Author Archives: Thebookreviewcafe

About Thebookreviewcafe

Hi and welcome to my blog, I love reading and always have a book or my kindle on the go. I love reading crime/psychological thrillers, but I will read most genres if a book takes my fancy. If you would like me to review a book for you please send me a email, although I cannot guarantee to review a book if it has a tight deadline due to work commitments. As a new blogger I would be grateful for any hints or tips established bloggers could give me, so feel free to email me. Thanks for calling in and hope you enjoy my reviews

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons #BookReview @WriteAngie @Bookouture #ChildsPlay #CrimeSeries #MustReads

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for one of my favourite crime series Child’s Play by Angela Marsons, but first the book description……..

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Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck.

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.

Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event.

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killer’s they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?

The addictive new crime thriller from multi-million copy, number one bestseller Angela Marsons explores the dark side of child prodigies and will have you absolutely hooked.

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I’ve thought long and hard about writing a review for Child’s Play by Angela Marsons, not because I didn’t enjoy it, in fact I bloody loved it! But it’s the eleventh book in the series and I’ve reviewed every book,  and I’m not sure I have anything original to say, unlike the author! Am I biased towards the author? Definitely not if I love a book i will shout about it, if I dislike a book  I tend to keep my opinions to myself! I keep expecting this series to lose momentum, or the latest book to be a pleasant read, but not one that sets my heart racing with excitement, and yet the latest instalment of the ‘Kim Stone’ series is just as good, or even better than previous books in the series, and just as thrilling, Angela Marsons is an author who was born to write crime thrillers.

Child’s Play opens with a blood curdling scene, there’s no slow build up here the author goes straight for the jugular, no pun attended! Which immediately draws you into Child’s Play. Diverting from her usual format the author has uses two plots to engage the reader, personally I sometimes find this affects the flow of a book, but that’s definitely not the case with Child’s Play. The first focuses on the investigation of the gruesome murder of Belinda Evans, a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. The second focuses on DC Penn whom we were introduced to in a previous book. By weaving both plots together we learn more about Penn’s personality and learn more about his strengths  and weaknesses during a reopened investigation.

The strength of this series lies in its characters, Kim Stone and her team are so well developed, they jump out of the pages. Like any team they each have a place, they have their disagreements, their banter is second to none and yet they are a ‘work family’ who always have each other’s back.  The relationship between Kim and her sidekick Bryant goes from strength to strength, the humour better the pair adds light relief to the contrast of a dark plot. A new member temporarily joins the team, Tiffany aka ‘Tinks’  her character fits in really well with the dynamics of the team, even if Kim finds her irritatingly cheerful! I hope she makes a return in future books, as I think she would definitely make a worthy addition to the team.  

As I’ve come to expect the author’s research into her plot and characters is impeccable, she also gives an incredible insight into the psyche of her troubled characters. In this book the author spotlights child prodigies, a subject which I found intriguing but at the same time alarming, these children are often seen as oddities, they are bullied, ostracised, isolated because they are ‘different’. Marsons explores the difficulties child prodigies face, alongside the ramifications on siblings and families. Child’s Play seems such an innocent title, it’s one that conjures up images of children’s laughter, and childhood games, but Angela Marsons turns it into something dark and far more sinister. 

Once again the author has written a crime thriller that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, taut with tension and bursting with malevolence and trepidation, it’s a book that crime thriller lovers will race through. Angela Marsons has again delivered a riveting read, with an original plot, all to human characters and a style of writing that immerses the reader from the start. I cannot wait for the next book in this ‘unmissable’ series. Highly recommended by me. 

  • Print Length: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (11 July 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

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**Cover reveal** Torment by Mark Tilbury #Torment @MTilburyAuthor @Bloodhoundbook

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Today I’m so excited to be revealing the cover for Torment by Mark Tilbury. Expected publication day is August 5th 2019. I have read an ARC of this book, and all I can say is ‘Mark Tilbury fans new or old, or in for a real treat’. Before I share the cover here’s the book description to pique your interest…….

Who can you really trust?
Beth Cruikshank couldn’t be happier. She is eight weeks pregnant and married to the man of her dreams. But after returning home from a celebratory meal, she finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above the bed and a kitchen knife embedded in her pillow. There are no signs of a forced entry. Nothing is stolen. And no one other than the cleaner has a key to the house.
And then a campaign of terror begins. Beth becomes increasingly paranoid as it becomes clear that someone close to the family is behind these disturbing events.
But who would want Beth dead?
Can Beth find the answer before it’s too late?
Torment is a story of misplaced loyalty, revenge and sacrifice.

Without further ado here’s the cover for Torment in all its glory

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What do you think? Personally I really like the cover and love the tag line.

About the author

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Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had six novels published by Bloodhound Books, including his most recent release, You Belong To Me.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar, and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.

Social Media Links:

Author website: http://www.marktilbury.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Tilbury/e/B00X7R10I4/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/marktilburyauthor/

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/MTilburyAuthor@MTilburyAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marktilburyauthor/@marktilburyauthor

 

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager #BookReview #SummerReads @riley_sager @EburyPublishing @penguinrandom

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Riley Sager’s latest book Lock Every Door. read on for my thoughts but first the book description…….

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You’ve been offered a luxury apartment, rent free. The catch: you may not live long enough to enjoy it…

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents. 

These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous.

Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her. Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story – but the next day, her new friend has vanished.

And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…

Welcome to the Bartholomew…You may never leave.

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Lock Every Door is the latest book from author Riley Sager, I’m a huge fan of this author’s writing and really enjoyed his previous books Final Girls and Last Time I Lied  but I believe this is my favourite book yet. The author has moved away from his slasher, horror, YA vibe, and this book reads more like a gothic, thriller, chiller novel. This book is the perfect summer read (as in best read in daylight hours). Every page of Lock Every Door reinforces the readers’ feelings of trepidation and paranoia. **Beware the Bartholomew is a building full of dark secrets, ghostly happenings, and mysterious disappearances enter at your own risk**

You’ve been offered a luxury apartment, rent free, not only that you get paid to be a ‘house sitter’ sounds great, eh? But as the old and wise adage goes  ‘If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is’. Jules Larson ignores any misgivings and moves into one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings the Bartholomew, home to the rich and famous. Within days of Jules moving in, the perfect job looses its shine, first there are the strict rules, and then strange and disconcerting events begin to occur.  The first half of Lock Every Door threw up so many tantalising questions, that I raced through this book desperate to uncover the answers. 

The Bartholomew itself is a character, an iconic landmark on the outside but step inside and it’s a building shrouded in rumours, ghost stories and urban myths, its history is one that whispers of a curse, ghostly happenings and tragic events. The atmosphere inside the building is one you could slice with a knife (no pun attended!),  it’s creepy and intense I couldn’t shake off a niggling feeling that ‘the worse was yet to come’, and I wasn’t wrong! The Bartholomew is home to an eclectic bunch of residents, and although I felt I only got to know them on a superficial level this no way spoilt my enjoyment of this read. Each of the residents featured adds layer upon layer of doubt to the story, so you are never sure who to trust.  As the tension rose so did my heart rate, and I’m sure it didn’t drop until I reached the hugely satisfying  conclusion. 

There is nothing more thrilling than being duped by the author, I really thought I had everything worked out, but then the author threw the mother of all curve balls that rendered me speechless! Some readers may find certain aspects of this book far fetched, I thought the direction the plot took was clever, devious and very satisfying. Riley Sager has a way of writing that makes his books come alive, it’s like you are watching a film rather than reading a book, the setting, the atmosphere, the plot make Lock Every Door an exhilarating read. Highly recommended to those who love a thriller, chiller with misdirection at every turn. 

***Please note the book featured in my photo is the USA version, UK version pictured below***

  • Print Length: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (25 July 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

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                                                          UK book cover

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza #BookTrailer #MustReads @RobertBryndza @TheCrimeVault @kirsteenastor

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Today I’m thrilled to be sharing something that I’m really, really excited about, it’s a trailer for the awesome Robert Bryndza’s latest book Nine Elms. In case you don’t follow my blog I’m a huuuuuuuge fan of the author’s books and I can’t wait to read this one, of course I’ve already pre-ordered my copy! This is the first book in a brand new series featuring Kate Marshall, and as I mentioned it’s available for pre-order right now links included below Here’s the very intriguing book description first…….

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Robert Bryndza is ready to take the world by bestselling storm again with the introduction of Kate Marshall, a woman with a dark secret and a powerful sense of justice.

Sixteen years ago, Kate Marshall was a rising star in the London Metropolitan police force. Young, ambitious and driven, with a talent for getting into the minds of criminals, she solved several high-profile murder cases.

But when Kate was tasked with tracking down a vicious serial killer, even her instinct and ability to immerse herself in violent worlds couldn’t help her find him – until he found her.

Now, years after her narrow escape, Kate lives a quiet life on the English coast, though her years with the police are still with her. And when one day she receives a letter from someone in her past, she is pulled back into the twisted mind of a murderer she knows only too well – and into a case only she can solve.

  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (1 Nov. 2019)

pre-order links:   Ebook published 1st November 2019 Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Hardback:  published 9th January 2020 Amazon UK 🇬🇧

About the author

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Robert Bryndza is a crime writer and his books have sold 3 million copies, and they’ve been translated into 28 languages. He’s British and lives in Slovakia. In addition to writing crime fiction, he has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels.

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller THE GIRL IN THE ICE, which is the first in my Detective Erika Foster series, and to date, it has sold over one million copies. There are six books (so far) in the Erika Foster series, and they can be read as a series, and also work as stand-alone books, so can be read in any order;

THE GIRL IN THE ICE
THE NIGHT STALKER
DARK WATER
LAST BREATH
COLD BLOOD
DEADLY SECRETS

NINE ELMS, the first book in new crime thriller private detective series, is now available to pre-order, and it will be published in the USA and UK on November 5th 2019.

You can find out more about him at www.robertbryndza.com

and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to his New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

And now what you’ve all been waiting for

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Here you go click on the link below to watch the trailer ⬇️⬇️

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza trailer

Well what did you think? I 🖤🖤this trailer it literally gave me goosebumps and now I’m even more eager to read Nine Elms. And don’t forget ⬇️⬇️

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#Inborn by Thomas Enger #BookReview @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks #BookShelfReads

Today I’m thrilled to share my review for Inborn by Thomas Enger. This is the first book I’ve read by the author so I wasn’t sure what to expect. You can read on for my thoughts….

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When a teenager is accused of a high-school murder, he finds himself subject to trial by social media … and in the dock. A taut, moving and

chilling thriller by one of Nordic Noir’s finest writers.

.When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

.Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community. As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust.

.But can we trust him?

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I have a confession to make **whispers quietly** I have never read a book by Thomas Enger! So yes maybe I’m late to the party where this author is concerned, but what an entrance. I absolutely loved Inborn, it’s a novel that’s intense, deliciously dark and each page is filled with a mystery that captivates the reader. This is one of those books that should come with the tagline **Assume nothing, question everything** my favourite kind of read, this nothing more satisfying than reading a book where the author misdirects the reader at every opportunity, where nothing is as it first seems, and where each character placed in the spotlight adds to the growing sense of mistrust. 

Inborn is set in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim, when the local high school becomes a murder scene, the finger of suspicion is directed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, Evan finds himself judged on social media, everyone in the insular village has an opinion, ‘guilty to proven innocent’ seems to be the general consensus. As Even tries to unravel the truth and clear his name, it becomes clear that some villagers have hidden secrets, ones they would prefer to stay very much hidden. Inborn is narrated In alternating story lines, one focuses on the courtroom with Even testifying, and the other follows the events after the murders leading up to the trial. Both of the storyline’s merge perfectly, drawing the reader further into the author’s tangled web whilst maintaining a sense of trepidation that continues to grow as the story unfolds.

Thomas Enger has created a fascinating bunch of characters, Even especially is one of those characters you are drawn to, he’s a young man whose whole life comes crashing down, once popular and liked by all, he finds himself the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, speculation is rife and Evan is left bewildered, angry and scared. Although I wondered if I could trust Evan, after all “there’s no smoke without fire” so they say, or was I been directed by the whispers of the small-minded townsfolk?  Chief Inspector Yngve Mork who leads the enquiry, is another character I felt a deep connection to, he’s haunted by grief after loosing his wife whose recently died of cancer.

Inborn is a relatively short read, at 276 pages but “the best things come in small packages” and what it lacks in pages, it more than makes up for in content and drama.  A small Norwegian village is the perfect setting for this novel, it feels claustrophobic, a place where gossip becomes the truth, and the relationships of the townsfolk are shrouded in lies and deceit. This book is so many things, courtroom drama, a crime thriller, merged with mystery and lashings of suspense. The author is now definitely on my “must read” authors list,  and in case you were wondering “yes” it’s a book I would recommend to anyone who’s looking for a crime read that’s different on so many levels.

  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS; None edition (22 Jan. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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The closer I get by Paul Burston #Review @PaulBurston @OrendaBooks #MustReads

Today I’m sharing my review for The Closer I Get By Paul Burston, this book has been sat patiently on my TBR shelf for far too long, but it’s one that was definitely worth the wait. Before I share my review here’s the book description…

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Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.

Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her father and her social-media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has.

When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.

But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.

A compulsive, disturbingly relevant, twisty and powerful psychological thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk just one ‘like’ away…

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When I was young, many moons ago, trolls were cute plastic dolls with sticking up hair, and social media was unheard of it, fast forward a decade or three! and social media is something we’ve convinced ourselves we can’t do without. In someways I embrace social media but I have had always had reservations about the negative side of social media, the trolls, the vicious comments, it goes on and on.  After reading The Closer I get by Paul Burston I find I’m even more  paranoid about my own use of Twitter,  in fact it made me want to delete all my accounts! The author explores online relationships and how the most innocent interactions can turn into something far more disturbing. We are privy to the characters turmoil as we get pulled into a living, breathing nightmare, where fragile online friendships turn to an all consuming obsession. The Closer I get is a powerful, dark tale, brimming with raw emotion and  malice, but oh such a compelling read. 

Tom Hunter is a successful novelist, well his first book was a major hit anyway. His fame comes at a cost and he finds himself being stalked by Evie, a young woman who he met at a book signing and befriended. As the stalking escalates, Evie finds herself in court, and is given a restraining order. The Closer We Get is told in both past and present we learn how Tom and Evie’s relationship turned from innocent tweets into something far more disturbing, and the chapters told in the present explore the impact on Tom and Evie after the court case. Told from both Tom’s and Evie’s points of view the reader is given the opportunity to delve deeper into both characters psyche, which alone makes for a very disquieting read. 

There’s nothing I like I more than an unreliable narrator, but when you get two unreliable characters for the price of one, it’s difficult to know who to believe, or to distinguish the truth from the lies. For me I also felt the lines between the hunter (Evie) and the hunted (Tom) were hazy, is Tom really innocent of any wrong doings? Is Evie as much a victim? I can’t say I particularly liked either of the characters, without a doubt Tom is a victim, but  I found  him to be arrogant and pompous, where as poor Evie is clearly deranged, unstable, and unable to separate fact from fiction, but strangely enough this made the read all the more enjoyable! the author has created two unforgettable characters, which in my mind is testament to Paul Burston’s writing. 

Don’t think for one minute this is your typical ‘stalker’ Psychological thriller, it’s anything but! after all we’re talking Orenda Books here whose books are never, ever, predictable. As the story reached its hugely satisfying but unpredictable conclusion, the tension becomes unbearable as a growing sense of foreboding radiated at the turn of every page.  This is a story that Is highly relevant to today’s society, it’s shockingly credible, unsettling, and brilliantly executed. The Closer I Get has all the ingredients I enjoy in a psychological thriller, unreliable characters, an unpredictable plot, it’s one that encourages you to ponder the perils of social media, which reminds me I need to go and deactivate my accounts! Highly recommended 

  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS; None edition (11 May 2019)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen Sullivan for my review copy in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. 

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The book review café book of the month **June 2019**

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Well here we are in July, can you believe it? At last summer seems to have arrived😎 I’m just wondering how long it will last. Before I share my book of the month I thought I would give you an update on my lack of posts lately.  Earlier this year I got admitted to hospital, and to cut along story short it made me realise I needed to slow down, so for the next few months I will be posting as and when. I have no schedule,  well apart from one cover reveal and a blog tour I’m really excited about (my lips are sealed for now 🤐).

You may have noticed I’ve updated my blog photo, do you like it?or hate it? feel free to leave a comment I won’t be offended honesty! I wanted something that instantly shows that I mostly read and review crime thrillers.  I’m still in two minds about the cover but it will do for now anyway.

And now the real reason for my post it’s time to choose my book of the month for June. How do I choose my book  of the month? I go for a book that I find particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page. So without further ado here’s my book of the month for June and it’s a cracker……..

The Whisper Man by Alex North

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With a synopsis that grabbed my attention and a promise from the publishers ‘GET READY FOR THE BIGGEST THRILLER OF 2019’ there was no way on earth I was going to miss reading The Whisper Man by Alex North. There is nothing more terrifying than a child being murdered, and the author expertly plays on these fears, creating a dark, creepy, and haunting read. Be prepared for a few sleepless nights, it takes a lot to unnerve me, but this book actually scared me silly in parts! (In the best possible way). Oh, and a word of warning make sure your bedroom doors are closed at night or beware ** If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken** You can read my full review here…..The Whisper Man by Alex North @writer_north @MichaelJBooks #BookReview #TheWhisperMan #MustReads #BookHangoverAward

Highly recommended

Links to my reviews……..

TheJourney by Conrad Jones @ConradJones #BlogTour #BookReview @BOTBSPublicity

Black Summer by M.W.Craven #BookReview @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK @TheCrimeVault #WashingtonPoe #BlackSummer #BookHangoverAward

Someone Is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst #Review @JennyBlackhurst @Annecater #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @headlinepg #SomeoneIsLying #ButWho

Books I’m hoping to read this month

Depending on my mood of course 😂🙈