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All in Pieces by Suzanne Young: BOOK REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: All in Pieces

Authors: Suzanne Young

Pages: 272

Reading Format: Kindle

Read: 8th February, 2017

Rating: 4/5 Stars

**Possible trigger warning for sexual assault**


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes a heartrending new novel about a girl struggling to deal with anger issues while taking care of her younger brother with special needs.

“Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own; a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.


REVIEW:

Plot: 4.5/5

Characters: 5/5

Writing: 3.8/5

“I hate the silence right now. It makes me think too much.”

All in Pieces, although a little slow at the start, was fantastic.

I thought for sure I was going to rate this a 3 star book, but the middle and the end, just wow, it really picked up!

Seriously, I finished it at 2am. Does that need more explanation? *heart eyes*

“I want to feel the pain because it's better to feel it in my arm than in my heart”

There were so many different aspects and things that were dealt with in this novel, and I believe they were done really well.

When Savannah felt heartbreak, so did I. When she felt helpless, I did too. When she swooned over Cameron, boy did I swoon with her.

Young did so well in terms of characters. I loved (and loved to hate) them.
You know that an author has built characters really well, when you put yourself in their shoes, which is what I did.

The characters were definitely the biggest highlight of the novel for me, I loved it.

Savannah was just so interesting, and although a little…um… testy at times, I found myself not minding because you gradually discover and come to understand why she is like that. I really enjoyed her character, I admire her for her bravery, and ability to persevere when literally everything (except my baby Cameron) has turned to crap.

Also, sidenote: I think Cameron may be my #1 book boyfriend now, I mean, if you’ve read the book, you wouldn’t ask me why. He is definitely at the top, if not the first on that list now. I loved love him.

Another character related aspect I really enjoyed was Cameron’s parents, especially his mother, it was just so great to see her helping out when some other particular characters needed it the most.

“No, I don't have a boyfriend. I stabbed the last one.””

I found it so interesting to see how people live when faced with such devastating life events, including poverty, and how that contrast with say, people who are more well off.

This is yet another book I went into having no idea at all of what it was about, and I truly think that’s such a great way to read. If I knew what it was about, who knows if I would’ve picked it up, but I consider myself lucky I did.

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!

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    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 🙂

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica: Book Review

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Pretty  Baby

Authors: Mary Kubica

Pages: 370

Read: 4th July 2016

Rating: 3.98/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.


REVIEW:

Plot: 3.89/5

Characters: 5/5

Writing: 4/5

“Momma used to say, ‘We don’t have much, but at least we have each other.’ And then one day, we didn’t even have that much.”

I have never been more confused about a book, or what to even write in a review.

This novel has me completely dumbstruck on what to think upon finishing it, I mean, I finished it at 2am, it’s now 4pm and I still don’t know what to make of it.

What I do know is that I really enjoyed this book, what I’m not so sure of is the point of it? I don’t know if it was the fact that this book had no real climax, or perhaps in all my crazy theories I managed to guess most of the plot points and so it wasn’t surprising for me.

But was there really a point to it? I mean, was what happened with Heidi meant to be the crazy twist? Because I saw that coming from page 1, oh the confusion. I even searched online and read other reviews to try and see what other people made of the ending.

Anyway, despite all this, I still really enjoyed this book. It held my attention the entire time I was reading it, even if not much actually happened throughout the novel. In terms of plot development, was there even any? I’m not sure, oh no, not going back to the confusion…

Characters:
We really didn’t get closure on any of the characters at all, it simply felt like there was a depressing and abrupt end to every character arc. I kind of like that it didn’t turn out all sunshine and rainbows but I’m left guessing on so many levels.

Zoe: Why, whyyy, why did we not get a deeper look into this girls mind. She is the character that intrigued me perhaps the most, and I felt like there was so much more that could’ve been explored through Zoe, and about her struggles that were so evidently there.

Chris: I really liked this guy, I liked his POV, and just him in general. I loved his character development too, and the way that he kind of found a lot of meaning to his life towards the end.

Heidi: Ummm, yeah, not sure about where to go with this one without spoilers. I always thought she was weird, and definitely predicted her ending, I’ll just say that.

Willow: She and her story interested me, and learning all about her back-story and life was both intriguing and depressing. I don’t particularly like her though, and she kind of falls in the same bucket as Heidi for me. I can appreciate the horrible life she’s had though, oh how that would be just uh no.

Overall Thoughts:
I loved having the different POV chapters throughout the novel, I thought that was a great touch. To be honest, if I was in one of those characters heads for the entire book I would’ve gone crazy.

I saw everything and every character so vividly, and honestly it felt like the book was so short even with the 370 pages, and even though it took me a little while to read.

Although I’m still unsure of the point of this novel, as you may be aware of by now… I really really liked it. It was a great (and slightly strange) psychological thriller that I would recommend if you’re okay with enticing yet *looks up synonyms for confusing* perplexing stories.

I just know this one’s going to stay with me for a very long time, what a ride.

That’s all,

Kate :)