Ivana - Diary Of Difference

Hi, I am Ivana and I blog at www.diaryofdifference.com

Chat Love

Chat Love - Justine Faeth Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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I wanted to read this book immediately after reading the synopsis, and I was honoured when the author, Justine Faeth, approached me and sent me an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.

The book synopsis is a very promising one. Lucia is having trouble finding a man. After a few disastrous dates, she chooses to follow her friend’s advice and tries Chat Love, an online dating service. As promising as the synopsis sounds, this book didn’t quite deliver. With Chat Love, I found the whole setting of the book unrealistic. There is a nice background story and a great idea, but it hasn’t been properly executed.

Lucia is an Italian lady. She is a city girl and a business woman. She is searching for love. See, Lucia is under pressure by her Italian family to get married. And I can completely understand that pressure, being born in a country where I have met people with similar beliefs. Lucia’s family thinks that a woman is made to be a mother, and not have a career. They think that if you are thirty and you haven’t got a boyfriend yet, you are useless and unworthy.

And I completely agree with Lucia when she tries to stand up to them and tell them how it’s important for her to find a man she will really love, not just marry in order to please her family. In some scenes though, it appears as if she hates her family, and has very bad attitude towards them. I understand completely where her frustration comes from.

But then, on the other hand, we have a Lucia that is being a hypocrite.

And while this whole book seems like she is searching for her true love, when someone appears and cares about her, she is acting as if she’s not interested. Woman, WHAT DO YOU WANT? She wants true love, and she doesn’t want to be used as a one-night stand, which is completely acceptable. But going on a date with a man for the first time, and telling him you want to get serious is creepy. Even if that is your long-term goal, you DO NOT say it on the first date. It scares people away. It makes people think you are a creep.

Also, given the fact that the synopsis promises an online app, this left me disappointed. During this book, we don’t get to really see a single chat happen through this app. Apart from a few letters from Jake. Honestly, I expected a back and forth conversations with men before a date happens. In the book, we get to see Lucia dating a lot of men. I didn’t stop to count them, but there must’ve been around twenty dates. And all these men had something wrong with them. But she never screwed up.

I will be honest with you now, and you people need to be honest with yourselves. In your life, you will meet people, and some people will make you giggle. Others might make you gag. But sometimes, the reason for a bad date is you. I am only trying to be honest here. I have screwed up a few dates myself, and you must have done the same thing too. That’s life though. We have to move on and try not to blame others for our mistakes. I wish this been represented in this book.

I really wish I loved this book.

I have mixed feelings, because despite all, this book did make me think and bring up discussions with people around the various topics, from family beliefs, to being creepy on first dates, to finding out what you really like. In a summary, as much as I didn’t enjoy it, I also am grateful for this book, for bringing out a lot of things to think about.

If you love chick-lit and short romance funny novels, you might enjoy it. If you think any of this discussion points is intriguing, you might enjoy it. I would love to have a chat and see what you think of this book.

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Corpus

Corpus - Rory Clements The Tom Wilde Series
#1 Corpus - Not Read Yet
#2 Nucleus - Not Read Yet
#3 Nemesis - ★★★★★

Adding this to my TBR because I loved Nemesis.

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

#1 Children of Blood and Bone - ★★★★★

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‘’In the beginning, Orisha was a land where the rare and sacred maji thrived. Each of the ten clans was gifted by the gods above and given a different power to land.’’

It is not every day that you encounter a book that lets you dive in a world of magic, with such intensity as Children of Blood and Bone. A story so beautifully written, that you forget this is not the real world and you are in a fantasy story. This is one of the books I wish I could keep reading it for the first time again and again.

When majis are born with white hair, it means that they are touched by the Gods. They are called Diviners, and when they celebrate their thirteenth birthday, they have the ability to use magic.

Zelie still remembers how Orisha used to have magic. Different clans existed, and they could all control different things: air, water, earth… But Zelie also remembers the night when everything went wrong. When the king and the army came and killed hundreds of people. Zelie remembers, like it was yesterday, how on that night they brutally killed her mother. The night when magic disappeared forever.

And when Zelie realises that she is one of the very few people that can still use magic, and return magic in Orisha, she goes on a quest with her brother. With the help of a princess that escapes the castle, she has to learn to control her magic powers, and also her feelings for an enemy she mustn’t trust.

‘’I longed for the day I would feel the magic of the dead in my bones, but right now all I can feel is an unnerving tingle in my veins.’’

The world is so well created, and the characters are all loveable and adorable. The magic story in this book is unique and I loved getting to know more about all clans, what they can do, and reading about people realising they have magic in themselves.

Zelie, as a character, is the protagonist, as all adventures are revolved around her, but the other characters are as much as important, if not in some cases, more important than her. She is a character that many of us can relate to. A person that has been denied the sole purpose of existing. A person that has suffered, because of other people’s choices. For Zelie, this was the denial of magic to her and her people, but for others it could be just anything. What I loved the most was the bravery that she showed, even though inside her she would be so scared. It felt as if fear itself made her to be brave. And I have felt that many times. Sometimes, you don’t really have a choice, but to be brave, no matter how scared you might be.

Then, we have Zelie’s brother, Tzain, who is always the more cautious one and tries to (unsuccessfully) keep Zelie out of trouble. He has so much love for Zelie in his heart and is always the one throwing himself out there to protect her. If I ever had a brother, I would wish for him to be Tzain. I couldn’t explain the love and connection they have together with Zelie. It’s so beautiful!

Then there is Amari, the princess that doesn’t agree with her father’s choices, and decides to follow her heart. I think I loved Amari the most out of all characters, as she was my true hero. Raised in a world of ruthless cruelty, and forced to do things she doesn’t want, her father, the king, always believes that she is weak, and incapable of defending herself and ruling a kingdom. And out there, with Zelie and Tzain, is where Amari finds her true self, and the moment she does is the best scene in this whole book, the beauty of a woman being so powerful, only because she was being belittled her whole life.

‘’It’s like seeing her for the first time: the human behind the maji. Fear embedded in the pain. Tragedy caused in Father’s name.’’

And in the end, we have Inan, the most controversial character in this book. The son of the king, and brother of Amari, dedicated to follow his father and rule the kingdom, but struggling between what is right and wrong. When he realises he has magic as well, he can’t confess, as his father kills those who have magic, but meeting Zelie, he is not so sure anymore of what really is happening in his kingdom, and has to make a decision on whose side he wants to be.

‘’The truth cuts like the sharpest knife I’ve ever known.’’

I loved how the story is focused on both worlds:

The world of Zelie and Tzain, where they live in small town with their father, they have to pay incredible amount of diviner tax, and the taxes get more and more expensive, and become impossible to be paid, so people have to go and do free labor for the king, never to be free again. They are faced with such unfairness and cruelty, but their families and the people in the village are sticking together to survive through everything.

And then we have the world of Amari and Inan, and the King. A world where magic is forbidden and all people that can use magic are being slaughtered. A world where being fierceless and cruel means that you are strong enough to lead a kingdom, and protect Orisha.

The only remark I have on this book were the acknowledgements. As much as I respect that story being told, and appreciate it with all my heart, I also really wished I haven’t read that part as it changed the story in the end for me, in a negative way. As I truly believe that every single person has the ability of magic in themselves. Every single person is powerful, and we all should be Diviners! And Inan having the ability himself proves my point on this as well.

A story about the battle of magic and friendships, a story about wins and losses, a world where magic lives in every single one of us. A world where we all belong. A masterpiece, this is. And a powerful one as well.

2018 on Goodreads

2018 on Goodreads - Various Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Update is still in progress

Books of the month:

January - June (in order)
[bc:Moonlight Over Manhattan|31564871|Moonlight Over Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love, #6)|Sarah Morgan|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1503182866s/31564871.jpg|52249870][bc:Ready Player One|9969571|Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)|Ernest Cline|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500930947s/9969571.jpg|14863741][bc:The Night Raid|35380846|The Night Raid|Clare Harvey|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1496794787s/35380846.jpg|56740052][bc:Coming Home|30407364|Coming Home|Fern Britton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1511803698s/30407364.jpg|50931087][bc:Now You See Her|38356363|Now You See Her|Heidi Perks|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1519836465s/38356363.jpg|62681440][bc:Quidditch Through the Ages|111450|Quidditch Through the Ages|Kennilworthy Whisp|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1369689506s/111450.jpg|6247751]

July - December (in order)
[bc:Fawkes|36576048|Fawkes|Nadine Brandes|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1513275599s/36576048.jpg|58318394][bc:Never Forgotten|20874388|Never Forgotten (Never Forgotten, #1)|Kelly Risser|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1392867360s/20874388.jpg|40213373][bc:The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle|36337550|The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle|Stuart Turton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1506896221s/36337550.jpg|57528323][bc:A Game of Thrones|11059675|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327110509s/11059675.jpg|1466917][bc:Uglies|9370793|Uglies (Uglies, #1)|Scott Westerfeld|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1403867605s/9370793.jpg|2895388][bc:Warcross|29385546|Warcross (Warcross, #1)|Marie Lu|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489081682s/29385546.jpg|49634052]

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All books I read, sorted by rating

★★★★★

[bc:Moonlight Over Manhattan|31564871|Moonlight Over Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love, #6)|Sarah Morgan|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1503182866s/31564871.jpg|52249870][bc:True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop|33145286|True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #2)|Annie Darling|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1488319830s/33145286.jpg|53831734][bc:Releasing the Demons|26063603|Releasing the Demons|L.D. Rose|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1485124954s/26063603.jpg|45997949][bc:Ready Player One|9969571|Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)|Ernest Cline|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500930947s/9969571.jpg|14863741][bc:Out Of My Mind|36386812|Out Of My Mind|Cathy Penman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1507644109s/36386812.jpg|58077489][bc:Purgatorium|43167749|Purgatorium|J.H. Carnathan|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1544189967s/43167749.jpg|56706752][bc:The Night Raid|35380846|The Night Raid|Clare Harvey|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1496794787s/35380846.jpg|56740052][bc:Set Me Free: The Story of How Shakespeare Saved A Life|35576020|Set Me Free The Story of How Shakespeare Saved A Life|Salvatore Striano|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1499057728s/35576020.jpg|50382001][bc:Piasa|35012551|Piasa|Michael Kott|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493816468s/35012551.jpg|42284116][bc:Coming Home|30407364|Coming Home|Fern Britton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1511803698s/30407364.jpg|50931087][bc:Now You See Her|38356363|Now You See Her|Heidi Perks|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1519836465s/38356363.jpg|62681440][bc:Quidditch Through the Ages|30164747|Quidditch Through the Ages|J.K. Rowling|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1462921478s/30164747.jpg|6247751][bc:Circe|32993458|Circe|Madeline Miller|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1544457476s/32993458.jpg|53043399][bc:Fawkes|36576048|Fawkes|Nadine Brandes|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1513275599s/36576048.jpg|58318394][bc:I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You|31279898|I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)|Ally Carter|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1469655392s/31279898.jpg|1008494][bc:Never Forgotten|20874388|Never Forgotten (Never Forgotten, #1)|Kelly Risser|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1392867360s/20874388.jpg|40213373][bc:The Last Titan|41435662|The Last Titan|Craig Wainwright|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1534968452s/41435662.jpg|64663445][bc:A Game of Thrones|11059675|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327110509s/11059675.jpg|1466917][bc:City of Bones|256683|City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)|Cassandra Clare|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1432730315s/256683.jpg|2267189][bc:The Cruel Prince|26032825|The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)|Holly Black|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493047153s/26032825.jpg|45959123][bc:My Name is Anna|39667685|My Name is Anna|Lizzy Barber|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1547508350s/39667685.jpg|61249547][bc:Uglies|9370793|Uglies (Uglies, #1)|Scott Westerfeld|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1403867605s/9370793.jpg|2895388][bc:Day of the Accident|38470184|Day of the Accident|Nuala Ellwood|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1535537800s/38470184.jpg|60099009][bc:The Silent Patient|40891998|The Silent Patient|Alex Michaelides|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1535016723s/40891998.jpg|59752778][bc:Warcross|29385546|Warcross (Warcross, #1)|Marie Lu|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489081682s/29385546.jpg|49634052][bc:The Perks of Being a Wallflower|4327066|The Perks of Being a Wallflower|Stephen Chbosky|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1511288703s/4327066.jpg|2236198]

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★★★★

[bc:Sigfried's Smelly Socks!|36402477|Sigfried's Smelly Socks!|Len Foley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1507844802s/36402477.jpg|58095377][bc:My Trip to Adele|31825835|My Trip to Adele|R.I. Alyaseer|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1472859597s/31825835.jpg|52483824][bc:Canadian Alternative: Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels|34919014|Canadian Alternative Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels|Dominick Grace|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1497954465s/34919014.jpg|56182828][bc:Wide Open|35500590|Wide Open|Amy Bodossian|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1499230516s/35500590.jpg|56905506][bc:Read and Gone|37928555|Read and Gone (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #2)|Allison Brook|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1515877490s/37928555.jpg|59646452][bc:Quarry's Climax|34014841|Quarry's Climax (Quarry #14)|Max Allan Collins|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1498930963s/34014841.jpg|55011790][bc:The One and Only|39873019|The One and Only|Julia Ash|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1524123020s/39873019.jpg|61678180][bc:The Camelot Shadow|24020362|The Camelot Shadow (Camelot Shadow #1)|Sean Gibson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1439188786s/24020362.jpg|43082272][bc:Beautiful Demons|29791489|Beautiful Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #1)|Sarra Cannon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1459874136s/29791489.jpg|14496593][bc:Inner Demons|29791777|Inner Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #2)|Sarra Cannon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1459874430s/29791777.jpg|14884004][bc:Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children|9460487|Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)|Ransom Riggs|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1546430481s/9460487.jpg|14345371][bc:Sleep, Merel, Sleep|39726253|Sleep, Merel, Sleep|Silke Stein|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1522961628s/39726253.jpg|61409912][bc:Ignite|12884001|Ignite (Midnight Fire, #1)|Kaitlyn Davis|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1391060119s/12884001.jpg|18037309][bc:LifeShift|40613627|LifeShift|Michael Kott|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1529705979s/40613627.jpg|63089020][bc:The Official Highway Code|25682280|The Official Highway Code|Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1433686803s/25682280.jpg|45508779][bc:The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle|36337550|The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle|Stuart Turton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1506896221s/36337550.jpg|57528323][bc:Delusions|40366944|Delusions|Amy Crandall|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1534257883s/40366944.jpg|62651977][bc:Geek Girl|13621089|Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)|Holly Smale|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1350080057s/13621089.jpg|19224529][bc:Geekerella|30724132|Geekerella|Ashley Poston|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1476734515s/30724132.jpg|50652411][bc:The Rumour|39685241|The Rumour|Lesley Kara|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1543859669s/39685241.jpg|61295074][bc:Carrie|17396842|Carrie|Stephen King|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1382000068s/17396842.jpg|1552134][bc:Winter Trials|41147717|Winter Trials (Northern Witch, #1)|K.S. Marsden|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1534318235s/41147717.jpg|53645353][bc:All These Beautiful Strangers|38123080|All These Beautiful Strangers|Elizabeth Klehfoth|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1521382694s/38123080.jpg|58070213][bc:The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories|99300|The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories|Charlotte Perkins Gilman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327909237s/99300.jpg|1467808]

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★★★

[bc:Delivered on Christmas|35760115|Delivered on Christmas|Dean McFalls|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1506318412s/35760115.jpg|57260517][bc:How A Good Person Can Really Win|17373138|How A Good Person Can Really Win|Pavan Choudary|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1360821990s/17373138.jpg|24160679][bc:Gunshots & Goalposts: The Story of Northern Irish Football|36013206|Gunshots & Goalposts The Story of Northern Irish Football|Benjamin Roberts|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1502665408s/36013206.jpg|57585949][bc:Cryptid|39981347|Cryptid|Michael Kott|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1524943660s/39981347.jpg|61900530][bc:Pale Blue Scratch|28919161|Pale Blue Scratch|Jay DiNitto|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1455591169s/28919161.jpg|49135601][bc:A Ritual of Bone|40551166|A Ritual of Bone (The Dead Sagas, #1)|Lee C. Conley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1529268096s/40551166.jpg|61363217][bc:The Song of Achilles|13516154|The Song of Achilles|Madeline Miller|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1445616445s/13516154.jpg|16176791][bc:Bitter Demons|29792734|Bitter Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #3)|Sarra Cannon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1459874897s/29792734.jpg|15529056][bc:The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure|34485520|The Stone of Destiny A Sherlock Holmes Adventure|Richard T. Ryan|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1494486587s/34485520.jpg|55606026][bc:Wonder Woman: Her Greatest Battles|32294940|Wonder Woman Her Greatest Battles|George Pérez|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1497927401s/32294940.jpg|52922236][bc:The Little Mermaid|132391|The Little Mermaid|Hans Christian Andersen|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1309204955s/132391.jpg|245197][bc:Hippie|39947385|Hippie|Paulo Coelho|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1532481489s/39947385.jpg|61423234][bc:Some Sunny Day: A nurse. A soldier. A wartime love story.|39092341|Some Sunny Day A nurse. A soldier. A wartime love story.|Madge Lambert|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1520612517s/39092341.jpg|60669009][bc:Vampire Academy|345627|Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)|Richelle Mead|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1361098973s/345627.jpg|335933][bc:The Psychology of Time Travel|41035725|The Psychology of Time Travel|Kate Mascarenhas|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1533307735s/41035725.jpg|59987350][bc:The Diary of a Young Girl|604152|The Diary of a Young Girl|Anne Frank|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1176219545s/604152.jpg|3532896]

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★★

[bc:My Absolute Darling|35687202|My Absolute Darling|Gabriel Tallent|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500210672s/35687202.jpg|54375969][bc:Najgolemite misterii na svetot|35480205|Najgolemite misterii na svetot|Gjurgja Izdavacka kuka|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|56874869][bc:The Frightened Little Flower Bud|36226869|The Frightened Little Flower Bud|Renée Paule|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1505213611s/36226869.jpg|57866453][bc:Falling Short|38621635|Falling Short|Lex Coulton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1519120489s/38621635.jpg|60237140][bc:Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge|31019831|Beast A Tale of Love and Revenge|Lisa Jensen|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1504231732s/31019831.jpg|45089893][bc:Awakened|24988236|Awakened (Vampire Awakenings, #1)|Brenda K. Davies|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1436821799s/24988236.jpg|21591309][bc:No Fourth River. A Novel Based on a True Story. A profoundly moving read about a woman's fight for survival.|36672128|No Fourth River. A Novel Based on a True Story. A profoundly moving read about a woman's fight for survival.|Christine Clayfield|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1511793133s/36672128.jpg|58458308][bc:The Last Seven Months Of Anne Frank - The Stories of Six Women Who Knew Anne Frank|47299|The Last Seven Months Of Anne Frank - The Stories of Six Women Who Knew Anne Frank|Willy Lindwer|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1347561096s/47299.jpg|318402]

Nights in Rodanthe

Nights in Rodanthe - Nicholas Sparks Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Nicholas Sparks is the romance genius. He is able to create stories of people falling in love, like no author I have read a book from yet. He puts so much emotion and feeling into the pages, that after one of his books, reading another romance seems boring.

Having read almost all of his books, I decided to finish all the ones I haven’t read, and when I suddenly encountered this one in the library, I told myself – ‘’Hey, why not?’’

The synopsis was intriguing, as all of his books are, but unlike the others, Nights in Rodanthe left me disappointed. With his books – this was the first time I ever felt like that. And that is why I need to mention this.

First of all, the story is very predictable. Too predictable – even. I knew what was going to happen from the very first chapters, and I was expecting at least a little bit of a plot twist, but nothing really happened.

Secondly, the romance was fake. The falling in love part? I didn’t see it. I just can’t imagine people falling in love in three days. I am sorry – but it is impossible. Crush, interest, lust, someone paying attention to you, and you feeling goosebumps – I can understand it all. But in three days, I can’t imagine anyone falling so deeply for one another, that you can’t look at another person ever again, and they are all you think about, all day.

Honestly – how well can you get to know a person in three days? Will you get to know the real person? When you’ve never seen them sad, angry, how they behave in company, how they behave when drunk, when upset, when they are doing daily chores, like going at work (note – this all happened while they were sort-of on vacation).

I can remember how many summers I have spent going on vacation for ten days, and thinking I was in love with someone. I am sure you have gone through the same.

So, knowing all this above, I just couldn’t feel for these people as I used to feel with many from Sparks’s characters in other books. And don’t judge me, that this would be the sole reason why I rate this book the way I do. After all, it’s a romance novel.

On the other side though – it is an emotional novel. If you, for a moment forget how fast this romance happened and how unreal it is, the story is going to deeply hurt your soul, and crush you into pieces. Fake romance or not, you are going to shed a few tears for sure.

To wrap this up – I didn’t like it. I am not into fake, impossible romance. But this book seems to be a hit or miss, so if you like Nicholas Sparks – I still encourage you to read it. You never know, it might be your favourite book from him so far.

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The Diary Of A Young Girl

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We have all heard about or read this book. I remember reading it in high-school as a project. And since I never had written a proper book review, I decided to read it again.

I went to the library, and they only had the short Penguin version, with the most important diary entries of Anne Frank. It is only 65 pages. So, I decided to also grab another book – The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer, so I can write a full overview.

This is a diary of a young girl, and she was writing these stories during two years of hiding. Anne Frank and her family are Jews and they live in The Netherlands. After the Germans invade, many people are captured and go to designated camps. A few manage to escape and go into hiding. Anne’s family hides in her father’s office.

If you are reading this diary, without knowing anything about history – this could be a happy story. These diary entries are filled with love and hope, dreams of a young girl, beliefs, opinions, descriptions of her first crush and planning a future.

But this is not a happy story. This girl doesn’t get the chance to grow up. This girl doesn’t get the chance to experience freedom, and live to get to know her grandchildren. This is a sad story of not just Anne Frank, but all these people that have gone through that painful journey.

While this book deserves to be read by every person, and this history needs to keep being told many years after us, I feel the need to make a proper book review.

This is not a well-written book, with a great plot and amazing description. So based on that, this doesn’t stand up to the standards. But this book has a meaning that makes up for all the amateur writing. After all, this was a teenager writing it, without even knowing this will someday be shared with the world.

To all of you that haven’t read it yet – I highly recommend it. If you don’t want to go with the long version, read the short Penguin one, like I did.

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The Last Seven Months Of Anne Frank

The Last Seven Months Of Anne Frank - Willy Lindwer Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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When I went to the library to pick up the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, I also picked up this book. I wanted to learn more about her last months, as Anne didn’t write in her diary after she was found and brought to the camps.

If you, just like me, are looking for books to help you find this info, please skip this one.

The title is completely misleading, as Anne Frank is barely mentioned in the book, and these women that claim to know her seem to not have known her at all. If I see a person on the far end of the fence, or sit together while the guards are counting us, I wouldn’t consider them a friend. Just a fellow unfortunate companion.

Don’t get me wrong – these six women, that went through all this traumatized period, and are brave enough to tell the story are worth mentioning, and are worth of great recognitions. And this book is also a great value to history of what happened in those cruel places.

But when people use a famous person’s name in order to sell a book, on such painful basis, this is beyond me to comment, so I will leave it to you to make a conclusion on your own.

Among this part, the stories of these six women were heartbreaking, and so well-described, it felt as if I was there for a moment. The things they went through and the families they lost is so sad.
I also liked the old images that were in the middle of the book. They added a real image to the words.

If you want to read more about Anne Frank – choose another book. But if you want to find out about other people’s stories from this time period – grab this book.

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The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories

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I haven’t read much classic reads this year, and a few days before the end of 2018, I decided to go for a classic short story, and I chose The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

This classic has been written by a woman in the 19th century. A time when women weren’t treated the same way as today. A difficult time, where women couldn’t express their opinion as they wished, but they were suppressed by the male authority in the family.

When The Yellow Wallpaper came out, it was considered a Gothic Horror Tale. It is hard to believe for me, knowing the world we live in today, and how we, as women can express our opinions openly. But back in the days, this is how it was. It wasn’t easy for the woman, and I am glad we have a lot of brave women from that time, that gathered the courage to tell stories for the next generations.

This is a story about a woman, who seems to suffer of post-partum depression (a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth). She has been forced by her husband and doctor to stay in her room until she is ”mentally capable” again to take care of her baby. I am not a mother, but I can imagine the pain and suffering of not being allowed to see and hold your unborn child. And people thought this was okay?

The woman is constantly staring at the yellow wallpaper and the window, constantly reassuring herself that this is all happening for her own good, and that the husband and doctor know best, until a point where we are not actually sure if she is in her right mind anymore.

She starts to see a woman inside the wallpaper, and believes the woman is struggling to break free. I loved the metaphor used, as her subconscious knows she is trapped, and the end is so painful to read, but oh, so powerful.

Even though such a short read, The Yellow Wallpaper is an impressive view on cultural traditions, and the position of women in the family. A classic and a must-have for every woman!

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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We all are, or have once been wallflowers. The shy creatures of the universe, strangled in a problematic world where everything is so confusing and hard. We have all once swam in those deep waters, where the finish line is the act of growing up, and we all coped with it in different ways.

Charlie is struggling with the same things we were, when in high school. The friendships, or lack of them, the crushes, the secret thoughts, the exams, the pressure, the misunderstandings with our parents, our goals, hopes and dreams, our visions of what we will become.

It is an emotional, but very realistic story, about one kid, and all the things he learns while growing up. By learning things the hard way, by listening, by watching things happen to his friends and family, by just being a wallflower.

The author has written this book in a way where Charlie is writing letters to his secret friend, telling him about his daily adventures. I loved this way, because the letters give a sense of confidentiality, of honesty, or pure thoughts with nothing to hide.

Charlie is a shy guy, who has trouble making friends, socialising, and lacks a lot of common sense. To me, this game me vibes of an autistic kid, or an anxious child suffering from PTSD, which hits all the marks, but I don’t know whether or not this was the author’s purpose. It was written in 1998, so I can assume these subjects might have been taboo, as people weren’t as open minded as today.

To me, Charlie was a relatable character. Even though clearly going through a lot more than just a normal kid, in this book, he copes with problems we have all coped. And the part I loved about Charlie the most is – he is honest, so brutally honest, and doesn’t try to hide things he understands or trying to understand. He sees things we don’t tend to see, and he feels things in a way I would want to feel them.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

He suddenly meets a group of friends, that accept him as he is, and he can be as weird and crazy as he wants, no one bothers. These friendships – my dear reader – are something we all wish for, and some of us are so lucky to have them.

I truly believe that this book is definitely something I would give to my kid to read, or to my small siblings. I wish I had read this 10 years ago, when I would relate more, and when all the high-school topics were relevant. But even now, I can still remember the exact way Charlie felt in some situations, and I wish I had read the book and acted differently on some of mine.

”Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”

Charlie will teach us a lot about high school little traumas, high-school crushes and true love, friendships and betrayals, seeing the family in a different way, and acting on things instead of doing nothing. With Charlie, I went back to high-school, and remembered all the good things and the bad, and I ALMOST shed a few tears for all the memories and times I will never have. Now, I raise a glass, and say cheers for all the good memories and friendships made.

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”

Spend a little time, and pick up this book. It is a short and sweet read, and it is a book that everyone should have on their shelves.

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Warcross

Warcross - Marie Lu Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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A fantasy of a virtual world, and a game that brings people together. A story of a girl that struggles to pay her rent, and her ability to hack the most important game of the year - Warcross. And when the creator of Warcross hires her, needing her help - she begins her adventure.

From the first moment that I read the synopsis of Warcross, I knew I wanted to have this book on my shelf and read it immediately. A couple of reasons stand behind this story:

* A girl is a main character, and a fierce one. As boring it might seem, I love a book with brave characters, especially if it’s a teen girl. I think when girls are featured as brave and fearless in books, it gives encouragement to a lot of girls reading the book, that are struggling through their teenage years.

* I am a vivid video games player. I play a lot of games, and this is something you might not have known about me. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments. I love the gaming community, and I believe that if it weren’t for the video games, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

* If you haven’t read it, you have all probably heard about Ready Player One. I absolutely loved it, and watched the movie, and I am still in love with it. And when book reviewers started comparing Warcross to Ready Player One, I had to see if this was true. I just had to check for myself.


And then, I got this book as a birthday gift from my boyfriend. So here we are, a few reasons after, me having read this book and telling you all what I thought.

Firstly, I feel like I need to say this - Warcross is nothing like Ready Player One.

Yes, we have a virtual world, and (surprise) virtual characters in the world. And yes, there is a game and the creator of the game is involved. But the whole plot and story are so much different in so many ways.

The descriptions of the virtual world, the story lines, the dialogues, the way the story flows, the romance - it is all unique and original.

And for you out there that compare this to Ready Player One - it is as if you are comparing Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde, only because they both have a plot of romance and forbidden love. It is ridiculous, let me tell you.

Even though the Warcross game as its own was brilliantly explained and described, I felt like we didn’t see much of the rest of the virtual world. I loved the way Marie Lu would talk about the world - so much passion in each chapter.

The discussion opens on virtual reality and the worlds that could be created. It is not a matter of whether it will happen, but when? I keep thinking I might be alive when we will live in a world of ''virtuality''. Would we be happier? Would we be smarter? Or would this just be another tool for people to get richer, by using its users? Is the future scary? Should it be?

Emika is a character I think many girls will relate to. Brave and fierce, even though she is afraid inside. A strong, young woman, that stands for what she believes in, even when this might mean losing the people she loves the most.

The story flows so quickly, and each end of the chapter begs you to start another one, and before you know it, it’s 4am and you keep reading, unable to stop. This book has some strange power right there!

The twists were interesting, even though some of them were predictable. Even with the knowledge of this, I would always miss something amazing, and even knowing what will happen, the experience was always pleasant.

I am so glad I got to read this book, and I am so excited to read Wildcard soon as well. I am definitely recommending this to all of you - I am sure you will enjoy it.

If you have read it, let me know what you think in the comments - I would love to discuss it!

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Untitled

Untitled - Marie Lu #1 Warcross - ★★★★★

After reading and loving Warcross, how not to read this one?

No Fourth River. A Novel Based on a True Story. A profoundly moving read about a woman's fight for survival.

No Fourth River. A Novel Based on a True Story. A profoundly moving read about a woman's fight for survival. - Christine Clayfield Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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No Fourth River is a very powerful story about swimming up to surface, when the world is against you. A story about child abuse unlike anything else, and one very determined woman.
This is the second Audiobook I have listened to, with the first being Ready Player One. Two completely different experiences. It was disturbing listening to such a painful story for a while, and it took me a long time to finish it.

The story of Christine is so sad and so unique. She is being molested by her father in ways you could never imagine. She goes to boarding school and she is being bullied even by the nurses. She wets her bed every single day. And bad things keep happening, one after another, after another, until she is in her thirties and almost dies being beaten to almost-death by her husband.

And then she decides to change her life and to be the most successful woman.

At first, when I read the synopsis, the thing that thrilled me was the ill mother that suffered from dementia. I thought this book will revolve and focus on this point, but it didn’t. And I was very disappointed.

Then I manned up, and decided to continue listening, despite my unhappiness. It was a decent story, a powerful, motivational one, but not realistic. And it hurts me saying this, because this book is autobiography. Of course these terrible things happened. But I didn’t felt for the woman. Not in a way I usually would.

The writing was just about average, or maybe the woman reading in the audiobook was to blame. I will leave that up to you, who have listened to the audiobook, or choose to do so.

The character of this woman was honest, but I still can’t imagine how and why a person would stick to people that keep hurting her, despite everything. Even if love, even if forever after, I would not stay one more day with a person if he, for one moment, loses control and raises a hand over me. I would be out of the house in a minute, never returning back. A man would never hurt a woman. No matter what she could do, or couldn’t do. I can argue for hours, and I can admit being wrong, and I can cope with being yelled at, because I have done something stupid. But the moment the line is crosses, I would be out – FOREVER.

If you guys are looking for a story that will keep you thinking about whether you’ve made right decisions, this is a great book for you. A powerful success story of a woman that was brave enough to say NO (after a few years, that is) and brave enough to start building a new life. I recommend it, even though I personally did not really enjoy it a lot.

I have won this Audiobook as a giveaway from LibraryThing, and all my opinions are honest and completely unbiased.

Uglies

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A world where you are an ugly until your sixteenth birthday. And then, you undergo a surgery and you become pretty. And life is perfect. Except, maybe it isn’t.

This is one of those books where you visualise a world in so many details, and feel like you’ve lived there all your life. Also a book that captures society for what really is. A very pleasant and enjoyable read.

I received this book as a birthday gift. Have a look at my birthday book haul on my blog.

Uglies is the first book from the series by Scott Westerfeld. A dystopian world about ”uglies” and ”pretties”. A world in which society is split between beauty. A place where the ”uglies” are separated from the real world until they do a surgery and become pretties. Then, they grow up and join the world of pretties, where they are allowed to do everything they weren’t allowed before. They attend parties and have fun, and they don’t worry about anything.

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait to become pretty. All her friends have already turned pretty before her, and she is excited to join them in this marvellous world. But just weeks before her birthday, she becomes friends with Shay, who is not so sure whether she wants to become a pretty.

When her friend runs away and escapes the operation, Tally has a choice: find Shay and bring her back, or never turn pretty at all. And when Tally goes after Shay, she discovers that the world she believed in, might not be the real one…

I absolutely loved this book with all my heart. A beautiful world forming, an interesting scenario, great plot and interesting characters. I enjoyed reading about the world, how the author put the society together, and how it all worked out.

The characters were not as engaging as I would hope them to be. Even though you felt for them, you couldn’t connect a lot. Just a little bit, enough to make you wonder what will happen next. It was enough for me to keep turning page after page in the middle of the night.

The world the author created and the way the society works in this book is incredible. The ”uglies” and ”pretties” subject will always be matter of a discussion. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if your face has imperfections. It doesn’t matter how you look like. People love other people for who they are inside out, for the friendships, for the moments spent together, and for how they make them feel.

Another thing I loved was the subject of protecting the nature. I loved the little moments and theories of destroying a certain plant for a better tomorrow for all the rest of the plants.

‘’Nature, at least, didn’t need an operation to be beautiful. It just was.’’

An amazing book, a world where you can visualise every single detail, even though you’ve never been there. A dystopian society and a battle between brains and beauty. I enjoyed it so much and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

I strongly recommend it to all of you, my friends!

A question for you all – Would you do the pretty surgery or not?

What I Loved

What I Loved - Siri Hustvedt Received as a Birthday Gift. *sighs*
Excited!

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen, Lisbeth Zwerger, Anthea Bell Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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I grew up with Disney movies and my favourite one was the one with the mermaid that has long red hair, and I loved her love story, and also enjoyed watching the rest of the movie series that followed years later.

And while loving Ariel for so long, I have never actually read the original story. So a few weeks ago, I decided to cherish it properly, as a true childhood love deserves to be cherished.

And I was left with my jaw dropped and my mouth open, unable to sleep. I can’t say this book crushed my childhood love, but it definitely shook me quite hard.

If you are expecting to read about the little mermaid, and her adventures in the water, and how she would give anything to see how people live on Earth, and fall in love with a prince – you will get all that. In fact – the book description is far better compared to the movie. Incomparable, actually. The book glows with bright colourful descriptions of the world under the sea, and it is so vividly enchantingly explained.

But if you are expecting to read about the adorable love story of Ariel and the prince, and their happily ever after – that is not happening. Because things go wrong. Horribly wrong. With a crushing, terrible end, that will torture you in your dreams.

It wasn’t my intention to make this review so dark. The story is still wonderful, and full of life. However, there is no happy ending, and that, for me, was crucial to not enjoy it.

And I am not usually upset with unhappy endings. It happens so often. But this one was so brutal and cruel, that it felt so disturbing. Maybe, because it is my favorite childhood movie. Maybe, because I knew this to be a happy story. Maybe, because I didn’t expect this at all.

Hans Christian Andersen is an amazing writer. I have read many of his stories, and enjoyed them greatly. I honestly don’t know what was going on in his life when he was writing this, but wow. Just wow.

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Carrie

Carrie - Stephen King Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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I'm probably one of the last people on Earth that hasn’t read a Stephen King book. Carrie is the first book I decided to read. People have been suggesting it to me for a while, and it seemed like a nice short bit of introduction to Stephen’s horror world.

Also, a special thank you to my friend Dave, for constantly recommending Stephen King books to me, until I finally decided to listen to him. He seemed to be right! Don’t forget to go and follow him - he is amazing!

Now - Carrie.

A book about a girl that lives with her crazy religious mother in a creepy house. A girl who is being bullied at school all the time. A story about a girl that has the ability to move objects as she wishes. And a prom night, where everything escalates.

Carrie is a sixteen year old girl. And she has been raised by her mother, who is a religious person in a - not healthy way. When Carrie misbehaves, she is sent to a closet to pray for the whole day. Even though Carrie doesn’t share her mother’s beliefs, she can’t really stand up and fight for herself.

The plot gets a grip when Carrie has her first period at the age of sixteen. She thinks she will bleed to death. And all her classmates are laughing at her, because she is stupid. And throw tampons her way. And as I am reading this, I keep thinking - what kind of mother won’t tell her child about menstruation, and puberty, and all the normal teenage phases a kid has to go through while growing up?

This moment, in the school bathroom, is the moment Carrie finds out about her powers.
And a few weeks later, a terrible thing happens.

This is a horror story, but the horror doesn’t lie in what Carrie did, but what led her to do that. Who it is to blame, and why things escalated the way they did.

Stephen King described bullying in its most painful and real way, and the consequences it can lead to. And it does happen, in every school, to a lot of children all over the world each day. A sometimes, most of the times, they are bullied only because they are different, not because they are bad.

This is a story that silently stands up to bullying, and by doing that raises such a strong voice in every corner of the world.

And remember - if you are the bully - think twice before you say things. Words can hurt, and they can result in bad things happening. Think twice about why you say what you say. The classmate of yours might have a talent you don’t know of.

And if you are the bullied child - also remember - you are kind and beautiful, no matter what everyone says. You shouldn’t let people bring you down. And we have all been bullied while growing up. Once you reach a certain age, people stop caring, and you stop caring what people think, and then, finally, you can be comfortable and happy with who you are!

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