Book Review, Books

Looking for Alaska by John Green

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Miles is moving to Alabama to attend a boarding school. And while he is a quiet boy that happens to remember famous people’s last words, he is also looking to stay out of trouble. He meets, incidentally, the most troublesome people that are about to change his life forever.

”So, I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bun, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

One of these people is Alaska Young, and believe me when I say, she is trouble. She is also clever and beautiful, but most of all screwed up, and she steals Miles’s heart straight away.

”Looking for Alaska” reminded me so much of ”The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. There was definitely the same vibe of boy goes to new school, boy is quiet, boy meets loud friends and boy falls in love.

And even though I got really annoyed at the beginning due to the fact that Miles barely talks to his friends and does whatever he is told to do, his character does develop throughout the book and he manages to find his voice and his purpose which I believe made this book way more meaningful.

”That is the fear. I have lost something important, and I cannot find it, and I need it. It is fear like if someone lost his glasses and went to the glasses store and they told him that the world had run out of glasses and he would just have to do without.”

On the subject of his feelings towards Alaska, the love he feels, it is very hard to actually notice the big impact she has on Miles. Yes, we might agree that she didn’t really care about him as we would’ve wanted her to do. She didn’t have big feelings for him, but she did have an enormous influence on him. While she was there thinking about her boyfriend, Miles was constantly thinking about her, memorising every opinion she has, learning all her favourite book titles, listening to all of her stories and always wondering whether she maybe, just maybe feels at least a fraction of what he feels for her. And while Alaska might not be aware, Miles will still carry all his emotions in his heart. Even if they have never been returned back.

”What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.” 

The book perfectly captures a young person’s way of thinking and a young person’s perception of feelings, actions, and responsibility into the unfair thing we call life. I recommend it to all of you!

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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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