How Did I Start Reading?

This is a bit of a funny story, actually. My reading career began at the age of four when I started primary school. Something that, originally, I had been excited for until the first day. The first day I managed to rip a clump out of my hair and rip my school uniform off about six times before my mum even got me in the car. I was a mess. A few weeks after that disaster I took my uniform to my mum with my shoes and told her “I’m done now, I’ve learnt to read.”

I wanted to read because of my mum as well. She read so much before her epilepsy diagnosis. She always had a book in hand and I wanted to be just like my mum. She would sit with me for hours listening to me sound out words and read. She made sure to support every little thing. Most Friday’s I’d come home and she’d have bought me a book for the weekend. My mum was who started my passion and supported that, from day one. I will forever adore and love her for that.

So, I’ve been reading for sixteen years, basically. It wasn’t a gradual thing. I fell in love with it completely and truly haven’t stopped reading since then. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve stopped reading due to friends bullying me for it, but the passion is always sparked again.

The first time I stopped reading was when my mum met a man who had three sons. The three sons used to rip the back pages out of books and then give them to me to read. So, I eventually gave up because I was sick of being teased. That was until Twilight came into the world. I went on the hold list at my library and waited for the book to come in, hoping I would be able to join that trend. Boy, did I jump on that hype train. Twilight became my life. When I got some money from doing chores I went and bought all four books (they were $9 each at my local store). I was so happy and read them all so quickly. My love for reading had returned and I was at the library every week lugging my grocery bag the 10-minute walk.

A year after my love for the library began we moved far out of town. So far that there was no library near us! My mum worked every day and wasn’t able to take me since I was too young to be in town every day (I was 12 at this stage). So, I spent an entire summer holidays (6 weeks) reading the Twilight series cover to cover. I eventually hit high school and discovered books that are my favourites today, Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments.

However, I changed high schools after a year and a half and made friends who told me “reading is, like, totally not cool”. So, I was embarrassed and stopped. Whenever I brought up reading they’d roll their eyes or tell me to get “a real hobby”. A year later a new friend I made loaned me her copies of The Hunger Games. I fell in love, much like I did with Twilight. I read those books cover to cover around 20 times, discovering everything that was within those pages.

My passion for reading was back, I was so happy! It was during this spark I discovered another favourite series of mine, Percy Jackson and The Olympians. I was ecstatic!

Then we moved again. It was a trip to a store that I learnt The Mortal Instruments was more than three books! WHAT?! 15 year old me was in shock. I quickly started back up with the passion I had when I was 10, reading books at an alarming speed and going to the library regularly.

I made a stupid decision after this. Some things happened in my life, bad things. I ended up in a relationship and he told me that reading was the dumbest thing i could possibly do. He basically told me because it kept me from replying to him quickly so I should just stop. So, I did. He wouldn’t message me for hours and I would sit around bored because I didn’t want him to be mad. I was stupid, I know.

It was after we broke up (and boy, was that a great day) that I came back to reading. I had an urge to re-read Percy Jackson and The Lightning Theif and what a great decision that was. That was three years ago. For three years I have been completely passionate about reading and unable to stock. People get shocked by how much I read, but everyone I have in my life is super supportive. My friends love hearing about my relationships with publishers that I’m growing and the blurb of whatever book I’m reading. My mum always asks what I’m reading, and I’m so grateful for her pushing her love of reading on me.

Reading was the escape I needed during so many bad times in my life. Reading has been the friend I’ve needed when I cried myself to sleep. Reading has been my home when my family was sitting on the threat of homelessness. Reading has always been there for me, reading always will, and I am a reader to the core.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada | Review

Thank you Penguin Australia for sending me a review copy. All thoughts are my own

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: November 7th 2017

Pages: 432

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?


R A M B L E

I went into this book with some low expectations. I’m not exactly sure why. I had requested it from Penguin a few months prior and had been really excited, but by the time I received it I was a little apprehensive. I’m not sure if it was just because I wasn’t in the mood for a dystopian or what but I decided to pack it when I was visiting my friend, partially because I wanted to read it and so did she (she later bought the book anyway).

This Mortal Coil is good. Like, amazingly good. I truly didn’t know what I expected but it wasn’t this. The fact this book is a debut shocks me as well. It reads like an author who has been writing for years. Truly. There were some cliché lines throughout, but honestly those lines don’t bother me like they bother so many in the book community. I believe the ‘I let out a breathe I didn’t know I was holding’ line is used but, guys, I’ve actually let out a breathe I didn’t know I was holding so I don’t give two shits about that line in the slightest.

The only reason I didn’t give This Mortal Coil a full five stars is purely for the weird romance featured throughout. I’m incredibly picky with my romances in books though, and most of the time I don’t enjoy them as much as my friends. Also, I had a bit of confusion with all the scientist lingo and coding language. This could have been something I missed while reading and left me confused later on, but I nonetheless I enjoyed this book immensely.

Furthermore, the author of this book is Australian. I love supporting fellow Aussies in the publishing world since I feel I don’t do it enough. So, when I found out Emily Suvada was a fellow girl from Aus I was pretty stoked.


P L O T

This Mortal Coil is a complex dystopian that focuses on the me vs. you that so many of us have. In this world, there is no cure for a virus besides eating the flesh of the infected. Resources are dwindling away and friendships no longer matter in the circumstances of life. Especially since Cat’s father told her not to trust the very people who took him and have been trying to create a cure.

The plot was incredibly interesting to me. I was completely absorbed and unable to look away. It barely mattered that I was staying with my friend because I finished this book in two days. It was amazing.

The author includes so many jaw-dropping moments in the 400 pages that truly leave you wanting more of her writing and world building.


C H A R A C T E R S

For this section, I’m only going to talk about the main character very briefly. I don’t want to give too much away within the book by talking about all the characters of importance and relevance to the story. I really feel Cat is truly the most important character, as well, especially with how this book ends.

#C A T A R I N A

I’m not too familiar with hacking or coding. Which may be why I stay very far away from dystopian and science fiction novels. Terminology is lost on me and I truly am just stumped. However, Catarina was the perfect main character. Sure, some parts were a tad confusing for me (but seriously, I know nothing about tech) but I really feel like each component was explained in a way that the most clueless person (me) could understand what was happening.

In terms of Cat as a character, she was incredible. I personally found her wholly unique and unlike any other character, I have personally read about. I absolutely adore discovering characters like that too, ones that are so unlike others. Cat had fear, she had distress and she had moxie (to reference one of my favourite books).


O V E R A L L

I’m incredibly excited to read more of Emily Suvada’s work. This Mortal Coil definitely hits straight into my favourite books of the year. It also hits one of the prettiest books I own because the pages on the UK/AUS version is gorgeous!

I also apologise since this isn’t my best review, I’m a bit out of sorts since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written and I’m playing catch up on the few books I read. I hope that isn’t too much of a problem!


Happy reading everyone!

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This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis | Review

3/5 STARS.

I received an eARC but all opinions/thoughts are my own.

BUDDY READ Solomon,

One word to describe this book?

Fucked.

I have never been both utterly disturbed and confused when reading a book. This Darkness Mine manages to successfully do this, however. I was stunned. Completely stunned into silence. I started to get really into this book while I was waiting at the train station to pick up Caitlin, and I’m pretty sure everyone in my surrounding area was confused while I whispered “what” to myself over and over.

The premise of this book was confusing but reading it was even more messed up. I couldn’t grasp some aspects and since I did most of the reading of this at night I was afraid to fall asleep in case I had had a twin in the womb (lmao I checked, I didn’t).

Sasha Stone is a good girl though. She plays the clarinet, is in the first chair, and is on her way to being accepted to a prestigious music school. She and her boyfriend fit and she gets good marks. She’s the definition of a goody-goody who follows strict rules. Things start to get weird though when a boy who doesn’t fit her definition of life starts acting as if they have a thing, and that she gave him her number. Something she knows she didn’t do. It’s here the book takes a turn I didn’t expect. A turn that had me staring at my phone like what! Shit gets weird. It gets wild and I could barely keep up with the story. Turns out our main character had absorbed in the twin in the womb. But, Sasha’s heart hadn’t been very strong so the twin’s heart came into play and now the twin wanted to live. Live in a very different way to our protagonist.

There were boring bits, which had me rolling my eyes and wanting a lot more crazy. Though the crazy would hit and I would be begging for the book to return to the normal because seriously. However, the writing style was brilliant. It was a tad jerky in some parts, scenes suddenly changing but that could be because it isn’t the final version.

I have so many questions for the author. How did they create this idea? A book that still has me jumping in the dark and making sure there are no messages from random boys in my phone (there aren’t, boys are lame).

I recommend you all check out this book when it releases – especially if you’re looking for a weird book.

Reading Pet Peeves

Reading pet peeves, we all have them. Some people can only read paperbacks and others refuse to buy paperbacks until they are all the same size. Some people hate using bookmarks and some others think that people who dog-ear are the spawns of Satan.

So, here are four of my bookish pet peeves.

  • When Series Change Covers Mid Way Through

This could possibly be my biggest problem with books. My eye twitches every time I see a publisher has decided to change the covers before the series is complete. What do you expect me to do?! Buy the series with these new fancy covers? No. I am poor.

  • When The Plastic Comes Off Your Paperback

No real explanation for this, I just want to die every time it happens. It’s like when the plastic starts coming off my bank card so I simply cancel it and order a new one (because it stops my card from working). I can’t just cancel my book and get a new one, thought that would be a great business idea. Someone do that.

  • When Someone Borrows Your Book and Destroys It

This has only happened to me one time. I loaned a book to a friend because she wanted to use it for a school assignment. The good friend I am I did it. It took six months to get the book back. I later learnt she had just shoved it in her school bag every school day for six months. Just shoved it in. With her water bottle, lunch, textbooks and notebooks. My precious baby had been disrespected. She didn’t even apologise either. Just handles the book back and walked away. We aren’t friends anymore.

  • When Someone Tells Me I’m Too Old For Young Adult

My family came over to our house when we moved last year and they checked out the house. Mainly, the checked out the three bookshelves in my room and huffed. This was just before I turned nineteen and they felt it was necessary to tell me I had a young reading style. I was pretty annoyed considering, I don’t care. I’ll read what I want when I want. If I enjoy it or if I don’t is my business and my business alone. I may be twenty this year, but I will read young adult until I don’t want to anymore. 

So, I don’t really have the bookish pet peeves a lot of people do. I don’t care if you dog-ear, I’m not a bookmark fan myself (gasp) and I really don’t care about the height of my books (you can’t in Australia or you’ll just cry).

What are some of your bookish pet peeves?

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

5/5 Stars.

Buddy read with Caitlin.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: anxious thoughts, death, violence, suicide

an ARC was provided but all opinions are my own.
I was definitely grateful to receive an eARC copy of this particular book. Since I read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera I was desperate to get my hands on this and it didn’t disappoint.

Going into a book which is titled They Both Die At The End, you don’t really expect it to happen. That doesn’t even matter because almost the whole book I’ve been crying. The whole concept of this book is heartbreaking. Imagine knowing you will die within the next 24 hours? You may not even get the full 24 hours. You just know you’ll die by the end of the day. That’s terrifying and honestly, gives me the chills.

That is what happens to our two main characters, Mateo and Rufus. The pair are complete strangers, on different paths, when they receive the call. The call informing me them that they will be dying. They meet through an app where strangers are able to meet up and have fun on their last day on Earth. Now that I think about it, that’s incredibly morbid.

Despite how morbid I am now realising it is, I found myself completely in love with the idea. I couldn’t stop reading. It was actually the first book I read before Caitlin did, a miracle, trust me. The friendship shared between Mateo and Rufus was beautiful. I loved their interactions and how their friendship progressed organically into what it did throughout the story. The pair say their final goodbyes to the people they love, as well as suffering repercussions of actions that happened before their D-Day phone call.

I did have my problems with the story, mainly the ending but the writing is so flawless that I can’t fault too much. I found Mateo and Rufus to be complete people, maybe people I would meet. They did not seem one dimensional at all. One complaint I can say without spoiling too much is that I wished this novel was longer. I was left wanting more when I turned the last page!

Adam Silvera manages to craft a word that I would hate to live in and a world that has made me realise I need to take chances; I need to go on that random adventures with my friends, ask that cute boy I’m crushing on for his number and to truly take risks. I need to experience life fully.

June Wrap Up

HELLO DEAR FRIENDS

So, it’s been a hot minute since I posted and I honestly don’t have much of an excuse. My bookish bestie came to visit so all my time was focused on giving her a great holiday, I’m sorry. I was meant to have some blog posts prepared buuuut I got sick (damn that immune system I say).

This wasn’t the best reading month for me. I only read 14 books and most of them I didn’t actually enjoy, which was disheartening. I did only DNF two books, something that needs to be acknowledged. Maybe my serial DNF days are coming to an end?

Nah.

Okay, but without further ado, because I’m sick again (I hate my body), here is the list of books I read this month and what I rated them:

  1. The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes – 3/5 Stars.
  2. Obsidian Blade by Morgan Rhodes – 5/5 Stars.
  3. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts – 4/5 Stars.
  4. One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus – 2/5 Stars.
  5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner – DNF, 1/5 Stars.
  6. Trickery by Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington – DNF, 1/5 Stars.
  7. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling – 5/5 Stars.
  8. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett – 3/5 Stars.
  9. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – 1/5 Stars.
  10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera – 5/5 Stars.
  11. The Dogs I Have Kissed by Trista Mateer – 3/5 Stars.
  12. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee – 4/5 Stars.
  13. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – 2/5 Stars.
  14. This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis – 3/5 Stars.

Expect some more blog posts in the future, I have some plans on how I want to set out my reviews (which I want to do a few of). I hope you all had an excellent reading month in June! If not, let’s hope July is our month!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE.

My name is Amber & I am Shadowhunter Trash

The title is pretty self-explanatory. I am a complete and utter lover of all of Cassandra Clare’s work in the Shadowhunter worlds. This has been going on for the past seven years.

I picked up City of Bones on a whim at my school library, wondering if maybe other books could be as good as my absolute favourite series at the time, Twilight. It is slightly possible the shirtless man on the original cover helped drive my urge to pick up the book, being fresh into high school I thought I was mature.

That is a definite lie, but I did think I was super cool for reading when most of my peers didn’t.

Despite that irrelevant information, I didn’t expect too much going into City of Bones. It’s not as if it could be any good, at least not like Twilight, right?

Wrong.

My small pre-pubescent self actually loved it even more than Twilight. It quickly skyrocketed to my favourite series and I basically lived in the first three books. It was a time when The Mortal Instruments was only a trilogy and I lived in a world that lacked any form of Internet or technology to see if the author was writing anything else.

know. Dark times.

So, over the next two years, I fell out of love with reading because my best friends bullied me about it (dweebs). I also moved around four times, changing schools twice. So, as my mum took me into K-mart to get school things for my new school I asked if I could check out the books.

My mum has always been a big reader, pushing my sister and me to read from a young age. She obviously said yes.

As I walked down the aisle I saw the familiar rune covered chest…but wait, there was more? By this stage, The Infernal Devices had started being released and two more books had been added to The Mortal Instruments.What a blessing?

Basically, over the course of eight weeks, my mum would buy me a new book from the series. This means my TMI and TID collections are the oldest books I own – crazy.

Now, this may seem like a pointless blog post, I understand. I just have so much love for this series. It helped me out of my darkest times, several times. Through break ups, shitty home life and terrible friends I always knew I could find myself in this world. I related to almost every character while reading the books – even in the most recent series, I can still find myself in Emma and Julian.

It’s just so important to me and when people say that Cassie should find a new world I want to scream why? It’s not as if the stories are similar in any way, I never know what to expect when diving into one of the books.

I also want to briefly mention I am not a fan of the show. I tried for a season and a half to get into the show, but it just got messy and I couldn’t give up on the fact it was so different from the books. But, I’m glad there are so many people who do enjoy the series.

I think the overall point of this post is I am Shadowhunters trash and will read the Shadowhunters books even if I’m 55 with grandchildren.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne | Review

Rating: 5/5 STARS

Pages: 348 Pages

Release Date: 9th August 2016

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads Blurb:

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive-aggressive manoeuvres as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

 

I’m not a big contemporary fan. I make this clear by the fact most contemporaries I read get low ratings, not because I didn’t enjoy them but because I got bored of the plot or the romance. The thing is, The Hating Game wasn’t like that at all. I have read this book three times. It is an absolute masterpiece, truly. The fact that this is debut novel as well? Unbelievable.

The story follows Lucy, a tiny girl who is undeniably silly. We follow Lucy through her rivalry with her colleague, Josh (the author has said she pictures him as Liam Hemsworth and swoon). Josh is everything I want and more in a man – which is saying something because your girl has some high standards.

Josh and Lucy both work for publishing companies who were required to merge in order to avoid going out of business completely. The companies were vastly different – one being straight edge and another being more carefree. It is at this publishing company we meet Josh and Lucy, encountering their hate for each other.

The classic hate to love trope follows and I am absolute trash for a well-executed trope (which, this definitely is). This book incorporates that with silly moments, oh so many gloriously silly moments, and sweet moments (still swooning).

Josh is the epitome of the perfect man, with his nickname for Lucy being shortcake and his terrible mustard coloured shirt, what isn’t to love? Lucy can be a little oblivious in some parts which can be a tad annoying, but gosh, I just can’t get enough of this book!

Honestly, Sally Thorne has become an auto-buy because of this particular book. I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy because the sweet moments are perfect when you’re trying to defeat a slump.

 

Lord of Shadows| Rambly Review

Rating: 5/5 STARS

Pages: 720 pages

Release Date: 23rd May 2017

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads Blurb:

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

 

Have you ever read a book that basically ripped your heart and soul out of your body? A book that left you gasping for breath through the salt that is indeed your tears? I honestly felt like I was drowning reading Lord of Shadows, in the best kind of way.

I’m truly not sure if I can tell you that I breathed throughout the book. From the moment the ebook blessed my phone at 12 am on the dot I felt my heart caving in.

That may not make much sense if you don’t know me; but, hi, my name is Amber and I am Shadowhunters trash. By that I mean I have read every book in the chronicles and will continue to read whatever Cassandra Clare continues to release in this world. I read Lady Midnight last year on release day (also my first day at university) have been waiting since March 3rd for the end of the damn cliffhanger that plagued my life for over a year.

I can’t say much about this book – I haven’t fully grasped what happened. My heart is still racing and I have been crying profusely (not sure if I’ll stop). Two years waiting for the next book? I think not. I will be selling my kidneys in order to get Queen of Air and Darkness before that or I will die. 

This series is a gift to the world. I can’t wait for my limited editions to arrive so my life can be blessed by those completely and fully.

INTRODUCTION

Hi everyone,

I figured the best way to start a blog was to introduce myself. Why wouldn’t you want to know more about the person who posts you’re reading?

I personally love introductions as well, I sincerely enjoy meeting new people and being able to have someone get to know me.

So, my name is Amber. I’m 19 and live in Australia. I have loved reading from the moment I learnt how to at five. From that moment you could never find me without a book in my hand.

When it comes to books I read I tend to gravitate towards young adult fantasy, preferring the mystical words over the contemporary one we live in. That doesn’t mean I don’t love contemporary books though, they’re the best when I’m attempting to pull myself out of the dreaded reading slump. 

Some of my favourite series/books include (in no particular order);

  1. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
  2. The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare
  3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  5. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  6. The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
  7. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  8. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  10. The Hating Game by Sally Thorn
  11. A Thousand Pieces of you By Claudia Gray
  12. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  13. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  14. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
  15. Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
  16. Air Awakens by Elise Kova

It’s a bit of a list, I know, but I figure if anyone else loves these books you should be able to trust my opinions and recommendations – or so I hope.

I read quite quickly which means I’m not sure how often I will update this blog so be sure to check out my Goodreads and Bookstagram. I will definitely be trying to post at least once a week; if not book reviews but definitely bookish tags I stumble across!

Happy reading my friends!

Amber x