Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Book Haul

Hey, guys!

      I've done so well this month and I basically haven't bought any books! I did let myself splurge right before school started, so that's where two of them came from. My boyfriend and I went on a mini-adventure to the city and went to the nearest Barnes and Noble. We spent probably two and a half hours in there and I know that I had a blast. I can't speak for him, but he came out with some goodies as well. I love Barnes and Noble! Here are the books I bought (2) and received (3). 


  • Night Shift by Deb Gliori*
    • Thank you
    • 4 stars
    • Review coming September 12
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    • Reread/Current read/Buddy listen
    • Previous rating: 4 stars
    • Review: {click here}
  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King
    • TBR
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education & Was Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
    • Currently reading for my university's book club
  • First Came Forever by Annie Woods*
    • TBR - thank you, Annie Woods, for sending me your book!
*review copies 

Text Books:

  • Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
    • Already finished...I hated it. 
  • Aristotle the Nicomachean
  • It's Not News, It's FARK by Drew Curtis
  • Technopoly the Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil postman
  • Moral Tribes: Emotion Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them by Joshua Greene
  • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Grendel by John Gardner
  • Beowulf
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
  • Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History by Wim Klooster

I can't wait to read these books. I mean....only a couple of my textbooks look good, but oh well. I can't wait to read the books I picked up/received for me. 

From Barnes & Noble: 2
From School: 1
For School: 10 (waiting for +2)
For Review: 2

Number of Books I've Read: 3
Number of Books I'm Currently Reading: 4
Number of Books Unread: 8

Happy reading!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 2017 Reading Wrap Up

Hey, guys!

      This past month was so busy! Because I've been preparing for my second year of college, I've been frantically getting all of the last minute odds and ends sorted out. I've been writing up a storm so that I can have as many blog posts posted on time as possible.  Throughout that month, I managed to read 7 books and 2 novellas. I also, unfortunately, DNF'd two books and managed to have 5+ books on my currently reading shelf by the end of the month. Here are the books I actually finished this month.

  • The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
    • Rating: 3.75 stars
  • Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman
    • Rating: 4.5 stars 
    • Review coming: September 5
  • The Audition (Seraphina #0.5) by Rachel Hartman
    • Rating: 5 stars
  • {DNF} Snowball (Chronicles of a Wererabbit #1) by M.Y. Zeman*
    • DNF Review: September 9
  • Night Shift by Debi Gliori*
    • Rating: 4 stars
    • Review coming: September 12
  • Siege & Storm (Shadow & Bone #2) by Leigh Bardugo
    • Review coming: September 14
  • The Tailor (Shadow & Bone #1.5) by Leigh Bardugo
    • Review coming: September 14
  • {DNF} Trust (Between the Lions #1) by Jodi Baker*
    • DNF Review coming: September 13
  • Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
    • Rating: 4.75 stars
    • Review coming: September 19
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
    • Rating: 4 stars?
    • I'm not writing a full review, check out my explanation why, {here}!
  • Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
    • No Rating - for school
    • I definitely did not choose to read this book. I didn't understand a lot of it...
Number of Pages Read: 2,488
Favorite Book Read: Heir of Fire
Least Favorite Book Read: the DNFs
Number of Sponsored Reads: 1 + the two DNFs
Number of Non-Sponsored Reads: 6

Number of School Texts: 1

You can check out what I'm reading over the next couple weeks here. I'm a mess of a reader, so I plan to stick to the TBR for the time being. 

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

{Review} The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Page Count: 416
Published on: June 2, 2015
Published by: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance, Diverse, TW: Trauma
Source: Hardback - personally purchased
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 3.75 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d'Abreau was destined for stardom - until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can't sing. She can't even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend's invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse's home in the Caribbean isn't: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry - except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy - insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He's also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn't treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove's high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn't the only thing making waves, though - swept up in Christian's seductive tide and entranced by the Cove's charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn't what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who's best known for breaking them...


Hey, guys!

    I managed to pick this book up on one of the BookOutlet sales. The synopsis of this book really sucked me into purchasing it, but the $1.50 price also helped. This book was surprisingly beautiful and dark. I adored the representation in this book and I really enjoyed Elyse, the main character. Unfortunately, once I finished the prologue, I had a hard time getting into this book. I was hoping for a haunting and beautiful contemporary, but this book was much heavier than anticipated. That's not a bad thing, but in that moment, it wasn't what I was looking for. 

     The diversity in this book is fantastic. Elyse is from Trinidad and Tobago and she was an up and coming singer. When she gets into a boating accident, she loses the capability to speak and sing. She is mute. Elyse becomes distraught and depressed. She moves to live with her aunt and cousin in a seaside town in Oregon. I loved how this book handled racism and equality. It was perfectly done and I would love to read more books like this. I loved the representation of those who have experienced trauma. I've never read a book with a mute main character. (In the Magnus Chase books, one of the side characters is deaf and mute, but he's not the main character.) There's not enough representation when it comes to this. 

    One of the issues that I had with this book was that I did not ship Elyse and Christian. They have some chemistry, but I really wasn't feeling it. I think that Christian is a d-bag and I didn't see enough character development for me to like him much. 98% of the time, I really didn't like him. I loved how he interacted with his little brother, Sebastian, but most of the time he was a turd. Sometimes I liked how he interacted with Elyse, but I just couldn't get past his playboy reputation. I knew he just wanted to get into the "mysterious mute girl"'s pants. That's annoying. No thank you. I could appreciate how hard working he was, but he was just so "meh" to me.

     My favorite character, by far, was little Sebastian. He's such a cutie. I loved his fascination with mermaids. He definitely knew what he was looking for. For a youngling, he really knew his stuff. Mermaids, I guess, typically fascinate young girls, but Sebastian loves them. Throughout the book, his parents and the "manly men" of the story discourage him from his passion. SO ANNOYING! I loved how the gang of friends stood up for him and encouraged him to follow his passion. Sebastian's part of the book was probably my favorite part. He's just so sweet and wholesome.

      I'm still not sure if this book is a retelling, an urban fantasy novel, or if it just has magical realism elements to it. This book really baffled me. The writing was dark, mysterious, and beautiful; but I'm still ...not confused, but ...I'm baffled. I've already used that word, but we'll go with it.

Other Awesome Contemporaries:

Happy reading!
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

{Review} The Ever Never Handbook (The School For Good & Evil) by Soman Chainani (illus.) Michael Blank


Page Count: 304
Published on: July 12, 2016
Published by: HarperCollins
Genre(s): Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA, Graphic Novel, Guide
Source: Hardback - personally purchased
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository
Twitter: @SomanChainani
Facebook Page:  [click here]

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Welcome to the School for Good and Evil! The greatest of heroes and villains have come through our classrooms before they ventured into the Endless Woods to find their stories . . . and now you will join their ranks.

Use this handbook as a guide to help you navigate through your years at school. Everything you need is inside: what to bring, what to wear, and most importantly, how to stay out of the Doom Room. Here, you’ll learn about your classes, meet your professors, and get an inside look at our first-year traditions like the Trial by Tale, the Circus of Talents, and the Snow Ball. And should you need advice, you won’t have to look far for role models: our most illustrious alumni are here to help—and from—

Evs and Nevs! Forget this official stuff—I’ll tell you everything you really need to know to survive and all the good stuff the teachers won’t tell you.. Plus, I have the secret scoop on Sophie, Agatha, and Tedros. . . . Meet me inside!—Hester

Experience the School for Good and Evil like never before with this must-have companion to the bestselling series. Glorious illustrations invite you to pore over maps, see characters for the first time, and get an inside  look at what it’s like to be a student at the most enchanted school of all.


Hey, guys!

     I've been dying to get my hands on The Ever Never Handbook for the longest time. Thankfully, during the last major bookoutlet sale (that I took part of), I was able to get my hands on a copy. I've been totally in love with this series since the summer of 2015 and I'm so excited for the new spin-off series that will start in October 2017. 

     This was a great refresher to the last three School for Good & Evil books. It's been about two years since I read the last book, but reading the Handbook really caused me to want to reread the series. Not to mention I already wanted to reread to prep for Quests For Glory. I hadn't realized how much I missed Chainani's world until actually reading the handbook. I found it really interesting when the handbook delved into the actual changes that were brought on by Sophie's new position as the Dean of Evil. There were often moments where events from book 3 were mentioned and I found myself tearing up. This isn't an actual novel, but it still managed to hit me in the feels.

     This book was so colorful and captured the aesthetics of the Ever School and Never School so perfectly. I loved every minute of this book. I totally flew through it, but I'm so glad that this book is a thing. This book captures the world perfectly, it answers the questions that I (and other readers) have been asking since book one. I loved getting a glimpse into the lives of the new students and a glimpse into what to expect in book 4. I was a bit surprised to read about Sophie's attitude, but not really. I can't wait to read Quests for Glory! October cannot come fast enough! 

If you loved the School For Good & Evil, or if you love fairy tale retellings you'd love this book. I recommend that you read it after the first three books. There are spoilers, so some of the references would go over your head unless you've read the first three. 

My SFG&E Reviews: 
Other Series You'd Love: 
Happy reading!

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[Currently Reading] Late August~September Reading Plans

Hey, guys!

    This week I actually haven't gotten much reading done, however, I've been getting back into the swing of things and doing my best to start this year this means less time devoted to reading. This also means I'll try to post 3 times a week, but I can't guarantee that it will happen consistently over the next couple weeks. There's a 3 week period where I allow myself to get used to my new routine and get a solid system down. Once I get a good system down, I'll set up a consistent schedule for reviews and such. Please bear with me!

    Okay, so if you've read my last blog post about my excessive amount of books on my currently reading shelf, and I've finally made an exact reading plan/TBR. Of course, I'm not going to force myself to read whenever I do not have time, whenever I'm too tired, or whenever I'm just not feeling it. I will, however, do my best to finish these books before starting another. Anyway, here are the books and my progress with them. I'll also include the texts I've already started for classes.

For Fun CR:

  • Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
    • 61% through
    • So far, I adore this book. Once I finish the rest of these books, I'm going to be bingeing this series. 
  • Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor
    • 20% through
    • This book is really intriguing, but I really wanted something more fast paced. I'm excited to go back to this one.
  • Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1) by Anne Bishop
    • 35% through
    • I started this because someone said it gave them ACOTAR vibes and SJM loves this series. So, I just had to!
  • City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
    • 54% through
    • I've also been working on this for a while. I just haven't been in the mood to continue with the Shadowhunter world. I know I will later. 
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
    • 66% through
    • This has been on my shelf for two years! I recently checked this out from the library so I can actually finish it. 

Buddy Read/Book Club:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    • 47% through
    • I'm currently listening to this with Alex. It's his second time listening and my first time listening/second time reading. I love this book. 
    • My 2015 review: {click here}
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education & Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
    • My university has chosen this book for their August diverse book club pick. In early September, we're going to go see Malala speak at a university a couple hours away. I'm really excited. 

School Texts

  • The Odyssey by Homer
    • 2% through
    • I'm reading this for my literature class. We're not reading the whole thing, so I'm not sure if I'll count it as even read. Probably won't be included in my Goodreads challenge. 
  • Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
    • 37% through
    • I hate this so much. I hate philosophy and I've only gone to 2 meetings for the class. I'm not

      As I'm typing up this blog post, I am currently reading Heir of Fire as my active read. I plan on finishing it by the end of the weekend and starting up I Am Malala. Once I finish those two books, I'll go on with the rest of the books, starting with the books I'm farthest in and just keep going. is that list, I guess.
  1. Heir of Fire
  2. I Am Malala
  3. Uprooted
  4. City of Glass
  5. Daughter of the Blood
  6. Strange the Dreamer
Because I'm reading Ready Player One with Alex, I'm not adding it to the list. We just listen to it when we're in the car and out and about. 

If you think I should read these books in a different order or if you have a suggestion for my next read after this batch, then comment below!

Happy Reading!
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

{Review} This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Page Count: 320
Published on: October 4, 2016
Published by: Henry Holt & Co. 
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Hardback - personally purchased
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.


Hey, guys!

     Right before I started my book buying ban, I made a BookOutlet order that had the hardcover of This Adventure Ends in it. This was right after I finished First & Then and I just had to have TAE in my hands. I'm just in love with Emma Mill's writing now. TAE was even better than F&E! It is definitely going to be one of my top books of the year. 

     This Adventure Ends follows the snarky and hilarious Sloane. Sloane is the new girl in her new Florida town. She doesn't expect to become friends with Vera, Gabe, Remy, Aubrey, and Frank. Vera and Gabe are twins. When their late mother's painting is sold, Sloane decides to track it down. This book is full of fantastic friendships, an awesome parental relationship, hilarious banter, and an amazing plot. This book! Read it!

     This book had such a fantastic plot and a wonderful and diverse cast of characters. All of them were so fun to read about. They were all so relatable and natural. They had their own issues and flaws, but they stuck together. The big friend group was so wonderful. Their friendship is solid and their loyalty to each other is so great. Granted, they had their own issues amongst themselves and were prone to miscommunication sometimes, but that's normal! 

     I loved Sloane as the main character. Her voice was so great. She said things that were literally laugh-out-loud hilarious. I found myself laughing in public and I nearly cried during a couple parts of the book. This book was just so wonderfully written. I'm definitely going to be reading the books Emma Mills puts out in the future. Sloane's character development really made the book for me. She has her own flaws, but they're not the over dramatic things that frequent YA books. It's so original and fun.

      I loved the friend group. They all love each other so much even through their flaws. Emma Mills really has a skill for developing friend groups. They are always so loyal to each other, but of course, there's bound to be drama and miscommunication. I loved how they were portrayed in this book. 

     Vera is absolute friend goals. I loved her character. She's so different and she has a constant presence throughout the book. Sometimes girlfriends are just plot devices used to keep the plot going, but Vera was a true friend. I love her so much. She is a sweetheart.

      Gabe is such a cutie. I loved his character. He's kind of a butt at first, but he really grows on you as the book progresses. I loved his relationship with Sloane. It's a very natural and sweet. I shipped them throughout the book. I could just tell that he was a good egg...even with the annoying attitude at the beginning. It's not the main focus of the book, but it was such a great addition. I think I would be total trash for a whole book about Sloane and Gabe's day-to-day interactions. Add Vera and the rest of the gang and it would a hilarious and adorable book. That makes no sense, but....I want more of Sloane's snark and Gabe's attitude. 

      Remy is such a cinnamon roll. He is really flawed and imperfect. His character arc is so great to read. I love how his struggles were handled. I want more of his story. I also loved Frank. He's literally a legend. At first, I wasn't too sure about him, but by the end of the book, I wanted to be his best friend. I really loved the respectful girl and guy friendships. This book is a great example to show to those who think girls and guys can't have platonic friendships. THANK YOU, EMMA MILLS! Also! The female characters are so great in this book. There is no animosity between the girls, even if they aren't friends. I just loved that there wasn't any unneeded girl hate. Sloane literally calls herself out whenever she's being internally rude to others. I loved how aware she was of her actions. Much respect for Sloane. She's the best.
     Sloane's relationship with her parents was so refreshing. Cool and relatable parent relationships are also hard to come by in YA romance/contemporary. I don't know as much about Sloane's mom, but her dad was the best. I wish I had a dad similar to him. I'm a fan. He is such a hilarious and original character I've never read about a character like him before. He's basically an author similar to Nicholas Sparks. I would love to read his books. They sound perfectly cheesy and exactly like what I need in my life. I loved his passion for fanfiction and writing. His introduction to fandom is so REAL! I love love loved it. He and Sloane's mom have a very dynamic relationship and I loved the underlying subplot. 

     I also really liked Sloane's little sister, Laney. She's so cute and is so nine. My baby sister, Bailey, is nine and whenever Laney did anything I just had to nod my head and mutter "oh goodness she's so nine!" I love it when smaller kids are represented well in YA. Sometimes they're really annoying
     This book is just so fantastic. I adored every bit of it. I need more books like this. I desperately hope that Mill's books are like this in the future.This was exactly what I needed in my life. I highly recommend this book. 

Other Emma Mills Reviews: 

Other Contemporary/Romance Books You Would Love:

Happy reading!

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Friday, August 18, 2017

{Friday Reads #1} Currently Reading 8/18 ~ 8/20

Hey, guys!

I'm currently a mess and I can't make up my mind when it comes to committing to a book. I currently have 6 books on my currently reading shelf, which is absolutely ridiculous. I'm currently committed to Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, but I also want to read and finish the other 5 books on my shelf. It's crazy! 

~Currently Reading~

These are the books that I am currently actively reading. I am a mess and I can't make up my mind. 

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
    • Currently on: page 109/536
    • Super slow, but I like it. I needed something fast paced for my anxious mood before the semester starts.
  • Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
    • Currently on: page 113/565
    • My fast paced read to make up for the slow going of StD. 
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    • Currently on: page 175/372
      • I'm currently listening to this book on audio with my boyfriend, Alex. It's a re-listen for him and a reread for me. I read this book back in 2015. 
      • My 2015 Review: {click here}

~Currently on Hold~

      These are the books I've put on hold, but I know I'll get back into. There are some books that I enjoy, but I get bored. I'm not usually one to have 7 books on my currently reading shelf, but that's who I've become this summer. Save me. 
  • City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
    • Currently on: 292/541
    • I put this on hold because I wasn't feeling the Shadowhunter vibes. I sometimes go back to it when I get in the mood or when I'm not in the mood for my current read. I love it, but for some reason, I'm not on the edge of my seat to finish it right now.  
  • Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1) by Anne Bishop
    • Currently on: 135/384
    • I put this on hold for a readalong or for a book club book. It's really dark, so I'm waiting until I'm back into that dark mood. It's also really heavy, so it's a book I'd need to be in a specific mood for. I kinda want to go back to it soon. It's not one of those books I think I'll DNF. 
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik [not shown]
    • Currently at: 286/435
    • I've kind of had this on my currently reading shelf for 2 years...I should finish this book. I don't own it, but I can always access it at the library I work at. 

As you can see, I'm a mess. For some r, ason nothing is holding my interest, but I still want to read the books! I really don't know what's going on. My brain does not want to process great books! 

Comment below if you've ever gone through this. I'd love to find a fellow mess of a reader. 

Happy reading!
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

{Review} Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Page Count: 161
Published on: October 14, 1926
Published by: Puffin Books
Genre(s): Childrens, Fiction, Classic, Fantasy, YA, European Literature
Source: Paperback - personally purchased
Age Rating: All ages
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

For nearly seventy years, readers have been delighted by the adventures of Christopher Robin and his lovable friends.  Paired with the perfectly suited drawings of Ernest H.  Shepard, A.A. Milne's classic story continues to captivate children of all ages.


"What day is it?"
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh."
Hey, guys!

     Winnie the Pooh has been such a huge part of my childhood, my teens, and my early adult life. I'm pretty sure Pooh's stories will never leave me. I'm not sure why I've never read Milne's books before, as this one was just fantastic. Reading Winnie the Pooh for the first time was such a huge nostalgia trip. I kept flashing back to when my sisters and I would crowd on the couch to watch the Pooh movies and sing along to the little songs at the top of our lungs. I'm definitely just going to need to get the movies out again and spend a few hours rewatching them. 

     Reading Winnie the Pooh, I realized that A.A. Milne was a really wise and loving person. He originally wrote told the stories to his son Christopher Robin, and later they were written and published. The stories are so wonderfully simple and sweet. The characters - Christopher Robin, Pooh Bear, Piglet, Rabbit (and his relations), Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Eeyore --- were so great to read about. While reading this I noticed that every little character had some kind of unconventional "issue". Pooh was naive, Piglet was fearful, Owl is a bit narcissistic, Rabbit is obsessive compulsive, Kanga is a single mom, Roo is hyper-active, and Eeyore is depressed. They were just so realistic for a children's book. Everyone has their own baggage and I think it was important for Christopher Robin (and the readers) to see people/characters like this. 

     I absolutely adored the writing style of this book. It was very simple and sweet. You can tell that A.A. Milne wrote this for his little son. The love he felt for him permeates every page. The tone and the humor used in the book is quite old fashioned (hello, 1920's charm!), but I just loved it. The stories are timeless and I just want to curl up with my little sisters and cousins and just read these stories to them. No doubt, they would love them. 

     If you grew up with Disney and Pooh Bear and you've never read the stories, then I highly recommend you read these. Disney, naturally, is much more optimistic and cheerful when it comes to the characters. The original, I find is a bit darker, but still has the hope and love that the movies and show had. I think everyone should read this book. I know I will definitely read more Pooh stories. 

Happy reading!

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