Can you leave the past behind?

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”Thanks for reading my debut story Aneta!”

I bought The Sister by Louise Jensen as an ebook for 3 euro and it was a good buy. I liked the way the author was building the suspense and intrigue. The book opens with Grace digging in the ground with a shovel, it is dark and the rain is pouring. If you as a reader are in a cosy home at the time while you read it, you are glad about that and you pull the blanket closer toward you. Grace retrieves a memory box that she and her friend buried ten or so years ago. She wasn’t meant to open it alone, but her best friend Charlie is gone, having died at the age of eighteen. Inside the box are mementos they put together and a note she doesn’t recognise, it is from Charlie and it reads “I did something terrible, Grace. I hope you can forgive me.”

Grace lives with her childhood sweetheart Dan, although things have not been great between them, not since they mutual friend Charlie has died. At this stage, we are left to wonder what has happened, but the loss has left Grace depressed and anxious. This is not a first close person she had to part with, her dad is gone as well, and she blames herself for his death. She lost him when she was nine, and since then it was her grandparents that raised her, she had become estranged with her mother, though they started rebuilding their relationship when she turned eighteen.

Grace likes her isolated cottage, it suits her as she feels abandoned and unloved. However she cannot shake a feeling that she is being watched and followed. She tells no one, as doesn’t want to worry her boyfriend or her grandparents without knowing for sure, she fears they may think she has been imagining things. She has been in a fragile state for a while.

Not having anyone to turn to, Grace drowns her sorrows in alcohol and takes way too many sleeping pills. Having uncovered the memory box, she decides to do something for her lost friend, something she felt strongly about when she was alive and Grace promised to help her. She wants to find her father whom she never met. She also hopes that in the process, she might find out what has Charlie done.

One day someone appears, her name is Anna, who bears resemblance to Charlie and wants to know all about her, but that’s where things start to go wrong. Was Grace right to welcome a stranger into their home? If you ever sat in front of a telly watching a thriller and thinking ”oh, no, don’t do that, don’t go there, watch out!” etc., this is what reading this book was like for me. A good read overall, 3 cottages Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px, door handles or door mats.

Cottages, door handles or door matts rating.

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – one of the best books I read

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – charmed

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – good read

Anonymous-my-house-300pxAnonymous-my-house-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Anonymous-my-house-300px – don’t waste your time

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Slow breaths

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Her Last Breath by Tracy Buchanan started promisingly. The protagonist, Estelle has deep personal issues. She had a difficult childhood,, her alcoholic and addicted to drugs parents left her with a low self esteem. She grew up in a foster care and gave birth to a baby daughter at the age of fifteen. She was terrified that she is falling into her mother steps, who also had her in such a young age. Estelle decided to give the baby for adoption without informing the father, that she was pregnant with their baby. As an adult she now lives on purely organic food and advocates pure and healthy living to other people, and is about to publish a cookery book. The lifestyle she is promoting is in contrast to how she feels about herself, dirty and unworthy.

One day she receives a strange note and a picture of a teenage girl. The person who wrote the note claims to know everything about her, that she isn’t as pure as she lets everyone to believe. She recognises the girl in the photo as a missing teenage daughter of a celebrity TV presenter and rings the police. She later finds out that the girl, Poppy, has been adopted, and everything starts to point out that she is her biological mother. Estelle comes back to the village, to the foster parents she once adored, where she met their son and Poppy’s father, to tell him in person of her existence and her disappearance.

From around this moment the book starts to fall apart, what has earlier enriched it, made Estelle a complex character, now becomes repetitive and thus boring. (One phrase to rake fingers through one’s hair was used too many times and I found it annoying). Estelle’s visit wakes up the romantic feelings within her, feelings that she once had towards Aidan. Nothing much happens, the plot doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. There are fears in the village that some more land may soon slide into the sea, as it has happened before, yet the annual festivities planned on the beach aren’t cancelled despite the danger.

I found the ending of the book unconvincing and a bit disturbing as well. The person who was sending the notes to Elstelle, is being excused for doing so, as having good intentions… If they wanted to confront her about mistakes from the past, surely there were many other, more mature ways of doing so, rather than stocking and threatening… Overall 2 1393859663-300px  1393859663-300pxtrains, planes or cars from me.

Trains, planes or cars rating

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px– one of the best books I read

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px – charmed

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px1393859663-300px – good read

1393859663-300px1393859663-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1393859663-300px – don’t waste your time

Keeping appearances

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After I’ve Gone by Linda Green is a modern day thriller. Jess Mount, after loosing her mum to cancer, when she was a teenager, struggled with the everyday life. She saw danger lurking everywhere, in the young train driver, who might be speeding or an older one, who may fall asleep and crush the train. She avoided sitting in the last and first carriages as people were more likely to die there if the train did have an accident. She told her psychiatrist that the precautions she was taking were no different than people doing routine check ups at the doctor’s and eating healthy diets. Her anxiety got worse and she ended up under observation in a psychiatric facility.

Some years later, as a young woman, feeling comparably better, thanks to the care of her loving father and her best friend Saddie, she holds a job as a hostess in a small local cinema and enjoys the time spent watching movies and chatting with Saddie. Her past experiences gave her strength that her friend admires.

One day Jess phones Saddie, asking why did she post such an unnerving comment on her Facebook page, post saying that she was sorry to have learned of her death. Saddie denies writing anything like that, and they both figure that someone must have hacked Jess’ computer, as no such post appears on Saddie’s account. As time passes by, more posts pop up on her Facebook page, carrying a future date a year or so from the present time, and what’s more, Jess is the only one who can see them. Jess reads heartbreaking posts from her father, her best friend, her relatives and work colleagues, all paying her tribute and remembering fondly, shocked at her early passing. Jess stops mentioning them to Saddie, having been unable to prove their existence, she doesn’t want to worry her friend, who is starting to worry about her mental health, she lies that the posts have stopped.

She learns that in the short period of time before her death, she married the man whom she has only met recently, and furthermore she got pregnant and gave birth to their baby boy Harrison. She sees pictures of him and is besotted. She fears that if she does anything to try and change her future in order to avoid her death, her son may never be born and she cannot let that happen.

I liked that the book was set in the modern days, the Facebook era, how it shows a new phenomenon of social media grieving, and how apart from the glimpse into the future, the book describes very real and unfortunately still present issue.

It was definitely a good read, 3 computer keyboards johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png, monitors or cables.

 Computer keyboards, monitors or cables rating

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– one of the best books I read

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– charmed

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– good read

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.pngjohnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

johnny-automatic-computer-keyboard-2-300px.png– don’t waste your time

In your footsteps

 

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I see you” by Clare Mackintosh is a thriller that’s runs a chill through your spine because it describes events that could easily happen nowadays. Zoe Walker sees a photo of herself in the Gazette in the advert section, but its is so low resolution that she isn’t sure if this is in fact her. Her family laughs it off and she decides it couldn’t be her until she recognises a woman’s face on the news as the same she has recently seen in the same ad section of another edition of the Gazette. The woman has been murdered. She finds more connections between the pictures published as adds and crimes committed against these women. She is starting to fear for her safety and life, now certain that somebody has published her picture without her knowledge and consent. She decides to contact the police.

Kelly Swift, a bright but under appreciated uniformed police officer takes her fears seriously. She contacts the Murder Investigation Team with the new information, but she needs to convince them that the pickpocket she has been chasing after, and Zoe’s phone calls are all connected to the murder case they are trying to solve, that all the victims have had their photos printed in the Gazette prior to the crimes. She offers her help in solving the crimes but due to the mistake of the past and a demotion she got as a result, they are reluctant to take her on board. An old supervisor helps her out and she joins the team temporarily.

Zoe grows more and more anxious, she is afraid to leave the house on her own. She starts to fear for the safety of her eighteen year old daughter. The police uncover that the are multiple suspects behind the crimes and that the Gazette prints an encrypted password to a website which helds information on a number of women and is sharing it for a fee. Police are desparate to catch the person who runs it and are trying to figure out what connects these women, why they have been selected.

The story was well thought through and believable. The author herself worked for the police for twelve years. The books ends with an unnerving cliffhanger. It was a good read and I am awarding it three valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png paper clips, pencils or staplers.

Paper clips, pencils or staplers rating

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – one of the best books I read

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – charmed

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – good read

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.pngvalessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

valessiobrito-Paper-Clip-300px.png – don’t waste your time

Best laid plans

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”Three wishes” by Liane Moriarty wasn’t the first book I have read by this author and I’ve started noticing the writer’s particular strengths. The book kick-starts with some lively dialogues. We are placed right in the middle of a drama and then are retrospectively shown how it has all started and gradually escalated. This is the second book that I read by L. Moriarty and it is the same kind of structure that she has implemented, but it worked, so I didn’t mind. The author is a good observant of other peoples’ behaviour in their social environment. She describes quite accurately how tensions build up inside individuals to burst out when they cannot be held any longer.

We are introduced to the main characters when they are celebrating their common birthday, with not one but three cakes as each of the triplets enjoys her own. We meet the sensible and extremely organised Lyn, her identical twin Cat, a business woman and the most daring of the three, and carefree and forgetful Gemma. The relationship between the three woman is peculiar or maybe textbook sisterly. They spend a lot of time together but when they are in a close vicinity the atmosphere gets often very tense, items like fondue forks go flying and end up in sister’s abdomen…

Looking at each of the sisters separately we see how they are different and what has made them that way. Lynette uses spreadsheets to plan her business and personal life alike. She runs a successful catering company and has a loving husband Michael, who has left his first wife for her. They are rising their little daughter Maddie together. Lyn is also helping to rise her step daughter, a teenage girl Karen. All seems perfect in their lives until the demand of her career and family life starting to get too much for her but Lyn is not used to asking for help.

Cat is an accomplished Marketing Manager. All she needs to achieve full happiness is a little baby that her husband and herself are trying to conceive. She is happy with her husband Dan, or so she thought until he has admitted that he has cheated on her.

Gemma refuses to find a place for herself literally and figuratively speaking, she insists that she is happy being a house minder, moving from one place to another, never settling down. Her sisters suspect that it may be related to her one failed attempt on settling down with Marcus, who has died in an accident just before their wedding. What her sisters don’t know was the relief that Gemma felt not having to marry Marucs.

Just like in real live there are things that we gladly share with others and there are such, that we would rather keep to ourselves. We go to see how the three sisters stormed through life, how their lives influenced each other and also sometimes even strangers’ without them even realising it. How their differences infuriated them but haven’t torn them apart. A dynamic book with witty humour. Ending a bit rushed, but made me smile rather than annoy. Overall four 1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px car wheels, wipers or birthday cakes.

Car wheels, wipers or birthday cakes rating

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– one of the best books I read

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– charmed

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– good read

1358540774-300px1358540774-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1358540774-300px– don’t waste your time

Pandora’s box

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The silent wife” by Kerry Fisher describes the dynamics of an English family with Italian roots. It all starts when Maggie marries into the Farinelli family. She is a second wife to Nico after he has lost his first spouse to cancer. It is not easy for Maggie with her mother in law Ann, who idealises Caitlin and keeps finding flaws everywhere she looks. Maggie is also struggling to get through to Francesca, the grieving Nico and Caitlin’s daughter, a teenage girl who simply misses her mum and doesn’t want to accept someone else taking her place. Maggie, the newest member of the Farrinelli family, starts to feel lost and alienated. She sees an ally in her brother in law Massimo, and at the same time tries to befriend his wife Lara, but finds her a bit uptight and distant.

It is Lara’s secret that holds a barrier between the two women. Once we learn how things are for Lara, we start to understand why she has been behaving in the way she has. Lara lives in constant fear of Massimo, a narcissist who goes out of his way to please other people, he does that so people would think highly of him, but he shows his true colours to his wife and son behind closed doors. She feels trapped into the horrendous situation as her husband threatens her that if she ever leaves him, he will take their son Sandro away from her. Massimo has control of all their finances and thrives on the high opinion everyone has of him. Lara is afraid that nobody would believe her if she ever told the truth about him, so she tiptoes around her husband and does her best to shelter Sandro from his father’s bad temper.

One day Maggie finds a gold jewellery box while cleaning the attic which, just like Pandora’s box, causes all sorts of problems when she opens it. Maggie has to make a decision if she should keep what she found out to herself, a task that isn’t easy for her with her open personality.

In an interesting way the author shows us the same events through Maggie’s and Lara’s eyes and how their different perspectives draw different pictures. It was a pleasurable and smooth read. As the author admits herself in a letter to the readers, when she was doing research for the book, she was digging into the ordinary women’s lives and their daily struggles and that’s what the book delivers. Overall 3 Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px tennis balls, ice cones or teaspoons.

Tennis balls, ice cones or teaspoons rating

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – one of the best books I read

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – charmed

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – good read

Pelota-de-tenis-300px Pelota-de-tenis-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Pelota-de-tenis-300px – don’t waste your time

That is not me

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“Hi Aneta
Thanks very much for this thoughtful and generous review. I’m glad you liked the book.
With best wishes
Ann”

 

I bought this ebook on sale for 3 euro. ”Beside Myself” by Ann Morgan is one of those rare books that drag you in and you just have to keep reading. It was a gem, dark and intense. The style of the writing itself is worth noting, the use of phrases without verbs have added an artistic feel to it. The author introduced a narrator in the second and third person alongside, which worked well and served its purpose; the second person rather unique, rarely seen in other books.

The plot was intriguing, built up fast and kept you turning pages. The characters were complex. A lot of deep and insightful thought was put into their psychological aspect. Throughout the whole book we see what impact can certain events have on us. How they can brake and damage us, how then we pass it further to the others. It also shows that the way others perceive us, can have a strong impact on our lives. How people are social animals and can waste away when they are abandoned and left alone.

The book is about a couple of twins, young girls who one day come up with a plan, one that must have crossed minds of every identical twin on Earth, what if we swapped places for a while? They spend one afternoon practicing being the other and giggling on their way home. It comes easily for Helen, the extrovert and confident twin, so they focus more on Ellie, on trying to turn her from the shy self into the leader. Surprisingly, Ellie gets it and rises up for the challenge. Furthermore, she enjoys it and doesn’t want to go back to being herself again, often picked at and laughed at, so she persists and claims to be Helen.

The real Helen is the protagonist of the book. She is fed up and wants things to get back to normal, she wants to be herself again but nobody believes her. Time passes by. Her sister thrives, she is popular at school while things are tough for herself, just like they used to be for her sister. With her identity stolen her life slips out of her hands and takes one bad turn after another. She takes on a role of a Cinderella in the family, every one sees her as the weaker, less talented or even plain stupid version of her sister. Their Mother blames the cord getting wrapped around her neck during the birth and simply accepts the situation. The girl screams inside. As they reach their teenage years, she rebels. She hurts herself the most in the process, but she doesn’t know who she is anymore, having lost that long ago as a child. She decides she is a nobody and doesn’t want to feel anything, because it hurts too much. She becomes deeply depressed but her family turns a blind eye.

The twins despise each other and have no contact as grown ups, until one day they paths cross again. The new Hellie is a successful woman with a family, while Smudge, as the former Helen calls herself, is alone and still struggling. Will she be able to rebuild her life, to finally be her former self or maybe a new person altogether? Has life been really that good and easy for her sister, always pretending to be someone else?

Congratulations, 5 1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300pxpaint brushes, easels or binoculars, a must read.

Paint brushes, easels or binoculars rating:

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– one of the best books I read

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– charmed

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– good read

1296777772-300px1296777772-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1296777772-300px– don’t waste your time

Getting through

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When I was picking the book ”The Life you left” by Carmel Harrington, the synopsis on the back cover sounded intriguing. Sarah’s husband leaves the house one day and doesn’t return. She is left with three kids, struggling with everyday life. A childhood friend comes to her rescue but she is the only one who can see him…

I was expecting intrigue as to why her husband has disappeared, while it turned out he has left her for another woman. I found the characters in the book quite stereotypical and one dimensional, to start with the cheating and inconsiderate husband, through the bitchy and young mistress to Sarah’s womanising but charming brother.

The mysterious friend turned out to be Sarah’s guardian angel, which was an interesting surprise, but the book did not deliver what I was expecting. Frankly, I struggled through most of it, as I didn’t find the story plot gripping, it seemed a bit random; things were just happening out of the blue. I did not like the style the book was written in, nor did I enjoy the all-knowing narrator, who felt the need to state things that the reader was more than capable of deciphering from the context; it was rather annoying and added pieces of text that did not bring anything to the book, but were boring to get through. There was also too much eye-gazing type of romance for my liking.

The last few chapter brought the book more to life, as a lot more was happening. Perhaps more research should have been done for the book. I am not an expert in the matter, but I don’t think that having a witness who saw the suspect near the crime seen with an item that could have been the murder weapon, would have been enough to get him convicted; without any evidence, it would have made him a suspect at best. Similarly, finding out that the man in question saw the victim last, wouldn’t have made him a suspect just for that sole reason, but a person of interest, I suppose.

Overall, unfortunately just two Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxcupcakes, pancakes or raspberry trifles.

Cupcakes, pancakes or raspberry trifles rating

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– one of the best books I read

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– charmed

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– good read

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300pxVanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Vanilla-Pink-Cupcake-300px– don’t waste your time

Double meanings

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”The curious incident of the dog in the night-time” by Mark Haddon is a unique book. The narrator is a fifteen year old boy who is autistic. He likes math and science and always tells the truth. He doesn’t like to be touched, doesn’t eat yellow or brown food and finds other people confusing. It was very interesting to see the world through his eyes, how he has to learn what comes quite naturally to others, that people use sarcasm and irony, that they sometimes lie. He studies certain phrases which he considers peculiar as they have double meaning.

One day Christopher discovers a dead dog in his neighbour yard and is accused of killing him. The situation he has find himself in worsens when he is being questioned at the scene by a police officer. He does his best to cooperate but the answers he gives are so literal to the questions asked, that it makes him look suspicious and aggravates the officer, who decides to pull him up from the ground and drive him to the station. Christopher gets upset at the number of questions that has been thrown at him in a quick succession followed by the unwelcome grasp of his hand and hits the policeman. He gets arrested for assault. When his dad comes to the rescue and advises him to say that he didn’t mean to hit the police officer, he says that he meant it but saves himself out of the difficult situation when finally admits that he didn’t meant to hurt him, that he hit him to make him stop touching him.

The boy decides to play Sherlock Holmes to find out who has killed the dog, he wants to write a murder mystery novel. In his investigation he comes across more than he was expected to find. He finds letters hidden in his fathers room, that his mother has been sending him throughout the years, the mother who he thought died of a heart attack. From the letters he learns that she has left them because she didn’t have as much patience as his dad, but that she still loved him very much. Christopher gets angry at his father for lying to him and decides to go to see his mother at the address on the letters and leaves the house to travel by himself in her search.

Will he be able to forgive his mother for abandoning him? Will his father be able to convince him that he lied out of love to save the boys feelings, when in his son’s world everything is black and white and a lie is simply always wrong. You will find that there is a lot of humour in the book, it will make you smile or even laugh, but it is also loaded with some heavy questions that live brings. I found the book one of a kind and I am granting it 4 nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px red cars, dogs or rain drops.

Red cars, dogs or rain drops rating

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – one of the best books I read

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – charmed

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – good read

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

nicubunu-Toy-car-300px – don’t waste your time