Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

It happened, people. I finally did it. I have officially read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and I have mixed feelings about it.

After years of you guys begging me to read this book, I have finally managed to dig into this vampire world with Lissa – the Moroi (mortal) vampire and Rose – her guardian, sworn to protect her.

These two best friends are on the run, after Lissa’s family has been killed. Now, they unwillingly return to the Vampire Academy, and try to live their normal lives, but danger is on their doorstep.

I loved the plot, and the idea of the world building, even though, I have to admit, I wish we had more pages of the Vampire Academy description. Or maybe this is just me screaming – ”I want a vampire Hogwarts description right here, right now!”

I loved their friendship, and I loved how both of them would sacrifice so much for each other. It is a character quality we rarely see, and it was so well delivered that it gave me shivers for a few scenes.

However, the characters themselves weren’t much likeable. Lissa, well, we hardly get to really know her. She is mostly a shadow of Rose’s opinions of herself. And as of Rose, as much as I admired her bravery and wisdom, sometimes she was just so dumb for her own good.

I loved the plot twists, and the cliffhangers, especially the few ones right at the very end, but it took so long for them to come. Despite that, this book was still such a fast read, and you can’t take your hands off it.

”For they (women) are strange and mysterious creatures,” he continued in his scholarly voice, ”and a man must be a mind reader if he ever wishes to make them happy.”

I wanted to not mention the romance bit of the novel, but I have to stay honest to myself and do it. Unrealistic romances will happen that will make you cringe. I won’t spoil it for you, but I happened to love these two people together, even though their so called love happened instantly.

”And sometimes, if I was really, really lucky, he’d smile at me. A real smile too – not the dry one that accompanied the sarcasm we tossed around so often.”

A typical high-school fantasy novel, with vampires included, this will be a great addition to your shelves if you love this genre. I greatly enjoyed it, but being older I think these things stuck a bit to me.

If you haven’t read this, I do recommend it. Even though it had a few weak points, I would definitely read the second book of the series.

Purchase links:

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Have you read Vampire Academy? Is it on your TBR?        I would love to see what you think! 

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All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

A beautiful story about families, love, betrayal, the difference between the rich and poor, and a girl that tries to discover what happened to her missing mother, while discovering herself.

Charlie Calloway has a life most people would kill for – a tight-knit family, a loyal set of friends, and top grades a privileged boarding school. But Charlie’s never been interested in what most people want. Like all Calloways, she’s been taught that she’s different, special – better. So when her school’s super-exclusive secret society extends a mysterious invitation, Charlie’s determination to get in is matched only by her conviction that she belongs there.

But their secrets go deeper than she knows.

Charlie finds herself thrust into the centre of a decades-old mystery – one that implicates her family in not one terrible crime, but two. Uncovering their past may destroy everything she knows – or give her the answer she’s always craved: Who or what was behind her mother’s disappearance ten years ago?

I haven’t heard about this book until I received it as a birthday gift from my sister. The cover is just – gorgeous! You can feel the raindrops on the cover, and the sides are painted black, and you can read out ”I KNOW”. They have been thinking of all the little details.

The story is a bit slow at the beginning. It took me a while to get into it, as they delay the plot for a while, but once you get past that little hill of boredom, it gets better and better. I could imagine myself climbing a mountain with my bike, struggling while climbing, just so I can enjoy the great fast downhill and wind in my face.

The story is told by many people’s perspective, and it changes after each chapter. The amazing thing was, the stories go back in the past as well, but the story keeps flowing in one direction, event by event, which I really enjoyed. If this was poorly made, the book would’ve been so confusing, but fortunately, it wasn’t.

Even though I didn’t expect, this turned out to be a great mystery-solving novel, with wonderful and unexpected plot-twists, and a cliffhanger until the end. Is the mother dead or alive?

Many of the topics covered are very relatable. The difference between children raised in rich families versus the children raised in not-s-rich families. Their thoughts and mindsets, their beliefs, and the people they hang out with. And when a girl like Charlie, who has a father from a rich family and a mother from a poor family, is on the cross-road, it is amazing to see this character develop and make choices for herself, that reflect on both her backgrounds.

A lovely read, fast-paced novel, with a beautiful cover and even more beautiful reading material, this is one of the stories that I would recommend for you to read on a rainy day, covered in a blanket, with a hot chocolate – despite the summer theme on the cover, this was a winter book for me.

Purchase links:

All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

We all are, or have once been wallflowers. The shy creatures of the universe, strangled in a problematic world where everything is so confusing and hard. We have all once swam in those deep waters, where the finish line is the act of growing up, and we all coped with it in different ways.

Charlie is struggling with the same things we were, when in high school. The friendships, or lack of them, the crushes, the secret thoughts, the exams, the pressure, the misunderstandings with our parents, our goals, hopes and dreams, our visions of what we will become.

It is an emotional, but very realistic story, about one kid, and all the things he learns while growing up. By learning things the hard way, by listening, by watching things happen to his friends and family, by just being a wallflower.

The author has written this book in a way where Charlie is writing letters to his secret friend, telling him about his daily adventures. I loved this way, because the letters give a sense of confidentiality, of honesty, or pure thoughts with nothing to hide.

Charlie is a shy guy, who has trouble making friends, socialising, and lacks a lot of common sense. To me,  this game me vibes of an autistic kid, or an anxious child suffering from PTSD, which hits all the marks, but I don’t know whether or not this was the author’s purpose. It was written in 1998, so I can assume these subjects might have been taboo, as people weren’t as open minded as today.

To me, Charlie was a relatable character. Even though clearly going through a lot more than just a normal kid, in this book, he copes with problems we have all coped. And the part I loved about Charlie the most is – he is honest, so brutally honest, and doesn’t try to hide things he understands or trying to understand. He sees things we don’t tend to see, and he feels things in a way I would want to feel them.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”


Purchase links:

Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble

He suddenly meets a group of friends, that accept him as he is, and he can be as weird and crazy as he wants, no one bothers. These friendships – my dear reader – are something we all wish for, and some of us are so lucky to have them.

I truly believe that this book is definitely something I would give to my kid to read, or to my small siblings. I wish I had read this 10 years ago, when I would relate more, and when all the high-school topics were relevant. But even now, I can still remember the exact way Charlie felt in some situations, and I wish I had read the book and acted differently on some of mine.

”Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”

Charlie will teach us a lot about high school little traumas, high-school crushes and true love, friendships and betrayals, seeing the family in a different way, and acting on things instead of doing nothing. With Charlie, I went back to high-school, and remembered all the good things and the bad, and I ALMOST shed a few tears for all the memories and times I will never have. Now, I raise a glass, and say cheers for all the good memories and friendships made.

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”

Spend a little time, and pick up this book. It is a short and sweet read, and it is a book that everyone should have on their shelves.

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Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

A fantasy of a virtual world, and a game that brings people together. A story of a girl that struggles to pay her rent, and her ability to hack the most important game of the year – Warcross. And when the creator of Warcross hires her, needing her help – she begins her adventure.

From the first moment that I read the synopsis of Warcross, I knew I wanted to have this book on my shelf and read it immediately. A couple of reasons stand behind this story:

  • A girl is a main character, and a fierce one. As boring it might seem, I love a book with brave characters, especially if it’s a teen girl. I think when girls are featured as brave and fearless in books, it gives encouragement to a lot of girls reading the book, that are struggling through their teenage years.

  • I am a vivid video games player. I play a lot of games, and this is something you might not have known about me. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments. I love the gaming community, and I believe that if it weren’t for the video games, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

  • If you haven’t read it, you have all probably heard about Ready Player One. I absolutely loved it, and watched the movie, and I am still in love with it. And when book reviewers started comparing Warcross to Ready Player One, I had to see if this was true. I just had to check for myself.

And then, I got this book as a birthday gift from my boyfriend. (see my Birthday Haul). So here we are, a few reasons after, me having read this book and telling you all what I thought.

Firstly, I feel like I need to say this – Warcross is nothing like Ready Player One.

Yes, we have a virtual world, and (surprise) virtual characters in the world. And yes, there is a game and the creator of the game is involved. But the whole plot and story are so much different in so many ways.

The descriptions of the virtual world, the story lines, the dialogues, the way the story flows, the romance – it is all unique and original.

And for you out there that compare this to Ready Player One – it is as if you are comparing Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde, only because they both have a plot of romance and forbidden love. It is ridiculous, let me tell you.

Even though the Warcross game as its own was brilliantly explained and described, I felt like we didn’t see much of the rest of the virtual world. I loved the way Marie Lu would talk about the world – so much passion in each chapter.

The discussion opens on virtual reality and the worlds that could be created. It is not a matter of whether it will happen, but when? I keep thinking I might be alive when we will live in a world of ”virtuality”. Would we be happier? Would we be smarter? Or would this just be another tool for people to get richer, by using its users? Is the future scary? Should it be?

Emika is a character I think many girls will relate to. Brave and fierce, even though she is afraid inside. A strong, young woman, that stands for what she believes in, even when this might mean losing the people she loves the most.

The story flows so quickly, and each end of the chapter begs you to start another one, and before you know it, it’s 4am and you keep reading, unable to stop. This book has some strange power right there!

The twists were interesting, even though some of them were predictable. Even with the knowledge of this, I would always miss something amazing, and even knowing what will happen, the experience was always pleasant.

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I am so glad I got to read this book, and I am so excited to read Wildcard soon as well. I am definitely recommending this to all of you – I am sure you will enjoy it.

If you have read it, let me know what you think in the comments – I would love to discuss it!

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

A book that speaks about feelings, and lack of them. Love and emotions. Art and passion. Psychology and memories. And how our childhood might define who we will become.

I have never felt such urgency to read another chapter as I have felt it with The Silent Patient. Such impatience, such excitement. It’s a feeling I wish I can get with all the books in my life.

 

ALICIA

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

Get your copy of THE SILENT PATIENT here:

I love these types of books. Besides the mystery and thriller, the psychological part was an incredibly well-put together piece of art.

The beginning of the story is nice and slow, but with a temptation in it, that makes you flip the pages so fast. A great world and character building, and great character hopping from Theo to Alicia, from chapter to chapter.

Even though we don’t get to have Alicia talking in the book, she says so much. All her movements, all her reactions, or lack of reaction is so well written. Her lack of speaking doesn’t stop her from moving the story forward, and being the main protagonist here.

On the other hand, we have Theo, who we see and get to know more and more with each chapter. A complicated character, with a cute oddness to himself, a characteristic I find with many psychotherapists. He is the person we see at the front of the screen, presenting himself in the spotlight, together with Alicia.

A well-written plot, with an amazing cliff-hanger and a wonderful plot-twist in the end. I didn’t expect it, and I am awfully satisfied of how the authors decides to conclude the book.

I enjoyed this book so much, and I recommend it to all the psychological thriller book readers here. Don’t miss this one, and get your copy today. It’s so worth it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group, for providing me with an e-copy, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and completely unbiased.

 

 

 

 

 

Day Of The Accident – Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

When Maggie wakes up from a coma, her whole life has changed. The nurse tells her that she has been in an accident, her little daughter is dead, and her husband sold the house and left her.

Maggie doesn’t remember a thing.

With no home, no family, and no memory, she has to find a way and discover what happened that day.

A thriller that will uncover the greatest of secrets everyone could have. A nail-biter, this one, I tell you.

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No Fourth River – Christine Clayfield [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

No Fourth River is a very powerful story about swimming up to surface, when the world is against you. A story about child abuse unlike anything else, and one very determined woman.

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Some Sunny Day – Madge Lambert [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

Some Sunny Day was one of those books that go slowly, and tell a story of another times, reviving memories and emotions. A story of a lady that is sent to India to take care for the British Soldiers in the Second World War.

A beautiful memoir, full of lively descriptions that make the scenes more realistic. A powerful story of love, bravery, tragedy, sacrifices and hope.

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Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

A world where you are an ugly until your sixteenth birthday. And then, you undergo a surgery and you become pretty. And life is perfect. Except, maybe, it isn’t.

This is one of those books where you visualise a world in so many details, and feel like you’ve lived there all your life. Also a book that captures society for what really is. A very pleasant and enjoyable read.

I received this book as a birthday gift. Have a look at my birthday haul.

Uglies is the first book from the series by Scott Westerfeld. A dystopian world about ”uglies” and ”pretties”. A world in which society is split between beauty. A place where the ”uglies” are separated from the real world until they do a surgery and become pretties. Then, they grow up and join the world of pretties, where they are allowed to do everything they weren’t allowed before. They attend parties and have fun, and they don’t worry about anything.

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait to become pretty. All her friends have already turned pretty before her, and she is excited to join them in this marvellous world. But just weeks before her birthday, she becomes friends with Shay, who is not so sure whether she wants to become a pretty.

When her friend runs away and escapes the operation, Tally has a choice: find Shay and bring her back, or never turn pretty at all. And when Tally goes after Shay, she discovers that the world she believed in, might not be the real one…

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Hippie – Paulo Coelho [BOOK REVIEW]

hippie by paulo coelho books review books blog diary of difference

★★★

Hippie is the autobiography by Paulo Coelho, told in third person. This is a story about people that travel the world, wear funny clothes and flowers in their hairs, and believe in peace, love and freedom.

I have read many of Coelho’s books, even since I was a teenage girl. And all of them share something in common – the path of finding yourself. After reading Hippie, I believe that this is the the best one that covers this subject quite perfectly.

‘’He was a human being, with all the fragility that entails, he didn’t understand everything that happened in his life, but he truly wished to believe he was travelling in search of the light.’’

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