Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Abbey Clancy [BLOG TOUR & BOOK REVIEW]

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a fast-paced adventure that will keep you on your toes right until Christmas!

I am so thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Mills & Boon for I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Check out the other amazing people that are participating in the blog tour as well:

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BOOK REVIEW

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I’ll Be Home for Christmas is the first Christmas book I have read this year, before the holidays begin. It is an amazing story about a popular UK singer, Jessika Malone, who receives an offer from a famous US singer to record a duet and go on a US Tour for a while. This is a dream come true, but this offer comes right after Jessica’s boyfriend proposes. Wanting to spend all the time in her world with him, she is hesitant to go, but at the same time, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.

We see our heroine Jessika travel to the US and embark her adventure. I loved the fact that we get to feel what she feels, and live through her dream. We get to see her cope with new things and learn along the way, and it is amazing being on this journey with her. She is a character that knows what she wants and is not afraid to go and get it.

Be ready for some drama, and also be ready to choose sides.

The author makes it hard to know what is the right choice, and all choices seem to have their pros and cons, which makes the book even more realistic. I wish I knew what was right or wrong in life straightaway – that would be too easy. Instead, I keep coming across tough choices that sound amazing, and I have to really look though everything and choose what is right. You get to see this reality in the book, and it is refreshing.

Despite it being a Christmas book, I didn’t really feel the Christmassy vibes too much, but I think that is due to the fact that the focus on this book wasn’t entirely Christmas. We only got a glimpse of the holiday spirit around the end of the book – but it wasn’t in a Home Alone sort of style. It was simple.

Despite that, I still enjoyed this book a lot, and it was the perfect book for me to get me through my days when I felt poorly and lying in bed. I recommend it to all of you out there that love romance, Christmas, a bit of an adventure and searching for our true selves.

Thank you to the team at Mills & Boon, for letting me be a part of this Christmas adventure! 

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Book Review · Books

Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou [BOOK REVIEW]

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Love, Heather is one of the most disturbing YA novels related to bullying I have read! 

Please be aware that this book has bullying and assault triggers. 

Stevie and Lottie have been friends since they’ve known about each other. And when Lottie starts to hang out with the popular kids, Stevie wants to fit in too. One thing leads to another, and Stevie gets bullied by them, which quickly leads to the whole school avoiding her.

Then Stevie becomes friends with Dee, and they start plotting a revenge on the popular kids, which very quickly gets out of hand. The ” Love, Heather ” pranks are now spreading without anyone being able to stop them.

Stevie’s family is a bit of a troubled one. Her mum and dad are divorced, and her dad doesn’t have the interest to see her often, being busy with his new missus. Her mum is starting to date other men too, often not spending time with Stevie. Lacking her family love, Stevie sees Lottie’s family as hers. Very understandably, given the fact she has spent countless days and nights there. Lottie’s family is not perfect either though. They have their own problems, and the most recent one is Lottie’s mum transitioning into a man.

Stevie as a character

Stevie is a person that makes you want to feel for you, but you can’t. She is supposed to be sympathetic and she is supposed to be a victim. However, most of the time I found her quite annoying and attention seeking. It is also important to mention that she is not alone and could reach for help, but she didn’t, despite people often asking her whether she is feeling okay and if there is anything they can do to help.

The world was always revolving about Stevie, and she couldn’t understand how other may feel as well. A scene where she tells Lottie how to accept her mum’s transition comes to mind. We all know that Stevie cares about Lottie and her mum, but Lottie is way closer and more affected in this situation. There are times where it’s not our place to say things, and leave people to cope in their own way, and Stevie was not able to achieve this state of mind.

Powerful!

While I couldn’t connect to Stevie on many levels, I absolutely cherish this book because it brings up bullying in a very powerful way. It is very emotional and very intense, every bit of reality hits hard and makes me angry for all the children out there that are getting bullied every day. I was once that kid. I was a Stevie too! And it sucks to see it happen again and again, and realise how cruel life and people can be sometimes, when no one gets punished for what they have done.

I loved how this book showed how small things done in consecutive way can have enormous effect to a person, or a group. How the small things we say today can hurt us badly. And I hope people will read this book with the hope of spreading the knowledge and standing up to bullies, before things go out of hand.

Thank you to the team at Netgalley and the publishers at Crooked Lane Books, for sending me an e-copy of Love, Heather in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Close To Home by Cara Hunter [BOOK REVIEW]

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Close To Home is, I believe, the first mystery/thriller book I have given one star to. I had very high hopes for this one. And it crashed my hopes quite hard. 

Close To Home is the first book in a series called DI Adam Fawley.

The books are not related to themselves and can be read as standalones. They all feature the detective Fawley, therefore the series solution. Something similar to Dan Brown’s series. I listened to the audio book, and I think that the format might have a little blame on my rating.

In this book, the 8-year-old girl Daisy Mason disappears from her parents’s summer party. No one in the neighbourhood saw anything, not even the parents, and the detective is trying to keep an open mind in this whole situation, as someone is clearly lying.

The story begins with an interesting premise, and I loved the initial interviews that are happening, right after the disappearance. And after this initial moment, everything goes downhill.

There are many twists in this book, and they all are happening based on dumn luck or weird circumstances.

I would understand if this happened once or twice, but they have solved the whole mystery with coincidences happening one after another as well as random plot lines being added in the middle of nowhere, just to keep the story going.

Oh – we’re running out of clues. Let’s add a secret random second family the dad has. Oh – we’re running out of clues again. Let’s add a suspicious background for the mother. And now, let’s make both these events come up at them at the same time, right when we’re trying to solve an investigation. And now, let’s add a mental issue with the brother. (Despite receiving all doctor’s reports at the beginning)…

Too many events that came up afterwards and that I still have trouble to believe could make sense.

And on top of all this, I need to mention that the book doesn’t have chapters as such. The parts are split with excerpts from social media. Something which I truly believe I would have enjoyed if I read the book. But instead, I was listening to it. And it is so annoying.

The below excerpt is not a quote, as I don’t have the paperback copy. However, it does represent the true format of how this sounded in the audiobook: 

Twenty-ninth of October, nine twenty five.

Angela G Bettaton at angela dot g bettaton. I hope they find the person that took Daisy. Hashtag Daisy Mason. Hashtag Find Daisy.

Mike eighty seven at mike dot eight seven The person that did this should take responsibility. Hashtag Find Daisy. Hashtag Missing Girl. 

The ending – it just wasn’t worth the wait, and it was the most unsatisfying ending I have ever encountered in mystery novels.

I regret picking this book up and I regret reading it. I really wish I love it, as I was looking forward to Cara Hunter’s new novel, but now, I am not so sure anymore.

If you think you might enjoy it, please pick it up! Perhaps you might love it, who knows! 

Thank you to the team at Penguin Random House, for proving an audiobook for me listen to, in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell was a very pleasant read for me for many reasons! I am so glad I got the chance to read it!

The Plot

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum.

Psychiatrist Victor is starting a new job in the Asylum where the Devil’s Six are – Czech Republic’s most dangerous murderers. Victor has a theory by the name of the Devil Aspect, where he believes that is manifested in these six murderers. He believes it comes out in certain circumstances, making these people commit crimes, but not being aware they have done it. Something similar to a split personality, but in this case, the murderers think that the Devil is next to them, and he is making them do all these things.

My thoughts

This book was such a pleasurable roller coaster. I wasn’t able to put it down and I read it in only a few days. The writing is unbelievable and I am going to be picking up other books from this author, for the sole reason of his writing. The Devil’s Aspect was so intriguing and it kept me on my toes at all times. I found it extremely enjoyable.

The blend of mythology, culture and psychology is perfectly put together, and having lived in the Balkan countries, I can easily relate to many of the culture aspects. It was perfectly described and I felt as if I am in 1935 together with the characters. The time and place are wonderfully written, with incredible accuracy.

The ending was the most pleasurable, and without spoiling anything, I will only say a few things… Be ready for everything to happen. This book has many twists and many scenes where dangerous things are happening. A lot of intensity which I devoured with great pleasure. If you are coming for an adventure, you will get even more that you bargained for.

Proceed at your own risk! And good luck!

Thank you to the team at LoveReading UK and the author, Craig Russell, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Reverie by Ryan La Sala [BOOK REVIEW]

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I wanted to love Reverie by Ryan La Sala so much!

Reverie has a wonderful cover that draws you in immediately. The plot mentions a boy and a fantasy world that revolves around dreams. Everything I hoped this book would be – it wasn’t.

Kane is a gay teenager who is trying to pick up the pieces of his life back together after an attack leaves him with no memories of the past. He is in the search of who he is and who he was, and he discovers an alternate reality that he was involved in.

Reveries are worlds born from a person’s private fantasies, and once they manifest they can only be unraveled by bringing their conflicts to a resolution. Reveries have rules and plots, magic and monsters – anything you could wish for. And one wrong step can twist the entire thing into a lethal nightmare maze.

Sounds complicated already?

What if I told you that this is only from the blurb and the book doesn’t really explain these things at all?

Kane is an unraveler, together with The Others. Or at least he was, until one of The Others purged Kane of his memories. And here we are now, with Kane trying to solve the mystery and fight against evil.

I jumped into this book very eagerly, and was disappointing immediately, within the first couple of pages. The reveries and their whole concept were quite confusing, to the point of me not knowing whether the characters are now in a reverie, or in their real world.

Reverie had an amazing concept and it could’ve been done way better than this. I am just disappointed. It all seemed a bit messy and felt like it wasn’t thought through…

I didn’t connect with any of the characters, except for Kane, for the below reasons. And that was it… I didn’t care about any of the others, and there were quite a few characters.

One thing that annoyed me about Reverie, was the exaggeration of the #OwnVoices.

I am not against it, on the contrary! I love equality and I love diversity, and I share love everywhere and to everyone, and if you know me in real life, you will know this about me. We are all equal and different at the same time, and that is the unique thing that connects us all.

However, this book keeps mentioning that Kane is gay. And Kane is a lovely character. He is smart and he is brave. His memories were lost and is desperately trying to find out who he is, who he was, who are his true friends, who is good and who is evil. He doesn’t take for granted on what people tell him. He is AMAZING. Kane was so much more than just gay. But the author kept trying so hard to put an #OwnVoices hashtag on this book, that is was quite aggressive and off-putting. I love books that feature #OwnVoices, but Ryan, please – a little bit of modesty would’ve been nice.

I keep feeling this pressure of trying to write a book review that will not offend anyone, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I need to say that sometimes, there can be such a thing as “too much OwnVoicing” in a book. And we shouldn’t be afraid to point it out!

I am really sad about this one, guys. Honestly, I expected it to love it so bad, and now I feel down. I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you think you will love it, please pick it up. You are valid!

Thank you to the team at Netgalley and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, for sending me an ARC e-copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

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