Book Review · Books

The Long and Dark by Joshua Banker [BOOK REVIEW]

the long and dark by joshua banker book review books blog blogging blogger diary of difference mystery adventure fiction

From the moment I read the synopsis for The Long and Dark, I was intrigued by this mysterious place and the bravery of this man to commence this adventure, knowing it may cost his life. 

Gareth has always played by the books. Paid to do whatever people tell him to do. Never thinking deeper than what lies on the surface. Never needed to. Satisfied in his  day to day world, his perfect bubble bursts when his wife and kid are infected with a disease that will kill them sooner or later. 

Knowing this is the only solution, Gareth is commencing on an adventure to the mysterious Dineothan and its capital, Upelstbohr, a place unknown to many. Rumours are that this place is populated with the greatest minds alive. Other rumours are that this place is cursed and cut off from the outside world. 

With no other options, our hero goes into this adventure, hoping for the best, but the path is not that easy…

My Thoughts: 

Overall, I enjoyed The Long and Dark. As a character, I liked Gareth. I admired his dedication and motivation to keep going. His will to never give up to save his family left me deeply troubled, knowing how rare these characteristics are to be found in people nowadays. His sacrifice reminded me of today’s selfish humans walking on Earth, and reminded me of how precious this trait really is. 

“Please feel free to visit again if you are so inclined. You will find me here. As a man with all the time in the world, reading is the only pleasure I have left.”

Gareth is also a character that does what he is told. That is what he has done all his life, and I was so bored to see him getting in trouble over and over again in this book, because he followed other people’s advice. However, he does learn from this, and we can see a huge character development of him by the end of this book. That scene was remarkable. A pleasure to read. 

Apart from Gareth, I couldn’t really connect with any other character. They were all coming and going as far as I was concerned. I didn’t invest any emotions into them whatsoever. At times, I was also bored with the plot, as it felt we are not going anywhere for a couple of pages. 

An interesting adventure read for sure, but not a remarkable one, unfortunately. It is a great book to spend your free time on, but you might not remember it after a year. I still recommend The Long and Dark to the adventure seekers!

Thanks to the author, Joshua Banker,  for sending me a paperback copy, in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfeld [BOOK REVIEW]

pretties by scott westerfeld uglies series goodreads books book review bookshelf reading read blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

Pretties is the second book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I loved the first book a lot, and I had to continue the series! 

In the first book, we are introduced to a world where beauty means everything. People are born as Uglies, and once they turn 16, they undergo plastic surgery and become Pretties. 

Tally is still an Ugly, and all she ever wants to do is become a Pretty. After all, all of her friends are already Pretties. But she meets Shay, who doesn’t want to become pretty, and during amazing adventures in the first book, Tally discovered that there is much more in the world than just being a Pretty.

If you haven’t read the first book yet, please be aware that this review will contain SPOILERS. If you want to know more though, I would suggest reading my review of the first book, Uglies.

In Pretties, Tally is now a Pretty herself. She is completely different, until one day a person from the old crew pays her a visit. She can vaguely remember some things, and a challenge is in front of her. A letter from herself from the past will make her remember why she is a Pretty now and what she needs to do next. 

But accepting such a task means danger of being found out and silenced forever. But if she succeeds, she might actually find a cure to being a Pretty. 

My Thoughts

Filled with adventure, I read this book in only a few sittings. I am in love with the world the author created, and the moral dilemmas he tests us on. The chapters and scenes are vivid, entertaining and never dull. 

I did, however, struggle with characterisation. Even though I am a huge fan of Tally, she wasn’t much different from any other character. They were all sort of the same, believing in almost the same things, and not much  else was said. I would really have loved to see more perspectives from the Specials, but I think that is coming in the third book, which gets me all the more excited. 

The last few chapters were everything and I will cherish all the moments. Many “book highlightings” were done  and many quotes were remembered. I also need to mention that plot twist in the end. I should have seen it coming, because all the clues were there, but I didn’t. And I can’t wait to read book number 3. 

I recommend it to all readers who enjoy different worlds, adventure, a bit of fantasy and dystopia.

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood [INSTAGRAM TOUR]

The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood book review books bookshelf reading read goodreads mystery thriller blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

I remember reading Day of The Accident by the same author like it was yesterday. When the publishing team at Penguin Random House asked me not only to read and review The House on the Lake, but also to be part of the Instagram Tour, I couldn’t have been happier! 

The Synopsis:

Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend’s rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It’s miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe.

But when a woman from the local village comes to visit them, Lisa realizes that she and Joe aren’t as safe as she thought.

What secret has Rowan Isle House – and her friend – kept hidden all these years?

And what will Lisa have to do to survive, when her past finally catches up with her?

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The House on The Lake by Nuala Ellwood – BLOG TOUR – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐ Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend's rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It's miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe. But when a woman from the local village comes to visit them, Lisa realizes that she and Joe aren't as safe as she thought. What secret has Rowan Isle House – and her friend – kept hidden all these years? And what will Lisa have to do to survive, when her past finally catches up with her? 💙My Thoughts:💙 I found the beginning to be quite slow, but after a few chapters the pace was beginning to speed up. It’s important for me to note that I was not a fan of the main character and I had my fears that this will make me regret reading this book. But luckily, we have different story lines and different perspectives, and I think that helped me appreciate and love the book more than I originally anticipated. 💙In conclusion, I enjoyed this book a lot. There was a story presented to me that I did not expect, and I devoured it completely. I grew to love a few characters, and grew to hate a few more. This is not my favourite book of all time, and after the plot twist the ending was a bit predictable and a bit boring, but I did enjoy my time spent with this book. I would definitely recommend it to all thriller lovers, mystery house adventurers and supporters of mums that run away with their children. 💖Read my full blog review on my blog www.diaryofdifference.com 💖

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My Thoughts: 

I found the beginning to be quite slow, but after a few chapters the pace was beginning to speed up. It’s important for me to note that I was not a fan of the main character and I had my fears that this will make me regret reading this book. 

But luckily, we have different story lines and different perspectives, and I think that helped me appreciate and love the book more than I originally anticipated. 

We have two stories happening in the same house, but in different times. 

The first story is the story of the mother Lisa, who runs away with her small son, hiding from her controlling husband, Mark. Her friend Grace tells her she can come to this house on the lake and hide for however long she needs to. 

The second story is of Grace and her father, many years back in the past. Grace’s father used to be in the army and is suffering from PTSD. 

It is an interesting moment when both stories tangle each other and Lisa is found in a dangerous situation.

In conclusion, I enjoyed this book a lot.

There was a story presented to me that I did not expect, and I devoured it completely. I grew to love a few characters, and grew to hate a few more. This is not my favourite book of all time, and after the plot twist the ending was a bit predictable and a bit boring, but I did enjoy my time spent with this book. 

I would definitely recommend it to all thriller lovers, mystery house adventurers and supporters of mums that run away with their children. 

Thank you to Penguin Random House, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and for letting me be a part of the Instagram Tour.

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Book Review · Books

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan [BOOK REVIEW]

A wedding in december sarah morgan christmas romance book books review blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

A Wedding in December is a book that was long overdue. I was supposed to read it for Christmas, but yet, here we are in February. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience and I am so glad I finally read it. 

Sarah Morgan has an extremely good talent in human relations and relationships. She puts these relationships on paper so easily… Do you know that feeling where you can sense people’s mood by just walking into a room? She managed to capture this moment in most of her scenes – and it was a true joy to read that. 

The Synopsis

Maggie has two daughters: Katie and Rosie. While Katie has always planned everything in her life and never failed (becoming doctor is her biggest achievement), Rosie is the complete opposite. She changes her mind all the time and never knows what she truly wants. 

And one evening, Rosie calls her mum to tell her she is getting married. All of a sudden. Not in her hometown in the UK, but in some snowy mountains in the USA. For Christmas. THIS Christmas. In just a few months. 

Everything is happening so fast, and Maggie is afraid for her daughter. But most importantly, Maggie is afraid that she will finally reveal to her girls that she is getting divorced from their dad.

My Thoughts

In a lovely snowy atmosphere, we get to see this family, and their different personalities coming together, in a book where love wins in the end. Reading this book under a warm blanket and with a hot chocolate definitely gave me the true feelings of Christmas again. 

I encountered some interesting scenes, a couple of plot twists, a bit of a mystery behind one of the sisters. The importance of mental health as well, and how important is to share our troubles with someone. Anyone. 

Some of the relationships, new or current, happened at a very fast pace, which wasn’t too my great pleasure. There was some sense of unnecessary urgency which didn’t feel believable nor relatable to me. But in hindsight, a wonderful book to spend your evenings with.

If you love romance novels and you also love Christmas, A Wedding in December will probably end up being your favourite book. I highly recommend it!

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Book Review · Books

Confucius’ Social Wisdom by Pavan Choudary [BOOK REVIEW]

Confucius's social wisdom by pavan choudary book books diary of difference diaryofdifference blogging blog blogger one star bad review not good philopsophy

Well, well, well… Another  1-star. The first one for 2020. And it had to be a philosophy book.

I remember reading another book by Pavan Choudary and it was called How A Good Person Can Really Win. I remember disliking this book as well, because it was a bit dodgy and click-baity. But together with that one, I also received this book – Confucius’s Social Wisdom. 

My history with Confucius

Philosophy and I found our way to each other when I was in high school.  Our professor was quite different than any other professors I had, but he taught me a lot of world and moral lessons. Even today, I still remember his lessons now, when I am on a life crossroad and wonder what he would say. I discovered Confucius’s work during those years and it was a huge revelation for me to learn about other culture’s ethics and moral rules and explanations. 

I always love sharing opinions and beliefs and Confucius’s works showed me another side of the world that I never thought of. Love others while you exercise self-discipline. How can it be done, and how I can implement this in my life. His works always triggered more questions than answers. And that was the beauty of it. 

Why I don’t like this book

I will be completely honest with you. I appreciate everyone’s work and I know that a lot of time and effort has been put into this work. However, I will not praise nor endorse any book that is published and sells on behalf of someone else’s work. And this is what has happened here. 

The author has taken the most famous quotes from Confucius and then elaborated them into what he believes they might mean, advising the reader what they should do. I cannot see any wisdom in this book whatsoever. You can get the same information by just grabbing a copy of the original works of Confucius. 

I would not recommend this book to anyone. If anything, I would recommend you to avoid it. Stick to the original works of Confucius and form your own conclusions on the meaning behind the words. 

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