choices she made in the past. But he and Letty are not so dissimilar, and both are prepared to risk everything for those they love.

Did I Mention I Love You? – Estelle Maskame

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When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t her step-brother. Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

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Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…

Looking For Alaska- John Green

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“If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event, until he meets Alaska Young.

Gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed-up, Alaska draws Miles into her reckless world and irrevocably steals his heart. For Miles, nothing can ever be the same again.

‘Looking for Alaska’ brilliantly captures the exquisite painful joy of living and loving. Poignant, funny, heartbreaking and compelling, this novel will stay with you forever.

The Queen Of The Tearling – Erika Johansen

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Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret after her mother – a monarch as vain as she was foolish – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, win the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive…

Book of the month:

The Humans – Matt Haig

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THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

OR IS THERE?
After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.

What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

I loved this book – a quirky story of an alien who takes over the identity of a maths professor who has made a discovery that the human race isn’t ready for. At first, he finds us confusing but as he spends more time as a human, he begins to understand and even starts to like us a little bit too. Especially the family dog.

This book made me laugh out loud at times and the ending made me cry! I loved the voice of the alien and the way he examines human beings and ultimately has to decide whether to go back to his alien world or continue to live as one of us on Earth. I haven’t read anything like it before and would really recommend it. I shall definitely be reading more Matt Haig in the future too!

What has been your favourite book this month?

Victoria

xoxo

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Books read in June 2015

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin

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A notice in The Times addressed to ‘Those who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine’ advertises a ‘small mediaeval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April’. Four very different women take up the offer, escaping dreary London for the sunshine of Italy. Among the party are Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arthuthnot, both fleeing unappreciative husbands; beautiful Lady Caroline, sick of being ‘grabbed’ by lovestruck men; and the imperious Mrs Fisher, who spends her time remembering the bearded ‘great men’ she knew in her Victorian childhood. By the end of their holiday, all the women will fall completely under the spell of Italy in this funny, insightful and very charming novel.

Endgame by C.J Daugherty (book 5 in the Night School series)

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The spy is gone but the cost has been high – the rebels at Cimmeria Academy have lost their leader and Carter West is missing. Nathaniel can taste victory. But Allie and the other survivors aren’t done yet. First they have to get Carter back. Then they plan to make Nathaniel pay.

One Small Act Of Kindness by Lucy Dillon

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Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories – good and bad – that went with it.
The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn’t know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her.
When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people’s lives . . .

Book of the month:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America and to do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing together a life that lay shattered at her feet…

I read Wild after enjoying the film adaptation but wanting to know more about her story. I’m so glad I read the book as, so often the case, it was definitely a deeper and richer experience. Wild is a memoir, a travel journal, of Cheryl’s time walking the Pacific Crest Trail but it also delves into her past and her reasons for tackling the trail, and how it changed her. I do not read a lot of non-fiction but Cheryl is a great writer and her story proves the truth is often stranger than fiction. You have to admire her strength and perseverance during her hike, and there are a lot of emotional moments as she looks back on her mother’s death and how she struggled to deal with it. It’s an inspiring, brave and honest story. I shall be definitely looking into her other work.

The last line of the book will stick with me for a long time I think:

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Victoria

xoxo

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Books read in May 2015

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Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she’s been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren’t going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras.

When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It’s going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . .

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Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping some major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

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“Non Pratt is a writer to watch” – The Guardian. From the author of Trouble comes a novel about boys, bands and best mates. Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life. Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record. Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

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Lee Fiora is a shy fourteen-year-old when she leaves small-town Indiana for a scholarship at Ault, an exclusive boarding school in Massachusetts. Her head is filled with images from the school brochure of handsome boys in sweaters leaning against old brick buildings, girls running with lacrosse sticks across pristine athletics fields, everyone singing hymns in chapel. But as she soon learns, Ault is a minefield of unstated rules and incomprehensible social rituals, and Lee must work hard to find – and maintain – her place in the pecking order.

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Marnie FitzPatrick is a reclusive sixth-former from Hertfordshire with a dysfunctional family, a penchant for Pythagoras’ Theorem and an addiction to doughnuts and gin. Julie Crewe is a disillusioned maths teacher who lives vicariously through the girls she teaches, yet who once danced barefoot through Central Park with a man called Jo she has never been able to forget.

This is the story of what happened in the summer of 1969, when the sun burned down on the roof of the Shredded Wheat factory, and a boy called Freddie Friday danced to the records he had stolen. This is about first love, and last love, and all the strange stuff in between. This is what happens when three people are bound together by something that can’t be calculated or explained by any equation.

This is what happened when they saw the open door.

Book of the month:

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‘It is never what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophies are always different – unimagined, unprepared for, unknown…’ One morning, Julia and her parents wake up in their suburban home in California to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth is noticeably slowing. The enormity of this is almost beyond comprehension. And yet, even if the world is, in fact, coming to an end, as some assert, day-to-day life must go on. Julia, facing the loneliness and despair of an awkward adolescence, witnesses the impact of this phenomenon on the world, on the community, on her family and on herself.

I enjoyed all the books I read this month! Although Prep has a pretty unlikeable main character, which I’m always unsure about, I must admit I like someone to root for in a book. My favourite read definitely has a main character you root for – told from 11 year old Julia’s perspective, it’s a coming-of-age story set against the rotation of the world slowing down. Her first person point of view means the changes the slowing has is limited to her family life in California so you see her growing up in this new world order where days stretch into weeks and people begin to change with it.

This book had a really original premise and I have no idea whether scientifically anything that happens in the book would ever be possible but that doesn’t matter, it’s fiction and the author makes you believe it all, the voice of Julia is brilliant and the book has an almost dreamy feel to the prose, matching the slowing of the world. It was a book that I could have kept on reading. The last paragraph is perfect too. I can imagine I will re-read this book and would definitely recommend it.

Did you read anything special this month?

Victoria

xoxo

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Books read in April 2015

Books read in April:

All Played Out – Cora Carmack

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In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

Last Night in Montreal – Emily Mandel

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Lilia has been leaving people behind her entire life. Haunted by her inability to remember her early childhood, and by a mysterious shadow that seems to dog her wherever she goes, Lilia moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers and friends along the way. But then she meets Eli, and he’s not ready to let her go, not without a fight.

Gorgeously written, charged with tension and foreboding, Emily St. John Mandel’s Last Night in Montreal is the story of a life spent at the centre of a criminal investigation. It is a novel about identity, love and amnesia, the depths and limits of family bonds and – ultimately – about the nature of obsession.

All Fall Down – Ally Carter

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I don’t mean to get into trouble. Trouble just sort of finds me.

Grace has been shipped off to stay with her diplomat Grandpa in the glittering Embassy Row, a place where trespassing into the wrong garden can cause an international incident. Grace knows the rules – she’s ignored them before – but however much she wants to change, she can’t. Not while she’s certain of three things:

1. She isn’t crazy.

2. Her mother was murdered.

3. Someday she’s going to find the man with the scar, and then she is going to make him pay.

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

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This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart . . .

All My Puny Sorrows – Mriam Toews

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Elf and Yoli are two smart, loving sisters.

Elf is a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die.

Yoli is divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive.

When Elf’s latest suicide attempt leaves her hospitalised weeks before her highly anticipated world tour, Yoli is forced to confront the impossible question of whether it is better to let a loved one go.

Book of the month:

I really enjoyed Cora Carmack’s All Lined Up, if you’re looking for a New Adult writer, you should really check her books out – fun and romantic, I always race through them!

For the book of the month, I was really torn between two books. I loved Red Queen – it’s sort of Games of Thrones meets The Hunger Games meets Divergent and was a great start to this new YA trilogy. But as it’s only book one and the series has a long way to go, I went with this as my book of the month:

Amy Snow – Tracy Rees

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Winner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. ‘A sparkling and compelling mystery. Amy Snow captured our hearts from the very first page’ Richard and Judy.
Abandoned on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy is taken in at nearby Hatville Court. But the masters and servants of the grand estate prove cold and unwelcoming. Amy’s only friend and ally is the sparkling young heiress Aurelia Vennaway. So when Aurelia tragically dies young, Amy is devastated. But Aurelia leaves Amy one last gift. A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. A life-changing discovery awaits… if only she can unlock the secret.

This was a lovely Victorian mystery / coming-of-age story about a girl called Amy Snow sent on a treasure hunt  to uncover the secrets of her recently deceased friend. Amy Snow has wonderful voice ad you’ll root for her from page one. Although it’s a mystery it’s really about Amy’s journey rather than her destination as she leaves the mansion she grew up in following her friend Aurelia’s directions and discovers what she wants for her life. She meets all sorts of special people on her way and there is a lovely romance plot mingled in with the mystery. I could definitely see this as a BBC series as each chapter kept you wanting to read on and I think it’s a book I would re-read in the future.

What book stood out for you this month?

Victoria

xoxo

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Books read in March 2015

This is what I read in March:

The Ruby Circle – Richelle Mead (Bloodlines series)

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After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world . . .

The Animals – Emma Jane Unsworth

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Laura and Tyler are best friends who live together, angrily philosophising and leading each other astray in the pubs and flats of Manchester. But things are set to change. Laura is engaged to teetotal Jim, the wedding is just months away, and Tyler becomes hell-bent on sabotaging her friend’s plans for a different life

I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

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From the author of The Sky Is Every­where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying – all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close – until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

Paper Towns – John Green

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Quentin Jacobsen has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

And then I read two books that I’ve been meaning to read for years!

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Book of the month:

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This was a really difficult decision this month as I read some great books! The Ruby Circle was a great finish to the Bloodlines series, a spin-off from Vampire Academy and I really recommend these series! I’ll Give you The Sun is a quickly, emotional YA read, and I loved Paper Towns – my second John Green book and one I couldn’t put down until the end. I’m also pleased I finally read To Kill A Mockingbird.

So it was hard to pick just one book of the month but I’ve gone with The Bell Jar. I found it a really compelling read, I loved the main character’s voice and raced through the book. It’s definitely disturbing in places as it charts her descent into depression and as it’s told from a first person point of view, you feel as if you’re right there with her through it all. I think it’s one of those books that will not only feel different to each reader but if you read it at different stages of your life, it will also affected you differently. So it’s one that I’m sure I’ll re-read in the future and for that reason, it’s my pick this month.

Has anyone else read these books? What did you think of them?

Victoria

xoxo