Top 5 Wednesday – May 3rd, 2017

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite science fiction and fantasy cover art. This topic is pretty similar to my Top 10 Tuesday topic yesterday, but for this list, I did not reuse any of the covers from the other. So this will be a rather short and sweet post today. Here are some of my favorite SFF covers! 🙂

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

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Spellslinger by Sebastian de Castell

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Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastian de Castell

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A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

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Which SFF books have some of your favorite cover designs? Let me know in the comments!

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Top 10 Tuesday – May 2nd, 2017

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a cover theme freebie, so I’ve decided to go with my top ten favorite covers of 2017 releases. This may not be the most creative topic ever, but there are so many beautiful 2017 covers, so I just had to share my favorites! 🙂

The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horwitz

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The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan

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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato

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Warcross by Marie Lu

warcross

Marriage of a Thousand Lies by S.J. Sindu

marriageofathousandlies

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strangethedreamer strangethedreameruk

Which books have some of your favorite covers of 2017? Let me know in the comments!

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Top 5 Wednesday – January 27th, 2016

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books that were disappointing eye candy—so basically, books that were more enjoyable to look at than to read. I have this tendency to walk into the library and randomly grab books that have eye-catching covers. This can be a good thing sometimes because I have found some fantastic underhyped novels with this method. However, that also gives you a higher probability of reading a lot of not so great novels as well. Here are a few books whose covers drew me in, but whose stories ended up being rather disappointing.

5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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This has got to be one of my favorite covers of all time, and honestly, this was the best read of this entire list. I did not completely dislike this novel, I was just disappointed with it overall. The concept was incredibly interesting and the writing was absolutely fantastic, which in itself has made me want to continue on with this series. I had more issues with this first novel than I expected to have, but I do believe there is a good chance many of them may be resolved as the series progresses.

Click here to read my full review.

4. The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

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I will admit, I picked this one up almost solely on the beautiful cover. The concept for this novel was a very interesting one, but the actual execution of it left a lot to be desired. It began solidly, but about halfway through, the story just started to feel like it was going nowhere. I was never able to become fully invested in the lives of the characters, and the events of the plot did not have the intended emotional impact on me. It was a fast read, but this novel did not end up being my cup of tea.

3. Doll Bones by Holly Black

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After all the wonderful things I had heard about her work, I had been meaning to read a novel by Holly Black for a long time. This was the one that had been on my radar the longest, so I chose it as my first one. While the story had a promising and—as the cover implied—creepy start, the feel of it quickly changed. It was far less of an eerie story than I was expecting, which was incredibly disappointing. That, coupled with a cast of characters I couldn’t bring myself to like and frustratingly unrealistic circumstances caused this to be an unsatisfactory read for me.

2. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

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This was one that I had heard a little bit about prior to reading it, and the cover really sealed the deal. In hindsight, I’m not overly shocked that I disliked this book; I typically never enjoy contemporary romance novels. However, the fact that it was to be told from fourteen different points of view really had me intrigued. That aspect of it was creative, and I did like a number of the voices quite a lot, but it was a bit excessive. I felt far too disconnected from the story, and I couldn’t get myself to care enough about the main characters. On top of that, the progression of the romance became extremely repetitive and frustrating, to the point where everything about it was completely implausible. I applaud the author’s creativity, but everything was just slightly too over the top.

1. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

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I had heard next to nothing about this, but I loved the cover, so that was definitely the main reason I picked up this novel in the first place. The synopsis sounded fantastic and my hopes were very high for this book. However, it ended up being absolutely nothing like what I had expected, and what should have been an intensely intriguing story ended up feeling like reading a pile of paperwork. They story was very dry and the characters were all fairly dislikable. The visual aspect of this novel ended up being the only really positive thing about it.

Click here to read my full review.

What are some books that ended up being disappointing eye candy for you? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Real Neat Blog Award

I was nominated by the lovely Kayla over at bookedsolid1989. Thank you so much for the nomination!

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The Rules:realneatblogaward

-Thank and link the blogger who nominated you

-Answer the seven questions the nomination has provided

-Nominate 7 other bloggers

-Create 7 questions for your nominees

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Kayla’s Questions

1. What are you most excited about for the end of the year?

I am definitely most excited for the holidays; specifically, I am excited for the music! I’m a singer, and my absolute favorite time of the choral year is coming up. We do some of the best music and the most fun concerts at the holidays. Plus the season is just lovely and cheerful in general, and I’m particularly looking forward to that this year. I can’t wait to see friends and family, and (hopefully) have a good amount of time to relax as well.

2. What book or book series do you love and would recommend to others?

tkam thechroniclesofnarnia

The book that I would recommend the most to others would be my absolute favorite book of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is such a beautiful and important novel, and something that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. A book series that I would recommend to others, aside from the obvious ones like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, would be The Chronicles of Narnia. Okay, so that might be a slightly obvious one too…but it’s one of my favorites! I can’t not mention it! 🙂

3. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

My all-time favorite authors are Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, and Harper Lee. Some of my semi more recently discovered favorites are Gillian Flynn and Patrick Ness.

4. What is your favorite television series at this time?

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I actually don’t watch all that many shows that are still on the air. However, my current favorite television series is definitely Doctor Who, though Sherlock is a very close second. I have been getting into Game of Thrones lately though, so that’s working its way up my favorites list too.

5. If you could spend one day with a fictional character, who would it be?

If I could spend a day with one fictional character, I would choose Sherlock Holmes. Not only is he one of my favorite literary characters, but I also think it would be absolutely amazing to have a chance to accompany him on a case for a day. I’d love to see his deductive skills in action first hand, and maybe even assist him in the investigation. However, I don’t think I could stand him for long periods of time; I’m not nearly as patient as Watson! So one day would be absolutely perfect. Another character I might like to spend the day with would be Mr. Tumnus.

6. Which cover of a book (whether you’ve read it or not) do you absolutely love?

rebecca assassinsquest thefinalempire jackaby theravenboys vicious sixofcrows thefirstfifteenlivesofharryaugust

Come on…there was no way I was going to be able to pick just one! 😀

7. Are you currently reading a book? If so, what is it and how are you feeling about it so far?

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I am currently working on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I’m not overly far into it yet, but I am already really liking it; I’m very excited to continue on, and I should have a review up when I’m done!

I Nominate:

Michelle @ Book Adventures

Bree @ The Literary Hellion

Liam @ Liam’s Library

Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction

Poppy @ Poppy’s Best of Books

Cherry @ Read Forevermore

Bear @ Book Bear Blog

My Questions:

1. Who are a few of your favorite authors you discovered in 2015?

2. What is your favorite hobby outside of reading?

3. What are two places, one fictional and one real, that you would most like to travel to (or maybe live)?

4. What book or books do you think deserve more recognition?

5. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

6. What are your favorite songs/bands/artists to listen to?

7. What are some of your most anticipated book releases of 2016?

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Top 5 Wednesday – November 11th, 2015

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books you did not finish. I don’t often stop in the middle of books, so this was a hard list for me to compile. Usually, no matter how I’m feeling about it, I absolutely hate stopping before the end of a novel or series. I’m not sure why, but I just can’t seem to leave anything unfinished; it really bugs me! However, there are a handful novels that I have stopped partway through because I truly could not get myself to continue them.

Since some of these picks may be a tad controversial, I thought I should include a little disclaimer! 🙂 These are not by any means bad novels; in fact, for a number of these, I can completely see why they have so many fans. The books on this list were simply not my cup of tea and, for that reason, I personally found them difficult to finish.

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

thecuriousincidentofthedoginthenighttimeAll right, so this one is technically not an official DNF forever. I started this a year or two ago and just could not get into the story. The writing style was not my favorite and the plot itself upset me more than I expected. I only read a few chapters, but I was not enjoying my reading experience at all, so I ended up putting it aside and I have not yet gotten back to it. I will say, I believe my reading mood at the time partially contributed to my feelings; I don’t think I should have started it when I did, which is why I do actually intend to give it another go at some point. But at this moment, it is a DNF.

                                        4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

shiverI’m not exactly sure why I attempted to read this series because it is not at all the type of story I like to read. I’m pretty sure it was due to the fact that I had heard all the hype and praise surrounding these novels; I thought I should give them a go and maybe they would surprise me. I really hoped that I would enjoy them, but unfortunately that did not happen, and I made it about halfway through Shiver before giving up. I do intend to give Maggie Stiefvater’s other novels, such as The Raven Boys, a try despite not liking these stories; some of those storylines seem a bit more suited to my personal tastes.

3. Dead Rules by Randy Russell

deadrulesAgain, we have another case where I have no clue why I attempted to read this. A few years back, I picked it up at the library on a whim, but absolutely could not get into it. I remember that I could not stand the main character, and the plot, which had sounded like an interesting idea, fell completely flat for me. On top of that, I never clicked with the author’s writing style. I read only about a third of the novel and it was just going too slow and not showing any signs of picking up. I truly could not find anything I really liked about the story, and figured it wasn’t really worth trying to continue on to the end.

                                         2. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

songofsolomonSong of Solomon was a book that we read in high school, but I switched schools a couple of months into the year and was no longer required to read it. This is also one of the only classics that was required reading in school that I did not enjoy. I could not get into this story at all and was not interested in seeing how it wrapped up so, when I left school, I just ended up putting it down. I do not, at the moment, have any intention of trying to finish it off, however, this is another case where I would like to give some of the author’s other work a try one day. I know Toni Morrison is a very popular writer, and maybe another novel would be more my type.

1. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

eclipseThis is probably my most controversial choice on here, but I have to admit, I am not a fan of the Twilight series. This series was never my type of series; the main reason that I had begun reading it was due to all the hype surrounding it. Now, I did not completely hate the first two books, but I didn’t particularly like them either. Since I had gotten halfway through, I figured I would just finish off the final books in the series since I hate to leave anything incomplete. However, I genuinely could not stand this book and all the drama and angst, and I just decided it was time to put it aside.

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What novels have you stopped in the middle of? Are you like me where you have trouble stopping in the middle of books or series once you start? Let me know down in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 10 Tuesday – November 10th, 2015

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

First of all, I would like to start out by thanking everyone who has been liking and commenting on my posts and following my blog these past few months. I have just passed 100 followers this week and I am completely astonished, and thankful for each and every one of you! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit and read my posts. In just a short period of time, I have already met so many incredible and lovely people to nerd out about books with! You are all absolutely fantastic and amazing and awesome! 🙂 ❤

Now, time for today’s list! This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic combines two of my greatest passions: books and film! The topic is the top ten book to movie adaptations you’re looking forward to or the top ten book to movie adaptations you still need to watch. The two things that I am worst at keeping up with are my “to be read” list and my “to be watched” list! So even though I have a number of upcoming book to movie adaptations that I am looking forward to, I thought I should do something a little different for my list today.

I ended up choosing five book to movie adaptations I still need to watch and five book to movie adaptations where I have watched the film but still have to read the book. So without further ado, I will take myself on a little TBR and TBW guilt trip!

Click on the pictures for links to either the IMDb or Goodreads pages.

Top 10 Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch

1. Gone Girl

gonegirlposter gonegirl

If you’ve read any of my other posts I’m sure you know that I almost always manage to mention this book somehow! This has become one of my favorite novels and I can’t believe I haven’t watched this yet. It’s at the top of my to be watched list for sure.

2. Mockingjay (Part One)

mockingjayp1poster mockingjay

This is another one I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to watching yet, since this is one of my favorite book and film series of all time. I definitely need to get caught up before the last one comes out (which could also technically be on this list, but I have a much better excuse for not having seen that one!).

3. The Martian

themartianposter themartian

Now, I’ve not actually read this book yet but I desperately want to, and I really want to see the film as well. I’ve been hearing nothing but fantastic things about both, and I am so eager to see what I think of this story.

4. Divergent

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I read Divergent last year and loved it, but I missed it when it was in theaters and I’ve still not yet had a chance to sit down and watch it. I also have not yet seen Insurgent, but I figured I would list this one since it’s the first. I definitely plan on watching both and catching up pretty soon.

5. Hugo

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I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret last year and absolutely loved it. I have never seen the film Hugo and I didn’t know much about it, so it took me far too long to figure out that this was related to the book! I’ve heard great things about this movie, so I’m interested to see what it’s like.

Top 10 Book To Movie Adaptations I’ve Seen But Still Need To Read

1. The Book Thief

thebookthiefposter thebookthief2

I went to see this with my best friend back when it first came out and completely adored it; this is an utterly incredible and beautiful film. I have already mentioned many times my intense book guilt over not having read this yet, and I do also feel pretty guilty for having watched the movie first. But I will read this soon, I promise!

2. The Hundred-Foot Journey

thehundredfootjourneyposter thehundredfootjourney

I went to see The Hundred-Foot Journey when it was in theaters, and it was magnificent; one of the best films I saw last year. I actually didn’t realize that it was a novel until afterward, and I was extremely excited to find that out. I cannot wait to read this and experience the story all over again. And if you have not seen this film yet, I would very highly recommend it!

3. Rebecca

rebeccaposter rebecca

This movie. Oh my goodness, this movie! One of my favorites of all time. I cannot even count the amount of times I have watched this, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s taken me far too long, but I’ve finally picked up a copy of this novel, and I definitely intend to read it some time next year.

4. Misery

miseryposter misery

Misery is my favorite Stephen King film adaptation and one of my favorite films in general. I saw this for the first time many years ago and yet I have still not read the book! This is the novel that my dad, a massive Stephen King fan, is always recommending to me, and it will definitely be my next Stephen King read.

5. A Tale of Two Cities

ataleoftwocitiesposter ataleoftwocities

I have a major dilemma with Charles Dickens: I love his stories but do not enjoy reading them. I think this film (specifically the Ronald Colman version) is fantastic, and I feel the same of every adaptation I have seen of his other works, such as A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations; they are some of my favorite films/stories. Now, I will admit, it has been quite a few years since I last read one of his novels, so I do intend to give this and some of his other novels and short stories another try at some point. I am hoping now that I’m older and my reading taste has matured, I will find it easier to get through his work.

There you have it! I am definitely feeling the book/film guilt! What book to movie adaptations do you still need to watch? Which ones have you seen but not read? Are there any new ones you are particularly looking forward to in the coming year? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – November 4th, 2015

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite series novellas. I have read a few series novellas, enough to create this list. However, I am afraid that there isn’t going to be a whole lot of variety in series or author because many of them are from the same one, namely Marissa Meyer and The Lunar Chronicles. I absolutely love short stories, and I am definitely a huge fan of series novellas in general. I do have others I intend to read at some point, but I have not begun any of those series yet. In the meantime, here are my top five favorites so far!

                                                         5. The Queen’s Army by Marissa Meyer

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This is the third series novella that Marissa Meyer wrote for The Lunar Chronicles, and it falls between the first novel, Cinder, and second novel, Scarlet. It functions as a bit of a bridge story and prequel to Scarlet, and introduces one of the new main characters of that novel.

I read this recently since I am preparing to jump into Scarlet very soon and, though this is my least favorite of the novellas so far, I still really loved reading it. It is a very short read but sufficiently captivating and intense, and it gives great insight into both this new character and the inner workings of the Lunars that we have not previously seen. I am even more excited about reading the next novel and seeing where these plot points lead!

4. The Map by William Ritter

themapThis is the first series novella that William Ritter wrote for the Jackaby series and it falls between the first and second novels. The Map is a standalone adventure starring the main characters from the series. It tells the tale of what happens when Jackaby plans a celebration for his assistant, Abigail Rook’s, birthday.

I really enjoyed this novella; it was such a fun read and wonderful to have while I was eagerly awaiting the next full novel. It was lovely to be back in this world with these loveable characters and to follow them on another one of their wacky exploits. This was just as hilarious and entertaining as the full novels themselves, and reading it made me all the more excited about Beastly Bones!

                                                         3. Glitches by Marissa Meyer

glitchesThis is the first series novella that Marissa Meyer wrote for The Lunar Chronicles and is the prequel to the first novel, Cinder. It was actually my first experience with her writing, as I decided to read it prior to reading Cinder; and I’m glad that I did.

Though Cinder would still have been enjoyable if I had not read this first, this prequel offers much more insight into Cinder’s past and fills in some of the gaps in that area that are present in the novel. It also gives you a chance to connect with her before diving into the main action of the plot, and I found that this made me love her as a character even more. On top of all that, I completely fell in love with Marissa Meyer’s writing style, which made me all the more excited to dive into the series. This is a great prequel story and I would highly recommend it if you are planning on starting The Lunar Chronicles or already have and have not read this novella yet!

2. Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge

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Gilded Ashes is a Cinderella retelling that takes place in the same world as Rosamund Hodge’s first novel, Cruel Beauty. It is a standalone story and can be read without any knowledge about her other novel. Reading this was my first experience with her work and I was quite impressed.

This was very well written, and a surprisingly detailed story for the length that it was. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel about it, as I tend to be fairly picky with retellings, but I ended up really loving it. There was just the right balance of sadness, heart-warming moments, and dark twists, and I thought it was a great reimagining of Cinderella. Along with that, I absolutely loved Rosamund Hodge’s writing style and I am looking forward to reading her full novels!

                                                     1. The Little Android by Marissa Meyethelittleandroidr

This is technically the second series novella in The Lunar Chronicles, though it doesn’t have much to do with the actual series itself; it is more of a standalone. As the title suggests, it is essentially a retelling of The Little Mermaid (the original tale, not the Disney version) with an android twist.

This story was absolutely fantastic! It is incredibly detailed and well rounded for the short amount of pages that it consists of. It is adorable and emotional and just a beautiful rendition of this classic tale. I would very highly recommend giving this a read even if you haven’t read the other books in the series, particularly if you are a fan of retellings.

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What are your top five favorite series novellas? Which ones would you recommend the most? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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