Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Eleven Lines to Somewhere by [BLOG TOUR]

Eleven Lines to Somewhere by Alyson Rudd Blog Tour HQ Stories Book Review The First Time Lauren Pailing Died

I am extremely happy and excited to be part of the blog tour for Eleven Lines to Somewhere by Alyson Rudd. Thank you to the team at HQ – for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Check out the other book bloggers that are part of the tour as well: 

Eleven Lines to Somewhere by Alyson Rudd Blog Tour HQ Stories Book Review The First Time Lauren Pailing Died

Synopsis:

Everyone is searching for love. Sometimes we just take our own route to find it.

Ryan sees a young woman on the tube on his way to work, and he can’t stop looking at her. Attracted and intrigued, he’s set to find out more about this mysterious passenger that shares the tube with him. 

Sylvie keeps travelling the underground, unable to leave for reasons unknown to Ryan. He hasn’t been dating for ten years, when he was at university and the love of his life died.

But for some reason, he feels he needs to help Sylvie. In a world of missed opportunities and what-ifs, a connection has been made.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book I have read by Alyson Rudd, with the first one being The First Time Lauren Pailing Died. That book intrigued me, and when I saw Eleven Lines to Somewhere being published – I had to know and compare them. 

At the beginning, I was intrigued, knowing what the synopsis is. We meet Ryan and Sylvie (separately), and we get a small glimpse into their lives. In the beginning, Ryan’s story with his family and friends is more talked about. I liked getting to know Ryan, very slowly throughout the first half of the book. He is a very intriguing character himself, going through a personal time, as well as making very controversial decisions to get to know Sylvie better. 

I liked Sylvie’s story and her connection to the underground. It was very intriguing to me to read and understand how some moments in life can let us become something that we can’t help but be. That a certain experience can cause such a need for Sylvie to action. I loved the psychological aspect of her characterisation, and how the trauma was handled. 

Once Ryan and Sylvie got to know each other, the pace of the book changed, I felt. The pace was very slow, but the scenes moved very quickly in time.

Even though I loved Ryan and Sylvie as separate characters, I couldn’t love them as a couple.

I felt that there was chemistry and romance missing, and somehow their connection to each other was based on the need to help the other one with their own trauma. For me, that being a single reason to love someone makes me think a person is in such a relationship to only feel better about themselves. Look – I helped someone, I am a better person now. But that’s just my humble opinion. 

There were a lot of side characters that had their own storylines – which I really enjoyed. A lot of drama and twists happened with them, which was quite enjoyable to read. Some characters in the end were thrown into the story abruptly, almost as if for convenience to the story line. But it worked well in the end.

I really enjoyed this story. Still a 4 star, but I enjoyed it more than The First Time Lauren Pailing Died. If you love contemporary books with a lot of characters, this will be a very good pick for you!

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar [BLOG TOUR]

Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar Blog Tour HQ book review books blog blogging diaryofdifference diary of difference

I am extremely happy and excited to be part of the blog tour for Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar. Thank you to the team at HQ – for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Check out the other book bloggers that are part of the tour as well: 

Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar Blog Tour HQ book review books blog blogging diaryofdifference diary of difference

Synopsis:

When Lily is hired as the new intern at Leadership magazine, where Katherine is editor-in-chief, her arrival threatens the very foundations of the self-serving little world that Katherine has built. But before long, she finds herself obsessively drawn to Lily, who seems to be a cruel reminder of the beauty and potential Katherine once had, things she senses Lily plans to use against her.

Is Katherine simply paranoid, jealous of Lily’s youth as she struggles with encroaching middle age? Is Lily just trying to get ahead in the cutthroat world of publishing? Or is there a more sinister motivation at play, fueled by the dark secrets they’re both hiding? As their rivalry deepens, a disturbing picture emerges of two women pitted against each other across a toxic generational divide–and who are desperate enough to do anything to come out on top.

My Thoughts:

Wow – what an experience this book was. I haven’t read a book this fucked-up (in the best possible way) since I read Anonymous Girl and The Silent Patient. Just wow. 

Okay, now that I have gathered my thoughts, let’s begin this review properly. 

Precious You is a very exciting book, looking from a psychological aspect. We witness the battle between a “Snowflake” and a Generation-X. The battle of two women; one trying to conquer the world, the other one trying to stay relevant. 

Both Katherine and Lily were very realistic characters. Both with opposing opinions on the world. And both with two completely different goals. Both fighting over power in every possible field that they share in common. But what I love the most is that I was able to understand both points of view. I found myself feeling for both of them, even though sometimes I couldn’t in my right mind understand their choices and their actions. 

But they both spoke to me.

Each in their different way, for a different thing. And this is something I haven’t encountered in a long time. To be able to connect with both the victim and the villain. Despite us not knowing which is which until the very end of the book.

The other aspect I loved was the cat and mouse game they were playing. I haven’t seen a book so upsetting and twisted in a very long time. And I really loved it. Some things those women did are properly twisted. Really fucked-up. But I enjoyed reading it. It took me to another world, another reality where dark and twisted was the new normal.  

It was interesting to witness such a vivid battle between two generations. The fear of new young people invading people’s space. The fight to get to the top, because of the people that have been at your workplace longer and have more knowledge. The wicked ways of how HR handled their issues. How your interns and your team can quickly turn on you if you stop delivering. It was interesting to read how the magazine worked as a company. I think the author did a great job at describing how one reality works.

I definitely recommend it – it is fast paced and very dark and twisty. If you love psychological thrillers, this one will be the right book for you!

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Mayhem by Estelle Laure [BLOG TOUR & EXCLUSIVE CHAPTER EXCERPT]

Mayhem by Estelle Laure St Martins Wednesday Books blog tour book review excerpt fantasy california blog blogger blogging diary of difference diary of difference

I am so happy to have the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Mayhem by Estelle Laure. Thank you to the team at Wednesday Books, for sending me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review. 

CLICK HERE for an exclusive chapter extract of Mayhem!

Mayhem by Estelle Laure St Martins Wednesday Books blog tour book review excerpt fantasy california blog blogger blogging diary of difference diary of difference

About The Author:

Twitter | Instagram 

Estelle Laure, the author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back believes in love, magic, and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and she lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her family. Her work is translated widely around the world.

Mayhem by Estelle Laure St Martins Wednesday Books blog tour book review excerpt fantasy california blog blogger blogging diary of difference diary of difference

Synopsis:

It’s 1987 and Mayhem Brayburn has always known something’s off about her and her mum, Roxy. Roxy is in constant physical pain, and Mayhem has an irresistible pull to water. She knows they aren’t like the other people. 

When one day, Mayhem’s stepfather goes one step too far, her and Roxy escape to Santa Maria, California, the beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is. There, she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and she opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage of the Brayburn family. The very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. 

But when she is on a mission to search for a man that has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she needs to pay the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

My Thoughts:

Mayhem by Estelle Laure is one of a kind. Entwined with mystery, magic with family heritage and revenge, this book is full of emotions. 

The beginning of the book, although powerful, is very slow. It took me a little while to get into it, but as soon as I was hooked, it stayed amazing. 

Mayhem is an interesting character. She holds a lot of emotions inside of her, all from past experiences that have shaped her character. Sad to say that most of her experiences were not good, and she holds the burden for it all. I can imagine how hard it must be to write a character as complicated as Mayhem, and I think Estelle Laure did and amazing job doing it. 

I loved the kids as well – each of them different in their own way, battling their own demons and living through their bad experiences in the past. Some of these characters drastically change over the course of the book, which was unbelievable to me.

The magic aspect of this book was interesting, and for me, original. I have seen many reviews mentioning that this might not be true, and it is a very similar story to The Lost Boys. Since I haven’t watched The Lost Boys, I am unable to comment on this part. Personally, I really enjoyed the magic concept with the water, the dependency on it and the family heritage part too. 

If you are searching for a YA fantasy thriller, with rich characters and mysterious adventures, I think you will definitely enjoy this book. 

Trigger warnings: rape, assault, murder, drug addiction, magic addiction. 

Purchase Links:
Wednesday Books | Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Not My Daughter by Suzy K. Quinn [BLOG TOUR]

Not My Daughter by Suzy K Quinn HQ Blog Tour Book review blogger blogging diary of difference diary of difference

I am so happy to have the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Not My Daughter by Suzy K. Quinn. Thank you to the team at HQ, for sending me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review. Have a look at the Blog Tour Banner below and check out the other bloggers.

Not My Daughter by Suzy K Quinn HQ Blog Tour Book review blogger blogging diary of difference diary of difference

About The Author:

Suzy K Quinn is a British fiction author, and writes in three different genres: psychological thriller, comedy and romance. She was first published by Hachette in 2010 with her debut novel Glass Geishas (now Night Girls), then self-published a romance series, the Ivy Lessons, which became an international bestseller and a #1 Kindle romance bestseller in the US and UK.

After her second daughter was born in 2013, she self-published the Bad Mother’s Diary series, which also went on to become a #1 Kindle romantic comedy bestseller. Suzy K Quinn’s novels have been translated into 7 languages and her books have sold over ¾ million copies worldwide.

She lives in Wivenhoe, Essex, with her husband Demi and two daughters, and travels to Mexico every year to write and study Mayan story telling. Suzy loves her family, friends and readers, but when pushed to add more to the list, she also loves travelling, food and alcohol.

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Synopsis:

Lorna has been trying to protect her daughter Liberty for sixteen years. There are dark secrets from her past about her father that Lorna wishes her daughter never finds out. Liberty’s father is a monster, and the best solution is to hide. Forever. 

But Liberty has other plans. One day, Liberty decides to find her father, no matter the cost. And Lorna can’t protect her if she doesn’t know where she went…

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Not My Daughter. It was a novel that kept me on my toes throughout the whole book and I was eager to know what happens in the end and who the true villain is. 

We begin the story in one way, where we have an idea of who the bad person is, and how Lorna is the protector. But once we start reading more, this story becomes more twisted, and we don’t know who to trust anymore. This is something I see in books quite often, but it is not usually as well-written. Suzy did an amazing job writing this part, and making us switch sides as she wanted us to. 

The ending was not predictable at all, although, it was a bit unrealistic. However, it really fit nicely with the whole story and I cannot be dissapointed. 

It is interesting to see how the mother-daughter relationship develops. But more so, how a relationship forms when a daughter wants to get to know her father, no matter what. You meet this person that you share genes with, and you want them to like you. You want them to accept you, like nothing happened. We could see this wish in Liberty as she meets her father – the need to be accepted as a daughter. 

I would recommend this book to everyone that loves mystery thrillers. It is a one of a kind, and a very well-written one too. 

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson [BOOK REVIEW]

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson Shadowhunters Magnus book review blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

The Bane Chronicles is a collection of short stories, all featuring the famous Warlock – Magnus Bane. Throughout the ages, we get to see him develop to the character that we know. We read more about the moments that made Magnus who he is today. 

I really enjoyed diving into this book, and I am glad I read it. Some stories I loved, some not so much, but I overall loved this book and will treasure it forever. It is written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. Read my review of City of Bones, in case you are interested what I think about the first book of the Shadowhunter universe. 

1. What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

A perfect introduction of the Magnus we all love reading about. We witness a couple of adventures Magnus has in Peru. We meet Ragnor and Catarina and witness a few of Magnus’s love interests. I loved how the characters were written and the stories made me giggle. Especially the scene of how the town reacts to Magnus’ lack of talent to play an instrument.

2. The Runaway Queen by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

Set in Paris. Hot air balloon ride. Magnus decides to assist to get the Queen Marie Antoinette to escape Paris. He also has a quite interesting encounter with a bunch of vampires. Fast-faced and beautifully written. I love that it captured a certain period of history, and really focused to get the facts accurate for those times. 

3. Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Set in London. In this short story, Magnus realises how unfair the Shadowhunter laws are. And how the Nephilim have to obey them. When Edmund Herondale falls in love with a mundane, the Shadowhunters don’t care at all. He is stripped from his runes. For me, it was very emotional to watch Magnus fall in love, but sacrifice a few years of his happiness so Camille can give love to a werewolf, who will age and then eventually die. Also, the necklace he makes for her means so much and I can’t even cope! I loved the cryptic future prophecy in the end – I think it brought some emotion to the story. 

4. The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Very action-driven story, that didn’t leave me too impressed. I liked the fact that some important characters are featured, but it feels like the writing of the characters was poor. Set in London again, Magnus tries to help the Herondales. He also gets to meet Tatiana Blackthorn again. Magnus learns the hard way that even though he wants to help Shadowhunters, sometimes there’s nothing he can do. 

5. The Rise of Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

Hotel Dumort in New York is quite a well-known place in the Shadowhunter universe. Warned by a vampire that danger is lurking, Magnus finds himself into another adventure. He helps the Shadowhunters again. And he also meets with a very old warlock, who opens up a portal to Hell. Magnus is called to go, possibly speaking to his father, before he finds the strength in him to close the portal. He helps a human forget and therefore prevents him from committing suicide. He also finds art that Camille is somehow involved with what happened. It kept me glued to my sofa in anticipation. 

6. Saving Raphael Santiago by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Raphael is one of my dearest characters, I have to admit. He was turned into what he despised the most. He never would have chosen blood and immortality. The fact that Magnus is there to help him save himself is so powerful. I really enjoyed this short story! Very emotional!

7. The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson –

This is probably the most emotional story of them all. It also might be the most important one for Magnus’s character development. His relationship with Camille is brought back and he has to do something very scary and brave to be finally able to move on. 

8. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan –

Definitely the cutest story so far! Magnus and Alec are dating. It’s also Alec’s birthday and Magnus is thinking of a gift. Isabelle’s visit was also quite emotional to me. To see how much she cares for Alex and would be there for him. Also, the birthday gift that Magnus chooses in the end is too precious!

9. The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson –

A powerful story with a lot of Easter Eggs. We are reminded of the Circle and of a couple of fights. The Shadowhunters will help out the Downworlders against other Shadowhunters. We witness Valentine’s cruelty in a new light. And we read about Magnus meeting Jocelyn and Clary. 

10. The Course of True Love (And First Dates) by Cassandra Clare –

A story written only by Cassandra Clare. This story will probably be the most popular one, as it features Alec and Magnus on their first date. The writing is good and I really enjoyed how real the date was. It had all those awkward moments that I’ve experienced. Moments that help you get to know the person better than a few rehearsed questions. This short story shows how much Cassandra Clare knows her characters and cares for them, and it is very eminent to see the difference, compared to the rest of this book. 

11. The Voicemail of Magnus Bane by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson –

In this short story, we read a couple of interesting voicemails. They are all sent to Magnus, by different people, when he and Alec break up. It is emotional and humorous at the same time, as you see people react in different ways. Isabelle’s voicemails are pure passion and I love it. 

The Bane Chronicles is a book I will cherish, for it introduced me to a side of Magnus I never knew. The Bane Chronicles is worth reading, especially if you are a fan of the Shadowhunter universe. I would recommend The Bane Chronicles to everyone that loves fantasy and magic.

Purchase Links:
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