Book Wrap Up · Books

July TBR – The TBR Raffle

JULY TBR 2020

Hello, book lovers!

I hope you are all staying well and being kind to yourself! The world that we live in today is so much different than we know it, and it is okay to take life at your own pace. Do what is best for you and take care of yourselves. Self-care and mental health are extremely important, now more than ever!

I read many books in June, but I am behind on writing the reviews. In May I had a reading slump, but June was amazing and I managed to read a lot of books. However, I was not so good with writing reviews, which is something I will be working on in the next week.

Let the July TBR raffle commence.

The TBR Raffle

I am filming my TBRs on my Instagram Stories. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, and check out the “Monthly TBR” highlight at the beginning of each month!

My TBR Raffle game is simple: I have a number of prompts that I put in small papers, into a jar. I draw a prompt, and I fit in a book that matches my prompt. Here is a list of the current prompts I have. Feel free to leave any prompt suggestions in the comments. Once the paper is drawn, I put it back into the jar, so it has an equal chance to get drawn again. I draw a total of 8 prompts, which result in 8 books for the month. If I fail to read a book, it automatically goes into the next month.

My July TBR

July TBR Improvement Joan Silber By The Feet of Men Grant Price The Breaking K.S. Marsden Eleven Lines To Somewhere Alyson Rudd Not My Daughter Suzy K Quinn The Fault In Our Stars John Green The Avengers

There are two books that I haven’t read from last month, and they are being added to this month’s TBR again.

1. Added from last month’s TBR

A book I received through ReadersFirst, Improvement by Joan Silber. It has been on my shelf for a long time, and I feel like I am in the mood for it this month.

2. Added from last month’s TBR

I have chosen a book that I had on my shelf for the longest. By The Feet of Men by Grant Price is a post-apocalyptic novel and sounds very intriguing.

✨ 3. Series

I have chosen The Breaking (Northern Witch #3) by K.S. Marsden, because it is the latest installment of the series, and I am so curious to see how it will end.

✨ 4. Lowest Rated

The current lowest rated books on my TBR is Eleven Lines to Somewhere by Alyson Rudd. I think this is due to the fact that this is still an ARC and not many people have reviewed it yet. I will be also participating on a Blog Tour, so expect my review on the 26th July.

✨ 5. TBR Jar

I have a handmade TBR Jar and I pulled a random book title. See the video on my Instagram if you are interested. The title is Not My Daughter by Suzy K. Quinn and I couldn’t be happier, as I will be participating in the Blog Tour on 13th July.

✨ 6. Re-read

I chose The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, because it is one of my beloved titles since I was in high school, and I haven’t written a proper book review for it yet. I am wondering if I will still enjoy it the same.

✨ 7. Graphic Novel

When Graphic Novel came up, I realised I don’t own proper Graphic Novels anymore. The closest I have to it are a bundle of children’s books I bought on sale. Therefore, I am choosing The Avengers: Avengers Assemble! by Victoria Taylor.

✨ 8. Purchased

This is a book I have had for a long time, and I never actually read it. 100 Speeches That Roused The World by Colin Salter seems like an amazing introduction to many famous people and their speeches. I love how speeches have the power to change a person’s opinion on something and make people act in a way the speaker wants, and I cannot wait to read it.

Extra

July TBR The Half Sister Mayhem Sisters Sandie Jones Estelle Laure Michelle Frances Pan Macmillan HQ

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones

I will be part of the Blog Tour on 4th July.

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

I was so excited that I got the opportunity to participate on this blog tour. My review will be up on 14th July.

Sisters by Michelle Frances

Blog tour stop on 27th July. This is a book I am really excited about, especially because it is set in Italy.

And that’s my July TBR.
Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month.
What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

Social Media:
|Wishlist| FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Advertisements
Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones [BLOG TOUR]

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones Blog Tour Book review Pan Macmillan mystery thriller

I am so happy to have the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for The Half Sister by Sandie Jones. Thank you to the team at Pan Macmillan, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones Blog Tour Book review Pan Macmillan mystery thriller

About The Author:

I have heard a lot about Sandie Jones, but I haven’t read any books by her prior to The Half Sister. Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones Blog Tour Book review Pan Macmillan mystery thriller

Synopsis:

I need to mention that the original synopsis of the book may be a bit misleading. Lauren and Kate are two sisters, but they don’t get along too well and their relationship is complicated.

Kate is a reporter, married to lovely Mark, and going through many rounds of IVF treatment, hoping to start a family. Kate had a very close relationship with her father until the day he died, but was never too close to her sister Lauren and their mother, Rose.

Lauren, on the other hand, is a full time mom of three, with a demanding and overprotective husband. She is very close to her mum, and had a complicated relationship with her father, never forgiving him for understanding her in the past.

One day, while Kate, Lauren and their mum are having their usual Sunday roast, a woman knocks on their door and drops a bombshell. Jess claims to be their half-sister.

This allegation is met with denial – how could she be a secret daughter of their father. Their mother is devastated, Lauren is not surprised, and Kate doesn’t believe Jess at all. But as more secrets start to unravel, no one can know who to trust anymore…

My Thoughts:

I loved the idea of this book, even though I am not too big of a fan of domestic mysteries and drama. My impressions were that this would’ve been more psychological thriller, but I was in the wrong. However, despite this, the book is really surprisingly well-written and kept me on my toes until the very end.

The lives of Lauren and Kate in particular were very well written. I can imagine people being able to easily relate to their struggles. The difference between the two sisters is like night and day. I loved the fact that this book was not sugar coating this, and it didn’t end it with a “happily ever after”. Instead, it ended with “we know we are different, and we are working to fix our relationship in its natural course”.

The story about how Jess comes into their lives, and the whole DNA situation was extremely not believable. As well as the fact that doing another DNA test at the beginning of the novel would have solved all assumptions, rather than people believing hearsay and creating more drama. However, I am also aware that drama was needed to keep the story going, so I can’t hold a grudge.

The ending was predictable half-way through the book. Some scenes are completely unnecessary and make the story more complicated. There are many triggering moments in this book. Cheating, domestic violence and abuse, both physical and emotional and abortion. This book may also trigger people that have had difficult relationships with their parents and/or siblings.

Even though not a favorite thriller, I enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone that loves domestic thrillers. It is a fast-paced read, and the plot twists are juicy.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

 

Books · interviews

Book Author Interview – Matthew Moss

Author Interview Matthew Moss After the Last Battle blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference book books

Hello all,

I had the pleasure to do an interview with Matthew Moss, the author of “After The Last Battle”. Get to know Matthew Moss better and find out more about his reading and writing preferences and his favourite books.

Who is Matthew Moss?

I’m a twenty-three year old author with one book published so far. My future plans are to hopefully publish the sequel to my first book, “After The Last Battle”, within the next year.

Tell us a little bit more about your most recent book – “After The Last Battle”.

The inspiration for “After The Last Battle” actually came from a song that got me thinking about a story in which angels were extinct or nearly extinct. I also toyed with the idea of a world in which the good guys didn’t prevail. A story which focused around the victory of the bad guys intrigued me and fit well with the concept of no angels, so I went with it. In the book, Telarious sets out with an angel in hiding to try to use his newfound abilities to help those he can. Little does he know, that very quest will get him into something deeper than he ever expected.

How do you deal with a writer’s block?

I don’t know that I’ve ever reached a point where I just can’t think of any ideas. Instead, I have the most trouble selecting which ideas are best. Trying to sift through all the possibilities to select the few options for the next scene that fit the scene’s mood, serve the purpose in the story that I want them too, and fit the characters involved is the hardest part. And, my advice for that, is just to sit down and work at it. Eventually, something will come to you that just works.

What is the most interesting thing about being an author?

One of the most interesting things I’ve found that comes with being an author is all the random bits of research. I knew there would be a lot of research involved with writing a book, but I didn’t realize just how many random, odd things I might need to Google. For example, I was helping another author with a question for their book and I had to research whether or not a human body would float in pickle relish. In case you’re wondering, it will.

What is the most challenging part when writing a book?

Details. Details can make or break a story and the reader’s immersion, so keeping everything lined up from one POV to another is difficult but necessary. While the big details might be the most important to keep straight, it’s the small things that are easy to miss. It’s not uncommon that I come to a scene and I have to stop and think, Wait, did I describe this building in the last book as wood or stone?

How long does it take to write a book?

My first book took me about a year to complete from conception to writing the last word. It took a few more months of editing and other finishing touches before it was worthy of publishing.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I actually wanted to grow up to be a Marine and graphic designer. While I always had an interest in stories, it wasn’t until much later that I decided I wanted to be a full-time writer.

What kind of books do you like to read in your spare time?

My preference is definitely fantasy and sci-fi, but I’m not afraid to venture out if the book catches my eye.

When you are not writing, what keeps you busy in life? What are your hobbies?

When not writing, I’m usually at work or playing video games. And, when playing video games, I’m usually kicking myself for not writing.

What is your favorite book, author or quote?

This is a tough one. I really like the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, but it’s hard to say if it’s my favorite series of all time. There are a LOT of good books out there.

Where can we find your content and follow your future steps?

Thank you to Diary of a Difference for the chance to talk a little about my book. Also, thank you to everyone who has helped support a new author’s journey into the literary world.

I’m by far most active on Facebook at FantasticalFiction, but I can also be found on Instagram as @the_american_writer. You can join my mailing list on my website at https://www.fantastical-fiction.com/. On my website, you’ll also find links to all of my other social media and my contact email, as well as the trailers for After The Last Battle. Finally, while still a work-in-progress, you can check out my World Anvil page to get a deeper look into the world, characters, and lore of After The Last Battle at https://www.worldanvil.com/w/after-the-last-battle-fantastical-fiction.

Thank you so much for this lovely interview, Matthew! I wish you all the luck and success in the future.

Purchase Links for “After the Last Battle” by Matthew Moss:
Amazon UK | Amazon US |

Author Interview Matthew Moss After the Last Battle blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference book books

Social Media:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Book Review · Books

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain [BOOK REVIEW]

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain was on my TBR, but I didn’t have the paperback version of the book yet. When I noticed there is an audiobook available from my library, I decided to go ahead and listen to it while I was solving my jigsaw puzzle.

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sister is the third book in a series that features the Amir sisters. In this book the spotlight is on Mae, the youngest sister of them all. I haven’t read the other two books, but I hope they are better than this one.

Mae was a very annoying character.

And the fact that she was the main character in this book was probably the main reason I didn’t enjoy listening to this book. She has grown up watching her sisters be in the spotlight, living their lives, getting married, having children. She has always been there to help them with everything they might need, because that is her responsibility as their sister.

When Mae heads to university, she fails to fit into any group and make friends. Whenever she goes home and tries to talk about her university life, her stories are lost to the more important stories of her sisters and their babies. Mae feels angry and upset, which leads to her making some decisions that are perhaps unlike her, and also hide some important news from the whole family.

I think the whole family had many issues as a whole, and each individual member had problems on their own.

It is possible that I have never read about a more dysfunctional family that doesn’t work together, but pretends it does. I have seen families that just accept the fact that something is wrong. But this family just keeps going in this weird direction, and it made me uncomfortable throughout the whole journey.

The book in itself handles a lot of sensitive topics, such as sexual advances, public shaming on social media when women put makeup on the train, racism, sexuality, religion, cultural beliefs etc. I felt that this was the only bright spot in the book, to make the readers aware of what is happening, and how some characters respond to it.

Mae was the character I couldn’t relate to the most. Her thoughts and opinions, her way of seeing life was just something I did not agree with. I can understand that she might have been living in a bubble her whole life before moving to university. However, to be so unaware of the outside world and the people around it was just beyond me. I couldn’t agree with how she accepted defeat as something that comes to her by default, and how she was so uninterested to do anything that can make her happier. Refusing to improve in any way is a big character flaw, and I cannot agree with it.

Honestly, I did not enjoy The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters.

I am not sure why, but there was so much unnecessary drama, without any real reasoning behind it. Perhaps the fact that I consumed this book as an audiobook has something to do with it as well. The narrator’s voice was really annoying and high-pitched.

The ending was average and very predictable. I didn’t feel as if the characters actually learnt anything in particular about themselves or each other. In conclusion, this book was not for me and I didn’t enjoy it.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

 

Book Review · Books

Codename Villanelle (Killing Eve #1) by Luke Jennings [BOOK REVIEW]

Codename Villanelle Killing Eve by Luke Jennings book blog books review blogging blogger diaryofdifference diary of difference

Codename Villanelle is a book I listened to. I don’t often listen to audiobooks, but I wanted to read this book, and I didn’t own a physical copy.

The reason I wanted to read this book is because I heard there is a TV series coming, featuring Sandra Oh from Grey’s Anatomy. I loved Sandra as Christina, and I knew I was going to love her as Eve. The TV Series is a hit, and I love it, but this is not why we’re here. We are here to talk about the books. On this occasion, the first book in the series. 

Villanelle is one of the world’s best assassins.

She is a psychopath who loves her luxurious lifestyle and loves playing mind games. She is hired by a powerful group called the Twelve, and she is tasked to murder rich and influential people. 

Eve Polastri is a former MI6 operative.

She is hired to find and capture or kill this assassin. Eve, who has a quiet life with her husband Nico and enjoys the peace, accepts the mission. However, little does she know, everything is about to change. 

The chase is an exciting one and we never know what will happen next. 

Honestly, I had troubles with the audiobook. The pronunciation of everything in Russian, French and Italian was a complete miss, and it annoyed me. Names, food, places, cities – it was all said incorrectly. I know for some people this is a minor issue. However, for me, it took away the joy throughout the whole book. 

Apart from this, the first book of the series is a great introduction to both Eve and Villanelle. We find out more about their personalities and characters. We follow Villanelle in a few of her assassinations, and we follow Eve in some of her investigations. I think this book focused more on VIllanelle, featuring her childhood and training days as well. The presentation of their feelings and insights was immaculate. I loved their relationship forming, even without them meeting each other. There is tension, there are clues, and there is the play of destiny to always end up chasing each other.

The writing was good and the pace was fast, which led to a very fast adventure. Also, the ending was intriguing, and it definitely leaves space for the second book to come in and explain a few things.

I am looking forward to continuing this series and reading the second book – No Tomorrow. I recommend Codename Villanelle to everyone that loves action, assassination, murder, spy themes and psychological thrillers.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |