Saturday, February 29, 2020

Books I HAVE to Read in 2020


Hello all! Today I thought I'd do a fun little post talking about some of the books I'm hoping to finally get to this year. Some of these are books that have been on my TBR for 4+ years and others just came out in 2019, but either way, they're books that I want to read in 2020. I'm hoping that doing this post will help motivate me to have all of these read by the end of the year! This is also by no means an exhaustive list--my TBR is massive and there's so many others I want to read, but these are some that have been on my TBR for a while and are pretty popular in the bookish community. 



Image result for red rising pierce brownUp first, we have the book that has been on my TBR probably the longest (out of the ones on this list) and that book is Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I own about half the books in this series and I've seen nothing but good things about it. In fact, I own two copies of Red Rising! Yet these books have sat on my shelf for 4 years now and I haven't read them yet, despite wanting to read them every year! I really hope 2020 can be the year that I finally read them!

Image result for renegades marissa meyerThen I have the Renegades trilogy by Marissa Meyer. The third and final book came out last fall and it's about time that I read them. I loved Marissa's other series and I've heard nothing but great things about her newest one. In fact, I even own the first and second books. I'm hoping to binge the entire series this summer once finals are over!

Image result for sorcery of thorns margaret rogersonAt number three, I have Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. This book was super hyped when it came out last year and I've heard nothing but amazing things about it. It sounds right up my alley and the cover is stunning! I also plan on reading this once finals are over this summer. I have big reading plans for the summer so fingers crossed I can actually get them accomplished!

Image result for crooked kingdom leigh bardugoThen I have Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I've read Six of Crows twice and I've owned Crooked Kingdom since it came out and yet I still haven't read it. I'm not sure why, either, because the first book ended on a cliffhanger and I do really want to know what happens. I think that, while I like Six of Crows, I was forced to read it both times I read it so I don't have strong attachments to it. However, this year I want to read Crooked Kingdom finally!

Image result for nevernight chronicles jay kristoff
Up next we have the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. I've read Nevernight but don't remember much. I also own the entire trilogy and have heard nothing but amazing things from all my friends and other book-obsessed people on the internet. I think I'm just a bit intimidated and I don't want to go into these books unless I'm really in the mood for them! Hopefully that will be this summer...

Image result for the diviners libba brayAnd, lastly, I also really want to read The Diviners by Libba Bray. The last book came out this year and I own the first two books and have had them on my shelves for a while. I think it's about time that I read this series after hearing so many amazing things. Fingers crossed I can get through it this summer! 




Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Book Review: "The Sky Weaver" by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Sky Weaver (Iskari, #3)
Title: The Sky Weaver
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Series: "Iskari" #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
Rating: 4 // 5 stars 
*I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own*

For starters, you don't have to have read the other two books in the trilogy to read and understand this one, but this one will somewhat spoil the endings of the other two books. It's also good to read the others first because this one follows a character who is present in those two books so we do get a good amount of information about her that way.

Prepare for the sapphic pirate magic adventure of your dreams! We got LGBTQ content, we got pirates, we got dragons, we got god rivalries, we got it all! I am going to try to keep this spoiler-free for this book, but I cannot promise that it won't spoil the other books in this companion trilogy.

I did enjoy this installment but I can't decide if I liked it more than the others or if I liked the others more. I feel like there was a lot of action in this one, but there were times where it just felt long. For example, about halfway through we reached a big climax point that I was figuring would have been the end of the novel because nothing else had been hinted at, but it wasn't. To be fair, it did then set up the rest of the book but it really felt as if the first half and second half of this book weren't the same storyline (I think it felt like a book 1 and then book 2 instead).

However, apart from a few slow moments, I did enjoy this a lot. The characters were what definitely kept me going throughout, but the politics and the action were also quite well. I liked getting to see things that were set up in the other books continue to appear in this one.

Eris and Safire have my heart. I was rooting for them from page 1 and it's truly interesting tracking their character and relationship developments. A criminal and a commandant? A thief and a princess?  A pirate and a solider? Ahhh give me all of it! Their character developments were so good.

I honestly don't even know what else to say without rambling on and potentially spoiling things. The twists and reveals were great and I loved getting to see more of the world and creatures. I sped through this book and read it in just two sittings. I am very intrigued by what the author is going to do next!

Overall, I really enjoyed this final book and this entire trilogy. Each book was so different to each other yet all tied in together and I loved getting to see that. It really speaks to the author's great writing that she can write a dragon hunter trying to overthrow the government AND a political intrigue with court politics and betrayals AND a pirate and princess who hate each other are forced together on an adventure. It was all just so great.



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Monday, February 24, 2020

BLOG TOUR: "The Shadows Between Us" by Tricia Levenseller + GIVEAWAY


Guys I am so excited to be welcoming you to The Shadows Between Us blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! I about died from excitement when I got on this tour and, after having finished this book, I am so excited to talk about it with all of you. I will get the chance to gush about this book later in this post in my review, but there's a bunch of other amazing things in this post as well! We obviously have information about the book and author, but we also have a specially curated playlist from me, a preorder campaign, a book tour, a specially curated Pinterest board from the author, and a book trailer! There's so much to get through so let's dive straight in...



SYNOPSIS

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

by Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 25th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy



MY REVIEW

4.5 // 5 stars

To start off my review, I would like to say a big thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for letting me participate in this tour. The Shadows Between Us was a title that I was really looking forward to this year and I am so grateful for the chance to review it early!

Let me then say that I loved this book. It was so dark and cunning and yet so much fun. This is a standalone so the entire story arc of these characters needed to be wrapped up with as few threads left hanging as possible. I honestly think that Tricia did a great job with that. I'm left entirely content with the ending, which isn't something that always happens when I read standalones. I think there's plenty more that could be explored with this world, but the main story of these two characters together came to a wonderful ending.

I think that the plot itself was interesting. We've got a few high-action scenes and a few romantic scenes, but a lot of the plot was spent on the strategies, whether it be war, betrayal, and whatnot. I really liked how we had a few different side journeys going on as well as the overall storyline between  our two main characters.

I absolutely adored the main character. At first, I was a little unsure if I would like her for an entire book but I'll say that she really grew on me (I also asked myself if it were a male character would I be having the same uncertainties and the answer was no). I liked the whole image of Alessandra---she's a badass who has this very strategic mind when it comes to politics, war, and the court. On the other hand, she can be vulnerable and she is stubborn and makes mistakes. I also liked how she was very into sewing and designing dresses--I think that in a lot of YA books lately if a main female character is badass then she typically doesn't embrace traditional feminine things and, while it's totally okay not to like those things, I do think it does the characters a bit of a disservice. I think that's part of the reason why I liked our main character so much.

The other characters, such as the king and other members of court, were enjoyable to read about as well. We saw them through Alessandra's view so a lot of my thoughts on other characters were based on her reactions to them, and I do have to say that I really enjoyed getting to read about a few of the side characters and their own little plot lines. 

I will say that some of the book was rather predictable. There were a few instances where I just knew that it was going to turn out that way or that someone was going to react a certain way. On the other hand, there were a few things that I absolutely did not see coming but that still make absolute sense within the parameters of the story.

Overall, I read this book in one sitting and absolutely adored it. It was fast paced and the writing was easy to fall into. Pair that with well-written characters and an intense plot and you have a winner in my eyes. I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy and reread this in the future! 



PLAYLIST

Apple Music
YouTube

1. you should see me in a crown - Billie Eilish
2. The Arena - Lindsey Stirling
3. Bad Together - Dua Lipa
4. Bed of Roses - Bon Jovi
5. The Antidote - St. Vincent
6. Better Love - Hozier
7. Castle - Halsey
8. I Found - Amber Run
9. Legendary - Welshly Arms



MEET TRICIA LEVENSELLER

Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, Warrior of the Wild, and forthcoming The Shadows Between Us. She likes to describe her books as young adult alternate–world historical fantasies with heavy romantic subplots.

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing Overwatch with her siblings, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.


Website     |     Goodreads     |     Twitter     |     Facebook
Tumblr     |     Instagram     |     Pinterest



BONUS MATERIALS


~

Specially-curated Pinterest Board from Tricia herself!

~


Preorder The Shadows Between Us and submit your receipt here in order to get some awesome book swag and goodies! (Valid until Release Day)

~


Tricia is going on tour! You can find more information about how to attend any of these awesome events at her website here



PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     iTunes     |     Book Depository
Kobo     |     Google Books



GIVEAWAY

If the widget doesn't work, enter to win a finished copy here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along with the rest of the tour here!





Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Book Review: "When the Dead Come Home" by B.L. Brunnemer

When the Dead Come Home (The Veil Diaries Book 8)
Title: When the Dead Come Home
Author: B.L. Brunnemer
Series: "The Veil Diaries" #8
Genre: RH Supernatural Romance
Page Length: 326 pages
Publication Date: February 14, 2020
Date Started: February 17, 2020
Date Finished: February 17, 2020
Rating: 5 // 5 stars
Goodreads

*This review will be spoiler-free for book 8, but I cannot promise that there won't be spoilers for previous books in the series*

This book. THIS BOOK. This book is what I love about this series. The last couple of books in the series, while great and developmental in their own ways, just felt different to me. They didn't give me the same feeling as the others in this series. This book, though, made me feel like I was right back at home with this series. 

A lot happens in this book. I will admit, I did fly through reading it because I was so excited to finally have this installment. There's a lot in terms of character, relationship, and world development and it was great. I felt like this book had a good balance between all three, whereas the last two books, while great, each focused heavily on ONE of these things and not blending all of them together.

I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm trying to keep this brief and a tad vague. After the events of book 7, I was really excited to see how things would progress between characters in this novel. I was not disappointed in the slightest. The character dynamics have shifted in interesting ways and I quite liked getting to see the different sides of certain characters. It was fascinating to watch how they dealt with different things under the various pressures throughout the book.

There were also plenty of high-action scenes, which I really enjoyed after the more slow previous book. I quite liked how some things were finally being revealed after a few years of speculating and how others were being hinted at but not confirmed.

Overall, I really enjoyed this installment and I'm just very excited for the final book to come out later this year and then the sequel series after that. I think this one set up the finale quite well and, while it wasn't ended with a cliffhanger, there are still a lot of open questions and plot points that could go very different ways. I loved it. 

Book Reviews
Veil Diaries:
Book 1: Trying to Live With the Dead
Book 2: When the Dead Come A Knockin'
Book 3: When to Fear the Living
Book 4: Whispers from the Dead
Book 5: When Evil Comes to Play
Book 6: Secrets From the Grave
Book 7: When the Dead Have it Easy

Books of Stone:
Book 1: Found



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Day Book Tag


Hello all and Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day has been enjoyable thus far and that you're staying warm wherever you are (it currently feels like a bitter tundra where I am). I figured what better way to incorporate Valentine's Day on my blog than with a book tag! There are ten book-ish questions here and I'm so excited to chat with you about all of them! 



1) Stand Alone Book You Love

I actually don't read a lot of standalones. I typically reach for series or companions because I've found the characters I get the most attached to are ones that I can go on numerous adventures with. That being said, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a standalone romance that I absolutely adore! Since I finished it I've been so excited to reread it and I can't wait to revisit these characters.

Red, White & Royal Blue



2) Dystopian Book You Love

I'm going to have to go with The Host by Stephenie Meyer for this one. I absolutely adore this book. Some people consider it to be just sci-fi, I think it falls under dystopian because it's set in a future Earth overrun by aliens. I cannot tell you just how much I love this book--it's so unique and gripping and just amazing. 

The Host (The Host, #1)



3) A Book That You Love But No One Else Talks About

This one is a more recent find but it is A Fallen Hero by Sara A. Noë. I got the chance to read this back in August and fell in love. It's such an interesting world with a found family on the run that absolutely make you fall in love with them. However, it's a self-published book with no publisher backing so I haven't seen many people discussing it. I'm trying to change that, though, and I'm actively trying to promote it to all of my fellow book-nerds. 

A Fallen Hero (Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms #1)



4) Favorite Book Couple

I'm going to have to go with Feyre & Rhysand for this one. I have loved them since ACOMAF and I cannot wait to reread about all their adventures together. Seeing the unconditional love they have for each other and reading all their cute scenes just makes me adore them. (Image: Charlie Bowater)

Image result for feyre and rhysand



5) Book That Other People Love But You Haven’t Read Yet

There are so many that I could put for this question but I'm going with Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I don't know why I haven't read that yet, seeing as I've liked every other thing I've read by Marissa, but I just haven't. I do own the first two as ebooks, though and am hopefully going to get a chance to read them this year!

Renegades (Renegades, #1)



6) A Book With Red on the Cover

I decided to go with Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout (the third book in the Dark Elements trilogy) for this one. The new covers after they went through a change are absolutely stunning and this one is no exception. I love it and the main color scheme is definitely red.

Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3)



7) A Book With Pink on the Cover

I struggled a bit with this one because I wanted to find a book I hadn't talked about yet that I absolutely loved and had a prominent romance, because Valentine's Day. In the end, I realized that Long Way Home by Katie McGarry fit perfectly! I have read four of Katie's books now and have all the rest on my TBR because I've never read a book from her that I don't like. What's even more amazing is that these books are contemporaries or romances but they also have other aspects to them and the characters aren't solely focused on just the romance.

Long Way Home (Thunder Road, #3)



8) You were given a box of chocolate what fictional boyfriend/ or girlfriend would given them to you.

I was trying to think of who this would be and I'd have to say Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. He just seems like the kind of character who would go super romantic for Valentine's Day.

Image result for thomas cresswell



9) You are Single on Valentines Day. What Book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What Movie would you watch?

I'm not single on Valentine's Day, but if I was my lineup would be the following: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin for something to read; Bones or Teen Wolf for something to binge; and To All the Boys I've Loved Before if I wanted a romcom.

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)



10) You are in the Book Store. All of a Sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What New Release will you love?

This one isn't out yet but will be in just a few weeks so I decided to go ahead and include it: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. I know that I'm going to love this one, the only thing I'm unsure of is if I'll love it more than ACOTAR or Throne of Glass...

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

BLOG TOUR: All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace + GIVEAWAY


Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to be bringing another exciting blog tour to you guys! All the Stars and Teeth was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and I am so grateful for not only the opportunity to review it but also to bring it to all of you!

This blog tour post is jam-packed with amazingness. There's information about the book and author, links to purchase it, a specially curated playlist, an exclusive excerpt, the book trailer, my review, and a giveaway! Not only that, but I also have an exciting post going up on Instagram that you can find here



SYNOPSIS

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Written by Adalyn Grace
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: February 4th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates
Goodreads



MY REVIEW

4 // 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I think it might be one of my favs of the year. It was a wild ride from start to finish and by the time I got sucked into the book, there was no chance that I was putting it down until I finished.

This book follows our main character, Amora. She's someone who's headstrong, makes mistakes, and genuinely cares about the people around her and tries to do the right thing. While this book was very much a literal journey from one place to another, the personal journey that Amora went on was also so wonderful to read. Her character development was just...*chef's kiss*

The side characters were also amazing. Even though our only perspective is through Amora, I also felt a very strong connection to the side characters. We get to see into their struggles and pasts through their interactions with our main character. Additionally, their personalities were all very clear and I enjoyed their additions to the story.

This book seemed very much like an epic journey to me. We visit so many different places and there's always something going on to move the plot and character development forward. Even if there wasn't high action in a scene, there was still plenty of tension and plot movement. 

The author's writing is also very vivid and easy to fall into. When she would describe different places or scenes, I saw them much more vividly than I do in some books. Additionally, there weren't really any info-dumps, which is always good! Instead of just telling us information, the author found a way to incorporate it into something different or exciting or within the plot. Because of this, when I finally got fully into the book, I couldn't put it down and ended up reading the final 300+ pages in one sitting!

I will say, there were two things that lowered the star rating for me. The first is that it took me nearly 50 or 60 pages to get fully invested in the story. With how fast the rest of the book moves and looking back at these first few chapters, I'm wondering how necessary it was for us to get that much detail. Additionally, the big climactic ending felt a bit easy to me, though I'm excited to see how the consequences of how things ended lead into the next book!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's one of my favorites of the year so far and I can't wait to see what the author does next in the sequel! A big thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for the chance to be a part of this blog and Instagram tour! 



PLAYLIST
1. Control - Halsey
2. Run Boy Run - Woodkid
3. you should see me in a crown - Billie Eilish
4. Waves - Dean Lewis
5. Way Down We Go - KALEO
6. Deep Water - American Authors
7. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
8. Across the Sea - The Wailin’ Jennys
9. Castle of Glass - Linkin Park



MEET THE AUTHOR

Adalyn Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude when she was 19-years-old. She spent four years working in live theater, and acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper. During and after college, she studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular animated show, The Legend of Korra (sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender). She was a participant in Pitch Wars 2016, and is a former literary agent intern for an established agency.

Adalyn splits time between San Diego and Arizona with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs, and spends her days writing full time while trying to find the city’s best burrito.

She has several projects in the works, and hopes to continually push the boundaries and explore the limits of upper young adult fiction.

You can follow her on Twitter, at @AdalynGrace_

Goodreads     |     Website     |     Instagram     |     Twitter



PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     iTunes     |     Book Depository
Kobo     |     Google Books



BONUS FUN





GIVEAWAY

Prize: a finished copy of All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace (US/CAN only)

Starts February 4, 2020
Ends February 18, 2020

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If the widget doesn't work, enter here!



Follow along with the rest of the blog tour here!

The Fantastic Flying Book Club



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Sunday, February 2, 2020

January 2020 Wrap-Up + Haul


Well, my January TBR was an ambitious one and I do have to say that I absolutely failed miserably. I thought I was going to smash out of a bunch of books over winter break but that didn't happen, and now it's already February and I read all of two books in January. One was a bit disappointing and the other was a slave narrative for class that hit me really hard in the feels. Hopefully February will be a better month reading wise, but let's just dive into my wrap-up.



BOOKS READ
1. 
Title: Scavenge the Stars
Author: Tara Sim
Rating: n/a--DNF
Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars, #1)

2.
Title: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
Author: Frederick Douglass
Rating: n/a -- read for class
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
My professor said one day in class that Frederick Douglass was one of the best writers in American history and that his narrative is one of the best novels out there. I'd have to agree. I'm not going to say much on it since I had to read it for class, but it was a very heartbreaking, eye-opening, and inspiring story.



BOOKS HAULED

Because my wrap-up was so short this month and I didn't get that many books, I thought I'd just briefly list the four books I did get here!
  • Windwitch by Susan Dennard
    • The hardcovers recently underwent a cover change and I wanted to get the original covers before they got too rare and when I saw this at my local used store I couldn't resist
  • Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway
    • I had to get this for my Fiction Writing class this semester 
  • Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
    • I adore all of Katie's books that I've read so far and this is one of the ones that I need to get reading soon so when I saw a signed copy for cheap I decided to snag it
  • Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson
    • This is one that I had to get for my African American Literature class this semester
I didn't get that many, and I don't anticipate getting very many in February either. I've been super busy and haven't had the time to read, and if I'm not reading voraciously I also don't have as big of an urge to buy books. 



BLOG POSTS

December 2019 Wrap-Up!
Bookish Resolutions for 2020
Book Series I Finished in 2019
Favorite Books of 2019
Blog Tour: "Tweet Cute" by Emma Lord



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link