Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read (So Far) In 2015

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(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The above photo was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

I’ve been busy reading all the books! And even though 2015 isn’t complete, I have to say I’ve read some pretty great books so far. And I’m excited to share my top ten with you today!

1

  • Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
  • When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds
  • Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
  • The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
  • Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

2

  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy
  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • VIP: I’m With the Band by Jen Calonita

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The Boys of Summer With Katrina From Bookish Things & More

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Hello Readers!

It’s getting hot in here! Or at least it will be after reading todays Boys of Summer post! Today, I’m very pleased to be hosting Katrina! Katrina is one of the fabulous bloggers over at Bookish Things & More! 

Today, Katrina will be talking about some great New Adult (NA) titles, and some hot, swoon-worthy characters!

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Summer is finally here!  I know most of us have had a rainy or cold year so far.  It’s time for us to pull out those swimsuits, grab a towel, and head down to the beach with our favorite read.  Well, I don’t live near a beach, so it will be poolside for me.

I’m excited to be a part of these feature, and today I’ll be introducing you, if you don’t already know, to the swoony guys from Rosemary Beach.  The Rosemary Beach series is written by Abbi Glines and takes place in Florida.  Here you will find some of the swooniest men that want nothing more than to treat their ladies like a queen.

Rush

First up on this list is Rush Finlay.  He is the son of a Rock god, and a little rough around the edges when you first meet him.  By the end of the book he’ll have you wrapped around his finger.  He’s compassionate, gives when he can, and completely devoted to those he loves.  You can follow his story with Blaire in Fallen Too FarNever Too FarForever Too Far, and Rush Too Far.  

Woods

Woods Kerrington is the next in line to take over the town’s country club.  He’s adorable, and finds himself fascinated with Della.  He meets her by chance and can’t get her out of his head.  He’s willing to do whatever he has to help Della, and he has a great group of friends surrounding him.  He may not always go about things in a way that you hope, but he more than makes up for it with his selflessness.  And he definitely knows how to get hot in the bedroom.  You can read more about Woods in Twisted Perfection and Simple Perfection.

Grant

Grant is Rush’s step-brother removed.  He is close to Rush, and depends on him for guidance at times.  He makes some ridiculous choices, and you’ll see about those when you read the book.  He’s willing to move mountains in order to show the woman he loves his feelings.  He’s rugged, and ridiculously handsome.  His story begins with Take a Chance and ends with One More Chance.

Tripp

What can I say about Tripp Newark.  He’s an absolute rebel.  He doesn’t conform to the role his family wants for him.  He’s a nomad, and never stays in one place for long.  We get a tiny glimpse of him in Woods and Della’s story, but he definitely needed his own story.  He’s trying to make up for past mistakes, and looks good doing it.  Check out more about Tripp in You Were Mine.

Mason

Last but not least, we have have Mason Colt-Manning.  He is Harlow’s brother and a Texas Cowboy.  He adores his sister, and will do anything for her.  He also is just a nice guy in general.  He helps people without wanting anything in return.  Naturally he does everything big, including love.  There’s not much he wouldn’t do for the woman who captures his heart.  His sweet demeanor is definitely a great addition to the Rosemary Beach group.  His story begins with When I’m Gone.

These guys definitely know how to turn up the heat on those cool summer nights!

***
Katrina, THANK YOU so much for participating in this Boys of Summer feature. And Thank You for introducing, not just The BookBadnit Blog reader to Abbi Glines, but also for introducing her and her books to me!
Readers, be sure to check out Katrina and her blog Bookish Things & More! You will not be disappointed!

 

The Boys of Summer With Me, Nicole from The BookBandit Blog

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Hello Readers!

When I started thinking up this Boys of Summer feature, I started thinking about the kind of posts that I wanted to feature. I knew by reaching out to a few of my blogging buddies that they’d come up with some fantastic ideas. With them setting the bar so I high, I really had to come though.

Today, I’m spearheading the Boys of Summer feature. Being that I’m from New Jersey, I thought it would be fun to come up with a top four books set New Jersey and/or the  NJ Shore. Honestly, when I think of summer, I think of the Jersey Shore – the beaches, the boardwalk, the summer flings!

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Summary from Goodreads: “Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it’s not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?”

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Summary from Goodreads: “It’s the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She’s not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn’t start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn’t want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn’t want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.

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Summary from Goodreads: “Sixteen-year-old Amy Rush doesn’t expect much from her summer at the Jersey shore, until she stumbles on Mermaid Park, an old tourist spot where girls dress in fabulous costumes and put on underwater shows. Working at the park changes Amy’s life in more ways than she could have imagined. She finds romance, a newfound self-confidence, and discovers breathtaking revelations about long-buried family secrets.

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Summary from Goodreads: “One group on the Jersey Shore, another in Laguna Beach. Both have the same summer-tastic setup: total strangers sharing a house. No one sleeps, no one cleans, and everybody parties. And to pay their ways, each housemate slags through crappy summer jobs while recuperating from the night before. Ah, summer shares!

In the Jersey house, cheating and misleading are the name of the game as roommates hook up and hash it out. And at Laguna Beach, surfing is just one of several popular, uh, pastimes. But some of the people in this share are keeping secrets—dangerous ones that could blow the roof off their massive house on the beach. How will these clashing personalities survive two months together? With plenty of drama to share! ”

So, readers if you a taste of summer with a side of NJ, check out these books! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

The Boys of Summer with Andi from Just a Broke Bookworm

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Hello Readers!

Today is a very special day here on The BookBandit Blog. It’s the first official post in my The Boys of Summer feature! And I’m super excited because today’s post is from Andi from Just A Broke Bookworm.

Andi and I became friends via Twitter, and not only is her blog a must read, but she, herself is awesome! Make sure you check her out!

***

Oliver: The Boy Who Made Me Swoon Too Hard
From Robin Benway’s Emmy and Oliver.

I am not the type of girl to swoon. In fact, it’s very rare that I feel so strongly connected to a book boy to swoon. So when Nicole offered me a spot on this feature, it took me a long time to think of a boy I thought swoon-worth enough. I wracked my brain to think of a boy who made me feel any feels other than, meh. He was an okay character … I had just finished reading Emmy and Oliver  by Robin Benway. Recently, I’ve been getting into more and more contemporary and it still scares me. (If you want to see my review itself, go ahead and click the link). This was my first experience with Benway, so her humor and heart really caught me off guard. I really adored this book. However the character who stole the show for me is Oliver.

13132816 Oliver was taken when he was in 3rd grade. He was kidnapped by his father. Then, after years of searching he is found in a fingerprinting database. When he comes back, his whole life is different. His mother has remarried and has twin girls. She never gave up looking for her son. However, Oliver struggles with readjusting to his life. There to help him is his next door neighbor and childhood best friend, Emmy. Emmy is there for Oliver through everything, and of course, romance blooms.  (This was my first attempt at a book summary, I hope I did okay!)

Oliver seems so well-adjusted. But, what drew me to him was that he isn’t. He isn’t perfect. He has all of this attention heaped on him, being a returned kidnapped child. He doesn’t enjoy the attention or relish in the fact that he’s this media circus basically everywhere he goes. He doesn’t remember much of his life before he was taken, but he has Emmy, Caro, and Drew to help him acclimate to his new/old life.

Oliver struggles. I mean, imagine thinking your life is one way, then absolutely everything you’ve ever known shifts into something unknown and alien. He struggles a lot with where he fits in with his family, his over protective mother (I mean, can you blame her? He got taken from her and now she has him back), and with people who claim to know him who he can’t remember. This book is the perfect summer book. It takes place in Southern California and Emmy is an avid surfer. Emmy takes Oliver surfing in one scene and shows him how freeing and wonderful it is to be out in the water with nothing but waves for company. This is the first big breakthrough for Oliver.

With all of the crazy stuff he’s going through, Oliver still maintains his sense of humor. There are parts that are raw and emotional. I am not one to cry  because of a book, but this one definitely made me have tears in my face. What Oliver goes through is so heartbreaking, but it’s also very empowering. Watching him grow and find his place was one of my favorite things about this book.

Why is Oliver swoon-worthy? Well, on the most basic level, he’s super hot. On a deeper level, there’s something to be said about a dude who is 1, adjusting to a life he can’t even remember while 2, being the sweetest person on the planet. I’m convinced Oliver doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. He made me laugh, he made me cry, and yes … he made me swoon. I hope you fall in love with Oliver, too.

***

Andi, to answer your question, you did better than okay with that summary! I know I can’t wait to read Emmy & Oliver, and I’m sure that all of you readers can’t wait after reading why Andi loves Oliver so!

A big THANK YOU to Andi for participating and for taking part in the Boys of Summer feature! Readers, make sure to check out Just a Broke Bookworm!

#booksfortrade

Hello Readers!

I’m hoping on the #booksfortrade bandwagon, and am looking for new homes for some books that have taken up residence with me for quite some time.

To be quite honest with you, I’m not looking for any trades. The point of this exercise to get rid of books NOT acquire more.

A few things before we get to the books: I will only ship within the United States. The books are completely free, all I ask is that you cover shipping costs. If you can’t, please send me a message or post a comment and maybe we could work something out!

ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies):

  • Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
  • Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomsom (claimed)
  • Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
  • I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier (this ARC is signed by the author)
  • Followers by Anna Davies
  • Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten
  • Tease by Amanda Maciel
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Hardcover:

  • Tales From My Closet by Jennifer Anne Moses
  • The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
  • Threatened by Eliot Schrefer (Signed by the author)

Paperback:

  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (I have two copies up for grabs!)

 

If you are interested in any of the titles above, they are available on a first come first serve basis. You can tweet me @book_bandit, you can e-mail me at BookBanditBlog@gmail.com, or you can simply leave a comment on THIS post. Once your message is received I will reach out to you as soon as I possibly can.

Remember, I will continually update this list, so please stay tuned!

Introducing The Boys of Summer!

Hello Readers!

It’s June 21st, and even though it may not seem like it outside (here in NJ it is currently muggy, grey, and awefully drab) it’s is officially SUMMER!

To celebrate, I’ve put together a month long feature that is dedicated to summer, summer reads and romances, and of course the swoon worthy characters that have stolen our hearts!

This month I will be featuring friends, fellow bloggers, and even some authors will be participating  in this feature I’m calling The Boys of Summer!

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During the course of a month  I will be posting special Boys of Summer features from all who helped me put this together — there will be top ten lists, character studies, mini reviews, author interviews, and so much more!  And to top it all off, I’ll be hosting some awesome summer-esque giveaways through the month!

So readers, I hope you stayed tuned for all the summer-lovin, swoon worthy posts that are coming your way!

 

BEA Recap: Part III

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Friday:

You would think at this point in the BEA experience that I would have been exhausted. On the inside I was …. totally exhausted. But on the outside I was excited!

Friday wasn’t only the last day of Book Expo America, it was quite possibly the busiest day in my BEA15 schedule. Friday was the day that ALL the signings were taking place. Or so it seemed.

The moment the Exhibit Hall opened, Emma and I were off! The first signing of the day was an in booth signing of The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff at Lerner.

I’m going to be honest with you – I thought this line was going to be overwhelmingly crazy, and extremely long. I mean Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff were signing! They’re rockstars! And it was extremely long! But the fine people at Lerner were so nice and so organized that the line didn’t seem long. I think it also helped that we had a plan, we stuck to it, and we got there early.

Armed with what I was going to say to each of the authors, I made my way up to the booth and completely … BLANKED! I was a little in awe of their awesomeness! I never got to say how big a fan I am, how their first collection of short stories has inspired me and Emma to write our own short stories. I barely croaked out a ‘hello’. But still they were lovely and awesome, and I did get to snap a picture or two.

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Sadly I missed my chance to snap a pic of Tessa Gratton 😦

Armed with The Anatomy of Curiosity, it was time to make my way over the autographing area. The first author up was MarcyKate Connolly, and she was signing copies of her book Monstrous. Monstrous was one of those books that I was instantly drawn to. The cover is gorgeous and the premise is intriguing. What more could I ask for.

MarcyKate Connolly was super sweet. It was a pleasure getting to meet her, to tell her how excited I am about her book, and chat for a minute or so.

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(Picture courtesy of Emma, Miss Print)

After meeting MarcyKate Emma and I headed over to Sarah Beth Durst’s line. She was signing arcs of her upcoming middle grade The Girl Who Could Not Dream. I’ve met Sarah before … several times. And every time it is a true pleasure. Sarah seriously is the nicest person I have ever met! She so down to Earth, and her books are just great. So obviously I was excited for this one. Not just because of the book, but because I always look forward to meeting her!

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After seeing and chatting with Sarah, it was time! The time had come to meet OLIVER JEFFERS! Or line up to meet him. And yes, as I suspected the line was EPIC! It was CRAZY! And at times it felt as if it was never moving.

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Oliver Jeffers wasn’t signing books, instead he was signing prints for The Day The Crayons Came Home. It was a long wait, but totally worth it in my book!

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After Oliver Jeffers Emma and I were both in need of food and a break. The afternoon was going to be a busy one.

Lunch at the Javits Center isn’t always the greatest, or the cheapest for that matter but it’s always good to take a break and sit for a while. Lunch was swiftly followed by Emma and I hurrying off to the autographing area. But not without making a pit stop at HarperCollin’s booth to meet Kevin Henkes. Honestly, I was super surprised that his line wasn’t out of the Javits Center’s front door. But it wasn’t.

Kevin Henkes is so talented, looking back I’m glad that Emma made it a point to stop by this signing!

After meeting the very nice and very talented Kevin Henkes, we made our way to the autographing area where the first (of many) author was Maggie Lehrman where she was signing The Cost of All Things. This book is being compared to We Were Liars – need I say more? Well, this is a must read for me!

IMG_0189Maggie Lehrman was super nice!  And the cover of The Cost of All Things is super pretty! Isn’t it?!

While Emma went to on line to meet Jennifer Walkup, I bounced over to Rachel Shane’s line. Rachel was signing her book Alice in Wonderland High – a must read for me! I’m an Alice fan through and through. Seriously, when I was little, after seeing the movie, I said I wanted to Alice when I grew up. And that I couldn’t wait to be 7 1/2!

Rachel Shane was super nice, and not surprising an Alice in Wonderland fan too! So I like to think we’re homegirls now ha ha ha .

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Because Rachel Shane’s line was moving quickly I was able to meet up with Emma and join the Jennifer Walkup line! This is one of those books that I hadn’t heard much about before BEA15, but after reading up about it, I knew this was a book I would want to read.

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Friday afternoon seemed as if there was author signing after author signing. Thankfully, Emma was armed and ready with our schedule so from Jennifer Walkup’s line we bounced over to Leila Sales’ line. Now, both of us had copies of Tonight the Streets Are Ours, but both of us didn’t have SIGNED copies! (Don’t worry, we are not greedy folk – we have already homed our extra copies!). We had met Leila the night before at the Macmillan/Fierce Reads party, so it was nice getting to see her again! And she was lovely, as always!

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Wednesday and Thursday I missed my chance to get this book at the drops that HarperCollins had schedule. And at this point I had given up on it. I resigned myself to simply waiting until it hit bookshelves.

But then I remember that the author would be signing copies of it on Friday. This book was important to me, mainly because I’m a new fan of this author, and I’m determined to read ALL OF HER BOOKS!

After reading Life by Committee I’m a Corey Ann Haydu fan through and through. So getting the chance to meet her, and have her sign a copy of Rules for Stealing Stars was AWESOME!

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That morning I even took my own Life By Committee inspired picture:

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After Corey Ann Haydu’s line we had some time to kill. It was the perfect time to chat with new friends and fellow bloggers. I got to see and chat with Andi from Andi’s ABCs – who can I say had a cool personalized lanyard for her BEA badge!  Emma and I had also met  up with Cecelia at this point and we decided to form a line for Erin Bow. Now, admittedly I haven’t heard much about this book. But because Emma was so excited (and she even thinks that it is a Nicole kind of book) I decided to add it to my to read list!

While we formed the line and waited, I spotted a book that my good friend’s son – who is like my little cousin – has been begging for. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Tui T. Sutherland’s upcoming book was just feet away from me. I knew I couldn’t NOT get this book for him. So after calling my friend and telling her about this, I marched up to the line, met Tui T. Sutherland, and had her sign a book from him.

Knowing him well, I knew he would be over the moon happy about this. Also knowing him I knew he would show it off to his friend who also happens to be a big fan of the series. After telling Emma about this, and asking if she would do me a BIG favor, she agreed to help the cause and get a signed copy from the friend.

Emma — seriously I can’t thank you enough for doing this! You are a hero! And yes, they were both in shock, awe, and over the moon excited to have the book a whole month early! They were like the coolest kids in school!

After the excitement of Tui T. Sutherland it was time to head back to the Erin Bow line we had formed and it was time to wait. As we waited we noticed that Richelle Mead’s line was three isles deep and then some. As I waited for Erin Bow I silently hoped that everyone on that line would meet Richelle Mead and get a copy of her highly anticipated book, Soundless.

At last it was 2:30 and Erin Bow was waiting with quite possible the biggest smile on her face to meet everyone! She was so excited — it was contagious! And meeting her was a highlight for me because she was so kind, so friendly, and so excited to chat about books!

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Since we were at the front of the line we were in and out within mere minutes. We decided that maybe we should try to see if we could get on Richelle Mead’s line. It was moving, and her time for signing wasn’t up. We figured, why not? Worst case scenario, we wouldn’t get the book. And since we honestly didn’t think it was even a possibility we didn’t have much to lose.

Well guess what? Luck was on our side, and we met Richelle Mead who was lovely. I haven’t read her books before, mainly because I’m terrible with series. But Soundless is a standalone with a beautiful cover and a plot that simply intrigues me. So I was in!

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The afternoon was dwindling. My feet were starting to throb with pain. And exhaustion was taking over. We only had two more signings to go — would I make it? Or would I fall over from the sheer exhaustion and excitement of it all?

I made it, through not two signings but three!

After Richelle Mead’s line, I wanted to hit Lexa Hillyer’s line. Emma and I parted ways briefly. She went to wait on Lynn Weingarten’s line while I went to Lexa Hillyer’s. Proof of Forever is a book I’ve been hearing a lot about. And the more I hear the more I want to read. It was nice getting the chance to meet her. She was so sweet and so excited to meet everyone and have them read her book!

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After meeting Lexa and having her sign a copy of Proof of Forever, I made it over to Lynn Weingarten’s line. With Emma at the front and me at the back, I happily looked on at my friend. Emma and Lynn are Twitter friends, and Emma is seriously a BIG fan so it was awesome that they got to meet, and chat, and whatnot. After Emma was finished, she met me at the back and waited patiently for me to make my way through.

Like Emma promised, Lynn Weingarten was AWESOME! And can I just say – I love her hair!!!

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At this point I for real though BEA15 was coming to a close for Emma and I. But through the grapevine she had found out the Moira Fowley-Doyle was doing an in booth signing at Penguin. The Accident Season was a book that we had our eyes peeled for the entire BEA, but it gave us the slip. So when she heard about this signing, we had to go. Just had to.

With some confusion, and some flailing about we finally found the right line and planted ourselves. Once the line started to move, it moved! Since this book seemed to escape us every chance it had, being able to meet Moira Fowley-Doyle and have her sign a copy of it was a BEA15 bonus!

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It was officially time to go home. BEA15 was coming to a close. Even though I was exhausted, I was a happy girl! BEA15 was a smashing success!

I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who put BEA together and to all who made it a smashing success. To the publishers and publishers, you guys are awesome! To the volunteers who had the signing lines down to a science, you rock! To new friends and fellow bloggers – it was great meeting everyone! To all the authors – I can’t wait to read and love all of your books!

And last but not least – to Emma and her mom: THANK YOU for being great hosts – for taking me in and putting up with me for the entire week! I hope I wasn’t too much of a pain.

BEA15 was great! I’m hoping to go next year, but quite frankly I’m just not sure! We will see.

Until then …