Delusions – Amy Crandall [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

A must-have for all the lovers of psychological thrillers and mysteries – this is a book that will show you a twisted side of a human being so well, that you will not know what happened once you reach the end! A masterpiece of a thriller – a delight for all the murder solvers out there! 

Synopsis: 

A deadly game is being played. The question is . . . who will survive?

  ***

As she waits to give her statement in one of the interrogation rooms of Arcata Police Department, Abigale recites the same line over and over inside her head.

I did not kill anyone.

I did not kill anyone.

But there’s a trail of bodies, and it leads straight to her. The events that brought her to this very moment all point to one thing . . . her guilt.

She must convince Detective Collins of her innocence, but how can she explain her ties to the victims, and the evidence that has her name written all over it?

Then there’s the mysterious Facebook profile, DarkHeart434.

Who is DarkHeart434? And why does it seem like this person has all the answers, including the identity of the real murderer?

As pieces of the puzzle start to come together, everything about Abigale’s life begins to unravel–her past, her present . . . and even her self-proclaimed innocence.

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”She remembered now. The deaths. They weren’t just delusions planted in her mind by others. They were real.”

This book starts in an interrogation room, where two detectives are questioning Abigale about the murders that happened – and she is the main suspect. As the interrogation happens in the present, we follow the story in the past from Abigale’s point of view, from the moment she moves into the new town.

The story and plot are so well set, and the past and present are so well connected that give you clues step by step, until you reach the grand ending, and nothing is as you expected. Even though I realised what is happening around the middle of the book, I still had to keep reading to find out whether it was true in the end.

This is, for certain, the best ending of a mystery book I have read so far!

The characters – some of them – are so twisted, and so psychologically unstable and scary, that it makes you wonder. Such possessiveness and anger, and twisted mind – Amy managed to perfectly such a rare condition. ( I am trying so hard here to stay away from all the spoilers.)

”Abigale wasn’t the outgoing type. She’d rather sit in her room with her nose buried in a book than socialise with anyone outside her inner circle of friends, which was small to begin with.”

I wish I could connect with Abigale’s character – but I just couldn’t. That was the only flaw I had with this book. I didn’t care enough for her, and for what was happening to her. The side characters were amazingly portrayed though – I enjoyed reading about Julia and Mike, and Damien – what an interesting character!

”There was something about him that made her feel alive and ready for anything, but there was another part that screamed danger. She wasn’t sure she liked either half.”

The ending, as I already mentioned, was the best one I have read – it was so unexpected and so amazing – I can’t explain that feeling of satisfaction when all the little pieces from the puzzle throughout the book finally come together – spectacular!

If you love mystery, psychological thrillers and good book that keeps you on your toes all the time – this is the book for you. I highly recommend it!

Thank you to the author, Amy Crandall, for sending me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton [BOOK REVIEW]

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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart Turton book review books blog diary of difference

★★★★

Mind blowing and unputdownable, this is one of those mystery thrillers that will keep you up at night until you see how it ends!

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

The Hardcastle family is hosting a masquerade at their home, and their daughter Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die every day until Aiden Bishop is able identify her killer and break the cycle.

But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up each day in a different  body as one of the guests.

Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend. But nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Grab a copy today: 

Honestly, the first couple of pages, I didn’t know where this book was going and whether I am going to enjoy it at all. But as you go through the chapters and get familiar with the story, you realise how clever this book is, and you enjoy it like you have never enjoyed any other book before.

As a debut novel, Stuart Turton did an incredible job with this book. It starts slowly, and grows into a great story. We follow the main character Aiden through many bodies, day by day. The book is set into one place, one town, one house and its surroundings, and sometimes moves backwards and forwards in time.

If you love mysteries and closed escape room books, you will enjoy this book so much!

I have always admired Aiden. Even though all the bodies he was in tried to make him forget about who he really is, he would always fight so his character can flow on the surface! I loved the sacrifices he makes towards Anna, and their relationship.

The ending, the last 30 pages are so smart, amazing and perfectly wrapped up that I couldn’t believe I never noticed those clues.

I am giving it 4 stars out of 5, because, even though I really, really enjoyed it, it was extremely hard for me to follow the times and bodies, and I couldn’t get along with the stories and solve the mystery together with Aiden – I always felt like I was falling behind, that put me under stress.

If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, please grab a copy as soon as you can. This is the escape room mystery that we have all been waiting for!

I want to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me an advanced reader e-copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

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Awakened (Vampire Awakening #1) by Brenda K. Davies [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

Awakened is the first book from the Vampire Awakening Series and it is written by USA Today bestselling author Brenda K. Davies. This is a book where a guy meets a girl. Girl has a secret and tells it on their first date. Boy is a vampire, but we are 80% in the book until it’s mentioned (even though title clearly states it, and you keep expecting it to happen). When secret is told – boy gives girl a choice to escape. Girls chooses to stay, and boy becomes possessive because he wants her too much. Then he does something to her, kind of against her will. And then they live happily ever after.

If I was a few years younger, I would have loved this book, probably because I wouldn’t have noticed all the glitches in it. But right here, right now – I didn’t enjoy it as much I wanted too.

Strong, sexual language and sex scenes can be found throughout the book. This was a book from my sister Tea’s Wishlist Challenge – and I was embarrassed to tell her I am reading this book – because I knew what kind of scenes she has read…

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Apart from that – the characters were unrealistic. And unlikable. I liked their friends and their enemies more than I liked the main characters.  

Sera – a girl that doesn’t talk to men, and has her own opinion on things, suddenly meets this guy, and he becomes possessive of her, and her character development stops right here. She keeps nodding at him, and obeys his every command. Not much of a heroine, is she?

Liam – a guy that is actually a vampire, but doesn’t tell Sera until things get really serious. He lies to her, is possessive, wants to kill everyone that touches her, and loves her and wants her so much that he has to turn her into a vampire, otherwise he’ll kill her. Really?

Now, if we take the fact that this is a vampire book – firstly, we don’t get to read about vampires until the book is almost finished. And when we do, it is unfinished, and barely even described. I don’t know anything about the way they become vampires, how they survive in the world, how they feed, how they die, but apparently, they can have children, so I guess the author covered everything. Oh, and, also – vampires can walk into the sun, but the more they kill, the more the sun hurts them. So believable – and FAIR.

The only thing that I liked was the ending – the point about how children are possible seemed to have worked out well. Not believable, but it was nice to see that as a theory. And it was also a great layout for the next story to come – which I will be reading, just to see if this writing will improve.

What is your favorite vampire book?

 Buy AWAKENED now (ebook is currently FREE)

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LifeShift by Michael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

Things can change in a moment. All it takes it that tiny second that can turn our lives upside down. This happened to Alex. See, one day, he is just this unpopular boy that goes to school, and works to earn a little something for himself. Then, in one little moment, he is about to be hit by a train. Only – a miracle happens and he remains alive. But something changed. No, EVERYTHING changed. A new girl comes to school the next morning and tells him he is an Eternal, just like her, a person that lives many lives and keeps getting reborn. He is also supposed to remember his past lives once he turns 18. And not only that, but he also needs to go on a mission to find another Eternal, that would lead them to Zeus.

Bonus: This book is filled with Greek Mythology characters, but they are not the Greek Gods as we know them – they are all Eternals and have a special new fictional story.

I know some of you guys messaged me that the synopsis of the book looked so complicated, and it put you off. The story is actually quite interesting and easy to understand, once you start reading it. So go on, and put this on your TBRs!

lifeshift - michael kott book review books blog diary of difference

The story and the plot itself are so unique – I haven’t read anything like this before. Michael managed to recreate a whole new world, and new type of creatures – Eternals. I loved the idea of the Eternals – people that have many lives and remember their previous lives. They can even choose where they want to get born next, and how to look. I also loved the superpowers they have – communicating through thoughts and dreams, healing, reading the past of a person by touching their hand… However, in many places in the book this was described too fast and too wide – there would be 5 pages of an essay of only description. I would much prefer if we could explore the story and history through the characters more.

The characters were likable. All of them. I liked Alex – he was a typical American boy. Sometimes a bit oblivious to everything happening around him. I found it a bit upsetting how he couldn’t choose who he wanted to be with. But on the other side, I quite admired him for how he coped when his world just changed in an instant, and so many people he knew were not what he thought they were, and on top of that he had to choose who to trust and who not to, and he had to agree to go on a mission that risks his life, even though he still couldn’t remember if he was an Eternal, which meant that maybe he is not like them at all.

Circe was an interesting character too. Such an energetic person with a wild personality – she would be the one that brightens up a room as soon as she walks into it. She can also be very possessive of the people she loves. She quite reminds me of myself in my teenage years in everything she did – funny, reckless moments – all worth remembering. Even though I couldn’t find a favourite character, all the people we meet in the book were equally loved by me.

This is an amazing story – a fiction fantasy that gathered Greek Mythology characters and created something entirely new. I enjoyed it a lot and I can’t wait for the next book of the series to come out. This book opens up a great discussion about people that can be reborn and remember their past. My view on life is that once we die, our soul goes into another body that gets born in the exact same moment, and even though we don’t remember it, we always carry a piece of that inside our hearts. There are occasions though, where some people remember their past lives.

What are your thoughts about life after death? Would you maybe pick this book up?

A special thank you to the author, Michael Kott, who send me a copy of  ‘’LifeShift’’ in exchange for an honest review. All my thoughts are my own, and completely unbiased.

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Never Forgotten (Never Forgotten #1) by Kelly Risser [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. – Anatole France

How can one day go so very wrong? One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for how she will spend the Summer before her senior year and the next she’s finding out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they are moving away from the only home she’s ever known.

Now she is in a new country, taking care of her mother, living with grandparents she never met, meeting new friends at school and a guy she really likes and having weird visions of a father who was absent her entire life. There is a secret of who Meara is, and everyone seems to know this except her.

Meara is determined to find out the secrets that will change her life forever.

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The beginning of this book in unbelievably good! Amazing intro and perfect character development. I loved how you could feel with Meara all the time, and go through with her while she leans about her mum’s sickness and the movement to another country. It is very realistically described, and we manage to see this all through the eyes of a troubled teenager. And the descriptions of the scenes? Ahhh, just see for yourselves:

The room was a deep purple and accented with an eclectic blend of antiques and comfortable furnishings. It was the kind of room that made a person long to grab a book and cozy into the oversized couch for a several hours.

Thought, sometimes, there would be things that didn’t make sense to me:

The guy who delivered the pizza forgot plates and napkins. So, we just opened the box and dug in.

Which delivery place on Earth, for God’s sake, delivers plates and napkins? Is this an American thing? If I order pizza, I expect to dig into it with all my fingers, get really messy, and then lick them in the end. Just saying…

There were many twists and turns, mostly little ones in this first book, but the middle of the book gets really slow paced. For a moment, I thought this might be an unpleasant read, but it turned out to just be a calm before the storm, where the biggest twist happens right before the end, and it leaves us wanting more – therefore, the second book. Nicely done, Kelly Risser, nicely done!

Meara is an amazing girl, and we follow her story. She finds out her mum’s cancer is back again, and they have to move from USA to Canada. For a teenage girl, that is a huge change. I loved the way she coped with it, even though, at the beginning she made me quite agitated – her mum is dying, and her thought are – life is unfair, why do I have to move to another country, and change schools and lose my friends? It made me incredibly angry, but as much as I don’t want to admit it, those are the exact thoughts a teen would have in such moments. We don’t really tend to think about how our parents feel until we get older and wiser, do we?

I liked Meara, apart her irritating personality at times. She is a typical teenage girl, and many girls, me included, can relate to her so well! She is a good person, and she cares about the people around her.

I loved Evan – he is just the sweetest person / boyfriend a girl can have. I honestly wish I had a boyfriend like him when I was 13-years-old. He made sandwiches, and they watched a movie in the car because it was raining, and he would come to Meara’s house with flowers, and offer to help out with the chores? He is the cutest person ever.

He was about six foot tall with wavy, black hair that curled over his ears. Tanned skin, lean muscles, and strong hands that ended in long, graceful fingers.

But then, there is Kieran… I know he is the bad boy, but I might be able to ship him and Meara together – maybe? We’ll see… It’s an unpopular opinion, but I actually want to see them together. Even though Evan is just the sweetest thing, and it would be horrible if Meara broke his heart.

I really enjoyed this book – maybe I enjoyed it the most from all the other Young-Adult paranormal books I’ve read. It was a great first beginning to a series, and I can’t wait to dig in the rest of the series.

As a finale – I had to also include this quote from the book:

 

Humans are spiteful creatures. They destroy more than they create. That is why I do not associate with them.

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I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) – Ally Carter [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

If you are looking for a refreshing Young-Adult read, with college unlike any other – this is the perfect book for you. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You is the first book from the Gallagher Girl series, where we meet girls that go to a school for spies, and nobody except them, knows it.

The Gallagher Academy is a typical all-girls-school, except, instead of normal subjects, they learn advanced martial arts and chemical warfare studies, they have exams where they need to spy, or go unnoticed, or steal.

We meet Cammie Morgan, who happens to be the headmistress’s daughter, and when she goes on a mission and gets noticed by a boy – everything changes and her life is suddenly everything but normal. She knows how to kill a man in seven different ways, and she can speak fourteen languages, but when a cute boy comes and says hi – she is definitely not trained for that. What’s worst – he thinks she’s just an ordinary girl, and she is falling in love with him.

Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through town without his ever being the wiser – but can she have a relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s beginning her most dangerous mission – falling in love.

I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you Gallagher girls series ally carter book review blog diary of difference

I loved the writing style, and I loved something new and refreshing – it is a plot that I haven’t read before, and I really enjoyed it. Sometimes when it felt a bit childish, I would remember I am not thirteen anymore, but even now at twenty-one, I got lost into this silly world of spy girls and the drama and love life of Cammie.

I liked Cammie – she is the type of girl that you would love to have as a friend, because she always makes you giggle with her silly comments. I also liked how brave and honest she was – not always honest though… Sometimes, she was too whiney for her own good, and making little things out of nothing, but then again, all teens kind of do that all the time, so it’s acceptable.

I loved her friends – they were such a team, and always covering their backs. I loved how, even despite all their differences, they manages to fit right in and have their own impact to the group friendship.

Overall, quite an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it to you guys, if you love anything YA, or fantasy, or spy girls, or college related. I enjoyed this book, and I wish I read it way sooner. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series as well.

Thank you to my friend and author, Michael Kott, that send me this book after recommending it to me, as Ally Carter is one of his favourite authors, and he enjoyed this book as well. Check out his book Piasa – it is amazing!

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Sleep, Merel, Sleep – Silke Stein [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

This is a story about a little girl called Merel. This is also a story about how Merel one day can’t sleep. This story also happens to be one of the most adorable middle grade stories that I have ever read. Silke Stein did an amazing job in portraying a little girl, and creating a magical world that we see through her eyes.

Merel is a little girl and since her sick baby brother was born, her parents stopped paying attention to her.

In a magical world, far, far away, a dream collector plays on a violin and makes children fall asleep. But this one day, the dream collector gives up on Merel’s sleep and leaves his tiny silver violin in her bedroom.

Merel learns that her sleep has abandoned her, and she goes onto an incredible journey to recover the sleep, or to stay awake forever. With many characters helping her along the way, she will learn what the most important things in life are, and she will learn to see things in a different way.

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While meeting a sleepy king, and a man on a train that goes nowhere, and moonfish that cry, and a little baby handed in her hands, we will see this magical world through an eight-year-old girl and how her perception changes chapter by chapter.

This is one of the books that will make you feel relaxed and deeply satisfied within after reading it. I felt lighter and was glowing all day.

Merel is such a cute character, and any parent would wish to have her as a daughter. She is the perfect example of how children react when a new baby sibling comes to the family, and they think that the parents don’t love them anymore, because they devote their attention to this little creature that cries all the time.

I loved her adventures – they were so adorable, and so many questions and discussions were raised. Even though the beginning was a bit slow for me, and it took me a while to catch the story, I am completely certain that this was because I am a grown up – and I am sure that kids will be easily able to dive into the story immediately.

Thank you to Silke Stein, for sending me a paperback copy of Sleep, Merel, Sleep, in exchange for an honest review.

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