Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Vigilante – Jessica Gadziala

35101098| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A new stand-alone dark romance from bestselling author Jessica Gadziala 

I’m a bad guy. I do bad things.
But I do them for the right reasons.
That’s why I can sleep easy at night even with the smell of fresh blood still in my nostrils. One more scumbag off the streets. One more righting of a wrong. That was all my life was about.
Until I came across her…

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My thoughts: Luce is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. Well, at least he is up at the top with Renny, Eli and Isaiah. I starting to see a pattern that I like Gadzialas darker characters more. Those with a history or a torment that makes my heart bleed. Those who have had it bad but got them self-through it and rising above it but still feel/thinks that they don’t deserve more. They have walls thicker than the one Trump wants to build between Mexico and USA. They are funny, lovable, kind and fiercely protective over those they call family. It is feel good books with feel good characters in a hot as sin story and afterwards I just feel this calm happiness in my chest.

This book is no different. Luce is wonderful, funny, sarcastic and insanely observant and at sometimes, obnoxious. But he is easy to love and if he was a real person, I would totally have a crush on him. Evan, however, I did not feel for at all. I mean, nothing! I found her a meek and lamblike kind of character, that just took it all a little too easy. I missed some feelings. Some hard , punch in the heart, angst feelings that put some depth to her character and the story it self’s. Since that had such a big part of it.

But still, this is a really good book. I loved how they ventured out of Navesink Bank. Normally all the books is in that city. Nothing wrong about that. But I just liked that for this story, they actually left the city. And not only that. They actually left the whole country. That was cool and really put a nice touch to the story overall.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

The Fixer – Jessica Gadziala

34942302.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: AVEN- There are a few things I don’t believe in. Like santa. An honest politician. And gut instincts. That was, of course, until I woke up with one. And I knew. This was the day I was going to die. The cops, thus far, have proven useless and uninterested in my issues. When you couldn’t get help from legal channels, what other choice did you have but to look elsewhere? That was how I came across Quinton Baird. A “fixer.” Whatever the hell that was. All I knew was, I had a problem that needed fixing. Hopefully, before it killed me.

QUIN- There were a few things I could put my faith to rest in. My team. People f*cking up, and needing my help. And my gut. So when my receptionist informed me that the woman in a case I decided wasn’t my kind of job was having a ‘gut feeling’ about being in desperate need of help, yeah, I dragged my a** across town to check things out.
Not only did I not bank on the fact that she was in trouble beyond what I could have anticipated, but she was not what I was expecting either. Beautiful, resilient, and one hell of a distraction I didn’t need. As the pieces of her case start falling together, I was left wondering if maybe this new, unfamiliar sensation in my gut was telling me that Aven was much more than just another name on a case file…

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My thoughts: What a cute story. Warm and fuzzy with a little suspense and angst. I felt I needed a break from the big chunk of book I currently reading and this was exactly what I needed. It is a nice story with a lot of nice characters in a new branch of the Navesink Bank universe. I pretty much knows what to expect from Gadziala so it always feels safe to read her books. They are not that long, I can easily read her books in one day, and I get pretty much everything I seek.

For you who are new to my blog, Jessica Gadziala is one of my favorite authors. She writes several series that intervene with each other throughout this fictive city, called Navesink Bank. Each series is about a different branch in the city. For an example, we got the MC club, the government hating military group, the hackers, the investigator, the loan sharks and now the fixers. This is the first book in her new series “The professionals”, who fix things. We meet Quin, who is the owner of this establishment of men and women. Then we meet Aven who are in trouble. No trouble of her own making but trouble still the same. She have tried the legal way to solve it but receives no help from the police and when the situation takes a turn for the worse, she turns to Quins team for help. With no money, no friends and no family her situation feels hopeless but Aven refuses to give up and does everything she can, to survive.

It is a really a nice story with a lot of new characters in the Navesink Bank universe. The side characters in this book, plays a big part, which is unusual for Gadziala. Normally the side characters are there and around but never so much involved like in this book and I really like it. That gives me some time to tie some feelings with them and now I can hardly wait to get my hands on their own books. But only Gunners book is written so far, so right not that is not as easy. Anyhow, good story, great characters and in the same Gadziala spirit as always. The only thing I didn’t like with the book is that I feel that Avens problem got solved a little too easy and quick. It went a little too fast and the suspense had no real time to build until it was gone and done. Which gave me an anticlimactic feeling. I would have wanted a little more.

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Neanderthal seeks human – Penny Reid

17673307| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

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My thoughts: Sometime I wish that GoodReads had the function to choose half stars when it comes to rating. Because this is one of those books that are more a 4 star in rating than a 2 but did not quite reach all the way. So more like 3,5. It is a good book, I liked it, but the 300 + pages of self esteem rant totally destroyed it for me.

Janie is a great character. She is a little naive, stuck in her own head and do not have the best ways to handle feelings. She is witty, a lot insecure and a lot more “girl” than what you first would think. And by that I mean, that constant rant about how “big” she is, tall, big feet, big hands, big ass, big hair and so on. Everything is big with her. She is according to herself not beautiful, and definitely not in a league for a good looking man like Quinn. And when she is done ranting about her body, she goes on to her mind and personality. She is freaky, she talks to much, she can’t flirt, she know too much uninteresting trivia, she is uncontrollably gabby, and on and on and on. And when she is done with that, she starts to rant about events, what she did that particular event and what the persons there did, reacted and so on. I do understand low self esteem. Been there, done that and at some ways still are fighting with it. Everybody does! But there is a limit of how big part of a book it should take. I’m not a big fan of mental insecurity and angst. Some can be great. Too much I just feel I want to punch the character in question and say “there is more to life than this”. It should not take over. And here it takes it all.

If we scaled it back like 50% but kept the rest of the story, I would probable be a five star, freaking loved the book, book. So that’s too bad. Reid did however do a great job with not including Quinn in this rant. He did not confirm or deny her verbal rants. (The most of them was mental though). I loved that he didn’t try to change her toughs through words, but by action. And he kept asking her, pushing her out of her shell and genuinely was intrigued by her mind and personality. So the rants did ease up a bit towards the end. It is a great love story where there is more than a female with hot sexy body and a alpha caveman, with psychotic tendency. Besides, I did learn a lot of facts since Janie is a trivia nut and talk about a lot I didn’t know but now do.

Great story. Funny. Loved the way it started. The whole situation with family and friends was funny and awesome. Was some angst, but not much and it was quickly over. Loved that there was several bad situations but they had not much to do with each other. There is no cliff-hanger, nicely tided together in the end! Can be a great series to follow. Not every girl in this series is like Janie I hope. One is enough.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Sports/Games

Beartown – Fredrik Backman

33413128| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

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My thoughts: This was one hard book to read. It was a lot darker than first expected and was certainly not what you would expect from Backman. He has changed his tone and the seriousness of it is mindblowing. And the worst part is, I know this from real life experience. I know how it is to grow up in a town that is dying. I know how it is to live so far north that in a year, you have more dark days than light days. Where snow is more than a way of life. It comes a part of you. When I moved south, I did miss all that snow, but life was just so much more simpler without it being so much of it. And I still do not live far enough south to get no snow at all. The difference is that where I come from, it’s not Hockey that is the big sport everyone love. Where I come from there is two type of “family’s”. Those who ski some way or another. Or those who hunt. I’m from a hunting family. That’s what we do. Live for. Talk about. And plan to do next season. Sometime I miss it, but in reality I’m more of a city girl with one booted foot in the woods and one foot in a 6 inch high heel outside the city’s IT club. When I don’t read of course. And I like it just like that. The best of two worlds. But I do understand that mindset from a small community. We take care of our own. We offer coffee or beer instead of asking how you are. I do not always agree, but I do understand.

Even though the book could be described as hard, cold, dark and so Swedish that it is incredible Backman has been able to put it into words. But still the book is warm, fuzzy and lovable. Some parts of it I had to seek comfort in the arms of my man. I wouldn’t be able to read more if not. I have few triggers when it comes to books but one of them is in this book and even tough it is not that graphic, a girl/woman do understand without not being in that situation herself. And it is heavy. Maybe more heavy for me this time than what it would have been if I didn’t recognize the characters as people I grown up with. Backman understands. He is Swedish to. Other parts I feel that the book is awesome and even some parts a little funny. The seriousness of it all takes a big toll of it tough.

The writing is as always, fantastic. Backman has a great ability to put worlds, characters, minds, feelings and his own soul  between the lines in his books. You can just feel him and it is a wonderful experience. One I do not often get to feel when reading books. Often when I give a book a top star rating, it is more for the story itself. This one it is more for the meaning of the story and what it leaves me with when done. It is impossible to explain.

I do however miss Backmans funny, easy-going, fuzzy heartwarming way of writing his books. This one is just a little too dark and it will take me sometime before I’m ready to read the second book in the series. I will someday, but right now my soul is just not ready for that kind of hit. Soul-wrenching. That’s a word I would describe this book with. Soul-wrenching!

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The lightning thief – Rick Riordan

28187| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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My thoughts: Of course I have seen the movie and more or less already knew what to expect. I do not often like to read (or in this case listen) to books after I seen the movie, but I have seen reviews that the books is so, so much better than the movies and felt like I was missing out on something. However I did not find the book as great as all those reviewers raved about. But it was a good book.

I did somewhat enjoy it. It started of really good and the ending tied itself together real nicely. A little slow sometimes but it was okay. I would probably have liked it more if I read it before the movie though. There are some things changed between the movie and the book. I do not know why really because I can’t see a reason to why they could not do it as in the book. It was like the same but different. And I think some stuff in the movie had made more sense if they did it more like in the book. But that is just my opinion.

There are also a lot of stuff in the book that is not in the movie, which surprised me. This whole “half god” thing would have had a bigger impact with it. But I guess they had their reasons. The book, however is educational in a fun way. Greek mythology was a big topic when I was in school and after what I can remember, the history facts are correct in the book. I love books for younger readers that also is educational. And I think if this came out when I was a kid, I would probably have loved it. I was really interested in Greek mythology and history at a time.

I will probably listen to more of the books. They are easy and relaxing and perfect to listen to when I’m at the gym working out. But I will probably not love the series as so many others seems to do.

Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Diabolical – Jana Deleon

31396255| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nine years ago, the police found Shaye Archer wandering in the French Quarter, beaten and abused and with no memory of the previous fifteen years, not even her name. Now, at twenty-four, Shaye is a licensed private investigator, determined to get answers for her clients when the police can’t help. But her last case uncovered more than anyone anticipated, and pieces of Shaye’s missing past have surfaced with unexpected consequences.

She’s starting to remember.

Will Shaye unlock the secrets buried deep in her mind? And more importantly, can she handle the truth if she does?

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My thoughts: In this third book about Shaye Archer, the mystery is finally starting to unravel. Her memories starting to flow back and along the way discovers not only her but every one she love or has helped her, is in danger. A madman is back on the street of New Orleans and no one is safe anymore.

I do not often read series where it take several books to unravel some secret but this has certainly been a great journey. Deleon has a really unique style of writing. It is capturing and explosive. I do however feel that it was a little less this time. Both book one and two got a full five star rating. That is how good they are. This one however never reached that five star. Something was missing. I felt a little detached and the ending was somewhat weird even tough a lot surprising. I love the way the story started of several years before Shaye even was born. Deleon did do a great job with the interweaving the past with the future and the now.

I’m happy that there is more books in the series. I really want to follow Shay some more especially now that the truth is out. I would also love to see how the relationship between her and Jackson is unfolding. I have my own wishes and I really hope that they come true.

It is a great series and I recommend it to everyone who will listen. Its that good. 😀

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant is compleatly fine – Gail Honeyman

35508633| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes, The only way to survive is to open your heart…

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My thoughts: I was quite surprised when I started to read this book. It was not quite what I had expected and actually a lot darker. I had imagine that it would be like an female version of Don Tillman (The Rosie project) with a lot of charm and humor. Well, in my opinion it was not!

Eleanor is a lost soul, a person who has had a rough childhood and never got to learn all those social rules that everyone else seems to understand without even trying. She has no friends, no family and a quirky way of handling her mundane routine of daily life. She is so content in her own world that she doesn’t seem to realize that she misses something and wants more. She just trots on in the same way she have done the last 10 years or so. One day, fates steps in and breaks her life down to pieces and gives her the ability to build it up again, just the way she wants it.

The book is a lot darker than expected and touches hard subjects like depression, loneliness and alcoholism in a lighter kind of way. I would have found the book a little better if it was a little deeper in those subjects though. It is pretty much what the book is all about, so why not do it proper. I read somewhere that Honeyman didn’t want to make Eleanor an victim. But I feel the book lost something in that decision. You can be two victims. That one who accepts and does nothing, or that one who fights for something better and the right to live. Use it! Anyhow, back to the topic, loneliness and depression is something I personally knows a lot about and it is probably the reason to why I did not find this book as funny and humorous as many others have found it. Yes it certainly had its moments and Eleanor do say some pretty funny stuff sometime. But it was no a laugh out loud type of book for me.

I did however cry a couple of times and I did enjoy the book immensely. Eleanor is an oddball, you can’t do anything but love her and Raymond is my hero. He stands so far away from my typical literary love, but he seized my heart and refused to let it go. He is so ordinary and common to real life people that he is so easy to relate to and he felt warm and lovable.

I missed the charm I had expected in the book. The tone is very up and down, but it is still cute. I often felt to step in the book to hug her and say that everything is going to be alright. Because when it is bad, it can get better. Speaking by experiences here.

I can’t say that I loved, loved the book. But I did love it.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · War/Military · Young, New adult/College

Salt to the sea – Ruta Sepetys

25614492.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

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My thoughts: Wilhelm Gustloffs shipwreck is the greatest in maritime history. Over 9000 people (that’s almost 8000 more than Titanic) lost their lives and yet, almost nobody knows anything about it. I certainly didn’t. My interest for war, historical fiction and that I didn’t know anything about this disaster, was a big reason for me to choose to read this book.

In this book we are following four characters  who all seek peace and freedom from the war that are breaking there country and family’s apart. Some of them, I like more than others but that I think was done with purpose and I understand it in the end. It is a great story, that do play on my emotions and now after i’m done, I do feel a little emotional drained.

It was a really thrilling read and as first book for me to read by Ruta Sepetys, I’m really pleasantly surprised. It started off quite slow and it is a slow burner through most of the book and I did lose interest there for a while, but I really wanted to know how it would end, so I picked it up again. The last chapters went past extremely fast and suddenly the book was over. I do not usually like books that are slow and then all the action is happening right before the book is ending. But it did work in this one. It is a really good book and that I lost focus has really nothing to do with the book itself, but with me who sometimes don’t have the patience for slow burners.

It is a hard read, just have to warn you. There is some terrible human fates that are happening and even if the book is fiction, it is hard to deny that this and probably even worse have happened in real life. I understand why Sepetys won the Goodreads Choice Award 2016 for this book. It is that good.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Suspense

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

21956219.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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My thoughts: This is an complex book with many layers. Great read and a lot different from all those YA Fantasy books that seem to take over the shelf’s in the bookstores. It is a slow burner and I don’t have a good history with slow books, since I easily get bored. I did however not get bored with this book but I’m not used to read fantasy anymore (read a lot as an kid) and it took me awhile to get used to the writing style and language. So it was quite “heavy” for me in the beginning. Fantasy is often written in a different kind of rhythm and has words not that common in today’s literature (that I read anyway). It is more medieval, proper and sentences are usually a lot longer with more describing words. So it took some time for me to get used to it again, but eventually my reading speed went up and it got much more easier for me to enjoy the book. I do think that if I read the book in my own language, it would have been easier from the start. But I find reading on English suits me better in the long haul so that’s why I stuck with it.

The book is about Fitz. The bastard boy, son to the king in waiting. Not officially acknowledged by the royal house, he lives with the king in waiting’s first hand man. Eventually he gets mixed up and pushed in to situations beyond his own control and you get to follow him through his childhood years, becoming the Kings man and fight for more than life.

The world Hobb has built in this book is amazing. The environment is livid, the Red Ships terrifying and the story over all, insanely enthralling. This book is the first one in the Farseer Trilogy and the first book in the 16 long series about The Realm of the Elderlings.

I read this book for the first time as an kid. Not remembering much more than that it was a great book and that I had a crush on Fitz, I am now happy that I chose to read the book in an adult age. It is certainly a hidden gem  and it is sad that it took me 15 years to read it again.

Everyday things

Why does that make me less of a reader?

IMG_1591I was watching one of Peters (Peter likes books) videos on Youtube and he briefly talked about all the negativity a public reviewer get and specially when talking about audio books. And I thought I should write a post about my opinion since I have experienced some of that negativity personally from the bookish community for no other reason than that I read eBooks. I don’t write much about what format I read books in on my blog or GoodReads. I don’t feel the need to clarify if it is a physical, audio or a eBook in my reviews since that has nothing to do with the book itself. But apparently it is important when it comes to defining me as an real or a fake reader.

Some (note some, not all) people seems to thinks that a real reader are those who only read physical books and often feel them self compelled to tell everyone just that. Other thinks that if you read books (physical or not) you are a reader. That do however not include magazines, comic books or audio books (why not I wonder?). Then there are people, like me, who do not care as long as you read. Because isn’t that the most important thing in the end? Then I see arguments like “Listening is not reading”! Yeah? Says who? Okay, fine. Down to the core, listening is not technically reading since you do not “read” the words, but you still take part of a book right? And aren’t that reading then? If you are blind and “see” a movie, haven’t you seen the movie then because you listened and not seen it with your eyes?

I often get negative comments on that I read so many eBooks. I love all the formats that are available for me as a reader and I utilize them all to my own satisfaction. I will always love physical books! The feeling of them, the smell, the written word on paper, but I do mostly read eBooks. I could be full of myself and say that I read eBooks because I want to save the environment and all that blah, blah, blah. But no, I’m a lot more selfish than that. I’m stingy! English eBooks are often a lot more cheaper than the physical book, and I read mostly eBooks because I read 100+ books a year and do not have the money to buy them nor the room to store them all. And I do not see any fault in that. I don’t think I’m any less of a reader than you because of it. And I love audio books. It makes me able to take part in books, while working and earning my pay check so that I can buy all those books I read. How wonderful isn’t that?

So, to be mean and judgmental is something I don’t feel belong in the bookish community. Books should unites us and learn us that we do not have to think the same about everything. That we all should be able to accept and discuss the books we read without personal attacks just because you can’t change another person’s opinion. And I think we should be happy that the all the options are there and that it makes it easier for people to take part in the literate world. With all the social medias like Facebook and what not I think it is easy to get shallow and forget that there is more. In my humble opinion, books bring us back to earth.

What are your thoughts about the topic?