Blog Tours, YA Contemporary, YA Fiction, YA Romance

BLOG TOUR (+mini review): The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista

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Happy the day after fourth of July! Hope no one’s too hungover? 😉

Well, I’m here today to bring you another blog tour post! Please click the banner above to check out the full tour schedule!

And don’t forget to scroll all the way down to enter the giveaway.

Synopsis: The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket! Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket. Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have? The Boyfriend Bracket puts a new spin on a classic genre in a fun, unforgettable way.

Published June 19, 2018 by Swoon Reads

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Themes: childhood crush, brother’s best friend, brother, fashion, bullying, mean girls, high school dances, college applications, the bro code, best friends, dating

Amazon* / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / iBooks / Kobo

*As an Amazon Associate, I receive a mini % of sales price whenever you use my link to make a purchase!

Goodreads

A few things I liked about The Boyfriend Bracket: 

  • Stella’s a Filipina, so that’s cool. I like the references here and there.
  • It’s nice seeing the different culture in play. Like how overprotective Cam is, Stella’s brother, of Stella – turned up a few more notches more than usual. And also how Stella doesn’t have to worry about paying for college because it’s common in the Philippines for parents to have planned for it.
  • I admire Stella’s passion for fashion. I like how she dreams big. She’s not just shooting for something good enough. She’s shooting for the big things. As Trump said, As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big. 
  • Franklin! I think I enjoyed Stella’s interactions with Franklin the most – their friendship is #GOALS. I love the Rapunzel scene at the tree house the best.

Franklin: Oh, Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb thy golden stair.

Stella: Ah, handsome prince, sadly I have cut my hair. You must make do with the rickety stairs.


About the author

Kate

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines.

Author website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


GIVEAWAY

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Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN) – ends July 12!

Heeyyy there – you still sober? Well, I appreciate you reading this! Happy Thursday – hang in there, it’s almost Friday.

 

Have you read or are you planning to read The Boyfriend Bracket? 

How would you feel about dating your brother’s best friend?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARC REVIEW: Kiss Collector by Wendy Higgins (Dec 2018)

Male, female, and all the other ways we categorize each other – we’re all just people – individual personalities, making mistakes and trying to get by.

Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe gets cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, then watches her parents’ marriage crumble, she decides to forget about relationships and turn the tables on the boys of the world. It’s time to take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it’s time to collect. Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break.

To be published on December 18, 2018 by HarperTeen

e-ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Themes: squad, friendships, foreign travel, foreign languages, dating, emotions, feelings, divorce, family, siblings, high school, classes, poetry, prom

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price every time you purchase an item through my link, thank you!

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I’m taking back my life, one kiss at a time.

I have to say, I was a little bit underwhelmed – I was expecting it to be more lighthearted than it turned out to be. There was a little bit too much drama than I cared for and Zae wasn’t really that likeable.

I’ve never read a book by Wendy Higgins before, but Kiss Collector didn’t quite make me keen to pick any of them up.

All that said, the only reason I didn’t DNF this and kept going are those poems (Wendy sure knows how to write those poems…) and the little mystery about the poet (I mean, I figured it out right away, but I still wanted the confirmation 😅)

Ode to the straw that fits in the pouch that rests in your hand.

The straw that meets your lips, pink as blossoms.

The proud, cylindrical piece of plastic that stands up to greet you with its chest out, ready to be used by you, to quench you.

Oh, to be that straw, partially submerged in 66 percent fruit juice,

And partially submerged in your mouth. Enjoy, little straw, enjoy.

Thankfully, it did have a very sweet ending, that made me just a little bit less regretful for reading it… but then I did find another book boyfriend so maybe it was worth it after all. Now, if only I actually get to finishing those #SwoonySaturdate drafts I have in mind…

Have you read any of Wendy Higgin’s works before?

Do you like poems embedded within novels?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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Blog Tours, YA Contemporary, YA Romance

BLOG TOUR (+mini review): Wavehouse by Alice Kaltman

WAVEHOUSE

Hi all! Phew! It’s Friday! I’m super ready for the weekend…

And to start the weekend right, I’m here to recommend a great read for the hot months of summer – Wavehouse by Alice Kaltman. And as a gift for stopping by, you can scroll down and enter the giveaway and who knows, you might just win a copy and get to enjoy the book for FREE!!

I’m glad to be one of the hosts for the ongoing Wavehouse blog tour – you can check out the complete tour schedule by clicking on the banner above 🙂

Synopsis: Sixteen year-old Anna Dugan is a super surfer who feels most at home when taking off on a ten-foot wave. But surf culture bores Anna big time. While other surfers follow trends and speak the lingo, Anna harbors a secret desire to be an artist, drawing houses made of waves. It’s not the most practical dream for the daughter of a single mom living in Kendall’s Watch, a beach town where most kids are so surf-centric they think ‘Current Events’ have something to do with ocean tides. Anna is not only the best surfer in Kendall’s, she’s also the shyest. When a surf scout comes to town to gauge her talent, Anna freaks out and refuses to let him watch her. To protect herself from the pressure and the panic, Anna decides to only surf at her private break, Secretspot, for the rest of the summer. But Secretspot becomes treacherous in ways Anna never imagined, and the danger has nothing to do with waves. When a gorgeous stranger paddles out, smiling a bewitching smile and surfing like a god, their chemistry is impossible to ignore. A series of events are set in motion that will change Anna’s life forever; events that raise difficult questions about love, honesty, betrayal and family ties. In the end, is it worth it? Dive in to Wavehouse, life-preserver recommended, and the decision is yours.

Published June 15, 2018 by Fitzroy Books

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Themes: surfing, shyness, performance anxiety, ocean, water, waves, competitions, going professional, mother-daughter relationships, serial dating, best friends, drawing, artist, family, grandparents

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

289 pages

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price for every purchase you make using my link! Thank you ^_^

Goodreads

The world is your oyster, and don’t you forget it.

What I liked about Wavehouse


About the author:

ak

alice_headshot_100-620x413

As a young girl I longed to be a mermaid. My idol sat demurely on the Chicken of the Sea tuna fish cans. I peeled labels off to save her image. Every night before bedtime I squeezed both legs in to one side of my pajama bottoms and shuffled around the house pretending I was as beautiful as the tuna fish mermaid.

Real mermaid-hood proved elusive, so I became a modern dancer instead. For over twenty years I worked with brilliant choreographers and performed in amazing places. And while I’m still paid to do the occasional pirouette, I’m now mostly known as a Parenting Coach/Writer helping out moms and dads, and talking to kids also, about their (often annoying) parents.

But honestly? I’m most at home when upside down and underwater. I’ve been swimming my entire life, and surfing for the better part of adulthood. It’s no surprise my two novels are totally ocean-centric. Saving Grace is about a mermaid, and Wavehouse is about a surfer. And I guess they’re both about me, too.

My short fiction (for adults) takes place on land, sea, and air. I’m thrilled that Staggerwing, a collection of my favorites, is forthcoming from Tortoise Books in October, 2016.

These days I split my time between Brooklyn and Montauk, New York where I wear my pajamas regular style. But if too much time passes without a swim or a surf, I’m tempted to revisit my childhood shenanigans. Wouldn’t it be fun to flip-flop about like a fish out of water or a beached mermaid, restless and hungry for the incoming tide?

If you want to reach out about bookish stuff, send me an email via the cute little Contact pop-up, or via my literary agent, Zoe Sandler of ICM Partners.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Lucky for you, you can win a copy by going to this Rafflecopter link and entering the giveaway (US only):

  • 2 winners will receive a hardcover of WAVEHOUSE, US Only.
  • 2 winners will receive a paperback of WAVEHOUSE, US Only.

Hope that luck keeps on giving! 😉

P.S. Next stop is @ Lilly’s Book World!

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARCs, YA Fiction, YA Romance

ARC REVIEW: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera (Oct 2018)

I guess that’s any relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.

My synopsis: Arthur is an intern at a high-powered New York law firm, with big dreams and a big future. Ben just went through a bad breakup and to make matters worse, he has to see his ex in summer school. The two meet and sparks fly – but will those sparks only last one summer?

To be published October 9, 2018 by HarperTeen

e-ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance, YA Coming-of-Age, YA Romantic Comedy

Themes: LGBT, dating, finding each other, New York, city life, moving on, breakups, Broadway, fandom, writing, fantasy fiction, destiny, fate, the universe, best friends, friendships, bumps in relationships

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price if you purchase an item using my link, thank you!

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Before anything else – Fansens, you’re going to love this – the title is inspired by Dear Evan Hansen‘s track “Only Us” and the book (at least, the ARC is!) is actually divided into 4 different sections: What If, It’s Us, And Only Us, and the epilogue, What if it’s you and What if it’s me?

I always thought love was about the showstopper moments. No dialogue, no filler. But if the quiet parts are filler, maybe filler’s underrated.

That said, What If It’s Us is a sure-to-be-loved contemporary romance that immediately starts out with a hilarious meet-cute scene. I literally laughed out loud.

It’s your typical summer romance – Ben is an NYC resident with no big hopes for the future, and Arthur is a promising young man headed to one of the Ivy Leagues. The question is whether they will pursue a romance such as theirs when they well know that they will part ways after the summer, in a few weeks.. then a few days. Then add to that countless Broadway references… countless. I mean, this book have me obsessed with Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton within a few chapters! I wouldn’t quite call myself a full-fledged Hamilfan or Fansen yet, but I’m quite sure I’ll be a pretty easy convert, all I need is to go and watch the shows on Broadway… hopefully some time this year??

Like I said, the romance between Arthur & Ben is pretty straightforward and pretty much what you’d expect from this genre. What I particularly enjoyed is the friendship between Ben and Dylan – they’re best friends and Dylan is so funny and his personality is pretty much a scene-stealer!

Dylan cuddles up next to me and Samantha accepts it because if she’s in this for the long run, this is her new life.

I love friendships like this. It’s so precious. There’s also Arthur’s best friends and his office squad – this story is just overflowing with great friendships, and it’s one of its major themes.

Other than the fact that it totally made me love Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly memorable read, but it’s definitely one you should check out if you’re already a fan of either Becky Albertalli or Adam Silvera – meanwhile, I couldn’t tell which POV was written by whom… if I have to pick, I mostly liked Arthur’s chapters 🙂

Thank you HarperCollins for my review copy!

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Thanks for reading!

BTW, Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers out there – and to your families ❤

Are you planning to read What If It’s Us?

Have you read any books by Becky Albertalli and/or Adam Silvera, and did you like it/them?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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Acknowledgements Feature, ARCs, YA Contemporary, YA Fiction, YA Romance

ARC REVIEW: From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon (May 2018)

So remember this day. Remember this moment. And go explore the universes. They’re waiting.

My synopsis: Twinkle Mehra is an aspiring filmmaker and she chronicles her life in a diary addressed to various female directors (i.e. Sofia Coppola, Mira Nair) she looks up to. A self-proclaimed wallflower/groundling, she is eager to transform into her shiny, ideal self and finally gain the respect and attention of the silk-feathered hats population and she thinks dating the smart, athletic, and popular Neil Roy will get her there. But another opportunity presents itself when Neil’s identical nerdy, groundling twin Sahil Roy offers to work on a movie with her as her producer for the upcoming Midsummer Night festival. 

To be published May 22, 2018 by Simon Pulse

e-ARC provided by the Simon & Schuster through Edelweiss+ 

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Themes: Indian culture, fimmaking, aspirations, dreams, best friends, friendships, love, soulmates, romance, future, the stories we tell, popularity, parent-children relationships, finding yourself, identical twins

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*As an Amazon Associate, I receive a mini % of the sales price if you make a purchase using my link, thank you!

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I don’t think I’m wrong when I say people won’t be disappointed! I have not read When Dimple Met Rishibut from what I’ve heard about it, I knew that this will be a cute contemporary read – I actually am planning to pick it up soon because of this 🙂

From Twinkle with Love is a cute and lovable story of a dreamer, told in a unique diary-like format – Twinkle’s personality, passion, and wit is sure to pull you in! I’ll definitely be watching out for future works by Sandhya Menon.

First of all I’d like to mention, I just love that we’ve reached the day and age when people from different backgrounds and cultures get the representation they deserve. I love the openness that the reading community is evolving into! In previous years, I would never have imagined that I’ll be picking up books with so much diversity in it, and this is a shoutout to the authors who didn’t get cowed by the resistance/barriers and courageously told their stories, but also to the people who helped pave the way and make these kinds of books happen >>> THANK YOU. 

I absolutely loved the characters. I appreciated Twinkle’s passion for filmmaking – I enjoyed all the film references (even though I sadly did not get all of them). She wore the coolest shirts!! Sahil was this nerdy but equally passionate guy – he was insecure in some ways (but that’s okay, aren’t we all?) that you just want to hug all the time. He’s so dependable, and I just want to say all the good things, but you just have to wait for next #SwoonySaturdate post for that! Another character I will especially mention is Victoria Lyons – I was really surprised by her, but I don’t want to say any more than that!

You’re kind of cool in a weirdly quirky way. It draws people in.

Another super cool part is when we get some other POVs throughout, not in any predictable way, but it just kind of pops in out of nowhere, and I thought that was so much fun and very interesting.

The plot itself kept me going because I like when there’s a production element in the plot – I just have to watch Dracula now! It was so much fun reading about how they picked costumes, and all the planning that went into the film. I think I enjoyed that the most, and also how the “big day” turned out to actually be “the big day.”

And of course, this review won’t be complete without my comments on the romance! I am totally sold on it, and I thought it was super cute and I was all in! It was so honest, and just adorable in every way.

But when I see you… every time, Twinkle, I feel those golden fireworks inside me. And the only reason I can think of is that you have some kind of chamatkaar. You must be a special kind of miracle.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this very much! It gave me some The Outcasts / Can’t Buy Me Love film vibes, and the whole film production theme reminded me of Emma Mill’s Foolish Hearts. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on it once it comes out next month!!

Thank you Simon & Schuster for my review copy!

Thanks for reading! Also, because my words cannot possibly be better than the author herself, I included a special message for you from the author below…

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS FEATURE (the words of Sandhya Menon):

Last, but far from least, this book is especially for you. You, who stumble but refuse to fall. You, who refuse to dim your shine. The world desperately needs your voice, your courage, your heart. Twinkle on. 

Sincerely Peachy (1)

 

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BOOK REVIEW: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Fiction was fine, but real life was the true freak show.

My synopsis: Passive-aggressive Penny is ready to move on to college. Through Jude, her roommate, she meets Sam – the baker, the intellectual, the aspiring filmmaker, the hottie. Their paths cross again during a not too ideal situation and decide to be each other’s “emergency contacts.” When they share their deepest selves to one another, they can’t deny the attraction between them, but will they risk their perfect friendship for a chance of romance? 

Published March 27, 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

e-ARC provided by Simon & Schuster through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Themes: friendship, parenting, mother-daughter relationship, poverty, rape, film, writing, baking, college, soulmates, love, trusting people, hiding from people, texting, digital communication, relationships, dating, sex

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % if you purchase the book using my link. Thank you!

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I got approved for the ARC of this just a few days before release date – and I finally read it especially after reading Sumaya’s review!

Mary H.K. Choi’s Emergency Contact is a lighthearted YA contemporary romance read that’s sure to make you fall in love with its characters – it’s a heartwarming story of friendships, of passions, and of love.

I have to say, at first, I didn’t think I was into the writing because of the first scene – but then the more I read, the more I was able to relate to Penny – I’m so glad I gave it a chance!!  I also really liked that the text alternated between the POVs of Penny and Sam, and how the two voices are represented very well.

You’ve always spoken fluent me.

It was so much fun to read how Sam and Penny’s relationship develops. There’s that hint of romance all throughout because they are so special to each other, but I loved that it was less focused on the romantic parts of a relationship, but rather in the elements that truly make relationships last: healthy conversations, trust, dependability, openness, sincerity. What Penny and Sam had, it was something really special.

“Even so,” she said. “You’re the best person I’ve ever met. And my favorite.” “And you’re mine,” he said.

There were so many important themes in this novel – and I really liked this one point the novel makes about parenting:

But sometimes it’s so incidental that these people are the parents. Beyond the biology of it. It’s not as if they had to pass a test or unlock achievements to be the ones making the decisions. Sometimes they’re actually stupid. Certifiably dumber than you, but as their kid you’d never think to know that.

Another element of the plot that I really enjoyed is how it explored the passions of the characters. Sam’s baking and filmmaking, as well as Penny’s writing. Unlike in most novels, they weren’t just mentioned in passing, instead several scenes were dedicated to them going through the process of how they chased their passions.

you know how you can make a sound on a piano. Anyone with fingers can do it intuitively. You hit keys they make noise. Writing and reading then rewriting and then editing is how you make a melody. It’s the same for everyone. It’s not about raw talent or having such a big ego that you think what you have to say is so important. Or who your parents are and what they do. It’s the practice of it. Doing it until you’re good.

I loved that we got to see several snippets of what Penny was writing. Her story about the Anima was such an interesting concept, and it reminded me a lot of this K-Drama I watched called W: Two WorldsI wanted to read the entire thing (I want it to be real, just like how Carry On! was later published after Fangirl).

I fell in love not only with the main characters, but also some of the other characters. Jude, I realized, is the most likeable female non-MC ever – she’s just so kind and generous, but in a genuine way! I found myself looking forward to reading scenes with her in it!

When Penny left a banana on her desk as an offering, Jude rejected it. She refused it by putting it on Penny’s work chair, so when Penny went to write, she sat on it. As tiny passive aggressive revenges went, it was adorable, and it killed Penny that they couldn’t laugh about it.

Later on, I also appreciated Mallory’s character. The friendship between Penny, Mallory, and Jude is just so #SQUADGOALS.

I know what you mean though. God, can you imagine? She’d probably die trying to save a bus full of orphans.

As you probably could tell, I enjoyed Emergency Contact immensely – and I’d totally recommend it if you’re looking for your next contemporary read. I expect it to be on the list of my top contemporary reads for the year ❤ It’s perfect for fans of Fangirl and Everything, Everythingand I’m sure that it will be most appreciated by aspiring writers!

Thanks for stopping by! Also, check out my #SwoonySaturdate with Sam Becker!

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Have you read Emergency Contact, and what did you think??

Who’s your emergency contact? Are they a family member or a friend or a SO?

Do you believe in the idea of soulmates? 

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARC REVIEW: Social Intercourse by Greg Howard (June 2018)

Don’t worry so much about labels, just love who you love and never be ashamed of it.

My synopsis: When the dad of proudly gay teen, Beckett, starts dating one of the lesbian moms of star football player, Jax, the two starts an alliance to break their parents apart. Their schemes spark an undeniable attraction between them. 

Published June 5, 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

e-ARC provided by Simon & Schuster through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Themes: LGBT, bullying, parenting, family, true friendships

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

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I wish I had more to say about the book – but I just didn’t think it had memorable enough characters or events. I really wanted to enjoy this more – I’m just glad it’s short enough that I didn’t have to DNF it.

Social Intercourse alternates between Beckett’s and Jax’s POV, and between the two, Beckett seemed to be the more interesting one. Beckett is very sassy, and he knows and is passionate about what he wants. Jax, meanwhile, is attractive yet there is no depth of character – he is extremely indecisive, is confused, and frankly, just not that interesting besides his looks (which is maybe the point, because the whole point of his character is that people often neglect to see beyond his good looks).

One thing I particularly like, though, is the friendship/camarederie between the football players.

Anyway – I’m sure some of you will enjoy it, but I just didn’t feel that invested in the characters nor the plot. Another thing I should mention is The Golden Girls (I have never heard of it, before this book), which was referenced A LOT, so a fan would probably enjoy this book!

But if you did happen to be interested in reading it, I’d suggest you also check out In Other Lands (here’s a link to my review!) by Sarah Rees Brennan – which also features a sassy character and a golden boy, and so much more!

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Do you think you’ll add Social Intercourse to your TBR?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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