The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

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5stars

Your beauty is not a tax you are required to pay to take up space in this world.

Title: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Series: Montague Siblings #2
Number of pages: 450 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Very funny and clever with wonderful characters.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It’s a queer thing, to have a vacant space inside you and not know what it is that carved out the absence.

PLOT —
A treasure hunt! I was looking for the perfect description for this book and that’s what came to mind, and it fits perfectly. Felicity sets off for a very peculiar adventure from Edinburgh and ends up somewhere mysterious. Felicity has a mission: she will get to medical school and become a doctor. But the men keep denying her that possibility even if she may be even more capable than most of them put together if given the chance. Men are absurd thinking she couldn’t do the same things they did just because they thought women were weaker. Weak where? Don’t make me laugh!

It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in. It’s a new heading. A fresh start.

CHARACTERS —
Felicity is a sweet and ferocious girl and I love her with all my heart! She surrounds herself with a couple of very interesting girls. One from her past and one from her present, each of them with secrets and goals in mind that’ll somehow bring Felicity on this dangerous journey of discovery. I love those girls so much!! All of them are so special!! I was so happy to see Monty and Percy again even if it wasn’t for many pages. They are so ridiculously and adorably in love, it gave me goose bumps and I smiled a lot.

“Prickly?” I say. “I’m not prickly.”
“Felicity Montague, you are a cactus.”
“Debatable.”

THOUGHTS —
It was infuriating reading about how women were treated not long ago. It’s so actual, maybe not the same, but this superiority complex of men has to stop. It has expired, and it shouldn’t exist anymore. I’m truly sick of it: sick of all the mansplaining, the condescending smiles, the little derision laughs, the way men make us feel. I loved how Felicity challenged this injustice and made everything she could to change the unjust situation.

I have spent so long building up my fortress and learning to tend it alone, because if I didn’t feel I needed anyone, then I wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there.

CONCLUSION —
Loved the story, loved the characters, and love the ending. I was ready to kick some butt and was glad to see it done by the amazing ladies in this book. If Mackenzie wants to give us one more book with the Montague siblings I’ll accept it with open arms, open heart, and with lots of fangirling.

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Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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5stars

Maybe we are broken. But we put ourselves back together. We survived. That’s what makes us so powerful. And as for family—well, blood is always family, but family doesn’t always have to be blood.

Title: Vengeful
Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Villains #2
Number of pages: 575 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s just perfect.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, always yes to a Schwab book.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
I have to admit that I didn’t remember in detail everything that happened in Vicious because I didn’t manage to read the book again before Vengeful came out. The first couple of chapters were a bit confusing but then everything fell in place and I remembered everything! The plot of this book, with its back and forward chapters in different points of views built perfectly what was going to be the climax, the chapter that was in development from page one. And I loved every page of it!

You do what you can. You fight, and you win, until you don’t.

CHARACTERS —
Victor Vale is my boy, all in black, emo af, hard outside but a little soft on the inside, and all kinds of brooding. As much as I didn’t like seeing him suffering, I loved seeing him being almost my age: I’m also a 30 something person with questionable life choices. I relate. Eli’s point of view chapters came later in the book and they were fire! Backstory and a sane dose of bromance (more like brohate), exactly what I expected from our Eli boy! Sydney was a little bit annoying for me in this book, too whiney, didn’t see reasons behind choices that were made. I get it, teenager years on the run are not nice but, come on, see the bigger picture, make good decisions! Our big boy Mitch never disappoints, I don’t have anything more to add.
New characters were introduced, and I have to say that, besides a few annoying traits, they were both fantastic additions to the already fantastic crew. Won’t tell anything about them, I went in ignorant and enjoyed the experience more than ever imagined!

Perhaps she was glass. But glass is only brittle until it breaks. Then it’s sharp.

THOUGHTS —
I’m usually in a love or hate relationship with narrations that are told during a very long period of time, but not in this case. While I had to adjust my perception of how I saw the characters, at least the ones that actually grew old, I loved how the story of the book happened during 5 years. The characters not only grew old in aspect, the ones that could, but they were also very different persons inside. Five years on the run, five years imprisoned, can do that to a person, and the way Victoria told the story really conveyed all the aspects of the time passing.

Men look at anyone with power and see only a threat, an obstacle in their path. They never have the sense to see power for what it really is. Potential.

CONCLUSION —
Another perfect book from a perfect and gorgeous woman. That’s why she is an instabuy author for me, she can’t do no wrong in my opinion. Different books, for different audiences, and all of them hit the mark. Amazing job! If there’s going to be a third book, I’m going to be both ready and not ready at all, but I’m going to be there to read it!

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

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5stars

From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.

Title: Record of a Spaceborn Few
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #3
Number of pages: 358 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s just beautiful, perfect, I loved it.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
The story is simple, but at the same time very complex, because humans are complicated creatures. We have met different kind of aliens in the last two books, and we’ve met the humans living and working on alien planets; but this time we are seeing humans, focusing on a few, living in an all human community on the Fleet. The Exodus Fleet, the ship the humans built when they knew the Earth didn’t have much longer left to live, is a world unto itself with a very particular way of living that set them apart from the rest of the communities. It was very interesting seeing how they share resources, worked different jobs to maintain the balance in society and economy, all without using money.

CHARACTERS —
There are five main characters, each with a story to tell, each with chapters in their point of view: Tessa, Kip, Sawyer, Eyas, and Isabel. I liked all of them with their different lives and dreams. Loved the diversity, so natural. I won’t explain each character because I think it’ll spoil the story a little bit. They were all so authentic, with their everyday lives; some with a future still to be chosen, some thinking something is missing from their lives, others with a live well lived and with so much history to tell, and some willing to take a leap of faith to change their present to have a better future.

Perhaps none of us can truly explain death. Perhaps none of us should.

THOUGHTS —
As it was always described, these books are a spaceopera. A tale of lives lived in different environments, surrounded by different people, facing different challenges. Each one of these books has given me a sense of tranquility, without taking away a sense of surprise and awe when something didn’t go as planned. This story, with the sole alien character seeing things from her perspective, is meant to show you human beings evolved to an almost perfect and uncorrupted society. But things can’t be perfect all time, it’s just not possible. I loved how things were portrayed, I loved how easy I found myself cheering for the characters!

CONCLUSION —
Simply fantastic. There’s nothing more to add. Superb writing and storytelling. These books have been worth every second I spent reading them and thinking about them when they were over. I will carry them in my heart for eternity.

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And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness & Rovina Cai

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5stars

Here is the truth behind the myth: all men are Toby Wick.
For who needs devils when you have men?

Title: And the Ocean Was Our Sky
Author: Patrick Ness & Rovina Cai (Illustrator)
Number of pages: 160 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s beautifully peculiar and very true.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

So far, Patrick Ness has never failed me. Every single book he’s written that I’ve read has given me everything I love about books. This book, as peculiar as it may seem, has done just that, and I enjoyed every second of it.

PLOT —
The story was weird, there’s no point denying it: whales hunting humans, whales in search of the mysterious and infamous Toby Wick, who wants all whales dead. Its myth has driven many whales to their death, but still there are some who wants to find him and kill him, avenging the ones who lost their lives by his hand. Pretty simple in its structure, the plot hides surprises you wouldn’t expect.

CHARACTERS —
Bathsheba is the main character. She has lost loved ones because of men, and she joins the hunt because it’s tradition and she’s meant to do it. She is different from the other whales, though. She doesn’t believe in the myth of Toby Wick and she is curious. This curiosity will bring her to doubt everything she encounters because maybe things aren’t just black and white like others paint them.

“You notice what the others don’t.”
“Maybe I do.”
“Doesn’t mean you’re right, though.”
“No. But I begin to wonder if doubt is better than the wrong knowledge.”

THOUGHTS —
Fearlessly strange. That’s what’s been said about this book and they were completely right. I didn’t have issues about the main characters being whales who hunt humans, why would I? This is a Ness’ book, I expect everything. I was surprised by the ending, but it really was so true. I won’t say anything, just read it.

CONCLUSION —
Beautiful written, it kept me glued to the pages. I may not know anything about Moby Dick, so I don’t know how many things these two may have in common, but of one thing I’m certain: it had the usual magic touch, extremely human and intimate and real, that makes Patrick Ness’ books fantastic!

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Cloaked in Shadow by Ben Alderson

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3stars

Title: Cloaked in Shadow
Author: Ben Alderson
Series: The Dragori #1

Number of pages: 350 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Elves with magic and shapeshifting abilities!
Bad things about this book: There were a lot of grammar errors.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a nice story!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’m unsure. While I liked it, and enjoyed it, I felt that something was amiss. I’ll give this book 3.5 stars, a good rating, for a book full of potential, with a main character that was a tad melodramatic and emo, an ex that was forced to play a role that I felt unnecessary, and a prince that was sweet and adorable (Hadrian has flaws but he is a cutie).

Some scenes felt a bit random, like wth is going on, why is Zacriah acting like a child? He was at times annoying, I could picture him in my head whining. The ex-boyfriend thing still bothers me: it just didn’t make any sense and it ruined a nice situation with a pointless scene played by our drama queen Zac!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, even with the many grammar errors I found (then instead of than, lots of your instead of you’re and more), and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to Hadrian and the ever so theatrical Zac!

Things left unexplained that I hope are going to be explained in the next two books, because, yes, this is a trilogy and it sounds promising. I have the second book ready, but I never binge read a series; it will have to wait. I just hope the boys are going to be okay in the end, and I hope that Zac will start acting less childish and get a grip! Things are more difficult now and he is needed!

Elves, shapeshifters, druids, magic, there’s a little bit of everything and I will be there to see how the story unfolds, no matter what. The cover made me read the book, it’s beautiful, and the story made me stay. I’ll be here until the end, fingers crossed it’s not going to be the end of the happiness the boys clearly deserve!

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Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet ☆

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5starsplus

One day I’ll live a life that doesn’t force me to make such cold-blooded decisions, she thought. But today is not that day.

Title: Foundryside
Author: Robert Jackson Bennet
Series: Founders #1

Number of pages: 503 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the steampunk-ish fantasy world!
Bad things about this book: I want the sequel right now.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!
Rate: 5+++/5 (it’s a favourite!)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Some here will whisper of liberty – but you can’t be free if you aren’t alive.

I LOVED IT!!! I loved it more than I thought I was going to! It surprised me, in an incredible way. I went in thinking I was going to find another amazing adventure by Bennett and found exactly that but so much more! I’m amazed, I’ll talk about this book with everyone!

This book is certainly different from Bennett’s Divine Cities trilogy; it is less dark and pretty straightforward, but it doesn’t lack twists and revelations that took the story on a very enjoyable level.

I liked Sancia right away; a former slave who’s been tortured and modified so that now she hears the scrived devices and feels the objects she touches learning all their secrets. In this world, there are devices modified through antique symbols to defy their natural role in the world. For example, you have a sword, you modified it telling it the gravity it’s feeling is 10 times the one it actually is, so the sword, when used will hit harder and make so much more damage. The scrivers use all their knowledge to come up with more ways to tell objects they should be doings things that’ll defy physics laws. I found this very fascinating.

What I loved, like really loved, about this book, was how it gave the world a love is love state of being. There were many political problems with the merchant houses, the foundries, the crimes, etc, but at least who you liked wasn’t an issue and I thought it was refreshing as hell. When I saw a character blushing because they saw a naked shoulder of a same gender character, a SHOULDER, my eyes opened comically; I was so glad Bennett thought of giving his characters the freedom to choose whoever they wanted to love with the normality our real world should have done from the very beginning of time. Giovanni saying he wanted to go to an exotic island because he’ll be among so many gorgeous sailor, made me smile so much. There were so many funny moments in this book.

Of all the side characters there were, and I’m always afraid about many side characters because it means some are expendables at some point, Clef was definitely my favourite. Brilliant, emotional, deep, and so selfless. Berenice has many more sides of herself that she will show us, I’m sure of it. Orso managed to be okay-ish at first, but then I warmed to his grumpiness. He gave a kind of vibe that made me doubt everything he did, a vibe that told me he was going to do something I wouldn’t approve. Gregor, sweet Gregor, what can I say about him? Follower of rules, he wants a better place for people to live in. He has this utopic dream of the world being a big happy place with people helping one another. He likes to think he’s doing the things he does for the greater good and he does, maybe it doesn’t always end like he intended but he tries his best. I liked him a lot and can’t wait to see what he’s going to do now, after everything that happened in Tevanne. Oh boy, things happened, so many things.

I will now be waiting anxiously for the sequel, because I didn’t have enough of Tevanne and I need more of it and of its characters. I got to know them, and I’m now like a mama hen, and will be very protective of my babies. Don’t you dare hurt them, Bennett! I’ll be heartbroken. After the Divine Cities’ trilogy, I can’t help but being scared.

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Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee

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5stars

Title: Not Your Villain
Author: C.B. Lee
Series: Sidekick Squad #2

Number of pages: 307 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved reading the story through Bells’ eyes.
Bad things about this book: It left me wanting for more and now I have to wait.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love Bells and I loved him as a narrator. Maybe this book had less action than the first, but it had more details about meta-humans. The bad guys weren’t in this as much as I would’ve liked, I guess they’re going to be all together for the grand finale?? I sure hope so! I want to see our heroes kick some corrupted meta-humans’ butts.

I liked how the first chapters took place during some events of the previous book, and we could see some scenes from Bell’s point of view. From book 1 I already knew Bells was a good friend, even if he was keeping a pretty big secret, he was crushing on Emma, he was a caring son, a boy everyone seemed to love and want a piece of. This book confirmed everything I knew and introduced me to a whole new part of Bells; he is emotional, respectful, is scared but it doesn’t mean he’ll give up. He keeps going, for his friends, for his family, for his fellow meta-humans, for the world. He wants to be a hero even if now the world thinks of him as the most wanted villain in the country.

Bells is strong, but how strong? He has a lot of stamina, but just how much? We’ll find out so much about Bells in this book and I loved every second of it. He is a fragile thing, putting on a smile even if he’s hurting inside. I think he is the bravest of them all.

In Not Your Sidekick we got a glimpse of Jess’ genius younger brother, and in Not Your Villain he is part of the action. He is a delight. Sassy and shy at the same time. He has a crush on Bells and that’s just the cutest thing ever: how he acts around Bells is adorable. I hope we get to see more of him in the third book: he deserves a book for himself after the book from Emma’s pov. Will he get it? I have my doubts, but I’ll love to read something from his pov, even if it’s a short story.

Captain Orion is kidnapping meta-humans, the Collective is keeping everything under wraps, the League is not easily trusted anymore, and defense robots (more like killer robots) will make getting to the bottom of the corruption situation a lot harder that I thought. With all of that going on, and personal feelings getting in the way, Bells will have one hell of an adventure. I’ll miss him as a narrator a lot, I love reading about his emotions and everything that went on in his head.

The third book can’t come soon enough. I’m already very impatient!!

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The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

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4stars

If and when our world ends, it won’t be from a meteor or a viral outbreak or some other cosmic event; it will be us. We will be our own undoing.

Title: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Good things about this book: It’s the right amount of weird.
Bad things about this book: The last page leaves you wanting more.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I was so into the story that I didn’t even realize the book was over when I reached that last part. Why did it end that way?? I want more and more and more!!

It was different, and it made you think. I was so happy about the cameos of Hutchinson’s other books’ characters. I almost cried when Henry appeared! I miss Henry every time I find myself thinking about We Are the Ants; it’s one of my favorite books.

This book can be officially declared peculiar. Elena was born from parthenogenesis; that can be explained scientifically, but her let’s say weird situation doesn’t stop to a virgin birth, because Elena hear voices from the siren of Starbucks to a My Little Pony, telling her she has the power to heal people, and she should do it, or else the world is going to end. That’s a little too much responsibility for a young girl struggling with a massive crush and trying to avoid bullies.

The first person Elena healed, that one first miracle that put in motion the apocalypse, was a girl named Freddie and Elena has a huge crush on her. Freddie is certainly not the person Elena thought she was and getting to know her is going to put her patience to test. It put MY patient to test, but then I got to know her and the reasons behind her hard façade and I ended up liking her.

With the end of world, people disappearing all over the world, her love life being a total mess, and the voices being very insisting, Elena doesn’t really know what to do. She is set on finding out why Freddie was shot like that would make her understand why the world is ending. Why does finding the reason is that important? Elena is trying to avoid the real problem!! Elena is like a lot of us.

We make choices. We make bad choices. But we still deserve the right to choose.

I really liked this book. Like all of this author’s books, there are serious issues being portrayed and analyzed. I found that this had the right amount of serious and peculiar, just the amount that I usually love. Elena is a nice main character, she isn’t without flaw, often irritating, but you just cheer for her to be able to save the world, get the girl, be happy with her bff and family. Easy, right?

Not the lightest of reads, but neither one of the hardest. I enjoyed it and I recommend it. This author needs to have more love from readers all around the world.

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Station Zero by Philip Reeve

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5stars

He was a face behind glass again, looking out at all the passing worlds. He felt calm for the first time in months.

Title: Station Zero
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: Railhead #3
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Loved the story, the writing, the ending, everything.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Choo Choo of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I picked up the first book of this series, I did it mainly because of its cover and the synopsis was just too intriguing to ignore. Sentient trains riding from one planet to another? When I still think about it, it was pretty obvious to me that I was going to love this series. And I did, until the very end.

In this conclusion the empire is divided in two: the Prell part which is the racist part basically, and the Threnody part. Prell hates aliens and wants to close the new gates and stop the new aliens from coming through. He wants there to only be humans. Prell sucks. Threnody is the empress of the new reality of aliens coming back and forth to the human planets. But Threnody doesn’t have real power, she’s just a puppet, the image girl of the new present, nothing more. She needs to step up. Meanwhile, Zen is once again a wanted person and he’ll be facing many obstacles to find Nova and be with her again. And Nova? Let’s just say she’s been busy!

The Guardians have always been figures of mystery in my eyes; they have this weird names and weird appearance and they hate the new gates. They want to keep the humans blind to what really happened in the past with the railmaker so that they can keep them quiet and obedient. But that can’t be possible now with the gates open. I loved their meetings’ locations and the guardians we haven’t met in the previous books were a great addition. This story is original and so easy to get into and love.

I thought the ending was just the way I would’ve written it if I was as talented as Philip Reeve. I loved the importance given to certain character you’d thought were going to be left in the background. I was just glad things ended the way they ended. I was very satisfied; it’s weird being this happy about how a book ended, not wishing for a few ulterior chapters with more explanation.

Now I want to read more books by Philip Reeve. I found he has written some that sound really interesting. I don’t want my adventure with his writing to end.

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[ARC] Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

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5stars

We’re weapons. They made us this way.

Title: Nyxia Unleashed
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: The Nyxia Triad #2

Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: So many twists, such an intriguing story!
Bad things about this book: That ending left me wanting the next book now!! (not a bad thing, I know)
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given to me by NetGalley

I didn’t expect anything to go the way it went. Everything caught me by surprise. I’m speechless after those last chapters, and I need the third and last book like right now because I don’t think I can’t wait a minute longer. I love sci-fi novels, and I love when sequels are as good as the first books, or even better. Color me shaken and excited. But mostly shaken!

I started the book barely remembering all the character’s names and personalities. It’s been a year after all. By the first quarter of the book I was all caught up on the characters and I would’ve killed anyone who wanted to hurt them (all but Isadora. Also, yay for lgbt representation! Do not kill them, please, Mr. Reintgen, PLEASE). By the end I was so messed up by everything that was happening that I almost forgot to pray the alien gods for their safety. It’s not a YA contemporary, lives can be lost, the characters, no matter how important, could die at any moment. I was eternally on edge.

There’s absolutely no way I can write about this book without telling too much, giving up too much information that I got later on the story. The last book ended with Emmett having to fight for his place in a launching pod that’d have taken him to Eden. This book starts right inside the pod with Emmett on his way to the planet’s surface. All the rivalry is put aside as they team up to mine Nyxia, partner up with the Adamites, and sense that things aren’t the way they appear to be. They never are, right?

Emmett is like a living lie detector. He senses when things aren’t right, reading the little tells everyone have when they are not being truthful. Morning is no less; she is truly a force of nature. In the first book I thought their romance was forced because it really was, but now I love them as a couple. They are adorable and care for each other deeply. As much as I didn’t like the way their relationship started, I love how it blossomed to the way we see in this book. They are meant to be together, and I will fight whoever hurt them! I want them safe with their friends on Earth. It’s my wish and I demand it to be granted!

Book series are great and all, but you need to wait months and months for the next book to be published, right? And it’s not only the human memory (mine) that is weak and will make me forget about all the characters, it’s also the fact that I will imagine multiple scenarios in my mind about how this will end, and I will be worried about all the characters’ well-being until the day I’ll read the third and last book. I know some characters won’t make it; they are too many, too easy to sacrifice. How can I live with the knowing that all my babies won’t be happy and safe surrounded by the people they love? A reader’s life is a hard life.

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