Books · Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #25

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hello guys! Happy Saturday!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. We actually have sun today in the UK. How cool (rare) is that? This time, there are a few books I am actually sad to say bye-bye to, but if I don’t tidy up my TBR on a weekly basis, it will be a mess, and I will have to hide in a cave and read until the end of time.

Also, have you guys noticed that my TBR images are getting darker and darker slowly? I wonder why…

How it works:

❤ 1. Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ 2. Order on ascending date added.
❤ 3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ 4. Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ 5.Time to 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

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

The synopsis of Sky in the Deep seems so good, but its hype scares me. I try to avoid hype as much as I can, and I will remove this one. Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed it, and I might change my mind after 🙂

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Savor You (Fusion, #5) by Kristen Proby

A hot steamy romance – sure, why not? But a fifth book in a series – I can’t read you before I’ve read your ex-books – sorry!

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

I have always loved the mystery behind the whole Romanov family, especially Anastasia. And I have just read ”Romanov” by Nadine Brandes and really enjoyed it. This will always be a subject I am willing to read about, and I have to keep this book on my TBR. 

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1) by Ally Carter

I like Ally Carter’s books. They always make me giggle, and they are always a nice, fast, relaxing read. I read I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You and I loved it. I am not sure whether to continue that series, or read this book instead. Okay – time for decision making. This one goes. 

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

A Japanese pulp classic, Battle Royale is a story very similar to Hunger Games. Students are thrown on a deserted island and they have to kill eachother. Only one survives. I love this topic (okay, don’t get me wrong, I completely DISAGREE that it is okay to dump people and see them kill each other. However, the twisted part of me enjoys reading these type of stories.)

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother by Danielle Teller

We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we? A Cinderella re-telling and a delicious, chocolate fudge eatable cover – I don’t think I will ever be able to resist this book. So why haven’t I read it yet???

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle

You know that time when you want to read a book so badly before it comes out, and then a movie comes out as well, and there’s the hype, and you still haven’t read said book. And then two years later, you are suddenly not so sure you wanted to read this book anyways? Why do I have this feeling with this book? I will have to let it go for now. 

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Boy and His Ribbon (The Ribbon Duet, #1) by Pepper Winters

Okay – let me tell you a little background story about this book. I requested it on Netgalley as an ARC. Then, I got approved. After that, I forgot to download it on time, and it went into archives. I still don’t have the book, but Netgalley still counts it as something I have to read. So what do I do? I wait to get it from the library, I guess… Even though, at this point, I might as well remove it.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

A Queen’s Spy (The Tudor Mystery Trials #1) by Samantha Burnell

 I have received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway (WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE GIVEAWAYS IN UK ANYMORE???) I am excited to read this one, however I never really gotten my hands on it.

Verdict: KEEP ☑

Clash of Empires (Clash of Empires #1) by Ben Kane

Again, a Goodreads Giveaway Book. You probably already know my rule, where I try and read every book I physically receive because I appreciate the effort of everyone involved. I also love Roman History, and it has a Macedonian history as well, with Philip The Second and Alexander The Great, so I can’t miss this.

Verdict: KEEP ☑

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegantWe only kept 5 books and removed 5 this time around. I am getting through this, but I am starting to worry I am getting weaker, as we are getting close to my recent TBR books.

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

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Book Review · Books

The Devil’s Apprentice – Kenneth B. Andersen

 

the devil's apprentice kenneth b. andersen books book review blog blogging love hell dante inferno heaven purgatory devil lucifer

★★★★★

Possibly the best Young-Adult Fantasy I have read this year. Enter and discover Hell and see how it works, meet the Devil and learn why we need evil in order to be good! A fantastic story and great adventures await in Hell. Read this at your own risk!

I was lucky enough to receive the first two books of The Great Devil War Series by the author himself. I haven’t heard about Kenneth B. Andersen before, but after reading the synopsis, I knew I had to have these books – I knew I had to read the whole series. Starting with the Devil’s Apprentice. 

Meet Phillip – he is a good boy. An angel. He helps his mum with the chores, he helps his friends with their homework, he loves and takes care of animals, and he never lies. But one day, he is sent to Hell by mistake, and he has to become the Devil’s Apprentice. The Devil is ill and before he dies he has to make sure to teach Phillip the worst tricks in Hell’s history, and teach him to be evil – but Phillip is simply terrible at being bad and keeps failing all his tests.

With very little time left to teach Phillip everything, Phillip begins to make friends and enemies in this place. And on top of it all – someone might want the Devil’s throne for themselves…

I loved this book so much! The best thing about it is the setting. We enter a world and we get to see Hell through Phillip’s eyes. Everyone has their own place and role, there is a system of how they designate people and where they go – we meet Death and see the process of how he chooses who dies, and how they place people in either Heaven or Hell, depending on the actions people take throughout their lives, and also, how the Devil throws the dice as well.

Phillip is a typical boy, who goes to school, tries to be a good boy wherever he can. I loved Phillip’s character and could easily relate to him. When he gets in an unusual place, he begins to wonder, and discover and explore, and the way the author writes the scenes just keep you engaged in the book and you can’t put it down before you know what happens next.

The world in Hell is full of adventures, different creatures, lots of scenes where we can’t help but wonder what does ‘’EVIL’’ actually mean, and is it really true that we do need a little bit of evil in order to see the good in ourselves and others? Many moral messages are discovered through Phillip’s adventures, and I loved seeing him grow throughout the book. He keeps learning things and he kept growing. Do you really need to be evil to succeed in Hell?  

I am so glad I have read this book, and I can’t wait to read the second book. If you enjoy Young-Adult fantasy, and enjoyed Dante’s Inferno, this book will probably be something you might enjoy. It will make you giggle, make you wonder, and will leave you restless, page after page.

Until next time! x

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Book Review · Books

The Battle of Trafalgar Square – David Winship

Goodreads 

The Battle of Trafalgar Square david winship history author goodreads netgalley book books review blog diary of difference diaryofdifference

★★

I have this rule about books being sent to me – I try to read and review them all, because people spent time, effort and resources to write and share their works with readers. I received this book through a giveaway on LibraryThing almost a year ago, and decided it was time to give it a go. 

This being said, my readers are the most important thing in the world. My reviews simply cannot be compromised, no matter how I acquire a book.

I think I should stop babbling now, and start talking about this book.

I dived into ‘’The Battle of Trafalgar Square’ not knowing what to expect. This is a book where two pigeons are the main characters and through dialogue and presentation they share this historic battle, but from their point of view.

It is lucky that this book is only 120 pages long, because otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it. It is a boring book, where one pigeon is desperately trying to tell this story of the battle, and the other pigeon is disturbingly annoying and keeps interrupting. The second pigeon also has terrible grammar knowledge. And even though I know this is on purpose, I applaud the author for the wittiness, but couldn’t enjoy it. Some people might find this funny though, and that’s also okay.

The idea of pigeons telling a story is quite interesting and unique to me, and this is something I admire about this book (therefore, the two stars). However, the plot is unstable, and the story keeps being interrupted and delayed to a point where I started to get fed up. I also expected some more references of the actual historical moment. The only references in the book are the pigeons that were in the battle and had names of famous leaders. However, their pigeon story was not similar to our history books. I really think that keeping the story as close as possible to the real event would have made a difference in this book.

Not an enjoyable read for me, but if the plot sounds like something you might enjoy – go for it. Try it out. Your opinion is also valid!

Until next time! x

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Books · Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #24

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hello guys! Happy Saturday!

I hope you are all having a lovely start of the weekend. I love doing these posts, and this time I am so excited to share a little piece of my world along with the 10 titles of the week. Let’s begin:

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 the girl on the train the odyssey mir-jam serbia mystery thriller crime

Criminal sociology by Enrico Ferri

Since I was a girl, I wanted to study Criminology. It is a subject I always found fascinating – the way of how a killer’s brain works, the psychology the police force uses while interrogating, all of those little bits. This was one book I picked up for free as soon as I got my first Kindle. I need to read it soon!

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Korean Word For Butterfly by Jamie Zerndt

I love the cover, but I am not sure that I will enjoy this book. At all actually. I have to say bye bye to it. 

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Awakening (Children of the After, #1) by Jeremy Laszlo

A dystopian post-apocalyptic book with tons of bad reviews on Goodreads. Are you guys thinking what I am thinking? It goes…

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This book was extremely hyped, and I kept wanting to read it, but never did. Has any of you read it? Help me make a decision. I will leave it as MAYBE now, and I’ll come back to edit it in a week’s time, after I read all your comments 🙂

Verdict: MAYBE

Prophecies of Nostradamus by Nostradamus

The Prophecies of Nostradamus and Baba Vanga (who, by the way, was born in Strumica, Macedonia) have always intrigued me. I even started reading fiction based on these people’s histories. This must stay. 

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

The Odyssey by Homer

A classic that I never read, but should in my life.

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

Greh njene majke (Her Mother’s Sin) by Milica Mir-Jam Jakovljevic

Samac u braku (A Bachelor in his Marriage) by Milica Mir-Jam Jakovljevic

These two books are written by one Serbian author, Mir-Jam. I love her writing, and I still remember when I was a teen and my mother gave me one of her books (Ranjeni Orao) – The Wounded Eagle, and I fell in love with her writing of old-time Balkans and the powerful love stories in her books. 

I will only keep the second one, and remove the other. The only reason is – once I read one, I will add the other one, without clattering my TBR now.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ & REMOVE ✖

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

I don’t think I can resist this synopsis and this gorgeous cover. Sorry. I’m hugging this book with all my strength.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson

It seems exciting, but I will pass.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegantWe only kept 5 books and removed 4 this time. One is a maybe, and I need your help to decide on it. My TBR is shrinking, and I love 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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Book Review · Books

Romanov – Nadine Brandes [BOOK REVIEW]

Goodreads 

book review nadine brandes romanov book blog netgalley fawkes fantasy history russia anastasia tsar king

★★★★

From the author of Fawkes comes a magical take on the story of Anastasia Romanov.

The history books say I died. They don’t know the half of it.

Ever since I read Fawkes, I knew I loved Nadine’s writing, and when Romanov was announced, I couldn’t be happier. As I have spend my childhood and young adult life in the Balkans, whilst travelling across Europe, I have always admired Russia, and always enjoyed reading all the theories about the Romanov family.

As a child I would be told stories and fairy tales, I would watch the Disney adaptation of Anastasia, and as I was growing up, I would read history books and fiction on this very subject. When I got my hands on ‘’Romanov’’, I knew I would be up for an adventure, with lots of expectations, but what I never knew was that I would be blown away of how beautiful this book is!

This book is split into two main parts, before and after the Romanov’s execution, but it is also split into the first being the historical part, and the second being the fictional part. Both parts of the book are quite intense, and very different emotions come up to surface, but they are both very powerful throughout, and fitted together quite well.

In the first part, we are introduced to the Romanov family, and how they are kept as hostages by the Bolsheviks. It would’ve been much better if we had more details on the pre-hostage period, why the revolution began, why the king abducted the throne, who are the Bolsheviks and what they believed in. The book starts in the middle of this whole situation, and whilst I knew the beginning before, I am certain a lot of people wouldn’t have.

The history, as much accurate as it was, also had a personalized feeling that the author wanted to give. I have to admit, a lot of the details, especially around the family were quite accurate. The family did stick together and loved each other, they did have secrets and they did make friends with their captors. Anastasia’s brother did indeed had hemophilia and Rasputin was allegedly helping him. However, the author decided to put her personal feelings into the history as well. The king is presented as a wonderful leader that cares about the people. I understand that we see this story from Anastasia’s point of view, and as his daughter, she is supposed to see her father as the best figure in the world. But I still believe this part should be more objective, if not from Anastasia’s point of view, then at least by the king’s actions and dialogues. The other big element that bothered me was the portrayal of Rasputin. He is shown in this book as a family helper and a kind man, when in fact, he was far from that. In the history books, he is described as a madman, a creepy person, and the king was not happy of him coming in the house. The family’s secrecy and the queen’s silent domination over the king, together with Rasputin’s doings were the start of the revolution, and I believe that it one of the required truths that this books should have included, but didn’t. And that troubled me.

On top of this, is the Russian language used throughout this book. There were a lot of spelling errors, and misinterpretations. And whilst I can understand these words, many people can’t, and translation wasn’t provided in the book. Also, I really found this quote interesting, talking about the Russian culture, and how they don’t show emotions. Just a note – this is most of the time true, people won’t be nice to strangers, but actually, Russian people are quite friendly and emotional as well.

‘’We Russians weren’t required to share any amount of emotion we didn’t want to.’’

Apart from these few things that slightly bothered me, I really enjoyed this book. Anastasia is an amazing character, and through her we can see her love towards her family, her country, and even towards the people that wish her harm. We get to see her love, cry, be hurt, be afraid, forgive, and grow throughout the book, and her journey was magical.

‘’As I lay in the grass next to the spell that could rid me of heart pain, I realized that a part of forgiveness was accepting the things someone had done – and the pain that came with that – and moving on with love. Forgiveness was a personal battle that must always be fought in my heart.’’

I loved the beginning of the book the most. The setting was well-written, and I got the feel the same way as the Romanov family did. They tried to act as if everything was normal, when in fact, they were held captive, and moved out of their home. They weren’t allowed to go out in the garden often, and when they did have this opportunity, they enjoyed every single second of it. And they all had hope every single day. They kept smiling and stayed together.

There are number of scenes that will always stay close to my heart – the relationship between Zash and Anastasia (as unrealistic as it might be), always kept me on my toes, his desperation, and his guilt, and her ability to forgive and love regardless.

The brother’s illness, and his persistence through it. His motivation and his will to never give up. The love he holds for his family, and especially his sister Anastasia, and the toughness and not letting go. A few scenes were unrealistic with him, as I hardly believe anyone suffering from hemophilia can survive all those injuries mentioned in the book and the pools of blood, but above all – this character did achieve what he was meant to do – show hope where there is none.

A wonderful and magical tale, with a history behind it of a mysterious family, especially their end – this book brought tears on my eyes and made me think about the power of forgiveness and love. A true masterpiece.

Thank you to Nadine Brandes, for letting me be a part of her Ninja Team.

Thank you to the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and NetGalley, for providing me with a complimentary ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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