Book Review · Books

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara [BOOK REVIEW]

Daisy's Vintage Cornish Camper van by Ali McNamara

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara is exactly the book I thought I needed to put me in a better mood!

When Ana inherits a camper van from her best friend, she needs to go to Cornwall to get it. A nice sea air and fish and chips are enver a bad choice. 

But when she arrives, she realises that the camper van is in a much worse state than she imagined.

The fixing will take longer than she anticipated. 

On top of this, Ana finds a series of unsent postcards dating back to the 1940s, hidden in the van. This is a sign and Ana wants to make sure the postcards are delivered. 

And while the camper van is restored and Ana is helping other people be happy, she may eventually notice she is finding her way back to happiness again. 

My Thoughts: 

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van got my attention from the moment I saw that beautiful cover. Then, I read the synopsis and I was sold. 

For me, both camper vans and postcards have a big importance in my life. I have always wanted to have a camper van and be able to go on a road trips and experience that freedom. Even though I was lucky to be able to travel the world, it is never enough. 

“Yes, there’s definitely something about a camper van that makes people smile. They’re a happy vehicle, so people enjoy seeing them as much as their owners enjoy driving them.”

And postcards were always a way to travel without living my home. Get to meet other places and cultures, meet other people. It is extraordinary how many things I have learned about the world and the people from other countries just by reading their postcards.

“Deltiology – it’s the name for the study and collection of postcards. It comes from the Greek word deltios, which means “writing tablet” or “letter”.”

Ana is working in London, busy in her day-to-day job. When her best friend Daisy dies, she is completely lost. Daisy was everything she had, and now she is gone. When she inherits this van, Ana is eager to pick the van up and return to her normal London routine. She is not really a fan of travel, camper vans or camping. But Daisy was, and if she wanted for Ana to have this van and that was her last wish, this is the least Ana can do for her. 

“These old vehicles are very sensitive – especially camper vans. They’re the worst, very temperamental they can be.”

Throughout her stay, Ana meets Malachi, the mechanic, who sold the van to Daisy and who will help Ana restore it. He is a very interesting character with an interesting point of view on life.

He was my favourite character in the book. 

“People pay a lot of money these days to find themselves. They’re not really finding themselves, they’re finding a version of themselves they feel happy to be for a while.”

“We all change through our lives, and what you’re happy to be when you’re twenty is unlikely to be what you’re happy being when you’re older.”

Malachi also has a camper van himself. He always tells Ana why camper vans are amazing. If you are a fan of camper van, this book will be a favourite by default. 

“But… you’d be mad not to at least try camping in her. It’s a wonderful experience. You can drive where you like, set up camp and cook your dinner in the open air, even bed down under the stars if you’re lucky. The freedom is amazing.”

I loved everything about this book. The story was beautiful. All the characters were likeable and real. They all had their stories and points of development. It was nice to see Ana finally healing and learning to be happy again. Malachi’s story was beautiful and it was the perfect closure to his mission. Noah’s personal story was also heartwarming, as he learns to accept what happened in the past and be able to move on. I also really want to talk about the mystery couple from the postcards, but I won’t, in fear that I will spoil anything. But the development on that story was amazing and it helped Ana in many ways to heal herself, which was magical!

“If something is worth doing, Ana – I hear one of her favourite sayings echo in my ears – it’s worth doing well.”

To summarize – Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van is my new favorite!

Beautiful and heartwarming. It will make you want to go on a road trip. I definitely recommend Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van. And as with every book, I love learning random things, and here are some things I learned: 

“Did you know the phrase “dilly-dally” is commonly attributed to the English music hall singer Marie Lloyd, but was actually in use much earlier than her 1918 song, as far back as the seventeenth century?”

“A Splitty. It’s what we call a split screen camper van. All pre-1967 camper vans have a windscreen split in two. After that the new models all had the solid bay windows.”

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

 

Advertisements
Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Q by Christina Dalcher [BLOGGER TAKEOVER]

Q by Christina Dalcher book review blogger takeover HQ HarperCollins Harper Collins dystopia dystopian mystery adventure diary of difference diaryofdifference

I am quite happy to announce I am part of the Blogger Takeover for Q by Christina Dalcher. Many thanks to Izzy and the HQ Team, for sending me an ARC copy of this book!

Elena is a teacher at one of the most prestigious schools in America. Her daughters are just like her: ambitious, smart, beautiful and perfect. 

Elena is happily married to Malcolm, who is the man that is in charge in the new tier system in the country. Every month, everyone has to undergo a number of tests to determine their Q. The “Q” is a quotient that is based on every metric: genetics, IQ, social status, past history, etc. Depending on the Q number, people are split into three different tiers: 

SILVER

The top tier, prestigious schools, money and social status. Always first in line for everything. Privileged. The best. Perfect. The (only) humans that America wants. 

GREEN

The middle tier. Not the best, could be better. If they improve their scores, they could upgrade to silver again, but most statistics show that you can only go down from here. 

YELLOW

The bottom tier. People that hop on the yellow bus are taken to the state schools, and there are rumours about the kind of places they are taken to. These people are last in line for everything. 

As usual, justice boils down to how high you can keep your Q rating.

When one of Elena’s daughters fails the tests and is sent with the yellow bus, Elena makes the choice of failing the test herself on purpose, only to join her daughter. The things she is about to see and experience are worse than you could ever imagine!

My Thoughts: 

Q is one of those books that is based in a fictional world, but it certainly makes you see the similarities with today’s society. It dives into a dystopian world that might as well be a future one for us, if we don’t acknowledge the fact how our society works today. 

The story is told from Elena’s point of view, both in the present time and the past. As we move through the book we get to know Elena better as a mother, as a wife and as a person. I loved the fact that we were slowly finding out facts about her, sometimes as she did as well. Along that, we also get to see how her choices in the past played a huge impact into her present. 

Choices don’t matter when they’ve already been made.

But I think what matters in this book is the consequences of all these people making choices, especially Elena. And sometimes, it may be too late to fix something that has gone out of control.

Elena’s perspective as a mother was very emotional in every single way. Even though I wasn’t a mother, I could still feel what Elena was feeling. I loved the fact she cared so much about Freddie, that she chose to fail her tests and get moved to the state school too. However, I also feel that she somehow left Anne out of the picture. It was as if Elena and Freddie were one team, while Anna and Malcolm were another, even before Freddie failed her test.

On the other side, we had Malcolm.

The husband, the father and also the man in charge of the tier system. A very cold human, with no remorse, no empathy, very arrogant and extremely manipulative. Watching Elena’s relationship with him reveal and uncover scenes from the past was an interesting concept I enjoyed about this book. We also had a small opportunity to find about how the two daughters felt as well. Children are able to feel something is wrong with their parents or their lives. They have their own opinions as well, that define the actions they might made. This was beautifully shown in a few scenes in the book. 

It is definitely important to mention Elena’s parents and grandmother. Oma is a queen and I loved her! She made me crack up and made me cry. She made me miss my grandma a lot! Here’s to all Omas!

Christina’s writing is really admirable. She managed to tell us all the facts about life that we already know in another light. This Is something I really admired throughout the book, and here is a paragraph I really enjoyed: 

Any child knows time slows down in the days before Christmas; any bride knows time speeds up during a wedding reception. And any mother knows time flies in the years after she gives birth.

It was very interesting to read a book that takes on society tiers in such an extreme way. We may not be aware, but this is happening to us on daily basis. Not to the degree as described in the book, but it is definitely going in that direction. 

We get separated into groups since we are little kids in school. Someone is always picked first, and someone is always last. Then we grow up, and we think we’re past it. But before we know it, some of our friends have other friends and we get separated again, based on our work, neighbourhood, background, physical appearance, nowadays even social media status. 

Even though fiction, Q still touches home, and that it why I love this book. Because it’s as real as it is fictional.

And it will hurt you to the core.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Book Review · Books

Multiverse by David Winship [BOOK REVIEW]

Multiverse by David Winship book review books goodreads blog blogging blogger diary of difference diaryofdifference

Multiverse is a collection of poems as well as short paragraphs that take on interesting topics and thought-provoking scenarios of our life. 

After reading Multiverse, I cannot say for certain whether he is being arrogant or brave. I am still undecided as to whether I love or hate his style of writing. There is something very intriguing about his writing; sometimes he makes me smirk, and sometimes his words trigger me. 

“In a democracy, shouldn’t there be room for those who don’t want a fair society?”

Even though I appreciate the style this book was written in, and the way the topics are being expressed, I am not in awe of how bombshells are dropped and then he proceeds to move on to a different subject. 

Following up on this, I would also like to note the poem “Forsaking the Poppy”, where the author opens us the suggestion of declining to wear a poppy. The thought process behind it is that this could be seen as synonymous with racism and chauvinism. 

One thing is certain though. 

This book will definitely leave an impact on you, whether good or bad. And it will prompt a discussion, or at least spark a bit of curiosity on various topics that are relevant in today’s world. 

I recommend it to all curious minds out there. It may not be your cup of tea, but you never know. As for me, I like books that either make me feel good or learn something, so i will end this review with something I learnt from this book: 

“According to ancient Japanese culture, the Sakura tree represents the beauty and fragility of life, reminding us that things in life are incredibly precious but also tragically ephemeral.” 

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

 

Book Review · Books

Eternal Love (Eternal Soul #2) by Karimah Colden [BOOK REVIEW]

,eternal love soul book books review blog blogging reviews goodreads romance magic magick power adventure karimah colden diaryofdifference diary of difference

Eternal Love is the second book in the Eternal Soul series by Karimah Colden. We follow the story of Reign, who recently found out she has some magic powers. 

The first book, Eternal Soul, focused on Reign finding herself in this new world, with the new powers she has. It was also an adventure of staying out of danger while also protecting her friends.

Eternal Love continues in the same spirit. Reign is living a normal life, until one day, her neighbour is killed and it seems that Reign was the actual target. 

I cannot say I enjoyed this book!

Reign didn’t develop or grow as a character throughout the book. Her powers didn’t become stronger and she made some questionable decisions. Sometimes, she didn’t make any decisions at all. Torn between two men, one-sided friendships and bad life priorities were a few things that bothered me.

“You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can’t let the shortcomings that are guaranteed to happen drag you down too. If you did that, you’d never be able to stand.”

The writing was very inconsistent. Sometimes, I would encounter beautiful paragraphs. Furthermore, I also noticed so many grammar and spelling errors that really annoyed me. On top of this, I could also see a lot of spacing between sentences, as if someone pressed the space button too many times before they continued writing.          Like this.       And it annoyed me a lot.     I am sorry. 

“We are not the sins of our parents, we are each of our own mind and soul.”

The ending of Eternal Love didn’t have any conclusion of closure to it, apart from solving the mystery behind Reign’s family past. Throughout the whole book, Reign is torn between two potential love interests, and we don’t get a conclusion to this either. It seems like the ending was a preparation for yet another book. 

Eternal Love felt vert unprepared, not edited properly (or at all) and definitely unfinished. I didn’t enjoy it and I cannot recommend it to you. I don’t think I will be continuing the series, however I will still keep an eye on future releases from the author. 

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

 

Book Review · Books

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris [BOOK REVIEW]

dead until dark sookie stackhouse charlaine harris book review books blog blogging blogger vampire

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. We follow the life of Sookie, a waitress in Louisiana, who also has the ability to read people’s minds. 

When a vampire enters the bar and Sookie can’t read his mind – she is intrigued and wants to know this mysterious man better. But vampires usually mean trouble, and maybe Sookie is not really for all the troubles to start coming her way. 

After watching the TV show “True Blood” and finding out that there is a book series, I had to read the books. I am usually a person that reads the books before watching the adaptations. The first book was great and I also loved the TV Show. 

I liked everyone, apart from Sookie. 

Possibly because she acts very immature at all times and behaves like a spoilt child, when others tell her no. Maybe it is the lack of fear, empathy and emotion she feels. Or maybe, it is just the fact that she feels entitled because of her special ability, and likes to talk about how people always treat her badly because she is different. I just didn’t like her at all. And given the fact that she is the main character in this series, I am wondering how I like this book. Sookie – if you don’t behave in the next books, we’re going to have some problems!

I loved this book because of the side characters. In Dead Until Dark, we meen many amazing characters that I loved who have their own stories to tell. This was something I really enjoyed, and considering I watched the TV Shows and knew some of these stories, I was actually excited to read the book version of them. It felt like I was meeting them again for the very first time. I was really hoping to meet Tara though, but she is not in the first book… Oh well. Maybe she’ll appear after? Don’t tell me if you know. 🙂 

Charlaine Harris has an interesting writing style that kept me engaged. I was invested and curious throughout the whole book. I loved the adventures and the plot twists that kept coming up. The ending was meh, but considering the fact that it is a build-up for the second book, I wasn’t too surprised. It definitely gives you something to think about until you read the next book though.

Vampire Bill was the character that intrigued me the most.

I was so glad that he was not the usual vampire type we are used to, of the likes of Edward Cullen or the Salvatore brothers. Bill seemed more mature, more mysterious and I loved it. 

I actually enjoyed the whole vampire world in this book. The rules and the hierarchy model was pleasantly surprising. It is interesting to dive in more in how the vampires respect each other depending on their ranks and age. Even though I do wish that the mythology was more followed through, it was nice to read a book where vampires are living in the society, and are more or less accepted. We could see how people still have their prejudice though, as is the example that the women who tend to hang out with vampires are called “fangbangers”, and they tend to be frowned upon by society. 

Overall, I believe Dead Until Dark is a great first book, and a promising beginning of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I will definitely be continuing the series!

Highly recommended if you are a fan of vampires, fantasy, romance and a bit of mystery, followed by many different side characters that you will instantly adore.

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |


Social Media:
| Wishlist | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |