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Title: The Love and Lies of Rukshana Ali by Sabina Khan

My Rating: 3 Stars

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Source: Pansing Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

This book is a massive Tamil film. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I’m actually reading a Tamil movie. It has all the drama and woes of a Tamil movie, and also, it was a relatable book. I could relate to the food, the culture and the do’s and don’t’s and how much we value “what would other people say” in our community.

Rukhsana is gay. She is a Bangladeshi- American who is from a highly conservative family. I mean her mom openly favours her brother- Ameer just because he is a boy, how messed up is that?

Okay coming back to the story, Rukhsana is caught with her girlfriend by her mother, and was soon ‘kidnapped’ to Bangladesh by her mother. She claims that Rukhsana’s granny isn’t doing so well, therefore they are going just for a visit but we all know it’s not that simple.

In Bangladesh, Rukhsana was faced with many hurdles and challenges especially when her parents started to arrange her marriage with a nice Bangladeshi boy fully knowing that she’s gay. This is when the whole book felt like the Tamil film I watched growing up. Heck, some of it even felt like a story my friends told me when they got caught having a boyfriend by their parents.

This already serious book took on a really serious note towards the end, but I can’t really divulge further without spoiling it for you guys. The Love of Lies of Rukhsana Ali was good. It’s a raw representation of the Bangladeshi’s culture, though I gotta see we desi people aren’t so different after all.

This book is fast paced, and it’s heavily family oriented. I like how Sabina Khan instilled a lot of diverse themes and concepts that are truly taboo or strange to the majority of Indian community. It is time to accept all and everybody, and this book is a fab reminder.

Thank you Pansing Books for a copy of The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, I enjoyed it, and hoped that anyone who has read it could share with me on your thoughts, I would love to hear what you think! Till the next review, stay happy and awesome my bookalings!

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Title: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Publisher: Berkley Books

Source: Times Reads

Goodreads Synopsis:

The author of The Wedding Date serves up a novel about what happens when a public proposal doesn’t turn into a happy ending, thanks to a woman who knows exactly how to make one on her own…

When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise–or happen in front of 45,000 people.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…

This book is a blast. I mean it had diversity, casual flirting, loads of fun and a proposal in a stadium which took Nikole by surprise because it came from a man she has been dating for only 5 months.

Yes, I think it’s safe to say I am absolutely smitten by the characters in this book. But hey, it’s not like I don’t have any issue at all, but I’m willing to look past it because the rest was really well done.

I think what I really like about it was how Hollywood worthy it was. It felt like watching a super fun rom-com movie, and I can be such a chick flick junkie!

Following the massive proposal in a stadium full of people and rejecting him, Nikole was rescued by Carlos and Angela Ibarra. It’s not too long before Nikole and Carlos find themselves attracted to one another. Wanting only casual relationship, Carlos was panicking when he realised that he’s falling for Nikole who wants nothing serious. How will this turn out for the both of them? I guess you’ll have to read to find out.

This book is inclusive. It’s tailor made for everybody and honestly it was so refreshing to read a book that is so diverse. I also enjoyed the amazing friendship that are shared by Nikole and her friends. They are funny, loyal and empowering. I would really like friends like them in my life.

The Proposal was cute, humorous and a perfect rom-com read for the lovers of cheesy love stories. I loved it and thank you Times Reads for sending a copy my way in exchange of my honest review. Have you guys read The Proposal yet? Do share with me if you have! Till the next review, stay safe booksters!

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Title: The Quiet At The End Of The World by Lauren James

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Publisher: Walker Books

Source: Pansing Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . .

Imagine being one of the very last human on earth? Imagine roaming the whole world, alone? Scary, isn’t it? In The Quiet At The End Of The World by Lauren James, we follow Lowrie & Shen, two of the youngest humans who will be left all alone once the remaining 300 very old people, dies one day.

Following a virus attack in 2024, human are left sterile. Nobody seems to able to conceive following the attack and the human population was threatened with extinction. It was a fearful phase for everyone in the world.

Now, left with very few in the world, they are determined to teach and groom Lowrie & Shen- the most they know so these two will find a way to survive in the future when there are nobody around anymore.

Things went out of control when the older citizens started to experience a strange episode of seizure and collapsing, one after another. Lorrie and Shen are left to save the remainder of human race, now the real question is- will they succeed?

This book is such a fast turner. Things picked up quickly and to my liking. Lauren made me think and even made me shudder by the thought of being all alone in this vast world. It’s quite unthinkable.

I like the world building, it wasn’t too complicated, therefore it’s pretty straightforward to imagine the dystopian-esque London set in far far future. I also quite like how robots are in the future helping us getting some tedious task done, I’m definitely up for it.

The story revolves around how Shen & Lowrie searches for an option to rescue their loved ones as well as back story of what really happened when the outbreak started. I love how the plot alternates with now and the past and TBH I really like the past bit.

Kudos to Lauren James for writing a story so real and thought provoking. It is really the time to appreciate our world a little extra and stop taking things for granted.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending a review copy my way. I certainly enjoyed this one! Have you guys read this yet? Do let me know if you have! This book is now available in all good bookstores, so don’t forget to grab it soon! Take care my bookalings, till the next review, stay safe!

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Title: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

My Ratings: 3 Stars

Publisher: Bantam Press

Source: Times Reads

Goodreads Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

My Review:

If you know me at all, you should know that I am a Sophie Kinsella trash, I mean I am one of those who read the shopaholic series over and over again and still could cackle at the same joke from the book! I’ve read every single book of hers, and I take pride in that. So yes, if I say I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did other books of hers, I mean business.

Fixie the ‘fixer’, who can’t stop herself from fixing everything she could, is big on family. She loves her family shop- Farrs, supports her mom wholeheartedly and even her unkind brother Jake & sister Nicole. Oh she is also hopelessly in love with her childhood crush- Ryan who happens to be Jake’s best friend.

So basically, Fixie is treated like a doormat by her family except for her dear mother. However, after a setback, her mother took a trip to Spain leaving Fixie and her siblings to tend for the shop. With siblings who have very little regards for their little sister and for the shop, we witness how Fixie taking charge, or will she??

I didn’t like Fixie. She made me really mad. How can anybody be so clueless? I actually yelled at her a couple of times, it’s so frustrating. Everybody is so horrible in this book and it felt like they are all drawing out the good vibes in my life. I also really despised Jake & Nicole, I can’t pretend to like them even. I’ve seen characters like these in my life, and just reading about these two riles me up!

Compared to her other books, this one certainly fell flat to me. Even the love interest- Seb wasn’t interesting. The whole fiasco of IOU’s didn’t work for me. It’s a pity really because I thought this was a great concept.

I really like taking good values from books I read and of course my take away from this book is to love yourself first and love yourself unconditionally, this was the part I truly enjoyed in this book, I may have shed a tear or two.

I hear the shopaholic series is coming out for Christmas and I truly hope Becky Bloomwood would quench my thirst for Sophie’s quality writing. I really miss reading a good chic-lit book!!

Thank you Times Reads for sending me a review copy in exchange of my honest thoughts! Have you guys read I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella? Do you guys feel differently about this book? Do share with me in the comments section, I appreciate it! Till the next post, stay safe bookalings!

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Title: The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Source: Definitely Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO BLOOM

People aren’t sure what to make of Susan Green—a prickly independent woman, who has everything just the way she wants it and who certainly has no need for messy emotional relationships.

Family and colleagues find her standoffish and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself, and that’s all she needs.

At forty-five, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward—a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.

Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control.

When she discovers that her mother’s will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the most unlikely of places.

This sparkling debut is a breath of fresh air with real heart and a powerful emotional punch. In Susan we find a character as exasperating and delightful as The Rosie Project‘s Don Tillman. An uncompromising feminist and a fierce fighter, it’s a joy to watch her bloom.

Susan is forty-five, lives in London, and a self- sufficient woman. She lost her mother recently, and was clueless on the reason why her mom left the house for her useless brother. All these happened as she discovered that she is soon going to be a mother herself.

Susan reminds me a lot of Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory. She’s analytical, doesn’t see the need to socialise and absolutely organised. You don’t mess with such people, you know they will always mean business.

In all these years that I’ve been alive , I know one thing for sure, life will never go the way we want it to. There are occasional curve balls thrown at you and if you don’t adapt quickly, you are in for trouble.

However, such is not the case with Susan. A hiccup in her regular routine could throw off track. First, it was the death of her mother. Second, her mother who left a will favouring her brother. Third, the unexpected pregnancy.

It’s fantastic watching her deal with the hurdles, discovering new things and people and the miles they would go for you if only you give them a chance. Not forgetting this book is hilarious too!

My not so fave part of the book was the slow pace. It was not that slow to a point I would actually give it up but still I’m not a fan of it. Otherwise, I’m quite content reading this book.

Have you read this book yet? If yes, do share with me on your thoughts, I’m looking forward to hear what you think of Susan and her unusual antics. Thank you Pansing Books for sending a copy my way, I had such a great time reading this funny book! Till the next review, stay awesome you lot!

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Title: Love Looks Pretty On You by Lang Leav

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Publisher: Andrews McMeel

Source: Times Reads

Goodreads Synopsis:

The much anticipated new book by international bestselling author Lang Leav. A breathtakingly beautiful collection of contemporary poetry and prose, offering powerful insights into love, heartbreak, relationships, and self-empowerment.

Filled with wisdom and encouragement, every single page is a testament to the power of words, and the impact they can have on the relationships you build with others. And most importantly, the one you have with yourself.

Lang Leav captures the intricacies of emotions like few others can. It’s no wonder she has been recognized as a major influencer of the modern poetry movement and her writing has inspired a whole new generation of poets to pick up a pen.

Love Looks Pretty on You is truly the must-have book for poetry lovers all over the world.

Here’s the thing. I am not a fan of Lang Leav’s works, although I do give all her work a shot because my love for poetry. I think it’s safe to say that ” Love Looks Pretty On You” resonated well with yours truly.

I am all for love poetries but for some reason, Lang Leav’s heartbreaking works never melted my heart before. However, I felt so much for her latest poetry and proses. They were painful and beautiful, I am so glad I read it.

Loyalty

The only ones

they can turn

against you

are those

who were never

with you.

This collection was empowering and covered various topics and subjects. There were poems focusing on friendship, self-love, family, healing and many more. Her writing went straight to the heart and it hit rally close to home, this time.

Things are coming you can’t even imagine. If you knew

what they were, you would forgive this one injustice, this

one catastrophe that has brought your life to a screeching,

screaming halt. The world will turn for you again, and when

it does, it will take you anywhere you want.

This book also came at the right time. I was feeling rather blue this week and Lang Leav’s “Love Looks Pretty On You” came like an assurance and an antidote. I felt lighter and better after the read, and I hope the rest of the reading world feel the same way too!

This book was kindly provided to me by Times Read in exchange of my honest review and I have poured my heart and soul into this review. “Love Looks Pretty On You” is available in all good book stores, and do share with me ok your thoughts in the comment section!

Oh oh, also do share with me on your favourite poems from this book, I would love to hear it! Till the next review, stay cool, you bookish peeps!

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Title: In Paris With You Clémentine Beauvais

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Source: Times Reads

Goodreads Synopsis:

Eugene and Tatiana could have fallen in love. If things had gone differently. If they had tried to really know each other. If it had just been them, and not the others. But that was years ago and time has found them far apart, leading separate lives.

Until they meet once more in Paris.

What really happened back then? And now? Could they ever be together after everything?

This book felt different. I don’t know why but maybe it felt different because it’s a translated work, or perhaps it’s written in the form of poetry from the beginning till the end. Either it worked for me because I enjoyed this book very much.

I like the switch of point of views in this book. It goes back and forth from one protagonist to another and I really liked the flash back as well. Everything was so whimsical and beautiful and oddly strange which worked perfectly fine for me.

Eugene and Tatiana could have been the wonderful couple the world needed. The time was right, and they were teenagers who were drawn to each other. But things didn’t bad wouldn’t go the way we want, all the time isn’t it?

Of course Eugene & Tatiana met again after years. Feelings rushed back and they both found themselves in twisted circumstances. We watch them walking down their memory lanes and struggle with their current emotions.

Love is truly one of the most incredible and yet complicated feelings in the world. Reading this fiction poetry was quite an experience. I definitely didn’t look forward to enjoy this book as much as I did. I loved how honest and raw it is. You don’t get to read anything quite honest and interesting like this book, everyday, and for that I’m thankful.

Thank you Times Reads for sending me a review copy in exchange for my review. Have you guys came across this book yet? Do tell me if you have, let’s discuss! Till the next review, stay safe bookalings!

P/S: I have finally moved and things are less crazier these days. I’m looking forward to more reading and more reviewing, wish me luck guys!

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Title: Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl

My Ratings: 3 Stars

Publisher: Square Fish

Source: Pansing Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

Martin is an American teen on the autism spectrum living in France with his mom and sister for the summer. He falls for a French girl who he thinks is a real-life incarnation of a character in his favorite book. Over time Martin comes to realize she is a real person and not a character in a novel while at the same time learning that love is not out of his reach just because he is autistic.

Hello guys! It’s been a while and I’m so sorry. I’m swamped with a rather massive change in my life (not pregnancy!), it took a toll on my reading life! I think I got it covered for now and so here I am with another review.

Kids Like Us is a special story, I am not going to deny that. This is a book which focuses on autism. We follow Martin who is autistic, who is very close to his father but are currently not with him. Martin followed his Hollywood famous Mom and his supportive sister to France.

Coming from a Special Needs School on Los Angeles doesn’t prepare him to be among kids who goes to regular school. However things seem to fall into place when he met Gilberte, his favourite character from his favourite book- The Search.

The story is told in the voice of Martin. It’s always so refreshing to read a story from the point of view of an autistic child/ adult. We follow their struggle, we get to see their take on life, their insecurity and in Kids Like Us, Martin displayed so much of his characteristics for us to see and learn from.

However, there is a giant ‘BUT’. This story fell a little flat for me. At times, the plot dragged on, I wished it would just pick up already. I mean what’s happening behind Martin’s beautiful brain was fascinating but the plot itself was a snooze fest.

There is a minor twist but you know it wasn’t so exciting and I was a little disappointed. But, when you actually think about it, perhaps not all stories need to be exciting or full grand adventures, perhaps it is what it is. The only downside is how disconnected I feel towards the book and it’s characters.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending a review copy my way. Thank you guys for reading my review, I love you all! Stay safe and see you guys in my next review!

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Title: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K Rowling

My Rating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Little, Brown

Source: Pansing Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shaped the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.

How many of you have watched this spectacular movie yet? I went on the first day and marvelled at how well it was put together for us Harry Potter fans to enjoy! Any extra glimpse of the world will definitely excite me.

The screenplay was another boon for the Harry Potter fan in me. I wanted to read it so I can better understand the fast moving plot and the world building. This was way before Harry Potter, and I catch myself feeling confused over some rigid rules back then.

It was wonderful to read about Grindelwald, to be honest. You hear so much of him in Deathly Hallows and to see this character materialising right in front of my eyes is an absolute delight. He is cruel, no nonsense and the perfect villain.

There’s really quite a number of mystery to unveil in this book. First of all, the origin on Credence. Who is he really? Why is Grindelwald going after him? Why does Dumbledore thinks Newt is the perfect man for the job? Why was Queenie so hasty? The plot can get quite overwhelming as they try to feed us all the necessary information.

This book is a screenplay, which means everything that you watched in the movie, are here immortalised in this book. The upside to reading the screenplay is, you get to pause, stop and ponder and make sense of the plot before you continue reading. I did that a lot while reading The Crimes of Grindelwald.

I could not appreciate enough of Rowling for including Nagini in this instalment. I am just in love with her although she had very little to say throughout the movie. I hope in the next one, we get to see more of her character.

The movie/ book leaves us with the biggest question ever.

I don’t want to spoil for those who is planning to catch the movie soon, but it is sufficient to say that I googled immediately after the movie ends, and was exasperated to find the rest of the fans were as clueless as I am. Oh boy, I really hope Rowling will give us a solid answer in the next movie/book!

The Crimes of Grindelwald is truly different compared to Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them. In Fantastic Beast, we were introduced to so many new creatures and their adventures. Credence was merely a small part of the story, but in Crimes of Grindelwald, the story focused and revolved around Credence and a little less on the beasts. Personally, I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the first one. How about you guys?

Thank you Pansing Books for sending a review copy of Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay my way. I enjoyed it very much! Till the next review, stay awesome my darlings!

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Title: Fresh Ink by Lamar Giles

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Source: Times Reads

Goodreads Synopsis:

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

Fresh ink is a collection of short stories from esteemed, award winning authors. There are a total of 10 short stories, 1 graphic novel and 1 act play. Each of the stories are unique thanks to the diversity. Labels were torn off, and only story stood out. What a fantastic effort!

Okay, I’m not going to lie. Some stories were better than the other. Some didn’t sit well with me, and some made me squeal. For an example, I don’t get Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds. If only it was lengthier, I’d have appreciated it more. But story like Meet-Cute Malinda Lo was so damn adorable, I wish it never had to end. It was also one of my favourite!

I also really liked Why I learned to cook by Sara Farizan, it’s about a Persian girl learning cooking from her grandma for her girlfriend, there’s so much awesomeness in this one story alone, you have no idea!

Why should you read Fresh Ink?

Simple. It represents so many of us, and maybe all of us in one way or another. It’s hard to see yourself in books. It’s not often you feel like a part of the book just because you’re different. This book celebrates that difference. It defied labels and stereotypes, and I’m truly happy for that!

I also think it’s important to have anthologies of short stories such as these to hit the market. It’s fun to watch how your favourite authors create stories that aren’t typically their style. Short stories got their own shortcomings (see what I just did there? Geddit?), e.g.: some would feel they are too short for their liking, but I feel it’s important to encourage these efforts to inspire new aspiring writers.

Thank you Times Reads for sending a review copy of Fresh Ink my way, I appreciate it very much. This book is now available in any good bookstores. If you’ve read it, kindly share with my on your thoughts about the book, I can’t wait to hear it! Stay safe bookalings, till the next review!

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