Friday Reads #8

Hi Friends,
It’s FriYay! I have been loving sharing with you my weekend reading plans even if I haven’t always managed to read the books I’ve planned too. This weekend my plans might be overly ambitious, but what else is new.



“From rising star Jessica Goodman, author of They Wish They Were Us, comes a new fast-paced thriller about two sisters vying for the top spot on their cross-country team—until a teammate’s disappearance throws their lives off course.”



“Joyful and captivating, Blackout is a collection of interconnected stories of Black love that all take place when the lights go out during a> midsummer blackout in New York City.”



“A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.”


Please tell me that I am not the only one with intense reading plans for this weekend. Don’t forget to like and share this post! And, thank you to all my blog followers. Remember to follow my blog if you want to get notified whenever I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Friday Reads #5

Hi Friends,
It’s the weekend once again! I am here to share my weekend reads with you all. I have been on a pretty good strike with these Friday reads posts, so I thought I would keep them coming.



“Tourists, protesters, and reporters alike flock to its spellshops and historic ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death.”



“A coming-of-age novel about facing fears and grief, discovering sexuality, and self-awareness. While packing up for a move, rising senior Emily finds her mother’s summer before senior year bucket list.”



“Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?”


I think that I can probably get all of these books read this weekend. However, I am not sure what reading mood I will be in. Leave a comment telling what you are currently reading. If you want to support my blog give it a follow before you go.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Caraval // Book Review

Author: Stephanie Garber
Published: 2016
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
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Synopsis
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.


This book was interesting from the get go, and the plot never slowed down. The whole idea behind a magical carnival was awesome, since I find books that revolve around carnivals to be fascinating. Although, I haven’t read any other carnival books, so my opinion might change in the future.

The main character, Scarlett, was always second guessing herself, and was afraid to break rules. This was understandable, given her horrible home life. However, I found Scarlett likable, and didn’t mind her more annoying traits. I could, however, see how some people wouldn’t be a fan of her. Her sister, Tella, on the other hand, was a bit reckless and immature. Still I understood her desire to want a better life for herself and her sister. I think she was a lot stronger and smarter than the book actually showed.

The book kept you guessing at every turn, and you never knew who to trust. At one point, I thought I had everything figured out. But then something happens, and now I have know idea what to expect next. I am generally more inclined to like books when the plot isn’t so predictable, which I feel is true of most readers.

The world building was outstanding. The author made Caraval come to live, and made me feel like I was playing the game along with the characters. The author didn’t spend a lot of time describing this magic carnival, but the little details told about the world were enough to make me wish it was real.

I found the book to have an underlying sisterhood/relationship theme, but it was more of a background element. The book was dark and whimsical, and I think the touch of whimsy made the book not feel so long. The story also strives to prove that everyone has an agenda, and that everything comes with a price.

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether.”

Control, and being controlled, were a big part of the book. It seemed most people were out to control Scarlett – even Tella. I didn’t like how Tella tried to get Scarlett to do things she was against, because she wanted to protect her sister. Sure, Tella was doing it out of love. Still, it felt underhanded. By the end, I felt pretty bad for Scarlett. And speaking of the ending, there was a minor cliffhanger that has me intrigued. I’m curious to see what comes next!

Despite all the good things I had to say about the story, it didn’t quite make it to 5 stars. I will say that Julian, the love interest, was a highlight of the book, because he was very swoon-worthy.

There are a few trigger warning for the book, but I wouldn’t worry too much about them. First and foremost, this is a fantasy book so it doesn’t really focus on heavy topics. However, you can visit the books page on Book Trigger Warnings if you would like. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow, because it makes me smile.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Kingdom Of The Wicked // Book Review

Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Published: 2020
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Witchies
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Synopsis
From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series. Two sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself. And an intoxicating romance.


I am a fan of Kerri Maniscalco’s ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ series. Although, it’s worth mentioning that I have only read the first book in that series. However, I am very conflicted on my thoughts of this book. On the one hand I find the premise interesting, but I wasn’t thrilled with the characters, or the overall plot.

The book didn’t enchant me as much as I’d hoped it would. At first, I found the plot to be fast paced and engaging. But as the book went on, I cared less and less about the story. And don’t even get me started with the love plot. I get that this isn’t supposed to be a romance heavy book, which is a good thing. But the growing relationship between the two main characters, Emilia and Wrath, didn’t do it for me.

“Your heart will conquer darkness. Trust in that.”

The shocking twist wasn’t a shocking twist at all, and one could guess the villain, as well as the cliffhanger ending. However, it did at least leaves you wanting more, and anticipating the next book. As the reader, you do want to see what happens next. Are the more twist to come? What is in store for Emilia and Wrath?

Keep in mind that this isn’t a one session read, yet I do know some fantasy lovers can read a heavy fantasy in one sitting, so this could just be a me thing. I found the story to require a lot of focus and attention, which most fantasy worlds do. One of my biggest cons was the slow pacing, because it made the book seem longer than it is actually.

The writing was beautiful, since Maniscalco has a singsong way of telling a story, which makes it hard for me not to pick up the next book. In all honestly, I don’t think this book was my type of book, but I can see a YA fantasy fan really enjoying it. In the comments, let me know if you are a fantasy reader. Please hit the follow button, and share and like this post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Toymaker’s Apprentice // Book Review

Title: The Toymaker’s Apprentice
Author: Sherri L. Smith
Published: 2015
Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy/Retelling
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Synopsis
Based on the original inspiration for the Nutcracker ballet, Sherri L. Smith brings the Nutcracker Prince to life in this fascinating journey into a world of toymaking, magical curses, clockmaking guilds, talking mice and erudite squirrels.


A lot of the middle grade books I read usually fall some where around the 3-star range. However, this book exceeded my expectations. I learned about this book from BookTube, and the storyline piqued my interest. I had recently read ‘The Nutcracker’, so finding out that this was a retelling of that story made me even more interested.

When we meet the protagonist, Stefan, his mother has just passed away, and he is thinking about his next steps. He questions being a toy maker is his destiny, as it was for his father. Grief has left him confused about the future, and made him guarded. When his estranged cousin, Christian, shows up Stefan immediately finds him suspicious. However, they quickly form a connection and bond while reminiscing about Stefan’s deceased mother.

Stefan accept Christian’s offer to be his apprentice, and become a clock maker. More than anything, it seemed like he desired to forge a new path, due to his mother’s death. Stefan wasn’t necessarily a complex character, but he was clever. He easily combined his love of toy making with his fascination with clock making, which made him unique.

“True survivor swallows is his pride.”

The other characters, such as Christian, Stefan’s father, and Christian’s companion were well rounded characters. However, I found Stefan to be the most enjoyable character. Still, every characters had their own place in the story, even all the mice, and I don’t think the plot would have been complete without all of them. As I mentioned, there are mice characters, because it wouldn’t be a Nutcracker retelling without mice.

I liked how we got a look into the mice kingdom and the evil Mouse Queen. Her mice babies were all different in personality, but you could see how much their mother’s influence affected them. Their thoughts and emotions were very human like, which is an odd thing to say about mice.

The story is slow at first, but around the third chapter, it picked up. There wasn’t a point throughout the story that I was bored, or wanted to put it down in favor of something else. There was so much mystery and excitement within every chapter. Stefan goes on this adventure that changes his life forever, and you can see how it helped him come to terms with his mother’s passing.

There were so many twists and turns throughout the book, that you almost couldn’t tell where the story was going, or what to expect next. Right when you think the ending is near, and everything is wrapping up, the author throws you for a loop, and you are left needing to know how it all turns out.

I couldn’t put down the last few chapters, because the plot was so enticing. The ending was fantastic, while being somewhat sad. I wanted these characters’ journeys to continue. In my opinion, the author needs to write more books that include this cast of characters. Also, if you are new to the fantasy genre, this would be a good book to pick up. It is a gripping fantasy, but it isn’t intimidating. More of a lighter fantasy, in essence.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I really don’t know what you’re waiting for. I would also recommend it to any tween, 12+ years old. Please leave me a like, and share my reviews with others. Remember, something as little as liking my blog means a lot to me.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

These Violent Delights // Book Review

Title: These Violent Delights
Author: Chole Gong
Published: 2020
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling
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Synopsis
Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.


If you are looking for a contemporary style mystery/fantasy retelling, then this book is for you. The main reason I picked this book up was due to all the hype surrounding it. And, if you ask me, the praise is well deserved. Something I noticed right off the bat, is that you have to really pay attention while reading it, because it can be a bit confusing. There were a few times when I had to go back and reread a passage.

But, what really makes this book a winner is the compelling plot. It makes you want to keep reading, even when the story is slow moving. It was interesting to see how the rivalry between these two gangs came to be, and that the rivalry and their stubbornness could hurt millions.

One of things that made the book so enchanting were the characters. The author took so much time in giving each character their own distinct personality and backstory. I enjoyed the side characters as much as I did are main protagonists, Roma and Juliette. However, my favorite characters were Kathleen and Benedikt.

“The stars incline us, they do not bind us.”

At first, I found Juliette to be a bit bitchy. But as the story progressed, I understood why she acted a certain way. And, she had some funny moments. As for Roma, he had a very strained relationship with his father that wasn’t talked about much. However, I did think their relationship was much like Zuko and his father, the Fire Lord, in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’.

Juliette and Roma’s relationship was complicated, to say the least. Not unlike Romeo and Juliette’s love affair. Yet, that is to be expected, since the book is a retelling of the Shakespeare’s classic story. For most of the book, they were trying to deny their feelings for each other. There romance was a slow burn, which isn’t something I generally love in books. But, in this case it worked well. Still, it isn’t my favorite trope.

As for the ending, it was a mix of emotions. The last few chapters were intense, shocking, and sad. It was a crazy ending that was unexpected, but expected at the same time. You don’t see the finale twist coming, but you do suspect the book to end on a major cliffhanger.

This is an incredible book, and I had so many thoughts while reading it. It was also very well written. Let me know in the comments if you think the book is deserving of all the hype. Before you go, share and like this post, and give the blog a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Frostheart // Book Review

Title: Frostheart
Author: Jamie Littler
Published: 2019
Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy
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Synopsis
Boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them. And doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu. But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash. When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family.


I was slightly nervous going into this book, since middle grades can be hit or miss for me. This book was an okay read, but nothing too special. The overall plot was interesting enough, and was engaging at times. But I did find my mind wondering quite a bit while listening to it. And, that lead to a much slower reading experience.

The main character, Ash, was way to naive and stubborn. Sure, he is a young boy but he kept ignored the warnings of the people closest to him. When I was a kid, it was nice to know there were people looking out for me. It seemed as though his only agenda was to find his parents, and he didn’t care who lead him to them.

The supporting characters were a fun bunch. I enjoyed the character of Tobu, Ash’s yeti guardian. I would love to learn more about him and his past, especially since the story only gave us a little glimpse into his life.

“Gather round, children, and you will see something so awful it may turn your hair as gray as mine.”

Besides the fantasy aspects, the book had some funny moments. I wouldn’t say there were a ton of laugh out loud scenes, but there were some parts that did make me laugh. However, it was primarily a mystery and fantasy story that left you with way more questions than answers.

Still, the story as a whole was super predictable. Within a few chapters I could tell what was going to happen. There was a twist ending that I didn’t see coming. But it was neither a jaw dropping twist, nor very shocking. It was more like an interesting turn of events that is supposed to make you want to pick up the sequel.

This is a trilogy, but I can’t defiantly say if I will read the other two books. On the one hand, I want to see how the story ends. However, I don’t feel that I am all too invested in the story to continue with it. This isn’t a bad book at all, and I know that it is some people’s favorite trilogy. It just wasn’t something I would read again, but I’m still glad I picked it up.

Have you read and liked the ‘Frostheart’ trilogy? Should I read the rest of the books? Let me know in the comments below.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

12 In 2022 // Yearly TBR

Hi Friends,
I knew that I wanted to do some kind of 2022 TBR, but I decided not to include any new releases. Of course, I will be reading many 2021 and 2022 releases throughout the year, but I wanted to do more of a backlist TBR for the year. If you read my resolutions post, then you know that one of my bookish goals is to read more older titles. I want to read all the books that came out years ago that I have forgotten about. So, here are the 12 books I would like to read this year. Also, keep in mind that I am counting a book series as one book.

Divergent by Veronica Roth: I have heard a lot of mixed things about this series. But, I really want to read it this year. My husband read the entire trilogy, and we’ve seen the first two movies. I would like to read all the books, and possibly the companion novel ‘Four.’

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I started this series a while ago, but never finished it. I attempted book two, ‘Catching Fire,’ but I put it down and never picked it back up. Now I think it’s time to see if all the hype about the series is true. I have seen the final two movies in the film adaptations, weirdly enough, so I kind of have an idea on how the books end.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: In 2020, I got the boxed-set for Christmas. Last year, I started the first book on audio, but I loaned it from the library, and had to return it before I was finished. I would like to at least read two or more books in this vampire romance series.

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian:

I haven’t read a Jenny Han book in a minute. I would love to see what this trilogy is all about. It is the only Jenny Han series that I have yet to read, yet my opinions on her books have been fairly mixed. I hope that I enjoy this one as much as I did the ‘To All The Boys’ trilogy.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi: I have heard nothing but good things about this book, and love the premise of it. This book follows a Muslim-American teenage girl. Although, I was born in American, I was raised Muslim. Today, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself Muslim, but it was a big part of my upbringing. We don’t get a lot of Persian and Muslim representation in books, so I’m excited to read a book that deals with a character that I can relate too.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: I have been very intrigued by this author since I discovered that she writes some books in verse. I am trying to learn more about this type of writing, because it is something I am very interested in. Now I don’t know much about this story, except that people love it. I would also like to read ‘With The Fire On High’ from her as well.

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali: This is a Muslim teen romance that sounds very sweet and wholesome. I have had this on my overall TBR for a while, but never got around to it. However, I would love to pick it up this year if only because I just learned that the female character is named Zayneb. Fun fact that is my older sister’s name just spelled slightly different.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord: I am shocked that I haven’t read this yet. It is an adorable YA contemporary that I know I am going to love. I need to read this as soon as possible, because I love all things cute and contemporary. Honestly, I haven’t seen one negative review of this book.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland: I used to be in love with this book cover, because it is so different. But then I found out the plot, and knew it was going to be a crazy read. It has sister and mystery elements, with maybe a touch of horror. I haven’t seen too many people reviewing it, so I will be going into it with an open mind.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig: I am going to be honest, but this book sounds an awful lot like the one before. However, I have been wanting to read it since it was released two years ago. It is supposedly a ‘Twelve Dancing Princess’ retelling with a dark twist. I have become a big fan of horror and thriller books, and this one sounds pretty good.

American Royals by Katharine McGee: I cannot explain why I desperately want to read the series. Everyone in my life knows that me and royal plots don’t mix. But for some reason I am dying to jump into this trilogy. I have heard that the first book is great, but the second book falls flat. All I know is that this book has a cute romance and drama, and I am here for it.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken: This book was very hyped, leading up it’s release in January 2021. After the book came out, I noticed the hype died down quite a bit. There have been a lot of mixed reviews, with some recommending the book. Others, not so much. It is a YA Greek Gods story, that, despite the polarized opinions, I would still like to read.

I am going to stop myself here, so that this post isn’t novel length. Let me know any of the books on your yearly TBR in the comments. Don’t forget to follow my blog before you go to get notifications on all my new content.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

2022 Anticipated Releases // January – June // Bookmas 2021

Hi Friends,
Twenty Twenty-Two will be here before we know it, and so will a bunch of new books. I love finding new releases to add to my TBR. Who knows if I might discover a new favorite author? I have put together a list of the new releases that I would like to read. This list will only contain books from January to June, so the first half of the new year. Also, to keep things relatively short I only mentioned two books per month.

January

Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes (January 4th)
“A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.”

The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (January 11th)
“Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fairytale retelling for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and The Cruel Prince.”

February

Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli (February 8th)
“For fans of Emma Lord and Abbi Glines, Jennifer Iacopelli’s swoony, romantic new novel follows elite ice dancer Adriana Russo as she finds herself drawn to both her old dance partner and her new one.”

League of Liars by Astrid Scholte (February 22nd)
“In this fantasy thriller, four teens charged with murder and caught up with the illegal use of magic band together to devise the ultimate jailbreak. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows and How to Get Away with Murder.”

March

Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes (March 22nd)
“Lucy Miller’s family has the unique ability to remove people’s painful memories—but Lucy isn’t prepared for truths she will uncover in this speculative YA debut thriller, perfect for fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gabby Noone (March 29th)
“From the author of Layoverland comes another bitingly clever, laugh-out-loud funny novel, about a group of teen girls going up against an exploitative megachurch in their small Montana town.”

April

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor (April 5th)
“For fans of Caraval and The Night Circus, this decadent and darkly enchanting YA fantasy, set against the backdrop of a Belle Époque-inspired hotel, follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she uncovers the deeply disturbing secrets of the legendary Hotel Magnifique.”

With and Without You by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (April 19th)
“#Wibbroka is back with another swoony YA–this time tackling long-distance relationships, in a novel based on their own romantic history.”

May

The Noh Family by Grace Shim (May 3rd)
“A sparkling K-drama inspired debut teen novel by Grace Shim, THE NOH FAMILY introduces irrepressibly charming teen Chloe Kang, who is reunited with her deceased father’s estranged family via a DNA test, and is soon whisked off to Seoul to join them.”

Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale (May 10th)
“Heated competition leads to even hotter romance in this YA summer rom-com for fans of Sandhya Menon, Emma Lord, and Wibbroka.”

June

TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo (June 7th)
“A charming rom-com about high school debater TJ Powar who—after becoming the subject of an ugly meme—makes a resolution to stop shaving, plucking, and waxing, and prove that she can be her hairy self and still be beautiful…but soon finds this may be her most difficult debate yet. Perfect for fans of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever.”

A Secret Princess by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz (June 28th)
“A surprising and romantic YA retelling-mashup of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz.”

Those are some of the books that I’m anxiously awaiting. But, I have a ton more that I have added to my TBR as well. I always post reviews on each book I read, so my sure to follow the blog for those reviews, as swell as more bookish posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Dazzling Heights // Book Review

Title: The Dazzling Heights (Thousandth Floor, 2)
Author: Katharine McGee
Published: 2017
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi
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Synopsis
New York City, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amid high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…


*This review contains information that might be seen as spoilers.*

After reading ‘The Thousandth Floor’, I couldn’t wait to see where the story was going to go. This trilogy follows multiple perspectives, and each character is hiding something. After book one’s insane ending, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the events that occurred in the first book weren’t a major plot point. It seemed that most of the characters were fine sweeping everything under the rug and moving on with their lives. Sure they were being blackmailed, but the fact that nobody considered going to the police didn’t sit well with me.

The plot of ‘The Thousandth Floor’ was incredible, and the characters’ story lines were engaging. This time around, they had far less depth. Avery was a favorite character of mine, but her love story went way too far. She borders on being possessive of her brother/boyfriend. Wyatt is one of my favorite characters, but I wasn’t a fan of him being paired with Leda. How was he was falling for her after everything she had done?

I did enjoy the addition of the character Calliope. She and her mother are con-artists, but you get to see the real Calliope behind the facade. Honestly, I would read a whole book just about her, and I’m genuinely curious to see where her story goes from here. Also, I liked that Avery had many sweet moments with Cord throughout the story and wish we could see that relationship develop more. What can I say, I love a good friends-to-lovers story.

The biggest problem with the plot was that the author wanted us to sympathize with a killer. I know it was an accident, but her blackmailing people and lying to the cops was her own doing. The character might have felt remorse for her actions, but didn’t want to take responsibility for them. The characters were way to quick too forgive and forget. In my book, they all have blood on their hands.

“Rich girls never left something expensive on the ground, unless they’d been the one to toss it there.”

Unlike the first book, a lot of the story was about how if you’re rich or have the right friends you can get away with anything, including murder. This time around no one seems to have any kind of moral compass. The characters are willing to commit crimes indiscriminately, provided it doesn’t ruin their lives, and that makes me dislike them all.

The story kind of let me down, which is probably why it took me forever to get through. I was hoping for more excitement, definitely more consequences. There was a cliffhanger ending, which is probably the only reason I’ll pick up the final installment. Things can only go up from here, right?

Leave your thoughts on this book in the comments below. Don’t forget to share and like this post, and show your support by following the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny