[Release Day Launch + Giveaway] Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee

Escaping Me 

Title: Escaping Me
Author: Elizabeth Lee
Release Date: July 30, 2013
All she wanted to do was forget. Forget the memory of walking in on her boyfriend in the middle of, well, another girl. Forget how she had her entire life planned out. And, forget about being perfect all the time. Unfortunately, she was Whitney Vandaveer and despite the fact that she moved to the middle of nowhere – she couldn't.

He always knew he would never be more than nothing. No job, no money, no future. Cole Pritchett had accepted the fact that he would always be the screw up and he was okay with it. Until he met her.

Here's the thing they quickly found out – sometimes we all need a little help escaping who we think we are.

If you were to ask me point blank what I liked the most about Escaping Me, my answer would be very simple and straightforward - it's realistic, and not far-fetched at the very least. I can actually see some parts of it happening either to me or someone I'm close to, and this is not something I can say about most New Adult Contemporary novels about nowadays. Wait wait, you may say, novels aren't supposed to be realistic - they're supposed to distract you from your real, boring everyday life! Well, you do have a point, but for this particular genre, I prefer realistic situations and relatable characters because I firmly believe that that's what New Adult is all about. Through this genre, new adults in the legal sense should get an idea of what they can come to expect in this new chapter of their lives, and Escaping me did just that for me. This book is what New Adult is all about.

I found it amazing how ridiculously relatable both main characters are. Whitney, after finding out that her long-term boyfriend has been cheating on her, fled to her mother and sister's home in the country to try to forget and to ultimately escape, even just for a little while. A child of divorced parents, this was be the first time Whitney would spend a long stretch of time with both her mother and sister after choosing to live with her father after the divorce. Not only does Whitney have to come to terms with the fact that this boy she thought she was going to marry had no problem screwing other people behind her back, she also has to find out where she stands in this family she never had the chance to know.

Honestly, I found everything about Whitney's situation plausible. Her actions even feel a wee bit familiar, because I can picture myself going through the same motions! More and more children these days are products of divorce, and I'm sure that Whitney's filial situation will surely strike a chord is some reader's hearts. Moreover, I've always reckoned that it's basic instinct to run when you discover that people you love have wronged you so callously, and I can't blame Whitney for choosing to behave that way - I would have done so too! As a matter of fact, I'm sure that a lot of people share the exact same sentiment. I love how Lee explored Whitney's character - here's a privileged girl who has had everything she could ever need, and yet she has no idea what she wants. All her life her actions have been dictated by those around her, and it's only now that she's actually living and doing things just for the heck of it. Lee made Whitney so relatable, and as I have mentioned, familiar. I'm sure every girl has experienced feeling lost at some point in their lives.

The true can be said about Cole. I was a bit apprehensive about his character at first simply because he had those telltale bad boy looks (and we all know how some New Adult novels these days are all about bad boys who sadly don't have enough depth) but he quickly proved me wrong - this is one character that definitely has depth. I found myself relating to him quickly enough too! Everyone - from his brother to Whitney's father - expects so little of him that he just can't get this idea  out of his head that he will never be good enough for Whitney. I'm sure everyone has experienced those feelings of unworthiness like Cole has.

I liked how Lee explored Whitney and Cole's relationship. It's not all about sex - you get to read about them having serious conversations about their past and their future, and that's something that I particularly enjoyed. There were no secrets between these two characters - nothing about their relationship was built on anything resembling a lie. They were honest with each other from the get go. Sure, they had their moments of acting prematurely, or judging each other quickly, but then again, what couple doesn't do that?

Lee really impressed me with this novel. Parts of the novel could have been stronger, and there were scenes that didn't transition well, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. Lee did a great job in exploring her characters, and I don't think I can say this enough but I loved how everything was so realistic!

Rating: 4 Stars

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[Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway] The Survivors: Body & Blood by Amanda Harvard


Body & Blood (The Survivors #3)
Title: The Survivors: Body & Blood
Author: Amanda Harvard
Release Date: July 23, 2013
How many answers you seek are just a part of you, waiting to be found?

The game has changed.

Fresh from her first brush with mortality, a fragile Sadie Matthau is playing human with Cole Hardwick while the Survivors endure unimaginable tragedy. Wrought with the first deaths of their own kind, a tyrant who will torture them, and an opponent more terrifying than anyone could have foreseen, the Survivors are facing their end.

Told from three points of view, The Survivors: Body & Blood is a bloodcurdling, mind-bending, heart-stopping ride. As Sadie and the Winters uncover more enemies, more history, and more answers, they find themselves brought closer together and ripped further apart. And all the while, a haunting Alexander Raven lurks at the edge of Sadie s lifeline, at the darkening fringes of her mind.

As the Survivors descend into chaos, Sadie realizes a painful truth: the deepest of secrets leave the darkest of marks.

Caught between a terrifying fantasy and her own grim reality, Body & Blood is the story of Sadie s dance with her demons, future, past, and present.


Sadie and Everett have what’s best described as a complicated relationship. Whether they’re running toward each other (slow-motion-in-a-meadow-style, obviously) or running oh-so-vehemently away from one another, there’s a connection the two can’t deny. And though half the readers of Survivors (cough*Team Cole*cough) would probably tell you differently, Everett probably knows Sadie better than anyone. So lo and behold, here are ten things Everett knows about Sadie that he thinks you should know too.

#10. She’s quieter than you expect. — Sadie’s the kind of girl who always has a million things running through her mind. Given that she is usually thinking all those things at once, she isn’t talking as much as you’d expect her to. I think it’s because she spent the majority of the last three years alone. And most of her life, even surrounded by people, she probably felt alone. I’m still trying to get her to work on talking to me. Really.

#9. She’s brilliant, but sometimes her shall-we-say-rural education shows through. — Ever notice how sometimes Sadie’s reading a Wikipedia page or a piece of fiction and letting it inform her next move the same way a serious history book might? Yeah, me too. Look, I’ll be the first to admit that she sometimes sees the most out-of-the-box answers because she’s willing to look in the strangest of places, but she also sometimes misses the nuances. I’m not sure she ever stops to question how reliable her sources are.

#8. She can look good doing anything, and that matters. — As much as I love the fact that my girlfriend is a downright knockout — and, trust, I do — I know that her ability to look put-together in any situation says a lot more about her than you might think at first. Her affinity for style might come across as superficial, but it’s bigger than that. She uses style to fit into her surroundings, becoming a veritable chameleon in any room she enters (or, conversely, totally stand out because she can look perfect when she totally shouldn’t).

#7. Yeah, I know how it looks when she hangs out with my little brother. — I know Sadie and Mark’s relationship is one that looks questionable. Maybe I even question it in my stupider moments. But in the end, those two need each other, and their friendship keeps them sane sometimes. Far be it from us to question it. (…Right?)

#6. When she runs to Cole, it isn’t about Cole. — It’s about wanting to be human. Hoping she’ll come to terms with her supernatural species sooner rather than later? Me too.

#5. She’s always hiding something. — You know that. I know that. I wonder if she knows we know that. And I just wish she could . . . talk to me.

#4. She’s a saint for putting up with me in the winter. — Depending on your view of me and my family, and the blond-haired-blue-eyed one, then maybe you think it’s the least she could do, and maybe you think, she shouldn’t put up with it! But whatever the case, I know this: I was born the way I am, and in the winter, it’s tough. It’s terrible. I’m terrible. I’m sorry for it, but there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. That she takes me that way — loves me that way — is just another reason I can have patience with her for all she does.

#3. She doesn’t really want to die. — She wants to live. Peacefully. Happily. I’m trying to show her that can happen, just as she is.

#2. She means well. — Sometimes, she’s a bit reckless, and, trust me, the closer you are to her, the harder it is to watch. But I have to repeat this to myself like a mantra. She means well. She does. I give her the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes you have to do the same.

#1. We’re meant to be together. —  Look, nothing is ever easy with us. I wish it were, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that we’re a challenge sometimes. She sees challenge in most everything. I have challenges of my own. But we can deal with those challenges together because — wait for it — we’re meant to be together.. Maybe it’s not even that I need you to know that, but I need her to. Don’t believe anything else. Don’t doubt what I promise we know: She and I are meant to have our chance.

Everett’s full of fun and insightful things to say. Make sure to follow him on Twitter at @TPWinterB (where Felix, Corrina, and Mark named him that, short for “The Pretty Winter Boy.” It’s not a compliment so much as it’s the-giving-of-hell.)

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[Cover Reveal] Unafraid by Melody Grace

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Unafraid (Beachwood Bay, #2)
Title: Unafraid
Author: Melody Grace
Release Date: August 25, 2013
"The first time I saw her, I knew this girl was wilder than any stallion I’d ever trained. She was headstrong, wounded, passionate and free. And I had to have her…"

Brittany Ray doesn’t care about her bad reputation. Growing up in a sleepy beach town with a junkie mom and a runaway dad, Brit’s learned the hard way that the people you love will only let you down. It’s no use hoping for love or happiness. Some dreams aren’t meant for girls like her.

Hunter Covington is one of those dreams.

Gorgeous, charming Hunter is damn near perfect—and it’s killing him. Son of Charleston royalty, he’s been trapped in a gilded cage since the day he was born. Now he’s breaking free. He’s quit law school to restore his grandpa’s old horse ranch, trying to soothe the demons in his soul. But Beachwood Bay is full of old ghosts, like the mysterious girl who spent an unforgettable night with him—and then slipped away before dawn. Brit.

Everything about her screams danger, but Hunter doesn’t care: he’s never felt a connection so deep. And try as she may, Brit can’t resist the desire consuming her —or the safety she finds in Hunter’s arms.

A reckless passion. An undeniable bond. Scarred by their pasts, Brit and Hunter fight to heal old wounds. But will dark secrets tear apart their new beginning? And when love is the biggest risk of all, can they find the courage to face the future unafraid?


Melody Grace is the USA Today bestselling author of UNBROKEN and UNTOUCHED. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach-lover, she spent years with her nose in a book before deciding it was time to write them for herself. She loves bad boys, good books, and pistachio-flavored ice-cream.


Website: http://melodygracebooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melody-Grace/329573187160227

Twitter: http://twitter.com/melody_grace_

Melody Grace Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6926290.Melody_Grace

[Blog Tour: Review] Connected by Kim Karr

Connected (Connections #1)
Title: Connected
Author: Kim Karr
Release Date: May 7, 2013
What if a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ could happen twice?

Suffering from a past full of tragedy, Dahlia London's soul has been left completely shattered. Happily ever after is a far cry from reality in her world. But, when she is reconnected with her past, the bonds that form are irrefutable.

When River Wilde, lead singer of The Wilde Ones, comes back into Dahlia’s life, the intensity that fires their relationship combined with underlying feelings that have never died lead her to believe she has met her soulmate.

Struggling with confusion as old connections fade and new ones begin, Dahlia's grief begins to lift--but guilt remains. River wants to be the one to mend all that is torn within her.

But with a past that is never really gone, can their future survive?


Well... so much for judging a book from what's written on its back cover. From the blurb, you sort of get this idea in your head of what to expect from a book, and surely I'm not the only one to think this way. So when I read Connected's blurb, I felt like I knew what I was getting myself into. After all, it's not exactly a story that you don't often come across. I'm not saying that it's bad thing, since novels about loss and grief are usually the most realistic (since pretty much every person has gone through those) - it's just that I wasn't really expecting anything at all to shock me, and moreover, a part of me wasn't expecting anything surprising from this novel.

Yup, I was wrong.

Off the bat, I liked Dahlia. She's such a strong character, and she had a powerful voice too. Most of the book was told in her point of view, and as I progressed with my reading, I ended up connecting to Dahlia more and more. Reading about her life never felt like an abysmal chore that I had to push myself to do. I love how she was loyal to her boyfriend - sure, she might have met this local rock star that she had this intense connection with, but she chose to stand by her relationship. She chose to continue to be faithful, even though there was a slight hiccup in the begging. Not enough novels explore the choice between attraction and honest to goodness love, and I can't help but marvel over Dahlia, despite having the means and opportunity to throw her relationship away for this other guy she certainly had chemistry with, never did so.

I loved how Karr portrayed  Dahlia's grief - it was true to her character, and I really did feel Dahlia's despair at losing the man she loved. It was in these particular part of the novel in which I truly connected with Dahlia, and I think that that is partly because of the way Karr wrote this character. Furthermore, I loved how Karr also explored that love doesn't have to be a one-time thing in a person's life - you just might be lucky enough to get to have it in your life, even though you may have felt like that you have lost it forever.

I liked River enough, though I admit that I understood him more after reading the final few chapters of the novel which were told in his point of view. It couldn't have been easy to see someone he connected emotionally with in the arms of another guy, yet he dealt with it in stride. Years later, he comes across the same girl, and this time around, even though she's available to be with him, she's carrying a lot of baggage from the death of her fiancee. River never had it easy, but it was so obvious that he thought Dahlia was worth it, and I loved how well he treated her. I also loved how sensitive he was to her grief and everything she went through.

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with cliffhangers, but this one blew my mind. (Yes, this book ends with a cliffhanger.) While I felt like it came out of nowhere, in hindsight, it was hinted at during certain points of the novel (but of course I was too dense to put two and two together) and I think that's a good thing. Too many novels nowadays contain plot twists that are completely off the mark, and I'm glad to note that that wasn't the case this time around. Anyway, I was honestly shocked beyond belief, and I can't wait to see what Karr brings to the table in her follow up novel.

The writing was strong and steady for the most part. Sure, some dialogues were stilted, some scenes too draggy, but overall, the novel wasn't difficult to read. I did have a bit of a problem with the pacing, however, - the beginning was perfect, the middle was certainly a teeny bit too prolonged, and the end was whiplash-fast (if I was reading a regular paperback I probably would have ended up tearing the pages) - but again, overall, I believe that Karr told an intriguing and highly interesting story.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

[Blog Tour: Review] Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Dirty Little Secret
Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 16, 2013

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Let me get this off my chest - I am one of Jennifer Echols' biggest fans. Every book of hers that I've read I've loved; every main character she has written about I've come to care about. I loved how she courageously tackled such heavy issues in both Forget You and Going Too Far (and she did such a bang-up job too!); I loved how her writing isn't stilted in any way - her words just flow, and I found it impossible not to finish her novels in just one sitting. Suffice to say I was ecstatic when I got the chance to participate in a blog tour for Dirty Little Secret, and once I received my e-copy, I immediately settled down with my kindle and began reading.

This is the first YA novel I've read set in the world of country music, amd this is actually one of the reasons why I was foaming at the mouth (okay, this might be a slight exaggeration) to read this book. True enough, Echols didn't disappoint - from the get go, I was thoroughly immersed in the country music culture, from the people of Nashville's sheer love of music to the downs and outs of fame in this world to those seeking it. I'm not really that well-versed with country music as a genre (and a culture, while we're at it), so I'm not able to say with a hundred percent conviction whether or not this aspect of the novel is accurate from every nook and cranny per se - but I can say with no qualms whatsoever that I enjoyed soaking in this world that I've heard so much about, yet have never taken the time to know more about.

I've always found Echols' novels to be raw and gritty, and this was no different. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that this is even darker, even a little depressing, than her previous works. Reading about Bailey's life was initially VERY difficult - imagine having the life you know snatched away from you at the blink of an eye. Imagine being deemed collateral damage in the face of your sister's dream... despite of the fact that you yearn for the same thing. I cannot begin to swallow how awful it must have been to be cast side by the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally. Moreover, the way Bailey's mom treats her left a sour taste in my mouth. No mother should make her  child feel like she is a waste of space, however, sadly, there are mothers out there who actively who do so. Bailey's situation is just horrifying.

Nonetheless, I can't help but admire Bailey's character. Here she is - her family's dirty little secret; the secret that can never be discovered at all cost because Bailey's sister cannot have bad PR when she debuts as a country singer - and yet she's willing to cater to her mother's (and her sister's recording company's) whims simply because that how much Bailey loves her younger sister. (Sorry for that abnormally long sentence!) That kind of love is fierce, real, and seldom chanced upon. Here you have this character who only wants unconditional love and support from those she cares about the most, and despite not getting that, she's still able to love her sister with such intensity.

My biggest qualm about this novel would have to be the love interest, Sam. I really didn't like him. At all. He wasn't the best person to stand by Bailey when she needed someone to lean on - as a matter of fact, he ended up pushing and prodding Bailey for a chance at stardom because of her sister's fame. He was manipulative, and it was frustrating to see Bailey be continually manipulated by this supposed guy who was supposed to love her. Suffice to say I don't think he was good for Bailey.

The ending was great. I love how Bailey finally stood up for herself and her dreams. While this is not my favorite Echols novels, I think that many others out there would be able to enjoy this one.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

[Author Inteview] Megan Powell

No Peace for the Damned
Title: No Peace for the Damned
Author: Megan Powell
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Magnolia Kelch is no stranger to pain. Beautiful and powerful, she's spent her entire life at the mercy of her sadistic father and the rest of the Kelch clan, who have tortured her and tested the limits of her powers. After one particularly heinous night that leaves Magnolia nearly dead, she finally sees her chance for escape? But this first taste of freedom is short-lived when she collides with Thirteen, head of the Network ? a secret organization dedicated to fighting supernatural criminals ? who recruits her into the group. Even as she's coming to grips with this new life and the horrific memories that still haunt her, she's conflicted by her growing attraction to fellow team member Theo and the emergence of new, untested abilities. After months of grueling training, her loyalty to the team is tested when she learns her target is the Network's most wanted: the Kelch family. Revenge may course through her veins, but so does the blood of the Kelches. And opposing her family may cost her the thing she treasures most. After all, Magnolia is still a Kelch. And the Kelches are damned.


Is this book part of a series?
Yes. NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED is the first in the Magnolia Kelch series.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Chapter 29 was definitely my favorite chapter to write. It was also the very first chapter I wrote. I had that scene with Magnolia and Theo on the couch long before I knew anything else about the characters or the story around them. All I knew was that this incredibly sexy young woman, who felt separate from everyone around her, suddenly felt a genuine, normal connection to someone else. The excitement of that moment overshadowed any other insecurities so that when she revealed her tattoo without thought of the consequences, she revealed an innocence that would otherwise be out of character. That moment shows that more than anything, all she really wanted was to have something – anything – in common with someone else.
Who’s your favorite character to write and why?
Definitely Magnolia. The book is told from her point of view so I really get to slip into her mind while I write. I love that she is strong and powerful, terrified and angry, whip-smart and completely naïve all at the same time. I remember very clearly being twenty-two and thinking I was the toughest person in the world with all these life experiences while at the same time feeling more vulnerable and uncertain than ever. It is a wonderful experience to be able to relive those feelings through a character with such unlimited potential.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?
Magnolia Kelch is a surprisingly well-adjusted young woman considering she spent the first twenty-two years of life in the torturous captivity of her father and uncle. That’s not to say that she isn’t incredibly suspicious of everyone and everything, likely to shoot first and ask questions never. She is the most powerful supernatural person in her extremely powerful family, but has been victimized her entire life leaving her unsure of what she can really do. More than anything, Magnolia is eager to finally experience a level of independence previously denied her – including feeling all of the emotions that only a truly free person can feel.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The setting is definitely reflective of my life as Hoosier. And as my father so aptly pointed out, every member of my immediate family has a first name that begins with the letter “M”… although that is where the similarities end between my real family and the Kelches.
Leave us with a teaser/quote from your book?
“In that last moment of consciousness I had to chastise myself. I was not supposed to live in this world without violence and pain. And I was an idiot to have ever let myself think otherwise.”

[Author Interview] Colina Brennan

Addicted to You
Title: Addicted to You
Author: Colina Brennan
Release Date: June 25, 2013
When twenty-one-year-old Leah Carter's latest one night stand burglarizes her apartment, her roommate forces her to attend therapy for sex addicts. Leah insists she isn't a sex addict; she just doesn't do relationships. After all, sooner or later, everyone lets you down.

At first, the group sessions are little more than an education on how to be promiscuous. Until she meets the newest addict—blue eyes, killer body, and a smile that tempts relapse.

Psychology student Will McLean is posing as a fellow addict while researching a case study on unusual addictions. But the more he learns about Leah, the more certain he is that his desire to break through her walls and unearth her secrets has nothing to do with his assignment.

As the uncertainties spike alongside the sexual tension, the only thing Leah knows for sure is that falling in love would be disastrous. Too bad love might be one addiction she can't kick.


Tell us what your book is about in 140 characters or less.
Addicted to You is about Leah, who has no interest in love because she's convinced everyone eventually lets you down. Then she meets Will. Dun dun dun! :P
Is this book part of a series?
Yes. There will be a second novel in the Addicted to You universe, which will focus on a separate couple.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Probably the scene where Leah and her brother run into Will at the party. A lot of things happen between the beginning of the night and the end of it, and it was fun writing about how their relationship subtly shifts.
Who’s your favorite character to write and why?
Leah, because it was amusing to push her character and see how she’d respond. There were times I actually had to scale her back a bit and soften her up because she already comes off a little harsh.
Is there a character / characters in your books you particularly identify with?
Maybe Will because I’m a naturally optimistic person.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?
Leah doesn’t bother trying to get along with anyone she doesn’t genuinely care about. And since it’s difficult to grow close with anyone new if she doesn’t bother trying to get along with them, there are very few people who she has truly allowed into her life.
If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Leah isn’t much for talking about herself, so she’d probably tell you to mind your own business.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Leah’s situation with her brother is one that echoes my cousin’s. She basically raised her little sister after she challenged her mom that she could do a better job.
Leave us with a teaser/quote from your book?
“Will would show her that he was an addiction worth keeping.”

Cover Madness Giveaway Hop


When I saw that two of the blogs I frequent were hosting a giveaway hop, I thought, "why not?" Besides, I wasn't able to host a giveaway for my blogoversary last month, so here's a little something for my readers!

  • This giveaway is open internationally. As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you're good to go!
  • You must be at least 13 to enter this giveaway.
  • You can win any of the books below. If the book you choose is a sequel, you may opt to buy other books in the series.
  • This giveaway will end on 14th July, 11:59 pm.
  • The winner will be given 48 hours to respond to the email I will be sending out. If he/she does not reply to my email, I will be forced to choose another winner.
  • This is a giveaway hop, so make sure to check out all the other blogs participating! 

Where the Stars Still Shine  Lyra @ <a href="http://defiantlydeviant.blogspot.com/">Defiantly Deviant</a>  Evertrue (Everneath, #3)  Just One Year (Just One Day, #2)

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)  Infinite (Newsoul, #3)  The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)  Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)

The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2)   Split Second (Pivot Point #2)  To All the Boys I've Loved Before  Champion (Legend, #3)
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