Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Enola Homes and the Black Barouche

Author: Nancy Springer

Book Series: Enola Homes Book 7

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: young adult readers, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, sherlock holmes stories.

Publication Date: August 31, 2021

Genre: YA Mystery Thriller

Recommended Age: 15+ (murder, violence, slight gore)

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 272

Synopsis: Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

Review: To start off, I didn’t know that this was the seventh book in this series. I don’t remember if it was listed or not, but I totally glossed over that fact when I got a chance to review this book. I did feel like the book did need some previous book context, but this can stand alone if you wanted to just read this one. The book alone was fairly well written though and I did enjoy the plot. I also really liked the world building and the banter between the characters.

However, I did feel like the character development was a bit too quickly done and that the relationship between Enola and Sherlock was too quickly repaired. I don’t know if the other books dove into their relationship, but if it did then you would need the context of them. I also felt like the pacing was too fast for me.

Verdict: It’s great, but needs context.

To Be Enlightened Promo Tour

Enlighyened copy

Welcome to the tour for “cosmic love story”, To Be Enlightened by Alan J. Steinberg. Read on for details and a chance to win a $100 Amazon e-gift card!

Copy of To Be Enlightened book coverTo Be Enlightened

Publication Date: February 27, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Literary Fiction/ Romance

To Be Enlightened is a cosmic love story that follows Professor of Philosophy Abe Levy as he grapples with what it means to love both his wife, Sarah, and the ocean of silence within. It is also an intellectual exploration of the most intimate of subjects: our consciousness.

Abe Levy’s long tenure as a philosophy professor has motivated thousands of students to ponder age-old questions in light of New Age ideas. Though Abe is passionate about his teaching, he is obsessed with a powerful childhood dream of heaven. To return to that heaven, he must reach enlightenment in his lifetime. Day after day, Abe settles into deep meditation, reaching the very cusp of his goal but unable to cross the threshold. Desperately, he commits to doing whatever it takes, even if it means abandoning his wife for a more ascetic life-a decision that sets off a cascade of consequences for Abe, Sarah, and those he loves the most.

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Excerpt

Vedic wisdom holds that during the forty-eight minutes prior to sunrise, which is called the Brahma Muhurta, a wave of purity and balance sweeps through the world, gently waking it up, along with the birds and other animals. I sip my coffee, enjoying the silence and morning calm. About fifteen minutes before sunrise, the birds start singing praises, enlivening and infusing the atmosphere with optimism for the approaching day. The transition rarely fails to uplift me.

A high-pitched fluttering followed by a distinctive buzzing draws my attention. I look up to see a large, shiny purple hummingbird hovering about a foot above the center of the table, looking at me as if wanting to speak. It flits its beak up, down, and sideways, and—zip! It’s gone. I don’t remember ever seeing a hummingbird so close. I sit for a moment. I know that hummingbird! I’ve seen her many times before in my dream. But she was always a bee.

I do asanas and pranayama and then walk toward our bedroom for my morning meditation. The hummingbird gets me thinking about omens. If there really are omens, does it mean that God communicates with us only at specific, special times? Or is it that at certain times we become still enough to precipitate an omen? Maybe there are always omens and we aren’t aware enough to appreciate them? I bet it’s even more complex than that. I adjust my pillows for meditation. In a half lotus, my eyes close.

Mantra, mantra, maaaantra, mmmannntraaaa, maaa…mantra emerges from shimmering pool, drop of water in reverse. Mantra, mantra, mmmmaa…the place on surface of pool where mantra will emerge begins to move, vibrate…I am observing and hearing the mantra’s emergence from my consciousness. It is separate from the real Me, the observer…The school’s administrative board has asked me to head the search committee for a new chief of campus security. I don’t know anything about security. I’m not going…I observe that thought, and this thought, arise in the same way the Mantra emerges.So interesting…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, maaaantra…surface of pool, no ripples, no thoughts, no feelings coming from body or mind, endless…one side, silent awareness; other side, activity. Mantra, maantraa, mmmmm…mantra barely tickles my expansive surface…Bliss surges through body, mind. Bliss is caused by awareness of subtle disturbance at junction between…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, mmmmmmaaaaaaa…flowing outward, all directions; I am a boundless, luminous mirror between my self and my Self… Mmmaaaa…mmmm…maaaaa…I am the surface of the ocean, impossibly still, deafeningly silent…needing to let go…ready to let go…fearing loss…Mmmmmmmm…decision made, must go forward, will go forward…surrendering all I thought I was for what I am…individuality dissolves: raindrop, ocean…

I am.

I am—the vast, unbounded ocean of consciousness. I am—unmoving wholeness. I was never that body or that mind. I have been observing Abe Levy since the moment he was born, and much, much longer than that. I am—at peace. I am—now awake. I was sleeping before. I can see the sun and the planets clearly. They are so dear to have nurtured Mother Earth, allowing her to birth humanity. I notice distantly that my body is glowing. Time is immaterial and has lost its grip on me…

* * *

Back in my body, I look over at my bedside alarm clock. More than an hour has gone by. I lie down to rest and a deep sleep envelops my body and mind, though I am awake, aware, and witnessing.

I get up and put on my robe. Something is very, very different. It’s as if I am still meditating even though my body and I are active in the world. I am in two places at the same time—the unbounded ocean of consciousness and the bounded world of activity and senses. I have never, ever, felt so good and so focused. I walk to the kitchen, but I don’t seem to be moving.

It happened. The thought comes that I should be jumping with joy, but I’m past that. A more pressing, evolving issue appears to be whether my body can contain my joy. I close my eyes and watch as thin, sparkling beams of Bliss increasingly poke their way through the shell that is my old body, shining out from my new one in a myriad of luminous, waving threads of various lengths and hues. The brightest and most numerous ones are congregated around my solar plexus and the top of my head. The weirdest part of all is that I’m not surprised or concerned by this in the least.

I make oatmeal with whole milk, dried cherries, roasted almond slivers, cinnamon, cardamom, and a hint of nutmeg. I notice something is gone. I am not, in general, an anxious or fearful man, but I now realize I had significant anxiety and fear all my life. I know this because, for the first time, I am completely without those constant companions. Along with my anxieties and fears, my worries about leaving Sarah to go to Fairfield have evaporated. I don’t have to go anywhere now. I am where I have always wanted to be. I’m Here. The weight of responsibility that I had shouldered in guiding Sarah around her triggers has lifted. I think that I can now lovingly support her without feeling bogged down or burdened.

I shower, shave, dress for class, and it all seems to happen automatically, as if I’m uninvolved in the process. I was somewhat intellectually prepared for this, but even after over fifty years of meditation, I’m not prepared experientially. This will take some getting used to.

Walking to my office, the world is delicious. The singing birds are part of me, thrilling me thoroughly from the inside with our perfect twittering. My heart sings with them. My body hums with a hymn as my feet beat the rhythm into the sidewalk.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Alan Steinberg

Alan J. Steinberg, MD is board-certified in Internal Medicine and practices with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California. He also serves as one of the attending physicians for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. He grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1975. Earning his undergraduate philosophy degree at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, California, he went on to attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine, receiving an MD degree in 1984. His first book was a non-fiction consumer’s guide, The Insider’s Guide to HMOs (Plume/Penguin), which garnered favorable reviews in the Los Angeles Times and other publications as well as appearances on The Today Show, 20/20 and C-Span. The book helped sway the direction that healthcare was heading in the late 1990s. His debut novel, To Be Enlightened (Adelaide Books, 2021), is a work of visionary fiction, inspired by some of his own experiences as a lifelong practitioner of TM. Dr. Steinberg lives with his wife of over thirty-five years in Los Angeles, California. They are the proud parents of three young adults.

Alan J. Steinberg | Twitter | Instagram

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The Seventh Cadence by Jim Wilbourne Cover Reveal

Synopsis:

An action-packed epic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, and Michael J. Sullivan

After a supernatural and unforeseen calamity shatters the tentative alliance of the five realms, the Deseran Dominion has returned to take back their homeland and restore their oppressive regime.

As the Dominion readies their troops for invasion, the fate of the entire world rests in the hands of a fugitive scientist, a powerful pacifist, and an unseasoned prince with little to guide them but their own ideals. With the freedom of a kingdom at risk, each must find their place in a world torn asunder.

The Seventh Cadence is a sweeping high fantasy epic of war, found family, and reckoning with fate.

Here’s the pre-order link (https://www.emergentrealms.com/tcc)

Chasing the Taillights Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

August 30 – Paige @popthebutterfly
August 31 – JP @mr.pink.ink
September 1 – Nicole @thereadingrebel
September 2 – Tabi @tabislick

CHASING THE TAILLIGHTS

Lucy and Tony share nothing except genes. Tony’s the champion diver destined for greatness. Lucy’s biggest concern is getting Cute Guy from the burger joint to ask her out.

After an accident kills their parents, the siblings are forced to rely on one another—and decide whether to reveal their secrets.

Lucy can’t tell Tony what she knows about the accident for fear of destroying the tentative bond between them. If she doesn’t confess, she might lose her mind. If she does, she might lose the only person she has left who loves her.

Tony has problems too. Between diving practice, classes and concealing the crush he has on his best friend Jake, Tony needs to find room in his life for his sister, but his own stability dwindles with every passing day.

As the siblings struggle to overcome a lifetime of past conflicts and jealousies, they discover they might have more in common than a love of rock music.

About The Author
Having spent a lifetime travelling the globe, Kate Larkindale settled in Wellington, New Zealand fifteen years ago. A film marketing executive and mother to two sons, she’s surprised she finds any time to write, but doesn’t sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found hanging out by the nearest espresso machine.

She is the author of contemporary YA novels Chasing The Taillights, The Sidewalk’s Regrets, An Unstill Life and Stumped along with several others that no one is allowed to see. Yet. She has also written one very bad historical romance, which will likely never see the light of day. She is working on several more YA novels that may or may not ever be finished.

Her short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Everyday Fiction, Death Rattle, Kissed Anthology, Just Me Anthology, Drastic Measures, Cutlass & Musket and Residential Aliens, among others.

Excerpt:

And then he’s there.

He steps into the room, his huge frame filling the doorway. He starts toward the bed then stops, his lips pressing together into a thin, white line. He drops his brilliant blue-eyed gaze to the floor for a moment and swallows hard before he looks up again. The scruffy beginnings of a beard shadow his chin.

“Hey, Lucy.” He tries to smile as he crosses to the bed, but his lips tremble too hard for it to be convincing. A muscle jumps in his jaw like a tiny fish trying to escape. “Thank you for being here, Peter.”

“I wish I didn’t have to be.” Peter gets up and gives Tony a brief hug. My brother’s arms don’t move, just hang stiffly at his sides, hands clenched into fists.

Peter lets go and moves aside to let Tony sit next to me. “I’m going to get some coffee. I’ll be back soon.”

Tony watches him go, not turning back to me until Peter’s tall, lean figure has vanished into the hallway. When he does, his eyes are red-rimmed and exhausted. Purple crescents lie beneath them. He looks like shit, but something about the way he’s studying me makes me certain I look worse.

“Oh, Jesus, Lucy.” He shakes his head, a pleading expression on his face. “I have no clue what I’m supposed to say right now.”

I blink up at him. I need him to tell me what happened. I need him to explain it to me. I try to form the words, but they won’t come. My mouth, stitched up like a quilt, won’t shape what I need to say.

“Dad?” I manage after a long battle. “…Mom’s…” I can’t say it. If I speak it aloud it’ll be true.

I’m holding my breath. My chest aches and I let it out in a gasp. The pain is back, sharp and stabbing at my side, a dull throb in my neck and shoulder. Tony reaches out and touches the side of my face. I flinch, hating myself for it when his fingers are as gentle as rain.

“They’re dead, Lucy. They’re both dead.” His eyes lock onto mine and I know he’s telling the truth. The bleak, stunned look on his face tells me more than any words could. A sob escapes him and he starts to turn away.

Idriel’s Children by Hayley Reese Chow

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Idriel’s Children

Author: Hayley Reese Chow

Book Series: Odriel’s Heirs Book 2

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: young adult readers, fantasy

Publication Date: July 19, 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, gore)

Explanation of CWs: Moderate amounts of violence and gore.

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 201

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Aza inherited the power of shadow to rid the land of evil as Odriel’s cold-blooded assassin. With her growing strength, Aza discovers the Shadow Plane—a realm of wraiths where screams haunt the winds, calling to her. Although her father forbids her from entering the dark realm, Aza can’t ignore the beckoning whispers.

When a dangerous new breed of monster attacks, Aza believes the Shadow Plane holds the answers they need to defeat them. With the unwanted help of a snarky cat and a cursed beast, Aza seeks out the monastic Wraith-Called for answers. But the deeper Aza delves into the dark realm, the further she drifts from the world she knows.

As Aza uncovers evils new and old, she must decide if the ends really do justify the means… and how many lives she’s willing to pay.

Review: For the most part I enjoyed the book. The writing is very well done and the story is well plotted. The characters are well developed and the world building is great. It’s a good book for people who like the same chosen one tropey style books.

However, I did feel like this book is very trope-y and predictable. There’s not a lot that doesn’t go on in other books and I felt like the book, while great, didn’t have a special spark that made it unique. The pacing is also slow.

Verdict: It’s good.

The Bookseller’s Secret by Michelle Gable

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Bookseller’s Secret

Author: Michelle Gable

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 1/5

Recommended For…: historical fiction, WW2

Publication Date: August 17, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, DNFed

Publisher: Graydon House

Pages: 400

Synopsis: In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.

Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…

Review: I had to DNF this book at 23% in. The book is just really unbearable for me. It’s slow in a lot of places and the main character is not likable at all. There also seems to be a lot of plot points in the book that don’t seem related to the story whatsoever. I also didn’t know about the main character’s ties to Hitler (through her sisters Unity and Diana) before looking into the book and I don’t think I’ll be making another attempt at this book.

Verdict: Not for me but maybe for you.

Tomorrow is Another Day Sale!

𝐹𝑅𝐸𝐸 𝒻𝑜𝓇 𝒶 𝓁𝒾𝓂𝒾𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒 𝑜𝓃𝓁𝓎!

August 27-29, the Tomorrow Is Another Day ebook will be on sale for FREE! That’s zero pennies!

If you’re looking for a binge worthy coming of age series, or a hilarious middle grade—books 2 and 3 will also be on sale!

During this time One Demerit, Two Demerits will be just $0.99, and Dingbats and Debbies will be discounted to $1.99!

Blurb: “Things are changing in Crab Cove—especially for Deniese June Tipper, a lonely five-year-old who just wants to fit in. Born into a chaotic and eccentric family of fourteen that never seems to stop growing, DJ feels invisible except when she’s in trouble. She hopes that the first day of school will be the start of her popularity, but with the whirlwind that is her life, she should know by now that nothing ever goes to plan.

Always putting her nose where it doesn’t belong, DJ Tipper finds herself in a landslide of drama when she uncovers the first of many family secrets that have long been buried beneath chaos, mischief, and perhaps a large helping of Mystery Meet. Crack open Deniese June’s journal and experience it all through her eyes.”

Please tag me and include at least these hashtags if you are making a post:

#TRProuty #TomorrowIsAnotherDaySeries #TIAD #OneDemeritTwoDemerits #ODTD #DingbatsandDebbies #middlegradefiction #freebook #freebooks #booksale

Skid Kids Giveaway Tour

Book Tour & Giveaway: Hardcover Copy of Skid Kids

Skid Kids

Publication Date: July 20th, 2021

Genre: YA Dystopian

Out of the Wastelands for the first time, Zander has never been lonelier.

As a mutant he’s used to loss, but leaving his 14-year-old sister, Kensy, behind is an emptiness like no other.

As he steps through the walls of Westport, her words are the only thing keeping him going:

“Win your freedom. If not for yourself then do it for me.”

Fans of Hunger Games, Red Rising, Maze Runner, and Divergent; GET READY TO ROLL!

Skid Kids is a dystopian thrill ride you won’t be able to put down.

Purchase Link:

IG Tags: @skidkidsnovel
@shannon_rrbooktours #rrbooktours #SkidKids (Plus your usual)

TO ENTER:

Must like & save post
Must follow @skidkidsnovel @shannon_rrbooktours & (enter your “name” here)
Comment below tagging 3 friends (must be 3 separate tags)
Share in stories for 24hrs tagging the author

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IMPORTANT: Please DO NOT use any “giveaway” tags in either your post or story to avoid spammers and fake accounts

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Giveaway will close August 29 at 12 AM EST

Note: Please send me your semi-finalist and I will put them all in a randomizer to pick a final winner

20 Questions Book Tag

Hey bookies! Here’s the 20 Questions Book Tag. No clue who the original poster is, but booklovingnut found it on Paper Fury’s blog post.

  1. How many books are too many books?

I think that as long as you have dedicated readers, keep printing out those books. Personally though I might stop after 4 lol.

What is the longest book series? - Quora

2) How do you feel about cliffhangers?

If done well, I love them.

Woman Standing on the Cliff

3. Hardback or paperback?

Either! I just love to read. I do like hardbacks better, but I’m just happy to have books.

Woman Read Book

4. Favorite book?

The babysitter’s coven

Amazon.com: The Babysitters Coven (9780525707370): Williams, Kate M.: Books

5. Least favorite book?

Amazon.com: Zenith (The Androma Saga, 1): Alsberg, Sasha, Cummings,  Lindsay: Books

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

No. It’s overdone and boring now. I consider it lazy writing now.

Photographer Explains Viral Guy Looking Back Meme | Time

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

A few indies, but I don’t really discuss this because I don’t like humiliating indie authors.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

Flash Fire (The Extraordinaries, #2) by T.J. Klune

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

Amazon.com: H2O (H2O, 1) (9781492615323): Bergin, Virginia: Books

10. Oldest book you’ve read?

I don’t even know lol. I stopped reading classics when I was young.

11. Newest book you’ve read?

Amazon.com: So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix (Remixed Classics, 2)  (9781250761217): Morrow, Bethany C.: Books

12. Favorite Author?

Kelly Coon, author of Gravemaidens and Warmaidens

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

Both! I don’t borrow much from my library but I’m constantly trading books and buying more.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

Amazon.com: Where Dreams Descend: A Novel (Kingdom of Cards, 1)  (9781250204356): Angeles, Janella: Books

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks. Dog-earring is demon shit.

16. A book you can always reread?

Amazon.com: Steelheart (The Reckoners) (9780385743563): Sanderson, Brandon:  Books

17. Can you read while listening to music?

I have to. My ADHD/anxiety won’t allow it otherwise xD.

18. One POV or multiple POVs?

Either, just as long as it’s well written.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Depends on the time I have.

20. Who do you tag

Anyone!

Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Bad Witch Burning

Author: Jessica Lewis

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Black MC, Fat side character

Recommended For…: young adult readers, paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy, witches, horror

Publication Date: August 24, 2021

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, gore, child abuse, emotional abuse, alcohol abuse, slight language, grief, animal death TW, domestic violence TW)

Explanation of CWs: Animal Death scene played out, it’s a tear-jerker and a pain inducer. There is also graphic descriptions of domestic violence, child abuse, and emotional abuse. There’s also gun violence and gore.

Publisher: Delacorte

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Katrell doesn’t mind talking to the dead; she just wishes it made more money. Clients pay her to talk to their deceased loved ones, but it isn’t enough to support her unemployed mother and Mom’s deadbeat boyfriend-of-the-week. Things get worse, when a ghost warns her to stop the summonings or she’ll “burn everything down.” Katrell is willing to call them on their bluff, though. She has no choice. What do ghosts know about eating peanut butter for dinner?

However, when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go.

But magic doesn’t come for free, and soon dark forces are closing in on Katrell. The further she goes, the more she risks the lives of not only herself, but those she loves. Katrell faces a choice: resign herself to poverty, or confront the darkness before it’s too late.

Review: I fell in love with this book from the first page. This book is so well done and it’s one of the best witchy books I’ve read in my life. The book has well done character development and the world building is immaculate. I loved how well the magic system was detailed and how realistic it is from what I hear from my real life witchy friends (that it takes a part of you to do it and can cause you pain/some future issues). The writing is very well done as well and this book is very evenly paced. I do have to warn you though, you’ll be consumed by this book and the overwhelming sadness in it. This book is such a tear-jerker and it’s so haunting that it’ll make you think about it for days or weeks to come.

The trigger warnings in this book are recommended to read and self-consult with. The animal death scene royally effed me up because I was so distraught with myself over it. The author had an amazing way with words and makes you feel like the characters are actually there, but damn it hits hard when death happens.

Verdict: It was so good and so sad and so good.