Book Review, Books

The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol

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When Rebecca’s boyfriend Ezra goes missing, she knows something is not quite right. But when she reports it to the police, they don’t seem to really care. They suspect he’s been playing ”The Stranger Game”, a game that went viral, where people take social media behaviour on the streets and start following each other in real life.

The rules of the game are simple:

  • You must choose a random person.
  • You cannot make contact with other people (or tell them you’re playing the game)
  • You mustn’t follow the same person twice.

But as the game spreads, the rules start to change, and people start disappearing without a trace.

In hope that she she can find her man, Rebecca starts playing the game herself. But the more she gets involved, the bigger the risk is.

When I read the synopsis about ”The Stranger Game” by Peter Gadol, I knew I had to read the book. It is a plot that intrigues me and I am always up for reading more psychological thrillers.

But this book’s delivery was weak. I found the story very slow and unintriguing, with no exceptional plot twists and with a disappointing and rather predictable ending. 

Rebecca was a difficult character to begin with. The writing in the chapters felt different, even though it was the same character’s point of view. I was left very confused. I just wanted to get a better glance at ”The Stranger Game”. And I did, but the game scenario was so much different compared to the synopsis – which was only slightly annoying. But to top up the annoyance, there was a huge lack of mystery and suspense throughout the book. I just stopped caring whether Rebecca was going to find Ezra or not. I did not care whether her life was in danger. I was that unbothered. 

On a positive note,

I did enjoy the psychological theme and people’s behaviour. I always want to know more about how and why people behave in a certain way and this book definitely opened some interesting discussion points.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

If you like human psychology and behaviour, this is a good book to have on your stack. But will this be the next mystery and suspense hit? Probably not…

Thank you to team at HQ (Harper Collins Publishers), for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

”The Stranger Game” comes out on 5th September 2019. 

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Book Review, Books

If You Were Here by Alice Peterson

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(The image has been taken from Alice Peterson’s Website)

 

DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT read “If You Were Here” in public. People will ask you why you’re crying and you won’t know what to say. 

if you were here alice peterson simon and schuster uk book books book review goodreads netgalley blog tour publishing day diary of difference diaryofdifference

“If You Were Here” by Alice Peterson is an emotional story about Huntington’s Disease, a disease that affects your brain & movements and it gets worse as it progresses, without any cure for it yet. 

Peggy has lost her husband to this disease, and now her daughter as well. But what she needs to do now is tell her granddaughter Flo that the disease is hereditary and she might be at risk. 

Flo is about to get married and move to the US, but the news change everything. How do you even deal with such news, right? How do you process it? Through Flo’s character, you can clearly see her confusion and struggle to accept the fact – something that is so common for a human to do. Her fiance is not ready for the risk and will probably never will. The only support Flo has is her roommate James, his sister and her grandma Peggy. Flo needs to make the hardest decision of her life: does she take the test or not? Is she at risk of getting the disease too? What if she is tested negative? But, what if she is tested positive? Or would she just rather not know and live every day experiencing as much as she can? With her mother’s diaries helping her on this journey, she finds hope and strength she never knew she had before. 

I loved Flo’s character. Despite the whole world turning upside down, she picked herself up and was always thinking on the positive side. Sure, there were ups and downs, but damn, that persistence was incredible. 

”If You Were Here” is such a sad, but positive and powerful story about what we can do with our lives, and how we should live every day of our lives like it’s our last. Because – that is the truth: you don’t know whether you’ll wake up in the morning. You don’t know whether you’ll be going through troubles until it happens. You don’t have a map of your life, and that’s completely okay. Try to achieve as much as you can today, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

Please pick this book up. It’s powerful, it’s incredible, it’s sad and it’s motivational. But above everything else, this book is bloody real! 

Thank you to the teams at Netgalley and Simon & Schuster UK for providing me with an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

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Blog Tour, Book Review, Books

BLOG TOUR: What Happens Now by Sophia Money-Coutts

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I am so excited to be part of the Blog Tour for What Happens Now by Sophia Money-Coutts! Thank you to the team at HQ, for being so kind to send me a copy of this book!

Without further delays, let’s see what I thought…

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What Happens Now by Sophia Money-Coutts is a wonderful story that features Lil, who is a normal lady, living a normal life. She thought she has found ”the one”, but after so many years, this fellow dumps her for a twenty-year old blonde girl.

Doing what everyone should do, she moves on, and tries to find a new match, choosing a dating app and swiping right. She finds a handsome man that seems to like her and arranges a date. She gets ready, meets this guy, has a few drinks and spends the night at his apartment.

What is the worse thing that can happen? 

Well – firstly, he doesn’t seem to respond to her messages at all. And then, she discovers that he is, in fact, the famous mountaineer Max, who is currently out there somewhere, climbing a mountain and can’t actually see her messages, the Max who is possibly Prince William’s best friend. But on top of it all, after weeing on a stick, she discovers she is pregnant with his baby.

So now Lil is single, thirty-one and living in a small flat in London, and this is not how she expected to become a mum. But our lady Lil here is probably the bravest woman I have ever encountered in my books, and she decides to do this whole motherhood thing on her own. Yes – she really likes Max, and it would be amazing if he gets involved too, but she doesn’t need him really. She can do this!

Throughout this book I felt so empowered to read about Lil’s daily challenges and I was cheering for her all the way through. She, and all women in the world that had the courage to give birth to and raise a child on their own should be praised, and I can’t think of any words to describe how brave these people are and how much I admire them!

Lucky for Lil, she has her mother and her stepdad along her way throughout the whole journey, and these two people are the friendliest and kindest people in the world.

And then there’s Jess – Lil’s best friend, who is, by the way, THE BEST FRIEND anyone wants. She was EVERYTHING and I loved her so much! She was always there for Lil, giving the best advises in the world. We all need a Jess in our lives!

And to be honest, given my low opinion on Sophia’s first book, The Plus One, I didn’t have high expectations on this one, but I think she outdid herself and created a masterpiece! The writing style has improved so much, that you wouldn’t notice these two books have been written by the same author.

I loved reading about Lil’s journey – I truly did. The writing was gorgeous and I couldn’t put the book down. Very empowering, but at the same time a very light summer read. I recommend it to all of you – read What Happens Now? this summer, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Book Review, Books

Bright Pink Ink by Laura Dinovis Berry

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‘’I was born to destroy everything you ever loved before me.’’

It is very hard for me to judge this work and write a book review. It’s hard to tell you what I think because I don’t feel like I’m an expert in poetry.  I love reading poetry, but I don’t read it as much. I love poetry, but maybe I don’t understand it.

Bright Pink Ink: New and Selected Poems has a jolly vibe to it, a lot of love & happiness, emotions of loss, missing loved ones and love, as well as a feminist vibe that is refreshing. It was an enjoyable read. 

However, it also holds a little bit if monotony with it, very short poems or poems that are written as prose. I encountered a few repetitive sentences on a few occasions and while I know that repeating a line is common in poetry to straighten the meaning and add rhythm – in this occasion it wasn’t pleasurable to read. 

“Maybe I should tell them about my husband’s laugh. A sound that erupts as suns inside me till I float – free as dust.” 

I loved ‘’A poem from 4/14/2015 read on 6/21/2017’’. It is written quite well, with two parallel stories happening while you read, in a different timeline. I really enjoyed it, despite the great annoyance that is the date. The only logical date format I know of is day – month – year. 

There were a lot of feminist vibes through the poems, which was pleasantly enjoyable. On this topic, “Mortal Gods Demand a Sacrifice” was my favourite one. 

“The moon must’ve thought you were the sun.” 

Thank you to the author Laura Dinovis Berry for sending me a copy of Bright Pink Ink in exchange for an honest review. 

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Books, Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #44 | Down The TBR Hole Tag

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Welcome to the 43rd edition of my Down The TBR Hole Posts.

This weekend I have interesting selection to go through with you…

How Down the TBR Hole works: 

❤ 1. Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ 2. Order on ascending date added.
❤ 3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ 4. Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ 5. Time to Decide: keep it or should it go

Here’s the next patch:

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Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Synopsis: 

I was born twice first as a baby girl on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960 and then again as a teenage boy in an emergency room near Petoskey Michigan in August of l974. So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Point Michigan. To understand why she is not like other girls Calliope has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns her into Cal one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking by Nigella Lawson

Synopsis:

Nigella Lawson is a champion of the home cook and her new book celebrates the food she loves to cook for friends and family. The recipes are warming, comforting, and inspirational, from new riffs on classic dishes – including Chicken Fricassee and Sticky Toffee Pudding – to adventures in a host of new dishes and ingredients, from Aubergine Fattet to White Miso Hummus.

AT MY TABLE includes dishes to inspire all cooks and eaters, from Hake with Bacon, Peas and Cider to Indian-Spiced Chicken and Potato Traybake and Chilli Mint Lamb Cutlets; plus a host of colourful vegetable dishes, like Eastern Mediterranean Chopped Salad and Carrots and Fennel with Harissa.

No Nigella cookbook would be complete without sweet treats, and AT MY TABLE is no exception, with Emergency Brownies, White Chocolate Cheesecake and a Victoria Sponge with Cardamom, Marmalade and Crème Fraiche set to become family favourites.

As Nigella writes, ‘happiness is best shared’ and the food in this book will be served and savoured at your own kitchen table just as it is at hers.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake

Synopsis:

I knew I was in Paris, I knew that was the Seine beneath me, the sky above, but when I looked around for help, the grand apartment buildings of the Quai Voltaire stared back at me, indifferent.

In the sixth arrondissement everything is perfect except for the loneliness. This is the Paris of thirteen-year-old Paul. Shy and unloved, he quietly observes the lives of the self-involved grown-ups around him: his glamorous Maman, Séverine, her younger musician lover, Gabriel, and his fitness-obsessed Papa, Philippe. Always overlooked, it’s only a matter of time before Paul witnesses something that he’s not supposed to see…

Seeking solace in an unlikely friendship with tear-away classmate Scarlett and the temptation of the numerous patisseries in his elegant neighbourhood, Paul searches for unconditional love. But what will he do if he can’t find it?

Alicia Drake evokes contemporary Parisian life with the subtlety of a latter day Francois Sagan, and she captures in Paul the pains of adolescence as poignantly as Salinger’s Holden Caulfield. I Love You Too Much is a novel of extraordinary intelligence and heart, a devastating coming of age story told from the sidelines of Parisian perfection.”

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Ripperville by Roger David Francis

Synopsis: 

Victorian London hides a deadly secret. Bloodshed stains the cobbled streets.
An innocent boy born in poverty takes a path that will ultimately lead him to become one of the most notorious serial killers of the 19th century.
One hundred and thirty years later Alice procures a painting. Little does she know the dark alleyway in the picture will take her on as journey through time revealing the truth about Jack the Ripper.
Stalked by a strange man Alice discovers he has a connection to Whitechapel.
Can she alter the events unfolding and prevent further murders?
Will the past catch up with her?

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

On Bowie by Rob Sheffield

Synopsis: 

On Bowie is a thoughtful and loving meditation on the life of the late David Bowie that explores his creative legacy and the enduring and mutual connection he enjoyed with his fans

Innovative. Pioneering. Brave. Until his death in January 2016, David Bowie created art that not only pushed boundaries, but helped fans understand themselves and view the world from fantastic new perspectives.

When the shocking news of his death on January 10, 2016 broke, the outpouring of grief and adulation was immediate and ongoing. Fans around the world and across generations paid homage to this brilliant, innovate, ever-evolving artist who both shaped and embodied our times.

In this concise and penetrating book, highly-regarded Rolling Stone critic, bestselling author, and lifelong Bowie fan Rob Sheffield shares his own feelings about the passing of this icon and explains why Bowie’s death has elicited such an unprecedented emotional outpouring from so many.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1) by Page Morgan

Synopsis:

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Sea by John Banville

Synopsis:

When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma.

The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world. Mr and Mrs Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins (silent, expressionless Myles, and fiery, seductively poised and forthright Chloe), who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensured would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.

Written in Banville’s precise and hauntingly beautiful prose, The Sea is both a reconciliation with loss and an extraordinary meditation on identity and remembrance. Utterly compelling, profoundly moving and illuminating, it is unquestionably one of the finest works yet from a sublime master of language.

 

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Daughter of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy, #1) by Raymond E. Feist

Synopsis:

Set in the mysterious world of the Kelewan, Mara, Ruling Lady of the Acoma, is forced to protect her honour and her people in the ruthless Game of the Council.

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

A Girl Like You by Gemma Burgess

Synopsis:

I’ve discovered the secret to successful singledom. I’m acting like a man. And it’s working.

After breaking up with her boyfriend of, well, forever, Abigail Wood must learn how to be single from scratch. Her dating skills are abysmal, and she ricochets from disaster to disaster – until Robert, one of London’s most notorious lotharios, agrees to coach her. With his advice, she learns to navigate the bastard-infested waters of the bar scene and practices the art of being bulletproof. The new Abigail is cocky, calm, composed… but what happens when she meets her match?

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

A Killer’s Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery, #1) by Mike Omer

Synopsis:

A chilling thriller of serial murder and dark secrets that will leave you wondering, is the past really in the past?

Three Chicago women have been found strangled, embalmed, and posed as if still alive. Doubting the findings of the local PD’s profiler, The FBI calls on forensic psychologist Zoe Bentley to investigate.

Zoe quickly gets off on the wrong foot with her new partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray. Zoe’s a hunter, intense and focused; Tatum’s a smug maverick with little respect for the rules. Together, they must descend into a serial killer’s psyche and untangle his twisted fantasies, or more women will die. But when the contents of three inconspicuous envelopes reveal a chilling connection to gruesome murders from Zoe’s childhood, suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted.

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegantI removed 7 books this time. Great progress!
This is how my TBR list looks like now.

Which books would you keep or remove? Let me know in the comments.

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