Fangirl Friday #14…Cover Reveal: The Crown by Kiera Cass

I am super excited today because the final book in Kiera Cass’s “The Selection” series has a cover!!! A couple of weeks ago the title of book #5 was put onto goodreads, but I didn’t think a cover would be posted so soon after the title reveal, and I was SO surprised to see the gorgeous cover for “The Crown” just pop up on twitter! Alright, here it is…

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the crown by kiera cass

The designer and crew who make the covers for Kiera’s series know how to make a gorgeous, eye-catching piece of art! Bravo, cover designer(s), bravo!beauty and the beast

The HarperTeen crew kinda blew my mind with how stunningly beautiful their cover is, and all the sparkly lights completely sold me on this cover. Here’s to hoping the final installment of this series wraps up the story of Illéa and its people well, and that Eadlyn learns to lead rather than command and control her people. I also want there to be a lot more Kile, so I am hoping that he plays a bigger part in the last book of this series. Now we just have to wait until May of 2016 to find out what happens…

Um, excuse me while I go run into the future and get myself a copy of this book.

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The Heir by Kiera Cass (The Selection #4)

the heir by kiera cass book

“The Heir” by Kiera Cass

4 out of 5 stars.

Two decades ago, America won the Selection and the heart of Maxon Schreave. Now the time has come for Maxon’s and America’s daughter, Eadlyn, to hold a Selection of her own. But there’s just one problem: Eadlyn doesn’t want to a husband.

Raised to be a capable and powerful ruler, Eadlyn has never given marriage a serious thought, but both of her parents are adamant about her having a Selection. Determined to not find a husband during her Selection, Eadlyn attempts to avoid entanglements with the 35 male contestants, but Eadlyn soon finds that a few of them have captured her attention, and maybe even her heart despite her resistance. More important than her current relationship status, though, is her precarious political position. Eadlyn is not beloved by Illéa like her mother and father are, and she doesn’t know if she has the heart like them to lead her people. With so much to learn, Eadlyn has to discover what it truly means to be a good leader and earn the trust and love of her people before Illéa erupts into chaos.

I have mixed feelings about “The Heir.” Kiera Cass is one of my favorite authors, and you all know from this blog that I ADORE “The Selection” series because it’s magical and practically perfect! I loved America Singer SO much in the first book, and Kiera did such an amazing job of helping her to grow and blossom into a strong and kind young woman. Adding Maxon and Aspen into that mix didn’t hurt, but I really did love the first three books for how much America grew and evolved while still being America. Ball gowns and charming boys aside, I loved “The Selection” series because of America and her spunky charm and beautiful heart. “The Heir” was just as well-written as Kiera’s other books in this series, but what distanced me a bit from the story was Eadlyn and her perspective.

Eadlyn was a princess with some massive ego issues, and she didn’t treat other people very well in “The Heir.” For me, Eadlyn was nearly the complete opposite of America, and so I felt like that distanced me from the story a bit because I had a hard time connecting with this character. I know that Eadlyn was not really meant to be liked at this point in the story because this book was about her growing into a strong female character; character growth is one of Kiera’s specialities, so I do not doubt that it will happen. I trust Kiera Cass completely with making her characters grow into kind and strong individuals, but it was still hard to like Eadlyn at this point in her story because she was kind of snob. She did have some growth as an individual towards the end of “The Heir,” but by the time I could enjoy her perspective, the book was over and the long wait until book five began. While reading “The Heir,” though, I could see that Kiera wanted to create a character that was the opposite from America, and she totally accomplished that in Eadlyn. One of the main differences between Eadlyn and her mother was how they did or, in Eadlyn’s case, didn’t befriend others. Eadlyn’s lack of constant friends outside of her brother, Ahren, made sense because of the way she acted around people. America, however, was an amazing friend because she was sincere towards other and fearless when it came to protecting the people she cared about, and that was why I loved her character so much in the first three books. Eadlyn, unlike her mother, treated others as if they were below her a lot of the time, and she was selfish and did not think about how her words and actions affected those around her.

All of that being said, however, I do want to note that I get where Kiera was going with Eadlyn as a character, and that I’m sure that there is a lot of growth coming for her in book five. I wish that I could have seen a bit more character growth from Eadlyn in “The Heir,” but despite that I ended up still enjoying this book. What I enjoyed the most about this book, though, was Kiera Cass’s side characters her choice in romantic interests.

Kile…

All About Steve anigif_enhanced-buzz-6936-1360290758-0

I really loved this boy. I loved that he and Eadlyn had been at odds since childhood and that there was no initial romantic connection between these two, yet that they had history, which made their relationship more believable. Out of all of the suitors, Kile was definitely my favorite because he was so charming, sweet, sincere, and he also brought out the best in Eadlyn whenever he was around. Kile challenged Eadlyn and made her think for once about the feelings of others above her own. I loved that Kile wanted more than what the castle walls offered him, and that he didn’t treat his family’s favor with Queen America as something to abuse. I also enjoyed Kile’s presence in “The Heir” because it gave me a slight reprieve from Eadlyn’s cloistering snobbery.

Another reason I liked Kile so much was because he did not belittle others, and his character  was also quite smart. I mean come on, the boy carried books around wherever he went, so how could I not love him?Once again, I’m just going to say that I loved Kile because he never acted uppity despite the privileges granted by his mother’s friendship with the Queen. That would go to most people’s heads, but if anything, it drove Kile to do more and be more than just someone who leached off of the royal family and used their favor to get ahead in life. I think that only time I was in question about Kile’s character was when he let Eadlyn use him for publicity, but then I thought about it, and honestly, it didn’t make me like him less. All that the situation did was make me dislike Eadlyn more.

stefan shrug

Now that I’ve babbled forever about Kile’s character, I just want to say that what I really wanted from “The Heir” was more time with Kile. I got a lot of time with Eadlyn doing her internal dialog when what I really wanted was more interactions and conversation, with the other characters in this book. I desperately wanted more Kile and the other suitors, so that I could get to know the characters better, but the majority of this book was about Eadlyn’s inward struggle. It bummed me out a bit because I felt like I got to know the characters from “The Selection” so well, whereas in this book I felt like they were more of outlines of characters I could grow to care for (with the exception of Kile, who I already love!).

Another thing that I loved about this book was that Aspen and Lucy made an appearance. All the adults (America, Maxon, Marlee) felt like different people from the ones we got to know in the first three books of “The Selection” series, but not Aspen, not Lucy. They were adults in “The Heir” but they were still the Aspen and Lucy I had grown to love, and reading the parts with them made me want to go back and reread the other three books. I seriously needed more of them in this book!! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH ASPEN!!!

hug

Every moment with Aspen and Lucy just hit me in the feels like no other, and I hope there’s more of them in the conclusion to this series. Another part of “The Heir” that hit me hard was the ending…gosh, I cried a little bit with it.

psych cry

I did not expect that, and I hope Kiera doesn’t end up ripping my soul out in the next book with a very sad turn of events. Things were just fine as they were, so I am hoping for a happy ending concerning that particularly heartbreaking twist. Please, Kiera, be merciful…

Overall, I enjoyed “The Heir,” I just didn’t love. I am expecting tremendous character growth for Eadlyn in the fifth book, and I know that Kiera can and will deliver, I just have to be patient!

10 Best Books of 2014

Alright, let’s start the New Year off by recounting the good books that I had the pleasure of reading this year. They were diamonds among the rough, but well worth the search!

 

deliverance c.j. redwine

“Deliverance” by C.J. Redwine

I adore this author so much! This book was beautiful and a well-rounded and resolved final book. Logan, Rachel, and Quinn will forever be dear to me. LOVED IT!

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“This Shattered World” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I loved this book so much because of how beautifully put together it was. It was different from the other science fiction stories that are out now; the world was so well-developed and intricate, and I ADORED the characters! Definitely in my top five favorite books ever!

the winner's curse marie rutkoski book

“The Winner’s Curse” by Marie Rutkoski

This book blew my mind. It is so well-plotted and intriguing, and the relationships between the characters were all so amazing. This was one of the “surprise” books of 2014 that I ended up LOVING!

 

the one kiera cass book

“The One” by Kiera Cass

I loved how resolved and put together this book was; all the things that I had questions about were resolved and it was a good end to a series (I kinda wish it was over because this book ended so good, but we’ll see how “The Heir” goes). I loved America because she was such a strong and beautiful character who was so different from the other heroines in YA books right now. She was strong and courageous in a quiet way, and I personally think that she was one of the bravest heroines of 2014 because she faced those trials and hardships with a smile and stood her ground. Sometimes it takes more courage to do that than anything else.

jenny han to all the boys i've loved before book

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

Almost everything about this book is perfect. I loved Laura Jean and her family, I loved the dynamic between sisters that was in this book because only someone with sisters can understand that kind of relationship, ans I loved Laura Jean Peter. So cute and heartwarming and funny! LOVED IT!

cress by marissa meyer book

“Cress” byMarissa Meyer

Adorable, fun, and well-written. Loved Thorne and Cress, and this book!

her dark curisity megan shepherd

“Her Dark Curiosity” by Megan Shepherd.

CRAZINESS!! This book is so interesting, well-written, and plane old insane: so much happened and I have so many questions that I hope “A Cold Legacy” will be able to answer! P.S. I adore Montgomery and I hope you-know-what doesn’t hit the fan concerning him in the third book.

Chasing Shadows Ashley Townsend book

“Chasing Shadows” by Ashley Townsend

I loved it! Great time travel, dynamic characters, and an intricate plot that is leaving me guessing as to what’s going to happen in the last book.

Red at Night Katie McGarry book

“Red At Night” by Katie McGarry

I loved this novella with every fiber of my being, and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

outcast by c.j. redwine book

“Outcast” by C.J. Redwine

I loved this novella as well. Quinn ended up being one of my favorite characters in this trilogy, and this novella only made me love him more. So good!

These are 10 of the best books of 2014  and all of them are 5 stars to me! Happy New Year, everyone!

Cover Reveal: The Heir by Kiera Cass

You’ve probably already heard that Kiera Cass decided to turn “The Selection Trilogy” into a series, and the newest book, “The Heir,” was given a title and a release date. I am very excited to say, though, that it now has a cover and a description, too. I’m sure you can imagine my joy at seeing the cover since it is one of my favorite series, but I’ll give you a gif just in case you can’t imagine it for yourself.

 

kermit dance

kermit dance 2

I will say that if you haven’t read the series yet and you want the end of the first three books to be spoiler free, do not continue reading this post. Alright, drum-roll, please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the heir by kiera cass book

Goodreads Summary:

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

 

I do have to say, though, that I am a bit scared of what may transpire in “The Heir.” I LOVED “The Selection” and “The One” and I don’t want them to be ruined because of a later book; those two books and the “ending” of the story they told were perfect just the way they were, and I am afraid of what Kiera might do. That being said, I will probably still read “The Heir” with the hope that it doesn’t ruin the other three books for me.

Young Adult Book Quotes

cress by marissa meyer

Quotes from “Cress” by Marissa Meyer.

—-

“Captain?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”– Cress and Thorne

—-

“All right, Miss Cryptic. What’s the new plan, then?”
Glancing around the room, Cinder tipped up her chin. “It starts with kidnapping the groom.”
Iko’s hand shot into the air.
“Yes, Iko?”
“That is the best idea ever. Count me in.”– Cinder and Iko

—–

“He leaned forward to inspect her closer. “Is that all hair?”

… Sudden, overwhelming panic clawed up Cress’s throat. With a squeak, she ducked out of view of the camera and scrambled beneath the desk. Her back struck the wall with a thud that rattled her teeth. She crouched there, skin burning hot and pulse thundering as she took in the room before her— the room that he was now seeing too, with the rumpled bedcovers and the mustached man on all the screens telling her to grab her imaginary partner and swing them around.

“Wha—where’d she go?” Thorne’s voice came to her through the screen.

“Honestly, Thorne.” A girl. Linh Cinder? “Do you ever think before you speak?”

“What? What did I say?”

” ‘Is that all hair?’ “

“Did you see it? It was like a cross between a magpie nest and ball of yarn after it’s been mauled by a cheetah.”

A beat. Then, “A cheetah?”

“It was the first big cat that came to mind.”– Thorne, Cinder, and Cress

—-

“Captain,” she murmured. “I think I’m in love with you.”
An eyebrow shot up. She counted six beats of his heart before, suddenly, he laughed.
“Don’t tell me it took you two whole days to realize that. I must be losing my touch.”– Thorne and Cress

—-

“If you honestly believe that,” said Thorne, stowing the gun again, “then you really don’t recognize true value when you see it.”– Thorne and Cress

—-

“The other girl, Iko, cupped her chin with both hands. “This is so much better than a net drama.”– Iko

the winner's curse marie rutkoski

Quotes from “The Winner’s Curse” by Marie Rutkoski.

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“Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”– Kestrel

—-

“Arin smiled. It was a true smile, which let her know that all the others he had given her were not.”– Arin and Kestrel

—-

“You might not think of me as your friend,” Kestrel told Arin, “but I think of you as mine.”– Kestrel and Arin

—-

“Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.”– ??

—-

“She reminded herself bitterly that this was what curiosity had bought her: fifty keystones for a singer who refused to sing, a friend who wasn’t her friend, some one who was hers and yet would never be hers.”– Kestrel

the one kiera cass

Quotes from “The One” by Kiera Cass

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“The best people all have some kind of scar.”– America

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“Leave it to you to find beauty in something others would say ruins a day.”– Maxon and America

—-

“Bravery hides in amazing places.”–???

—-

“It doesn’t really matter how you feel about your character; it just matters what you do with it.”– America

—-

“Celeste walked up, as strong as I’d ever seen her, and whispered something into Maxon’s ear.

When she was done, he smiled. “I don’t think that will be necessary.”

“Good.” She left, closing the door behind her, and I stood to take whatever was coming.

“What was that about?” I asked, nodding toward the door.

“Oh, Celeste was making it clear that if I hurt you, she’d make me cry,” he said with a smile.

I laughed. “I’ve been on the receiving end of those nails, so be careful there.”

“Yes, ma’am.”– America, Maxon, and Celeste

—-

“Do you need me to break her leg? I could make it happen.” She chuckled to herself. “I’m kidding.”– Celeste

—-

“When you love someone, you sacrifice.”– America

—-

“They should be proud of everything you’ve endured. If my parents had any idea how low I’ve sunk . . . I don’t know what they’d say. If Maxon’s parents knew, I’m sure they’d have kicked me out by now. I’m not fit for this.” She breathed out, struggling to confess.

I leaned forward, putting my hands on hers. “I think this change of heart would prove otherwise, Celeste.”– Celeste and America

—-

“I’m just realizing, Mer, that no matter what happens . . . there will always be a string tying you to me. I’ll never not worry about you. I’ll never not care about what you do. You’ll always be something to me.”– Aspen and America

—-

“Live your life. Be happy as you can be, let go of the things that don’t matter, and fight.”– Mr. Singer

—-

“I love you beyond paint, beyond melodies, beyond words. And I hope you will always feel that, even when I’m not around to tell you so.”– Mr. Singer

The One by Kiera Cass (The Selection #3)

the one kiera cass

“The One” by Kiera Cass

5 out of 5 stars.

It’s time. America is ready to fight for what she wants and she has the strength to do it, but there is so much more at stake now than just her heart in “The One.” The rebel attacks are getting so much worst, leaving more damage to the kingdom of Illéa than they could have ever anticipated. America soon begins to wonder, though, at the secrets being kept inside these palace walls, and whether it’s really the Rebels tearing apart the country or if it’s the bounty of secrets that King Clarkson holds so close? Whatever may be the cause, chaos is coming and America is going to have to be stronger than ever to fight the coming wave of violence, not only from the Rebels, but also from the King himself.

Maxon and America soon strike up an alliance with the non-violent Norther Rebels in the hopes that working together will be enough to stop the Southern Rebels from causing more bloodshed, and also break the iron fist with which Maxon’s father rules Illéa with. Can Maxon really be a good king, or is he just like his father? And can America be strong enough, not only to save herself, and the people she cares so deeply for?

“The One” was an extremely emotional book for me. “The Selection” was my favorite “fluff” book of 2012, and I was just in love with Maxon. I loved that it read like a fairy tale, but it still was substantial in the sense that it had some really cool dystopian qualities about it. It was beautiful and light, and Kiera Cass became one of my favorite authors because of  that book. “The Elite” was also a great book but I disliked where Kiera went with Maxon’s character; what he did was awful and I felt betrayed. Despite that, though, I thought that it was a great book and that Kiera Cass did a fantastic job of bringing in the rebels into the book without giving too much away.

Although I love Kiera Cass as an author, I was very wary of “The One.” I have read some really terrible series enders that have actually made me hate ALL of the books in those series, and I was so scared that I would eventually say goodbye to Kiera Cass’, who is one of my favorite authors. So when “The One” came out I was torn in two, on one side I was super excited to read Kiera’s book because she is such an amazing writer, and the other half of me was terrified that she would do to me what Tahereh Mafi did in “Ignite Me.” I was equal parts excited and anxious! But what I got with this book was something I never could have anticipated.

First off I just want to say, thank you, HarperTeen, for another absolute gorgeous cover to look at.

sheldon

It even makes Sheldon giggle, it’s so beautiful. But as most wise people say, never judge a book by its cover. I have found this saying to be true about 90% of the time. I was expecting “The One” to be a part of the 90% of books that disappoint me, but instead it turned out to be apart of the 10% that has taken my breath away. Now that we have the discussion of its cover out of the way, let’s talk about how amazing a book “The One” is.

I think that stunning is the best way to describe the plot and writing in “The One.” I am still in awe of how many things Kiera Cass dealt with in this book, and she only took three-hundred and twenty pages to do so, whereas a lot of authors I’ve read can’t do it half as good as Kiera in twice as many pages. And it makes for a non-stop roller coaster ride that leaves you breathless and wanting more. The plot was intricate and well thought out, but there wasn’t so much to keep track of that you felt the need to reread things. I also liked that she didn’t shove her own political opinions down your throat like a lot of authors I’ve read have done; believe whatever you want, it’s your freedom of choice to do so, but don’t ruin a book by shoving your opinions down your readers’ throats. You’re not going to win anyone over that way. Kiera Cass did a lovely job of stating historical fact without taking one side over the other, which was new and refreshing.

The plot of “The One” is masterfully written, and it was really cool to see how Kiera had each of the characters take part in either helping the kingdom of Illéa stand on its own two feet, or bring it to its knees. This book is so much more than a romance; it’s about doing what is right for others even when that means sacrificing your own happiness. I felt myself rooting for the people of Illéa as a whole, not just Maxon and America, or Aspen and America, and I noticed while I was reading that, although I loved the Maxon and America moments, I wasn’t focusing on that. I wanted to see the people of Illéa set free from their chains, and I think that’s what made this such and epic finale; it wasn’t about one OTP getting together, it was about a nation, a people, breaking free and finding true justice. Okay, let’s talk about a couple of the main characters in this book.

America has grown a lot as a person since she started The Selection. When first entered it, she was a brokenhearted teenage girl, and she was exactly where she didn’t want to be. But it ends up being exactly where America needed to be, not only for herself but also for the people around her.

Why I love  America so much is because she has a super strong personality (it does get her into trouble a lot, but we all make mistakes), she is a faithful friend, and even though she messes up a lot, she always tries to do the right thing in the end. She went through a lot of stuff in “The Elite” and I think that helped her grow a lot as a person, and she REALLY comes into her own in “The One.” I love what Kiera Cass did with this character! She helped America retain her sweetness, her heart, her desire for justice while still making her strong and passionate, unyielding (in a moral sense, not the “I won’t listen to wisdom” sense) and bold. America became so self-sacrificing by the end of “The One” that she began to (knowingly) risk her own happiness and safety so that people she didn’t even know could have justice. She seriously was like,

captain hook2

throughout “The One,” and she never asked for anything in return. America was a true hero in this series, and I am so proud of Kiera for creating such a strong and inwardly beautiful character! Good golly I’m gonna cry again!

grown man cry

Aspen was a great character in “The One.” Originally I had disliked Aspen, but after reading the first two books a couple of times and his novella, I have really come to love this character. He is strong and faithful, and I really enjoyed him as one of the main character in this series. While reading this book I wished him the best, no matter what that meant for my Maxon and America; he was, truthfully, that good of a character!

Maxon, Maxon, Maxon…I have an abusive relationship with this boy. One minute he is a perfect angel, the boy I know from “The Selection,” and then the next he goes and kisses another girl! I get that he is in a bachelor like situation, but that show has never sat well with me for that exact reason, and so, yes, I felt betrayed whenever that happened. Normally I am the kind of girl that’s like, “Stick it to the man! If he doesn’t treat you right, then he doesn’t deserve you,” but Maxon is my kryptonite . I try again and again to tell myself to stop loving him, but then he’ll do the most amazing thing, and I forget what he did to my heart a chapter ago. It’s sick and abusive, but I can’t get enough! It hurts so good!

Betrayal aside, Maxon (like America and Aspen) changes a lot in “The One”; you see  pieces of him in this book that you hadn’t been allowed to see in “The Selection” or “The Elite,” not even in his novella. As I was reading those parts (especially towards the last seventy pages), I started to cry, and I was like this the whole time.

weeps

Added to this emotional torment, Kiera took a cue from Suzanne Collins (my sister made this comparison) and she killed off quite a few characters in the last thirty-five pages. IT. WAS. A. BLOODBATH!!!!!!!!!!!! My reaction to some of the characters dying was like this:

 

even stevens

You can ask my sister, and she will confirm my statement. Want to know how I felt when a couple of my favorites got shot?

thorthis coupled with this…

screams coupled with this…

awesome2

A LOT of people died, and I was thinking, “Wow, Kiera.” Like,

psych3

What makes this such an epic book (and Kiera an epic author), though, is not that she had enough b**** to kill a ton of people off, but that at the end of this story you felt like there was still hope. Despite all the pain and sorrow, there was hope on the horizon, that not only does life go on but it can also be beautiful again; it’s not a fairy tale ending, it’s better than that because it was real (despite the fact that it is a book). This was the third trilogy ender to ever do that for me. Cynthia Hand was the first, Veronica Rossie the second, and now Kiera Cass. She wrapped up this trilogy beautifully; all the loose ends were tied, and even after all of the pain I endure reading this book, it left me hopeful, complete, and satisfied. It didn’t end perfectly (life’s not perfect), but it ended exactly the way it needed to. This was, and is, without a doubt the most epic finale to a series/trilogy I have EVER read. It wasn’t a story about two people ending up together (despite what other people are saying. IT IS SOOOOO NOT “Twilight!”). It was a story about being selfless and brave and true. It was about sacrifice and doing what is right, standing up against evil and standing up for true justice. And THAT is why I love this book. Beautiful job, Kiera Cass. BRAVO!!!

 

This was me during and after reading “The One,”

patrick unicorn The One

I am Patrick and “The One” is the unicorn. It was literally that friggin’ awesome.

The One by Kiera Cass

I have a review ready to post, but I kind of wanted to give you a preview of everything I felt while reading this book. Here it goes…

 

supernatural 2This is what the cover thinks about itself. I have to agree with it…

tuesdaysI felt this way, only it was a Saturday and Sunday…

taylor swift WHATreally, Maxon? Kriss? Really?…

once upon a timeTo: Kriss…I don’t know why people like you…

sherlockmy reaction whenever Kriss speaks. GET. OUT. OF. MY. BOOK…

sheldon the big bang theory1this was my expression when Celeste offered to hurt Kriss on America’s behalf. You are now my new favorite person, Celeste…

captain hook3wait, why is this happening?!!!…

psych2everyone’s dying!!!! Why is everyone dying?…

officepeople are STILL dying…

worth it supernaturaland this was me by the end of “The One”, bruised and battered, but still alive.

Full review coming soon!