Beast Rider – Tony Johnston [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

A fantasy that stays true to many young people, that dare cross a border, searching for a better life. A fantasy, but also a cruel reality of what truly happens to these young boys and girls, and all the journeys they have to go through, fighting for a better tomorrow.

This is the first book I have read by Tony Johnston, and the reason I chose to read Beast Rider was because we get to see a twelve-year-old Manuel leave his small town in Mexico to join his older brother in the US.

As a girl myself, I had a family member that lived in another country, and I have always had my inner battle of going abroad to search for a better tomorrow and sadness of leaving my old life behind. With Manuel, you get to feel his hopes and fears, his nostalgia for his hometown and family, his thoughts and learnings at every step of his journey.

A few points bothered me slightly; the grammar in this book needs to be edited immediately. The character keeps using two words in a row row, and after a while while, it gets quite off putting off putting (you see what I mean?). I truly hope this is editing mistake, and not a writing style. There are a lot of Mexican words, without any glossary included. I can understand the words, but some people wouldn’t – and not being able to know the meaning can be a nuisance.

Purchase links: Amazon  🌟 Barnes & Noble

While reading about the journey of Manuel, I couldn’t help but remember exactly how I felt in a few points of my journey:

  • To Go or Not To Go

Manuel’s brother left the small Mexican village and now lives in Los Angeles. Manuel loves his big brother, and wants to join him desperately. He secretly plans his journey and decides to leave the town, after a lot of hesitation, in order to find his older brother. The battle between to go or not to go is the biggest battle one person can have with themselves. It is always hard, no matter which way one decides to go. And when Manuel decides it is time to go, I knew exactly how he felt, when I myself made that hard decision as well, and left my comfortable home to go and live in a foreign country.

  • The Journey To a Better Tomorrow

Manuel’s journey is not easy at all. In order to cross the US border, he had to become a ‘’beast rider’’ – someone who hops on a train. He tries multiple times, and various unlucky things happen to him, he gets stopped by the police, he is attached by a gang, people steal his most valuable items. But despite everything, Manuel’s spirit never leaves him, he is always hopeful he will find his brother soon. I loved the motivation and determination in the young Manuel, and it is so amazing to watch him grow through his experiences.

  • The Final Destination – Was This What I Really Wanted?

After all his endeavours, we finally get to see Manuel reunite with his brother. But what happens if you finally reach your destination, and this happens to not be what you wanted to? Manuel struggles to fit in this lifestyle, he can’t recognise himself, or his brother, and he is emotionally wrecked. He misses his family back home, and he realises that what he thought he would achieve once he finds his brother is not happening. When you feel all roads are closing on you, it is time to make a decision. And making his final decision, Manuel proves to have grown so much, and I admired him this entire book.

A beautiful story about all the emotions and journeys that young people go to. We all have dreams, and some of us reach for them, and act on them. Sometimes, these dreams turn out to be our life-changers, and sometimes, these dreams seem great, but are not ours to take. And this book showed me that that’s fine too. It’s okay to realise you suddenly don’t belong. It’s okay to act on your dreams, and it’s also okay to make mistakes. As long as you stay true to yourself, everything will be alright.

Thank you to the publisher Abrams Books and NetGalley, for providing me with a complimentary e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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To Best the Boys – Mary Weber [BOOK REVIEW]

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Synopsis:

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. The poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women train in wifely duties and men pursue collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the deadly maze.

Welcome to the Labyrinth.

Purchase links: Amazon  🌟 Barnes & Noble

My Review:

★★

I love Mary Weber as much as her food recipes she shares with us every single month! I don’t usually decide whether to read a certain book by its cover, but this cover made me want to find out more about it. When I read the synopsis, I had to read it, as it captures women fighting for their rights in a young-adult format, and it simply was something I couldn’t miss.

I will be honest with you and say that this book didn’t deliver. Maybe it was my expectations, after all, that got me too excited for my own good.

Let’s start with Rhen. She is a girl that loves science, and her father has taught her everything he knows. They are poor family and don’t have all the equipment in the world, but that doesn’t stop them to keep discovering and learning every day. In their kingdom, an unknown disease comes around, and Rhen’s mum is ill, with no cure yet. Rhen wants desperately to find a cure, and a rich boy wanting to marry her might promise her all the equipment she needs, but now it’s time that she lacks.

When the men’s annual tournament is about to begin, with boys fighting for the science scholarship, Rhen knows that she has no choice but to enter, disguised as a boy, and try to win this – for her, for her dad, and most importantly, for her mum.

The book flows really slowly. We get to about half of the book when Rhen decides to enter the tournament. I expected this to happen in the first couple of chapters, and to then have the adventure from within the labyrinth. For me, it was quite a slow beginning, but some of you might enjoy that. The writing is beautiful throughout.

I loved the fighter within Rhen. She is a fierce person, determined to fight for what she wants. Even though throughout the book she has trouble with realising what is it that she really wants, we can see a bit of character development in her.

As a book that is supposed to cover gender equality, and women fighting for the same rights as men, this book didn’t really deliver. The letter states that every gentleperson – not gentleman. Which means, that inequality never truly exists at all. Women could have entered this competition, but they just chose not to.

The whole competition, the labyrinth and the scholarship lacks details and has enormous loopholes: one scholarship is given to one person – the one that wins the labyrinth. And after the winner is chosen, we have a scene where they all take a test, including the winner?

The disguise was a huge and important part of this book, as Rhen and her friend are pretending to be boys. Rhen cuts her hair, and her friend just pins it and ties it with a hat. They both wear boy clothes and barely remember to lower their voices. And that is all they do to not get recognised. And somehow, the people that know them their whole life fail to recognise them. A bit unbelievable…

I wish I loved this book, because I truly fell in love with the cover and the synopsis. But the whole labyrinth set-up seemed to be a side-story, with the illness being the main story, and the realisation of what Rhen actually wants to achieve. Random characters were introduced, that didn’t drive the story one bit, and the author also happened to throw in an inconsistent romance and a love triangle.

I hate to say this, but the book seems like an unfinished draft. It seemed so promising, and all I thought I would get out of this was non-existent.

I am not sure if I would want to recommend this book to you guys. If you want to give it a try, I encourage you, and would love to talk about it and hear what you think, but if you are here because you loved the synopsis, this book will probably not satisfy you.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley, for giving me a complimentary ARC e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

‘’A river no more begins at its source than a story begins with the first page.’’

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is a story that had the perfect plot potential to be amazing, but it didn’t deliver at all. As a huge fan of storytelling, this was a big disappointment for me, the biggest one so far in 2019.

Purchase links: Amazon  🌟 Barnes & Noble

‘’There are stories that may be told aloud, and stories that must be told in whispers, and there are stories that are never told at all.’’

The story happens in a small city, on the river Thames. It features the pub Swan, where people gather every night, and everyone knows each other, and they all tell stories all night and enjoy their company.

If you have ever been to England, it is so easy to imagine the setting of a pub, warm place, crowded with people laughing and talking loudly, glasses clinking and people singing random songs in the background. A lot of positive noise and enchanting atmosphere.

And one night, the usual setting is being disturbed, when a man enters the pub with a little girl in his arms, and then passes away. The girl appears to not be breathing for a while, and everyone thinks she is dead, but suddenly, she is breathing again. And the man that is with her is not her father.

As the town is used to, they make stories of it. How it happened, who is the father, does she have a family, why was she drowning in the river… The plot entangles when the family is to be found of the little girl, but a few people claim she is their relative.

‘’Something happens and then something else happens and then all sorts of other things happen, expected and unexpected, unusual and ordinary.’’

The storytelling and the writing of the author was beautiful. At times. The beginning was a paradise for booklovers. The best first chapters I read this year. But after the plot opening, everything started going downhill.

It felt like being on this rollercoaster,excited, going slowly upwards, slowly reaching the top, ready to fall so fast, ready for an adventure, only for them to tell you that there is a fault, and you have to get back and exit the ride without even making the adventure out of it.

I wanted to love it. The writing at parts was great, and I am including a lot of quotes throughout the review, because I loved those parts. But the chapters and characters were too many, and things were happening too fast and without a purpose, that it was hard for me to pick up the pace. I had to leave the book and pick it up again, and it took me three months to complete it. A hard book to swallow and process.

Purchase links: Amazon  🌟 Barnes & Noble

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Random House UK, Transworld Publsihers for sending me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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A Court Of Thorns And Roses (A Court Of Thorns And Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas [BOOK REVIEW

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★★★★★

Here I am people! I can hang out with the cool kids now that I’ve read the book. It felt like I was hiding in a cave until now, refusing to read Sarah J. Maas, thinking the hype is too forced. But to be honest, this book surprised me a lot. I enjoyed it with all my heart, and even though I wouldn’t cry and scream over it, I am very pleased that I read it, and I just can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Purchase links: Amazon  🌟 Barnes & Noble

A Court of Thorns And Roses is a story about a young lady, Feyre, who is a huntress and goes out in the woods to hunt food. The more she hunts, the better her family can eat. And when one day she kills a wolf, she learns the hard way that killing a magical creature has its price…

She is imprisoned in an enchanted court and she is free to walk around, but not allowed to escape. The creature that captures her is a beast with fighting skills, with a mask on his face and piercing eyes that make her heart beat fast.

As Feyre starts to grow warmer about Tamlin, danger lies nearby and secrets are all over the place, and Tamlin and his kind might not be who she thought they were.

Fighting to break a curse that might make her lose her true love forever, Feyre must fight with all her forces, but she is just a weak human in this faerie world. Will she be able to make it?

I have to start with mentioning that the beginning was extremely slow and I was almost on the point of asking all of these people why they love this book so much. But once the plot started revealing itself, and a few twists happened straight away, I was glued to my sofa, reading page after page.

It gives us a slight resemblance of the Beauty and the Beast, even though the plot is quite different. There is a powerful beast who locks the girl, and they fall in love, but there is so much more twists, adventures and danger that I can’t compare them beyond that.

I loved Feyre, for the fierce woman she is. I loved the fight she had in herself, despite being a tiny human in a world of powerful magical creatures. I loved the fact that she would stand up for what she believes in, no matter the consequences, though sometimes, quite recklessly done.

I loved Tamlin, and his warmth despite his cold appearance. The way he cared for Feyre was so heartwarming and cute. The love they feel for each other, and those scenes that made me cry – I will cherish that!  

I am not sure how I felt about the ending – it was a bit forced, and too soppy, but it opened a space for another book, which I will be reading soon.

A wonderful magical tale, a fierce woman, a fiercer love, and even fiercer danger, this one won’t let you sleep at night, and it will haunt you to find answers. A true masterpiece!

Purchase links: Amazon  🌟 Barnes & Noble

Let’s talk – Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? Did you enjoy it? Have you read anything else from Sarah J. Maas?

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Girl with a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

I have read this book so many times. And even after re-reading this book so many times, it is and will always remain one of my favourite books, a story that is evergreen and has such an emotional story worth retelling.

Tracy Chevalier has been inspired by the artwork of Johannes Vermeer, and his most famous painting, the Girl with a Pearl Earring, that she decided to write a story of what she believes might have happened behind that painting. For me, when looking at paintings, this is one of the things that cross my mind – what is the actual story behind it, what was the relationship between the painter and the people on the painting, what were they all thinking and what did their lives look like… In this book, we are able to enter this world, where we see a story of what might have happened here, and this story is a wonderful experience.

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This is a story about Griet’s life. Griet lives in a house with her poor family, a blind dad who worked all his life to gather a bit of money for them, and a mother that always fought for the family. With their money running low, Griet has to go and work as a maid in the house of Vermeer, who is a famous painter. Even though quite young, Griet quickly knows her tasks, to iron, to cook, to grab groceries from the market, and the most important bit – to stay out of everyone’s way and do her job.

In the house, things are not easy. Griet is not treated with respect, her family is worried about her, the plague kills her sister and the butcher’s boy wants to marry her. Griet doesn’t feel anything for this boy, but having meat on the table every day for her and her family is too big of an advantage to be just thrown away. I personally never liked the butcher boy, because he knew very well what his advantage was, and he kept reminding Griet how she depends on him to feed her family.

 

‘’Her words surprised me, but when I looked in her eyes and saw there the hunger for meat that a butcher’s son could provide, I understood why she had set aside her pride.’’

But Griet has a secret crush on Mr. Vermeer, and a great admiration for his work. And Mr. Vermeer notices Griet’s curiosity and gives her tasks around the studio, which in the end, results in him painting her. Griet gets to be involved in his world, learning what he does, and working for him in secret, while his wife is bearing another child of his. Even though Griet secretly feels like she is betraying the wife, she can’t help but feel joj when Vermeer pays attention to her.

‘’ The clothes soaking in the kitchen went cold, the water grey. Tanneke clattered in the kitchen, the girls shouted outside, and we behind closed door sat and looked at each other. And he painted.’’

Now, in the 21st century, it is normal for ladies to pose, and be painted, but in that time, it was a disgrace for a maid to be painted. Men didn’t have the respect towards women as they do now (some of them). And when Griet finds herself being painted, she knows the consequences, but as a maid, she has no voice to object. She knows this quite well.

In the end, the story is very powerful and heartwarming. While we read about how Griet sees and thinks, we will start to love her, watch her grow, and learn so much. I am forever grateful I have found this book.

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

I have read the 20th Anniversary Edition of this amazing book, which was kindly sent to me by the publishers, The Borough Press, and Love Reading UK, in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read the Girl with a Pearl Earring?

The Visitor – Ti Ca [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

An interesting and complex piece of work that covers memory loss and family love tightly together. A short read, but also a missed opportunity of what could be a lovely novel, if developed in a better way.

It is Christmas Eve, but the furnace has gone out, the breaker needs to be reset and the cupboards are empty. In her cold house, Mrs. Langstrum is waiting for her husband to arrive from his quick trip to the store. As a snowstorm is approaching, Mrs. Langstrum gets worried. But just as she decides to get help, someone knocks on her door. A visitor. A stranger. But before she can tell him to go, he says he has news about her husband.

The blurb was the main reason I picked up this book. You sort of get the idea of what this book might be about. A mystery person arrives, and he has a story. The woman has a story, and the setting makes you curious about how this will continue to unravel.

The plot is complex, and even though it’s a very short book, the story went incredibly slow. The plot twist happened at the begging, and knowing this, I expected another one, as the beginning was obvious. In the end, when no other plot twists happen, and the book ends exactly how you thought it would end at the beginning, you are felt disappointed and unsatisfied.

I really loved the idea of the woman who has a memory loss, and a person that reveals information bit by bit. Going from other perspectives and back in time, it was a nice concept. I also really enjoyed the family relationships captured, and all the challenges openly discussed. We have some big taboo subjects here, and not many people are brave enough to openly talk about this.

However, this whole concept, and idea, was not delivered as it should’ve been, as it had the capacity to. There was room for more development, more work, and more plot twists.

Some parts are confusing, and it was nice that the story was so short and you could go back to it and re-read it, but is that really a good thing? Would we go back and re-read a 300-page book if it was confusing? I wouldn’t.

Purchase links: Amazon 

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Happy Girl Lucky (The Valentines #1) by Holly Smale – Blog Tour, Exclusive Book Extract, Competitions and More!

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BLOG TOUR, EXCLUSIVE BOOK EXTRACT AND COMPETITION

The first time I found out about Holly Smale was when my sister came to visit me and she gave me all these Geek Girl books and said I must read them. After reading the first one (click here to read my review of Geek Girl), I knew I loved the writing and I was a forever fan of Holly Smale. And now, a few months later, I was so lucky that I got the finish off this amazing blog tour, give you my thoughts of Happy Girl Lucky, share an exclusive extract of the book with you and have a competition for you to win 5 signed copies with 5 ‘The Valentines’ pop sockets.

To enter the competition, all you have to do is go over on my Instagram post and enter!

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GIVEAWAY TIME! I have the amazing opportunity to be a part of a blog tour, and finish it off with this amazing giveaway. The book: Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale, the first book from The Valentines series The prize: 5 Signed Copies with 5 pop sockets! (5 winners in total) HOW TO ENTER: Follow me – @diaryofdifference Follow Holly Smale – @holsmale Comment on this post, tagging three of your friends. (you can do this unlimited number of times) Additional Entries: Share this on your Stories (don’t forget to tag me, so I can note your entry) Share this on your Feed (don’t forget to tag me, so I can note your entry) Competition ends on 22nd February 2019, and I will announce the winners on 23rd February 2019. This competition is open Internationally! Good Luck Everyone! ❤

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BOOK REVIEW 

★★★★★

Happy Girl Lucky is the first book from The Valentines Series. This is a story about a famous family, The Valentines, who have been Hollywood stars for ages. Hope is one of the daughters of the famous couple, but she grows up without all that paparazzi attention and hype. It is a family rule not to involve their children into the famous world until they are sixteen. Hope can’t wait to turn sixteen and start living this amazing life.

Hope spends her teenage years as a normal girl – she steals clothes from her sisters and makes movie scenarios in her head. She reads her horoscope every day and knows what the magazines say is true. She is naive and funny and so unique. And when one day, her horoscope says she is on her way to finally meet her true love, she has to make everything possible to make this come true.

And when she meets this boy, we follow Hope’s adventures from touring London, to travelling to the US, to making decisions she never thought she could make. I loved how we are with Hope every minute of her journey and we watch her slowly grow and make us giggle.

Even though Hope gives the life of this story, and makes us all want to be friends with her, all of the other characters have their own little unique spark, which I loved so much.

A wonderfully written story, but also a very meaningful one. Holly Smale managed to perfectly capture some of the issues that some teenage girls are facing today. Living their own reality while their family lives a completely different world is not so uncommon, and girls need to know this. Sometimes, we wake in a reality we don’t know and think we are the ones to blame, but there is nothing wrong with you. All you ladies out there, you need to hear this. There is nothing wrong with you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are unique, and you should believe in what you are, who you are, and what makes you truly happy. And through Hope’s story, we can understand this so well, and I am forever grateful!

A fun and entertaining story, meant to capture all the teenage hearts out there. This is definitely a must-read for every girl out there, to find her true self and be happy for what she truly is.

My favourite scene in this book was the moment when Hope meets her ‘’dream boy’’ in the train, and I am sharing an exclusive extract of that chapter with you!

Click Here To Read The Exclusive Extract

Purchase links: Amazon | Harper Collins

I would love to chat with you, so let me know in the comments:

  • Is Happy Girl Lucky a book you might enjoy?

  • Have you entered the competition on Instagram?

  • Have you read any of Holly Smale’s books before?

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The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★ (3.8 ★, to be exact)

Sometimes, we enter a library, not really knowing what we are looking for. One day, I entered the library, only to return a few books. Instead, I returned with two more. The first one didn’t impress me, but the second one was this book –The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. I only picked it up, because I liked the cover. And I know, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I guess the magic worked on me this time around.

This book featured six stories, all six magical and beautiful in their own way. Some attracted me more, some a bit less, but I, overall, feel delighted to have read this book. I haven’t read Leigh’s previous books, so I didn’t know about this world before, but these are apparently the same woods featured in those books as well.

I will give a brief opinion on all stories, and the main rating will be the average from them all. Let’s go.

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

1. Ayama and the Thorn Wood – ★★★★

‘’Interesting things only happen to pretty girls.’’

A beautiful tale that will show you how beauty comes from within. The King and Queen have two sons – one is a beautiful man, the future king, and the other one is a monster. They are scared and ashamed of the monster-boy, and let him live his life in the labyrinth they made for him. In the village, in a poor family, there are two daughters, one as beautiful as the sun, and the other one ugly. When the monster escapes the labyrinth and starts ruining fields and make disasters, everyone is scared to go and talk to him and beg for forgiveness, so the ugly lady is sent to her woods – quite certain she will never return…

‘’This little prince was shaped a bit like a boy but more like a wolf, his body covered in slick black fur from crown to clawed foot. His eyes were red as blood, and the nubs of two budding horns protruded from his head.’’

2. The Too-Clever Fox – ★★★★

‘’Freedom is a burden, but you will learn to bear it.’’

I loved this story the most, out of all six of them. It reminded me of home, and of how we tell stories back there. The whole ‘’Once Upon a Time’’ is real, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The winter theme, the hunting, the girl and the fox. This is a story that will teach you to not be assured you can outsmart everyone. Foxes in stories have always been presented as the smart ones, outsmarting every animal in the woods. This reminds me of Aesop’s Tales, which I really loved as a little girl. But sometimes, you will get outsmarted, and it might cost you your life. The twist was definitely unexpected, but indeed satisfying.

3. The Witch of Duva – ★★★

A story where girls disappear, and one girl decides to go into the woods and try to figure out why. This story upset me, and I didn’t like it. But deep inside, it’s a good one. Very creepy though, and very horror-y, but worth reading. Turn the lights off, get under a blanket, turn your torch on, and only then you will be ready to know the deep secrets this story tells you.

4. Little Knife – ★★★★

The shortest story in the book, but by all means not the least intriguing. A story that features a woman that is too beautiful, that men lose their mind as soon as they see her. To get the chance to marry her, men will have to go through a various of tasks. The twist at the end is incredible, and I really liked it. It starts off as a usual story, but it goes wild.

5. The Soldier Prince – ★★

This was a story I enjoyed the least. It all screamed ‘’The Nutcracker’’ to me, and I couldn’t see it as original. It was a re-make, and it was very different that the story we know, but it just didn’t work for me. This is a story about a man who makes toys and gives them life. And when one toy sort of ‘’wakes up’’, interesting things start to happen. Quite a creepy story. I usually like those, but this one was not my cup of tea.

6. When Water Sand Fire – ★★★★

‘’ We were not made to please princes.’’

This one is the longest story in the book. It features a world of creatures living underwater, and Ulla, who can sing and create magic, but who, as the people believe, is not a true born, but a mix between the underwater world and the humans. She is asked to help the prince become a king, but when the magic price is too high to paid, it doesn’t seem like she has a choice. I truly enjoyed this story, as it’s a beautiful mix of emotions while you read it. It was a bit disappointing that it seems as a remake of the creation of the character of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, at least to me.

Have you read this book, or any of Leigh Bardugo’s books? Let me know in the comments, I love to chat with you!

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Curses of Scale by S.D. Reeves [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Niena wants nothing more than to attend an elite bardic college, but when the dragon that shattered the empire awakens again she finds herself on the run, through the fey realm of Fairhome, to the city where she was born. On her trail are her army veteran grandfather, thrown into a commander’s role he doesn’t want, the lord of the fairies, trying to steer her to his own ends, and the husband she won’t meet for fifteen years. If she kills the dragon, she’ll save everyone she holds dear. But if she kills the dragon, she’s cursed instead to become it.

”Dreams starve and die if not fed by imagination.”

My thoughts:

A uniquely designed plot, intriguing and different. I was so excited to read this book. The cover was mesmerising and the synopsis was promising. It made me eager to start the book and I couldn’t wait to dive into this fantasy world.

The first couple of chapters were very slow for me. I had to re-read chapters twice, and I didn’t quite understand what is happening. After a while, things became clearer, and I started to enjoy the story a bit more.

I loved Niena’s character. She was a typical being, where one part gasps with bravery, and the rest gasps with fear. I loved how realistic she was at moments, knowing to be scared when supposed to, and fierce when needed of her.

The story gasps with a lot of intense scenes, full of adventures, that I am sure you will all love and appreciate. From trying to fight a dragon, to running away, to the amazing plot twist right at the very end, this book made me restless, after I started enjoying it.

The only reason I am taking two stars away is because I had to read the first 60-ish pages two-three times, until I finally dived in and started enjoying the story.

”A fairy bargain can live no deeper than your lips, it always dies before reaching the heart.”

A beautiful tale, full of magic, adventure and time travel. And a cover that suits it so well.

If you seem to like these types of books – don’t wait and grab your copy now:

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Thank you to the author, S.D. Reeves , for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Pretty in Punxsutawney – Laurie Boyle Crompton [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

What happens when you get stuck in time, re-living the first day in your new school?

Andie is a teenage girl, who loves movies. She is the type of person that knows exactly what to say… after it’s too late to say it. She is quirky, cutishly nerdy, and adorable in a silly way. And when she moves to Punxsutawney (I don’t think I’ll ever pronounce this town correctly), on the first day in her new school, she gets caught up in an endless loop of having to re-live those 24 hours again and again.

As in the movies, she is convinced that the curse can be broken with a true love’s kiss, she goes on a mission to get the boy. But is he the right one? And is true love what breaks the curse?

Not knowing how to end the loop, Andie tries to get first kiss with a guy she thinks is her true love, and when that doesn’t work, she suddenly tries to make the different types of people hang out together and realise that it doesn’t matter how you look like, to be a good person.

I really loved the idea of the loop in a high-school theme, and that was the main reason that I wanted to read this book really badly. I also loved that the main idea of this book was that looks don’t matter, and don’t judge a book by its cover, but I think that the author took this meaning way too far into the book, and it became too unrealistic, that it was laughable.

I enjoyed the layout of the different types of kids in the school, the jocks, the cheerleaders, the goths, the school-paper girls, the nerds. They were all described very realistically, and I enjoyed the times when we would realise that prejudice doesn’t matter. I can relate to a lot of this, because I was hanging out with both nerds and jocks in my high-school times, being a sports person and being a ‘’weirdo’’ that wants to read at the same time.

I also somehow managed to like the movie references, even though at moments, they are too overwhelming, and sometimes completely unrelated to the plot in place.

What I didn’t like, is how Andie kept changing in order to fit, how her behaviour changed, and her mindset during different days. I did not like this at all. I think that a person should always keep being themselves, no matter who they talk to. Doing the thinks she kept doing, only to be liked by one guy was miserable. Ladies – you are beautiful, no matter what you wear or how you do your hair. If that guy really likes you, he wouldn’t care about all these things and he would see within.

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In retrospective, this was an enjoyable read. I am glad I read it, but somehow I think I might’ve been too old to read it now. But for you guys that are still in high-school, or love reading about high-school,  this one is definitely worth your time.

Thank you to Netgalley and Blink, for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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