Hello! I hope this review finds you well. I’m here continuing my journey through all of the books I’ve read that I’m finally reviewing (no surprise, it’s a lot of books). Today’s review will be of Kasie West’s By Your Side. A signed copy was included in the February Uppercase Box — a YA subscription box that I love, but can no longer continue to order. I highly recommend them — every month I would look forward to getting their mail! You can always check them out at uppercasebox.com for more details.

By Your Side

Title: By Your Side

Author: Kasie West

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release date: January 31, 2017

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

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I remember when I was reading this it was a bit of a struggle to get through. I had been excited to read this one (who doesn’t want to get trapped in a library tbh), but I didn’t quite like it the way I liked the others.

I read this so my friend could read it vicariously through it (especially since we’re both big contemporary junkies). Unfortunately I didn’t click with this book as much as her other ones. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy reading it because I did, but I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. It’s a cute contemporary about a girl getting stuck in the library for a weekend with someone (a guy) and what happens after they get out. There were a few plot things that didn’t quite add up for me and they kind of bothered me for a lot of the book. However, I liked the way things wrapped up in the end.

 

One thing that irked me was how believable that she would get stuck in the library with someone else. It doesn’t seem like she would be able to be in there for such an extended period of time without raising some sort of alarm. I know when I have to close the businesses that I’m working at that I have to be thorough about checking to make sure no one else is in the building after closing up shop and leaving.\

One of the other things that I didn’t feel was a connection with the characters. I didn’t relate to any of them. Not based on their own situations, but I think with their personalities.

I wish I had more good things to say about this book, but I just didn’t mesh with it. I really hope you give it a try and judge for yourself! It may be the book for you 🙂

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

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Book Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

Posted in Bloggers, General Updates, Sophie

Monthly Update: An August to Remember (haha sure)

Hello there! I’m here to just talk a little about myself and give everyone a bit of an update as to new changes in the blog and what I’m hoping to do these coming months. And to talk a little bit about my summer and all of that good stuff.

As you have noticed my posting frequency declined a lot for a while there. I had tried several times to come back, but unfortunately it was just too much to blog and work and get school work done. However, now that it’s summer, I’ve had a little bit more time to sit and review all of the books I’ve read (err, 61 in the year thus far as of the writing of this post), but I’m still plodding forward to catch up to what I’m currently reading. I’ve found that I’m a lot faster when I listen to audiobooks as well as read physical copies.

As of today, I begin classes at Michigan State, which I’m extremely excited about! I am coming in as a second semester freshman due to the amount of credits I am awarded through Advance Placement tests. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and I can’t believe I’m here!

This past summer was a whirlwind. At the very beginning of June I was in New York for BookCon. (It’s like ComicCon for books, pretty much a book lover’s dream.) While there I had the amazing opportunity to interview several fabulous authors including Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, Erin Chack, Melissa de la Cruz, and Renee Ahdieh. My interview with Marie Lu was even featured in Justine Magazine‘s August/September issue! You can find all of my writing (excluding the interviews with Marie Lu and Caden from @athousandbookstoread) here on Justine‘s website. However, most of my summer was eaten up by working two jobs and adding a third one in there with Justine. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep and I worked every single day of the summer minus my mini vacation to New York. (News flash — college is hella expensive!! 😛 )

This past month I’ve read (and re-read) several books. Some notable ones that you’re going to want to watch out for are Invictus by Ryan Graudin, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao, and Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush. Invictus is due to be out on September 26, and the last two are due out in October (10th and 3rd respectively) All of these were fabulous, and I couldn’t put them down. A few books that I recently re-read were Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Fangirl was an obvious go to for me this time of the year especially with the parallels in our situations! I don’t think there are enough books about being a college freshman, but I hope there are more coming!

Since I’m starting to get into college life, I can’t promise that I will post regularly. It’s a lot to balance, and I want to make new friends and get into college life! That being said, I will do my best to keep you in the loop with all the kinds of changes headed your way. I will probably take a break around the first part of December due to finals, but that feels like years away from today. Thank you all for your loyalty to the blog, or your new-found following! I’m so glad you’re all here with me on this journey!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hello! I’m starting a new kind of review post for my ARC reviews, and voila — Sneak Peek Sunday. I won’t be giving any sneak peeks, but I will be reviewing any ARCs that I have read. (Note: ARC = Advance Reader’s Copy) To kick things off, I’m here with Gabby Dunn and Allison Raskin’s anticipated book I Hate Everyone But You. 

Title: I Hate Everyone But You 

Authors: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

I Hate Everyone But You

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Expected Release: September 5, 2017

Source: ARC

Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We’re still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

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Speaking as a rising college freshman, I think this encapsulates my feelings and anticipation of this coming year with my best friend the most. I think if we took screenshots of my conversations with her and compared them to these they would be pretty darn close.

Gen and Ava are two best friends that I would love to meet irl, and I can’t wait for everyone else to meet them on the page. Their voices and different personalities compliment each other well. I found myself laughing along with them, and their adventures apart showed what it’s like to grow with the same person.

I know I can’t exactly speak from a lot of personal experience, but it’s something that I will be able to relate to it even more. This is a quick, fun read that will get you back in the mood for the social scene of school days.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Sneak Peek Sunday: I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

#throwbackthursday: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno Review

Hello hello! Today I’ll be reviewing a book that was released a few years ago and felt was worth talking about again, especially since the sequel will come out some time soon!

99 Days
Goodreads

Title: 99 Days

Author: Katie Cotugno

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: April 21, 2015

Source: Hardcover, US

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

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I read this one pretty darn fast. So fast that I didn’t even add it to my Goodreads until I had finished it. It was a quick, light read with dynamic characters that I enjoyed.

Here’s what I originally thought:

Do you like unlikable female characters? Definitely read this book if you do! I mean that in the most sincere and serious way possible. I’ve had enough of unlikable male characters still being forgiven for the bad things they do and not the female ones. It’s a double standard that I don’t want to participate in anymore. I’m not saying that what Molly does in this book is right, I’m saying that she’s flawed and more real because of it. I like the way this book ends, but more thoughts to come in a review!

Molly Barlow is quite unlikeable. She’s self-pitying, annoying at times, a bit of a player, HOWEVER (and this is a very large however) she was a character who grew and developed. I always say that if the character isn’t flawed then there is no conflict which results in no story. Since reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, I have found myself more of an advocate for unlikeable female characters. In one of her essays, Gay points out how we are more forgiving of male characters who are unlikeable versus female ones. So long story short, I have become more aware of what kind of characters I like and dislike.

And I find that I both loved and hated Molly — but that’s what I really enjoyed most about the book — her dynamic character. Obviously, Molly makes bad choices. Obviously, she has learned a lot and still has a lot more to go. I think that we all have a lot more to learn when we look at it. There are things that we don’t know that we think we do, and there is so much room for improvement.

This one isn’t for the faint of heart, those who just don’t want to wrestle with their main character (which is totally cool!), but if you’re up for the challenge this is the one.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review: #famous by Jilly Gagnon

Hello! I hope this review finds you in good company. I’m chugging through my recommendations and reviews, and this one is up next.

Title: #famous

#famous

Author: Jilly Ganon

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release date: February 14, 2017

Source: Hardcover, US

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

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This is another book that I reviewed a little bit when I initially read it so here are some spewing thoughts:

*3.5 stars*
I really wasn’t sure how to feel about the characters of this book for most of it. It was something I really had to dig into to really enjoy it. About halfway through I finally started to enjoy it. A few times I considered putting this down for good and DNFing it but I’m glad I finished it. Rachel was definitely my favorite character though I wanted to punch her 90% of the time. I wanted her to have self-confidence so badly! Overall, a cute contemporary read 🙂

(Note: I rated this 3 stars on Goodreads, however, I feel it’s a 3.5 star but can’t rate it that because of Goodreads. Now we have re-reads, just waiting for the half stars…)

One thing I really struggled with while reading the book was Kyle. He seemed too superficial and soooooo teenage boy. Which I understand that Gagnon is going for that, but man, I could not stomach him too much. I always have to tell myself that if a character doesn’t have flaws then there’s no room for growth. Toward the end of the book I could feel a little bit of sympathy toward him but not too much.

The awesome thing about this book is that I had the chance to sit down with Jilly for Justine! You can read our conversation here. She is so sweet and open about everything — worth the read!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Hello! Welcome to the blog! I hope you find what you’re looking for here. Today I’ll be talking about Geekerella by Ashley Poston — which I adored the whole time I read it.

Title: Geekerella

Geekerella

Author: Ashley Poston

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: April 4, 2017

Source: ARC

Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

********************************

This is the perfect tribute to fangirling and fandoms. I absolutely loved it the minute I picked this title up. Elle and Sage are friends I wish I had! Here’s what my first reaction was on Goodreads

I know it may seem like I dole out stars like it’s my job (well, actually it is), but this one deserves all of them. It’s Cinderella with a heaping of reality. I was wondering how Poshton would end it, especially since Elle seemed grounded the whole novel and I couldn’t have wished for anything better.

I kept thinking of A Cinderella Story the entire time and I loved how much this book reminded me of it!! I wasn’t sure what to think of this book at first so I put it down, but when I picked it back up I was instantly hooked. This captures what it’s like to be part of a fandom and what it means to be part of one. I can’t wait for you guys to come join me in this one 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I love the original A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. Seriously, they were all I could think of while reading this book. It was so amazing. For this retelling though, I’d say Poston hit the mark and made something even better. (Sorry, Chad 😉 )

This was SO FREAKIN CUTE! I got some Pride and Prejudice vibes reading this as well, if Darcy and Lizzie had modern technology and all. I think one of my favorite parts of the whole book was the cast of characters. Elle, Sage, Darien, even the step sisters! All of them came together to create such an awesome story. Elle’s blogging and her *obsession* with Starfield was something I, and I’m sure many others, could identify with. For so long, there have been geek girls without geek girls in books, movies, etc. and finally we’re starting to have the rise of the geek girl — and it’s really freaking amazing. I love Elle (and Ashley!) for that.

So with that I bid you adieu! Get reading!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi, guys!! I read this way back in February, but to this day I still love it so much. Maybe this calls for a re-read… Anywho, I cannot wait to finally write my thoughts down about this book. MY HEART WAS JUST A LITTLE BIT BROKEN AFTER IT NO BIG DEAL HAHAHAHA *tear*

Title: Seven Days of You

Seven Days of You

Author: Cecilia Vinesse

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release date: March 7, 2017

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

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I had a lot of feelings about this book when I finished it — and when I was reading it. Here are some things I said on my Goodreads account:

WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!?!? THIS BOOK. I’M CRYING RIGHT NOW OH MY GOD.

Okay, well this is a beautiful story about beginnings and endings and everything that comes with both. It’s lovely to see everything play out (even though it’s ripping me apart right now) and I can’t help but feel the bittersweetness of the entire situation. More thoughts to come with a full review!

So maybe some tears were shed. Just because I get really invested in characters doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! It was poignant and fresh and I loved the setting!

Maybe it’s because her name was Sophia, but I loved her. I could picture her in Tokyo savoring her last few days there, and dragging her feet to leave. I couldn’t imagine that kind of move. I moved houses within the same city and that was hard.

The characters are what made this book amazing for me. I loved their development and their quirkiness. Mika was hilarious and the *perfect* (but flawed) best friend. David was the brooding-but-lovable guy friend. Honestly, their trio reminded me of my trio of friends I had at the time. When Jamie enters the scene, it was fun to see their dynamic change and shift around him. They seem like great people to be friends with overall.

I wish I had more details that helped me get around Tokyo a bit better. A map on the end pages would have been so fun! I did like the small details that Vinesse added about it, but there could have been a few more to make it more immersive.

I really wanted to finish this book, but also I wanted more than seven days. I wanted a year. Or more. Really, anything more that Cecilia would give me I would read. I want to know what happens after. PLEASE TELL ME THERE’S A COMPANION NOVEL OR SEQUEL IN THE WORKS I’M DYING OVER HERE.

I also got to meet this lovely creator of the novel and do an interview for Justine Magazine. Here is the link to our chat!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Book Review: Teach Me to Forget by Erica M. Chapman

GUYS! I’M GETTING THERE, I’M GETTING THERE! And by “getting there” I mean I’ve written 3 reviews by now and still have a considerable amount of work to still get done (only 25 more to go, as of now) 🙂 NO WORRIES THOUGH, I BELIEVE IN MYSELF! And that’s what counts, right?

Title: Teach Me to Forget

Author: Erica Chapman

Publisher: SimonPulse

Release Date: December 2, 2016

This is the story of Ellery, a girl who learns how to live while waiting for the date she chose to die.

Ellery’s bought the gun, made arrangements for her funeral, and even picked the day. A Wednesday. Everything

29526341
Goodreads

has fallen into place.

Now all she has to do is die.

When her plans go awry and the gun she was going to kill herself with breaks, she does the one thing she has control over–return it and get a new one. After tormenting the crusty customer service associate by trying to return the gun with the wrong receipt, Ellery gets caught by the security guard who also happens to be someone she knows–the annoyingly perfect Colter Sawyer from her English class.

Colter quickly uncovers what she’s hiding and is determined to change her mind. After confessing a closely held secret of his own, he promises not to tell hers. Ellery tries to fight her attraction to him as the shadows of her past cling tight around her, but when she’s faced with another tragedy, she must decide whether she can learn to live with what she’s done or follow through with her plan to die.

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I think what I liked best about this book was Ellery’s voice. Throughout the entire book, I felt like I could truly relate to what Ellery was saying and feeling. One of the hard things, I have come to find out, is trying to understand a person going through this kind of situation. Reading this book really helped expand my knowledge about this subject and what kind of things people are feeling when they are experiencing this.

One thing I didn’t like a lot about this was a specific scene between Ellery and Colter and then the sudden turn around of the situation. I’m not going to talk about it specifically because it would give away some major plot points, but that’s one thing that irked me. I felt like it was a bit rushed and confusing how the whole thing happened. However, this didn’t put a hamper on my enjoyment of the novel as a whole.

There’s a twist ending that I actually enjoyed and wasn’t expecting (well, duh). It was a refreshing take on the whole situation and I’m glad it left things like that. I wish I would be able to get to know Ellery more after the story ends, but I guess I’ll have to sit here waiting forever 😛

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Blog Tours, Bloggers, Sophie

Blog Tour: Love is Both a Wave and a Particle by Paul Cody Guest Post

Hello! Today is my stop for the awesome new book Love is Both a Wave and a Particle by Paul Cody. I’m so excited to be part of this awesome digital event and I can’t wait to read the book! (Since I didn’t review this time, I wasn’t provided a review copy.)

Love is Both Wave and Particle

LoveIsBothWaveAndParticle_COVER.jpgby Paul Cody
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017

Genre: Young Adult,  Contemporary, Romance
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Synopsis:

This achingly beautiful novel considers how to measure love when it has the power to both save and destroy.

Levon Grady and Samantha Vash are both students at an alternative high school for high-achieving but troubled teens. They have been chosen for a year-long project where they write their life stories and collect interviews from people who know them. The only rule is 100% confidentiality—they will share their work only with each other. What happens will transform their lives.

Told from the perspectives of Levon, Sam, and all the people who know them best, this is a love story infused with science and the exploration of identity. Love Is Both Wave and Particle looks at how love behaves in different situations, and how it can shed light on even the darkest heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul Cody earned an MFA at Cornell University, and has published several novels and a memoir for adults. He lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Holmes, and their two sons. Love Is Both Wave and Particle is his first novel for teenagers.

LIBWAP-guestpost

Liam Cody, son of Paul Cody
On Having a Parent-Writer
Having a parent who writes book for a living is probably a bit like living with a crazy inventor. Brainstorms can hit the house at any hour of the day. When my dad is writing a book he keeps funny hours: sometimes he goes to bed at 6pm and wakes up at 2a. to start writing. As a kid, occasionally the coffee grinder would wake me up at a time when raccoons and possums were running the world outside. And then there are the questions, How many floors are in that building? What’s that place you like to hang out downtown? or Do you remember that girl with the iguana – what’s she doing now? When your dad is a writer you get a lot of funny questions about places you go or about people you know, or knew. They’re all fair game for characters or settings as they drift
through my dad’s head, come to him in a dream, or keep him up at night. He likes to write on the couch in our living room. You’d think that would be distracting for him, especially when we come down in the morning halfway through his writing session, but he wears these big red headphones to block out
noise. This set-up is convenient for him because he doesn’t have to listen to us until he wants one of his questions answered. He’ll shout a question while he’s still wearing the headphones as if I’m far away. I always answer really quietly so that he can’t hear me and has to take them off for a second to hear. I do this for my own amusement — it’s almost like he’s calling up from the basement where he’s resurrecting Frankenstein, but needs some key piece like, how many sections are there in the human heart? to really bring him to life.Even though writing a book isn’t always as consequential as creating a monster it can feel that way, according to my dad. He’s often really tired after writing and he gets headaches from concentrating for hours, and sometimes he’s so preoccupied
by what he’s writing he has insomnia. Plus, once you finish writing some thing there can be a crushing stress: who knows what other people will make of your writing or do with it. Maybe it is a monster.
Sometimes I’m jealous because my dad sets his own schedule, eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner whenever he wants to, decides when he’s going to work or not. On the other hand, writing is a hard job. It’s a stressful, a tough business, and
writers struggle with something essential: at the root of our desire to communicate, does the thing that resonates in my head also resonate in your head? In order to do this well, writers have to take in the world around them, they have to think about the needs and desires of other people, and they need a lot of determination to sit down every day and work diligently. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living with a writer it’s that the thing that drives you to do great work is internal and takes a lot of perseverance.
While it may not always be fun, I don’t think my dad would have it any other way. It’s hard to imagine him doing anything else. I imagine lightning bolts hitting our house and sparks crackling in the windows, but a lot of the time it looks as simple as a person sitting on a couch at 5am with a cup of coffee, typing intently away while possums scuttle past and every sane person sleeps. He has all these thoughts that have to come out somehow, all these observations of the world that need formulation. Perhaps lightning bolts really
are hitting our house and he’s a conductor in his red headphones, inviting the lightning as if he were offering a kite to a thunderstorm. What might seem magical in its finished state, a book that leaps into your heart, looks ordinary when you see it being done. But living with a writer makes me sure, still, there really is something cosmic and inexplicably magical afoot.
 LIBWAP-giveaway.png
Prize: 1 copy of LOVE IS BOTH A WAVE AND A PARTICLE by Paul Cody
-US/Canada Only
-No giveaway accounts
 Here’s the link!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂