Book Review · Books

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins [BOOK REVIEW]

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins book review books reading read goodreads blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

In Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen survived the Hunger Games. People in the other districts are starting rebellions. The Capitol wants their revenge!

In a post-games time, Katniss is trying to live her life as normally as possible. But nothing is the same anymore. Not since she has won the games and made a mockery of the Capitol in front of everyone. And now, when it is time for the new games to begin, there is a twist in the rules. The old victors are going back to the area. So Katniss has to fight against every other person in the arena, as well as against the Capitol. 

Read my review of the first book in the series – The Hunger Games.

I have to be honest, another games never occured my mind. From all the possibilities I though might happen next, a year where all the victors fight against each other was never a possibility. That is perhaps why I am having troubles to decide whether I think this idea is unique, or rather lazy. Either way, my feelings are with Haymitch on this year’s games: 

“So, Haymitch, what do you think of the Games having one hundred per cent more competitors than usual? asks Caesar. 

Haymitch shrugs. “I don’t see that it makes much difference. They’ll still be one hundred per cent as stupid as usual, so I figure my odds will be roughly the same.”

We follow Katniss again, when she’s trying to decide between two boys. 

Option one: she sort of likes him, but would rather be friends with.

Option two: she loves him, but cannot be seen with him, as it puts his and her family in danger. 

To me, this is a rather obvious choice, but what do I know? 

Either way, it’s a very difficult time for Katniss because she never asked for any of this to happen to her. She is frustrated and angry and it is all the Capitol’s fault. 

“Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.”

Despite the weak plot, I really enjoyed this book and I devoured it in one day. Katniss is a fierce character and I loved her resilience. I also loved Haymitch, mostly for his brutal honesty. I am not so sure I like Peeta, though. He is being a major third wheel in every possible situation, and if he just died in that arena, everything would’ve been okay. The fact that he also slows Katniss down in these games is very annoying. He is just a very inconvenient character, and while I understand that inconvenient characters are needed for plot twists and trouble causing, I wish I at least liked him more. 

This book ended with a major cliff-hanger, not surprisingly so, and I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series. I highly recommend it if you loved dystopian YA. It’s worth reading, for sure!

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Book Review · Books

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling book review books goodreads blog blogging blogger diary of difference diaryofdifference

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter is now in his third year at Hogwarts. The atmosphere is tense. There is an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the prison guards have been called to guard the school. 

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

In the third book, we can immediately notice a much darker and dangerous atmosphere, compared to the previous book. During the series, the books do get gradually darker and darker, more and more mature, and I think this is the book where we start to notice this transition for the first time. 

Harry Potter and his friends have grown up a little, and it clearly shows in their conversations and choices. I was happy to see all the things we learn in this book. The dementors and their deadly kiss, patronuses as well as magical creatures. We learn that Hippogriffs are proud and easily offended.

And we also learn that Malfoy is still a little brat.

The fact that little entitles Malfoy is so jealous of Harry that daddy puts him to play in the Quidditch team annoyed me so much. I just wanted to slap him!

“Pity you can’t attach an extra arm to yours, Malfoy,” said Harry. “Then it could catch the Snitch for you.”

I got quite emotional when Harry is troubled by his parent’s death and is grieving openly, probably for the first time. I believe him meeting more people that were friends with his parents helped him heal. It is such a good feeling to know Harry does have a family and things are starting to look a bit better for him. 

“You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?”

I didn’t quite enjoy the time-travelling part through, I have to be honest. Even though the idea sounds nice, it always troubles me that it is never properly explained and very little attention is being given to it. I wish I read more about it, because then I would have loved it!

I enjoyed this book a lot! It is Harry Potter after all. But it isn’t a favorite of mine. I loved how Harry finds out more about his past and gets a couple of more answers, but I also loved that new paths are opening and are waiting to be discovered in the next books. 

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Book Review · Books

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling book review books goodreads blog blogging blogger diary of difference diaryofdifference

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is probably my favorite book in the Harry Potter series. Read my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone here. It’s the second year in Hogwarts for Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermione. The year we discover many new things in the Harry Potter world.

This is the book where we meet Dobby. Also the book where we find out about Voldemort’s true identity. The book in which we find out what really happened to Moaning Myrtle.

I have truly forgotten how good the beginning of the book is. Firstly, I cannot understand why Harry has to go back and stay with that awful family during the summer. I know they are his legal guardians, but they don’t want him staying with them either! Then, there is Dobby, who wants Harry to not go back to Hogwarts and creates a huge mess. The best moment though, is when Ron comes to the rescue with the flying car! Because Ron knows Harry might be in trouble. And Harry’s owl secret endeavours are revealed too. And I cannot help but share this moment of Hermione worrying about Harry, as well as Ron’s family owl. 

“I’ve been really worried and if Harry is all right, will you please let me know at once, but perhaps it would be better if you used a different owl, because I think another delivery might finish your one off.”

There is something about the Harry Potter books that I have always loved. The feeling of acceptance they give you. The inclusivity. The ability to be part of the magical world too!

“You will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”

Harry’s curiosity is something I loved since day one.

I love the powerful friendship he has with Hermione & Ron. His bravery and his eagerness to always make things right. I love that danger doesn’t scare him. And I have to admit – I also love Harry’s rivalry with Malfoy! Their encounters are always a treat!

“Honestly, if you were any slower, you’d be going backwards.”

What I loved the most about this book were the conversations between Harry and You Know Who. The moment Harry acknowledged why he is alive and why he is better.

“How is it that a baby with no extraordinary magical talent managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time?”

“No one knows why you lost your powers when you attacked me. I don’t know myself. But I know why you couldn’t kill me. Because my mother died to save me.”

And on top o all this – the moment Harry finds out why he truly belongs to Gryffindor!

“It is out choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Truly a favorite of mine and a series I will be forever recommending. Always!

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Books · Monthly Tags

May TBR – The TBR Raffle

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Hello, my lovelies!

I hope everyone is safe and gliding through the new era of Coronavirus. April was as unusual as March, but I have now started getting more and more used to my free time. Let’s see what My May TBR will bring.

I have read a lot of books in April, and I will soon do a complete April TBR Wrap up post. I am happy to say that I have read all the books I planned to read for the month, completed my OWLs and I also read some extra books as well.

The TBR Raffle

I am filming my TBRs on my Instagram Stories. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, and check out the “Monthly TBR” highlight at the beginning of each month!

My TBR Raffle game is simple: I have a number of prompts that I put in small papers, into a jar. I draw a prompt, and I fit in a book that matches my prompt. Here is a list of the current prompts I have. Feel free to leave any  prompt suggestions in the comments. Once the paper is drawn, I put it back into the jar, so it has an equal chance to get drawn again. I draw a total of 8 prompts, which result in 8 books for the month. If I fail to read a book, it automatically goes into the next month.

My May TBR

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✨ 1. Giveaway

I have chosen A Throne of Swans by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr, because this was a book I received through Readers First. It is a story about a girl whose royal family transforms into swans, and when her father dies, she needs to lead. However, she hasn’t been able to become a swan since she saw her mother die, and danger is coming…

✨ 2. Boyfriend Pick

When this prompt comes up, my boyfriend needs to choose a book for me. This time, he chose The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden. Chris & I have been playing World of Warcraft together for a while, and started again when the Vanilla version was launched. I have always been intrigued with the Lore, and he chose this book, because Cataclysm is his favorite expansion and he thinks it is a great beginning to dive into the Lore world. I am so excited to read it!

✨ 3. NetGalley

When this prompt comes up, I need to read a book I have requested through NetGalley. I have many titles that I need to catch up on, honestly, and this is a prompt that helps me stay on top of them. This time I chose Music From Another World by Robin Talley. A story about two girls that become penpals in the 1970s. Story about rebellion, music and finding their identities. I cannot wait to read this!

✨ 4. Sent By Author

I have chosen Ethereal Custody: Anthologies by Byron Allanvre, because this is the book that was sent to me by an author that has been on my shelf the longest. I am not too familiar with the synopsis, but I know it is a sci-fi book about a parallel universe, and our protagonist is trying to escape.

✨ 5. Lowest Rated

When the Lowest Rated prompt comes up, I have a look at my Goodreads TBR pile, and choose the book that has the lowest average rating. I tend to avoid books that have less than 10 reviews. French Kissing by Catherine Sanderson was the book that popped up on my list, and I can’t wait to read. I love the synopsis and I have been wanting to read this book for a long time, so I am a bit surprised as to why it has a low rating.

✨ 6. One Word Title

For this occasion, I chose a book that was sent to me by an author. The book I will read is Cryptofauna by Patrick Canning. It is a story of a janitor that works in an asylum. He is about to commit a suicide, but is stopped by one of the residents and is then recruited to play a game called Cryptofauna. I am quite excited to read what this game is all about!

✨ 7. Purchased

A book I recently purchased is The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. This is the prequel to the Witcher series. I love Witcher – the game and I also loved The Witcher – the TV Show. I love Geralt of Rivia with all my heart, and this is the perfect time to dive into the book series.

✨ 8. Giveaway

We start and we end with a Giveaway. And this time, I have chosen Thorn by Intisar Khanani. This is a book about Alyrra, who is a princess and is about to get married to a price from another kingdom. But all she wants to do is be an ordinary person. When a sorceress robs her of her identity, Alyrra’s adventures begin. Thorn gives me Aladdin vibes, and I cannot wait to read it!


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Just My Luck by Adele Parks

I will be participating in the Blog Tour, organised by the HQ Team. Expect my review on 16th May. Just My Luck is a story about a couple and their friends, that play the same lottery numbers each week. One week, the friendship comes to a rift, and the couple win the lottery. And this is when the drama begins.

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

I will be participating in the Blog Tour, organised by the HQ Team. Expect my review on 28th May. This is all I will reveal to you for the synopsis:

Jack: Three words to describe my wife: Beautiful. Ambitious. Unforgiving.
Anna: I only need one word to describe my husband: Liar.

And that’s my May TBR.
Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month.
What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review · Books

Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake by Jeff Norton [BOOK REVIEW]

Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake by Jeff Norton book review books blog blogger blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake by Jeff Norton was the perfect middle grade quarantine book I was waiting for! Also – during the quarantine, Jeff is reading a chapter a day on his YouTube Channel, so please do check it out. His reading is wonderful!

From the first moment I read the synopsis, I knew I was going to like this book. 

Fourteen-year-old Sherman is used to moving schools. But he’s never been to a school like Groom Lake High, the high school for aliens. 

It’s a very alien environment for him, and he has to fit in. He quickly makes friends with a gang of galactic misfits. When the school bully NED endangers planet Earth, Sherman and his friends have to do anything they can to stop him!

My Thoughts: 

The thing I loved most about Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake was the amazing word play and inside jokes. It is very well thought and written and I really enjoyed it! There were so many puns and witty jokes that a children might initially miss, but will definitely make an adult chuckle. 

“It suddenly struck me that Facebook might be one of the alien inventions we were all using. I had seen its inventor on TV once and he definitely looked more alien than human.”

We read the book from Sherman’s point of view.

And through him, we find out everything. His thoughts, his choices, his fears and his dreams. Not only do we get to know him, but we also get to watch his character grow as we move throughout the book. 

“Sherman, when you get older, you’ll come to appreciate that life is basically a series of disappointments.”

Even though alien, this high school puts Sherman through all the troubles a normal school does: making friends, being bullied and having a crush. But Sherman also gets to fly rockets and has a chance to save the world!

Sherman’s sister and his group of friends are awesome! They are funny and smart. I loved Octo, especially for his bravery and selflessness. I also loved the fact that the female characters were presented as strong and powerful individuals. It was a tiny touch, but quite meaningful, and it shouldn’t go unnoticed. 

“Now don’t be fooled. Jess might look like a malnourished goth queen, but she punches like a heavyweight.”

I also liked NED as a character. 

“I’d call him a bully, but that’s giving bullies a bad name.”

He was quite a big bully – that is true. However, being evil is the only think he learned from his parents while growing up. The lesson we can learn is that sometimes we do bad things because we don’t know any different. But what we do once we are given a second chance is what really matters! 

I absolutely loved this book and I recommend it not only to middle-graders, but to people of all ages. It’s a gem and it deserves to be n every child’s library. 

I received a copy of this book through a giveaway on Toppsta. All opinions are my own and completely unbiased. 

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