Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: BOOK REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Authors: John Tiffany, Jack Thorne and J.K. Rowling

Pages: 343

Read: 28th December, 2016

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


REVIEW:

Plot: 3/5

Characters: 3.8/5

Writing: 4/5

“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”

What a crazy, exhilarating ride this book was. Not to mention a great mixture of emotions.
Filled with action from start to finish, Cursed Child welcomed new characters, and allowed us to fall in love all over again with the ones we know so well already.

“In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”

Surprisingly, the character that I took to the most in the script was Scorpius. I loved that kid. I also loved seeing the development of Draco, and sadly how his life has played out. I’ve always had a soft spot for him, and this story both made, and broke my heart in regards to him.

One of the things that irked me about this story, and quite frankly made me sad, was the relationship between Harry and Albus. I guess it’s just not what I expected their father-son relationship to be like.
Also, I have never really, truly gotten used to the idea of Harry and Ginny. I have no idea why, but their relationship has never quite gelled with me, and that didn’t change by reading this.

What I did love, however, was Ron and Hermione! Oh how those two make my heart swell. It was so great to see how their love, and banter, has carried on throughout the years.

“It is exceptionally lonely, being Draco Malfoy. I will always be suspected. There is no escaping the past.”

My favourite aspect of this book/play, was the scenes when they went back in time and we got to see some of the characters we wouldn’t get to see in present time.
I just loved seeing Snape, and the different side of him, especially his reaction to finding out Harry’s sons middle name Albus Severus. Such a sweet moment.

I also really loved the whole ending/Godrics Hollow scene, as well as all the Voldemort elements woven throughout the story.

Oo, oo, and the Dumbledore scene between him and Harry. Oh my emotions. My heart. Too much…

Although I felt this lacked in a solid plot line, meaning I found the plot to be quite… hmm, plain I guess. Just, that the whole reasoning for going back in timed seemed very pointless to me. But, all-in-all I enjoyed it anyway!

That’s all,

Kate :)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling: BOOK REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Authors: J.K. Rowling

Pages: 620

Reading Format: Paperback

Read: 27th December, 2016

Rating: 5/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Harry Potter is preparing to leave the Dursleys and Privet Drive for the last time. But the future that awaits him is full of danger, not only for him, but for anyone close to him – and Harry has already lost so much. Only by destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes can Harry free himself and overcome the Dark Lord’s forces of evil.

In this dramatic conclusion to the Harry Potter series, Harry must leave his most loyal friends behind, and in a final perilous journey find the strength and the will to face his terrifying destiny: a deadly confrontation that is his alone to fight.

These new editions of the classic and internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series feature instantly pick-up-able new jackets by Jonny Duddle, with huge child appeal, to bring Harry Potter to the next generation of readers. It’s time to PASS THE MAGIC ON …


REVIEW:

Plot: 5/5

Characters: 5/5

Writing: 5/5

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Well, I had written half of this review and it just decided to delete itself, so heres take 2 I guess. It was much more poetic the first time… *fumes*

I usually don’t know where to start with reviews, however this time I feel both like I’ll never be able to start, as much as I feel like I’ll never be able to stop.

I guess I’ll just start by simply saying:

I love Harry Potter.

I would, without a doubt, not be the person I am today without it.
I grew up with the films, and read the books later on in life, which I do not regret, as I believe it allowed me to have full understanding and appreciation for the novels, at this age.

Anyway, this is not a shrine, it’s a review, sooo, here we go.

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

This book was incredible. More so than I ever imagined. I loved it, and it’s going straight to the favourites of all time shelf.

I don’t even really know exactly what to say, all I know is it was amazing from start to finish, but I’ll try to form coherent sentences through my shock that I’ve actually finished reading these now…

Looking back on the novel whilst trying to write this review has made me realise how every chapter is like a mini book. Each named appropriately to it’s contents, which have taken up little places in my mind, as if they’ve been filed into categories.

From the very beginning, when Harry finally departed from the Dursleys, my heart swelled. Rowling could not have written that scene any better. I just feel it was done perfectly to solidify the way in which they and Harry felt about each other, truly, in the end.

“He must have known I'd want to leave you."
 "No, he must have known you would always want to come back.”

I found the entire quest for the horcruxes to be so enthralling. The three friends and their voyage to take down Voldemort, as well as help each other. Especially Hermione and Harry’s time in Godric’s Hollow, that swelled my heart.

The Tale of the Three Brothers. The Deathly Hallows! I have always been fascinated with this, and have never quite fully understood them simply through the film, but reading about it just gave me this whole new insight into the stories and history behind this brilliant idea Rowling had. I absolutely loved this huge aspect of the novel.

Severus! The worldly conflict, the never ending debate on whether or not he was a good man… I have finally made up my mind on whether I love him or hate him, and have decided that I love him. Yep. One of the other millions of favourite moments throughout this book has to be the Pensieve scene, surrounding Snapes memories. Harry’s journey through Snapes mind was so incredibly interesting, and certainly both made and broke my heart. To finally understand why Snape was the way he was, ahh, just, yes.

The Battle of Hogwarts. Do I really need to say more? Wow. The ending, the whole last section was just brilliant. I think it may even be my favourite last part of a book ever. It was executed so well, and tied everything together so well.

“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”

Once again, the appreciation for Fred and Georges humour, even in times of sorrow, was one of the many highlights of this entire series. As well as Harry, Hermione and Ron’s friendship. Their friendship, I believe, is one of the most, if not the most, important aspects of the entire series. I am obsessed with them, in-fact all of the relationships Rowling manages to create are so intricate, and really tug on the heart strings.

We got to see the continued relationship between Harry and Dumbledore, which was so nice. I even found myself warming to Kreacher! Oh how unexpected, but lovely.

19 years later…
Ahhh, I could not deal with this part! It was everything. I feel so lucky to have finally been able to read it. Also, to now be able to continue on with The Cursed Child.

Anyway, this is definitely the longest review I have ever done, and I think it’s time to stop.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading, and I hope (I’m sure) you loved this book as much as I did (or are excited to read it).

I’m going to go wipe my tears, watch the Deathly Hallows movies, and fantasise about starting the whole series again… I might just do that. Bye!

Order of favourite to least favourite HP book:
1. Deathly Hallows
2. Half Blood Prince
3. Order of the Phoenix
4. Philosophers Stone
5. Prisoner of Azkaban
6. Goblet of Fire
7. Chamber of Secrets

That’s all,

Kate :)

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard: BOOK REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: The Amateurs

Authors: Sara Shepard

Pages: 307

Reading Format: Paperback

Read: 11th December, 2016

Rating: 4.25/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.

So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.

Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.


REVIEW:

Plot: 4.89/5

Characters: 4/5

Writing: 4.5/5

Well, I think it’s fair to say that Sara Shepard, aka. mystery/thriller/murder mystery goddess, has done it again with her latest novel, The Amateurs.

This novel was my most highly anticipated read of 2016, and I’m so glad it did not disappoint, even though I knew there was no chance it would.

It was crazy, exhilarating, and packed with mystery. It really got me being an investigator alongside our main clan of protagonists.

I love how this book was told from such an array of different characters, we really got to see how everything went down for everyone, and the ways in which they went about things. I found it so interesting to be able to assess each character as they were seen from their own points of view.

However, the characters did fall sort of flat-ish for me at times.
Usually, the characters are one of my favourite parts of (well any novel), but especially Shepard’s books. Even more so, the friendships between her characters draw me in the most, and I feel this book didn’t quite have that same feeling as her other series, say like Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game.
But, I do think that is simply because it’s the first instalment in a series, and I have absolutely no doubt that both the characters, and their friendships will only grow immensely from this novel forwards.

I also cannot wait to see more of the side characters in future instalments *cough* Thomas *Cough*.

The concept of this novel, and the ‘Case Not Closed’ situation, I found to be so entertaining, and it certainly kept me on my feet throughout the course of it.

I loved the nature of the book. It was just such an enjoyable read, whilst still making me nervous and skeptical of every corner I turned… oh, and every page too…
Shepard always imagines the best settings/scenery, and immerses the characters, as well as the reader, into her fictional world, and makes it feel a little less like fiction.

The ending made me simultaneously go crazy, and think “really, the only person I didn’t suspect was found to be the murderer, seriously”. AAAAND they also happened to be one of my favourite characters in the whole book!!
However, that made me love it even more. I don’t quite know how but Shepard manages to fool me with every.single.new.story she comes out with. Seriously, my jaw always ends up on the floor.

I can’t quite believe that we found out the murderer in the first book! (Unless theres some twist put on it and it isn’t really who it is, but it is, but it isn’t…) Yep, that would only make sense to Shepard’s long-time reader fans.
It worked though! I am barely able to contain myself for the next book, I just need to see what happens to the squad (and to the murderer).

I cannot wait for the next instalment to come out in this crazy new series by my favourite author. I wonder if it’ll be another 16 book series. I don’t think I’d oppose.

Bring on more sleuthing, sneaking, and mystery, because no one does that better than Sara Shepard!

That’s all,

Kate :)

Heartless by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Heartless

Authors: Marissa Meyer

Pages: 464

Read: 18th November, 2016

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

*I received this novel from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review on the Heartless blog tour*


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


REVIEW:

Plot: 3/5

Characters: 3/5

Writing: 4/5

“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”

 

Heartless is a fantastic Alice in Wonderland retelling, centring around the significance of the Queen of Hearts.

Cath is a driven and intelligent character, who captures the attention of the reader from the first page, with her love for baking, and lets be real. The description of the food she was making made me hungry just reading about it! I’ll hire you, Cath. The gradual changes, and development we see within her character were intricately woven into the story in such a way that left me both excited to see where it was going, and also a little apprehensive at times (due to the obvious impending doom) *winces*

Jest was such a great addition to the story, his humour and wit provided such substance, and I really loved reading about him, as well as the obvious connection to Cath. Can you say cute? ahh. However, I did find the relationship a little, uhm, strange? at times, but nevertheless, it was still an adorable arc, especially their first meeting *swoon*

“It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.”

The stories behind Cath’s origins and the build up to her becoming who she ends up as, were so magical, and beautifully done. I found myself wanting to know more and more, it was just so interesting, and Meyer’s execution was brilliant.

Heartless felt more like an actual fairy tale, rather than simply a retelling of events. I applaud Meyer in her ability to make the novel feel so…real, of sorts. It really was well done.

One of the aspects I loved most about this book were the descriptions of Wonderland, everything just felt so vivid and bold, without feeling overdone (like the toast I literally just burnt). Oops. I felt like I was in their world, and that’s what I personally need from a novel, to be completely enriched and taken by the story, to put myself in the position of the characters (even though that’s probably not the best idea in… basically every YA book ever.) It all just felt so magical, and special.

“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

Heartless is a riveting retelling of the famous Alice in Wonderland that cannot be missed. If you don’t mind a kind of slowish paced novel in parts, this is the one for you.

Delve deeper into the world of the Evil Queen, and learn a little more about how she got to that point, Meyer’s done it all.

That’s all,

Kate :)

Life After Exams: Film Edition

Hey, my loves!

This is my last “Life after exams” post, if you haven’t seen the other two, here are the links:
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/life-after-exams-book-edition/
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/life-after-exams-tvfilm-edition/

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little section of my life! Can’t wait to start posting new book reviews soon (when I’ll actually have time to read again!) haha

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    Allegiant: Yes, I still have not watched this film! Still! I’m bracing myself for what it’s going to be like. Who knows, it may surprise me, but we’ll see, I guess… Miles Teller saved Insurgent for me, so I’m ready to see more of him in this instalment!

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    Thor (and all the Marvel movies, ever): I’ve been wanting to watch this movie, and it’s sequel for the longest time. Who wouldn’t want to watch hunky Chris Hemsworth throw around a hammer? Idk. Can’t wait to see this one!

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    Ice Age Collision Course: Okay, come on. I love the ice age films. I grew up with them, and continue to love them. Sid is my spirit animal, okay? So excited to see where this one takes my crazy animal childhood loves.

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    Room: This one has intrigued me since I read what it was about, saw the trailer, and of course, Brie Larson’s Oscar win. Cannot wait to see what takes place in this film. It seems so unique.

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    Gone Girl: Still haven’t read the book, oops. But I love a good mystery! Can’t wait to see the craziness that is this movie. I’ve heard so much about the amount of twists and turns, and I do love a good plot twist.

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    The Girl On The Train: Knowing this film is a book, (yet, not having read it), I was intrigued by the trailer. The trailer looks so good, I really hope I can see this one in cinemas before it leaves!

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    Suicide Squad: Well, everyone and their dogs have seen this movie, even in my family. I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t, and that I’m missing out. Although I’ve heard this one doesn’t have the best story line/plot, I’m still looking forward to watching it and seeing what all the hype it about!

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    Deadpool: Hmmm, this is a stretch for me. I’m not quite sure what this movie even is, well I do, but I don’t… you get me? But it’s Ryan Reynolds, so I gotta give it a try!

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    The Shallows: Blake Lively. Do I have to say anymore? I love her, and cannot wait to see what she did with this little movie. Looking forward to a good old shark/person war.

And that’s all I can come up with, not even 10 *sigh*.
I’m a much bigger TV person than I am movie, but I’m hoping to change that soon!
If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Until Next Time,

Kate 🙂

Life after exams: TV Edition

You’ve seen my Life after exams: Book Edition (I hope, if not here’s the link…)
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/life-after-exams-book-edition/

But, anyway, here’s a TV edition of alllll (well, most) of the things I want to watch when I’m free.

TV Shows:
(To catch up on)

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    The Flash: I recently marathoned season 2, and have watched episode 1 of season 3, so I’m not far behind! Can’t wait to see Tom Felton, aka. Draco Malfoy, in S3!

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    Arrow: Once again, only a few episodes behind, but still excited to be able to watch guilt free, and really be able to get into the new story line of Season 5!

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    Supernatural: Okayyy, so I’m not technically behind on this one anymore (which is amazing to be able to say, considering I only started watching this mega 11 season- now 12 season show- 2 years ago.) But I’m sure I’ll have at least a few episodes to watch by the time my exams are over. I love supernatural.

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    How to Get Away with Murder: I think I deserve an applause for having the will power to actually not binge watch the episodes that are already out in season 3, I mean, every episode is a cliff hanger! But I’m kind of purposefully/not purposefully holding back on this one, so that I can watch a whole bunch of episodes in a row. (I don’t like to be left hanging, okay…)

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    The Vampire Diaries: Okay, maybe now I’m just being crazy, because season 8 hasn’t even started yet (as I’m writing this, it airs in 15 minutes in the US). But I’m 99% sure I’ll be behind a couple of episodes sooner or later. So happy this is the last season, I love it, but it’s run its course in my opinion. Also, secretly hoping for Elena (Nina) to come back and marry Stefan in the end… yep, still a Stelena shipper.

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    Reign: So, I’m about a season and a half behind… Currently up to season 2, episode 13. I can only watch this show when I’m in the mood, and then when I’m not, it just doesn’t appeal to me very much. But once I start watching it, I can’t stop. Definitely not one of my fav shows, but I’m excited to see the direction it takes throughout the rest of season 2, and into season 3.

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    Once Upon a Time: I am currently only a couple of episodes behind in season 6, and I’m so excited to see where this season is going! You just never really know with this show… I love the emphasis on Regina this season, because I think Lana Parrilla is an amazing actress!

  8. shadowhunters_s

    Shadowhunters: Well, well, ummm. I have about 2-3 episodes until I finish season 1, but haven’t yet because the motivation is just not there. This show does have its good moments, yes, but it is so cringworthy. The only thing that is going to motivate me now is how much better season 2 looks, so I’m determined to finish this one!

(To start watching)

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Supergirl: This show never reallly appealed to me, but seeing as I’ve become even more into the other DC shows, like Flash and Arrow, I now cannot wait to start this show! And a female protagonist with kick ass super powers? Yes please!

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Fear the Walking Dead: Well, I’m not sure if I’m gonna like this one, but I bought the first episode on special for 99 cents on iTunes, so, I shall check it out! Plus, Alycia Debnam-Carey, yassss!

 

And probably a lot more… Whatever I come across, or gets recommended by you guys! 🙂

 

So there are all the TV shows  I plan on watching (atleast in the immediate future)!
Please let me know in the comments, or on Twitter (@thebookgram), of any others I should add to my list. What have you loved recently?

Until Next Time,

Kate 🙂

Life after exams: Book Edition

Hey lovely people!

Today, whilst I’m sick, and therefore taking a little break from studying (although, not a break from stressing about the fact that I’m not studying… #procrastination right?).

I thought I’d write a post about the books I plan on reading after exams (9th November). Seeing as my whole life has been revolved around school and exams this year (senior year, yep, it’s great), I could not be more excited to get back to reading!

So, without further ranting, here are the top 10 books I plan on reading when I can actually read again (in a not-really-ordered order)…

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    It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I’ve been dyinnnng to read this! I mean, a new Colleen Hoover book?! How could I not be excited to read it! Cannot wait to see what crazy plot twist, or other insane things you’d never see coming that her newest release has! 

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    The Last Star by Rick Yancey. I cannot wait to see how this trilogy ends. It’s so mysterious, it shall be interesting! I loved the first instalment, and although the second wasn’t great (in my opinion), I do have high hopes that this will not disappoint! 

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    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (yes, for the first time), I’m both so ready, and so anxious to finish this series. All the feels are gonna hit me, that much, I do know.

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    Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I read Throne of Glass so long ago now, and didn’t completely fall in love, but it can only get better from there right? I’m so determine to get in on the hype of this series (and catch up…oops)

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    City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, as well as City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. Because it’s about time I finished this series that everyone has probably already read 1000 times over by now. These books take a while for me to get into, but I love them once I do get into them. City of Fallen Angels has been my favourite instalment yet, so I’m excited to see where these 2 go, and how it all wraps up.

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    A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Ahhh! I’m so, so excited to read this one. ACOTAR was so intriguing and crazy. Really pumped to see where this one takes the direction of the story (and to actually be caught up on a Sarah J. Maas series. That would be nice)

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    The Rose Society by Marie Lu. I was not the biggest fan of book one by any means, but I feel like now that I’m older, I’ll enjoy this story a lot more, if that even makes sense… haha. I received the third installment in this series for review, so I can’t wait to devour this one, and finish off the trilogy with a bang!

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    The Amateurs by Sara Shepard. My favourite mystery/thriller author has a new book? You know I’m gonna read it, and you know I’m gonna love it! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

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    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. Which I can’t actually read until I’ve finished Deathly Hallows, but I’m so ready to see what goes on after the events of the final HP book! Also, I’m excited to read the script type of writing!

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    Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven. I’ve started this one multiple times since I got it, but alas, school has interrupted every time. I can’t wait to actually be able to read this book properly, and finish it!

 

So, there you go. Those are the top 10 books I plan on reading after exams, and to close out the year with! There are obviously a lot more, but, these are at the top of my to-read list!

Until next time,

Kate 🙂