[ARC] The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

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4stars

Title: The Henna Wars
Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Release date: May 12th 2020
Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s diverse and own voices.
Bad things about this book: The main character wasn’t always likable.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3.75/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

This is a diverse queer contemporary story about a Bengali girl living in Dublin, coming out, having a crush, navigating school while bullied by bigoted homophobes and racists. There’s a lot about family, her sister is very important to her and to the story. Nishat, the mc, doesn’t make the wisest decisions most times, and doesn’t speak her mind much since “it wouldn’t change anything”. The frustration was real. So, while I was angry at her for the miscommunication, I kind of understood why she chose not to say anything, but how can you know if something can make a difference if you don’t do anything?

The writing style was easy to get into, and all the info about the Bengali culture and food really made me see everything that makes it beautiful and fascinating. I must be honest, I don’t think I really know where is Bangladesh, but now I feel like a know a bit more about the culture. I love learning something new while enjoying a nice book. Mixing both things is perfect!

The love story might sound like the dreaded trope of instalove. It’s more of an instacrush and then we have a really slowburn kind of love story. It was a bit frustrating because it’s the first crush, all encompassing, and Nishat didn’t manage it very well. I admit to have been quite angry at her for most of the book, but the last chapters made up for all the anger and shakes of head. It was pretty cute in the end. The sum of all the parts of the book make it good! It was like a journey inside Nishat’s head with all the doubts, the sadness, the anger, the hopelessness.

This is a book I would certainly recommend to everyone.

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What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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5stars

“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

Title: What If It’s Us
Author: Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The sweetest love story I’ve read in a long time, so true and relatable!
Bad things about this book: I wanted a second epilogue, I wanted more!
Do I recommend it? Yes, two of my fav authors collaborating will always be a YES from me.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Lately it’s becoming hard for me to write reviews. I don’t know why but I struggle a lot to come up with words that describe perfectly, or in very simple words, how I felt about the book I’ve just read. It’s infuriating. I can’t seem to write anymore, and my reviews skills are getting worse. Still I persist because I quit too many times and that’s something I’m trying to do for myself: finish what I start.
I decided, though, not to write much because this book needs to be lived. Whatever I write might spoil the experience, and you know how much I love that!

PLOT —
The plot is pretty simple: boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy finds boy again, boys fall in love, but boys don’t live in the same city, are boys are destined to be heartbroken? All of that with a lot of musical references, videogames, coffee breaks, and very sweet characters in a beautiful city.

“An actual date with a boy. This is possibly, definitely the number one best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I have no chill about it. None whatsoever.”

CHARACTERS —
Arthur is really adorable: musical geek who talks a lot, believes in fate, and goes the extra mile to find a boy he thinks the universe wants him to be together with. Ben is sweet and confused, but he decides to believe in second chances and a little bit in fate so, even with his heart still healing from a bad breakup, he decides to trust his gut and try things out with this chatty boy he barely knows. The side characters are just as great, and yes, I kind of hated the ex-boyfriend, but it was just because I wanted so much the boys to be happy. So yeah, I liked them all.

It’s highly possible that this is the best I’ve ever looked. Either that or the douchiest. It could go either way.

THOUGHTS —
This book made me want to go see Hamilton again. I saw it in London last June and loved every second of it. I’ve already listened repeatedly to the soundtrack and knew it by heart, but it was like seeing it for the first time. Seeing as Arthur loves Hamilton and I love it too, I trusted his taste and listened to the whole soundtrack of Dear Evan Hansen and now I know what musical I want to see next. I’ve had Only Us stuck in my head all day! I love that song! Thanks, Arthur!!!

“Maybe this won’t work out and I won’t care about it ending. But I can’t get from A to B without us being A and B first. Live in the moment.”

CONCLUSION —
I’m not a 100% satisfied with the ending but that’s just me being picky. This book was just the right amount of fluffiness typical of Becky with a bit of “if life gives you lemons they’re probably rotten” typical of dear Adam. I keep thinking about the book, how I’ll love it when the movie comes out, how I want to wait at least a month before listening to the audiobook if it’s available, and how I picture these two boys living their best lives. I don’t usually go there, but I think I might need fanfiction. Yes, that’s how much I love it, I don’t want it to end.

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Noah Could Never by Simon James Green

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5stars

“There is no one better, Noah. No one will ever be like you. There is only different. And in the future, everything is different. So you can choose to live in the anxious misery of what might be, or you can choose the glorious comfort of the here and now. I would pick the now. Tomorrow could be anything.”

Title: Noah Could Never
Author: Simon James Green
Series: Noah Can’t Even #2

Number of pages: 403 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s hilarious and you can’t help to keep loving Noah.
Bad things about this book: The only bad thing is that I can’t seem to have enough of Noah so that’s my only complain, I wanted a bible-long book about him.
Do I recommend it? OMG OF COURSE YES DO IT!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Was this as good as it was going to get? After sixteen, was it basically a steady decline towards arthritis, mobility scooters and the grave? Sodding hell.

I love Noah to pieces and I love how twisted and random his little brain is. What I don’t love is how mess somehow mixes in his everyday life; my boy can’t catch a break. Between freaking out about taking his relationship with Harry to the next level, the French exchange students, a drag queen on the run, a car following his every move, and his half-brother being shady as hell, Noah really doesn’t know how not to lose his mind. And he barely succeeds in not doing so.

This book is the usual hilarious rollercoaster, one hell of an adventure. It messed up with my feelings. I felt so much for Noah and how his overthinking was going to ruin everything good he had going on in his life. The feelings were really strong. I was happy, then mad, then worried (so much worried), then I cried a bit, worried a little more, then I finished the book and exhaled a long sigh of relief.

“I meant what I said. Let’s not be interested in the rest of the world when we’re each other’s worlds.”

Noah and Harry have been boyfriends for two months; they’ve been kissing like crazy, but Noah is scared to take things to a sexier level. He thinks there is something wrong with him because he is a teenager, so he should be thinking about sex at all times, and he isn’t. He is just too worried about what this means, about what that can changed the perception Harry has of himself. He doesn’t think he is enough for Harry; he is not manly enough, he hasn’t got abs, he worries about the most random things, and his life has so much going on that it’s a miracle Harry found Noah interesting in the first place.

Sometimes, having something really nice in your life was worse than not having it, because it made you worries you were going to lose it. And losing something is worse when you know just how wonderful that thing is.

I knew that Noah’s insecurities were going to bring problems to his relationship. I worried so much about their happiness you’ll think they were my best friends. Noah overthinks and by overthinking he makes one mistake after the other. I was on edge all the time; I was on edge even as I was laughing my butt off at the hilarity of the situations Noah finds himself involved.

This might be London, and it might all be very hip, but they’d forgotten about the one thing that was always en vogue: good grammar.

I love Noah so much: his quirks and love for things done the right way! He always tries his best even when life seems to be doing everything to throw things in his way. He might think he is very unlucky in a lot of things, but he doesn’t see just how lucky he actually is, how many people are on his side and love him just the way he is.

“When you next see me I will have thwarted a criminal endeavour and been to London. I will be a changed person. Take a long hard look at the boy, for he will return a man.”

I can’t write how many things are going on at the same time because, trust me, there are a lot of things going on in this book. I guess you just need to read it and find out!

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Hoarfrost by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

“I’d watch the world burn if it meant keeping you safe!”

Title: Hoarfrost
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #6

Number of pages: 232 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how cute were the couples: Whyborne and Griffin, Christine and Iskander.
Bad things about this book: It bothers me a little that Whyborne isn’t studying more spells. He doesn’t know how to do much!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Of course!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t wait much longer so I started another one of Whyborne & Griffin’s book! I read there are going to be 11 and now only 9 are out. I read this one that is the 6th so I still have a few to read slowly. I’m going to miss them so much when it’ll all be over. I don’t want anything bad to happen to them.

Whyborne and Griffin are now happily married and are enjoying some time of peace, until a letter informing Griffin of his father’s death put him in a whirlwind of emotions and nightmares. He never reconnected with his father after he found out about his love for Whyborne and he doesn’t want his mother to leave this Earth without seeing her again. Then one day, his biological brother who works in Alaska, sends him a letter asking for help identifying a weird relic and our crew leaves Widdershins for a long and cold journey north.

This book introduces, for the first time, chapters from Griffin’s point of view. I liked reading his thoughts, his feelings, his love for Whyborne. I also loved how we now know what torments the poor man, why he continues having nightmares about that fire in Chicago and the creatures in Egypt. Griffin hasn’t got an easy life but his love and life with Whyborne has given him a new reason to live and to fight for what he has, no matter the consequences.

There are a lot of surprises in this book; new interesting characters, the obvious bad guys that you can see from miles away but it still surprise you a little when they’re revealed, and more whiny but adorable Whyborne. I just want to know why Whyborne doesn’t know more spells since he’s had that damned book for years. He should be the most powerful sorcerer of the world but he doesn’t study!! Pick up the book and do your homework, Whyborne!! I’m not sure I like what happened at the end of the book but I’m curious as to how that will change the following books.

I will read the next book next month. I don’t want get to a point where I don’t have more Whyborne and Griffin to read. I can’t have that!

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Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

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4stars

I have a crush on my best friend. I have become a teen rom-com cliché. There is no hope for me.

Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Number of pages: 214 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It was really sweet and easy to get into the story.
Bad things about this book: Not enough romance for a romance book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Really cute. Almost drama free but since it was obvious from the beginning what the drama was going to be about, I knew it was going to be okay in the end.

This was obviously a happily ever after kind if book, I trusted it to be so. Cute characters that grew as people in such a short time, not forced, very real life and all that, they surprised me. But this is so obviously a utopic book because the little drama didn’t counterbalance how easily they seem to overcome their obstacles. It’s okay, though, I don’t need a constant reminder of how life isn’t easy or fair; sometimes we just need to read about simpler lives.

Many povs that at first I thought were going to confuse me but in the end they gave me the intel I needed to understand the main characters better. You need to see the characters from others povs to really SEE them; if that makes any sense at all. I liked that.

The book promised me to be about Gideon and Kyle’s feelings for each other and how these feelings were going to change their friendship and their lives. There were many scenes with exact that but I felt that there was too much about other things. Too much for a book this short. If the book was a hundred pages longer, all the info would’ve been a very important integration to the narrative, but with a book this short, the info took too much space off the romance I really wanted to see since that was what this book was going to be about.

Nevertheless, this book contained the perfect story needed for a quiet weekday night. A book you could start and finish in a few hours. You wouldn’t have gone to bed desperately wanting to know how it was going to end. You could go to bed at a reasonable time with a smile on your face because this book gave you a cute little story about two nerd guys, with very strong opinions about The Lord of the Rings movies, loving each other. And that was enough to convince me to read it.

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Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow

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5stars

His lips were soft and warm and tasted of flour and bacon. I kissed him back, feeling a weird fluttering in my chest. Too much greasy food, probably. It can give you indigestion.

Title: Relief Valve
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #2
Number of pages: 341 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Tom is a marvelous human being!
Bad things about this book: Phil is still broody but he doesn’t ruin the story because of it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I’m loving this series.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have to admit that now that I’m starting book 5, I’m having problems separating the events of all the books. I should have written everything down. I remember the different cases, I remember what happened; the problem is that I don’t remember what happens with Tom and Phil in the different books. Everything is kind of overlapping in my head so I may say something that probably hasn’t happen yet. I’ll try not to.

I remember Tom being the usual cinnamon roll that I love and want to cuddle all the time, and I remember Phil being his usual pain in the bum but more bearable than in the first book. Phil is growing a bit, I’d say he is growing slowly, but he’s still not sharing anything with Tom and getting mad at nothing. I had my fair share of “wanting to slap Phil” moments during this book. Those never go out of style. That broody man needs to get a grip and start sharing. After he shares everything, then he will no longer be unnecessarily mad at Tom for asking questions because he is curious about his boyfriend’s life.

But what is this book about? What is the big mystery? Does someone die in this one? This book is about poisoning. The mystery is who the hell is poisoning people. Luckily nobody dies because the almost victim is no other than Tom’s big sister, Cherry. I liked her from the start, reaching Tom because an old neighbour died and left him something he has to find for himself with his talent. I wanted his sister to be a recurring character and I got that. Cherry and her fiancé Greg are present in all the books and it’s great.

Tom and Phil do everything in their power to solve the mystery and maybe by doing so Tom, as usual, finds himself in some trouble. He attracts problems so easily you’d think that’s his superpower. But, being this the second book of now five, you know things are going to get better for Tom and for his moody manchild. But are they going to get better, though? Wouldn’t count on that. It seems Tom and his trouble magnet abilities are here to stay. At least let’s hope that broody man grows up a little bit more and start treating my beloved like the King of Fluff he is.

Does it show that I love Tom? Is it clear enough? No? I love Tom and you should read these books and love Tom and also hate a little on Phil but at the same time cheering on them because power couple! Like is hard for the “We Love Tom” brigade.

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Fence #5 by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad & Joana Lafuente

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4stars

“Don’t think about winning. Winning is a distraction.”

Title: Fence
Author: C.S. Pacat (Author), Johanna the Mad (Illustrator), Joana Lafuente (Illustrator)
Series: Fence #5

Number of pages: 27 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: We got a little insight of the past.
Bad things about this book: There are too many mysteries and I NEED TO KNOW!!!
Do I recommend it? Of course!!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I had to wait so long for this issue and I felt it was too short. Why is this happening again? We got Seiji and Aiden’s match and a little bit of backstory from the fencers. I thought we were going to get a little more insight from Seiji’s past but it was all whispered to him by Aiden and we didn’t hear a thing. I’m so curious I’m kind of losing my patience. And I’m a very patient woman. Very patient, but I can’t wait to get to the juicy parts: the secrets unveiled, the first stares with romantic vibes, the friendships blooming.

Screenshot_20180418-173054_Amazon KindlePoor Nicholas, he’s having a hard time!

But for now I want to know what happened to Seiji? What did Aiden say to him to make him lose his composure? Is it something about a relationship not gone well? I wonder if that’s why Seiji couldn’t go to Exton. Maybe he and Jesse were a thing or Seiji had a crush that he thought reciprocated but then was humiliated?? So many questions!!!!

I WANT TO KNOW WHO THE HELL HURT SEIJI??? GIVE THAT BOY SOME LOVE. HE NEEDS IT!!!

Screenshot_20180418-173123_Amazon KindleHow cute are Aiden’s cheerleaders? They’re adorable!

The next issue is going to be a great one, I’m sure of that! I really can’t wait!

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Manic Pixie Dream Boy by K.A. Merikan

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3stars

“You don’t really know me yet. I might not even be entirely human.”
“Oh, I know that. You’re at least a quarter unicorn.”

Title: Manic Pixie Dream Boy
Author: K.A. Merikan
Series: The Underdogs #1
Number of pages: 143 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s easy to read and it was fun imagining how their songs sounded in my head.
Bad things about this book: I think there were a little too many sexy scenes and the miscommunication really bothered me.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s enjoyable.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Cute and very sexy. Dare I say too sexy? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. If I say it’s too sexy then it means maybe it was really a little bit too much; I’m usually all over the steam and lust.

While I enjoyed reading it, it felt longer than it actually was; it seemed that it was never going to end. I think it lacked something that usually makes me devour a book in no time. It was sweet and it had angst and of course my heart suffered quite a bit.

Dusk is the leader of a rock band. He is bisexual, has long silky hair, tattoos of food? I don’t remember. He is craving peanut butter so he makes the bus stop to buy some but, surprise surprise, he sees Lolly (real name Abe), pink hair, Disney tattoos, heart shaped glasses, lollipop, and it’s lust at first sight. Flirty time, naughty time, toilet accident, and Abe finds himself on the tour bus with the band and a clingy Dusk by his side.

Dusk followed the guy as if he were a rabbit leading Dusk to Wonderland.

He’s supposed to get off in L.A. but, things happen and he’s earning money from the band posing as Dusk’s boyfriend. But what exactly are they? They are good together, have great, even amazing, chemistry but they don’t speak much.

The dreaded miscommunication appears, attacks and knocks them out.

I think I knew that was going to happen. What else can bring suffering and angst between two people that from the outside are perfect for each other and make each other happy? Words not said, feelings not discussed. And that’s it. That’s all it takes for the world to fall apart. I’m not going to lie, I was mad at Abe because you can’t expect people to know what’s going on inside your head. You are feeling bad about something? You tell Dusk about it and find a solution. If that doesn’t work, then and only then, you can be mad and take decisions based on what you both discussed.

“Everything is temporary, like a visit to Disneyworld. And it leaves you drained, because you know it’s never going to last.”

I don’t like how someone waits a long time for their partner to realize something is not right and when they’re almost exploding, they accused them of not caring enough. People are different, they don’t always pay attention even if they want to, they need someone to guide them, to point them to the right direction. They are not bad, they just need guidance and, if there’s love and respect, you’ll see how everything will fall in the right place. And if it’s not worth it, you’ll know early on and not waste precious time on something that’s not leading anywhere. Communication is the way, folks!

Do I want to read the second book of this series? Maybe, but not right away. But I will read it because I’m curious about Sid and the stalker.

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Noticed Me Yet? by Anyta Sunday

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5stars

He was full to the brim with pizza and disappointment.

Title: Noticed Me Yet?
Author: Anyta Sunday
Number of pages: 70 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Amazing ending with amazing characters.
Bad things about this book: That it’s the end? Yes, that’s the only thing that’s making me sad.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

So cute and sweet. You never disappoint me, Anyta!!!!

I took a very long hot bath because I was freezing (damned fake spring) and I decided to read this ebook by the ever amazing Anyta Sunday. I have loved everything I’ve read by her and I knew I had to read this one. It’s only 70 pages long so it was perfect for my bath.

Jacob is looking for a flatmate. Someone, Mr. X, took down all his ads and now three boys, one of them being the infamous X, answered the ad. I didn’t guess right; I really didn’t know who of the three boys was Mr. X. I had my doubts and maybe I excluded one of them almost instantly but I didn’t want to assumed anything by the clues I was given.

The messages exchange was sweet and I was glad for Jacob because he really needed to move on from his first and only boyfriend who broke his heart. He fell for this mysterious boy who liked to tease him with paper notes. That’s was really cute!

I loved the revelation and, luckily, we didn’t have much drama. Maybe only half page drama and that’s perfectly okay with me. I was naked in a steamy bathtub, so exposed, so I needed fluff, I needed joy, I needed a happy story with a happy ending and happy middle.

That’s what I had and I’m so happy I took that super long bath and read it.

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[ARC] Fourteen Summer by Quinn Anderson

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5stars

“I need your humor. I need your support. And I need you to get me to put on real clothes and leave the house every now and then, because otherwise I’ll become one of those weird recluses with twelve pet reptiles who writes articles about how millennials are killing the sock industry.”

Title: Fourteen Summers
Author: Quinn Anderson
Number of pages: 287 (kindle edition)
Expected publication: May 21st 2018
Good things about this book: Nice characters, nice story, nice romance, nice themes. I liked it a lot.
Bad things about this book: There was a part I thought now of the characters was overreacting a bit but maybe I can’t consider it bad since it’s only something that bothered me.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s really sweet.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Arc from NetGalley

Sweet, sappy, a tad melodramatic, cheesy AF: simply adorable. When I finished the book I could barely see, I was squinting my eyes so much trying to make sense of my feelings. I needed rest but I promise I had such a big smile on me face! It was so cute to see, trust me.

Max and Aiden are identical twins. They have lived all their lives being “the twins” and Aiden, the introvert one, has always lived his life being “Max’s brother”. He wants to be his own person, other than the twin of a brother he fights with all the time but that he loves with all his heart. Surprise!! After 10 years not seeing each other, the twins run into Oliver, their long lost best friend from their youth. He is all grown up and hot, and also very gay. Aiden, also being gay, is all the more on edge in his proximity. Boy’s hormones are something else and some things can’t be hidden. The “feelings” are pretty obvious.

This was what happened when two introverts tried to flirt. They ended up with a lot of awkward silences and not-staring contests while they each waited to see if the other one was going to make a move. If Oliver gave Aiden one more lingering look from afar, he was going to become the protagonist of a YA novel.

Unfortunately the sparks between Oliver and Aiden, make Max feel excluded and he starts feeling all kinds of things, making him annoying and rude. Both twins and Oliver must face obstacles during this summer who promises to be one to remember: but if it’s worth it, then things can’t stay wrong forever, right? That’s what I hoped from the beginning, my heart heavy with angst and frustration. Those boys sure knew how to keep me on my toes. I was a little mess but this is not a long book so I didn’t have to wait much to know my sentence.

Fourteen Summers had a promising summary and it lived to its potential. I didn’t expect it to have some kind of scenes but I was also glad it did. They were right, never too much or unnecessary. It dealt with themes familiar to people with siblings and divorced parents but even if you don’t see yourself in them, you will still enjoy being a part of their journey. They grow up in such a short time; they needed a beautiful green-eyed boy to let their castle crumble only to be rebuilt stronger and bigger and more beautiful.

“Way to get all sappy, dude. I blame all those foreign films you’ve been watching. They’ve made you broody.”

Sweet Mother of Cheese, how I love (and sometimes hate) romance novels! They make my heart ache with feelings I long to have. You know, to love and be loved in return? That feeling. To quote my newly found life motto “Dum Spiro, Spero”, there’s still hope for me since I’m still breathing. Let’s keep in hoping because someday love will find me and a crazy summer, like the one of Aiden, Max and Oliver, might become true in my future. I’m okay with spring, winter or autumn, I’m not picky.

Stop it, Aiden. Your oldest friend is back in your life. Try being happy instead of hormonal.

Aiden, dear, the “heart” wants what the “heart” wants. *wink wink*

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