Book Review · Books

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain [BOOK REVIEW]

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain was on my TBR, but I didn’t have the paperback version of the book yet. When I noticed there is an audiobook available from my library, I decided to go ahead and listen to it while I was solving my jigsaw puzzle.

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sister is the third book in a series that features the Amir sisters. In this book the spotlight is on Mae, the youngest sister of them all. I haven’t read the other two books, but I hope they are better than this one.

Mae was a very annoying character.

And the fact that she was the main character in this book was probably the main reason I didn’t enjoy listening to this book. She has grown up watching her sisters be in the spotlight, living their lives, getting married, having children. She has always been there to help them with everything they might need, because that is her responsibility as their sister.

When Mae heads to university, she fails to fit into any group and make friends. Whenever she goes home and tries to talk about her university life, her stories are lost to the more important stories of her sisters and their babies. Mae feels angry and upset, which leads to her making some decisions that are perhaps unlike her, and also hide some important news from the whole family.

I think the whole family had many issues as a whole, and each individual member had problems on their own.

It is possible that I have never read about a more dysfunctional family that doesn’t work together, but pretends it does. I have seen families that just accept the fact that something is wrong. But this family just keeps going in this weird direction, and it made me uncomfortable throughout the whole journey.

The book in itself handles a lot of sensitive topics, such as sexual advances, public shaming on social media when women put makeup on the train, racism, sexuality, religion, cultural beliefs etc. I felt that this was the only bright spot in the book, to make the readers aware of what is happening, and how some characters respond to it.

Mae was the character I couldn’t relate to the most. Her thoughts and opinions, her way of seeing life was just something I did not agree with. I can understand that she might have been living in a bubble her whole life before moving to university. However, to be so unaware of the outside world and the people around it was just beyond me. I couldn’t agree with how she accepted defeat as something that comes to her by default, and how she was so uninterested to do anything that can make her happier. Refusing to improve in any way is a big character flaw, and I cannot agree with it.

Honestly, I did not enjoy The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters.

I am not sure why, but there was so much unnecessary drama, without any real reasoning behind it. Perhaps the fact that I consumed this book as an audiobook has something to do with it as well. The narrator’s voice was really annoying and high-pitched.

The ending was average and very predictable. I didn’t feel as if the characters actually learnt anything in particular about themselves or each other. In conclusion, this book was not for me and I didn’t enjoy it.

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Book Review · Books

Codename Villanelle (Killing Eve #1) by Luke Jennings [BOOK REVIEW]

Codename Villanelle Killing Eve by Luke Jennings book blog books review blogging blogger diaryofdifference diary of difference

Codename Villanelle is a book I listened to. I don’t often listen to audiobooks, but I wanted to read this book, and I didn’t own a physical copy.

The reason I wanted to read this book is because I heard there is a TV series coming, featuring Sandra Oh from Grey’s Anatomy. I loved Sandra as Christina, and I knew I was going to love her as Eve. The TV Series is a hit, and I love it, but this is not why we’re here. We are here to talk about the books. On this occasion, the first book in the series. 

Villanelle is one of the world’s best assassins.

She is a psychopath who loves her luxurious lifestyle and loves playing mind games. She is hired by a powerful group called the Twelve, and she is tasked to murder rich and influential people. 

Eve Polastri is a former MI6 operative.

She is hired to find and capture or kill this assassin. Eve, who has a quiet life with her husband Nico and enjoys the peace, accepts the mission. However, little does she know, everything is about to change. 

The chase is an exciting one and we never know what will happen next. 

Honestly, I had troubles with the audiobook. The pronunciation of everything in Russian, French and Italian was a complete miss, and it annoyed me. Names, food, places, cities – it was all said incorrectly. I know for some people this is a minor issue. However, for me, it took away the joy throughout the whole book. 

Apart from this, the first book of the series is a great introduction to both Eve and Villanelle. We find out more about their personalities and characters. We follow Villanelle in a few of her assassinations, and we follow Eve in some of her investigations. I think this book focused more on VIllanelle, featuring her childhood and training days as well. The presentation of their feelings and insights was immaculate. I loved their relationship forming, even without them meeting each other. There is tension, there are clues, and there is the play of destiny to always end up chasing each other.

The writing was good and the pace was fast, which led to a very fast adventure. Also, the ending was intriguing, and it definitely leaves space for the second book to come in and explain a few things.

I am looking forward to continuing this series and reading the second book – No Tomorrow. I recommend Codename Villanelle to everyone that loves action, assassination, murder, spy themes and psychological thrillers.

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher [BLOG TOUR]

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher Blog Tour HQ Harper Collins books book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is a very fast-paced domestic thriller. Expect many plot twists and disturbing revelations. 

Synopsis:

Thursday is married to Seth. But he has two other wives, that he sees during the week. Thursday gets to see Seth on Thursday, while the other wives each have a day for themselves as well. The main rule is – she is not supposed to know the other wives, nor contact them. 

When Thursday finds the name of his newest wife, Hannah, in Seth’s pocket, she does what every woman would – looks her up. She meets up with Hannah under a false name, trying to find out more about her and the husband that they share. But Hannah is not only pregnant with Seth’s baby; she also has bruises on her body. Is Seth capable of that? The Seth she is married to?

Realising she might not know who Seth really is, Thursday is on a mission to find out as much as possible about him and the other two wives, before he realises something’s up. With many twists and turns, Thursday realises things are not as they seem. At all. 

My Thoughts:

The first half of the book gives us the idea of the situation. From Thursday’s point of view, we get a glimpse of a very rare situation. How a woman feels when she is sharing a man with other women. The challenges and worries this entails. The constant battle to be better than the others, even though she doesn’t know them. The constant curiosity to know how they treat him, whether they are more beautiful than her, whether they can give him more than she can. The battle with herself, on why isn’t she enough. Why does he need other women to be happy? The loss of her baby, that changed everything. 

The second half of the book is filled with plot twists, and I cannot say much more without revealing anything. It involves finding out the truth, violence, mental health hospital and many lies told by many people. I was very disappointed with the ending, and I will have to explain why below. 

* SPOILER ALERT – The below paragraph contains spoilers.

During the book, we kept having more and more plot twists. The story started becoming more and more twisted and tricky to unravel. And then, a few chapters before the end, the author explains this as one of Thursday’s delusions. Seth divorced her when they lost the baby, but she could never move on and started believing this delusion that he has multiple wives. However, there are many inconsistencies to this, and they are all left for us to believe they are part of Thursday’s delusions. Also, there are facts that don’t correspond. He still came to see her every Thursday (which was explained as cheating). Furthermore. he stole money from her bank account. He brewed some weird tea for her before she lost her baby. Somehow, I keep thinking that the plot became too twisted for the author as well, and she just decided to blame it all on Thursday’s delusions.

SPOILER FINISHED.

I am still unsure on how I feel about this book. Perhaps I would’ve been more satisfied if the explanation and the ending were different. The very last scene was shocking, and completely out of character. I cannot understand why this is how the book ended and I am very conflicted. This type of plot seems very similar to other books I have read before, and I don’t find it unique. However, I read this book in a day and it did intrigue me to find out more. Once you start reading, you cannot put this book down. But once you get to the ending, there is the conflict of whether it was a good ending of such a twisty book. 

I definitely recommend it, if you love this genre. It will keep you on your toes. It also might make you think whether your husband has other wives as well. Just kidding 🙂

BLOG TOUR

This review is part of the blog tour for The Wives, organised by the HQ Team. Thank you to the publisher and the author, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Please check out the other bloggers below:

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher Blog Tour HQ Harper Collins books book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

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Book Review · Books

Ethereal Custody: Anthologies by Byron Allanvre [BOOK REVIEW]

Ethereal Custody: Anthologies by Byron Allanvre books book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

Ethereal Custody: Anthologies is a story about a young man, who was born in an underground slum and decides to risk his life for a chance to reach the surface. During his pursuit, he discovers that he is part of a much larger scheme of a supernatural nature, in an alternate reality. To escape his world, he grasps the opportunity to create utopia. But paradise has a dark side too.

While we follow this main character, we also follow different characters, who are part of the alternative world that this man created in his dreams – with their own stories of supernatural nature, Angels and people with animalistic tendencies involved as well. 

“We don’t hold grudges against Angels who didn’t save us. Our self-held grudges stem from the idea that we should have been able to save ourselves.”

The story follows a few different planets, with a lot of different characters.

The book is written in the form of a journal. For me, it was very difficult to keep track of the planets and characters. I was losing interest very quickly, re-reading the same page a few times, seeking for adventures and plot twists, when all I could see were descriptions of places and objects. Sometimes there were good parts, where the story was really intriguing. Other times, I had to put the book down and read something else.

“I don’t know if it’s forgiveness or love or grieving. But life feels like this slow and heartbroken process of learning to live without something we wanted so badly that we cannot have. To go on without those loved people we miss so much and all the precious moments we could have shared and knowing those futures will never be. It’s having to learn how to trek forward in a new life without a part of yourself; that missing fragment of a loving heart we surrendered and gave away as a gift to someone who’s no longer here with us.”

There were many descriptions of places being repeated with the exact words. This made me wonder and question myself whether I’ve read this before. I then needed to go back in the book and reassure myself. It was very irritating to go back and find the same paragraph a few chapters earlier, with the same description of a place. 

“If there’s anything I learned tonight, it is this: I want to die with a smile on my face.”

I am sad to say I didn’t enjoy this book.

Honestly, I liked the idea and where it was intended to go. I also liked the way it was written in the form of a journal. However, the writing was bad. Not only from a grammar and editing point of view, but also the skill to keep the reader intrigued. This book put me through a big reading slump. I am not a fan of DNFing books, but I was close with this one. I recommend Ethereal Custody: Anthologies, if you enjoy multiple planets, a lot of characters and a bit of supernatural sprinkles on top, but this book wasn’t for me. 

“We are afraid to be silent, yet afraid to speak. We fear to be alone with our demons in the dark, yet we are terrified of those demons being seen in the light among friends. Afraid to be powerless; afraid to be influential. I don’t understand it. I just don’t want to be afraid of myself anymore.”

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Book Wrap Up · Books

June TBR – The TBR Raffle

June TBR The Bane Chronicles Into The Crooked Place Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nevermoor Dear JOhn The Princess PLan Improvement Julia London Nicholas Sparks J.K. Rowling Cassandra Clare

Hello, my lovelies!

I hope everyone is safe and gliding through the new era of Coronavirus. It is hard to believe that it is June already! I have to admit – I felt useless all month, but at least I got some reading done. Let’s see what My June TBR will bring.

I have read a lot of books in May and will hopefully do a May Wrap Up post as well soon. I have one book left to finish, which will be probably finished by the time I post this blog post, but I also read other reads as well. Let the June TBR raffle commence.

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 June TBR

June TBR The Bane Chronicles Into The Crooked Place Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nevermoor Dear JOhn The Princess PLan Improvement Julia London Nicholas Sparks J.K. Rowling Cassandra Clare

✨ 1. Borrowed

When Borrowed came up, I chose two books and let my Instagram followers decide which one to pick. The majority chose The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Cassandra Jean. It is a collection of stories about Magnus Bane and I cannot wait to read it.

✨ 2. ReadersFirst

When this prompt comes up, I need to chose a book that was sent to me by the team at ReadersFirst. This is a website where you can read excepts of ARCs, leave a review and win books. For this prompt, I decided to choose I book I had on my shelf since last winter and I am excited about. Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo has magic, betrayal and fantasy and I am looking forward to diving into it.

✨ 3. Fantasy

For this prompt, I decided to read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, the fourth book in the series. I think this is the book where things get darker and more dangerous, and I am extremely excited to get back to my comfort read with Harry, Hermione and Ron. On the subject of J.K. Rowling, I am also currently reading her newest children’s book – The Ickabog, as the chapters are being published.

✨ 4. My Pick

At first I thought I will choose a book during the month, as I feel like it, but then I decided to share it with you on Instagram, to choose for me. And the title was The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend. I have wanted to read this book for a very long time and I cannot wait!

✨ 5. Re-Read

When re-read came up, I had a lot of difficulty choosing a book. I had to go for Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. I used to love romance and I haven’t been too keen to it lately, so I decided to pick up a book that made me love romance in the first place, and who else if not Nicholas Sparks.

✨ 6. Romance

For my romance prompt, I chose The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding #1) by Julia London. It is a love story with a princess in it, and I am excited to read it. This book was sent to me by the team at Mills & Boon.

✨ 7. ReadersFirst

For the second prompt of a book I received through ReadersFirst, I chose Improvement by Joan Silber. It has been on my shelf for a long time, and I feel like I am in the mood for it this month.

✨ 8. Sent by Author

I was hoping to receive this prompt, and I am quite happy. I have chosen a book that I had on my shelf for the longest. By The Feet of Men by Grant Price is a post-apocalyptic novel and sounds very intriguing.

Extra

June TBR

 

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

I will be participating in the Blog Tour, organised by the HQ Team. Expect my review on 25th June. My Wives is a domestic thriller about a man who has three wives, who don’t know each other. Yet.

And that’s my June 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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