Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Not My Daughter by Suzy K. Quinn [BLOG TOUR]

Not My Daughter by Suzy K Quinn HQ Blog Tour Book review blogger blogging diary of difference diary of difference

I am so happy to have the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Not My Daughter by Suzy K. Quinn. Thank you to the team at HQ, for sending me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review. Have a look at the Blog Tour Banner below and check out the other bloggers.

Not My Daughter by Suzy K Quinn HQ Blog Tour Book review blogger blogging diary of difference diary of difference

About The Author:

Suzy K Quinn is a British fiction author, and writes in three different genres: psychological thriller, comedy and romance. She was first published by Hachette in 2010 with her debut novel Glass Geishas (now Night Girls), then self-published a romance series, the Ivy Lessons, which became an international bestseller and a #1 Kindle romance bestseller in the US and UK.

After her second daughter was born in 2013, she self-published the Bad Mother’s Diary series, which also went on to become a #1 Kindle romantic comedy bestseller. Suzy K Quinn’s novels have been translated into 7 languages and her books have sold over ¾ million copies worldwide.

She lives in Wivenhoe, Essex, with her husband Demi and two daughters, and travels to Mexico every year to write and study Mayan story telling. Suzy loves her family, friends and readers, but when pushed to add more to the list, she also loves travelling, food and alcohol.

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Synopsis:

Lorna has been trying to protect her daughter Liberty for sixteen years. There are dark secrets from her past about her father that Lorna wishes her daughter never finds out. Liberty’s father is a monster, and the best solution is to hide. Forever. 

But Liberty has other plans. One day, Liberty decides to find her father, no matter the cost. And Lorna can’t protect her if she doesn’t know where she went…

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Not My Daughter. It was a novel that kept me on my toes throughout the whole book and I was eager to know what happens in the end and who the true villain is. 

We begin the story in one way, where we have an idea of who the bad person is, and how Lorna is the protector. But once we start reading more, this story becomes more twisted, and we don’t know who to trust anymore. This is something I see in books quite often, but it is not usually as well-written. Suzy did an amazing job writing this part, and making us switch sides as she wanted us to. 

The ending was not predictable at all, although, it was a bit unrealistic. However, it really fit nicely with the whole story and I cannot be dissapointed. 

It is interesting to see how the mother-daughter relationship develops. But more so, how a relationship forms when a daughter wants to get to know her father, no matter what. You meet this person that you share genes with, and you want them to like you. You want them to accept you, like nothing happened. We could see this wish in Liberty as she meets her father – the need to be accepted as a daughter. 

I would recommend this book to everyone that loves mystery thrillers. It is a one of a kind, and a very well-written one too. 

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Book Review · Books

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson [BOOK REVIEW]

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson Shadowhunters Magnus book review blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

The Bane Chronicles is a collection of short stories, all featuring the famous Warlock – Magnus Bane. Throughout the ages, we get to see him develop to the character that we know. We read more about the moments that made Magnus who he is today. 

I really enjoyed diving into this book, and I am glad I read it. Some stories I loved, some not so much, but I overall loved this book and will treasure it forever. It is written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. Read my review of City of Bones, in case you are interested what I think about the first book of the Shadowhunter universe. 

1. What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

A perfect introduction of the Magnus we all love reading about. We witness a couple of adventures Magnus has in Peru. We meet Ragnor and Catarina and witness a few of Magnus’s love interests. I loved how the characters were written and the stories made me giggle. Especially the scene of how the town reacts to Magnus’ lack of talent to play an instrument.

2. The Runaway Queen by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

Set in Paris. Hot air balloon ride. Magnus decides to assist to get the Queen Marie Antoinette to escape Paris. He also has a quite interesting encounter with a bunch of vampires. Fast-faced and beautifully written. I love that it captured a certain period of history, and really focused to get the facts accurate for those times. 

3. Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Set in London. In this short story, Magnus realises how unfair the Shadowhunter laws are. And how the Nephilim have to obey them. When Edmund Herondale falls in love with a mundane, the Shadowhunters don’t care at all. He is stripped from his runes. For me, it was very emotional to watch Magnus fall in love, but sacrifice a few years of his happiness so Camille can give love to a werewolf, who will age and then eventually die. Also, the necklace he makes for her means so much and I can’t even cope! I loved the cryptic future prophecy in the end – I think it brought some emotion to the story. 

4. The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Very action-driven story, that didn’t leave me too impressed. I liked the fact that some important characters are featured, but it feels like the writing of the characters was poor. Set in London again, Magnus tries to help the Herondales. He also gets to meet Tatiana Blackthorn again. Magnus learns the hard way that even though he wants to help Shadowhunters, sometimes there’s nothing he can do. 

5. The Rise of Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

Hotel Dumort in New York is quite a well-known place in the Shadowhunter universe. Warned by a vampire that danger is lurking, Magnus finds himself into another adventure. He helps the Shadowhunters again. And he also meets with a very old warlock, who opens up a portal to Hell. Magnus is called to go, possibly speaking to his father, before he finds the strength in him to close the portal. He helps a human forget and therefore prevents him from committing suicide. He also finds art that Camille is somehow involved with what happened. It kept me glued to my sofa in anticipation. 

6. Saving Raphael Santiago by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Raphael is one of my dearest characters, I have to admit. He was turned into what he despised the most. He never would have chosen blood and immortality. The fact that Magnus is there to help him save himself is so powerful. I really enjoyed this short story! Very emotional!

7. The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

This is probably the most emotional story of them all. It also might be the most important one for Magnus’s character development. His relationship with Camille is brought back and he has to do something very scary and brave to be finally able to move on. 

8. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Definitely the cutest story so far! Magnus and Alec are dating. It’s also Alec’s birthday and Magnus is thinking of a gift. Isabelle’s visit was also quite emotional to me. To see how much she cares for Alex and would be there for him. Also, the birthday gift that Magnus chooses in the end is too precious!

9. The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson –

A powerful story with a lot of Easter Eggs. We are reminded of the Circle and of a couple of fights. The Shadowhunters will help out the Downworlders against other Shadowhunters. We witness Valentine’s cruelty in a new light. And we read about Magnus meeting Jocelyn and Clary. 

10. The Course of True Love (And First Dates) by Cassandra Clare –

A story written only by Cassandra Clare. This story will probably be the most popular one, as it features Alec and Magnus on their first date. The writing is good and I really enjoyed how real the date was. It had all those awkward moments that I’ve experienced. Moments that help you get to know the person better than a few rehearsed questions. This short story shows how much Cassandra Clare knows her characters and cares for them, and it is very eminent to see the difference, compared to the rest of this book. 

11. The Voicemail of Magnus Bane by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson –

In this short story, we read a couple of interesting voicemails. They are all sent to Magnus, by different people, when he and Alec break up. It is emotional and humorous at the same time, as you see people react in different ways. Isabelle’s voicemails are pure passion and I love it. 

The Bane Chronicles is a book I will cherish, for it introduced me to a side of Magnus I never knew. The Bane Chronicles is worth reading, especially if you are a fan of the Shadowhunter universe. I would recommend The Bane Chronicles to everyone that loves fantasy and magic.

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

French Kissing by Catherine Sanderson [BOOK REVIEW]

French Kissing by Catherine Sanderson book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

“French Kissing” by Catherine Sanderson is one of those romance novels you enjoy for a few days and then forget how it ended. 

Synopsis:

Sally Marshall decided to try a French online dating site. This was after she leaves her long-term boyfriend and Lila’s father when she discovers he was cheating on her. With his secretary. After six months of healing, Sally is now ready to find her perfect match. 

However, online dating has its downside. Meeting weird and creepy men, having one-night stands and being judged that she is a mother. Sally has to go through self-discovery in her journey to happiness.

My Thoughts:

“French Kissing” was average. It is very well written, but it follows a plot that, to me, has been overused by many writers, especially in the romance genre. It becomes another drop of water in the sea.

Sally is a very normal character and easy to love. She is struggling with the online dating. She believes she is at a disadvantage due to being a mother and her journey will teach her that she just hasn’t met the right person yet. I am not a mother, and I don’t know how Sally must truly feel, but I can imagine this situation being a big burden to her. Also, considering how men behave in today’s world, where they want as little responsibility as possible and they are very reluctant to date women that already have children – I can understand how difficult this is for Sally. On the same aspect, this means that this is not Sally’s fault. There is always someone out there that will be able to love her just the way she is – daughter included.

I liked the fact that this book was set in France. It gave a nice charm to it. However, on many occasions, there are French sentences with no explanation nor translation. If you don’t understand French, you should buy a dictionary when you are buying this book. I can imagine this being an issue for many readers.

To conclude – it was an okay read. It will fill up your time nicely and bring you on an adventure of self-discovery. Perhaps you will also be able to connect with Sally on a whole new level. I wouldn’t say “French Kissing” is a favorite, nor would I recommend it on the spot if someone asked me. However, if you love romances set in France with a focus on online dating – this might be worth your time.

Purchase Links:
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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones [BLOG TOUR]

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones Blog Tour Book review Pan Macmillan mystery thriller

I am so happy to have the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for The Half Sister by Sandie Jones. Thank you to the team at Pan Macmillan, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones Blog Tour Book review Pan Macmillan mystery thriller

About The Author:

I have heard a lot about Sandie Jones, but I haven’t read any books by her prior to The Half Sister. Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones Blog Tour Book review Pan Macmillan mystery thriller

Synopsis:

I need to mention that the original synopsis of the book may be a bit misleading. Lauren and Kate are two sisters, but they don’t get along too well and their relationship is complicated.

Kate is a reporter, married to lovely Mark, and going through many rounds of IVF treatment, hoping to start a family. Kate had a very close relationship with her father until the day he died, but was never too close to her sister Lauren and their mother, Rose.

Lauren, on the other hand, is a full time mom of three, with a demanding and overprotective husband. She is very close to her mum, and had a complicated relationship with her father, never forgiving him for understanding her in the past.

One day, while Kate, Lauren and their mum are having their usual Sunday roast, a woman knocks on their door and drops a bombshell. Jess claims to be their half-sister.

This allegation is met with denial – how could she be a secret daughter of their father. Their mother is devastated, Lauren is not surprised, and Kate doesn’t believe Jess at all. But as more secrets start to unravel, no one can know who to trust anymore…

My Thoughts:

I loved the idea of this book, even though I am not too big of a fan of domestic mysteries and drama. My impressions were that this would’ve been more psychological thriller, but I was in the wrong. However, despite this, the book is really surprisingly well-written and kept me on my toes until the very end.

The lives of Lauren and Kate in particular were very well written. I can imagine people being able to easily relate to their struggles. The difference between the two sisters is like night and day. I loved the fact that this book was not sugar coating this, and it didn’t end it with a “happily ever after”. Instead, it ended with “we know we are different, and we are working to fix our relationship in its natural course”.

The story about how Jess comes into their lives, and the whole DNA situation was extremely not believable. As well as the fact that doing another DNA test at the beginning of the novel would have solved all assumptions, rather than people believing hearsay and creating more drama. However, I am also aware that drama was needed to keep the story going, so I can’t hold a grudge.

The ending was predictable half-way through the book. Some scenes are completely unnecessary and make the story more complicated. There are many triggering moments in this book. Cheating, domestic violence and abuse, both physical and emotional and abortion. This book may also trigger people that have had difficult relationships with their parents and/or siblings.

Even though not a favorite thriller, I enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone that loves domestic thrillers. It is a fast-paced read, and the plot twists are juicy.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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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.

Purchase Links:
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