Monday, July 15, 2019

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

So when I saw Stephanie from Bookfever doing this tag, I thought: "Hey, it's been a while... why not?" 

What is the best book you've read? 

"Could I come with you at least?" "No." "Sorry, my mistake, I said that wrong. What I meant to say was, I'm coming with you." 

Land of the Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith. You can find my 5 stars review here

This was hands down one of the best books I've read in a long while.
I was skeptical at first, as the cover didn't really catch my interest and the synopsis sounded interesting yet strange.
But boy, once I started reading it... I couldn't stop

The dialogue, the characters, the romance, the complexity of this world.
I loved it. 

Don't let its appearance fool you, and pick it up. You'll be addicted before you even know it. 

I haven't given a book 5 stars in over a year... and longer before that.
I may be becoming jaded, and maybe 4 is my new 5, but... every now and then when this kind of book comes along I know it deserves to be special. 

What is the best sequel you've read? 

"Maybe he'd try not to growl at her. It'd be difficult since he'd been in a bad mood for twelve months, but scaring an E wasn't a thing to be proud of - It was like stomping on a kitten."

Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh was one of the best books I've read so far this year. So addictive, so awesome, it's no wonder I just adore every book this author writes. 

For those of you who don't know Nalini Singh, she writes fantastic fantasy romance book series (most call is paranormal but I don't really use that word much). She has two main series and she writes her books in those worlds. Each book usually centers around a different couple but they all revolve around a much larger plot.

One is about vampires/angels - called Guild Hunter, the other is of Psy/Changeling (called exactly that). 

I urge to you pick those books up. You should probably start with the Guild Hunter books because you'll get the basics of Nalini Singh world building/writing before jumping into the psy/changeling ones that are a bit more complex at the beginning. 

These are adult fantasy books though, so beware adult content.  

What release haven't you read yet, but want to? 

"It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don't do a great job of it." 

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. 

I'm sure there are many more I haven't read - or even discovered - yet, but this one has been on my TBR for a while and I still haven't picked it up. 

I'm a fan of Julie Kagawa from her Iron Fey series (one of the best series I've ever read), but I'm ashamed to say I haven't picked up any of her other books yet. *sigh*. 

What is your most anticipated release of the second half of the year? 

Since I couldn't pick just one, here are a bunch of them! 

Each holds a different level of excitement for me, naturally, as they're very different from one another, but all of them are very much anticipated. 

"The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark out places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I can see it in me. You're a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell." 

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff = I'm dreading this book, people. I'm dreading it so much :') I actually still haven't finished Godsgrave because I'm scared and I want Darkdawn to release first before I do.  

"Sometimes you don't know you've crossed the line till you're on the other side." 

Deviate by Jay Kristoff = Jay Kristoff is probably the only author I know who gives us more than one book per year (3 books this year! 3!). I love him so much for this. Even though most of his books make me shake in fear before I pick them up, and of course after I finish reading them. I am just as dreading - I mean, anticipating, Deviate as I am Darkdawn. 

"Just when you think you're having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe." 

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell = Thank goodness! I absolutely loved Carry On but was so disappointed with the rushed ending. Now that we're getting a second book of this I could not be happier. I want more of those boys! 

"So you would have me throw Shazi to the wolves?" "Shazi?" "Jalal's grin widened. "Honestly, I pity the wolves." 

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh = While I didn't really love Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (I had some complicated feelings regarding it), and still haven't picked up the sequel Smoke in the Sun (am still not sure I will), I still remember how much I loved The Wrath and the Dawn and therefore I am excited about this new - possibly duology - by the author! 

What is your biggest disappointment? 

Sorry, but this turned out into another bunch of books. 
These are some of books I expected to love but ended up rating below 3 stars. 

His mouth twitches. "You give a siren a secret... and she asks for another." "You have so many of them," I say. "Don't be a Grinch." 

Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa = I heard good things about this trilogy and the author's other books in general, but just ended up feeling "meh" about it. Great review right here, I know. It was a nice story but didn't make me want to continue. 

"It's always the ones who are quietest who often have the greatest things to say."  

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune = this time, it's not the I expected that much but the general reviews were very positive and yet I still ended up not loving it. I didn't hate it either. I just had no feelings for it. 

She stared at him in obvious confusion. "I wanted to help." "Shouldn't that count for something?" 

Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith = Yep, the same author who wrote my favorite book this year, and one of my favorite of all times, and yet... this was probably the greatest disappointment considering my very high expectations and excitement towards it. You can find my review here

"You intolerable lunatic," he snarled at me, and then he caught my face between his hands and kissed me. 

Uprooted by Naomi Novik = Ahh, I really wanted to love this one. The reviews, the synopsis, even the beginning of the book, seemed very promising. And yet it quickly went into dragging and unconvincing "romance" (if I can even call it that). You can find my review explaining this here

What is your biggest surprise? 

"Enough," Benyamin said, smoothing out his bedroll. "Kifah, you're keeping watch." "Your wish is my insomnia," the warrior said with a salute. 

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faziel. 

I definitely didn't expect to like this book as much as I have.
I started it on a whim and ended up thoroughly enjoying it, not wanting it to end, and desperately anticipating the second book. 

Hafsah Faziel has definitely captured me as a fan. 
You can find my 4 stars review here

Who is your favorite new author? 

That would be Hafsah Faziel (We Hunt the Flame) and R. Lee Smith (Land of the Beautiful Dead). 

Who is your newest fictional crush so far in 2019? 

This award goes to Nasir from We Hunt the Flame ❤ 

Who is your newest favorite character? 

That would be Auri from Aurora Rising! I love this girl! I'm rooting for her. 

What book that made you cry? 

It really is hard for a book to make me cry, so I can say that so far none has this year. Which is a good thing considering I get depressed after reading books that make me cry. 

What book that made you happy? 

I didn't get to talk about these two yet, even though they're two of my fave so far this year!

"It's a classic love story. I hit on him at a party, he asked me out, then we fought an epic magical battle between good and evil side by side, and now we need a vacation. The thing is, he's a shadowhunter." 

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman were both just delightful to read. I enjoyed every second of them. And I cannot wait for the sequels. 

I quite literally almost highlighted the whole of The Red Scrolls 😂 It tends to happen with Cassandra Clare books. I've got like 54 highlights and that's after restraining myself. 

“I didn’t know Syldrathi blushed with their ears,” Tyler muses. “I am not blushing.” “I mean, it kinda looks like you’re blushing.” “I am not blushing.” “Ooookay,” Tyler nods. “I sometimes have that effect on people, is all.”

You can read my review on Aurora Rising here

What is your favorite book to movie/tv show adaptation you saw this year? 

Even though I didn't read the comics, I loved The Umbrella Academy TV show on Netflix. I can't wait for the second season!  

What is your favorite post that you've written so far this year? 

Since I only now returned to blogging after over a year of absence, all of what I've been posting here are book reviews. But hey, this is a book blog so what else would I be posting about 😂 

Since I already linked to most of my book reviews above, here I'll link you with a book review of a book I haven't got the chance to talk about here Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. 

What is the most beautiful book you bought so far this year? 

Getting your hands on physical copies when you live in a none English speaking countries is... well, a struggle, as I'm sure many bloggers will relate to. 

Due to that, I mostly get my books on Kindle.
This year, however, someone I know bought The Red Scrolls of Magic for me as a present (in physical copy). I was so happy and the book looks soooo pretty 😍 

What is one book that you want to read by the end of the year? 

I'm personally frustrated with myself for not yet finishing The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan, considering he's one of my favorite authors of all times. 
I'll do it though! I must, by the end of the year. Especially considering the next book comes out this year (I'm so excited!). The only reason I haven't included it in my most anticipated this year is that I forgot (and was too lazy to edit :') Sorry). 

And that's it for my Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag.
I hope you enjoyed it, thank you for reading thus far.
See you in my next post ;)

Let’s back it up a little. About four hours, to be exact. I know they say to start your story at the exciting bit, but you need to know what’s going on here so you can actually care about me getting vaporized. Because me getting vaporized is totally gonna suck.
         -- Aurora Rising  

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - Book Review

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Publication date: May 14, 2019
My rating: 3 stars

“Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.” 

 I wanted to like it more than I had.

Reading all the gushing reviews and seeing it mentioned multiple times on Twitter, I really wanted to fall in love with it. And while I did enjoy it quite a bit… I didn’t fall in love, and it didn’t… well, wow me.


For once, it took me about 20-30% of the book to actually start caring about the story. Up until then, it was a bit “hmm” for me.

Once I did though, I quite enjoyed myself.
I liked our two protagonists – Henry and Alex, their interactions, their lives. 

“That's the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.” 

The rest of the characters – June, Nora, etc – fell kind of flat for me though. A lot of the time they even all got confused in my head, not really distinguishing themselves from one another. They were just sort of... there.

The writing style is easy to read and the story itself is quite fun - and funny (I did laugh a number of times, which made me feel great).

But I guess it just didn’t manage to excite me, didn't get more emotions than a general interest out of me.
Which was actually the same trouble I had with Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Even though I would say I certainly liked Red, White & Royal Blue much better.

If you enjoyed Simon or are just looking for a sweet, easy to read, funny romance story about a prince of England and the son of the president of the united states… well, give this one a try :) 

“Sometimes you just jump and hope it's not a cliff.” 

Do I recommend it? Yes, if you're looking for a breath of fresh air after reading/watching way too many fantasy/drama. Trust me, this book won't make you want to pull your hair out, as it very much has "feel good" vibes throughout it all. 

Will I read the author's future books? While I won't be waiting for them with bated breath, I will check them out.

“Take anything you want and know you deserve to have it.”

Thursday, May 23, 2019

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal - Book Review

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Publication date: May 14, 2019
My rating: 4 stars

“The first step to getting anywhere is believing you can,” Benyamin said darkly.

If you’re reading this deliberating whether you should pick this book up… I urge you. Pick it up.

This was just the book I needed after so much time of none-fantasy in my life. And it was wonderful.

Combining all of my favorite things – engaging writing style, kickass characters, a love to hate romance that makes you all giddy inside, a magical quest, and let’s not forget the dark forces against them – how could I resist its charm?

I was pretty much swallowed by the darkness of the story, not wanting it to end because I knew I would be craving the next book, as I am now, which is not out until next year.

But such are the struggles of the reader, laa? 

He was a mess of scars like the sky was a mess of stars.


My broken boy! I just… want… to… hug… him.
Or, better yet, for Zafira to hug him. Like. Please.
This boy. This boy who has been through SO much yet is still GOOD inside and he just does not see it.
I love him. I want him happy. I want him to smile. To laugh. 

Nasir had Kifah against the tree in a heartbeat. His voice was crisp. “Where is she?” Distantly, he heard Altair mumble, “What is it with Nasir and shoving people against things?”


Our fearless girl!
Searching for something, all her life, never quite knowing what. I can’t wait for it to find it. We all know what it is. She just needs to see it for herself.
“Do you ever not provide your opinion?” Kifah asked, picking up a scorpion’s molt and studying it. Altair bowed. “I like to think I’m lightening the mood, shifting focus away from our impending dooms. You’re welcome.” “I never thanked you.” “I know. I’m saving you the extra breath. You’re welcome for that, too.”


Trust Altair to brighten up the mood!
I just loved this guy’s comments. So funny, always reassuring. Like Zafira noticed, he’s the kind of guy you’re just inexplicably drawn to, always craving his sharp wit.

While the story was definitely captivating way before the 35% mark, it's important to note the protagonists only meet there, and so the story becomes so much better at that point. So don’t give up on this book! Okay? 


“Enough,” Benyamin said, smoothing out his bedroll. “Kifah, you’re keeping watch.” “Your wish is my insomnia,” the warrior said with a salute.

That ending, with all those twists and turns.
While they didn’t shock me (even though I didn’t anticipate them either), they were wild enough and so one after, at some point I was just “
Are we going to find out Kifah is Zafira’s long lost sister or something next?”

I have to admit, I did not expect Benyamin to die. For some reason, I thought it was going to be Altair – even though I’m glad he’s alive!

I just loved that ending with Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah, staring into the distance, now a true zumra. All that Benyamin ever tried to make them, they now stand together, united.

Yasmin. I’m sure her part will come into play in the next book. Can’t wait for her and Zafira to reunite.

Not to mention, for the relationship between Zafira and Nasir to deepen, solidify. I know they can be something great together, and I’m sure we’ll see them be just that in the next book.

Looking forward to Yasmin meeting the man who finally made our Zafira blush!

This was the zumra. The zumra he belonged to. He was no longer here to kill the Huntress and take back that old tome. He was here to help her and the others. It was no longer about the book and magic—they needed to vanquish those amber eyes for good. Free magic. Free Arawiya. Free his father.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Uprooted by Naomi Novik - Book Review

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Publication date: May 19, 2015
My rating: 2 stars

I went down with him. We banged our heads on the flagstones together, and dazed lay still for a moment with our limbs entwined. The fire was leaping and crackling beside us, and as my panic faded, abruptly I noticed that in the wall beside it were small iron oven doors, and before it a spit for roasting, and above it a huge wide shelf with cooking-pots on it. It was only the kitchen. After a moment, he said, in almost marveling tones, “Are you deranged?”

I feel bad rating this book so low.
I always thought this kind of rating is for books you hated or something, but that's really not the case here.

To describe uprooted in 1 word: Rich.
The worldbuilding was rich, the story was rich, the magical system was wonderfully expressive, and even the writing style was engaging (if a bit too descriptive, and low on dialogue).

But that's all if I were to speak from a logical point of view.
I can see what makes this book so popular. I can understand why people would love it.
But I don't feel it. 

Breakfast at eight, dinner at one, supper at seven. Leave the meal laid in the library, five minutes before, and you need not see him—no need to say who—all the day. Courage! Priceless advice, and that Courage! was like the touch of a friend’s hand.

I just felt like I didn't truly get to know these characters.
The Dragon, especially, but also Agnieszka (despite seeing everything about her). I just didn't connect to them, found nothing to latch on. 

“Listen, you impossible creature,” he said, “I’m a century and more older than—” “Oh, be quiet,” I said impatiently; of all the excuses he might have used.

And then there's the "romance".
Now I understand that this is a book mainly revolving around its plot and magic, not the romance, but I hoped I could have at least had something to latch on through there, considering it is very much tagged as a romance on goodreads... and as it seems to be a bit of a "beauty and the beat" vibe.
Unfortunately, no.
If you count the romance in the whole of the story, it would be summed up to 2 chapters in this entire book.
Where are the feelings? Where is the build up? Where is the "caring about the other"? And more importantly where is the satisfying ending?
Can't believe I'm saying it but even insta-love would have been better.


So since I ended up not being able to enjoy neither the plot (due to not connecting with the characters), nor the romance... there really wasn't much left for me to enjoy.

I would say this though: I did find the friendship between Agnieszka and Kasia quite wonderful.

“You intolerable lunatic,” he snarled at me, and then he caught my face between his hands and kissed me.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - Book Review

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Publication date: May 7, 2019
My rating: 4 stars

Where is book 2? 
No, seriously, where is it? 
Because, please... I need it right now. 

Oh wow. 
This is the type of book that, back in the day, when I was all young and innocent, I would have given it 5 stars. 
But I am very jaded now, and I hardly give books 5 stars, even if they're hella fun and addictive to read. 
Because that's what this book was - just hella fun. Okay, so the ending was kinda creepy and almost gave me nightmares, but the rest of it was hella fun! 

Just a bunch of misfit teenagers on the run from the authorities, trying to figure out what it is they're meant to find, being sarcastic all over space. 
Needless to say, I loved this book. 

Auri & Kal  

I LOVED Auri! 
She quickly went from this character who obviously has a great destiny ahead of her to this character I just want to hug and make sure she makes it out okay. 

Tough doesn't even begin to describe her, considering everything she went through and still managed to find herself on her feet. She started out as such a wild card but eventually got herself into their group and it was just wonderful to see. 

And Kal. Oh Kal, Kal, Kal. The soldier. I seem to have a thing for his type in books. I loooove Kal. 

I also can't wait to find out more about Kal's background. While we basically know most of Auri's past story, we only ever saw glimpses of Kal, and it seems there is so much more to him. 

Scarlett & Finian  

Is it just me or does it seems like there might be something going on with these two? 
Unlike with Kal and Auri, it doesn't seem to be confirmed at all, and we didn't see any indication of it as of yet from Scaerlett's side, but Finian definitely seems to have started to like her a lot. 

Finian (who I'm pretty sure is Bi?), and Scarlett... those two could be... they could be... explosive together. 
Thinking about it now... I am very much looking forward to this. 

But anyways, Scarlett, the big sister of the group, is just such a wonderful person. Sarcasm and all, she truly cares about everyone, and you just can't help yourself from loving her. 
And Finian, the tech guy- err, betraskan, is just a lovably sarcastic guy, always brightening the mood with his hilarious comments. 

Tyler and Cat 

Tyler, our fearsome leader, may seem a bit cliche, all dimples and blond her and perfection, but I feel like that's what the authors were going for and I loved it. 
And, well, nobody is perfect. 
I really like Tyler - his personality, his faith, his beliefs. 
I am also finding it totally awesome that he seems to have developed a taste for going rogue, considering how "follow the rules" he is. But they do say those who go extremely to one side can just as extremely flip...? Wait, do they say it? 
Hang in there, Tyler! You can do this! Lead the way :') 

So... Cat. 
Out of everyone, my relationship with Cat could probably be described as the most complicated. 
At first, I was liking her. She seemed very snarky and tough and I was hoping she and Tyler could figure this out. 
But then... as she continued being so hostile towards Aurora, I just... she just got farther and farther away from me. 
It's not that I don't understand where she was coming from. I DO. But I still couldn't... I don't know, connect to her? 


I didn't think I would like Zila as much as I do considering her chapters were crazy short and we didn't seem to get to know her as much as the others. 
Slowly, bit by bit, I found myself liking this ever so cool calm and collected girl. 
She was always the first to figure out what's what, with her genius IQ and fast thinking. 
I want to know more about her. 

And that's Squad 312 for you, the unlikely group of misfits about to turn into heroes of the galaxy (not that anyone knows it yet). 

We the legion 
We the light 
Burning bright against the night. 

You can do this. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith - Book Review

Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith
Publication date: February 28, 2013
My rating: 2 stars


By no means was this a bad book, I just...
Maybe my expectations were too high, after reading Land of the Beautiful Dead by this author, and absolutely loving it.
But honestly? I think this book fell short for me for two reasons that just really irked me throughout it all.

It wasn't the writing style (which was just as amazing), it wasn't the world-building (which was great), it wasn't even the protagonist herself, Sarah (despite me not really understanding her overwhelming kindness), it was (some mild spoilers ahead):

Was this book about, how to physically torture the protagonist every few chapters or so to the point where you break her bones, cut her fingers off, and beat her near death? Because if so! Wow, success! I tell you, success!

What the heck?
No seriously, WHAT the heck?

It's not that I do not expect some kind of torture in those type of dark reads. In this book, however, it was to the point of madness. And pointlessness. It was like the protagonist's sole purpose was to get beaten up and tortured. And it was just... I couldn't even be horrified - although I was - because I was too busy wondering "is there a point to this meaningless pain?" No, there was no point except for her to be in pain throughout all of this book, be it emotional or physical.

And for what?
Nothing at all.

Not even for her beloved to rescue her (on time, even), hug her, avenge her, DO SOMETHING that isn't letting her constantly be beaten up emotionally and physically. Nope, he just sat aside in all of his calm and cool exterior. And even though he was a bit worried, it was not enough. Not enough for all that Sarah was forced to endure.

I just could not understand their relationship due to this.
Yeah, due to that, which ironically had nothing to do with him being an alien.
At some points, especially towards the end, I honestly wanted her to end up with Sam because at least HE cared! At least HE was horrified and worried and would have DONE something to HELP her if he KNEW.

(some serious spoilers ahead)

As for our love interest, who just stood by and waited for far too long. Yes, I understand you couldn't reach earth sooner than that but you SHOULD NEVER HAVE LEFT HER THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. I don't CARE how much she refused or begged you to go and leave her behind, YOU KNEW what would happen to her, YOU KNEW. And I hardly saw you in enough pain over this yourself, so please, Sandford, just go away.

I mean seriously, Lan from Land of the Beautiful Dead did some... really stupid, reckless, crazy things, but not for a moment did Azrael just stood aside and did nothing. Azrael would have NEVER left her behind, no matter how much she begged him to. He would have fought for her. And that's something Sandford simply did not do.
He didn't fight for her.
SHE, however, fought for him. She bled for him, broke for him, gave everything up for him.
And I'm sorry, but that just ruins everything for me.
In a relationship, whatever its nature, you have to fight for each other.
If one side fights while the other does nothing... is it even a relationship at all?

I had to applaud and wanted to hug Sam when he shoved all of this in Safndord's face after seeing the condition Sarah was in.
God, she should have ended up with Sam.
Even T'aki was more worried and insistent.

So yeah, all of that just really... annoyed me. And that's why I could not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to.
That being said, I would still give the author's other books a try because... well because, Land of the Beautiful Dead was one of the best things ever.
Looking forward to jumping into The Last Hours of Gann! 

"Strange, how the world could move on even when it had been shaken to its foundations." 

Land of the Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith (Quick Book Review)

Land of the Beautiful Dead

Land of the Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith
Publication date: October 29, 2015
My rating: 5 stars

I could not put it down.
I could not, for the life of me, put this book down.

This book, of 715 pages, and not for one moment did I want to put it down. Not for one moment was I bored or needed a break (willingly, that is). 

"Could I come with you at least?" "No." "Sorry, my mistake, I said that wrong. What I meant to say, I'm coming with you." 

My god.

It's been so long since a book made me this crazy mess of sitting for hours upon hours until my eyes got blurry and I forgot to eat.

It got to a point in the book when something happened, when the protagonist was planning to do something, that my heart was racing and I was literally shaking.

I cannot even.

I think the last book to evoke this... this state in me was A Court of Mist and Fury (another mess of a masterpiece - mess as in me, and a masterpiece as in the book).

Pick it up. Pick it up and give it a try, because oh am I glad I did.

The first few pages may confuse you with some new terms in this post-apocalyptic world, but trust me when I say once the protagonist meets her target, things just spin and never stop spinning.

In the best, and sometimes worst, possible way.

"One person against the world never wins." "And yet, you're here." "I'm not against the world, just you. Makes the odds about even, as I see it." 

So what is this book actually about?

In short, this is a Beauty & The Beast if the beast was an evil overlord who thrust the world into the apocalypse and raises the dead, and the beauty was a determined farmer girl on a personal mission to "talk him out" of his zombie armies. Whatever it takes.

But oh, this is so much more than that.

This is life and death in it's most simple yet philosophical forms.

This is about human nature. This is about monsters. This is about hope and nightmares and everything in between.

This is a story I would highly recommend you to read and am honestly shocked is not more popular than it deserves to be.

My only warning is that this book does contain mature content and is definitely not YA.

And for those of you who want to know if this story has a happy ending (because I always want to know myself), then the answer is yes.

"You were all my best days... and most of my worst ones, too, but that's all right. The worst ones weren't any worse than they might have been with anyone else, but the best ones were so much better. I love you."