Posted in Blog Tours, Reviews

Kiss Her Goodbye by Susan Gee #travelingsistersread #BookReview #BlogTour @Aria_Fiction @SusanGeeWriter

KISS HER GOODBYE BY SUSAN GEE BLOG TOUR

Hello everyone and thank you so much for stopping by! We are so excited and it’s our absolute pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for Kiss Her Goodbye by Susan Gee and share our individual reviews with you. Thank you so much to Victoria Joss from Aria for inviting us to be a part of the blog tour.

The Traveling Sisters ~ Norma, Brenda & Lindsay! xxoo

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About the author
Susan Gee was a finalist in the Daily Mail Write a Bestseller Competition as well as a finalist in The Good Housekeeping fiction competition. This is her first novel.

Follow Susan
Facebook: @susangeewriter
Twitter: @SusanGeeWriter

About the book
Seventeen year old Hayley Reynolds is unwanted at home, and an outsider at school. Pushed away by her best friend Kirsten Green, she makes a deliberate, chilling decision – if Kirsten can’t belong to her, then she won’t belong to anyone….
DI Beverley Samuels has the body of a schoolgirl on her hands – a murder that brings back the hauntingly painful memories of the case she’s tried so desperately to forget.
There’s something deeply disturbing about this crime – and yet with little hard evidence it’s up to her to decide who she will believe….

Tightly-plotted, tense, and a finale with a heart-stopping twist – get ready for the biggest
thriller of 2018. Fans of Claire Mackintosh, Laura Marshall, A. J. FInn and Alice Feeny won’t be disappointed!

Web_L337-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Review

Enjoyable, entertaining, and a highly compulsive read!

KISS HER GOODBYE by SUSAN GEE is a haunting, chilling, disturbing and dark psychological crime thriller novel that features quite the nasty, sinister and manipulative teenage psychopath.

The opening chapter was quite distressing and made me feel a little uncomfortable but once I got through that chapter and into the mindset of this brilliantly portrayed psychopath then I was totally consumed in this novel and couldn’t put it down.

SUSAN GEE delivers an intriguing, unsettling, and sometimes repetitive read here with one of the most disturbing main characters that I have ever read. Even the supporting cast of characters weren’t all that likeable or endearing. The whole sordid tale in general was so irresistible and totally grabbed my attention but I would say though that the tone of the novel was a little juvenile at times. Although I really think it reflected the characters well in this story though.

There were some aspects of this novel that did have me questioning what I was reading but it didn’t bother me at all though. One of the things was changing my mindset that college in the UK wasn’t how we perceive college to be in Canada. So I did have to remind myself that college in the UK starts at the age of 16 and typically ends when they are 18 so therefore some of the logistics and scenes in this novel were a little distracting but really not all that much though. Just made me pause a time or two and then continued on.

What made this novel really stand out was the manipulation and deceptive nature of the characters as well as how Susan Gee manipulated that deception into the plot. Very impressive!

Web_L365-3_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s Review

First we meet Hayley Reynolds a teenager who appears to be calm and quiet on the outside but terrifyingly chilling on the inside. We get a good look inside her disturbing and manipulating mind and she makes for a fascinating psychopath. Hayley feels like an outsider and unwanted at home and that only makes her even more dangerous. I was intrigued by her and starting turning those pages as fast as I could.

Then we meet DI Beverley Samuels who is haunted by painful memories of a case where she missed some things. She is determined not to make the same mistakes again and I started to question if this affected her judgement.

At times I really enjoyed the dynamics here between the characters and the game Hayley plays here to manipulate her innocence and keep the finger from pointing to her. At times it was exciting, tense and entertaining but I did become weary with the back and forth between them and the pace slowed down a bit for me. Things did pick up for me again near the ending and I really enjoyed how it all came together. That ending was chilling and a bit unsettling and I didn’t see it coming.

I recommend this one to readers looking for something a little different here with a teenage psychopath and a DI with the case that haunts her.  Just a heads up it does have a little juvenile drama at time.

Web_L149-2_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s Review

Hauntingly atmospheric, suspenseful and unsettling.

This dark and chilling story follows Hayley Reynolds, a teenage girl who feels unwanted.  With a highly unstable homelife, troubled childhood and very few acquaintances at school, Hayley is often left on her own, her dark and disturbing thoughts the only thing to keep her company.   One day, Hayley makes an unsettling decision that changes her life, along with everyone in her small town.

DI Beverley Samuels is on the case in Hayley’s town to find answers to a young girls’ disappearance. However, Beverley is deeply haunted by a past case.   She can’t get over the young girl’s murder – it preoccupies her every thought.   This story really opened my eyes to how damaging a past case can be on a police detective.   Beverley suffered from an extreme sense of guilt related to missing some critical pieces of information on a case – it consumed her.

This novel unfolds through Hayley and Beverley’s perspectives in alternating chapters.  I found both narratives equally intriguing. The author, Susan Gee, did an excellent job immersing us into each character’s mindset, the tension building in each chapter.   I felt chills creep up my spine at several points throughout this book.  There was such a dark and unnerving tone to this story – I felt completely drawn into the unsettling and eerie atmosphere.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Ominous, eye-catching, and intriguing. A good representation to storyline but maybe a little bit deceiving.
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and an extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Straightforward, captivating, and repetitive but oh so alluring though.
Plot: Dark, disturbing, engrossing, fast-paced, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining.
Ending: Shocking, disturbing, and satisfying. I was extremely pleased with the outcome even though it wasn’t necessarily a happy one.
Overall: The book was just as disturbing as the characters were which made this an exciting and gripping read! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Aria, and Susan Gee for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Kiss Her Goodbye is available now!

5RcTkRggSUSAN GEE – AUTHOR Q&A

Tell us more about your new novel, Kiss Her Goodbye.
Kiss Her Goodbye follows two characters, Hayley Reynolds, a teenager who has murdered a girl from her college and DS Beverley Samuels, the detective who is trying to solve the crime. Hayley is a flawed and complex character and the story follows her as she manipulates those around her. DS Samuels is haunted by a past case and Hayley uses that to manipulate her. The story is more of a ‘will she get away with it?’ rather than a ‘who done it?’

How did you come up with the idea for this novel?
I wanted to write about a teenage girl who was a killer rather than a victim. I also wanted to explore a story from a troubled character’s perspective to see what made them tick. I was interested in trying to understand the complexity of a troubled character like Hayley.

What was the hardest part of the book to write?
Hayley’s character is dark, but I didn’t want to demonise her. I wanted to portray a flawed character with a degree of sympathy. Trying to do that against the terrible acts that she commits was a challenge, but it was an interesting journey.

Did you do any specific research for the book?
The book is set in the 1980’s so I did have to research events taking place at the time. Also as the book is set in a real place I wanted to make sure that the shops and bars were the ones that were around at that time. The main character loves New Order and so it was fun to revisit some of their music.

Can you describe Kiss Her Goodbye in 3 adjectives?
Dark, troubled and twisted.

How long did it take to write the novel and how many drafts did you write?
I finished this novel and then put it away for a couple of years while I explored new ideas. I decided to send it out to two competitions and was lucky to be the runner up in both. From this I secured an agent who suggested adding the character of the detective so I rewrote it again with the new point of view included. So it has had a few re-drafts.

Do you have a special place where you like to write?
I write in bed or on the sofa. It can be hard to find a quiet space in a busy household so I’m used to working with people around me.

What authors have inspired you in your writing journey?
Flawed characters and dark stories are the ones that I’m drawn to. I loved The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks and The Long Walk by Stephen King when I first read them. Annie Proux write so concisely and truthfully, Broke Back Mountain is a brilliant short story. When I was younger I loved a wide range of books from John Irving to Jane Austen. I think inspiration comes from every book that you read. There is always something that you take away from a novel.

When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I have always written. I used to write short stories, but always wanted to write a novel. I realised that the only way for my novel to exist was to actually get down and do it. I was tired of hearing myself say the words, ‘I’ll write a book one day.’ I took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester University, which was very useful. It introduced to me to other writers and gave me the confidence to finish the book.

Can you tell us a bit about your plans for the future?
The future will involve writing more words. I have started a new draft for another novel. It will be dark and there will be a dead body in it. This is inevitable.

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Please check out these other fantastic blogs that are participating in the blog tour!

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Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers @mulhollandbooks @hbgcanada @aeskens

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We are joining Christina@Recipe and a Read with this Sunday Sneak A Peek where we take a look inside a highly anticipated upcoming group read and give a little sneak peek into our thoughts from the first few pages.  We also are going to take a little sneak peek into some of our group reads we have going one.

For my Sneak Peek I am featuring The Shadows We Hide the sequel to The Life We Bury. Norma, Lindsay and I read The Life We Bury awhile back and have read a few others by Allen Eskens. I have read them all and we have to say Allen Esken has become a favorite author for us.  We did hear a while back some buzz there was going to be a sequel and I have had my eye out for it.  Well you can imagine how excited we were when we saw The Shadows We Hide was available to request on NetGalley and now thanks to a copy arriving at our doors we will be diving into this one soon. Christina will be suggesting The Life We Bury on the Friends group for an upcoming read and has requested Shadows We Hide along with a couple of other sisters.  

I read the first two pages and I am already hooked into this story.  I was soon reminded what a good guy that Joe Talbert is for taking care of his brother Jeremy and helping his girlfriend through law school.  I was really intrigued by that start to the book and already I have so many questions I am excited to get answers to.  From the description on the back of the book I am intrigued to find out more about Joe’s father and how his past and murder affects how he feel about him being a good guy.   I feel like this one is going to be one we will want to lock ourselves in our rooms and not come out till we are done.   

Norma’s first thoughts were wow I really love Allen Eskens writing and he has a way of hooking us in right from the start.  The first few sentences jumped out at her right away and she is intrigued and excited to get started reading.

Goodreads Descripton 

In the highly-anticipated sequel to the national bestseller The Life We Bury, Joe Talbert returns to investigate the murder of the father he never knew, and to reckon with his own family’s past.

Joe Talbert, Jr. has never once met his namesake. Now out of college, a cub reporter for the Associated Press in Minneapolis, he stumbles across a story describing the murder of a man named Joseph Talbert in a small town in southern Minnesota.
Full of curiosity about whether this man might be his father, Joe is shocked to find that none of the town’s residents have much to say about the dead man-other than that his death was long overdue. Joe discovers that the dead man was a loathsome lowlife who cheated his neighbors, threatened his daughter, and squandered his wife’s inheritance after she, too, passed away–an inheritance that may now be Joe’s.
Mired in uncertainty and plagued by his own devastated relationship with his mother, who is seeking to get back into her son’s life, Joe must put together the missing pieces of his family history– before his quest for discovery threatens to put him in a grave of his own.

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A sneak peek into our current Traveling Friends Group Read 

We have done a couple posts on how excited we are for Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and it’s off to such a great start for everyone.  This is looking like a much loved one for a few of us.

From our first goal discussion

I love the descriptions of the Marsh and the resilience of Kya. Debra

This author is super talented and can draw you in not only to the human part of the story, but into the environment, the marshes, the feathers, the allure of a place where life seems to hold still. It is as if we are first hand witnesses to it all. I, too,  Marialyce

I just love this book. First off, the writing is so beautiful. I just want to savour it. I love the setting in the marsh and how beautifully she describes the environment and the scenery. Mary Beth

A Sneak Peek into our Current Traveling Sisters Group Read

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas is a book that a few of us normally wouldn’t pick up to read and is a little bit out of our comfort zones.  But we are so happy to have the support from others from the group while we are reading this one.  Right now there are some mixed feelings but a few of us are loving it!

From our first goal discussion 

My reactions are mixed on this so far.
-I like that the original time travelers were/are all females and have a specialty.
-I like that this book has mystery as well as the fantasy/time travel.
-I am intrigued about the effects of time travel on an individual. Debra
I also love that there is the fantasy/time travel and the mystery aspect. It’s created a really dynamic read that has me interested in the end. It’s certainly an incredibly unique and original story line that I really didn’t see coming when I dove in. Christina

Also totally LOVING the lady power in this…they’re kind of like…wait for it…wait for it….
TRAVELING SISTERS!!! Christina .  

I feel like this book must’ve taken a long time to write. What with the many different characters, timelines, even their slang… it’s a distinct universe which I really appreciate. A lot of work went into this. Sarah

This is not a book I would have chosen on my own so it’s fun to be outside of my comfort zone. Lindsay

I am a bit confused by with keeping everyone straight and with the back and forth. My head was spinning a bit there. Brenda

My thoughts are a little mixed with this one and I am finding myself more confused than anything. Norma

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Have you read any of these titles? Want to read them?  What do you think of our sneak peak into our group reads?  Is there something else you would like to see here is this post?  Do you have a sneak peek you would like to share with us? Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in First Line Fridays

First Line Fridays: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens @PutnamBooks @PenguinRandomCA #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers


First Line Friday is hosted by Hoarding Books. Where we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

Our First Line Friday is for a Traveling Friends Group read that we are currently reading and it opens up to describing what a marsh is.  So I have added the first paragraph to give you an idea of how descriptively beautiful the writing is.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Marsh is not swamp.  Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flows into the sky.  Slow-moving creeks wander, carrying the orb of the sun with them to the sea, and long-legged birds lift with unexpected grace–as though not built to fly–against the roar of a thousand snow geese.

Goodreads Summary

Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer, about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open.

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.

But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
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Have you read this one? Want to read it? Please add your first line to a book you have started or going to start. We would love to hear from you!!!

Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: How long does it take you to prepare your review? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

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I always have these random questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question.  We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do.

So this next question that I had for the Traveling Sisters is one that I have been wondering about for a while now and I am really curious to hear from you all.  I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us. 

Norma’s random book question:

How long does it take you to prepare your review? Do you have your own style that you like to follow or does your reflection towards the book give you an indication of how you will review it?

So for all you readers out there that don’t review, I would still love to hear from you.  So my question for you is.  Do you take notes while reading?

Web_L285-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Answer

Reviewing is not an easy task for me and can take a few hours. Sometimes up to three hours to do one review. If I love the book and I am excited about it then my review takes much less time. I have a format that I like to follow or else I would just sit here and not know where to start.

All the points that I include in my review are things that mean something to me while I am reading a book. I am definitely an emotional reader and I like my reviews to reflect that emotion. I just recently included “Norma’s Stats” in my reviews and that section is lots of fun to prepare and also all meaningful points to me while I am reading. I have had a lot of positive feedback about those stats.

I was brainstorming with Kris one day and asked her what makes my reviews Norma’s reviews and how could I add something to my reviews to reflect that and we came up with “Norma’s Stats”.

No, I always think that I should take notes but I never do. I have good intentions but I never follow through. To be honest when I’m reading I don’t want to stop and write something down…..I just want to read. LOL

img_6349Brenda’s Answer

Like Norma writing reviews is not easy for me.  I struggle with putting words to my thoughts. I do my reviews in steps and one review can take me days.  I write notes on paper because I love paper and pens, after reading a book.  I read the discussion thread again and gather everyone’s thoughts.  Then go back and and try to put them into sentences.  Then I put them into docs and try to pull everything together.  This is the hardest step.  I will find so many things to distract myself from doing this.  So this part can take me all day to complete. Sometimes I have to pull out the wine, however I just discovered that drinking and blogging is not such a great idea when I knocked over a glass of beer on to my chrome book.  So no more chrome book. I should of stuck to wine. I am now using my son’s computer.   As for a format I have a few things I like to write about in most reviews and I use that as a guideline. Mostly like Kris I go with what stood out for me and the group.

Web_L149-3_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s Answer

I am all over the place with my reviews. Some take minutes and seem to flow quickly. Other times, I feel stumped and it can take me over an hour to get the wording proper. Sometimes I just set it aside for the next day if I can’t quite get my thoughts down properly. There is no format for me – whatever feels right for that book.
I never take notes although I wish I did. I attempted it in the past and found it takes away from my reading enjoyment to stop and write things down. If I’m loving what I’m reading, I just want to keep going and continue enjoying instead of breaking and writing it down.

FC-10-CarlyKristin’s Answer

I really love reading about everyone’s reviewing process!
Mine is not typically consistent, I guess, and I can take anywhere from ten minutes to all-damn-day to write a review! (Not quite “all day”, but you get it;)

I’m such a second-guesser, and I always question whether what I’ve written is sufficient enough to convey how the book impressed me.

But I review on a mostly emotional level and I don’t really have a format. Sometimes I discuss plot, sometimes I don’t. But I will always touch on my emotions as the reader, and the quality of writing.

Different elements stand out in every book. It’s those “things” that stand out that I like to emphasize.

Now to the best part.  Your answers.  Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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Posted in First Line Fridays

First Line Friday: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent #travelingsistersread @SimonSchusterCA #BookBloggers

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First Line Friday is hosted by Hoarding Books.  Where we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

Our First Line Friday is for a Traveling Sisters Group read that we are currently reading and it has a killer of an opening line that immediately hooked me!  I am almost finished and I am finding it a highly immersive read, Brenda and Lindsay will be starting it soon.  The ending is supposed to be jaw dropping and I can hardly wait for it!

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

Goodreads Summary

From the international bestselling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.

For fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn, this novel is a “seductively sinister story. The twists come together in a superbly scary denouncement, which delivers a final sting in the tail. Brilliantly macabre” (Sunday Mirror).

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Have you read this one? Want to read it? Please add your first line to a book you have started or going to start. We would love to hear from you!!!

 

Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: When reading do you keep your books in pristine shape as much as possible or are you everything goes? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

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This weeks question was a fun one for the Traveling Sisters and we hope that a few of you will also join in on the discussion with us.  Norma always has these random questions she is curious about so she has asked our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do.

Web_L057-1_brunetteThe best answer this week was from Kris!  She had a few of us on the floor laughing. 

Norma’s random book question:

So here is my next question that I have always wondered about us book lovers!

When reading do you keep your books in pristine shape as much as possible or are you everything goes? Do you use a bookmark to mark your page? And where or how do you store your books?

I might have included more than one question but it all pertains to the shape of our books though. LOL

 

Web_L337-2_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Answer

So I like to keep my books in pristine shape as much as possible. I always use a bookmark, I don’t crack the spine, and always store it in a book bag on my way to and from work. I don’t have any rhyme or reason in the way my books are stored though. They are actually all over the house in any spare spot that I can find. I do have about 3 bookcases full of unread books, books in my closet, under my bed, on my nightstand, at work, on the floor in a box. The list just goes on. LOL

I absolutely love my bookmarks and collect them. I rotate them and always like to buy new ones. If I loose one….the search is on. I actually have bookmarks with pictures of my kids on them that they made for me as a Mother’s Day gift in elementary school. I suggested a bookmark craft to the school one year as I thought it would be the perfect keepsake. They loved the idea and kept up the tradition throughout my kids school years.  I still have all three bookmarks!

L389-3_brunete_green-eyesBrenda’s Answer

I keep my books in good condition but I like to carry them from room to room with me. When my husband is not home I leave them on the bed.  So they don’t always stay in pristine shape.  When I was younger and not so forgetful I never used anything to mark my pages.  I would just remember where I left off.  Now I use a bookmark.  I have a few and carry them with my books.

I book stress shop and I buy a lot of books.  I had a book closet but it was too small so now I have a walk-in closet for all my books.  I collect unread books.  Once I read them I give them to family or friends.

Web_L435-2_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s Answer

I don’t purchase many books (thanks to my lovely local library and NG), but when I do, I try to keep them in good shape. Always use a bookmark! Love my bookmarks but I am like many of you and have used many different things found around the house to mark my page. I would never think of folding a page – eeekkk – just thinking of that makes me cringe.

I have a 5 shelf bookcase in my living room and a 6 shelf bookcase in my bedroom for the books I loved and want to keep along with all the others I haven’t read. I lend out or donate any books that I’ve read and didn’t love so they don’t take up any space on my shelves.

Web_L151-2_blonde_blue-eyesKris’s Answer

I do my best to keep my books in pristine condition.

I store all my books in a climate controlled room where I monitor the humidity levels as to not warp a single page.

Just kidding, I don’t do that. But one can dream …🤓💭

I like to keep my books all together in my bedroom so I know where they are and that they are safe, and I always travel with my current read.

I use bookmarks, but I have definitely been known to use a receipt, post it, playing card, and even once, a ziplock baggie, as to not fold a page! But I try to remember to throw a bookmark in my book when I first decide to read it.

I do have some older books that have been through the mill—ones I’ve read and reread as a teen—and I kind of love their worn out, smoothed over, I read-the-heck-outta-this condition.

Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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