22 Books By Black Authors To Support And Read ft. My Recommendations + Books I Want To Read Soon

…I’m really late to this and I am so sorry.

Originally I wanted to post this during the BLM movement to show support… but it wasn’t written in time. I’ve pushed it to now, with the convenient reason that you should be supporting Black and POC authors all year round, not just when it’s a trend!! (That being said, however, I sadly wouldn’t have thought to do this if it wasn’t being talked about so much.)

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Today I’m here to recommend 22 books by Black authors (with Black protagonists, more than likely). Quite a few are queer too ❤ Ten of them I have read and the other twelve I’ve heard amazing things about and want to read! I (You might notice most of the books I’ve read (except for LTAL, THUG, and The Poet X) are in the featured image!!) I’m going to be making a conscious effort to be trying to promote more BIPOC authors and books – I like to think I’m doing okay but really? I could always do better. If you have any recommendations PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE drop them in the comments!! (Also this post reached over 2.5k words I’m sorry!! I need to start splitting my posts up into two parts!! Remember the good old days of me doing that…. gone. Out the window never to be seen again. ((Also no one asked for this but recently all my posts have been like more than 1.5k and it’s so bad??)))

I also want to say that if I messed up any of the authors/books (aka, the authors (or protagonists) aren’t actually Black please let me know!! I tried to go searching as best I could but I also didn’t want to pry if it isn’t explicitly listed… anyway please!! Tell me!!!

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FULL DISCLOSURE

38897636This book!!! It follows a HIV positive teen who also identifies as bisexual and I just loved this!!! It was a little ‘mystery vibe’ at times which… I’m not known for liking but this still did well in my books (wow i’m hilarious)?? Simone’s story isn’t something you see much of in YA but if anything that made it more special.

I loved the banter in this – and the relationships between the characters are well developed and beautiful to read about!! Simone’s friends (who I don’t know the names of) were so important in her life which isn’t always the case with YA but it’s very realistic ❤ It also looks at Simone being bi and she’s CHOOSING to stay closeted purely because she isn’t ready which should be normalised more!! You don’t have to come out just because you have a safe environment!!

The other two things I loved about this book: her dads + the family dynamic, and her passion for drama and musicals and showtunes. That’s all.

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ELIZABETH ACEVEDO’S BOOKS

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH

6015A418-294D-405A-9017-813A6BCA07C5OKAY I’VE ONLY READ THIS ONCE BUT I LIKED IT A LOT!!! WTFOH (that acronym though) is a beautiful book and Emoni is such a likeable person.

The culture and food!!! THE FOOD MADE ME HUNGRY. It was explored in a way that other books don’t have – you could feel it was central to Emoni’s life and the way she was raised. Her family relationship as well is just incredible… pick up the book for that if nothing else.

THE POET X

the poet xShe also wrote this which I didn’t love as much as WTFOH but I still loved it!! As you may know, I write poetry (it’s not very good but i like it?? there’s a few snippets in my last monthly recap) so it’s close to my heart and I loved Xiomara’s story!!!

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND

clap when you landI haven’t read this yet but I’m putting it here with Elizabeth Acevedo’s other books!! It’s apparently amazing and I’m hoping to read it very soon (even though I have no clue where I’m getting a copy… don’t think my local bookstore has it.) It’s also sapphic!! Catch me being 10x more excited!!!

(basically i want to read it asap!! elizabeth acevedo is out here giving the gays what we want!!)

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THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS

the weight of the stars(Also can someone appreciate how I kind of asked for some books with Black queer leads and by Black authors before the main BLM movement started and I’m so happy I could unknowingly support at a time when it’s especially important!!)

I got this for my birthday after wanting to read it for almost 9 months now…. it’s gays in space. I love it already from three words.

There’s so many things to love about this book but I’ll just list a couple since a (mini) review will be going up soon!! The relationship that develops between Alexandria and Ryann, between Alexandria and everyone else, and the glimpses we see of Alexandria’s parents’ relationship made me so happy and so sad, I teared up. The prose is apparently a signature style of K. Ancrum, and while I haven’t read The Wicker King (although I desperately want to!!) I only got more excited to after this. Please please please read this for the prose, the relationships, the tears, just. Please. It’s as much Alexandria’s story as Ryann’s.

(Also I keep calling this The Weight of Our Stars and it’s the same vibe as me calling the All For the Game trilogy the After the Game trilogy and subsequently making my friends call it that oops)

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THE STARS AND THE BLACKNESS BETWEEN THEM

the stars and the blackness between themAnother book I asked for and my parents got me (!!! i love them so much aah) which just looked incredible – the cover, the plot, the family relationships, everything about it.

I have no words for how beautiful this is, and how much it meant to me.

There will be a mini-review up by the end of the month, but I really can’t express how much I love this book. The first bit up until the diagnosis was a bit slow, but as you get further in you realise how much you need the start to understand it all – Mabel and Audre and the families are all so sweet. The ending made my heart go !!!!! at how incredible it was (although a tad confusing for a minute there) and if there’s one more book you read this year, this should be it.

ALSO LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL COVER. PLEASE I LOVE IT SO MUCH. (it’s going in every photo I take from now on you CAN’T STOP ME)

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LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE

31625039._SY475_Alice, an asexual biromantic teen has just broken up with her girlfriend (on account of her being ace) and it didn’t intrigue me to begin with?? I only read this because my friend adored it and I didn’t have anything else to read at the time…..

I was wrong. I should’ve gotten to this book so much sooner. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.

It’s a romcom with people working in libraries!!! Librarian matchmakers!! Give me all the library content!!! I also loved Alice and her LI and I could really feel her struggle and happiness.

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SLAY

slaySLAY features such a strong independent, proudly Black woman – Kiera – who is very determined and motivated. I mean… she coded an ENTIRE game, for one thing. This reminded me of Don’t Read The Comments…. but better. Divya and Kiera do have a lot in common, so if you liked that I’d really recommend a read of SLAY, since in my opinion it’s like the cool older cousin.

Kiera is just a teen, but she’s dealing with so much – including a troll who’s threatening to sue her. She deals with everything on her own and Kiera just gives me so much empowerment and motivation??? PLEASE READ THIS.

(also no i totally didn’t have to look up the protagonist’s name and that’s why i used it far too much in that ‘review’ i 100% wouldn’t do that what are you talking about)

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ODD ONE OUT

39848512This was only….. okay. (we’re sticking with the ‘o’ words: odd one out: only okay) It felt a little forced at times and the cover is kind of a mess. (Who am I kidding it’s awful). Nic Stone though has apparently written some other great books though (which I’m yet to get to but I want to!! This post is already 2k I don’t need to make it longer) and I wanted to include it because it wasn’t BAD, per se, it was just…… not incredible like some other books on this list.

Everyone is literally in love with everyone and it’s the messiest love triangle ever but in a good way??? Like… that wasn’t my issue with it surprisingly!! I would definitely recommend if you want the book you read after it to be the best book ever in your life for people who like romance novels…. as that’s practically the entire plot. (it also could’ve been good polyam rep but no??)

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OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS

04468880-BBBD-424A-BFA7-0A946AFBDEC8Once again, I wasn’t in LOVE with this book but it was definitely interesting!! It’s a Groundhog Day concept in which Jack gets the chance to redo three months… in that time he met his girlfriend, who has died by the end of the three months. He has to try and save her with as many redo’s as it takes…

I actually got this reshelved in our school library when we did the genre reading challenge (oh, remember when I thought seven books was a lot to mention in a post) from contemporary to sci fi since I needed another genre… but this was good!! It is a mix of contemp and sci-fi though :)) My friend bought it for me and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but I would recommend… both Jack and Kate are soft kids who deserve a hug.

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THE HATE U GIVE

thugI’m wary of recommending this because while it is very relevant, it seems to be ‘oh I’ve read THUG, my education stops and I’ve read all the Black authored books that exist’…. which, no. I’ve just recommended another nine that I can personally say are good – and while I didn’t like THUG that much (yes, i know it’s “amazing”, i just had issues with some things for reasons idrk why!! i’m for sure in the minority though) you can’t deny it’s not a) put on a pedestal as the most popular book by a Black author (at least in my eyes) and b) not very very specific to what is happening as I write this at the start of June. So by all means read it but also look into the other incredible books I’ve listed here!!! (Especially the queer ones which own my entire heart <3)

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HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT I WANT TO

you should see me in a crown running with lions how to be remy cameron the sound of stars this is waht it feels like

(i was going to do what i normally do and put the book cover NEXT TO the book title/description but it was too much formatting for my weak petty soul so i did this instead)

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

This is probably the number one read I think: it’s enemies to lovers sapphic!! Liz, who is relying on winning prom queen for a scholarship to her dream college, accidentally falls in love wiht her biggest rival….. to say I’m excited would be an understatement. (I’m reading it at the moment and it’s great so far! I’ve been reading for a while since it’s an audio but hoping I’ll finish soon!! High hopes…)

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RUNNING WITH LIONS

This has been compared to The Foxhole Court so I have REALLY high hopes of this!!! I think mostly from the found-family-in-a-sport-team-with-some-gay which honestly? I’m kind of addicted to as shown from my inability to go a day without talking/thinking about AFTG. It hasn’t gotten the BEST praise for the writing but am I going to read it anyway? YES.

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I’ve only heard like three things about it but I’m still looking forward to it!! I feel like it’s going to be a kind of stereotypical coming-of-age which… look if it’s pulled off I’ll adore it. But other books I loved with such good COA storylines include Ari and Dante and Darius the Great so there’s a good chance I’ll be disappointed!! (I’m still reading it though because I have no self-control.)

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM THE SOUND OF STARS Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

Thi is sci fi which I don’t usually read but this looks too good to resist!!! I like spacey books and I’ve been meaning to read more so this is hopefully on my soon-to-find-and-read pile!! It seems to focus on illegal books and forbidden music so I’m thrilled if it delivers on the premise!!!

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

I… originally skipped over this because it looked like a kinda of basic straight white romance??? IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I find out it’s a QPOC novel!! I WAS THRILLED. I went from ‘this kind of sucks why would i ever read this’ to ‘GIVE IT TO ME NOW’ so… while I’m kind of glad I didn’t feel this way before, I also wish I’d known about it and was promoting it sooner. (Also the girl on the cover is too pretty for this world!!!)

little and lion felix ever after anger is a gift this is kind of an epic love sotry if it makes you happy cinderella is dead

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM LITTLE AND LION Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

Confession time… I’ve seen this so many times at the bookstore I frequent, but never picked it up. It just looked not that great?? However, I feel like I’m near the edge of ‘i see it so much i should see what the hype is about’ so I’ll see how it goes!! I’m a little scared for the bipolar rep if it’s not done right…. if you’ve read it let me know!!

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM FELIX EVER AFTER Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

This only came out recently but already the praise is streaming fast!!! (It also has an ironic pun with the name and that makes my heart soar!) Felix seems so likeable and proud, but scared to ever be loved or deserve that love. Reading the premise where he comes up with a plan of revenge….. I’m scared for him.

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM ANGER IS A GIFT Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

I get the sense this will make me cry a lot. I’m ready.

The cover is beautiful, the contents are apparently beautiful too, I need this fast. It’s so relevant to right now with the riots happening in America and the brutality. Also Moss. That name… I want to see where this goes. *NOTE* !!!!! The author of this is Latinx not Black !!!!!

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM THIS IS KIND OF AN EPIC LOVE STORY Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

I saw this on my local bookstore’s website with my mum and the cover… immediately turned me off. However, it looks good!! Childhood best friends to lovers AND it’s gay??? What did we do to deserve this???

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

Diners!! Cooking competitions!! It reminds me a bit of With The Fire On High with the food vibes and I love the main character, Winnie, already!! Also… she’s sneaking around her grandmother… this is a recipe for disaster.. does anyone like my food pun?

(also I know this is by the same author as Let’s Talk About Love but I only realised after I’d formatted so….. not going to do what I did with Elizabeth Acevedo’s books)

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.58.35 PM CINDERELLA IS DEAD Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 6.59.33 PM

I only JUST found out about this (as in, a couple days before this post goes out) but I’m super happy to include it because a) it brings my number up to a nice even 20 books, and b) it looks incredible!!!

From what I know it’s a sapphic story (unsure if friends to lovers) but it’s about queer Black girls overthrowing the patriarchy which honestly? I wanted this in We Set The Dark On Fire but I think this one will actually deliver??? (There was nothing wrong with WSTDOF but it just didn’t work for me…. in fact I don’t remember anything about it.)

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any Black authors/books for me? read any of my recs/tbr pile? have you made a recs/tbr post as well? …would you like to make me feel better and say yours was late too?!

 

48 thoughts on “22 Books By Black Authors To Support And Read ft. My Recommendations + Books I Want To Read Soon

  1. Thanks for sharing all these recommendations!! I’d be really interested to hear more of your thoughts on THUG…..My fav book series EVER is Noughts And Crosses by Malorie Blackman which I think should be compulsory reading for everyone tbh haha ❤

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    1. thank you gracie!! ah i don’t know exactly why but something didn’t click i guess? i agree it’s an important read but i think it’s a combination of over-hype and lack of character development. ah i’ve heard good things about that so i’ll have to check it out!! thank you gracie :))

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  2. Love all these recs Rhi!!

    I ADORE Elizabeth Acevedo so much and am a tad behind on her latest books, but I plan on doing a marathon of them when Clap arrives.

    And am also super stoked to read Opposite of Always, I love the author and the premise sounds SO COOL!! Can’t wait to read Full Disclosure either, I know it’ll be amazing ❤

    I recently read Pride by Ibi Zob which I super enjoyed, such a fun take on the story. As well as loving All Boys Aren't Blue eeeppp SO GOOD!!

    I am very excited to read Kacen Callendar and Brandi Colbert's books too!! And all the rave reviews for You Should See Me In A Crown have me so hyped xx

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    1. thank you ruby!!!

      i haven’t read wtfoh for so long but i’m excited for clap when you land!! i just found a copy haha.

      full disclosure for m was definitely better than opposite of always, which was just kinda forgettable for m at least. i hope you love them both though!!

      ah i started pride a while ago and… remember nothing and don’t think i finished it!! (i didn’t even count it as a dnf hAH) ah i’ve heard so many things about abab and i’ve found an audiobook but i’m unlikely to get through it that way sadly :((

      you should see me in a crown is good so far, but since i’m reading as an audio i’m sTRUGGLING 😥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great Post! I have Let’s Talk About Love on my physical TBR, so I’m happy to hear that you liked it so much! 😊 I’ve actually read If It Makes You Happy and I really hope that you like it because it’s an incredible book with amazing friendships and such a sweet romance 🥰

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  4. i am so so happy you loved the weight of the stars and the stars and the blackness between them!! they were 2 of my favorites last year and i’ll adore them forever ❤ and aahh i'm so excited to read clap when you land and felix ever after! i've just heard the best things about them and i have a feeling i'm going to love them 🥺 also just wanted to let you know that the author of anger is a gift isn't Black — they're latinx! ❤

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    1. i loved them so so much!! (i have a couple of mini reviews coming soon 👀 that’s how much i love them) i just found a copy of clap when you land and it looks amazing i’m so happy!!!! felix i think i have as well somewhere as an ebook ❤ i might cry in both too haha. aaa thank you so much for letting me know!!

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  5. The Hate U Give is my all-time favourite book, I love it so much. And I also really loved With The Fire On High. But other than that most of these are on my tbr and hopefully I’ll get to them soon. I‘m excited to read Clap When You Land, SLAY, Felix Ever After and Cinderella is Dead especially.

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  6. just wanna say i had a goodreads tab open next to your post and boy did i add some books, thank u for your service ma’am

    “ok i only read this once but-” you’re such a nerd i love it

    full disclosure sounds AMAZING, i’m very much planning on reading it this month, give me that drama

    weight of the stars???? same vibes as aftg????? GUESS WHO’S SOLD

    man, your parents are literally the best, i appreciate them showering you with books, 5 stars

    also, lemme know what you think of running with lions! i’ve been on the edge about reading it and i 100% trust your opinion

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    1. lmao thank u, i aim to please

      sHUT uP ok (why did i even write that tbh i read most books only once??)

      it’s VERY GOOD. would recommend.

      ….literally there’s no similarities except for found family in contemp (can aftg be called contemporary???) but you know. read it please if i need to lie to convince you i will.

      10/10 appreciate, theyre the best, it’s a good system 😉

      ah! i literally saw this comment and read it yesterday (so i could tell u haha) and like, it was good? i read it in like 2 sittings over 1 day so maybe that influenced… not as good as aftg (is anything though) and like, kinda bad at times but it was also sweet so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ i’m still on the fence (and lmao thank youuuuu)

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  7. this is such a great list, & I actually think its timing is perfect, since I can already feel people forgetting about Black and POC books now that BLM isn’t trending anymore 🙃
    I’m so excited to hear what you think about You Should See Me in a Crown!! It’s such a great book, & I’m convinced that it could work for so many people! I’m also so pumped to read With the Fire On High :(( I’ve been wanting to read it since forever, & if all goes to plan I finally will this month!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aaaaa thank you caitlin!! that makes me feel so much better lmao, even though it should DEFINITELY be trending ❤

      well… uh.. thing is, it's not going so well? i think i have to dnf it and return later at this point because for 10 days i've read 8 chapters… on the first day i read 5 of those chapters. the story was amazing it was the audiobook!!! it's so sad i wanted to love it :((( but yay for with the fire on high!! i loved it x

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  8. This is a really great list, Rhi, thank you for putting it together!! I have a lot of these on my TBR but some of them are new to me (Slay looks so good!!) and I added them!! Ahh, I forgot about The Opposite of Always until reading this, but now all the memories are coming back?! I remember it started out good and then all the traveling got a little much, but I also remember loving the characters and witty dialogue.

    I hope you enjoy all the ones on your TBR! xx I really liked This Is What It Feels Like and Anger is a Gift (though I sobbed my eyes out reading it while in the car with my parents lol). I have read This is Kind of an Epic Love Story and I remember the friends and lovers being really sweet but it didn’t blow me away, however definitely still worth a read❤️again, this is such a great post!

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    1. thank YOU for being so sweet Olivia!!! Slay is definitely worth a read </3 and I'm so glad I could recommend some excellent books to you! The dialogue was the highlight of OOA for sure, and the time travel not only confused me, but kinda annoyed me!! I'm glad you agree ❤

      Thank you!! Ahaha AIAG sounds so good yet I'm sure I'll cry a lot!! And thank you for both of those recs, I'll be sure to get to them faster hopefully ❤ thank you so much olivia x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Full Disclosure LOOKS SO SO SO SO sooooo very pretty! ❤ ❤ GORGEOUS! And it sounds awesome as well! Definitely adding this one to my tbr! ❤

    I am excited to read With The Fire on High as well! And makes me soo glad that you liked it as well! AND The Sound of Stars?! WAYYY TOO PRETTTY NOT TO OWN! ❤ ❤

    LOVED THIS POST, Rhi! And so so glad to have found your blog! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is an amazing recs list! I will definitely check out the ones I haven’t read yet *immediately logs in to public library site* I’ve been meaning to read Full Disclosure and The Weight of the Stars since forever, the ebook holds need to come asap!! I know I will absolutely adore Slay, the synopsis and cover (so so gorgeous) alone just makes me even more excited. I finished The Sun Does Shine (autobiography) by Anthony Ray Hinton about two weeks ago. I think that it is such an important read – it tore me apart. Once again, thanks for putting this together! Hope your July is going well so far xx

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  11. i’ve been wanting to read elizabeth acevedo’s books for the longest time after hearing only good things for them all!! also ahhh the stars and the blackness between them sounds so beautiful 🥺🥺 i read opposite of always earlier this year and thought it was so interesting as well! and i really loved you should see me in a crown, it was such a powerful and lovely story!! i hope you end up enjoying it ❤

    i’m currently reading felix ever after and loving it as well! yessss to cinderella is dead and the sound of stars, i want to read them so badly 😭 thank you for these recommendations! 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m so excited for clap when you land because i simply adored her others (especially fire!!) so i hope you do too. aaah stars + blackness is honestly one of my fave books of the year, it’s truly a masterpiece. unfortunately i dnfed crown – it was amazing, but the audiobook was the only copy i had and i was struggling 😥

      i’m so glad to hear because i’ve got an ebook that i’m excited to get to!!! you’re welcome – i’m glad you could add some books to a tbr! x

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Amazing post and The Opposite Of Always is actually one of my favourite books, I have no idea why I just loved it so much and I just thought Jack’s banter was too funny 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing this list!! Aah, this is definitely a reminder that I need to read The Weight of the Stars (and I also have been saying it as the weight of OUR stars in my head…ooops). I love all of Elizabeth Acevedo’s books, she’s amazing and I can’t wait until she publishes another one! Anger is a Gift is also on my TBR! Hopefullyyyyy I’ll read it by the end of this month but we’ll see 😅

    Liked by 1 person

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