top 5 wednesday | october 11

I’m baaaaack. Mwaaaahahahaha.

^ My attempts at being creepy. Obvi.

It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday! Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam at thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Creepy Settings

You know, when I first started brainstorming for this post, I was having a hard time. Eventually I realized why: when I’m reading, I don’t tend to get too scared. Even if I’m totally loving a book and super engaged in it, some small part of my brain always knows that I’m safe at home, cuddled up in bed (usually), with no danger in sight. So, when characters get into creepy situations, I never get all that scared.

But, once I started thinking about it, I realized I’ve read TONS of books with settings that are creepy, scary, and all-over totally unpleasant. NOT places I’d ever willingly go. So in the end, this list wasn’t terribly difficult.

Read on for my Top 5 Creepy Settings!

Continue reading “top 5 wednesday | october 11”

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top 5 wednesday | september 20

I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam at thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Favorite Fancasts

Fancasts can be tricky things. Oftentimes, I find myself neither satisfied by fancasts nor pleased about actual castings. This is possibly became I don’t tend to picture detailed characters when I read. They’re more like blurry, faceless people. (I know, I’m weird.) Blurry, faceless people are rather hard to come by when looking for actors for TV and film.

That said, there are a few fancasts that either I’ve thought of myself or I’ve seen around the interwebs that do totally work for me. Read on for some of my favorites!

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Richard Harmon as Sevro

from the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

Richard Harmon seems like such a perfect Sevro to me, other than his hair color–but dying hair isn’t so hard a change, right? He can pull off weird, threatening, sassy, and fierce so well. Plus, he’s slighter and shorter–both necessary characteristics for Sevro. Kinda scary, kinda awesome. He’d be so great playing a gritty, emotional character like Sevro.

Reece King as Ronan

from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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This guy has basically BECOME Ronan on Tumblr. I’m not sure if Reece is even an actor or just a model, but so many fans–me included!–think he has just the perfect vibe for Ronan. He looks dangerous, bored, snarky, and arrogant. Now, Ronan is supposed to be pale and Irish…but sometimes the fit of a character and actor goes deeper than skin color.

Plus, he knows fans like him as Ronan…and seems generally positive about the idea.

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Neelam Gill as Inej

from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Another Tumblr favorite! Again, any fancast or ~aesthetic post on Tumblr for Six of Crows of Crooked Kingdom has Neelam Gill as Inej, and I love it so much. She has a fantastic presence–a confident yet demure way about her. Plus, she’s small, and (I believe) the right ethnicity look for Inej. She’s another model, but boy is she a great fit in my mind.

Luke Pasqualino as Kaladin

from The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

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*drools*

Okay, okay. This is a fancast that I found on the publisher’s website, created by Sanderon’s beta and gamma readers. Sanderson described the Alethi as a mix of Asian, Arab, Polynesian, and possibly more–a race not easily definable to us. Luke Pasqualino was listed as their honorable mention, but I think he fits the part so well. He can play conflicted so well, though he might have to bulk up a bit for the role! Plus, he’s just beautiful, and I wouldn’t mind watching him onscreen for the adaptation of 5/10 books. Just saying…

Honorable mention (also stolen from the Tor post linked above): Evanna Lynch as Syl, Kaladin’s wind spren sidekick. HOW PERFECT would that be?! I think I may have actually read Syl’s dialogue in her voice without realizing.

Hunter Parrish as Nikolai Lantsov

from the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

So this is one I came up with myself?! Still not entirely sure how I feel about it, BUT. I just love Hunter Parrish. I first saw him in Weeds, in which he plays a cocky, sexy, intelligent character. As Nikolai is so similar, it occurred to me that Hunter Parrish would be an excellent fit! Plus, he has a classically beautiful face (in my opinion, anyway), which looks quite princely. I would love to see him as Nikolai if these books ever become movies (which, by the way, WHY hasn’t that happened yet?!).

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There you have it! My top 5 fancasts. What are some of your favorite fancasts? Comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne

top 5 wednesday | september 6

I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam at thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Classes Based on Books or Characters

So this prompt is asking what five classes you would take based on a character’s skills or the events that happen in a book.

I had a lot of fun with this! I’m all done with school for the moment, but if I ever go back, I think this would be my dream semester. Partly because I’d get to learn and interact with some of my favorite literary characters, and also partly because I would genuinely like to learn more about these skills and subject areas. Maybe I’m a nerd, but I always love learning. (Which is why I have a feeling I’ll end up back at school someday in the future…)

Read on for my top five classes!

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2

from the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Oh, how I’d love to be a great cake decorator! This is an area I am severely lacking in talent. I can “oooh” and “ahhh” over cakes all day long, but whenever I try my hand at it, I always end up disappointed! Peeta would make a great, patient teacher, and could hopefully help someone as challenged as me.

3

from the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

Okay, I’ll be honest: Half the reason I’d take this class is because HELLO! Who wouldn’t want a charming privateer like Sturmhond to be their teacher?! He’d be the hot young teacher all the girls drool over. I’d be there for it. Also, I am interested in learning more about sailing, so, y’know, maybe I’d pick up a tip or two.

5

from the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

Elend goes through quite a transformation throughout this series. I won’t say too much because Spoilers, but he goes from a bookish nerd to a confident young man. I’m sure he’d have some great tips about public speaking and presentation. I’ve always been on the shy side, and though I’ve gotten better about it over the years, I could always use more tips and tricks!

4

from the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo

Note how this would be a beginner’s class in tightroping! Because I have a total amount of ZERO experience. How cool would this be, though?! Inej would be a lovely, encouraging teacher–although I’m pretty certain I’d be destined to fail, as a tall, uncoordinated person myself. Nonetheless, tightroping would be such an awesome skill, and I’d just bask in Inej’s greatness all the class long.

1

from the Monsters of Verity series by Victoria Schwab

Here’s the thing: as a violin master, August would be such an excellent private lessons teacher! Except, I play the viola and not the violin! I played in various orchestras throughout my school years, but lately I haven’t played as much. I’d certainly take up lessons again with August, and though the violin is definitely different than the viola, maybe some of his greatness would rub off on me anyway.

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There you have it! My top 5 classes. What classes would you like to take based on books and characters? Comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne

top 5 wednesday | august 30

I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam at thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Favorite Bromances

While compiling this list, I learned something important: All my favorite bromances include boys who are snarky with each other, who are angsty with one another, and who totally depend on one another. Sounds about right! Good bromances hit the spot more often than good romance, at least in my readerly experience. And, fittingly, most of these bromances come from some of my favorite books.

I’m trying out something different today: Instead of blathering on about my fave bros, I thought I’d simply share some quotes that demonstrate their relationship and, of course, why I love them.

Read on for my favorites!

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Kell & Rhy

from the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

What I love about them: The angst, the banter, the brothership.

art by victoriaying

Rhy held Kell’s pain in his hands, while Kell held Rhy’s life in his.

“Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary.”

“Be quiet.”

“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”

Rhy shook his head, exasperated. “Kell isn’t the only one you fail to understand. My bond with him didn’t start with this curse. You wanted him to kill for me, die for me, protect me at all costs. Well, Mother, you got your wish. You simple failed to realize that that kind of love, that bond, it goes both ways. I would kill for him, and I would die for him, and I will protect him however I am able, from Faro and Vesk, from White London, and Black London, and from you.”

Kell smiled. It was a rare thing, and Rhy wanted to hold fast to it—he was the only one who could make his brother smile, and he wore it like a badge.

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Darrow & Sevro

from the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

Why I love them: the boy crying, the weirdly closer-then-friends friendship, the loyalty.

“You and I keep looking for light in the darkness, expecting it to appear. But it already has.” I touch his shoulder. “We’re it, boyo. Broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re the light, and we’re spreading.”

“Sevro.” I lean forward. “Your eyes…”

He leans in close. “Do you like ’em?”

“Bloodydamn. Did you get Carved?”

“By the best in the business. Do you like ’em?”

“They’re bloodydamn marvelous. Fit you like a glove.”

He punches his hands together. “Glad you said that. Cuz they’re yours.”

It is strange. This boy likes me. He insults me, but he likes me. Even stranger I desperately want him to like me. Why? I think it is because I feel as though he is the only one, including Roque and Cassius, who understands life. He is ugly in a world where he should be beautiful and because of his deficiencies, he was chosen to die. He, in many ways, is no better than a Red.

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Locke & Jean

from the Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch

What I love about them: the snark, the mothering, the complete dependence on each other.

art by amnesia-jack

“I don’t have to beat you. I don’t have to beat you, motherfucker. I just have to keep you here… until Jean shows up.”

“You’ve got that motherly concern in your eyes, Jean. I must look like I’m hammered as shit,” said Locke.

“Actually you look like you were executed last week.”

“Hardly efficacious.” Jean swapped a full bucket for an empty one and gave Locke a friendly pat on the back. “Dulling my nice sharp blades on a skull as thick as yours…”

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Ronan & Gansey

from the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Why I love them: the dependence, the oppositesness, and the dreaming.

Just then, in that moment, the thought of Gansey leaving for D.C. without him was unbearable. They had been a two-headed creature for so long, Ronan-and-Gansey. He couldn’t say it, though. There were a thousand reasons why he couldn’t say it.

“While I’m gone,” Gansey said, pausing, “dream me the world. Something new for every night.”

When Ronan thought of Gansey, he thought of moving into Monmouth Manufacturing, of nights spent in companionable insomnia, of a summer searching for a king, of Gansey asking the Gray Man for his life. Brothers.

“Did you get notes for me?”

“No”, Ronan replied,”I thought you were dead in a ditch.”

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Kaz & Jesper

from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Why I love them: the angst, the search for approval, and the snark.

Kaz and Jesper from Six of Crows almost holding hands.
art by yinza

“Jesper, you’re tall, brown, and conspicuous–”

“All synonyms for beautiful.”

“And that means you’ll have to be twice as careful.”

“There’s always a price to be paid for greatness.”

“Try to take this seriously,” said Kaz, voice like a rusty blade. Was that actual concern? Jesper tried not to wonder if i was for him or the job.

Jesper’s life had been full of blessings. His father. His mother. Inej. Nina. Matthias leading them across the muddy canal. Kaz–even Kaz, with all his cruelties and failings, had given him a home and a family in the Dregs when Ketterdam might have swallowed him whole.

“You’re the one getting ready to bolt, Jesper. You just want me to run with you so you don’t have to feel so bad about it. For all your love of a fight, you’re always the first to talk about running for cover.”

“I made a mistake. I let my bad get the best of my good, but for Saints’ sake, Kaz, how long are you going to make me pay for a little forgiveness? […] How many times have I had your back in a fight? How many times have I gotten it right? Doesn’t that count for anything?” Jesper threw up his hands. “I can’t win with you. No one can.”

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There you have it! My top 5 bromances. What are YOUR favorite bromances? Do we share any in common? Comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne

top 5 wednesday | july 26

I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam at thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun.

Today’s prompt: Series that got better

Technically, I suppose I can’t really call this post a Top 5 Wednesday post. Why, you ask? Because my list down below only includes 4 series I’ve read that got better.

I know, I’m a poser! But I can’t think of another series that really should be included, and at the same time, I do want to gush about the ones I can think of.

So, this week we’re doing Top 4 Wednesday.

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The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t quite feeling the vibe of this series when I started off with book one. The Raven Boys is really just a huge set up for the rest of the series; not necessarily how you want to start things off.

However, I knew this series had a big group of followers, and I figured I should persevere for at least one book more. So, I read The Dream Thieves, and LET ME TELL YOU. My perseverance was worth it. That book alone is legitimately SO cool, and it totally sold me on Maggie Stiefvater’s writing and this series. The rest of the series was really enjoyable–by which I mean Stiefvater tore my heart out and stomped on it–and I would highly recommend The Raven Cycle for any and all readers.

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

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This series is so great, it almost feels like it shouldn’t be on this list. Book one–The Final Empire–was such a strong start to the series; however, each book somehow surpassed the one before it. My mind was constantly blown as I read this series, and just when I thought Sanderson couldn’t make things any more epic, he did.

Some readers thought book two–The Well of Ascension–wasn’t the greatest, but I firmly do NOT hold that opinion. I loved it, and I especially loved Hero of Ages, the final book in the trilogy. Sanderson’s writing is so strong, his characters so dynamic, and this series really was an astounding first trilogy from him.

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

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Call me crazy, but when I first started Six of Crows, I didn’t understand the hype. I enjoyed the book, I did–(please don’t hurt me!)–but I personally don’t love flashback-heavy stories and didn’t quite connect to all the characters.

HOWEVER. I continued the duology, and Crooked Kingdom blew me away. Such a strong book, amazing characters, and nonstop action. I loved it. I also possibly sobbed my heart out when ONE CERTAIN THING happened toward the end. Nonetheless, I finally understood the hype and would certainly revisit the series again.

Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

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This series actually has a unique place on this list, because the reason it got better is a little different. This series seemed to evolve as it went on, and as I read, I almost wondered if Pierce Brown did it intentionally or if it just sort of happened as he developed the story. Either way, IT WORKS.

This series starts with Darrow joining a rebellion without truly believing in it himself. This made Red Rising, book one, hard to engage in. I didn’t really understand Darrow’s motives for all he was doing and putting himself through, and it felt like that wouldn’t change as the series went on.

But, of course, it did. He went on an amazing personal growth journey, one that really made me believe in him, root for him, and totally invest in his story. Plus, the plot in each book also became more and more epic, with new characters, new worlds, and new hurdles to overcome. This is definitely a new favorite series, and one I’d highly recommend to any sci-fi lover.

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There you have it! My top 5 4 series that got better. What are YOUR favorite series that got better? Do you have any recommendations that could become the fifth on my list? Comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne

top 5 wednesday | july 12

I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam at thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Top 5 Children’s Books

As I suspect is the case for many a book blogger, I was huge reader when I was younger. I would beg my mom to take me to the library, I would track my reading progress during the summer, and I stayed up late–or in some cases, woke up early!–to read my books. I just loved books! And here I am today…still loving books. I haven’t changed a bit.

Many books came to mind for this list, and I remembered even more when I looked back on my collection at home. So I stayed true to the prompt and talked about five below, but I included a few honorable mentions, too.

Let’s get into it!

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Some of the faves I managed to scrounge up.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

This was possibly my first-ever favorite book and even more, the book that made me venture into the fantasy genre. I ADORE this book even still–and if you haven’t read it yet, I would totally recommend it, no matter your age! This book is just the best. It’s a Cinderella retelling that has charm, a unique twist, and a sweet, sweet romance. It’s wonderful.

Side note–For those of you who have read Ella Enchanted, PLEASE tell me I’m not alone in my deep hatred for the movie adaptation!? I love Anne Hathaway, and I actually liked the soundtrack when it came out, but they COMPLETELY butchered the plot. It’s possibly the worst book to movie adaptation I’ve ever seen. I’m still bitter about it. (Obviously.)

Image result for ella enchanted gif
Anne Hathaway = lovely! Ella Enchanted movie = HORRIFYING.

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt

I read this book more recently, in a college course on Children’s Literature, and I absolutely fell in love. Gary Schmidt is from my hometown and actually teaches at my college as well, so of course we had to include his book on our reading list. However, it was not just added on because of the connection. It truly deserved its place among the other great children’s books we read.

I was so charmed by Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster boy. The setting is Maine, and the descriptions are to die for. It’s a book with surprisingly deep themes for a children’s book, and also some amazingly gorgeous quotes.

“The world turns and the world spins, the tide runs in and the tide runs out, and there is nothing in the world more beautiful and more wonderful in all its evolved forms than two souls who look at each other straight on.”

Redwall series by Brian Jacques

More of my first fantasy books! This time of the speaking animals variety!

I don’t know if I ever read ALL the books in the Redwall series, since there are a ton, but I remember going back to the library to grab the next one, then the next, and the next, until I had read so many of them. Who doesn’t love stories about tough little mice standing up to the scary animals of the woodland forest?!

(Also, I totally had ships for some of the sweet mices…Possibly my first ever ships?!)

The tapestry by chichapie
art by @chichapie

 

Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

I know I mentioned this series last week, but the Chronicles of Narnia series are possibly my favorite books of the ever, and I can’t not include them in a list about children’s books. I read one or two of the books when I was a true child, but I read the rest in high school (still a child, let’s be honest). I had a little frenzy, reading through the entire series in a week, borrowing my dad’s very old copies of the books that he read when he was a child.

I just adore all the deeper messages in these books; as a Christian myself, I always admired the way C.S. Lewis incorporated his faith and religious themes into his writing without being too blatant about it. I took a lot away from these books, and they’ll always hold a dear place in my heart.

Image result for chronicles of narnia gif

 

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I couldn’t not include Harry Potter. I am sure you all know what this series is about and why it’s so wonderful, so I’ll spare you.

I have a strange, vivid memory of the reason why I started reading Harry Potter. I was in third grade. Over breakfast one morning, my older sister was telling my mom about this book about a kid who lived under the stairs with his horrible aunt and uncle, and he learns he’s a wizard. I was instantly sold. My mom had to ask my teacher if she thought the series was age appropriate; thank GOODNESS my teacher approved.

My childhood would not have been the same without the obsession, the new releases every summer (I got up early to snag an express copy at my library three–maybe four–years in a row), and my older sister reading the books out loud to us around the campfire. So many good memories.

“Mischief Managed.”

Honorable Mentions:

  • Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
  • The Tale of Despereuax by Kate DiCamillo
  • The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • North by Night by Katherine Ayres
  • Holes by Louis Sachar

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There you have it! My top 5 children’s books and series. What are YOUR favorite children’s books? Do we share any in common? Comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne

top 5 wednesday | july 5

I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam @ thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Books Without Romance

Initially I thought, “Hey! This might be easy! It’s definitely not as hard as everyone makes it out to be. There are plenty of books without romance.”

WRONG, Brianne. This list was actually pretty hard. But I managed it, without too much cheating anyway!

Let’s get into it!

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I feel like this one is going to feature on many people’s lists today, because this book has been marketed and raved about as a long-anticipated YA book without romance!

Now, when I read this, I did notice a few hints of romance, a few bits that were VERY close to crossing the line of a little romantic thing going on. But, the characters never crossed the line completely. I’m not sure if that will stay true in the final book of the duology or not. I’ll find out soon enough, as I have it freshly checked out from the library right now!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 

art by @evilienne

Yes, another Schwab, but this one is one of her adult books. And again, there are HINTS of romance here, but it was developed a LOT less than I initially expected when I started reading this book. In fact, I really loved how subtle the romance was…and I almost wish it had stayed that way throughout the rest of the series. Alas, it did not. But I enjoyed it while it lasted in this first book. Kell + Lila’s friendship = heart eyes.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I know this is a children’s series, so romance isn’t necessarily expected, but I still wanted to include this series because it is my favorite! If I had to pick only one series to read for the rest of my life, I think it’d have to be Chronicles of Narnia–even over Harry Potter! I know, it’s practically blasphemy!

But these characters are so wonderful, the stories hold a lot of meaning for me, and the lack of romance has never been an issue at all.

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

art by @jurassicpencil

Yep. I had to do it! I had to mention Sanderson at least once within this post otherwise it wouldn’t be fit for my blog.

But hey, this book totally fits here! There are very small tidbits of romance in this book, but they’re mostly unrequited and very fleeting. Although I am bitter about the way the romance changes in the next few books of this series, I certainly did enjoy its very quiet, subtle presence in this book. It’s a lot more focused on the friendship developing between Wax, Wayne, and Marasi, and I loved it!

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

I read this a few years ago, so hopefully my memory’s not faulty, but I don’t remember any romance in this book. I was super skeptical about this because I normally don’t go for adult mysteries, and I also had no clue if J.K. Rowling could manage to write anything I’d like after the majesty of Harry Potter.

But she did! I really enjoyed this book and the characters. There’s a great (platonic) relationship between Cormoran Strike and his secretary, Robin. I need to get on with reading the rest of the series!

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There you have it! My top 5 books without romance. What are YOUR favorite books without romance? Comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne