Mariko, the daughter of a noble samurai, is on her way to the imperial city to meet her betrothed when her convoy is ambushed and she is left for dead. Determined to discover who ordered her death, Mariko infiltrates the Black Clan disguised as a boy. Life among the Black Clan is invigorating and opens Mariko's eyes to life beyond the confines of her home and sex. Mariko continually has to remind herself that these men are her enemies, not her friends. And yet, secrets are everywhere. Who are these bandits really?
Flame in the Mist begins a great second series for Renee Ahdieh filled with interesting and complicated characters, a gorgeous setting, and a heady romance. I do wish I understood the magic system a bit better. Perhaps more will be revealed in the second book. ...more
Arabella Ashby is a tomboy with a talent for mechanics. Her happy life on Mars comes to an end when her mother takes her back to earth for an education in how to be a young woman. A family misfortune has Arabella scrambling for a way to get back to Mars. Her solution is to disguise herself as a boy and get a job aboard the trading ship Diana.
Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine is a fun steampunk space adventure. The setting is a clever alternate version of the Regency era where the Napoleonic wars have spread to the skies. I really enjoyed the clever mechanics, the automata, and the Martians. Arabella is a plucky heroine who is smart and capable and not willing to sit idly by as duty dictates. I'm excited to read the sequel, Arabella and the Battle for Venus, out this July....more
The sequel to Kiersten White's And I Darken was one of my most anticipated books of the year. Now I Rise finds our characters split up. Lada Dracul The sequel to Kiersten White's And I Darken was one of my most anticipated books of the year. Now I Rise finds our characters split up. Lada Dracul is fighting her way to the Wallachian throne. Mehmed's conquest of Constantinople draws ever nearer, and the Sultan has sent Radu into the city as a spy.
Definitely read this book if you are in the mood to feel raw and heartsick. Kiersten White has written some of the best and most emotional depictions of war and conquest that I've ever read. I'm still kind of reeling over the takeover of Constantinople. Radu, who is in the besieged city, is definitely the most compassionate of our three main characters. Because he is able to see the humanity and goodness in these supposed enemies, he is torn and broken and so is the reader who is privy to the tragedy of it all.
This series has so much going for it. First of all, I love the setting and time period. It's not a common one for historical fiction, and it is so fascinating, dynamic, and brutal. Secondly, the characters in this series are so well done. Every one of our three main characters is so complicated. There are betrayals upon betrayals in this book, and all of the characters do such terrible things. Finally, Ms. White handles subtleties and complications so well. The desire for power, the role of religion, the cost of love are all deftly crafted.
If you are a lover of Mehmed, beware, he is largely absent in this book although his presence is felt even in his absence. I did get a little tired of Radu's pining after Mehmed but that lessened the longer Radu was in Constantinople. Radu's storyline was definitely my favorite because of its emotional impact. Lada is edging ever closer to Vlad the Impaler's violent reputation.
Although marketed as YA, I don't see anything about this book that would set it squarely in that category. It's very mature in its themes and situations.
The narrator of the audiobook is Fiona Hardingham, and I've listened to many books narrated by her. This is one of her best performances. It's just stellar.
In the early days of World War II, Chilbury's Vicar has determined to shut down the choir due to the absence of men. The Chilbury women have different In the early days of World War II, Chilbury's Vicar has determined to shut down the choir due to the absence of men. The Chilbury women have different ideas. Resurrected under the direction of music professor Primrose Trent, the choir of Chilbury becomes The Chilbury Ladies' Choir.
I've been recommending this book to everyone who loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Set in England during the early years of World War II, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, like the Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows's book, is a epistolary novel told through letters and journal entries. It has a decidedly female perspective and follows the lives of several women in the village of Chilbury, from the daughters of the lord to the village midwife. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir also touches on the Battle of Dunkirk, which seems to be coming up a lot these days.
I loved Jennifer Ryan's debut novel. I really grew to love these women and their different stories. This novel was such a joy to read. ...more
Shabnam Qureshi is a Pakistani-American teen growing up in New Jersey. As the story begins, Shabnam's relationship with her best friend Farah is rocky. The reason why is that Farah started wearing hijabi without discussing it with Shabnam. Shabnam, who is Muslim but not particularly religious, is worried that this means that she and Farah might be growing apart, and she struggles to understand why Farah would make such a big decision without discussing it with her first. Does this mean they aren't as close of friends as Shabnam thought?
Shabnam then begins a relationship with Jamie, a boy who scores her a job at his aunt's pie shack. Jamie finds Shabnam fascinating, and Shabnam falls for him pretty hard, but Farah is less certain about Jamie's intentions.
That Thing We Call a Heart is a complicated book in the best way. Shabnam is not a wholly likeable character. She makes some pretty hurtful decisions and can be self-centered. Farah can be judgmental and lack understanding, and Jamie has suspicious motives. These flaws make Sheba Karim's characters feel like real people who are making real mistakes.
The complications in That Thing We Call a Heart also have to do with Shabnam's position when it comes to faith and culture. Shabnam is very disconnected from Islam and Pakistan. The theme of The Partition of India and refugees that runs through the book is one way that Shabnam begins to open her mind up to her heritage (albeit with lots of starts and stops and missteps).
I love that Sheba Karim tells the story of a girl like Shabnam. People are all over the map when it comes to faith of any kind, and Shabnam's voice is one I appreciated.
Janna Yusuf is not sure she fits in anywhere. As an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager she definitely stands out at school. And her divorced parents, Flannery O'Connor obsession, and crush on a non-Muslim friend from school, make her wonder about her place in her tight-knit Muslim community as well. One thing she does know is that her best friend's cousin is a monster masquerading as a saint, but will she have the courage to say something? Will anyone believe her when he seems so perfect on the outside?
I loved this debut from S.K. Ali. Saints and Misfits is a classic coming-of-age story. Anyone can relate to Janna's tale because her struggles over who she is and who she wants to be are a universal part of growing up. At the same time, I really enjoyed reading a story set within a Muslim community. S.K. Ali so effortlessly brings the reader into Janna's world. The contemporary YA scene is branching out more and more with diverse characters and viewpoints, and this story is such a lovely addition to that direction and an important one as well. I'm always happy when I find a book that treats faith and faith communities with realism and respect.
Janna's story works so well because she is so honestly herself.She's a fantastic narrator with a strong voice and a distinct personality. Saints and Misfits is populated with side characters who the reader can't help but love. And I really enjoyed watching Janna reassess her initial impressions of many of them.
Also, I absolutely love the cover of this book. The ombre and the script are gorgeous, and I am so happy that they put a hijabi teen on the cover.
Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the hugely popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea. She may be famous online, but in real life she's a nobody. Misunderstood by her athletic family and uncomfortable with social interaction, most of Eliza's friends are online. That begins to change when she meets Wallace, an outsider who loves Monstrous Sea as much as she does. The biggest problem is that he doesn't know she's the creator.
I loved Francesca Zappia's debut, and I thought that Eliza and her Monsters was every bit as good. Eliza's difficulties navigating her life online and in-person felt so true to life. Also, I really thought Monstrous Sea sounded really interesting. I'd love to read it.
YouTuber Lacey Robbins' dream is to get a sponsor, and she seems closer to her dream than ever when she lands an internship with On Trend Magazine in New York City. As driven as she is, Lacey is not thrilled when she learns the celebrity contributor for her issue is Tyler Lance of former boy band and bad boy fame. As work gets more complicated, Lacey begins to question her assumptions about Tyler and sponsorship.
At First Blush is so fun. If you like makeup, YouTube, or celebrity romances, this is definitely the book for you. Although light and breezy, Beth Ellyn Summer really made me think about self-made celebrity.
Odea Donahue can enter dreams. She must. She grows sick and weak if she doesn't. She has always carefully followed the dreamwalking rules set by her mother, never entering the same person's dreams more than once and never letting the dreamer see her. That is until she falls for Connor. She wants to be close to him, so she enters his dreams night after night even though she knows she shouldn't. And that's why the monsters find her.
Dreamland is suspenseful and exciting. Robert L. Anderson's book kept taking turns that I was not expecting. I really liked Dea's narration, and I loved that this book is part horror story, part crime fiction, and part fantasy. This book would be perfect for the Halloween season....more
Every night Alice meets Max in her dreams. He is wonderful and funny, and they have had a lifetime of adventures together in her dreams. And she thought that's all he was. A Dream. When Alice moves back to her family's home in Boston, she meets Max at her school. He's real, but he's not quite the same as the Max in her dreams. Or is he?
Dreamology is all about the crossover between dreams and reality. And sometimes it's difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Lucy Keating's debut is so light and quirky. Little details, like how Alice's dog always shows up in the dreams, are what made this book so cute.
Strange the Dreamer is gorgeous and fascinating. It's just what I've come to expect from Laini Taylor. Strange the Dreamer is what everyone calls Lazlo Strange, an orphan who works in a library and dreams of seeing the hidden city of Weep. A second perspective, focusing on a child of Weep, also involves dreaming.
Laini Taylor writes the loveliest slow-burn fantasy. Her world-building is absolutely incredible. I'm absolutely fascinated by the world that she created in this book, from the Medieval Monastic feel to the god-slayers of Weep. The book has some similar themes to The Daughter of Smoke and Bone--gods and monsters and which is which and the collision of cultures.
I listened to the audiobook, and while it was good, I think this book is one of the few examples of a book that I would have enjoyed more in print form. I missed reading Laini Taylor's gorgeous prose. ...more
Everland is set in the bomb-out, disease-infested city of World War II London. I loved Everland's alternate history, apocalyptic, steampunk world. The references to Peter Pan were clever and spot-on--with Hook as a German Officer and Tinkerbell sporting mechanical wings. I was eager to read book 2. But, huge disappointment, I didn't like it as much as I liked the first book.
The second book, Umberland is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Pete, Gwen, and the lost kids have found shelter at Castle Alnwick under the care of the young Duchess Alyssa, but the horrors of the Horologia virus continue. Alyssa, our Alice character journeys through a dangerous labyrinth with the help of the castle's wild gardener, Maddox Hadder, to find the final ingredient for the cure.
The references to Alice in Wonderland didn't work as well for me as the Peter Pan references had. I didn't think Maddox Hadder (The Mad Hatter) was crazy enough. Not by any stretch. The poison apple hid in a labyrinth was a stretch for me. Why would the Queen hide the apple in a labyrinth? It would be obvious it was there. And also, how did she even make the labyrinth? I found the fact that there were so many creatures/ people in the labyrinth strange. How do they even live there? Also, the labyrinth was too much Wasteland Wandering for me.
Despite all of that, there were some pretty great reveals in this addition to the series. Also, I'm curious to see which story will be the inspiration for the final tale. Any guesses? Mine is Snow White.
What is Not Yours is Not Yours is probably not something I would have read if it weren't for book club, and that is exactly why I love book clubs. Th What is Not Yours is Not Yours is probably not something I would have read if it weren't for book club, and that is exactly why I love book clubs. They get me reading things that I probably wouldn't read on my own volition. Here's to wider reading. Most of the time I love what even the books outside of my comfort zone.
I read the first story in this collection and then put the book down. I didn't really like the style of the first story. Then book club was the next day, and I just decided I should just sit down and read a few more stories so that I would have something to contribute to the discussion. Well, I read almost the entire rest of the book. In one sitting. What I loved about it is that the stories were written in a variety of styles.
This collection of stories definitely has that postmodern, magical-realism air to it. The identities of the characters are mutable. The stories are meandering and often cyclical. The characters are diverse. I really loved all of this. I loved the variety of European settings. I liked that many of the characters were POC and LGBTQ without that being the point of the stories.
Overall, I'm really happy that I read this book. It was a great change of pace for me. ...more
This is the first book I've read by Erik Larson. I've been meaning to pick up one of his books for a long time, and now that I read and loved this onThis is the first book I've read by Erik Larson. I've been meaning to pick up one of his books for a long time, and now that I read and loved this one, I hope I do pick up another one sooner rather than later.
I love the way that Larson weaves together the stories of the passengers of the Lusitania, the men on Unterseeboot-20, and Woodrow Wilson's presidency in the days leading up to the ship's sinking.
I love history books that shape history into an engaging story through actual true-life accounts and at the same time paint the bigger picture of the time period at large. It's very difficult to see all the factors that contribute to any given event in the moment it's happening, so it's that much nicer to read a history book where more (though certainly not all) of those contributing factors are laid out.
Dead Wake was an absolutely fantastic book club pick. I always love talking about history. ...more
After seeing all the major love for this book I thought I would like it more. It was still pretty okay, but it just didn't meet my expectations. ThatAfter seeing all the major love for this book I thought I would like it more. It was still pretty okay, but it just didn't meet my expectations. That is the risk you run when reading a very hyped book long after it's debut.
The Wrath & the Dawn is a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights. After the king kills her best friend Shahrzad volunteers to become his wife. Her motive is to get revenge.
Sadly, there is very little of this element of the story, and soon Shahrzad and Khalid are in love. It's rather sudden. And then Shahrzad is dealing with a love triangle and trying to figure out what Khalid isn't telling her.
I was also disappointed that the stories from 1001 Nights weren't woven into the book more. They just kind of stopped.
The setting, however, is amazing. The reader really gets a sense of the heat and the desert. ...more
Last year when I read the first book in the Witchland series, Truthwitch, my number one impression walking away was that this series had a lot of potential. But that said, I wasn't crazy about Truthwitch. I liked it but I didn't love it. So fast-forward a year and the next book in the series is about to be published, and I didn't put it on my most-anticipated list, and I wasn't sure I was actually going to read it. But then I did, and I am so glad I decided to stick with the series.
The Witchlands series has a very complex political environment and the characters hail from many nations and are ethnically diverse. The witches who live in this world have all sorts of different powers, but as far as we know, each witch only has one power. There are windwitches, healers, voidwitches, glamourwitches, etc. There are three main characters. Merik is a windwitch and the prince of a downtrodden nation. Iseult is a threadwitch, able to see the bonds that connect people. And Safi is a truthwitch, able to detect truth from lies.
In Windwitch our three main characters are split up. Safi is traveling withe Empress of Marstok when they are attack by pirates. Iseult is trying to find Safi, and Aeduan, the Bloodwitch, is right on her heels. And Merik is back in his country's capital. Scarred and presumed dead, Merik seeks to uncover the treachery that killed his crew.
I think I liked this book so much because it just went in so many unexpected places. The characters and the world felt like it expanded tenfold in this addition to the series. I really, really hope that the series can maintain this quality. ...more
The One Memory of Flora Banks is about a girl with short-term memory loss. Flora can't make new memories and hasn't been able to since the age of ele The One Memory of Flora Banks is about a girl with short-term memory loss. Flora can't make new memories and hasn't been able to since the age of eleven. That is until one new memory sticks in her mind. It's the memory of kissing her best friend's boyfriend and the consequences are enormous.
I found this book to be so interesting. Emily Barr does such a good job conveying Flora's memory loss in the novel. Flora narrates the story, and the reader experiences the slipping away of memories, the tricks Flora uses to help herself retain information and get by day to day firsthand. At times this gets a little repetitive, but it also felt very true to life.
I enjoyed experiencing a new location through Flora's eyes because everything continued to be new and strange day after day. I was also terrified for Flora many times. Thinking about what Flora was trying to accomplish was so scary. I also loved that this was such a quick read.
The one thing that I did not like about the book was the (view spoiler)[twist at the end when we find out that Flora's parents had been drugging her. (Also, I'm totally weirded out by Drake. Why would he kiss a girl who is like an eleven-year-old and then lie about it?! Drake was such a jerk.) (hide spoiler)] It was very fun to see Flora's personality emerge, but I'm a little tired of this very typical YA trope.
I read the publisher's summary for The Whole Thing Together several months ago and instantly knew I wanted to read this book. I don't do this too often, but I went into the book hoping for a certain type of thing in terms of both story and style. My very particular expectations could have led to a complete disaster, but, for the most part, this book was just what I wanted it to be.
The Whole Thing Together is about a complicated family. Sasha and Ray's parents used to be married. They had three daughters before a very messy divorce divided the family. Their parents remarried and Sasha and Ray were born. Although they've never met, Sasha and Ray have shared the same bedroom for all of their lives. It's a bedroom in the Long Island beach house that both Sasha's dad and Ray's mom refuse to give up. And so, despite all the bitter feelings and completely avoiding each other, the families have been sharing the beach house for all these years alternating weeks so that the parents would never have to see other. The three older sisters, Emma, Quinn, and Mattie are the bridge in all this mess, navigating between the two sides of their complicated family.
I really enjoyed the complicated family dynamics in this book. I liked reading about a big family--one with a lot of kids and a lot of sisters. And I appreciated the sibling interaction.
I also loved the ensemble cast. No one character is really the star in this book. It's about the whole family, and the story floats from sibling to sibling. Also, this style of story telling is episodic in its nature, and I really enjoyed seeing how the various elements came together. Also, be aware that this book is definitely on the upper-end of the YA spectrum.
I think what I liked most about this book is the quiet atmosphere. It's a type of writing style that I really enjoy. It reminded me a bit of The Bone Gap or We Were Liars, and I know this style isn't to everyone's taste, but it just really works for me. I love a fast-paced story as much as anyone, but I really love to slow it down every once in awhile too.
I love the way time travel works in Heidi Heilig's series. To travel, the crew must obtain an original, hand-drawn map. Using that map to navigate allows the travelers to journey to the year the map was made.
After their adventures and misfortunes in Hawaii in The Girl from Everywhere, Nix is ready to take the helm as a full-fledged Navigator. Until, that is, she learns that she is destine to lose the one she loves to the sea. Some strange run-ins during a stop in her father's native time in New York City, set Nix on a course that she hopes will change her fate.
In The Ship Beyond Time, the crew travels to a mythical island off the coast of Brittany. I absolutely love this element of Ms. Heilig's world--because time travel is done through maps, a Navigator can take his or her ship to a land of fantasy provided the original mapmaker believed that place existed.
I absolutely devoured The Ship Beyond Time, and, I liked it better than the first book in the the series. I loved seeing how the myth and reality mingled and how the fairy tale story continually bubbled to the surface despite all attempts to thwart it.
The Ship Beyond Time does have quite a bit of the mind-boggling time-travel paradoxes that I love, and it was so fun to see how the author brought history and mythology together.
In Passenger, Etta Spencer learns that she is a member of a time-traveling family and because of her genetics, capable of time travel. She and fellow time traveler Nicolas Carter are compelled to travel through time in order to find a stolen and powerful time-traveling artifact.
I thought that Passenger was a lot of fun, but it definitely has a slow start. There is quite a bit of explanation and background that has to be established before Etta can even begin her time traveling adventures. After all, she didn't even know that time travelers exist. It also had a crazy anxiety-producing cliffhanger.
Wayfarer begins not too long after the conclusion of Passenger, and the reader is thrown directly back into the world. I actually really loved Wayfarer. I liked it more than the first in the series. This second book is a bit more fast-paced because all the groundwork has already been laid. It does, however, see our two main characters split up for most of the book. I wondered if for certain readers who are very invested in Etta and Nicolas's romance the distance was too much.
I love so many of the secondary characters that I didn't miss the interaction between Nicholas and Etta too much. Spending more time with Sophia was an absolute ball, and Julian Ironwood was an unexpected treat.
Another thing I liked about Wayfarer was the realization that Etta and Nicholas are up against a more insidious force than the Ironwood family. This upped the stakes in a much appreciated way.
Much like the first book, Wayfarer takes our characters all over the world as they travel through time--from the Vatican catacomb of Old St. Peters, to a besieged Carthage, and a early 20th-century San Francisco.
The Passenger series is not as mind-boggling as some other time travel series I've read. Personally, mind-boggling time-travel conundrums have never turned me off of a book, but, because this series is light on headache-inducing paradoxes, I'd recommend it even if you don't have a proclivity for time travel. ...more
Anne Sebba explores what the life was life for Parisian women during World War II. The book is both narrow and broad in its scope. I really love when this is the case in nonfiction history books, and what I mean by this statement is this: Ms. Sebba selected a specific place and a specific time, but she does such a wonderful job detailing the connectivity of events that occurred. I think so often when we study history we come at it hoping to investigate a particular event, and it is easy to forget that in the past, as in the present, there are so many factors at play.
As such, Ms. Sebba discusses the life of the upper classes and the lower classes. She writes about women who fled Paris and women who stayed. The Vichy Government is infamous for its cooperation with and adoption of Nazi mandates, and Ms. Sebba writes of women who were involved with the Vichy government and the Nazis. I especially liked the chapters about women who defied Nazi rule and worked with the resistance as spies. And, as an art historian, I appreciated that Sebba wrote about the careful (and very dangerous) preservation of France's countless irreplaceable art works as well as the artists and patrons who were complicit with the Nazis. Sebba writes about women who were wives and lovers of political figures, women who were taken to concentration camps, women who worked for the Nazis, and women who resisted in any way they could. One running theme in the book is French fashion, and it was fascinating to learn about the different roles that fashion played in the war. I also appreciated that Ms. Sebba guides the readers through the postwar years as well, discussing the presence of the U.S. Servicemen and France's efforts to rebuild.
I've read a lot of fiction that is set in France during World War II, and reading Les Parisiennes made those books so much richer for me. ...more
Carver Briggs' three best friends all died in a car crash. The driver was replying to a text that Carver had just sent. Now Carver is dealing with loss and guilt and a possible criminal investigation.
You guys, this book is an emotional read. I think I was crying within the first couple of pages, and then every few chapters the tears would start all over again. I loved so much about this book. I love how Mr. Zentner handled the complicated relationship between Carver and Jesmyn. The scenes with Blake's grandmother were so heartbreaking! I liked that Carver had a supportive sister and good parents. I really enjoyed all the scenes with the lawyer and the therapist. But one of my very favorite things about this book was the portrayal of a tight group of guy friends.
Letters to the Lost is the story of two teens who start a correspondence when Juliet leaves a letter to her dead mother on her grave and Declan writes back. At first Juliet is enraged that anyone would disturb her letters but soon she and Declan are bonding and relying on one another through their anonymous missives.
Letters to the Lost is achingly good. It is full of heartache and hope and delivered so many emotions. The book is a cross between a more serious version of You've Got Mail and The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter--two things I love. (Seriously, if you loved The Serpent King, you will like this book.) Plus, Brigid Kemmerer is from Maryland, and I always love discovering local authors.
Growing up in a funeral home and being saddled with the nickname Graveyard Gabe has made it difficult for Gabe to make friends. Bree is her one true companion until Bree starts dating the very boy that gave Gabe her hated nickname. How can Gabe be a good friend when Bree is making decisions that Gabe is certain will have dangerous consequences? And why has Bree gone MIA just when Gabe needs her advice to navigate her first boy/girl relationship?
Jolene Perry's novel about what true friendship means and how to confront death and keep on living is a story with plenty of quirk and lots of heart. All the Forever Things is perfect for a younger YA audience, and for that group, I think it is a great read. I actually like that Gabe is not mature beyond her years. Troubles with friendships and the first romantic relationships do feel like a huge deal when you are a young teenager experiencing them for the first time.
Denton has always know what day he would die. Everyone knows their deathdate. And, although Denton will die when he's only 17, he's done his best to have a normal life. Denton Little's Deathdate begins in the early morning hours on the day before Denton will die. Denton thought he was prepared for death, but it turns out that giving your own eulogy at your own funeral and attending your own sit-in is pretty weird and kind of uncomfortable. And, as the hours tick closer to the close of the Denton's deathdate, the carefully crafted threads of Denton's life begin to completely unravel in ways that are both hilarious and painful.
Lance Rubin's book is so crazy and awfully funny with lots of black humor. All the teenage boy jokes were a little out of scope for me, but I still enjoyed the book.
The author reads the audiobook himself, and I quite enjoyed his interpretation. I listened to this entire book in one day....more
Ryan Graudin's Wolf by Wolf series imagines what the world would be like if Hitler and the Axis Powers had won the war. I really enjoyed Wolf by Wolf. In fact, I liked it so much that I passed the book along to several of my friends and then selected it as my book club pick last June. (Good discussion, by the way. It turned out to be a excellent book club choice.) When I read Wolf by Wolf, I found myself absolutely fascinated by Adele. She's not really in the book, and yet, she is so very present. I wanted to know why Adele would have entered the Axis Tour, disguised as her twin brother, how she got away with it, and what exactly went down between her and Luka. So, I read the e-novella Iron to Iron as I not-so patiently waited for Blood For Blood. I never read e-novellas (seriously, never), so the fact that I made an exception here says a lot about how much I liked the Wolf by Wolf (and how curious I was about Adele)....more