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The Swallows
The Swallows: A Novel | Lisa Lutz
A new teacher at a New England prep school ignites a gender war--with deadly consequences--in a provocative novel from the bestselling author of The Passenger and the Spellman Files series. What do you love? What do you hate? What do you want? It starts with this simple writing prompt from Alex Witt, Stonebridge Academy's new creative writing teacher. When the students' answers raise disturbing questions of their own, Ms. Witt knows there's more going on the school than the faculty wants to see. She soon learns about The Ten--the students at the top of the school's social hierarchy--as well as their connection to something called The Darkroom. Ms. Witt can't remain a passive observer. She finds the few girls who've started to question the school's "boys will be boys" attitude and incites a resistance that quickly becomes a movement. But just as it gains momentum, she also attracts the attention of an unknown enemy who knows a little too much about her--including what brought her to Stonebridge in the first place. Meanwhile, Gemma, a defiant senior, has been plotting her attack for years, waiting for the right moment. Shy loner Norman hates his role in the Darkroom, but can't find the courage to fight back until he makes an unlikely alliance. And then there's Finn Ford, an English teacher with a shady reputation who keeps one eye on his literary ambitions and one on Ms. Witt. As the school's secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal--and potentially fatal--consequences for everyone involved. Lisa Lutz's blistering, timely tale shows us what can happen when silence wins out over decency for too long--and why the scariest threat of all might be the idea that sooner or later, girls will be girls.
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hermioneshandbag
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You can keep telling girls to be polite, to keep a level head and it‘ll all work out in the end. But don‘t be surprised when they figure out that you‘ve been feeding them lies. Don‘t be alarmed when they grow tired of using their voices and playing by your rules. And don‘t be shocked when they decide that if they can‘t win a fair fight, they‘ll just have to fight dirty.

review
LaurenELovesToRead
Pickpick

The Swallows is impressive in many ways but mainly due to the writing skills of author Lisa Lutz. I loved the character development of Ms Witt, and also of Gemma and Linny. It was one of those storylines that make you disappointed in human kind, it is important though as girls are taken advantage of in the real world and it shouldn‘t be ignored.

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JennyM
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One heck of a #borderline is being crossed by the kids at Stonebridge Academy. But plans are afoot, and my Saturday night will be spent with the last 100 pages to see how it all plays out! #movember #smashingthepatriarchy 👊

Megabooks Loved this book! 3w
Megabooks Also, this is my favorite of hers and an excellent audiobook! 3w
JennyM @Megabooks oooo, thank you. I‘ll add to my audiobook list. Just finished this one - good book with a powerful message💥 (edited) 3w
See All 15 Comments
Cinfhen Need to check out this book and yours @Megabooks xx 3w
JennyM @Cinfhen you have to suspend belief a bit. And I don‘t know what @Megabooks thinks, but it felt a bit YAish to me. Don‘t think it is though, is it Meg? 3w
Megabooks @JennyM @Cinfhen I think all the teen characters could push it YA, but I felt the use of the teacher (Ms Witt) to really drive the story put it adult for me. My meter for YA is “would I hand this to a parent friend of an 8th grader (13/14 yo) and say, ‘your kid would love this!‘?” The answer to that question about this book would be no. At least not around here. 2-0 adult 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3w
Cinfhen I like your barometer @Megabooks but I put YA at a higher age like 15-18 and that changes the perspective so I will adjust my expectations 😘 3w
Megabooks @Cinfhen I put it lower because I think that most kids that read a lot are starting the YA books in middle school. Are there some that I still consider YA, that I might say, “give some guidance with this one (to a 13 yo).” Sure. But overall, I put the bar a little younger. 3w
Cinfhen That‘s probably true @Megabooks voracious readers are reading YA in MiddleSchool but I‘m not sure authors are writing for that particular age group. It‘s hard to understand/ classify these genres (edited) 3w
Cinfhen Books are for everyone and every reader!!!!! 3w
JennyM @Megabooks @cinfhen so interesting to hear how you both gauge books. For me, it felt YA because of some of the themes (which I won‘t mention due to spoilers). But content wise I wouldn‘t give this to anyone under the age of at least 17. I‘ve googled, and I don‘t think it is classified as YA. 3w
Cinfhen For me, if a book feels OVERLY DRAMATIC or OVERLY ANGSTY and it‘s filled with “ teen talk” I tend to classify it as YA 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3w
Megabooks @Cinfhen @JennyM I would say this is not that, Cindy! I agree there‘s different levels of YA. Like Julie Murphy‘s stuff I‘d definitely give to a middle schooler, but Emergency Contact is more 15+, but definitely angsty and romantic enough to be YA. Why is there always romance in YA????????? 3w
Cinfhen I definitely have to read this now just to satisfy my curiosity @Megabooks @JennyM I did read and really like this book by Lisa Lutz 3w
Megabooks @Cinfhen I liked The Passenger too. I own it and How to Start a Fire, and I liked them so much, I bought The Swallows on pub day. 👍🏻 I haven‘t read The Spellman Files series, though. I‘m generally not into series. 3w
52 likes15 comments
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Godpants
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Pickpick

The escalation was a bit insane to me, but overall a really fun one. #scarathlon #teamStoker 6 points.

TheReadingMermaid Is this a team theme read at all? 1mo
Godpants @thereadingmermaid sorry, just a regular read! 6 points, forgot to post that part! 1mo
TheReadingMermaid Oh that's okay sweetheart that's why I check. Thank you for clarifying 😘😘 🧟‍♀️ 1mo
6 likes3 comments
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Godpants
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I love a good mystery that takes place at a fancy pants boarding school so I‘m already flying through this one. #scarathlon #teamStoker 1 point

TheReadingMermaid 🧟‍♀️ 1mo
7 likes1 comment
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IheartYA
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Mehso-so

I expected this to be deliciously sinister, phenomenally powerful. It was not. I wanted this to be deep and magnificent but all I found was a shallow pond of ordinary. The excessive cast of unrelatable and unlikable characters, stirred with alternating POVs and unnecessary details clogged up the storyline. If I hadn't liked the writing so much, The Swallows would have been swallowed up by my DNF pile.

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MicheleinPhilly
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SUPER SALE ALERT! $1.99 each. #KindleDailyDeal #KindleDeals

MicheleinPhilly AND MAKE SURE YOU CHECK YOUR SHELVES FOR THE HB COPY YOU PURCHASED AT FULL PRICE FIRST! 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2mo
RachelO Oops! 2mo
48 likes3 comments
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kedupre
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Mehso-so

i had a few issues with character-overload, and believability/likeability. I kept silent-screaming “where are the adults?!?” Even the adults acted like children. But I guess a novel where the problem was solved calmly and logically wouldn‘t be a very exciting novel 😆

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AmberWB
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Pickpick

YES!!! This book—-wow. It was dark and quirky and powerful. The last chapter made me want to run around yelling “Smash the patriarchy!!” ✊🏻✊🏻✊🏻

Megabooks Loved this book! 2mo
AmberWB @Megabooks I want that last paragraph on a t shirt!!! 2mo
JoScho Love this 🙌🏼 2mo
gibblr Umm hello I need this in my life 2mo
36 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Kappadeemom
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Loved this book and the last paragraph is the best part of the book, in my opinion. #girlpower

44 likes2 stack adds
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Kappadeemom
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Multi tasking - golf, reading and hanging with my dogger #dorkie #jack

Tamra That‘s a happy face! 2mo
DrawingSustenance That's one happy dog. 2mo
60 likes2 comments
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Kappadeemom
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Reading with my #dorkie #Jack

45 likes1 stack add
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Bren912
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Pickpick

Well that was a spin of a read! I never thought about that story line but as one of the characters in the book said “every writer uses reality in some stretch”. I don‘t wish the ending, but can‘t say I‘m sorry about part of it.

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jennw1212
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12 likes1 stack add
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AmberWB
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Really enjoying this one so far!

31 likes2 stack adds
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TheNerdyProfessor
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Grateful that Riley Dog isn't as devious as the characters in this novel.

OriginalCyn620 So cute!!! 🐶❤️ 3mo
Suet624 Awww...💕 3mo
82 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bren912
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Sparrow. Loon. Owl. Hawk. It doesn‘t take a rocket scientist to figure out the missing birds name. 🤷‍♀️

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Erinreadsthebooks
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A super important novel that reiterated the importance of the Me Too movement. I loved the characters and setting the author created. I loved the badassery shown by the young female characters. My English teacher heart loved the prep school setting and English teacher main character. I wish the ending had been handled differently, but that‘s my only complaint...and it‘s a tiny complaint 🤷‍♀️ A total pick in my book 👍🙌✔️🔥

30 likes2 stack adds
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Bren912
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What kind of person DOES eat a wrapped brownie by an anonymous stone path making lunatic?! Read on grasshopper. Read on.

Megabooks Lolololol! I loved this book! Especially the “blow chart” 3mo
15 likes1 comment
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Erinreadsthebooks
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As excited as I am about new Atwood today, I‘m not putting down The Swallows, and THAT says a lot about how much I‘m enjoying this book 💯

Bren912 I just started it and am crazy about it so far. 3mo
Erinreadsthebooks @Bren912 I just finished it and loved it! 3mo
37 likes2 comments
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DebinHawaii
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My #library #bookhaul from yesterday. My hold came in on a business management book I learned about on a webinar & my hold came back around on Ayesha at Last. Then I found The Huntress available in the new books section & pulled the tagged book out of a small box of #ARC s that one of the librarians gives me to go through. 🤗 The orange wooden dragonfly was given to me at work. It‘s from Vietnam & balances on the point on its head.

Cinfhen Awesomeness 💕👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3mo
Megabooks I loved The Swallows! 3mo
Prairiegirl_reading I‘m half way through The Swallows on audio and it‘s really good so far!! Quick read. 3mo
CafeMom I love Lisa Lutz. I didn't realize she had a new book out. 3mo
72 likes4 comments
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Erinreadsthebooks
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This is a conversation between a prep school student and his teacher. That reference to Gatsby speaks to my English teacher soul...cracks me up 😏 I‘m loving this book!

30 likes2 stack adds
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Erinreadsthebooks
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A tiny bit of morning reading before heading to work. I‘m about 💯 pages into this book and I‘m digging it 🌟🤓

28 likes1 stack add
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LaceyDoesLit
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Pickpick
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IrresponsibleReader
Pickpick

From the funny and dark beginning, to the perfect and bitingly ominous last three paragraphs this is a winner. Timely & appropriate, but using tropes and themes that are familiar, Lutz has given us a thriller for our day—provocative, entertaining, and haunting. One of those books that hews really close to things that could or have happened and you're better off hoping are fictional. Lutz is always very good, The Swallows is Lutz at her best.

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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

This is my first book by Lisa Lutz, and I will *definitely* be reading more. The Swallows is SUCH an excellent boarding school novel. It's fast paced, suspenseful, and horrifying. Alternating between multiple perspectives, the book leads the reader through the characters' discovery of an insidious plot perpetrated by The Ten, the top tier of students in each class. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Alex Witt, a new teacher, is one catalyst for a plot from both within and outside of The Ten to put an end to a practice (no spoilers here!) that is cruel and misogynistic. As I came to know the characters at the novel's center and to watch the push and pull of their relationships with each other, I was completely absorbed. ⬇️ 3mo
UnabridgedPod I didn't completely love the ending--for me, it didn't quite live up to the beautiful build of tension in the rest of the book--but I absolutely adored the bulk of The Swallows. 3mo
14 likes1 stack add2 comments
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kbuggle
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Pickpick

Listened to this on audio and it was the perfect end of summer read- told from four viewpoints and based at a boarding school, the story follows a teacher new to the school and a secret student competition that comes to light when the female students start to learn how they‘ve been involved without their knowledge.

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ReadingSusan
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Mehso-so

This was disappointing.

I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

mcipher Awww, I loved The Spellman Files and have Hugh hopes for this one - what would you say was disappointing about it? 3mo
ReadingSusan @mcipher I was excited to read this one because the concept was awesome with the underground resistance at a boarding school. But it ended up falling really flat for me. The characters were blah and the story wasn‘t that engaging. If it had not been an ARC I wouldn‘t have finished it. I haven‘t read the Spellman files but I have heard good things. 3mo
mcipher Well I hope you try them and like them better! 3mo
71 likes3 comments
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TheLibrarian
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Stopped into B&N last night and snagged these beauties! #bookhaul

tammysue Nice haul! 4mo
DGRachel I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Escape Room. Looks like some great choices there! 4mo
83 likes1 stack add2 comments
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C_ster
Pickpick

While I miss Lisa‘s lighter writing (the Spellman series had me often laughing), her writing remains taut and thoughtful

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Megabooks
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this darkly comic look at boarding school even though some parts of had an unfortunate ring of truth. I most related to the teacher, Ms Witt. My actions probably would have been similar to hers, for better or for worse. NSFW part of the review in a spoiler tag, but no actual spoilers.

Megabooks The top five senior guys (by popularity) run an online bulletin board rating girls by their ability to give blow jobs. Any guy can rate, but only the top five decide the winner each year. Sick. The girls find out, and all hell breaks loose! (edited) 4mo
DrexEdit I *almost * bought this one today. 😊 Still looking forward to reading it! 4mo
Megabooks @DrexEdit I hope you enjoy it!! 4mo
109 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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Megabooks
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For all you map lovers!

I‘m really enjoying this tongue-in-cheek look at prep school! Yesterday‘s book mail 📭

ChasingOm I can‘t wait to read this one — I‘m waiting for my library hold!! 4mo
Megabooks @ChasingOm I‘m about 150 pages in and loving it!! 4mo
ChasingOm Right after I read your comment, I checked my email and my hold has come in! 😂 I‘m meant to read this book!! 4mo
86 likes1 stack add4 comments
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ReadingSusan
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Mehso-so

This book wasn‘t my favorite but I definitely enjoyed bits and pieces of it.

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Soscha
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It‘s National Book Buyer‘s Day, right?

Happy Book Lover‘s Day! I‘m looking forward to next week! 📚🎉

11 likes1 stack add
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BookishTrish
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Pickpick

I‘m new to Lisa Lutz and I liked how the story unfolded from multiple POVs. It was like Heathers for the #metro era and ended strong.

AlaMich Her Spellman File books are a lot of fun, too, and very enjoyable on audio. I haven‘t read her other work, though. 4mo
59 likes1 comment
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BookishTrish
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Evening reading view #EarlGrey

Lady_Tigana_20 I love dark grey cats. 😍 4mo
70 likes1 comment
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Bookgirl
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Pickpick

This was fun. I love an elite secret society gone wrong story. What I liked about this is that it comes mainly from an instructor POV although there are student POVs too. The plot revolves around taking down the rotten secret society and the chaos that ensues. A change of pace, slightly satirical, definitely a knowing wink, an interesting book for the #metoo era. I had some issues with believability, too many POVs, but overall pick. #netgalley

50 likes3 stack adds
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BookishTrish
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Let‘s keep this party going #24in48

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TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

I‘ve been a huge fan of Lutz‘s since first reading her debut novel so I was so excited when #NetGalley approved me to check out her newest book! Set in a Vermont boarding school, the girls here are doing more than #TalkinAboutARevolution against the male traditions of the “Darkroom”- with humor, fury and charming characters, this is an engaging and enjoyable read! #LilithJuly

KarenUK You had me at Vermont boarding school! sold! stacked! 👍😊💕 5mo
TorieStorieS @KarenUK Yay! I hope you like it as much as I did! It‘s out August 13!🤗 5mo
SilversReviews What a pretty photo!! 5mo
TorieStorieS @SilversReviews Thank you so much!!! 😊❤️😊❤️ 5mo
49 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Booksnchill
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Score! I loved the Spellman Files series and this is her new book- hope it is as funny and quirky! Thanks @penguinrandomhouse 😍

61 likes1 stack add
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ReadingOver50
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Pickpick

Teacher Alex Witt is new to Stonebridge Academy. As a new teacher trying to learn about her students and get the lay of the land, Alex uncovers some disturbing things going on. As she investigates further more and more people get upset. And the lengths they go to maintain the status quo is chilling.

The book is fast paced and has a strong message about the objectification of women. I found myself eagerly anticipating what would happen next.

Melissa_J This one sounds interesting. 6mo
92 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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ReadingOver50
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I‘m loving this book so far. I‘m want to finish tonight. I am at the 78% mark. So close. I hope tonight is slow at work so I can get some reading done.

89 likes1 stack add
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Liberty
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Evening reading: Hope everyone had a lovely Towel Day! I‘m excited to start this - I love Lisa Lutz! 🍒🔥❤️

DogEaredBooks I love Lisa Lutz! I‘m hopeful this one is as good as her others! 6mo
107 likes6 stack adds2 comments