Review: ‘The Last Girl’ by Joe Hart

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars

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Blurb: A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.

Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.

Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.

‘The Last Girl’ by Joe Hart is the first book in the Dominion Trilogy, with the second book expected to be published in September 2016.
When I read the blurb of this book I was instantly intrigued. A worldwide epidemic that reduces the birth rate of girls to less than 1% so all the remaining girls are being kept hidden away in a compound, where they are being used for tests. Zoey, the main character in this book, is fast approaching her twenty-first birthday. At twenty one, every girl apparently gets moved back to her parents, where they will live happily ever after and are never seen again. Zoey is getting suspicious and starts acting up and breaking rules. She decides to try and escape.
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were parts when I was really into it and it was great to read, but there also were parts when it felt like the author jumped parts that could have been really interesting. It just didn’t keep my interest up. The main character Zoey also falls a bit flat sometimes, which is shame because she had so much promise. All together an ok YA dystopian book.

Published March 1st 2016

I have received this eBook copy through NetGalley!

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Review: ‘On Bowie’ by Rob Sheffield

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars

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Blurb: From the New York Times bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape, a thoughtful and loving meditation on the life of the late David Bowie that explores his creative legacy and the enduring and mutual connection he enjoyed with his fans

Innovative. Pioneering. Brave. Until his death in January 2016, David Bowie created art that not only pushed boundaries, but helped fans understand themselves and view the world from fantastic new perspectives.

When the shocking news of his death on January 10, 2016 broke, the outpouring of grief and adulation was immediate and ongoing. Fans around the world and across generations paid homage to this brilliant, innovate, ever evolving artist who both shaped and embodied our times.

In this concise and penetrating book, featuring color photographs, highly regarded Rolling Stone critic, bestselling author, and lifelong Bowie fan Rob Sheffield shares his own feelings about the passing of this icon and explains why Bowie’s death has elicited such an unprecedented emotional outpouring from so many lives. 

Like many other people, I watched with sadness the news reports on David Bowies passing back in January. My dad always played a lot of music when I was growing up and amongst it, a lot of Bowies albums. His music became a constant in my life and I still love his music now. To me, and I suspect to many others as well, he seemed immortal so the news of his death was a shock.

Since January, I have been reading quite a bit about him, but this book is the best hing I have read to date. It is not just all the facts that you can find everywhere, but it also takes personal views and the legends into account. Let’s not forget Rob Sheffield’s writing style, which just flows. Before you know it, you are all emotional and you finished the book. I would have loved more photos, but that’s just my personal taste, I love flicking through pages of photos.
Definitely recommend it, and not just to Bowie fans!

Published June 28th 2016 

I have received this book through Bookbridgr! 

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Review: ‘Paper Butterflies’ by Lisa Heathfield

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars

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Blurb:  June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . But at what price?

Paper Butterflies is an unforgettable read, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Crossan and Louise O’Neill.

Oh my god…where do I start? This book by Lisa Heathfield is the most emotional book I have read in a long time…maybe ever! It is the story of June, who lives with her dad, stepmother and stepsister. Her life is dark one, full of bullying, doubt, abuse and sadness, until she meets Blister. They form a strong friendship. He brings some light and hope into June’s life and for the first time she believes that she can escape that life and be free.
The chapters in this book alternate between ‘before’ and ‘after’. The ‘before’ chapters are outtakes of June’s life from a young girl up to her teenage years and the ‘after’ chapters are June when she is a bit older, reflecting on events from the past. It all gives this constant feeling of dread, which grows and grows as it becomes apparent that somewhere along the line something awful must happen. Sometimes I just wanted to stop reading because it was almost painful, but I couldn’t, because I needed to know if June was going to be ok.
This book had me in tears and quite frankly broke me a little! Absolutely brilliant writing from Lisa Heathfield and I am sure June’s story will stay with me for a while!

Expected publication: June 30th 2016

Thank you to MaximumPopBooks! for this review copy!

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WWW Wednesday ~ 29th June 2016

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I am currently reading…

‘On Bowie’ by Rob Sheffield

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Blurb: From the New York Times bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape, a thoughtful and loving meditation on the life of the late David Bowie that explores his creative legacy and the enduring and mutual connection he enjoyed with his fans

Innovative. Pioneering. Brave. Until his death in January 2016, David Bowie created art that not only pushed boundaries, but helped fans understand themselves and view the world from fantastic new perspectives.

When the shocking news of his death on January 10, 2016 broke, the outpouring of grief and adulation was immediate and ongoing. Fans around the world and across generations paid homage to this brilliant, innovate, ever evolving artist who both shaped and embodied our times.

In this concise and penetrating book, featuring color photographs, highly regarded Rolling Stone critic, bestselling author, and lifelong Bowie fan Rob Sheffield shares his own feelings about the passing of this icon and explains why Bowie’s death has elicited such an unprecedented emotional outpouring from so many lives.

Published June 28th 2016

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‘The Other Place’ by Elizabeth Roderick

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Blurb: At eighteen years old, most guys are chasing girls or dreams. Justin, on the other hand, wants to draw and be left alone. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but it’s more than that. He’s in tune with the Dark Energy that surrounds us all, and can see how it controls people’s actions. Sometimes, the Dark Energy will give him visions, to help him on the road to enlightenment.

When his mother hooks up with a Baptist preacher named David who believes Justin’s schizophrenia can be cured with prayer, Justin knows he has to get out—or risk involuntary commitment in a religious facility.

After a brush with incarceration, Justin takes off to San Francisco, where his drawings are not just noticed, but admired…

Justin’s bizarre and beautiful drawings create a stir in the art world. Meanwhile, he’s homeless, couch surfing, and trapped in a continuous battle with his mental illness. His salvation is a girl named Liria Czetski with a shady past. They’d met a year ago, and she’s appeared in his visions ever since. It turns out Liria has been sharing those visions, something that is a surprise to everyone but Justin…

When secrets surface, Justin is forced to realize that being a genius has a downside. Surrounded by people who want to exploit his talent, he must fight not only for his career and freedom, but perhaps for his life…

Expected publication: July 5th 2016 

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I have recently finished reading…

‘Paper Butterflies’ by Lisa Heathfield

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Blurb: June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . But at what price?

Expected publication: June 30th 2016 

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I am probably going to read next…

‘Moonstone’ by Sjón

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Blurb: Winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize

The year is 1918 and in Iceland the erupting volcano Katla can be seen colouring the sky night and day from the streets of Reykjavik. Yet life in the small capital carries on as usual, despite the natural disaster, a shortage of coal and, in the outside world, the Great War grinding on.

There, sixteen-year-old Máni Steinn lives for the new fashion – the movies. Asleep he dreams altered versions of them, their tapestry of events threaded with strands from his own life. Awake he hovers on the fringes of society. But then the Spanish flu epidemic comes ashore, killing hundreds and driving thousands into their sick beds. The shadows of existence deepen and for Máni everything changes.

Capturing Iceland at a moment of profound transformation, this is the story of a misfit in a place where life and death, reality and imagination, secrets and revelations jostle for dominance. With not a word wasted, this mesmerising and original novel is the work of a major international writer.

Published June 2nd 2016 (first published October 22nd 2013)

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‘The Perfect Gift’ by Emma Hannigan

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Blurb: This beautiful, moving novel of mothers and daughters and the secrets they share will fill hearts with love and light this Mother’s Day. If you love Patricia Scanlan and Cathy Kelly’s warm novels, you will adore Emma Hannigan’s The Perfect Gift. ‘A wonderful storyteller’ Cathy Kelly

Happy Birthday, darling girl…

Ever since she can remember, Roisin has received a birthday card in the post. Signed with love from the birth mother she has never met.

Brought up by her adoptive parents, Keeley and Doug, Roisin has wanted for nothing. But on her thirtieth birthday a letter comes that shakes her world.

For Keeley, who’s raised Roisin as her own, the letter reminds her of a guilty secret she’s been hiding for thirty years.

And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she dare not go. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them

Published February 11th 2016

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Stacking the Shelves ~ 25th June 2016

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Hosted by http://tyngasreviews.com
This week, I have added a total of 5 books to my shelf! I have received 4 books in the mail, two of which were sent to me through Bookbridgr, one through a competition and one from a publisher, and I also had 1 eBook sent to me as part of a blog tour.

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‘Paper Butterflies’ by Lisa Heathfield

I have won this review copy through MaximumPop Books and the blurb had me so intrigued that I started reading it straight away!

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Blurb: June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net. But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . But at what price? Paper Butterflies is an unforgettable read, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Crossan and Louise O’Neill.

Expected publication: June 30th 2016

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‘On Bowie’ by Rob Sheffield

This book caught my eye on Bookbridgr and having grown up with his music I just had to get a copy to read and review.

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Blurb: From the New York Times bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape, a thoughtful and loving meditation on the life of the late David Bowie that explores his creative legacy and the enduring and mutual connection he enjoyed with his fans

Innovative. Pioneering. Brave. Until his death in January 2016, David Bowie created art that not only pushed boundaries, but helped fans understand themselves and view the world from fantastic new perspectives.

When the shocking news of his death on January 10, 2016 broke, the outpouring of grief and adulation was immediate and ongoing. Fans around the world and across generations paid homage to this brilliant, innovate, ever evolving artist who both shaped and embodied our times.

In this concise and penetrating book, featuring color photographs, highly regarded Rolling Stone critic, bestselling author, and lifelong Bowie fan Rob Sheffield shares his own feelings about the passing of this icon and explains why Bowie’s death has elicited such an unprecedented emotional outpouring from so many lives.

 Expected publication: June 28th 2016

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‘Moonstone’ by Sjón 

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Blurb: Winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize

The year is 1918 and in Iceland the erupting volcano Katla can be seen colouring the sky night and day from the streets of Reykjavik. Yet life in the small capital carries on as usual, despite the natural disaster, a shortage of coal and, in the outside world, the Great War grinding on.

There, sixteen-year-old Máni Steinn lives for the new fashion – the movies. Asleep he dreams altered versions of them, their tapestry of events threaded with strands from his own life. Awake he hovers on the fringes of society. But then the Spanish flu epidemic comes ashore, killing hundreds and driving thousands into their sick beds. The shadows of existence deepen and for Máni everything changes.

Capturing Iceland at a moment of profound transformation, this is the story of a misfit in a place where life and death, reality and imagination, secrets and revelations jostle for dominance. With not a word wasted, this mesmerising and original novel is the work of a major international writer.

Published June 2nd 2016 (first published October 22nd 2013)

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‘The Perfect Gift’ Emma Hannigan

This book was kindly sent to me by Frances Gough at Headline Press Office.

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Blurb: Ever since she can remember, Roisin has received a birthday card in the post. Signed with love from the birth mother she has never met.

Brought up by her adoptive parents, Keeley and Doug, Roisin has wanted for nothing. But on her thirtieth birthday a letter comes that shakes her world.

For Keeley, who’s raised Roisin as her own, the letter reminds her of a guilty secret she’s been hiding for thirty years.

And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she dare not go. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them all… 

Published February 11th 2016

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‘The Other Place’ by Elizabeth Roderick

I am part of the blog tour for this book through Xpresso Book Tours.

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Blurb: At eighteen years old, most guys are chasing girls or dreams. Justin, on the other hand, wants to draw and be left alone. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but it’s more than that. He’s in tune with the Dark Energy that surrounds us all, and can see how it controls people’s actions. Sometimes, the Dark Energy will give him visions, to help him on the road to enlightenment.

When his mother hooks up with a Baptist preacher named David who believes Justin’s schizophrenia can be cured with prayer, Justin knows he has to get out—or risk involuntary commitment in a religious facility.

After a brush with incarceration, Justin takes off to San Francisco, where his drawings are not just noticed, but admired…

Justin’s bizarre and beautiful drawings create a stir in the art world. Meanwhile, he’s homeless, couch surfing, and trapped in a continuous battle with his mental illness. His salvation is a girl named Liria Czetski with a shady past. They’d met a year ago, and she’s appeared in his visions ever since. It turns out Liria has been sharing those visions, something that is a surprise to everyone but Justin…

When secrets surface, Justin is forced to realize that being a genius has a downside. Surrounded by people who want to exploit his talent, he must fight not only for his career and freedom, but perhaps for his life… 

Expected publication: July 5th 2016

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Review: ‘The Silver Tide’ by Jen Williams

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 Stars

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Blurb:  Tales of the Black Feather Three and their exploits abound far and wide, and Wydrin of Crosshaven, Lord Aaron Frith and Sir Sebastian have become sell swords in demand. Having foiled powerful mages and evil magic, they now face a challenge unlike any before – in the form of Wydrin’s mother. Devinia the Red, notorious pirate and captain of the Poison Chalice, is intent on finding the fabled treasure hidden within the jungles of the cursed island of Euriale. She needs the skills of her daughter Wydrin and her companions to get there, and our heroes cannot resist the lure of coin and adventure. But no explorer has returned from the heart of the island, and it’s not long before the Three find themselves in the clutches of peril. Deep within the island of the gods, there are remnants of forces best left undisturbed…

‘The Silver Tide’ by Jen Williams is the third book in The Copper Promise Series. Just as the two previous books, this one is fast paced and a brilliant fantasy read with lots of action through and through. It was a joy to read and even with being a big book, i finished it far too quickly. The main characters are again well developed and the world vividly described. I have already ordered my hard copy, to add to my bookshelf and I am certain that I will read this and the two previous books in this series again soon.

Published February 25th 2016 by Headline

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WWW Wednesday ~ 22nd June 2016

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I am currently reading…

‘The Last Girl’ by Joe Hart

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Blurb:  A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women. 

Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population. 

Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.

Published March 1st 2016

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‘The Girl And The Sunbird’ by Rebecca Stonehill

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Blurb: A haunting, heartbreaking and unforgettable novel of a woman married to a man she can never love, and drawn to another who will capture her heart forever… 

East Africa 1903:When eighteen year old Iris Johnson is forced to choose between marrying the frightful Lord Sidcup or a faceless stranger, Jeremy Lawrence, in a far-off land, she bravely decides on the latter. 

Accompanied by her chaperone, Miss Logan, Iris soon discovers a kindred spirit who shares her thirst for knowledge. As they journey from Cambridgeshire to East Africa, Iris’s eyes are opened to a world she never knew existed beyond the comforts of her family home.But when Iris meets Jeremy, she realizes in a heartbeat that they will never be compatible. He is cold and cruel, spending long periods of time on hunting expeditions and leaving Iris alone.Determined to make the best of her new life, Iris begins to adjust to her surroundings; the windswept plains of Nairobi, and the delightful sunbirds that visit her window every day. And when she meets Kamau, a school teacher, Iris finds her calling, assisting him to teach the local children English. 

Kamau is everything Jeremy is not. He is passionate, kind and he occupies Iris’s every thought. She must make a choice, but if she follows her heart, the price she must pay will be devastating.

Published June 17th 2016

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I have recently finished…

‘The Star-Touched Queen’ by Roshani Chokshi

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Blurb:  Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen? 

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire… 

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

Published April 26th 2016

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I am reading next…

‘My Last Continent’ by Midge Raymond

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Blurb:  It is only at the end of the world—among the glacial mountains, cleaving icebergs, and frigid waters of Antarctica—where Deb Gardner and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For the few blissful weeks they spend each year studying the habits of emperor and Adélie penguins, Deb and Keller can escape the frustrations and sorrows of their separate lives and find solace in their work and in each other. But Antarctica, like their fleeting romance, is tenuous, imperiled by the world to the north. 

A new travel and research season has just begun, and Deb and Keller are ready to play tour guide to the passengers on the small expedition ship that ferries them to their research destination. But this year, Keller fails to appear on board. Then, shortly into the journey, Deb’s ship receives an emergency signal from the Australis, a cruise liner that has hit desperate trouble in the ice-choked waters of the Southern Ocean. Soon Deb’s role will change from researcher to rescuer; among the crew of that sinking ship, Deb learns, is Keller. 

As Deb and Keller’s troubled histories collide with this catastrophic present, Midge Raymond’s phenomenal novel takes us on a voyage deep into the wonders of the Antarctic and the mysteries of the human heart. My Last Continent is packed with emotional intelligence and high stakes—a harrowing, searching novel of love and loss in one of the most remote places on earth, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences—“Half adventure, half elegy, and wholly recommended” (Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves).

Published June 21st 2016

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