Book Review, Books

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

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★★★★

In the 1940’s, with the world at war, Eleanor Trigg leads a mysterious ring of secret female agents in London. Twelve of these women are sent to Paris to aid the resistance.

They never return home!

Shortly after the war ends, passing through New York’s Grand Central Station, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase beneath a bench. The case is filled with a dozen photographs, each of a different woman.

Setting out to find the women in the pictures, Grace is drawn into the mystery of the lost girls of Paris, their fierce friendship, unthinkable bravery – and, ultimately, the worst kind of betrayal.

Eleanor is a woman that men fear and women hate. Wherever she goes, fear follows. However, in a world of men who lead and men who are in war, she starts a programme in London where she recruits women, prepares them and deploys them to help in the war. The women have to aid the man, transmit radio messages and blend in with the french people. Eleanor makes sure they are prepared for every possible scenario, and she would’ve joined them, if they let her. As much as she seems cruel, she loves her girls like her daughters, and when things go horribly wrong, she blames herself.

Marie never imagined she would be recruited by Eleanor. Leaving her daughter behind and going into the unknown, she is deployed in Paris for a very dangerous mission. But can friendships so easily made survive the dark days of war? And what happens when Marie is one of those twelve women that disappear without a trace, never to be seen again…

And then Grace finds the suitcase full of photos of women and she can’t help but wonder what happened to them. The paths of these three women will indirectly cross over, leaving us, readers, with an amazing story to follow.

The writing is incredible and it transports you right in the 1940’s. Feelings and emotions are overflowing. I am not completely sure how I felt with the ending, as it ended too predictable for my taste, with a lot of unrealistic scenes and no character development, really.

But even despite all that, it warmed my heart and made me rethink my life decisions. The Lost Girls of Paris is a book about women who are brave and loyal. Women who are not afraid to stand up and fight. Women who have everything to lose and nothing to regret. A tale of pure emotion.

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

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Book Review, Books

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare – Blog Tour

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I was lucky enough to be approached by LoveReading to review and join the blog tour for The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. Starting today, and posting every Wednesday, you will get to see what I thought about this series.

Series: The Dark Artifices

  1. Lady Midnight – Click to see my review
  2. Lord Of Shadows – Scroll down
  3. Queen of Air and Darkness – 03rd July

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★★★★

Welcome back to the sequel of The Dark Artifices series. After reading the first book and getting to know all the new characters, the second book contained by far more detail and more adventures throughout.

The book starts where it left all, after the team defeats Malcolm, but now new dangers arise, as sea demons start summoning, and the Faeries, as usual, are planning some mischief.

Emma, as you might have guessed, is still my favourite. But, this time, we got to see more about the ”little children”, Kit, Ty and Livvy. As I kept reading and finding out more about them, I realised them I loved them more and more every single page.

I loved how Cassandra Clare managed to put differences aside, and teach us how it’s okay to be different and you will be accepted by the real friends in your life. While Ty is autistic and unique in his own way, he is accepted and loved by his family and friends, and his uniqueness makes him lovable character to all readers as well.

We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything. 

The best part of the book for me was everything that had to do with Faerie land. All the writing about how beautiful, but at the same time dangerous it is just made me want it more and more. So beautiful, and yet so cruel. A world where you get enchanted and then hurt, a world where time is irrelevant and beauty is forever.

Mark and Christina’s dance was one of the moments I will cherish forever in this book, and I don’t fall easily for romantic scenes.

Lord of Shadows was amazing, with so many adventures and different plots and character developments throughout. We have a lot of characters, and they all develop in their own way, and we get all their backgrounds and feelings, and actions that make them grow in a certain way, and each of these moments was precious to me in a different way, but all the same. We have Emma seeing her father (or an illusion of it) and having to kill him. Then there is her forbidden love to Julian. We have Kit, the lost Herondale and how he slowly fits into the academy. And most importantly, we have Magnus appearing in the book with Alec, and singing Spanish lullabies to his son.

So many amazing moments, too many bookmarks, and only one feeling of love towards everything Shadowhunter-y. I can’t wait to dive into the next book. Looking forward to it!

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Book Review, Books

Eternal Soul by Karimah Colden

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★★★

Eternal Soul by Karimah Colden was a mysterious and adventurous read for me. The author contacted me and the book seemed to have an interesting plot, so I said – yes, I would love to read it.

Reign is a very private person and keeps everything close to her heart. She is a descendant of powerful hoodoo magick and her family has some dark secrets.

One day, her father appears in her life, which happens very rarely. She can feel trouble and danger, and before she knows it, her world is full of magick and discovering herself again. The one thing that she always denied – her powers – will now be something she will have to embrace and live with.

I really liked Reign and how she was portrayed. There was great character development, which was something I really admired. I loved how she slowly was finding herself throughout the book and did what felt was the best decision for her at each time. I am not sure about the romance and the relationships she formed with both men. It all happened too fast, too unrealistic and too predictable. The book also had a lot of repetitiveness as well, especially in the many scenes when it came to fashion choices and Reign was standing in from of her closet. It felt like deja-vu every time I read about it.

But I still enjoyed Eternal Soul a lot.

Despite the deja-vu’s, despite the grammar errors. It is a cute short-ish read and I loved finding out what happens next. I also have the second book of the series as well, and will definitely be reading it soon.

If you like something young-adult, with a bit of magic and self-discovery, and something new and different, go for it, and you might be surprised! Definitely worth giving it a chance!

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Book Review, Books

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – Blog Tour

cassandra clare lady midnight the dark artifices shadowhunter love reading book books review diaryofdifference diary of difference

I was lucky enough to be approached by LoveReading to review and join the blog tour for The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. Starting today, and posting every Wednesday, you will get to see what I thought about this series.

Series: The Dark Artifices

  1. Lady Midnight
  2. Lord Of Shadows
  3. Queen of Air and Darkness

Book Review Banner (2)

★★★★

Welcome back to a whole new series about the Shadowhunter world. If you haven’t read the Mortal Instruments, you will find this book full of spoilers on what happened before. You could still read it, though, but you will miss a lot of hidden gems throughout the book. I will try not to spoil a lot, but please proceed at your own risk 🙂

Lady Midnight is set in a time frame when the Mortal Instruments ends. This is a story about Emma, a fierce warrior who lost her parents in the war. This is also a story about her parabatai, Julian, and all the things he would do to protect his family.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other – but they can never fall in love.

Emma was, without a doubt, my ultimate favourite character in this book. 

She is fierce and strong and always puts others before herself. Even though she has been through a lot, she uses that pain and channels it to keep going forward. She also never gives up and trusts her gut. She would give everything for the people she loves, even if it kills her.

I also loved Julian and how he was presented as the father figure in his siblings’ lives. After losing both parents, and his two elder siblings, he takes responsibility and grows so fast, realising that since his older brother is gone, he will have to wear the burden and raise his siblings on his own.

All great movies are about love. Love lost, found, destroyed, regained, bought, sold, dying, and being born. I love movies, but they’ve forgotten what they’re about. Explosions, effects, that wasn’t what it meant when I first got here. It was about lighting cigarette smoke so it looked like heavenly fire and lighting women so they looked like angels.

When the Sealies visit and make an offer to release Julian’s brother, Mark, for a price, Julian and Emma can’t refuse. It feels as if history keeps repeating itself and if you have read the previous books, you will know what I mean. Mark has been captured by the Sealie court when the war ended, and he has spent what seems like an eternity with them, forgetting who he really is.

While Emma tries to uncover the mystery of her parent’s murder, Mark is trying to decide whether he wants to stay with his Shadowhunter family that he barely knows or go back with the Wild Hunt and be together with the love of his life.

Cassandra Clare’s writing is absolutely incredible and even though the book is almost 700 pages long, I read it so quickly. I loved coming back to this world and I loved how fast-paced it was.

This book is all about love and I CAN’T even express my feelings on how happy I was when I was reading. So many emotions and pure sparks floating around. It was magical. Just like Magnus Bane’s cameo. Yes guys – he did appear – with all his sass. It was incredible.

When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them…

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Book Review, Books

Princess in Practice by Connie Glynn

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★★★★

From Connie Glynn comes the second book of the Rosewood Chronicles – Princess in Practice, and it is the adventure of a lifetime that we all have been waiting for. If you thought Undercover Princess was amazing – you will definitely love its sequel.

”Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

The story continues where it left off, with Ellie, Lottie and Jamie settling after the adventurous ending and getting ready for their second year in Rosewood. With the new school year starting, their enemies are on the rise again, plotting their new actions, and Lottie and Jamie are more than ready to protect their princess.

But as always, things are not as easy as they seem, and they never suspect that danger will be so close to them, now more than ever.

I loved that Lottie has her moment with her old best friend, when she visits the hometown, and tells him all about the princess world. It was soothing to know that she still cares about him, and always will, despite their lives being very different now.

Throughout the book, we don’t see any romantic scenes, but we do have a lot of subtle talks about them. I really loved the romance between Anastacia and Saskia. Maybe not the romance itself actually, because to be honest, as much as I love the author, she doesn’t have a skill set for writing romance. What I did love, was the dedication of the couple to stay together and what Saskia would do and sacrifice, just for the person she loves.

I was very upset with the author trying so hard to make Lottie and Ellie a couple. Yes, we know lesbian relationships are against the rules in the kingdom and Ellie’s father would be furious to find out. But Lottie had such a nice slow-burn romance going with Jamie, getting to know him and all. They even reminded me of Dimitri and Rose from Vampire Academy. They have a thing, and the author ruined it with trying to convince me Lottie likes girls. Well, I am not convinced. I already have my favourite girl couple, and it’s not Lottie and Ellie.

Princess in Practice was a better-written book than Undercover Princess in my opinion.

If I had to choose though, I would still prefer the first book, because of the whole set up. The friendship stories were better and even the villains were better in the previous book.

The villains we had in this book were plain, without a character, and I simply did not care about any of them. Even that last chapter, with the mysterious leader that stands behind everything, all I could feel was – MEH!

When it comes to the friendship, and the wider team that helps these three main characters, we didn’t really get to know them much more than we did from the previous book. My favourite was and will stay Raphael, who always makes me laugh.

”What? Why don’t I get to be a plus-one?” Raphael maned, tutting. 

”Because, Raphael,” Anastacia mocked, ”you’re not a trained bodyguards, nor are you a princess.”

To conclude, I loved reading Princess in Practice. It had a nice overall story and it was very easy to read. I will definitely be waiting for the third book to come out and will be desperate to read it! A great book during the summer period for sure. If you love princesses – that is 🙂

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