Book Review, Books

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan

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Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel is a book that not all kinds of readers will relate to. You either love it or hate it. And me, well, I really wish I loved it.

The book flows in two parallel timelines: Tilda in the present and little Tilly in her childhood. Tilda has a broken relationship with her mother, who killed her dad. After her mum dies, Tilda goes to a place called Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel, to find the truth of what happened in the past.

The writing style of when Tilda is little was hard for me to connect to. If felt as if the grown up version was talking in both timelines. The book is very slow, with no major plot twist, which made it boring. We had the whole ending dumped in the last chapters, with no anticipation. She is a girl that clearly has a troubled past, and she has with her a sense of mystery, as she is able to see what other people can’t. She is very attached to her father, even though he was absent most of her life, and she spent her childhood and teenage years holding a grudge against her mother.

And yet, I didn’t care about her.

In fact, I didn’t care about anyone in this book, and by the end, I just wished for the story to finish. I am sad that I couldn’t relate to this book, and I wish I liked it. But I didn’t. Moving on. A shame though, it has such a beautiful cover.

If the synopsis seems interesting to you, I would still encourage you to give it a go and let me know what you thought. You opinion is also valid.

Thank you to Netgalley and John Murray Press, for sending me an ebook, in exchange for an honest review.

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Blog Tour, Book Review, Books

BLOG TOUR – I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

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I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney is a book that stays with you after you read it. Dark, twisted and unpredictable until the very last chapter.

In the very beginning, we are met with the unknown. Aimee Sinclair is an actress and when she comes home, she realises her husband is missing. The police suspect she is hiding something. They are right, she does have a secret…

The book switches between two timelines; the first being Aimee today and the second being Aimee’s childhood. We get to enjoy these parallel stories and understand how Aimee’s childhood directly influences her decisions as a grown up.

‘’Sometimes it only takes one person to believe in you, to change your life forever. Sometimes it only takes one person not believing in you to destroy it. Humans are a highly sensitive species.’’

Alice’s writing is brilliant, and when reading the two timelines, you feel the child and you feel the adult. A skill not many writers can perfect.

Aimee’s whole life has been about being a different person. That is why she choose to become an actress. She can change into different people as she wants, and keep her true self hidden somewhere safe. But she didn’t learn this all by herself.

The book will leave things unpredictable until the very end. I had my theories and they kept changing all the time. The moment you feel you are close to the truth, something happens and you are back at the start. I loved it!

I wasn’t disappointed with the ending, but I did feel grossed out and disgusted by a certain someone. At times, some scenes felt like too much, but they were crucial to the story.

If you love dark and twisted psychological thrillers, you will most probably enjoy reading I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney.

Trigger warnings for abuse in all shapes and forms, animal cruelty and childhood trauma.

Thank you to the team at HQ, for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, and for sending me a paperback copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review, Books

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

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When you are little, you watch a lot of movies. For us girls, life is filled with princesses and happy ever afters. With castles and knights in shining armours. And it’s always that the beautiful girls get their princes. Only beautiful girls get to be happy.

In this book, we get to really see the reality of what I have said above. It is all true. Only beautiful girls get the happy ever after. But beauty doesn’t always mean pretty.

In a world of prejudice and bullying, Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly shows people, especially girls, that it is okay to be different. It is okay to be brave and follow your dreams. It is okay to be wild and strong willed. The people that truly love you, will always be by your side.

Meet Isabelle – Cinderella’s ugly stepsister. The girl that cuts her toes to get into the glass slipper. For those who didn’t know, the original Cinderella story by the Grimm brothers indeed has a scene where both ugly stepsisters cut their heel and toes, just to fit in the slipper and marry the prince.

‘’The little toe was the hardest. Which didn’t come as a surprise. It’s often the small things that hurt the most – a cold glance, a cutting word, laughter that stops when you enter the room.’’

Isabelle has never really wanted to be evil, but jealousy and mum’s pressure have been doing their own thing. When she gets a second chance in life though, she goes for it. She must complete an impossible task to find her happy ever after. And while doing so, she will find her true self.

‘’Most people will fight when there is some hope for winning, no matter how slim. They are called brave. Only a few will keep fighting when all hope is gone. They are called warriors. Isabelle was a warrior once, though she has forgotten it.’’

Be prepared to feel all emotions, and cheer for Isabelle, when she is fighting against the world. Relive the magic of an amazing retelling and be ready for an unforgettable adventure. What Jennifer has done to bring the Grimm feeling into a powerful story is to be admired. I will admire and cherish this book forever.

I am not a fan of re-reading books, but this will definitely be one book I will always come back to.

‘’Algebra comes from Arabic. From al-jabr, which means ‘’the reunion of broken parts’’. Al-Khwarizmi believed that what’s broken can be made whole again if you just apply the right equation.’’

”If only there was an equation that could do the same for people.”

Thank you to the team at ReadersFirst, for sending me a paperback copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review, Books

Chat Love by Justine Faeth [BOOK REVIEW]

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I wanted to read this book immediately after reading the synopsis, and I was honoured when the author, Justine Faeth, approached me and sent me an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.

The book synopsis is a very promising one. Lucia is having trouble finding a man. After a few disastrous dates, she chooses to follow her friend’s advice and tries Chat Love, an online dating service. As promising as the synopsis sounds, this book didn’t quite deliver. With Chat Love, I found the whole setting of the book unrealistic. There is a nice background story and a great idea, but it hasn’t been properly executed.

Lucia is an Italian lady. She is a city girl and a business woman. She is searching for love. See, Lucia is under pressure by her Italian family to get married. And I can completely understand that pressure, being born in a country where I have met people with similar beliefs. Lucia’s family thinks that a woman is made to be a mother, and not have a career. They think that if you are thirty and you haven’t got a boyfriend yet, you are useless and unworthy.

And I completely agree with Lucia when she tries to stand up to them and tell them how it’s important for her to find a man she will really love, not just marry in order to please her family. In some scenes though, it appears as if she hates her family, and has very bad attitude towards them. I understand completely where her frustration comes from. 

But then, on the other hand, we have a Lucia that is being a hypocrite.

And while this whole book seems like she is searching for her true love, when someone appears and cares about her, she is acting as if she’s not interested. Woman, WHAT DO YOU WANT? She wants true love, and she doesn’t want to be used as a one-night stand, which is completely acceptable. But going on a date with a man for the first time, and telling him you want to get serious is creepy. Even if that is your long-term goal, you DO NOT say it on the first date. It scares people away. It makes people think you are a creep.

Also, given the fact that the synopsis promises an online app, this left me disappointed. During this book, we don’t get to really see a single chat happen through this app. Apart from a few letters from Jake. Honestly, I expected a back and forth conversations with men before a date happens. In the book, we get to see Lucia dating a lot of men. I didn’t stop to count them, but there must’ve been around twenty dates. And all these men had something wrong with them. But she never screwed up.

I will be honest with you now, and you people need to be honest with yourselves. In your life, you will meet people, and some people will make you giggle. Others might make you gag. But sometimes, the reason for a bad date is you. I am only trying to be honest here. I have screwed up a few dates myself, and you must have done the same thing too. That’s life though. We have to move on and try not to blame others for our mistakes. I wish this been represented in this book.

I really wish I loved this book.

I have mixed feelings, because despite all, this book did make me think and bring up discussions with people around the various topics, from family beliefs, to being creepy on first dates, to finding out what you really like. In a summary, as much as I didn’t enjoy it, I also am grateful for this book, for bringing out a lot of things to think about.

If you love chick-lit and short romance funny novels, you might enjoy it. If you think any of this discussion points is intriguing, you might enjoy it. I would love to have a chat and see what you think of this book.

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Blog Tour, Book Review, Books

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding – GIVEAWAY & Exclusive Extract

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Big thanks to Harper Collins Publishers, HQ Publishers and Melanie Golding, for inviting me to be a part of this incredible journey and share my thought on Little Darlings as part of a blog tour!

I am very excited to be able to share with you an EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT of this book, that contains the very first pages of Little Darlings.

LITTLE DARLINGS – EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT

I am also excited to share that there are THREE HARDBACK COPIES AVAILABLE FOR GRABS! All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and I will choose three winners in a week’s time (16th May 2019).

* (UK and Ireland only, sorry)*

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BOOK REVIEW

I have read so many amazing reviews about this book, and believe me when I say, I was so excited to devour this book. The book itself is so well written, so captivating, and incredibly well put together. The writing was stunning, and the characters were vivid. However, I couldn’t relate to the story as much as I wanted to. 

This is a story of Lauren, who just gives birth two her first children, two lovely boys, and she fears someone might be after them. While in the hospital, a weird creepy woman visits her, and tells her she wants to swap the babies. Lauren is scared and calls the police, and no one can find any evidence.

I understand now that probably the reason why I couldn’t love this book as much as other people did is because the main character is a mother, and being a mother is the main aspect of this book. This is a story that captures all the horrors a mother could have when she fears for her children. We get to feel what Lauren feels, and see the world through her eyes. I remember talking to my mother, and how she once told me she could always feel when something is going on with me. I always wondered why, and I know that until I have children of my own, I will probably not know.

Lauren at first doesn’t have that motherly instinct. Or she thinks she doesn’t. She is troubled that she doesn’t care enough for them, and she is not confident she is the right person for this ‘’job’’. During the book, we can see the love that Lauren has for her two babies keep growing. She can now understand how she knows things about her baby boys that no one else knows. It is a beautiful journey she goes through.

Now, back to the book – let’s not forget – this is a horror story. As much as she loves her babies, they are in danger, and no one believes Lauren. After all, her story sounds like some creepy tale.

But what is the creepy tales are true?

After the beginning, and some time spent in the hospital, Lauren has to get back home and try to get into the new routine. But weird things start happening one after another another, and before she knows it, her babies have indeed disappeared. In their place are another set of babies, and no one can recognise they’re different, apart from Lauren.

I would like to take a moment here and comment of how big of an asshole her husband is. As women, when we give birth, we give life to a whole new person. With your help, of course, but on our own. Our bodies change, our routine changes, our emotions change. And then some men decide to belittle their wives and partners, make them feel unworthy and go aside and enjoy their lives. Well, life is too short to be surrounded by such douche bags, and if I were Lauren, I would have said bye bye to Patrick after the first night at the hospital.

Little Darlings was not a bad book at all. In fact, it was a very pleasant read, very enjoyable and very relatable to many women out there. However, I just didn’t feel that spark I usually feel when reading this genre. I wasn’t shaking and I wasn’t afraid for Lauren or her babies.

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