Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bookanista Review: Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins--and a GIVEAWAY!

OMG you guys--do you know what day it is????????

Yes, I know it's Thursday, Bookanista Day, and also December 2nd (and probably some random, unimportant holiday I'm unaware of, like National Pickle Day)--but none of that matters!

What matters is that today is the day you seriously all should have been counting down to for months and months and months: the official release day for ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by the adorable, talented, funny, fabulous, and amazing Stephanie Perkins!

*tosses glitter and sparkles and confetti and streamers*


Yes--that's right. The wait is FINALLY over! And even though I was lucky enough to read an ARC a few months ago, I had to pass it on to the rest of the Bookanistas and have been DYING to re-read ever since. So you can bet I will be racing to my nearest book store to pick up a copy. And one for my mom and all my other friends because OMG EVERYONE HAS TO READ THIS BOOK!

And in case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of it, here's the official blurb:

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.


Awesome, right? And if, for some bizarre reason, you still need more convincing--here's 5 undeniable reasons why you NEED to read ANNA like, NOW!

1. Incredible pacing: Don't be fooled by the "love story" concept and think this is going to be a slow moving story. I haven't quite figured out how she did it, but Stephanie moves the plot along like it were an action/suspense novel. You are on the edge of your seat the entire time. Need proof? I started the ARC on my weekend away for my anniversary, and we almost missed our dinner reservation because I had. to. know. what was going to happen next. And when we got back from dinner? Yeah, I picked right back up where I left off (my husband was less than thrilled...)

2. Delicious moments: And I don't mean kissing--though there's plenty of yummy kisses too, don't you worry. But what I think Stephanie really mastered was the "almost" moments. Two people sitting next to each other in a dark theater, feeling their legs touching and wondering what it means. Wondering why the other person doesn't move away and hoping it's because they want to touch more. Late night phone conversations helping each other through hard times, sharing secrets you never shared with anyone else. All those little "SO close" moments that tug at your heart and make you want to shout at the book: JUST REALIZE YOU WERE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER! It's awesome

3. Believability: You know how some romantic books or movies have these absolutely RIDICULOUS reasons why the two characters aren't together? Yeah...ANNA doesn't have that problem. Even though you want want want them to be together more than anything and they come so so so close several times, you totally get why they aren't together. Bonus: it's not so impossible of an obstacle that when they do get together it feels forced like, can you really let that go? It's the perfect mix of obstacles and struggles. 

4. Imperfection: No--that's not a bad thing, in this case. What I mean is, ANNA's characters aren't perfect. They have faults, even some physical faults (Etienne may be a regulation hottie, but he's not *quite* as tall as some girls might like, and he has an imperfectly perfect smile). And that makes them even more likable. Because they're real. I grow tired of books where the characters are just a little too perfect. It's delightfully refreshing to have some real, relatable flaws, and love the characters even more because of them.

5. Setting: Could there be a more perfect setting for a romantic story than Paris? I think not. And Stephanie paints such a beautiful, tangible Paris you feel like you're there. You walk the streets. You taste the food. It's almost like the city is a character in the book, and you can definitely tell she took the time to know all the ins and outs of her setting and make it as detailed and real as possible. You will feel like YOU lived a year in Paris by the end. 

I could keep going and going, but I'll stop there because I don't want to bore you with my ramblings. Plus, what you should really be doing is racing to your nearest book store and picking up your own copy! But, I know times are tight financially right now, and I firmly believe that EVERYONE should read this book, so I'm giving a copy away here, to one lucky commenter on this post. 

Sadly, it's not signed. But it's a beautiful story and a beautiful hardcover and all you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment between now and 11:59 pm PST on Friday December 10th. International entries welcome.

For more awesome book recommendations, check out what the rest of the Bookanistas are up to:



Christine Fonseca recommends JOEY FLY, PRIVATE EYE in BIG HAIRY DRAMA

Elana Johnson raves about MATCHED

Megan Miranda celebrates DESIRES OF THE DEAD

Lisa and Laura Roecker salute REVOLUTION

Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton cheer for THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY


93 comments:

  1. I've wanted to read this book for a while.

    DreamyCowgirl @ hotmail.com

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  2. I'll be probably ordering my copy in a few days, but since I'm not sure... I'd love to enter this giveaway. I'm insanely looking forward to grab my own copy... I've been hearing such AWESOME things about Anna. OMG. It's, like, a real must-read, isn't it? Thanks!

    raila.soares @ gmail.com

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  3. your review was awesome! only makes me want to read the book even more, if possible. ill totes be buying it right away if i ever spot it in a bookstore in pakistan. if not, i can keep trying my luck in super cool giveaways like these! :)

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  4. Thanks for the great review. I just won a copy and it should be coming soon, so don't enter me in the contest. But you are so generous with these contests.

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  5. yayayayayay!!! I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this book. I planned on downloading it to my Kindle today actually (so I'll pass on the contest--I just can't wait) ;-)

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  6. There are way too many books I want to read! And this is one of them! Thanks, Shannon!

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  7. I keep hearing this book praised so much that I really want to read it and see for myself. But even without the high praises that cover got me at first glimpse and a story set in paris? Sign me up! :-)

    Thank you for making this giveaway international!! :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

    I'm an old blog follower :-)

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  8. Great review Shannon! I've been wanting to read this book for a very long time!

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  9. I've been dying to read this book! I am SO glad it's finally out.

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  10. Great review! Sounds like a fun one! Congrats to Stephanie on her release day!

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  11. I love how enthusiastic you are about the books you review--they always get me super excited to read the book in question. This is no exception--I've been wanting to read this ever since I saw the sweet cover with the French image...*le sigh*

    Would love to win it!

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  12. I would love to read this! I've heard so much about it. Thanks for making it international.

    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

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  13. This sounds really good! Gonna add it to my 'to be read' list. Thanks for the great review!

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  14. I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the review.

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  15. (and probably some random, unimportant holiday I'm unaware of, like National Pickle Day)-

    Actually, it's Monster Baby's birthday, maybe not a holiday to us but for her it's a milestone. She's six.

    I'd love to read this book. It sounds right up my alley.
    piedmontwriter at gmail dot com.

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  16. I loved this book very much! Great review as always

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  17. This isn't the type of book that I would normally read, but you have me interested now. *crossing fingers* that I can finally win something!

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  18. Fab review! I totally love the realism in it and the book. Nothing is worse then picking up a book with romance in it and totally being let down by the unrealistic nature of it or it being a wham-bam-thank-you-mam of a match with no real plot.

    areadersrecord (at) gmail.com

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  19. Wait is it open?
    darkwitch724 at hotmail dot com

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  20. Sounds awesome! Fingers crossed. :)
    pamharris1981@yahoo.com

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  21. Dude, I haven't heard a single bad thing about this book! Thanks for the chance to win it (although I'll definitely be reading it anyway). Kmust21@gmail.com :)

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  22. I have read SO many great reviews for this book! I want to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

    mrsderaps @ hotmail . com

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  23. I can't wait to read Anna and the French Kiss! I've been hearing so many good things about it:)

    sylvia_uy4(at)yahoo(Dot)com

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  24. Gaaah, I need this book!

    Thx!

    jenbigheart(at)yahoo.com

    Jen

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  25. Very, very, very good review :) I'm so going to read this book one day...
    Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

    judittten at gmail dot com

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  26. I'm putting this in my TBR pile right this second, but I'd love to win a copy. I'm so excited to read it.

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  27. I have heard so many great things about this book :) Hope I win! *fingers crossed*

    marquita_hockaday@yahoo.com

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  28. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I'd love to read it. :)

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  29. So many people already told me that this book is a must read,so I'm convinced!And I want to win this copy!!!
    Thank you!!

    julianapiovani@hotmail.com

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  30. I've been waiting for this one for a long time! Congrats on the release, Stephanie, and thanks to you, Shannon, for the opportunity to win a free copy!

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  31. Having been to Paris myself, I would love to hear how she describes it. (I MISS MISS MISS EUROPA!) This is right up my alley. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing!

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  32. Sounds great--looking forward to reading this one!

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  33. This isn't the type of book I normally read, but I've heard nothing but good things about it! I'd love to give it a try.

    tiasbook AT gmail DOT com

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  34. Yeay! I can't wait to fall into this one. It sounds like such a happy, amazing book!
    SOOO Nice of you to be giving one away!

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  35. I really want to read this book. I loved your breakdown!

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  36. This book sounds so cute! Thanks for the giveaway!


    taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

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  37. You are killing my TBR list. LOL. I wanted to read this one already, but now I'm drooling for it. :-)

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  38. I'm dying to read this! I've heard such great things about it.
    :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

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  39. Great review/breakdown. I can't wait to read this book. I pre-ordered it a while ago, but the UK snow is keeping my book delivery away! Arghhh

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  40. I definitely want to read this one!

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  41. Oh I would love to win this book! I have heard awesome thingd about it!

    vicky.vak8(at)gmail.com

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  42. Anna sounds so awesome!! I *really* want to read this!! Thanks for the giveaway! ;)

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  43. I cannot wait to read this, and your review has me wanting to wake up my babies and run out to buy it right now!!

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  44. Count me please, I´m dying for read this book. Thanks for the chance!

    The review is awesome, I have read this.

    itzel_library@hotmail.com

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  45. Thanks for the giveaway! I so want to read this. I've been hearing such great things about it.

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  46. I have heard nothing but praise for this book. Thanks for sharing the love!

    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

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  47. Thanks for this giveaway! I love the cover and the idea of the book seems out of this world! =)

    morgynmjoubert(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  48. Oh, I miss that feeling!! *remembers...sigh* Being married kind of takes the guess work out of the romance, lol! But, sounds like a great book! (yes...my house seems like a rock sometimes...) Thanks for the recommendation and opportunity to win a copy!

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  49. I usually like books about France, because I like to have an external pointt of view about my country! This one sounds cute :)
    Thank you for the giveaway, I would love to enter !

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  50. Thank you so much for the contest :) I feel like I've been waiting forever to read this book!

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  51. This book has garnered some amazing praise, so how could I resist? :)

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  52. hi miss shannon! sounds like you dont like this book. ha ha. yikes! you even got me excited on it and its not for my age and i hate mushy stuff. ha ha. im thinking my sister could love it so for sure im gonna tell her. i dont know about my brothers if they could like it. that was a really cool review.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  53. I was lucky enough to get to read a friend's ARC of this book, but I'm dying to have my own copy so I can read it again... and again, and again. Thanks for the chance to win!

    lookaftermyheart1901(at)gmail(dot)com

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  54. Have I told you lately how much you rock!? No? Ok then. YOU ROCK! :D Really been wanting this one! And, of course, I'm a follower. :)

    ~Briana
    thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  55. I've heard so much about this book...can't wait to read it!

    hayleythescribbler(at)gmail(dot)com

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  56. I'm convinced! So will I have the chance to own this book ? :)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

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  57. Great giveaway! I can't wait to read it.

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  58. I can't wait to read this book!! It sounds SO good!! :)

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  59. I'd love to play please :D

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  60. great review!
    Everyone in the world says this is an amazing book, I really can't wait to read it.
    Thanks so much :)

    lesleykjones at hotmail dot com

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  61. Um, I'm not entering the contest, because I'm buying my copy tomorrow :) Can't wait to read this one!

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  62. Your 5 reasons to read Anna nd the French Kiss, have now made me want to read it. I admit I was a bit on the fence about it, but now I just want to read it. ^_^

    hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

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  63. I've heard such great things about this book and can't wait to read it!!

    tencentnotes@gmail.com

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  64. Ever since Frankie's post dying to win the arc, I have been WAITING to get my hands on this book-- but it's a hardcover and el husband will probably kill me if I buy it after all the money I spent on OTHER hardcovers I wasn't supposed to purchase. *cough* Anyway. Great giveaway! :)

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  65. Ohgodohgodohgod, I want this.
    I WANT THIS. RIGHT. NOW.

    *starts hyperventilating*

    Please? This book is just the book I want, but it's not out where I live. yet :(


    speak_to_bidisha@yahoo.co.in

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  66. Ooh, I LOVE Steph! I've been stalking her through her blog for ages and I'm dying to read the book. Thanks, Shannon!

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  67. I waned to read this book before but after your review I need to read it!
    Sounds like an awesome read :) Thanks for sharing

    entrelibros_blog at hotmail.com

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  68. Sounds like an awesome book. Thanks for the giveaway!
    chickenherder@hotmail.com

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  69. A giveaway for Anna and the French Kiss? I'm so in!

    ayareader@hotmail.com

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  70. Have been flailing around, waiting to read this for ages. I am ALL IN for a competition! Thanks!

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  71. I've been waiting for this book since forever. Stephanie Perkins is 19.34 types of awesome.

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  72. Signed or not signed, I would still loveeeeeeee to win this book :D It has been high on my wishlist for a while! So thank you for the chance!

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  73. Great review breakdown! Anna and the French Kiss sounds even more awesome than before. I can't wait to read it!

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  74. Gosh, I've heard nothing but amazing things about this novel. I am dying to get my hands on a copy.

    jennapomme[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  75. Old follower here. Thanks for this!

    gamaliel.clamor(at)gmail(dot)com

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  76. Yayzez! (That's the plural of more than one yay!) Thanks so much for ze giveaway! I've been excited for this :)
    rivkarno1(at))hotmail(dot)com
    Oldies follower ;)

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  77. Waaaaaaaaa! OMG! Thank you so much for the INTERNATIONAL giveaway! The book sounds AWESOME!
    Please enter me!


    dani dot prmr at hotmail dot com

    Jaz.parks

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  78. Yay for wonderful books! :)

    hiawassee04(at)aim(dot)com

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  79. omg want to read this book so bad!!!

    LauraBCRupi@gmail.com

    Thanks!

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  80. I've been wanting this!! Thanks for the chance to win!!

    jeremywest91@gmail.com

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  81. I love the interviews you've posted on your blog, and your review of this book makes me want to read it even more. Thank you! Jeni (bell.jeni at gmail.com)

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  82. Everyone is saying this book is awesome! please enter me :D

    magabygc AT gmail.com

    Follower

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  83. I can't wait to read it! I've heard nothing but great things about it.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    minas_1989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  84. It looks amazing. I would love to get a copy of it. Thanks for the giveaway :)

    thereaderoom@hotmail.co.uk

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  85. Thanks to your review it sounds awesome! Thank you for making the giveaway international=]

    I'd love to get my hands on it!

    holz_twilight@msn.com

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  86. Great review! I've been hearing nothing but good things about this book, I would love to read it. Thanks for the chance to win.

    bdecouverte@gmail.com

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  87. I want this book so much! It's at the top of my Christmas list. Thanks so much!

    texas_gal45(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  88. I'm really excited to read this book and would love to win a copy! :)

    ghenetwrites(at)gmail(dot)com

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  89. I can NOT wait to read this! I've heard so many good things about it!

    LizSF72 (at) gmail (dot) com

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3