Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard [AMBASSADOR BOOK BUZZ]

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I am so excited to be part of the Ambassador Book Buzz for The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard. Thank you to the amazing team at LoveReading and Corvus for this opportunity. 

Needless to say, this book made me stay up all night, just to find out how it ends. 

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I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.
Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…

You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago.

The Nothing Man starts when Jim is at work, walking through the supermarket, and he notices that a girl has a book with the name “The Nothing Man” with her. His heart starts racing – because he knows what it means. The Nothing Man is a mysterious man that has assaulted and killed many people in the area, and even after twenty years, no one has found him yet. But Jim knows the truth – because he is the man who did all these crimes. 

Eve Black is one of the survivors, that managed to escape his attack by hiding in her bathroom. She writes a book about her experiences and the experiences of the other victims. With her whole family dead and nothing to lose, she is set to find out, once and for all, who the mysterious man is.

I loved the writing style – the book within the book – it was unusual and very interesting for me to engage with. I was so intrigued and invested, and that did not change at all. There are many twists and turns in this book, and you will enjoy them all, especially the very ending, where everything just comes to a big climax. It kept me glued to my seat, and I want more. 

I loved the difference between Jim and Eve – their different recollections to how things happened, and why they did. In her book, Eve is explaining how the attacks and murders took place, and right after that, we also witness Jim’s reaction to Eve’s writing, and whether he agrees or not with how correct her facts are. It was very scary at times, to read from the killer’s perspective, and the reasons of why he made some choices. 

The more Jim reads, the more he realizes how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first… 

Usually, in our standard crime books, we have a crime scene, then suspects, and then we figure our way to finding the murderer. But here – we already know who the murderer is at the beginning of the story. But the rest of the world doesn’t. And this is a concept that I haven’t encountered yet, but really enjoyed it. Because this is something we don’t think about often – when we have a crime, and we don’t know who did it, the person that is guilty is out there somewhere, and knows he’s deceived us. 

The other important message from this book is to remember the victims.

Everyone remembers the name of a serial killer – but only few remember the victim’s names. 

“It’s fine to be fascinated by serial killers,” she tells me in her office after the lecture. “I am myself, obviously. They are fascinating because even though they look just like the rest of us, they do things the rest of us would never, ever do. But they are not especially intelligent. They don’t outsmart authorities. You know David Berkowitz? Son of Sam? They caught him because he got himself a parking ticket at the scene of one of his crimes.

They are boring, ordinary, failures of men – not always men, of course, but predominately – who can’t even manage to live, love and process their feelings in a world where the rest of us have all managed to master it by the time we’re in our teens. These are no dark magicians. They have no special skills. People seem to forget that we know their names because they got caught. In fact, the only remarkable thing about them is what they took from the world: their victims. It’s their names we should know.”

Eve’s book and her investigation behind the book had some powerful psychological lessons, and I enjoyed learning everything. If you already love true crime, and psychological thrillers, you have to absolutely read this and soon. This book is too good to be skipped.

Purchase Links:
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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Far From Perfect (The Valentines #2) by Holly Smale [BLOG TOUR]

Far From Perfect (The Valentines #2) by Holly Smale book tour harpercollins kaleidoscopic tours blog blogging books review

I am extremely happy and excited to be part of the blog tour for Far From Perfect by Holly SmaleThank you to the team at Harper Collins and Kaleidoscopic Tours – for letting me part of this tour and sending me a copy of the book.

Far From Perfect is the second book in the Valentines series. Read my review of the first book – Happy Girl Lucky.

Synopsis:

Being born in a family that is considered Hollywood royalty is not easy. When all her family is expecting perfection form her, Faith just wants to be normal. 

Instead, paparazzi follows her everywhere. She needs to rehearse everything she says and does. She needs to be herself – but, you know, someone else… at all times. 

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🎉 I am so excited to be part of the Blog Tour hosted by @kaleidoscopictours for this amazing book! 🌺 Far From Perfect by @holsmale is the second book in The Valentines series, published by @harpercollinsch 💖 I loved the first book in the series, Happy Girl Lucky. I am also a huge fan of the Geek Girl series that Holly has written. If you have a copy as well, join me in reading this book in the first week of August! 💖 🍾 Have a look at the other bookstagrammers participating in this tour as well – they will be tagged and some will be in the comments! 🍾 Share the love! 💖 📖 SYNOPSIS: 📖 Be yourself but, you know, someone else . . . Enthusiastic but not desperate; calm but not dull; funny but not try-hard; sparky but not crazy; feisty but not aggressive; beautiful but relatable; elegant but not icy; confident but not arrogant; feminine but not girly; nice but not boring. Faith Valentine has it all – fame, money and extraordinary beauty. But what she wants more than anything is a quiet life away from the cameras. Except nobody ever asks Faith what she wants, and her family’s expectations are crushing her. The world thinks she’s perfect, but is there is more to perfection than meets the eye?

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My Thoughts:

Far From Perfect manages to portray an unwanted life in the spotlight of a girl that simply wants to be normal. I was very satisfied to see how the media was presented in this book. They push famous people’s boundaries, twist stories and stir waters, causing dramas. And while I understand this is their job, I am grateful to see someone write about the negative impact they have on famous people.

I loved Faith as a character and I was so proud to see her stand up and fight. It was so easy to put myself in her shoes and experience her anger and frustration of not being listened to. I loved the friendship Faith has with Scarlett. It is real and funny and strong. But most of all, I loved the sister bond that Faith has with Mercy. It is so pure and emotional, and it made me think of my own little sister and how much she truly means to me. 

The story Faith tells us is a story that will touch every teenager. The struggles of love, family, friendships and finding purpose in the world. We have all been there, we have all fought the same battles and we understand. Even though some problems may seem trivial as a grown up, I remember how important those moments were to me when I was young, and how they shaped me today, and I was glad this was not underestimated in this book. 

And sometimes, life makes us forget. Time passes by, and we are lost for a bit. Until a book comes in our hands – to remind us what really matters. This is that book. A beautiful continuation of the series. I recommend it to the teenagers – to find your purpose; and also to everyone else – to remember what that purpose is!

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling book review fantasy magic Bloomsbury diary of difference diaryofdifference blog blogger books

Diving into the Harry Potter universe is a treat to my soul every time.

There is something so familiar and comfortable to this world, especially Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, that always pulls me back to where it all started. 

Read my reviews of the previous Harry Potter books: 

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Since there is a lot of drama going on with the author at the moment, I want to say just this. While I do not agree with some of the author’s statements, her work meant a lot to me throughout my years, and I have chosen to draw a line between her personal life and her work. You may have a different opinion, and that is valid too. 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling is one of my favorite books from the series.

The year is filled with the Quidditch World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, the fight for elves’ freedom, the beginning of the rising of evil and the terrible destiny of Cedric Diggory. 

Harry has a weird dream about Voldemort at the beginning of the book. He lets Sirius Black know in a letter. Then, he and his friends, as well as the whole Weasley family attend the Quidditch World Cup, where there is an incident with Harry’s wand – that will start this book in a very dark way.

As the new school year of Hogwarts begins, Dumbledore has an exciting announcement to make. Hogwarts will be hosting the Triwizard tournament this year!

“The Triwizard Tournament was first established some seven hundred years ago, as a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of wizardry – Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. A champion was selected to represent each school, and the three champions competed in three magical tasks. The schools took it in turns to host the Tournament once every five years, and it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities – until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the Tournament was discontinued.”

When the Goblet of Fire selects the three champions for each house, everyone is ready to move on. Viktor Krum, from Durmstrang, was selected first, followed by Fleur Delacour of Beauxbatons. The Goblet selected Cedric Diggory as the Hogwarts Champion.

But then, the Goblet spits out one more name – Harry Potter!

But how is that possible, when Harry hasn’t put his name in?

“Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?” Dumbledore asked calmly. 

Careful of the fact that someone wants Harry to be in danger, he still needs to compete in the three tasks of the tournament. I loved all three tasks and how smart some wizards had to be to overcome their challenges.

I also really loved the Yule Ball, and the atmosphere it had. Everyone seemed happier and forgot their worries for the evening. Things were calming down before the real storm began. 

The part I loved the most, which wasn’t included in the movies, was Harmione’s fight for the rights of the elves. She fought that they deserved to be free and be paid for their work, not be slaves to witches and wizards. On top of all this, what I loved most was Dobby’s story in this whole situation.

Also, did you know this?

Hermione’s name is pronounced “Her-my-oh-nee”. I have somehow always known this at the back of my mind, but because it’s pronounced as “Her-my-nee” in the movies, I have been saying it like that for a very long time. 

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

Still a favourite and still amazing. After all this time? Always! 

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan [BOOK REVIEW]

The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan Book Review readalong books blog blogging pan macmillan tandem tandemcollective romance thriller

I had the most amazing opportunity this month! Thanks to the team at Tandem Collective UK, I participated in a #Readalong on Instagram for The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan. The book is published by the amazing team at Pan Macmillan.

And I can immediately say – this experience was, so far, the highlight of my reading year! 

Together with a number of amazing bookstagrammers, we read this book in 5 days, chatting about the plot twists and the ending. By the end of the second day, we were all in love with Karen Swan’s writing and decided to do another readalong for August. I also had the chance to participate in a Live Q&A session with Karen Swan herself and win a prize for being a runner-up to the quiz. And on top of everything, I visited my mum on the weekend, and we talked about books we’re reading. And to my surprise, she owns FOUR books of Karen Swan already! So we decided to swap some books, and I came home with four more books I want to read!

We will be reading The Greek Escape by Karen Swan in August – so please shout if you have this book and want to join us! 

I shared my readalong journey on my Instagram, and the highlights are still up, in case you want to have a look at my journey! I always share posts and stories of the books I am currently reading – so don’t forget to follow for more updates. 

Synopsis:

In the oldest part of Stockholm, Bell Everhurst is working as a nanny for an affluent family. Hanna and Max Von Greyerz are parents to 7 year-old Linus, and 5-year old twins Ellinor and Tilde, and Bell has been with the family for over two years.

One early Spring morning, as she’s rushing out to take the children to school, she answers the phone – and everything changes. A woman from a clinic she’s never heard of asks her to pass on the message that Hanna’s husband is awake.Bell is confused. She clearly just saw Max walking out of the house a few minutes earlier, but the woman mentioned Hanna by name…

When she gets hold of her employer, the truth is revealed: Hanna’s first husband fell into a coma seven years earlier, following a terrible accident. He has been in a Persistent Minimally Conscious State since and there was very little hope of further improvement. But now he’s awake. And life is going to change for them all.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely adored this book! I loved it so much, that I am unsure how to contain all my impressions in a well-written review. 

Let’s start with the setting.

It is set in Stockholm, on the coast, during summer. The descriptions about the place and the season really fit the mood. There is also a midsummer festival in the book which made me feel as if I was transported there, dancing with people from the town and enjoying the sunshine. 

The characters have that aura about them, that makes you want to know them. Or they happen to remind you of someone you know, but you can’t just recall where you know them from. They are so familiar, but distant at the same time. Each of them carrying their weight on their shoulders and each of them having their separate story. 

We meet Bell – the nanny, who has her own reasons of why she decides to become a nanny and stay in Stockholm longer than she needed to. Her love for the children, especially for Linus is so adorable, and I can understand why she is so protective of him. 

I felt for Linus.

The trauma he is going through in this book is heartbreaking, he’s introduced to his real father, but he doesn’t remember him. The way some situations are handled also doesn’t do him any favours and just contributes to his confusion and anger, and I completely understand him. It is a very difficult situation to be in. 

The most intriguing character in this book is definitely the husband that was in coma. Losing seven years of your life is devastating. One day – you have everything, and then you wake up to find out that your wife is with another person, happy, and has more children of her own with another man. And all you want to do is bring them back. Just like it was. Like time never passed. But time did pass. And people continued living… 

Very emotional read.

I had all emotions flowing in me at certain moments. Sometimes I had conflicted opinions about some decisions the characters made. I had suspicions, hopes and anticipated a lot. And I loved it. It ended on a very (for me) satisfying ending, and I got the result I was hoping to get. 

I definitely recommend you pick up this book straight ahead – it’s simply amazing! The perfect summer read with thriller elements, plot twists like you’ve never seen before and a subtle touch of romance.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Sisters by Michelle Frances [BLOG TOUR]

Sisters by Michelle Frances BLOG TOUR Pan Macmillan book review mystery thriller suspense

I am extremely happy and excited to be part of the blog tour for Sisters by Michelle Frances. Thank you to the team at Pan Macmillan – for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Check out the other book bloggers that are part of the tour as well: 

Sisters by Michelle Frances BLOG TOUR Pan Macmillan book review mystery thriller suspense

Synopsis:

Is blood really thicker than water?

Abby and Ellie were never close as children. Now in their thirties, they each harbour deep-rooted resentment for the other – Abby for her sister’s looks and her status as their mother’s favourite. Ellie meanwhile is envious of Abby’s perfect husband and picturesque home, a villa on the sun-soaked Italian island of Elba.

When Abby invites Ellie to stay, both sisters see the break as a chance to relax and put aside their differences. But with their mother Susanna there too, all the simmering tensions of the past quickly rise to the surface. And Ellie suspects that Abby and their mother are keeping a dangerous secret . . .

But after a shocking act, the sisters have only each other to rely on. Vulnerable and scared, trusting each other will be the biggest risk of all . . .

My Thoughts:

Sisters by Michelle Frances was a very enjoyable and exciting ride for me. Not having read her previous books, I started reading without any expectations, hoping to enjoy the story for what it was. Two sisters – trying to improve their relationship, hopefully without their mother interfering. 

What I got instead, was so much more! The suspense keeps building up from the very first chapter. The tension between the sisters is really awkward. The relationships between the mother and both daughters is very different and very concerning. 

And then everything changes. 

We have a surprising plot twists, and from that moment on, we are on a wild adventure. Old secrets will start coming up, things people thought were forgotten in the past. I did not know, and couldn’t guess who the real villain is until the very end, and that was quite enjoyable for me! Everyone will tell you stories, everyone will say their own point of view. To you, everyone will seem like a villain and a victim at the same time, and this uncertainty will make you keep turning pages until you find out. Until the end. 

I am glad I read Sisters by Michelle Frances. Another amazing suspense now added to my list. I highly recommend it to mystery, thriller and suspense fans, especially the ones that enjoy family drama. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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