Some people wallow in the depths of depression... Some people vow revenge on the entire opposite sex!!! Some people bury any hi...moreFour out of Five Stars!
Some people wallow in the depths of depression... Some people vow revenge on the entire opposite sex!!! Some people bury any hint of hurt under the proverbial rug and pretend nothing every happened... What does Sophie do when the love of her life decides she's not the love of his life? She hits rock bottom, of course. Well, that followed by a bout of "you-cannot-even-imagine-itis" (which I define as anything you can dream of doing, times ten).
Finally at her lowest, most pathetic point, she has a stroke of genius! She begins a love rehab; a place for others just like her. A "safe place" for women like her to spill their "crazies" and begin their healing. A place that will allow each and every jaded woman to see their own worth both in and out of their relationships.
Sophie finds the validation and fulfillment that she looked for in her relationships not only in the friendships she develops but, most importantly, herself. She finds her self value and helps the other love scorned women find the same, in their own way.
Love Rehab was a great combination of romance and self help, offering great snid-bits of insight and advice as it pertains in the wonderful world of dating, as well as life in general. The practical "why didn't I see that" way of pointing out of the pitfalls of relationship woes that I, for one, have fallen victim to doing was refreshing and enlightening, truly! Instead of feeling insulted, however, I laughed at the characters and I laughed at myself for having been there and done that. Why is that? I think it was primarily due to the delivery of the blow - the anecdotes were hilarious and the characters were so endearing, how could you be mad at them for pointing out flaws within yourself?
Pick up Love Rehab and you'll find yourself a little more relationship savvy (fingers crossed), thankful that maybe you haven't taken at least one of the scorned's actions, or maybe you'll go the opposite route and gather insight and inspiration for the next relationship gone wrong... Hmmm.... If that's the route you take, make sure you take notes, maybe you can come up with a great story of your own. ;)
Thank you Miss Piazza for a great novel... in "Twelve Steps"(less)
Lottie and Lexie were the best of friends with bright futures ahead of them. Unfortunately, one tragic night robbed Lexie's promise...more3.5 out of 5 Stars
Lottie and Lexie were the best of friends with bright futures ahead of them. Unfortunately, one tragic night robbed Lexie's promise and gifted Lottie with a type of survivor's guilt - how could she continue to grown and blossom into who she is meant to be when Lexie is virtually held in the arms of time with the mentality of a child?
What's worse is that the two boys at the center of that night, walked away from the accident unscathed and hardly punished (in Lottie's opinion). Imagine Lottie's surprise when she bumps into not one of the boys, but both of the boys her first day of college?
Ugh, could life get any worse? Apparently so since her roommate is dating one boy and the other is not only her brother's next door neighbor but they also share one class together. Did I already say, "Ugh"? And what takes the cake? She keeps finding herself in odd situations with the lesser of the two evils and she is torn between wanting (yes, I said wanting) to be nice and wanting to scream and yell at him for everything that he's responsible for.
And Zan, the lesser of the two evils, struggles with the idea of hope in winning Lottie over and leaving her alone, giving her the peace that she has made perfectly clear she wants. He has lived with guilt and secrets of his own since the night of the crash, and he has an internal war waging against holding on to the sense of responsibility he feels and the hope that he can be more in life, that his life didn't end that night. With his life being a coin of heads or tails, which side will end up in his grasp?
Deeper We Fall was not only a love story, it was a story of truth, of forgiveness (both self and others), and of friendship. What would life be like without any of these? If we lived our lives completely oblivious to the truths surrounding us and the events in our lives? If we lived trapped within the bitter walls of blame and hatred? If the bitterness and refusal to see things for what they were led to complete isolation? Thankfully Lottie is able to see truth, forgive what cannot be changed, and not only hold on to friendships of the past, but cultivate new ones.
What I absolutely loved about Deeper We Fall was the bouquet of characters. Each character brought a unique feel and personality to the story that only supported the main players. From the pink-loving roommate to the don't ask-don't tell-don't judge friend of Zan's, it was evident that each character was carefully thought out and molded to fit the cast in a complimentary way.
The story was heart tugging and had me rooting for the headstrong rambler (Lottie) strong and strong and silent guy (Zan), of course... Though I loved their interactions and adored the thought of them together, when they actually did start dating (publicly), it was almost a little too... something... Maybe too instant? Too sweet? I can't exactly put my finger precisely on it. Maybe it was as if all of the puzzle pieces suddenly came together and their puzzle was complete; nothing left to wonder about, no other work in progress. Just complete acceptance (which is good, don't get me wrong) and as though this is how life is/was/always will be. They were each other's past, present, and future... I apologize that I simply cannot put my finger directly on "it".
All in all - I really did enjoy Deeper We Fall, particularly the array of characters! What a wonderful potpourri of personalities!
Some wounds take more than bandaids to heal... Some loves can penetrate the depths of the soul to help patch the wounds inflicte...moreFive out of Five stars
Some wounds take more than bandaids to heal... Some loves can penetrate the depths of the soul to help patch the wounds inflicted by a life left behind... And sometimes, it doesn't matter where you were or where you are going - if you're meant to be, you will be reunited.
Where do I even start with Hopeless? I'm hopelessly tongue-tied and speechless at the same time.
Sky has been sheltered by her very loving adopted mother for the past thirteen years. No technology. No public schools. No real exposure to modern society. If it wasn't for her best friend and outgoing next door neighbor, Six, she would also not have any experience with boys. Experiences she only allows in order to feel the numbing sensations that being with them induces.
Now entering into her senior year of high school, she has won the battle of public schooling. She's excited and nervous and wishing that her best friend would be walking the halls with her. What she doesn't expect is a reputation that isn't entirely deserved to taint and precede her. But what would make any normal girl cringe and cry honestly doesn't rattle Sky and, as an unexpected perk of said reputation, she meets an ally in the battle between good and evil (aka popular kids versus social outcasts). What's more is that she wins the interest of the school's favorite bad boy, Holder.
Holder is a lost soul, bouncing and wandering around like pinball. He's intense, moody, misunderstood, protective, and of course he's got his sight set on the school's newest bad girl.
It's obvious Fate insists they are supposed to be at least friends since she keeps placing Sky right in Holder's path. As events begin to unfold, it becomes as clear day and as brilliant as the stars in the night sky just how much Sky and Holder need each other. Now it's up to them to prove to one another as well as themselves just how brave they are.
Hopeless was such an upheaval of emotions. It seems corny to say, "I laughed, I cried, and I wanted more!" But it's true! Sky's story was so much more than a love story. It was so much more than a tragedy. It was a story of love, loss, redemption, and forgiveness - of good, evil, and all those slippery things in between.
The characters showed their teenage selves but also showed a level of maturity that most adults fail to achieve. They showed the ability to handle humility and the skill to forgive and see the good that exists, even when the arrows are pointing to "EVIL!"
The Prelude is a tale in which tragic pasts intertwine with guarded hearts of the present; where secrets held captive by the so...moreThree out of five stars
The Prelude is a tale in which tragic pasts intertwine with guarded hearts of the present; where secrets held captive by the soul are no match for the love that has the power to liberate.
Let's jump right in with characters, shall we?
Erin is a hot up-and-coming fashion designer who is determined to succeed. Her clothing line was selected to outfit the entire ensemble for world famous maestro Alek Dostov's premiere. What more could a girl ask for? She definitely couldn't ask for a more handsome or distracting maestro. She also couldn't ask for more chemistry or heat between the two. And most of all, she absolutely couldn't ask for more temptation to finally let the closely guarded walls she spent years erecting to finally crumble down.
Alek is a hot blooded Russian-American who knows he can get anything, and anyone, he wants. The show of his dreams, the designer of his choice, and most of all, any woman to hang on his arm. Until Erin... In Erin he found his greatest challenge and devastations of his past stalking him like a relentless beast.
Will they find absolution and acceptance in one another? Will their passion stand the test of their pasts? Will their melody last past their prelude?
Now, let's step over to what I liked about this book and what I didn't care for.
Liked: Character development - all characters were well defined. Character interaction - all conversations and interactions were lifelike and believable Love cat and mouse game - was fun to read, particularly since readers were privy to both Erin and Alek's thoughts behind their words Dual POVs - I always appreciate the he said/she said side of a book! The prologue - was beautiful and evoked such emotion
What fell short for me: The action - suspense was eluded to from the beginning of the story, but for the hints, I felt as though the actual action did not live up to the suspense The conflict between good and evil - the final conflict seemingly came out of nowhere and left me feeling a wee bit disjointed The connection/relationship between Alek and Jada and Erin - I was left scratching my head with this one, wondering what/where/when and, most importantly, why. I don't know if Alek and Jada were necessary to the story.
Sadly, I dutifully read the first 20% of this book word for word, then I began reading only the dialogues, and now I'm nearly 30% of the way through a...moreSadly, I dutifully read the first 20% of this book word for word, then I began reading only the dialogues, and now I'm nearly 30% of the way through and am having it put it down.
I've said this before regarding a novel I didn't care for and I will say it again - I do not like to "bash" or belittle anyone's work of art; a dream fulfilled for someone... I will, however, try to explain why I put the book away and rated it as I did.
I had a hard time following the story since every character's point of view was provided. I believe this over abundance of POV deterred or detoured the story. It might have been a little different had the story been in Grace's POV only versus jumping as often as it did between characters, as significant or insignificant as the character might have been.
This over clarification of motives and/or thoughts lead to a very wordy story. Again, keeping a more streamlined story would have cut down on the "why's" for every character and would have allowed the story to progress at a more acceptable pace for me.
Again, I can only imagine the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into writing a novel and I applaud anyone that is able to accomplish their dream of publication.
This book simply was not for me.
My sincerest apologies and the best of luck wished to Ms. Plissner.(less)
Shaw has loved Rule since the moment she first layed eyes on him. She tolerates his behaviors when others cast judgement. She de...more3.5 out of 5 stars...
Shaw has loved Rule since the moment she first layed eyes on him. She tolerates his behaviors when others cast judgement. She defends him to those who berate him. She continues daring to love the boy (now a man) who refuses to be loved.
Rule has unfortunately been around Shaw since his brother rescued her from the awkwardness of her high school life. Always thinking she was flaunting her "too good for you" life in front of him, he could care less about what she thought about him until he sampled a taste of what she had to offer.
So, what happens when artistically inked Rule finally discovers the blank canvas of Shaw? Why, an unexpected flash of passion, of course! Will the passion be enough to withstand the dramas of life? Or will the fire that ignited fizzle as quickly as it started when tested?
Overall, Rule was a good read. The component of the book that held the rating back was the lack of editing. The punctuation and/or lack there of put a damper on the overall story, interrupting the cadence of Rule and Shar's journey.
Their story, when not disrupted by the punctuations, was a great one to get lost in. The bad boy and the good girl who both happen to be misunderstood? What lover of romance novels could resist? Especially when these characters are so lovingly created. Each character was created with such care and depth; I loved each one that was introduced.
Once again, Rule was a good read with great characters and a story line that lovers of love will enjoy!
Avery is starting her Freshman year at a college miles away from home simply hoping to finally get away from the...moreFive glorious stars for Wait for You!
Avery is starting her Freshman year at a college miles away from home simply hoping to finally get away from the sneers, whispers, and ugliness that plagued her during her teenage years. Finally, she will be able to concentrate on making friends and rebuilding a life she can she can live in and hopefully be proud to call her own.
The only problem? Sometimes our pasts do not stay solely in our past. Sometimes the ghosts of the past haunt us and threaten to destroy anything that has even a possibility of beauty, anything that might be special. The past has the magical ability to taint and transform hope into fears.
The question then becomes: will Avery enable her past? What price will she have to pay now for events of the past? Will she reluctantly give her skeletons the power to destroy everything she's been strong enough to rebuild? Or will she be able to hold on to even a shred of the happiness and hope that she has finally found? And, maybe most importantly, who will still be standing by her side when the light has shed and her past is highlighted?
Wait for You had me from page one! It was funny, it was heart gripping, it was emotional, and it was absolutely sweet. I loved the realistic feel of the words and character interactions.
I appreciated the view into Avery's mind, and in turn, she took up residence in my heart. I felt for her; I hoped for her; and I cried for her... And in the end, I totally kicked butt with her! Girl Power! Wha-ha-ha!
And Cam? Well, I can honestly say that I found a new fictional boyfriend in Cam!!!!! He is the most swoon worthy male counterpart I've come across! He's gorgeous, he's sweet, he's hysterical, and he's genuinely nice... What more could a woman yearn for?
The secondary characters jumped from the pages! They were rich in literary texture and completely likable. As Shrek would say, they had layers... ;) My favorite had to be Ollie - something about him just had me rolling all the time; maybe it was his drinking name that cinched it for me? I don't know... ;)
I picked up Wait for You hoping to at least like it a bit but I ended up absolutely loving it. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU J. Lynn!!!!!!(less)
Ever finds her senior school year turned upside-down. She is a girl struggling for air - she's being smothered by the grief...moreThree out of five stars...
Ever finds her senior school year turned upside-down. She is a girl struggling for air - she's being smothered by the grief caused by Michael, her long time boyfriend. Evidently they needed different things: he needed space while she just needed him.
And to that a new found confusion regarding the new boy in school. A new boy with mesmerizing eyes and an electric touch. A boy who practically swings from mood tree to mood tree. A boy that shares the same love of water as Ever. A boy with secrets that not only belong to him, but secrets that unlock a new world for Ever.
Jack introduces Ever to a reality she thought to be mere children's stories and old fisherman's "tails" up until now. What was once a clear path for Ever proves to be the furthest from what her calling is...
It's hard enough for a teenage girl to pick an outfit for the "big party", how is Ever supposed to choose between light and dark, land and sea? Especially when neither is what it seems.
Just Breathe introduced a magical mer-scape that was awe-mazing... I loved the underground city and am looking for a way to move there as soon as I am able. ;)
The characters were nicely developed, as well. I could easily picture them in my head and envision their dialogues. I found each character to be endearing in his/her own way.
I also enjoyed Ever's recurring dream sequences and anticipated the next, since each was just slightly different. Which version would ultimately become Ever's reality? It was a guessing game, really.
My intention with this next section is not to offend Ms. Allen; I apologize in advance if I do so. Just Breathe felt like a mermaid version of Twilight. Yes, there were definite differences between the stories, however the romance and relationship between Ever and Jack were quite similar (in my eyes) to Bella and Edward. Though, really, Ever and Jack are much cuter names. ;)
My biggest issue with Just Breathe was the editing and/or grammar. The overuse of punctuation made sentences hard to follow, telling me to breathe or pause when it wasn't necessary. I had to re-read sentences or phrases often to come to the right flow or cadence. There were also quite a few instances in which quotation marks were left off, so I had a hard time following conversations - when did it end and another pick up, etc... The grammar is really what led to much of my frustration with this read, hence lowering my overall rating of the title.
Overall, I haven't quite decided if I will pick up the next installment of this series. I would like to satisfy my curiosity and tie questions out to their solutions... I'll probably keep on reading.
Once upon a time, in a perfect town, on a perfect street, in the perfect house lived the perfect boy... Star of the baseball team...more4.5 out of 5 stars...
Once upon a time, in a perfect town, on a perfect street, in the perfect house lived the perfect boy... Star of the baseball team, and friends with the popular kids in school, Ryan was the guy luck shined on; lighting a path of excellence before him. And he delighted in the opportunities granted to him by his fortunate luck.
While Ryan was sun kissed, Beth was engulfed by shadows. Beth's part of the city was the furthest from perfect. Her home life provided neither a home or a life. Her friends were the outcasts everyone feared. And her future was on course to suck her into a black abyss, a nothingness that was smothering her.
Fate strikes like a lightning bolt, and Beth reluctantly finds her darkened life uncomfortably lit by Ryan's golden spotlight. She's hurdled into a present with secret memories of the past. She is confronted by best friends of old and new daring friends. She's now faced with opportunities to shine on one hand, or a new life, a new chance to inevitably fail on the other. If she opens her eyes, if she trusts and if she lets hope in, will she see that nothing (or no one) is perfect, and that she is not doomed to the life of shadows? Will she see that she can be the Princess in her own fairytale?
Dare You To was a novel of stark contrasts: light/dark, perfection/flawed, love/hate... It was an example of what you see is not always what is true; the perfect family could contain people who barely coexist, the most intimidating "kids" could have the deepest running sense of responsibility and loyalty, what appears to be the clear and obvious path in life might not agree with what fate has in mind, and the person you always thought you were meant to be with might not hold a candle to the love you stumble upon.
The characters, minor and major alike, were rich with depth and life. The scenery painted, specifically Beth's side of the tracks, were so vivid I felt I could nearly reach out and clean up. The dialogue and interactions played like a movie in my head. The beauty of the words, namely Ryan's, was refreshing and provided so much depth to not only him but those that he interacted with. The overall feel of the book alternated between confusion (the "what am I supposed to do" question that plagues all of us), comical (loved Ryan's friends), heart wrenching (oh, Beth... Beth, Beth, Beth - you deserve a ribbon a day for all that you endured), and heart warming (who doesn't love a good ol' fashioned love story).
Great job, Ms. McGarry - thank you for providing such a wonderful read.(less)
Friendship, Love, Loss, Surrender, and Love Again...
Kyle and Nell had been best friends since birth, so it was practically inevitable...more3 out of 5 Stars
Friendship, Love, Loss, Surrender, and Love Again...
Kyle and Nell had been best friends since birth, so it was practically inevitable when they found love in one another. They were a "perfect" couple and their love was sweet, and fresh, and innocent. It was also cut too short... Their world is transformed from a promising future of love and laughter, of eternal friendship, to a simple promise and final declaration of love.
The eighteen year old Nell died that day with Kyle and in her place existed a hollow shell who looked to pain and alcohol to silence and numb the loss of her love. Buried in the ground with Kyle was her sense of everything she knew, everything she looked forward to.
Slowly, she found an escape that bred passion, provided solace, and carried her to New York for pursuit. What she found in New York was more than she bargained for. She found Colton, Kyle's older brother, whom she hadn't seen since the night of the funeral.
Colton gave her the permission and the strength to let the steel walls keeping her grief at bay down - he provided the strong and steady shoulder which seemed to be made for her to cry, lean, and gain courage and comfort from.
In Colton, Nell found love once again...
Colton has been on the streets of New York since he was a teenager and has seen more than his share of "life." He's hard around the edges but longs to find a "home" in his core. Fate, destiny, the stars - whatever you'd like to call it - brought Nell to him and he's not about to let her go. He will protect her, he will comfort her, and he will love her... always...
Falling Into You was a dramatic and soulful read. Ms. Wilder has an absolute gift with words, making the story pop out from the pages and virtually come to life.
What I loved about this book: 1) Nell and Kyle - they just made me smile. I loved their friendship and I loved their loving relationship. 2) Kyle's end - it was beautiful and mournful and left me wet in the eyes and weeping. 3) Introduction to Colton - Three words to describe him: Strong And Silent; I wanted to know more about this mysterious character 4) The incorporation of music and lyrics - there were some downright gorgeous lyrics included in this book; chalked full of emotion and heart *Part One of this book was utterly amazing!
What I thought fell a little short in this book: 1) The transformation of Nell - There wasn't a transition from the "old" Nell to the "new" Nell. I would have liked to see how she evolved into the person she became and picked up the habits that scarred her. 2) Colton - I would have liked to know more about him a little soon, maybe beginning from the funeral. I wanted to understand a little more about his intense feelings and sense of protection when it came to Nell - what did he think when he first saw her, what lured him to her, what did he think after the night on the dock? I also wanted to know a little more about who he was in the time between the funeral and the park bench. 3) The development of Nell and Colton's relationship - it was just so fast, so sudden, so intense. I'm all for love scenes and romance, but I have to admit that I skimmed over theirs, it was so long. 4) Chunks of time - I realize not every book/novel goes day to day and skips, but I felt as though the time elapses in Falling Into You left much of another part of the story out - maybe some of the when's and why's and how's that I felt myself searching for.
Overall, a good read with characters that tear your heartstrings out (but at least they then use those strings for their guitars and make gorgeous music)!!!!!
Travis and Abby were a dysfunctional hit in Beautiful Disaster. Their relationship was filled with drama, high flying emotions, a...more2.5 out of 5 Stars...
Travis and Abby were a dysfunctional hit in Beautiful Disaster. Their relationship was filled with drama, high flying emotions, and undeniable love.
How could their tale get any better? Well... Every lover of Beautiful Disaster, or any romance novel written from the female perspective for that matter, would LOVE to have a sneak peek into the primary male's head. "What was he thinking when he did or didn't say or do..." "Where was he when he wasn't with..."
Walking Disaster provided just that insight! Reading Walking Disaster, I was looking forward to getting into Travis' head and understanding the motives behind his thoughts and actions. No longer would I have to wonder what he was doing when he and Abby were apart.
Travis' tale, however, fell short for me. On one hand, my wonderings were answered and I now knew what I could only suspect of him while reading Beautiful Disaster. What I found lacking was depth. I didn't think his character was as defined as it could be. I felt as though I was just skimming on the top of the story versus being fully immersed in his side. Reading this installment, I actually found myself glad that I had read Beautiful Disaster, for if I hadn't I think I would have been a little lost when it came down to characters and story development.
The treasures of Walking Disaster were held tenderly in the arms of the prologue and the epilogue. Those two sections were fantastic. The prologue left me with tears in my eyes and the epilogue left me with an endearing sense of satisfaction.
All in all, it Walking Disaster was a good read, providing Beautiful Disaster was read shortly before...
Thank you for providing the male's point of view, Ms. McGuire!(less)
Imagine "coming to" in the middle of San Francisco Bay... up to your knees in water... and not knowing anything about how you got t...more4 out of 5 stars...
Imagine "coming to" in the middle of San Francisco Bay... up to your knees in water... and not knowing anything about how you got there or who you are... That is the reality for Lucie, and unfortunately, that is just the beginning of her journey back to herself.
Now, imagine having a fight with your fiancee over wedding plans, seeing horror fill her eyes, and witnessing her storm out of the house without another word, only to become a missing person for eight days. Grady lives with the guilt and the agony of those last minutes and is filled with gratitude and awe when he receives a phone call that Lucie has been found, albeit without a memory.
The doctors say that the type of amnesia that she has is triggered by severe emotional trauma and that she'll likely never regain the memories of the eight days she was missing. The "new" Lucie emerges with a curiosity, trying to puzzle out the last day of her old life and the uncover the trauma that caused such a chain reaction. What the curiosity yields, however, is a picture of a person she doesn't want to be, one that she can hardly believe she was, and a fear that the man that stood by her side then as well as now won't or can't love this new person she's become.
Love Water Memory was a thought provoking and emotional journey to read. The tale was told primarily from Lucie and Grady's points of view, but some snidbits from Lucie's Aunt Helen's POV were also offered. Looking back on the novel, it was definitely not one that had an outstanding or ruling plot, but again, it was a journey. I came to truly care about the characters and their outcomes. I had tears in my eyes and the tell-tale ache in my chest while reading the sadness, fear, and shock that the characters had to uncover in order to be the people they were finally meant to be.
Overall this was a beautiful story of losing yourself, putting pieces of who you were and who you now appear to be in order, and coming to terms with the mistakes and events that shaped you in the first place. Do all roads lead to happiness? You'll just have to read to find out. (less)
Everyone in prison says they're innocent, but what happens if you really are innocent and no one believes you and you can't catch a...more4.5 out of 5 Stars
Everyone in prison says they're innocent, but what happens if you really are innocent and no one believes you and you can't catch a break from the legal system to save your life.
Well, if you're Mazie Maguire, Mother Nature steps in! Who would have thought that someone could go from a prison inmate, to a natural disaster victim, to a not-so-free woman running for her life? And that's just the beginning of Mazie's adventures! She, unfortunately, faces everything and participates in virtually every crime in her journey to prove her innocence - from jumping into manure to grand theft auto to attempted murder (but, hey that one was self defense!), poor Mazie sees and experiences it all!
With all this activity, you'd think that she'd be public enemy numero uno, but she's not! She is a reluctant folk hero, spurring everyone from mothers to wanna-be-gangster kids to drag queens to aide in her adventure! She even finds a cutie of a camera/technical ace who not only is easy on her eyes, but also has brains, disguises, a desire to help prove that she was wrongfully accused, tried, and found guilty. Truly, what an adventure!
And when all is said and done, Mazie's escapades will have readers wondering and debating over their favorite hijinks... Was it the manure, WalMart, the toilet museum, or the fighting/racing wieners? Yes, I said fighting wieners. Curious? You'll just have to read to find out. :)
This was a complete hoot to read! The story was engaging and had me wondering what could go unintentionally right or so wrong it was right next. The characters were almost caricatures of characters - over the top, but in a fitting for the story and hilarious way.
Two thumbs would not be enough for me to rate this book, I wish I had a third thumb to give it! A definite recommendation if you're looking for something light and funny to read. (less)