Book Wrap Up · Books

February 2019 – Monthly Book Wrap Up

monthly wrap up - january book blog diary of difference children of blood and bone nicholas sparks tomi adeyemi leigh bardugo holly smale happy girl lucky girl with a pearl earring court of thorns and roses sarah j maas

February was a very hard month for me. I was away for two weeks, and even though I tried to catch up as much as I could with my reading, I haven’t read as much books as I wanted to. See the books I have read below – as usual, click on the book title for a link to my book review.

I focused on my TBR and all the books that I have recently received by authors and publishers. Thank you to all of you, for sending me your books, and don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten about you – I will continue to read your books in March and finish off my never-ending reading list.

I have also continued with my Down The TBR Hole Tag and I am excited to see what progress I will make this year. Below are all four posts I did this month:

🌟TBR Hole #17 🌟 TBR Hole #18  🌟 TBR Hole #19 🌟 TBR Hole #20 🌟

Books I read:

Happy Girl Lucky (The Valentines #1) by Holly Smale – ★★★★★

The Visitor by Ti Ca – ★★

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier – ★★★★★

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – ★★★★★

How did your February went? How many books did you read and what was your book of the month?

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Book Review · Books

A Court Of Thorns And Roses (A Court Of Thorns And Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas [BOOK REVIEW

a court of thorns and roses sarah j maas author goodreads netgalley bestseller novel series faerie love romance book review diary of difference

★★★★★

Here I am people! I can hang out with the cool kids now that I’ve read the book. It felt like I was hiding in a cave until now, refusing to read Sarah J. Maas, thinking the hype is too forced. But to be honest, this book surprised me a lot. I enjoyed it with all my heart, and even though I wouldn’t cry and scream over it, I am very pleased that I read it, and I just can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

A Court of Thorns And Roses is a story about a young lady, Feyre, who is a huntress and goes out in the woods to hunt food. The more she hunts, the better her family can eat. And when one day she kills a wolf, she learns the hard way that killing a magical creature has its price…

She is imprisoned in an enchanted court and she is free to walk around, but not allowed to escape. The creature that captures her is a beast with fighting skills, with a mask on his face and piercing eyes that make her heart beat fast.

As Feyre starts to grow warmer about Tamlin, danger lies nearby and secrets are all over the place, and Tamlin and his kind might not be who she thought they were.

Fighting to break a curse that might make her lose her true love forever, Feyre must fight with all her forces, but she is just a weak human in this faerie world. Will she be able to make it?

I have to start with mentioning that the beginning was extremely slow and I was almost on the point of asking all of these people why they love this book so much. But once the plot started revealing itself, and a few twists happened straight away, I was glued to my sofa, reading page after page.

It gives us a slight resemblance of the Beauty and the Beast, even though the plot is quite different. There is a powerful beast who locks the girl, and they fall in love, but there is so much more twists, adventures and danger that I can’t compare them beyond that.

I loved Feyre, for the fierce woman she is. I loved the fight she had in herself, despite being a tiny human in a world of powerful magical creatures. I loved the fact that she would stand up for what she believes in, no matter the consequences, though sometimes, quite recklessly done.

I loved Tamlin, and his warmth despite his cold appearance. The way he cared for Feyre was so heartwarming and cute. The love they feel for each other, and those scenes that made me cry – I will cherish that!  

I am not sure how I felt about the ending – it was a bit forced, and too soppy, but it opened a space for another book, which I will be reading soon.

A wonderful magical tale, a fierce woman, a fiercer love, and even fiercer danger, this one won’t let you sleep at night, and it will haunt you to find answers. A true masterpiece!

Let’s talk – Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? Did you enjoy it? Have you read anything else from Sarah J. Maas?

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Book Review · Books

Girl with a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier [BOOK REVIEW]

girl with a pearl earring tracy chevalier diary of difference book review books vermeer johannes art painting

★★★★★

I have read this book so many times. And even after re-reading this book so many times, it is and will always remain one of my favourite books, a story that is evergreen and has such an emotional story worth retelling.

Tracy Chevalier has been inspired by the artwork of Johannes Vermeer, and his most famous painting, the Girl with a Pearl Earring, that she decided to write a story of what she believes might have happened behind that painting. For me, when looking at paintings, this is one of the things that cross my mind – what is the actual story behind it, what was the relationship between the painter and the people on the painting, what were they all thinking and what did their lives look like… In this book, we are able to enter this world, where we see a story of what might have happened here, and this story is a wonderful experience.

This is a story about Griet’s life. Griet lives in a house with her poor family, a blind dad who worked all his life to gather a bit of money for them, and a mother that always fought for the family. With their money running low, Griet has to go and work as a maid in the house of Vermeer, who is a famous painter. Even though quite young, Griet quickly knows her tasks, to iron, to cook, to grab groceries from the market, and the most important bit – to stay out of everyone’s way and do her job.

In the house, things are not easy. Griet is not treated with respect, her family is worried about her, the plague kills her sister and the butcher’s boy wants to marry her. Griet doesn’t feel anything for this boy, but having meat on the table every day for her and her family is too big of an advantage to be just thrown away. I personally never liked the butcher boy, because he knew very well what his advantage was, and he kept reminding Griet how she depends on him to feed her family.

 

‘’Her words surprised me, but when I looked in her eyes and saw there the hunger for meat that a butcher’s son could provide, I understood why she had set aside her pride.’’

But Griet has a secret crush on Mr. Vermeer, and a great admiration for his work. And Mr. Vermeer notices Griet’s curiosity and gives her tasks around the studio, which in the end, results in him painting her. Griet gets to be involved in his world, learning what he does, and working for him in secret, while his wife is bearing another child of his. Even though Griet secretly feels like she is betraying the wife, she can’t help but feel joj when Vermeer pays attention to her.

‘’ The clothes soaking in the kitchen went cold, the water grey. Tanneke clattered in the kitchen, the girls shouted outside, and we behind closed door sat and looked at each other. And he painted.’’

Now, in the 21st century, it is normal for ladies to pose, and be painted, but in that time, it was a disgrace for a maid to be painted. Men didn’t have the respect towards women as they do now (some of them). And when Griet finds herself being painted, she knows the consequences, but as a maid, she has no voice to object. She knows this quite well.

In the end, the story is very powerful and heartwarming. While we read about how Griet sees and thinks, we will start to love her, watch her grow, and learn so much. I am forever grateful I have found this book.

I have read the 20th Anniversary Edition of this amazing book, which was kindly sent to me by the publishers, The Borough Press, and Love Reading UK, in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read the Girl with a Pearl Earring?

Books · Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #20

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hello guys! Happy Saturday!

Amazon Freebie Batch again – I have a long list of those. This batch though, seems to be quite close to my heart, as these are some of the very first books I downloaded on my Kindle and never got to them, so I will probably do very badly.

How it works:

❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ Order on ascending date added.
❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Here’s the next patch:

down the tbr hole books book review blog diary of difference love tbr am reading harry potter lord of the rings the hobbit romance erotica kindle amazon free

101 Best Jokes by Various

It’s only 30 pages worth of laughs, so why not keep it, right?

Verdict: KEEP  ☑

A Collection of Ghost Stories and Paranormal Short Stories(Creepy #1) by Jeff Bennington

I was actually planning to read this for Halloween last year, but never got to it. I will try to read it this year. I really enjoy creepy horror stories, especially short ones.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑

Perfect Crime by Jack Erickson

A short story, with a mixed set of reviews on Goodreads. I am a bit unsure on this one, but I will only keep it because it’s really short.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Logic to the Rescue by Kris Langman

A fantasy story that is written to introduce logic to kids. I have always wanted to read this, and I should get to it soon.

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

It’s Love, Dude (Jardin Bay, #1) by Jenny Schwartz

I would have loved this when I downloaded it, years ago. But now I am not sure if I will enjoy this. 

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Complete by Leonardo da Vinci

I own the Kindle version of this book, and I love Leonardo da Vinci. I love reading about his life and work. My friends have advised me to get the paperback copy though, so I can see his mirror writings and drawings as well. I think I’ll do that. 

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

Last Train Home (Home, #1) by Megan Nugen Isbell

Again, a romance that I am not sure I’ll enjoy right now. But hey, who knows, maybe my hunger for romance will come back and I will get back to this book. For now, it goes.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Saving Grace (Katie 1): A What Doesn’t Kill You Romantic Mystery by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

This one will have to go as well.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Lose Weight Fast by Jyothi Shenoy

This is not something I would dive in, but it might be helpful to know.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Neighbor 1-3 [Box Set] by Abby Weeks

Romance and erotica, and a neighbour involved. I might actually keep this.

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegantI am only removing 3 books from my TBR this time. We have slowed down this week, but hopefully next week we’ll make up for it. 

Which books would you keep or remove? Please let me know in the comments – I love reading your comments and thoughts! 

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Books · Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #19

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hello guys! Happy Saturday!

Again, another Amazon Freebie batch. It seems like I have added them in a bunch on Goodreads, hey? Let’s see how we do this time around.

How it works:

❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ Order on ascending date added.
❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Here’s the next patch:

down the tbr hole books book review blog diary of difference love tbr am reading harry potter lord of the rings the hobbit romance erotica kindle amazon free

Until Tomorrow (Christy and Todd: College Years #1) by Robin Jones Gunn

One part of me is certain that I would have loved this book a few years ago. The same part of me is also certain I won’t like this now.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Legend of Juliet: Part One by Alexandra Lanc

I wanted to read this so bad, but now the series are being discontinued? Not sure if it’s worth bothering then…

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The End of Summer: Part One by Alex M. Smith

This is a maybe for me, and I am really not sure. What do you guys think?

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Free Preview of Temptation Island by Victoria Fox

I have given up on reading previews a long time ago. Bye!

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Best Beach Reads: free preview of 4 sizzling summer romances by Sarah Morgan

The same applies here. Bye.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Lost and Found (Growing Pains, #1) by Willow Summers

I want to read this, but so many reviews keep saying that this book practically finishes with: ”read the next book to find out more”. Have any of you guys read this book? Can you confirm on this?

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Dixie Rebel by Patricia Rice

A book about a rebel girl, and a story close to mine. I am keeping this.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Elly in Bloom by Colleen Oakes

Interesting piece, possibly promising. Will keep it for now.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Dear Bob and Sue by Matt Smith

I really want to read this one, especially because I love books that involve letters / emails / postcards in them. I really enjoy that. And look at that cover. It’s so gorgeous!

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Legacy Rising by Shane Scollins

Mystery one. I’ll keep it! It seems like a short read and something I might enjoy!

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegantI am only removing 6 books from my TBR this time. We are going strong again!

Which books would you keep or remove? Please let me know in the comments – I love reading your comments and thoughts! 

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