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

book review blog diary of difference books

★★★★

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.

sleep merel sleep silke stein book review books children middle grade blog diary of difference

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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Ignite (Midnight Fire #1) – Kaitlyn Davis [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

Kira Dawson has the power to burn vampires to a crisp. The problem is, she doesn’t know it yet. The even bigger problem is, she’s dating one.

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they’re keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan’s lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heart-breaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love.

Ignite was another book from Tea’s Wishlist challenge. I did enjoy this book, even though I found it slow at first. We have a familiar setting of a girl that moves to a new place, makes friends and enemies right away, and discovers secrets. And, it turns out the boy she loves is a vampire.

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The first though I have in the first chapters, and I believe you did too, was – Twilight much? But, no. Once you get to read further into the book, you realise that Kira is nothing like Bella. And Tristan is nothing like Edward either.

This book is so different, and somewhat refreshing from all vampire books I have read so far. It isn’t even a book about vampires. It’s a book about this girl that can mirror the sun’s light and heat from her hands, and is able to hurt only vampires. With her friend, Luke, Kira will discover that she has this ability, and so much more, she will discover secrets about her past that will change her life forever, and she will have to choose between her best friend or the love of her life.

I thought that this book might have used more action, as I felt a bit bored, especially at the beginning, and sometimes during some parts of the book.

I loved Kira’s character – she is the typical girl that moves and tries her best to fit in.

I loved Tristan – he proves that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and sometimes people aren’t what everyone thinks they are, and your environment doesn’t define you as a person.

I didn’t like Luke – I know he was there with a mission to tell Kira her secrets and protect her – but what friend would make you feel guilty about every single choice you have to make in your life. He is like, the very attached and overprotective boyfriend, that isn’t her boyfriend.

Overall, it was a great refreshing read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. If you love vampire  high-school stories, women that discover they have powers, a lot of forbidden love and paranormal fantasy – you will really enjoy this book. Solid 4 stars from me!

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Wonder Woman: Her Greatest Battles – George Perez [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

 

This is my first graphic novel, and I did enjoy the art in it! This book contains the greatest battles of Wonder Woman. It is a compilation of seven comic book scenes, all sharing a different battle of Wonder Woman, and a different kind of art.. But even though I enjoyed the art, as a first one, this didn’t make me happy.

The stories  are put in this compilation chronologically by when they were made, starting from a scene that was made in 1987, until the last one, which was made in 2013. I will give a brief comment on all of them – in order:

 

‘’Power Play’’ from Wonder Woman #6 (1987)

Plot & Pencils: George Perez, Script: Len Wein, Inks: Bruce Patterson, Colors: Tatjana Wood, Letters: John Costanza, Cover: George Perez

The first story is a scene where Diana is fighting the god of war – Ares. As a first one, it is not the best descriptive piece of information – so for a person that haven’t heard about Wonder Woman before, this one won’t be of any use. I also didn’t quite enjoy the art in this one.

‘’And for the first time in his immortal existence, the war-god weeps… for, without those alive to worship him, Ares’ power swiftly wanes…’’

 

‘’In The Forest Of The Night’’ from Wonder Woman #119 (1997)

Story & Art: John Byrne; Colors: Patricia Mulvihill; Cover: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

 

In this scene, Diana is on a mission to save officer Michael P. Schorr of the G.C.P.D. from the cheetah that used to be Barbara Minerva. Diana manages to convince Barbara to win the battle with herself and become human again. Even though I didn’t quite enjoy the art – I did enjoy the story itself. It was a great lesson of fighting for who you are within, and winning battles with yourself and not surrendering to anything that might be in your way. We also get to have a little sneak-peak of how Wonder Woman started existing in the first place.

‘’Yes, Mike, it is not widely known, but I was not born as mortals are, my mother sculpted a baby from the clay of Themyscira and the Gods themselves breathed life into that clay. ‘’

wonder woman her greatest battles comic book graphic novel books book review diary of difference

‘’Stoned: Conclusion’’ from Wonder Woman #210 (2005)

Script: Greg Rucka; Pencils: Drew Johnson; Inks: Ray Snyder; Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie; Letters: Todd Klein; Cover: J.G. Jones

This one is a gladiator battle between Wonder Woman and Medusa. I really enjoyed this one, the art was amazing and we even get a few scenes with Circe-witch on it. I love how Wonder Woman is presented to be smart and the sacrifice that she made was very brave. Such a powerful story! Amazing!

‘’Sacrifice: Part four’’ from Wonder Woman #219 (2005)

Scripts: Greg Rucka; Pencils: Rags Morales, David Lopez, Tom Derenick, Georges Jeanty & Karl Kerschl; Inks: Mark Propst, BIT, Dexter Vines, Bob Petrecca & Nelson; Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie; Letters: Todd Klein; Cover: J.G. Jones

Superman has been brainwashed and wants to kill Diana. Not much happens apart from Wonder Woman and Superman fighting. I didn’t like this one, only because of one quote that says:

‘’You’ll forgive me for saying it, princess, but you look good on your knees…’’

 

‘’A Murder Of Crows: Part Two – Throwdown’’ from Wonder Woman #41 (2010)

Script: Gail Simone; Pencils: Chris Batista & Fernando Dagnino; Inks: Doug Hazlewood & Raul Fernandez; Colors: Brad Anderson; Letters: Travis Lanham; Cover: Aaron Lopresti

 

Even though the beginning features Achilles and Patroclus, after a page or two we don’t see them anymore, and I am standing like… what’s the point in mentioning them in the first place then? This piece of art contains a battle between Power Girl and Wonder Woman, and how Power Girl can never be like Wonder Woman, unless, of course, she has no other choice. I liked this one, maybe the most, even though the art was just average.

 

‘’Justice League: Part Three’’ from Justice League #3 (2011)

Script: Geoff Johns; Pencils: Jim Lee; Inks: Scott Williams; Colors: Alex Sinclair, HI-FI & Gabe Ettaeb; Letters: Pat Brosseau; Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair

This piece of art was different than anything else in this book. We see a lot of famous heroes fight, like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and of course, Wonder Woman. The art is really colourful, which I enjoyed, but the story was confusing. See, it started from the middle of a comic book, and then ended unfinished. It only covered the part where Wonder Woman appears, but it confused me and I didn’t enjoy the story as much. Again, I didn’t like the way how they express themselves to a woman. They see Wonder Woman and they call dibs on her. Really?

 

‘’Goddown’’ from Wonder Woman #23 (2013)

Script: Brian Azzarello; Art: Cliff Chiang; Colors: Matthew Wilson; Letters: Jared K. Fletcher; Cover: Cliff Chiang

 

A very confusing chapter, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. It was about Hera and her children, and Wonder Woman protecting them. Even though this is the newest made, it didn’t seem like it, and the art seemed old-style.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy it as much, and it wouldn’t be something I’d choose in the future. I’d rather go with a proper beginning-to-end story rather than a compilation next time.

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Bitter Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #3) – Sarra Cannon [BOOK REVIEW]

book review blog diary of difference

★★★

Bitter Demons is the third book from The Shadow Demons Saga, and the third book of my challenge to read my sister’s books. If you haven’t read the two parts, you can read my reviews below:

Beautiful Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #1

Inner Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #2

As a third book of this series, I have to be honest and say that this one didn’t deliver. I expected so much more to happen, and so many more questions to be answered.

The story continues where the second book ends, and now we have Harper, that knows she is a Prima and has great powers. She also really likes this handsome guy, who happens to be a Demon. And Demons can’t have relationships with Primas, because demons are supposed to be slaves, and witches are supposed to use their power.

When two Prima sisters come into town and Harper meets them, she becomes friends with Caroline, one of the sisters. They decide to play a game and swap their looks. But Caroline, who looks like Harper is attacked, which means that someone wants Harper dead – and Harper has to keep this a secret and resolve the mystery by herself.

bitter demons - shadow demons - sarra cannon - book review blog diary of difference

Now, of course we get to see a lot of Harper in the book – after all, this book is about her. But we don’t get to see her character or story improve in any meaningful way.

We learn a lot about Jackson and his past, and his brother (ooooh… spooky), and how he tries very hard to resist Harper in any way, but ends up doing the exact opposite.

On another note, we are introduced to new characters, but also some of the old characters are given more time in this book and we get to know them better – which I might of not liked so much. Give me more Harper – please!

We meet Caroline – I loved their friendship with Harper and I loved how nice and cute she was. A bit naive, just like Harper, which maybe got her in trouble.

Mary Anne…Oh, Mary Anne… Even though we don’t get to meet her much and she always only shines in the end of the book, I loved the mysterious bit about her, and her will to make the sacrifice that she did. She was the hero for me in this book!

Brook – We got to see the mean side of her, and wow, how fast she changed! Can people really change that quickly and fall under pressure so easily?

I still love the story so much, and will of course read the rest of the books, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much I enjoyed the first two parts. I am hoping the next book will pleasantly surprise me.

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The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure – Richard T. Ryan [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

Fans of Sherlock Holmes, fans of mystery, fans of adventure and suspense – this might be your next favorite book! Now, I have never read a Sherlock Holmes book before, so I can’t compare this book to the original books from Arthur Conan Doyle. But, what I will do for you is tell you all I thought about this book!

The story begins when during the funeral of Queen Victoria, a group of Irish separatists steal the Coronation Stone, on which every royal has been crowned. To retrieve this important object, the royals will hire Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery. Holmes and his friend Watson travel to Ireland and try to infiltrate the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a group they think is responsible for all that happened.

the stone of destiny: a sherlock holmes adventure richard t ryan book review blog diary of difference

Even though this is a Sherlock Holmes book, we actually unravel the story through a Watson-first-person point of view. He, to me, is a very interesting character, even though he follows Holmes like a puppy and doesn’t seem to have a personal opinion.

As for Sherlock Holmes, even though I really like the mysterious aura about him, and how smart he can be – I also see him as one of the rude aristocrats that refuse to speak to other people that seem to be lower in the hierarchy to them. This is of course, not presented in the book in any way – but I simply had that impression.

I loved the beginning, and I loved the mystery and suspense throughout the whole book. I was never ahead of the book, and my assumptions were never correct. I loved how the author kept us in the dark right until the end.

The small things I didn’t like though, were the slow pace – I have to admit, the pace was really slow for me, and I couldn’t wait until a chapter is finished to see if there would be more action. Then, even the action scenes weren’t as thrilling as I would expect them to be. And finally, there were no big plot twists, which I think we might have used in the book.

But – we did have a lovely mystery solving story, and we had a lot of history information floating around. We also had another book with Sherlock Holmes, that for you – lovers of the Sherlock Holmes books will of course be something you enjoy.

I greatly recommend it to you if you love the good old Sherlock Holmes adventures!

Many thanks to the author, Richard T. Ryan, for sending me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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