Book Review: THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis

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Book: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Pages: 352

Publication Date: 20th September 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Synopsis:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.

Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Rating: 5/5

Review:

“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”

Wow. I had a strong feeling this book was going to leave an impact on me but I didn’t anticipate I would love it as much as I did. The Female of the Species is a beautifully written book that tackles rape culture and shows its prevalence in our society. Trigger Warnings: animal abuse, sexual assault, graphic violence.

The plot was so engaging and interesting, I was hooked the entire time. I didn’t read the synopsis going in and didn’t know there would be 3 different POV’s but I really enjoyed all the different perspectives we follow. I read most of this book in one sitting I needed to know what was going to happen with these characters, even if it was a hard book to read at times.

Alex is one of the most complex, morally grey characters I have ever read, I loved her. Alex is still very much mourning the death of her sister who was raped and murdered a few years before the start of the book, she has isolated herself as she doesn’t trust herself to be around people or get close to them. Alex is very intense but also incredibly kind and caring, seeing her open up with Peekay and Jack was so amazing. The way Mindy McGinnis wrote her character was perfect and chilling.

I really loved Peekay, she was probably my favourite perspective because she was the most relatable and her perspective felt so personal and relevant. Peekay is so caring and I loved how she reached out to Alex and brought her out of her shell. She had so much great character development. Jack took me a while to warm up to but I really appreciated his character development and I ended up really loving his and Alex’s slow-burn relationship. I was really happy that the book didn’t focus on the romance and I loved all the feminist themes and discussions.

Overall, I really loved The Female of the Species and I know this is a book that will stay with me for a long time. I think it’s best to go into this book not knowing much and if you can read this book it is definitely worth it.


Have you read The Female of the Species? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for Reading,

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BOOK ADDICTION BOOK TAG

Hey Bookworms!

Today I’m going to be doing a book tag! it’s been a while since I’ve seen a tag with unique questions so when I saw this tag I knew I needed to do it! This tag was created by Always Trust In Books.

What is the longest amount time you can comfortably go without picking up a book?

Usually a few days. I always have an audio-book on the go but if it’s been over a week without physically reading I feel like something’s missing.

How many books do you carry on your person (or kindle) at any one time?

I usually only bring my current read with me or my kindle (which has 100’s of books to choose from) but sometimes I won’t even bring a book with me if I’m just going to work or the running errands.

Did you keep every book you buy/receive or are you happy to pass them on to make space for more?

I recently started un-hauling books that I’ve read but didn’t love or know I will never re-read (I only have one bookshelf and it is constantly full). I don’t see much point in keeping books I don’t love.

How long would you spend in a bookshop on a standard visit?

Ideally, I could spend hours in a bookstore but in reality about 15-20 minutes.

How much time per day do you spend reading?

I usually listen to 1-2 hours of an audio-book per day, depending on if it’s a work day or not I can physically read 30 minutes to 4 hours. I either read nothing or a whole book, I have no in between.

Where does the task picking up a book appear on you daily to do list?

Usually towards the end, once I’ve done all my adult tasks and am finally alone.

How may books do you think you own in total (including eBooks)?

Probably around 100 on my kindle, around 150 on my shelf and about 100 books in boxes in my spare room.

Approximately how often do you bring up books in conversation?

Surprisingly, not much at all. Most people in my personal life don’t understand my book talk so I keep all my bookish talk for online.

What is the biggest book (page count) you have finished?

Recently, Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness which was 600+ pages, but ever? Probably Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer which is 750+ pages.

Is there a book you had to get your hands on against all odds, i.e searching bookshops, online, digging etc?

Nothing that comes to mind, I’m pretty lucky here in Australia to find most books I want online.

A book you struggled to finish but refused to DNF?

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. It took me so long to finish this book and it’s only 300 pages. I kept holding out hope that I would see what everyone else raves about (never did).

What are 3 of your main book goals for 2018?

  • Diversify my reading.
  • Review at least 80% of the books I read.
  • Be honest and critical with my reviews.

Have you ever had the privilege of converting someone into a reader (maybe inspiration or incessant nagging)?

Unfortunately, nope. I have been able to get my sister to read a few books but she’s not really a big reader.

Describe what books mean to you in 5 words?

Escape, Creativity, Magic, Hope & Adventure


That was the Book Addiction Book Tag! Tell me what books mean to you in 5 words?

Thanks for Reading,

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Book Review: MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Books: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pages: 342

Publication Date: 7th July 2015

Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

Rating: 5/5

Review:

“Life is long and full of an infinite number of decisions. I have to think that the small ones don’t matter, that I’ll end up where I need to end up no matter what I do.”

This is the fourth Taylor Jenkins Reid book I’ve read and I can now say with 100% certainty she is one of my favourite authors, I will forever buy any book she releases. I love the characters she writes and how relatable they are, even if our situations and personalities are different I always find something to relate to. Maybe in Another Life is probably my favourite TJR book after The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

I loved the format of this book, the characters and the relationships. Maybe in Another Life features one of the best female friendships I’ve ever read. Hannah and Gabby’s friendship was so honest, pure and amazing. The way they love and look after each other was beautiful to see, I loved that in a lot of ways their friendship was more important than the romantic relationships they have. Gabby was such a good friend and an amazing support system for Hannah. I related to Hannah so much, it made my reading experience even more emotional.

We follow two concurrent timelines, Hannah’s life if she goes home with her ex Ethan or her best friend Gabby and how that one decision leads her life in such different directions. I found myself getting so attached to both timelines I didn’t know which one I wanted to be true. I liked both Ethan and Henry, they were both sweet and kind. I was so hooked on the story the whole time, I loved watching everything unfold.

Overall, Maybe in Another Life is an incredible story with amazing characters and the best female friendship I’ve ever read. I highly recommend all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels.


Have you read Maybe in Another Life? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for Reading,

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ANNOTATING MY BOOKS + BOOKS I WANT TO RE-READ

Hey Bookworms!

For the longest time I’ve debated whether or not I wanted to annotate my books. As someone who reads a large majority of my books from my local library that’s not always an option. I also sell books I don’t think I’ll re-read and I can’t really sell books I’ve written in. After thinking about it a lot I was really inspired by Chloe @ Books With Chloe to starts annotating my favourite books, books I know I will never get rid of, books that are personal to me. I think that annotating my favourite books will bring a new and wonderful reading experience, so here’s a list of some books I really want to re-read and annotate!

  • Turtles all the Way Down by John Green
  • Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Nice Try Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
  • Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

I am so bad at re-reading books because I feel guilty about all the books on my TBR but it’s something I want to do more and I’m even more motivated to do so now that I’m planning on annotating them! This list is some that I want to get to first but obviously I have so many other books that I would love to re-read and annotate.


Do you annotate your books? Or are you personally against annotating your books? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for Reading,

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Book Review: THE LAST OLYMPIAN by Rick Riordan

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Book: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Pages: 381

Publication Date: 5th May 2009

Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Middle Grade

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

Synopsis:

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds are against them. Kronos is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, his power only grows.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the prophecy surrounding Percy‘s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Rating: 3/5

Review:

I finally finished the Percy Jackson series… 4 years after starting it. One of my main goals for the year was to finish all of the unfinished series on my shelf and I’m so glad to have finally completed this series, because to be honest I had lost hope that I ever would. I enjoyed this series but had a hard time connecting to it. I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade so I’m not sure if that’s where my problems stem from. I know I would have loved Rick Riordan’s books if I read them 10 years ago, At 22 they’re enjoyable action adventure stories but nothing special.

The characters are diverse and fun, I really enjoy the dynamic between the Camp Half-Blood kids. Percy, Annabeth and Grover especially make a great trio and have a lot of sweet moments. So much happens in this book and I really liked how the story wrapped up, it was a good conclusion to an action packed series.

I listened to the audio-book and I had some problems with the narration, I enjoyed the voice of Percy but the voices for basically every other character annoyed me. I also found myself zoning out often and not being motivated to listen to the audio-book once I’d put it down. I ended up sitting down and listening to the last couple of hours in one go just to finally finish it, those last couple of hours were probably my favourite.

It’s hard to say much given this is the last book in a series and while I feel like the only person who hadn’t finished the series I would hate to spoil anyone, so I’ll just say that overall I found this to be a satisfying conclusion and I would be interested in reading the Heroes of Olympus series one day!


Have you read The Percy Jackson series? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading,

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CONTEMPORARY-A-THON TBR

Hey Bookworms!

The Contemporary-A-Thon is a read-a-thon hosted by Chelsea @ Chelsea Dolling Reads, this round is happening from the 17th-23rd of September. I have never participated but I am so so excited to finally be participating this round! Let’s get straight into my (overly ambitious) TBR and the challenges I’ll be completing.

1. Read a book with orange on the cover

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman. I am so excited to read this book! I saw it at my library and was so excited because I’ve been wanting to read it since it came out, I’m sure I’m going to love it.

2. Read a dark/spooky Contemporary

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith. This seems like it is going to be a really hard but important read about rape culture and I am eager to see my thoughts on it.

3. Read a Diverse Contemporary

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I have included this on so many TBR’s but now is finally time to read the book that everyone loves.

4. Read a Contemporary in a Non-traditional Format

Nightingale by Fiona Mcintosh and Trouble by Non Pratt. I have both of these as audio-books from my library and I’m hopeful I can get through both of them during the read-a-thon.

5. Read a Contemporary with your initials on the cover

Turtles all the Way Down by John green. This is going to be a re-read for me and I’m so excited. Turtles all the Way Down was one of my favourite reads of last year and I hope I still love it upon re-read. (My initials are SJ)

6. Read a Contemporary from a new to you author

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. Another one I was thrilled to find at my library, I’ve heard nothing but praise from people who have read it.

7. Read a Contemporary that is a 5 Star Prediction

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. I have a feeling I am really going to love this book, I don’t think it will be a easy read but an important and hard-hitting one nonetheless.


Are you participating in the Contemporary-A-Thon? Tell me some books on your TBR!

Thanks for Reading!

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Book Review: CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi

Book: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Pages: 531

Publication Date: 8th March 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Synopsis:

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zelie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zelie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orisha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Rating: 4/5

Review:

All year the internet has been hyping up this debut novel and for good reason, Children of Blood and Bone is a fantastic start to an exciting and complex Young Adult Fantasy series. I really enjoyed this book but unfortunately I think the hype got to me and affected my overall enjoyment of the story.

The writing is beautiful and the plot was so well-paced, I was never bored. There was always so much action and character development. I really liked all the characters especially Zelie and Amari, reading from their POV’s was so much fun and really interesting as they are so different from one another. I didn’t like Inan, I understand why he was in the story and why he had a POV but I didn’t like or care about him. I loved that all the characters were individual and unique.

Tomi Adeyemi did such an incredible job describing the setting. The different settlements and landscapes were so vivid, I had no trouble picturing everywhere the characters were traveling. All the different Maji clans and the different powers they wield were so interesting, although sometimes I found them confusing. That could be due to the fact I listened to the audio-book (which was phenomenal) but could also be why some things regarding the different clans went over my head.

I really loved the ending, everything hit a point of no return and I can’t wait to see where the story goes. The cliffhanger has me impatiently waiting for Children of Virtue and Vengeance! I think this is a series that is only going to get better as it goes on.


Have you read Children of Blood and Bone? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading,

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Blog Tour: I DO NOT TRUST YOU by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

Hey Bookworms!

Today is my stop on the I Do Not Trust You blog tour and I am so excited to finally discuss this book with you all! Thank you to the publisher, St Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. This did not, in any way, influence my opinions or rating of this book. Let’s get straight into my spoiler-free review!


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Book: I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

Publication Date: 11th September 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: 320

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis:

Memphis “M” Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome.

Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.

From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.

Review:

I Do Not Trust You is a wild ride from start to finish. This book combines Action, Adventure and Mythology in the best way possible. I really enjoyed M and Ash, their chemistry was fantastic and all these elements together made for a fun, exciting story.

Memphis (M) has spent the last year mourning the death of her father who she believed died in a plane crash. It isn’t until she is followed by Ashwin (Ash) that she finds out her father is actually alive and needs her help. In order to save her father M needs to help Ash find the pieces of an ancient Set artifact before the Set cult gets to them and destroys the world. In their search for the Set artifacts M and Ash travel around the world from Norway to Paris to Thailand.

I Do Not Trust You takes us to so many exciting places and every setting was described so vividly. The use of Egyptian mythology was so interesting. I knew basically nothing about Egyptian mythology, or any other mythology really, before going into this book but I learnt so much. While some of the terminology went over my head most of it was explained really well. There really wasn’t a dull moment, the plot was so action packed, it’s difficult to put the book down once you start reading.

I loved our main characters M and Ash, I also really loved Mike. M was so strong, independent and badass, she is one of the smartest characters I have read about and she was also so easy to relate to. Ash was complex and caring, I ended up loving him more than I expected. I was just as shocked as Ash when we finally got to meet the mysterious Mike. Like I said earlier M and Ash have amazing chemistry, I really enjoyed their interactions.

I Do Not Trust You is an action packed, exciting novel that mixes mythological elements with likeable main characters and great writing. I Do Not Trust You is unlike any other Young Adult novel I’ve ever read and recommend giving it a go.


Are you planning on picking up I Do Not Trust You? Make sure to check it out on September 11th!

Thanks for Reading,

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ARC Review: MIRAGE by Somaiya Daud

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Book: Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Publication Date: 28th August 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 320

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Source: I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review:

Mirage is a beautifully written and exciting debut novel that I adored. I went into this book not knowing or expecting much but I left it incredibly impressed.

Mirage is the first book in a new Young Adult Science Fiction trilogy following 18-year-old Amani who is kidpanned from her village and forced to be the body double for the cruel Princess Maram. The plot was so interesting and well paced, there were slow moments but the characters were so complex and intriguing that I didn’t mind at all.

I really love Amani. She is so strong, smart and kind, I love the way she thinks, acts and treats others. While Amani was my favourite character she was closely followed by Maram. I was so surprised by how much I ended up loving Maram’s character, she is cruel and fearsome but also scared and vulnerable. I hated the way she treated Amani in the beginning but the friendship they formed was one of my favourite parts of the book.

The world was so interesting, I went in thinking it was Fantasy but I think it definitely leans more towards Sci-Fi. I love reading about Royals and Court drama and Mirage had a great amount of that to satisfy me.

The one thing that fell flat for me and stopped me giving this book a full 5 stars was the romance. I liked Idris as a character but it wasn’t until the end that I was really sold on the romance. They had good chemistry but it felt slightly unbelievable at first, for my personal tastes anyway, and therefore took me a while to come around to. Other than that there wasn’t much I can fault about the book.

I can’t wait for everyone to read this and I am crying thinking about the year long wait for the sequel!


Have you read Mirage? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading,

Book Reviews: THE POET X AND HERETICS ANONYMOUS

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

 35396841Rating: 4.5/5

I had my eye on this book for so long that when I found a copy at my library I nearly screamed, I checked it out and started reading it as soon as I got home. After being so excited for this book and having high expectations I was incredibly relieved that I ended up loving it.

The Poet X is a beautifully written, diverse, coming of age novel that packs a punch. Trigger Warnings: slut-shaming, body-shaming, homophobia, parental abuse. This book is written in verse which I don’t read often but is a style I find either works really well or not at all, in this case it was perfect. Although there were times I wished it was longer.

Xio our main character is so smart, well spoken and strong. I felt for her as she struggled with her religious beliefs and being who her parents expect her to be. There was one passage that made me cry uncontrollably because it hit so close to home, there was so many times I wished I had my own copy so I could highlight and annotate beautiful quotes.

I really loved the slam poetry part of the plot, it made me want to give it a go. I loved and appreciated that Xiomara had a teacher who was kind and supportive and just wanted to see her succeed. Overall, I really loved Xiomara, the writing style and how the author dealt with intense topics in a relatable and respectful way. I highly recommend this one.


Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

34659293Rating: 3/5

I wasn’t planning on picking this book up any time soon but my library got the audio-book in so I thought I might as well give it a go. I’m glad I read this book but it wasn’t anything amazing.

Heretics Anonymous is a compelling and humorous novel about faith and tolerance. We follow a diverse cast of characters led by Michael, an atheist forced to attend Catholic school. Other representation includes a Colombian Catholic, a Pagan, a gay Jew and a Unitarian. The characters were fun and enjoyable but they weren’t memorable or as well developed as they could have been. I felt that the plot dragged at points and relied too heavily on the humor to carry it.

I related to this book a lot as I attended Catholic school, although we didn’t have Father’s or Nun’s as teachers. I enjoyed watching the Heretics Anonymous crew’s shenanigans and agreed with a lot of the points they made. Like I said I listened to the audio-book and the narrator did a really great job getting Michael’s humor and sarcasm across. I didn’t like the dynamic between Michael and his parents, I understood why he felt the way he did but I didn’t think his actions were justified.

Heretics Anonymous doesn’t treat anyone’s beliefs with disrespect and sends a good message about tolerance and how you don’t need the same beliefs to coexist peacefully. I recommend this if you want a quick, fun and diverse read.


Have you read either of these books? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading,

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