Winter Trials (Northern Witch #1) – K.S. Marsden [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

A winter tale about two men finding themselves and each other. A short beginning of what I believe will be a long-lasting relationship, in a book filled with warmth, bravery and magic.

I was lucky enough to be approached by the author – K.S. Marsden, and I was excited to read both her books from the Northern Witch Series.

Winter Trials is the first instalment, and it is a perfect short introduction to the environment and the character. The story is about Mark, a 16-year-old boy, who decides to start practising magic, just like his grandmother.

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The Little Mermaid – Hans Christian Andersen [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

I grew up with Disney movies, and my favourite one was the one with the mermaid that has long red hair, and I loved her love story, and also enjoyed watching the rest of the movie series that followed years later.

And while loving Ariel for so long, I have never actually read the original story. So a few weeks ago, I decided to cherish it properly, as a true childhood love deserves to be cherished.

And I was left with my jaw dropped and my mouth open, unable to sleep. I can’t say this book crushed my childhood love, but it definitely shook me quite hard.

If you are expecting to read about the little mermaid, and her adventures in the water, and how she would give anything to see how people live on Earth, and fall in love with a prince – you will get all that. In fact – the book description is far better compared to the movie. Incomparable, actually. The book glows with bright colourful descriptions of the world under the sea, and it is so vividly enchantingly explained.

But if you are expecting to read about the adorable love story of Ariel and the prince, and their happily ever after – that is not happening. Because things go wrong. Horribly wrong. With a crushing, terrible end, that will torture you in your dreams.

It wasn’t my intention to make this review so dark. The story is still wonderful, and full of life. However, there is no happy ending, and that, for me, was crucial to not enjoy it.

And I am not usually upset with unhappy endings. It happens so often. But this one was so brutal and cruel, that it felt so disturbing. Maybe, because it is my favorite childhood movie. Maybe, because I knew this to be a happy story. Maybe, because I didn’t expect this at all.

Hans Christian Andersen is an amazing writer. I have read many of his stories, and enjoyed them greatly. I honestly don’t know what was going on in his life when he was writing this, but wow. Just wow.

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Carrie – Stephen King [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

I am probably one of the last people on Earth that hasn’t read a Stephen King book. Carrie is the first book I decided to read. People have been suggesting it to me for a while, and it seemed like a nice short bit of introduction to Stephen’s horror world.

Also, a special thank you to my friend Dave, for constantly recommending Stephen King books to me, until I finally decided to listen to him. He seemed to be right! Don’t forget to go and follow him – he is amazing!

Now – Carrie.

A book about a girl that lives with her crazy religious mother in a creepy house. A girl who is being bullied at school all the time. A story about a girl that has the ability to move objects as she wishes. And a prom night, where everything escalates.

Carrie is a sixteen year old girl. And she has been raised by her mother, who is a religious person in a – not healthy way. When Carrie misbehaves, she is sent to a closet to pray for the whole day. Even though Carrie doesn’t share her mother’s beliefs, she can’t really stand up and fight for herself.

The plot gets a grip when Carrie has her first period at the age of sixteen. She thinks she will bleed to death. And all her classmates are laughing at her, because she is stupid. And throw tampons her way. And as I am reading this, I keep thinking – what kind of mother won’t tell her child about menstruation, and puberty, and all the normal teenage phases a kid has to go through while growing up?

This moment, in the school bathroom, is the moment Carrie finds out about her powers.

And a few weeks later, a terrible thing happens.

This is a horror story, but the horror doesn’t lie in what Carrie did, but what led her to do that. Who it is to blame, and why things escalated the way they did.

Stephen King described bullying in its most painful and real way, and the consequences it can lead to. And it does happen, in every school, to a lot of children all over the world each day. A sometimes, most of the times, they are bullied only because they are different, not because they are bad.

This is a story that silently stands up to bullying, and by doing that raises such a strong voice in every corner of the world.

And remember – if you are the bully – think twice before you say things. Words can hurt, and they can result in bad things happening. Think twice about why you say what you say. The classmate of yours might have a talent you don’t know of.

And if you are the bullied child – also remember – you are kind and beautiful, no matter what everyone says. You shouldn’t let people bring you down. And we have all been bullied while growing up. Once you reach a certain age, people stop caring, and you stop caring what people think, and then, finally, you can be comfortable and happy with who you are!

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My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.
How far will they go to lay the past to rest?

My name is Anna is one of those books that captures your attention from the moment you look at its cover. Then, it drags you into a story, makes you bite your nails throughout, lifts you up in the air with the amazing writing and than smashes you back into the ground with the incredible twist at the end. Exactly what you want and need from a thriller.

The story is being told by two girls:

  • Anna, a girl raised with a religious mother, where everything is forbidden and everything is a sin. And when on her 18th Birthday, Anna decides to disobey her mum and go to a theme park, she feels like she has been here before. And then random events lead to her realising that she was taken away when she was a little girl. And her real name is not Anna at all…

  • Rosie, a girl whose big sister has been missing for fifteen years. And when the media is ready to let the story go after the fifteen years anniversary, Rosie is determined to do whatever it takes to discover the truth of what actually happened on that day at the theme park.

The first thing I noticed in this book, that makes it different than all the stories about the kidnapping is – that the plot is being revealed in the first chapters. I was not expecting to immediately know that Anna and Rosie are sisters and Anna was kidnapped as a girl, but this was stated in the first chapters in the book. I personally thought that this would be the big twist, but the twist came to be so much better than that.

I loved how you could relate to both girls, for different reasons, and how even though they were sisters, how one little moment changed their lives completely. How Anna was raised with different beliefs than Rosie, and how they grew up to be so different, but the same…

This was a great story that give you thoughts about ‘’what could’ve been…’’ and it makes you wonder – if certain things didn’t happen, would our lives be the same?

The end for me, was particularly meaningful. The last moments, the realisation, the conclusion, the story that ended, or the one that never begun, all the things we could’ve been, but are not, and all the things that we wish we could have changed, but we can’t.

If you, like me, are into kidnapping stories, amazing twists and thriller stories that take your breath away, this will definitely be the perfect book for you. This will be a hit at the beginning of 2019, and it will hit the top shelves. I know it hits my favourite shelf – for sure!

My Name is Anna is being published on 10th January, but you can pre-order your copy today on the links below:

Amazon 
Penguin House UK
Waterstones

A huge thanks to Penguin Random House UK, for providing me with a hardback copy, in exchange for an honest review of this book. The opinions in this review are entirely my own, and completely unbiased.

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The Rumour by Lesley Kara [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

The Rumour is Lesley Kara’s debut novel, a gripping book about what people are capable of doing when they feel threatened and exposed. A thriller about paranoia, fear and suspense unlike anything you have read before.

 

When Joanna moved into a small town, all she wants to do is be happy, with her son Alfie and her mother being beside her. Her son Alfie had troubles with bullies in the big city, and all his mum wants for him right now is for him to be happy and fit in the crowd.

And when a rumour starts hovering around that a woman that has killed a child a long time ago is living in the town, under a new identity, Joanna decides to share this rumour around with her friends, in hope that this will hopefully result in Alfie making some friends.

But what happens when a simple comment goes all wrong, and starts spreading like a virus? And what if this rumour happens to be true? What if there is indeed a killer living undercover in this small town, and is very upset and wants to punish those who share this rumour around? Starting with Alfie…

The Rumour is being published on 27th December 2018,
but you can pre-order it HERE.

The Rumour was a thrilling read for me, as I haven’t read anything similar before. We see the story from Joanne’s point of view, but mostly, we see the story from a perspective of a mother.

 

We see a woman who is overthinking everything regarding her child, always asking herself twice whether she has made the right choice, and always wondering whether her child is safe.

And I am not a parent, but I can imagine that every parent over-worries about their children. Even at some point all of us would wonder whether this is normal, or we are just being paranoid again? And this initial moment has lead Joanne to become anxious and insecure, and feeling like something is wrong constantly.

I loved the plot around the child-killer, and how it slowly was developing throw a lot of characters.

I certainly did not expect that twist a few chapters before the end, and the final twist in the last chapters. This gave the story a whole new ‘’wow’’ factor, and I was really pleased.

I wouldn’t put it on my shelf of 5-star books, as I couldn’t get the biting nails moment. However, this books keeps you reading through, and I can’t wait to read more from Lesley. She is a great author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, for giving me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Geekerella (Once Upon a Con #1) by Ashley Poston [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

When the typical Cinderella story meets a geeky girl, a comic con and an actor instead of a prince, you get Geekerella. A story unlike any other Cinderella like stories, full with wittiness, geekiness and style.

We have Elle, who is our Cinderella. Her father passed away and left her with her stepmom and her two stepsisters. Elle is also a vivid lover of Starfield, sci-fi series similar to Star Trek and Star Wars. She is also a blogger, where she writes all things Starfield.

On the other side, we have Darien, who is an actor and just got the main character role for the new remake of Starfield. While he deeply loves Starfield, he is not allowed to show those emotions and let everyone knows he is a fan, because it will ruin his reputation. And that is the sole reason why fans don’t like him – he is just another guy that goes for the money and ruins their favourite fan fiction (we have all been there though, haven’t we?).

When fate somehow connects Elle and Darien together, under unknown circumstances they start texting to each other, without revealing who they really are. And that is when everything changes.

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A story about love and friendship, but most importantly – a story that teaches you to “Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.” A story that reminds you to keep believing in who you are and why you are doing what you love. This is an amazing reminder to all of you – to be the people you want to be, because once you are comfortable with who you are and what you love to do – nothing can stop you in being great! And most importantly – HAPPY!

While there were bits and pieces that I couldn’t resist but to cringe on, such as the falling in love through texting, or not being able to say no to your step sisters, or being afraid to tell your fans  that you are a fan, while they keep accusing you that you don’t care. (How could this ruin a reputation? It could only make it better)…

While there were things that bothered me, this story was still a great revolution to the Cinderella retelling. No other story has shown a girl to fight for what she loves as strongly as this, without the help of magic or a pumpkin – even though her best friend Sage was really the fairy in this situation.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quirk Books, for providing me with an ARC copy of the book.

If you haven’t read it already, please do! It is worth reading it, as it has a powerful message inside of it. I recommend it to all of you out there!

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Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1) by Holly Smale [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

Even though I kept hearing great things about Geek Girl, I never really happened to read it. A month ago, my teen sister borrowed the whole Geek Girl series and told me this is something I must check off my list. And here I am one month later – loving the first book!

Geek Girl tells the story of a young teen Harriet, who is a geek and gets bullied at her school. She might know all the science answers, but she has no clue why people are laughing at her when she goes outside with a cartoon hoodie.

But when Harriet gets discovered by a modelling agency,she realises how things can get different, and she has to choose whether she wants to risk losing everything by changing who she really is.

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A very funny and geeky read, where I couldn’t stop but giggle a few times. One moment really got me though:

‘’If somebody offers to shave your legs,’’ she snaps, ‘’let them.’’

Harriet is a typical geeky high-school character, and you can’t help but love her weirdness, her silliness and the ways she believes in.

The read was somewhat predictable from the beginning, and there wasn’t any big plot twist or cliff-hanger, but I believe that this book didn’t really want to achieve that anyways.

This was a perfect read for me to relax and enjoy reading – reminded me of my high-school days and made me remember a lot of similar moments.

I am recommending it to all of you out there – that love being different and are not afraid to stand up for yourselves, no matter how much people laugh at you.

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The Cruel Prince (The Folk Of The Air #1) – Holly Black [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

I asked you guys on a Goodreads poll to decide what should be my next read. And a huge number of you have decided that The Cruel Prince should be the one! And here I am, one week later, saying THANK YOU, for giving me a reason to read this book now!

Now, before I say anything else, I want you to know that I don’t have much experience living and reading about the Faerie world. I know fairies exist, and I know about that world, but I wasn’t too involved when I grabbed this book.

And I am glad for that, because…

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is a great book to start your experience in this magical world. It starts with a great statement that there won’t be any fish sticks, or ketchup or TV Shows (believe me, that is Chapter 1), and it gives you a wonderful introduction to what turns out to be a beautiful place.

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We follow the story through Jude’s eyes. Jude and her two sisters witness the murder of their parents. And not just that, but they also get dragged into the Faerie world because the person that kills their parents is the father of Jude’s oldest sister.

And living in the Faerie world as a human is not easy at all. At school, Jude and her sister Taryn are constantly being bullied, and the biggest bully of them all is Cardan. He is the prince, the last son of the king, and he is so evil and self-assured. *gasps* And I love him!

‘’The odd thing about ambition is this: You can acquire it like a fever, but it is not so easy to shed.’’

While Taryn is calm and tries to avoid trouble, Jude is restless and keeps talking back to Cardan. She won’t let him win, and she won’t let him humiliate her. And that brings her a hell of a trouble.

And one day, she had enough. She decides to be even more fierceless and brutal, because that is the only way of survival…

‘’If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.’’

I love Jude, with all my heart. I loved her bravery and the way she never gives up, and keeps going for what she wants, even if people think she is being silly. I strongly agree with Jude – we should all strive towards our goals, no matter how difficult or ridiculous they may seem.

I also love Cardan. He is not a mean person,even though he is really cruel, but the background story is so harsh, and the reasons behind it are so strong. I could understand where he came from, but I am not in any way encouraging his bullying. I think that’s not acceptable under any circumstances. He was amazingly described, and there is the fight between good and evil going inside him.

‘’Love is a noble cause. How can anything done in the service of a noble cause be wrong?’’

The love and hate between Jude and Cardan is something you need to read about. Only Holly Black is able to describe the way they are towards each other. But this is the best love-hate game I have read in a while.

When we enter this world, we also see it from the eyes of her sisters Taryn and Vivi, and what I loved was that we get told the pro’s and con’s of the world, and why Taryn would decide to marry a faerie and get her place in the Court, or why Vivi would leave and go back to the human world. And sometimes, when you are a human in a world so beautiful, but so cruel, you realise that you can’t live with it (all that have read the book will know exactly to which scene I am referring to…).

If you haven’t picked up this book yet, please do so. I could not recommend it enough! It is filled with a lovely scenery of an amazing world, great adventure, great characters and stories around them. I read it in almost one go, as I couldn’t put it down!

A masterpiece, where faeries would give up their immortality to have this on their bookshelves, I am sure!

‘’And no matter how eager you are for it, you cannot make the moon set nor rise any faster.’’

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW]

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW] books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference★★★★★

I have already read this book back in 2014. This time, I decided to go with the whole series, as I stopped reading them for some reason.

City of Bones is the first book from The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare. This is a book that is really distinctive for the fact that it takes you to a whole new world instantly, and you immediately feel comfortable with it.

The story starts when Clary and her friend Simon are in a night club, and a boy is being attacked. When Clary calls out for help, it seems that only she can see the attackers. And immediately, within a few pages, we are introduced to a paranormal world that is not visible to mundanes, and we discover all sorts of creatures: angels, demons, fae, vampires, werewolves…

And when Clary discovers that her mother, who used to be a part of a society, and kept it all hidden from her goes missing – she is determined to find her, save her, and find out about her past.

I liked the fact that we have a world so wonderfully constructed, and so thoughtfully created, that drags you in immediately. I usually am the person that  struggles with new worlds and incredible amounts of creatures, but this was a great exception.

Book Cover (1)Goodreads | Amazon

The characters were well-developed, and I was impressed by how the author managed to present some of today’s taboo topics in this novel. I find it really courageous. I straight-out don’t like Simon. Like, at all… He is a wonderful friend, and Clary means a lot to him, but he was just so dull the whole book.

I liked Clary, and I loved how she slowly discovered everything, but I wasn’t really that involved with her.

On the other side, I loved Jace. He is such a hottie. Sarcastic little cutsie thing! I also adored his honesty. It is something that not everyone has these days…

‘’He’s not a liar at all. Not about important things. He’ll tell you horrible truths, but he won’t lie.’’ She paused before she added quietly, ‘’That’s why it’s certainly better not to ask him anything unless you know you can stand to hear the answer.’’

I liked Luke’s story, and he had an amazing cliff-hanger around the end of the book. But Magnus is one of the people I wanted to see more of, and I wish there two places were swapped.

Isabelle and Alec – I really loved them. We didn’t get to see too much of them, but they were both really important in some of the crucial moments in this book.

All in all, I really loved the story. And I am a bit sad that the couple I was shipping for can’t be together, but it is what it is. I am going to put a Lannister reference here, and if you have read the book, you will understand: ‘’Oh, the things we do for love…’’

‘’To love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.’’

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The Plus One – Sophia Money-Coutts

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I love romance, and chick-literature. I love fast reads, and enjoyable nonsense. The cover looked so cute, and when I got approved the ARC on The Plus One from Sophia Money-Coutts on Netgalley, I was excited to read it. And then, it all started going downhill…

The Plus One is a book about Polly Spencer. She is thirty, single and works for Posh! Magazine. I didn’t like the Poly Spencer of now, and I thought, this might be a book where the main character is a lady with no self-respect, gets dumped, doesn’t have any ambition in life, and that’s okay. People learn, people change, or if people don’t change, they start to be happy in their own world, without bothering what others think about it.

But Polly – she is all of these things, and on top of that she is not a happy bunny. She keeps complaining about things without trying to act on it, and her day consists of her checking if the phone has a message of her ‘crush’, and asking herself eighty-six times whether to send a message first or not.

the plus one sophia Money-COutts Netgalley ARC Book review books blog diary of difference

I usually love these types of books, but not in cases where the character is just so… I don’t even have the words to explain.

And the book is full of words used too often (Shenanigans is such a lovely word, and Sophia destroyed it for me), lame pick up lines (‘I carry farm animals. I can manage you.’ – WHO SAYS THAT?), dialogues and useless waste of pages with people deciding what to eat:

‘So let’s get some onion bhajis to start. And then I’m going to have a butter chicken. And it comes with popadoms, right?’

‘Yes’ – I said, taking the menu from him.

‘And I’ll get the chicken jalfrezi. And plain rice. Mums, do we have any chutney?’

And it goes on…

At 42%, I decided to store this is my DNF stack. I really wish I had loved it, and I am so sad I didn’t.

But life is too short to read the books you don’t like…

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