Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Abbey Clancy [BLOG TOUR & BOOK REVIEW]

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a fast-paced adventure that will keep you on your toes right until Christmas!

I am so thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Mills & Boon for I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Check out the other amazing people that are participating in the blog tour as well:

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BOOK REVIEW

blog tour book review books goodreads netgalley diary of difference diaryofdifference i'll be home for Christmas by Abbey Clancy Mills & Boon UK bestseller

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is the first Christmas book I have read this year, before the holidays begin. It is an amazing story about a popular UK singer, Jessika Malone, who receives an offer from a famous US singer to record a duet and go on a US Tour for a while. This is a dream come true, but this offer comes right after Jessica’s boyfriend proposes. Wanting to spend all the time in her world with him, she is hesitant to go, but at the same time, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.

We see our heroine Jessika travel to the US and embark her adventure. I loved the fact that we get to feel what she feels, and live through her dream. We get to see her cope with new things and learn along the way, and it is amazing being on this journey with her. She is a character that knows what she wants and is not afraid to go and get it.

Be ready for some drama, and also be ready to choose sides.

The author makes it hard to know what is the right choice, and all choices seem to have their pros and cons, which makes the book even more realistic. I wish I knew what was right or wrong in life straightaway – that would be too easy. Instead, I keep coming across tough choices that sound amazing, and I have to really look though everything and choose what is right. You get to see this reality in the book, and it is refreshing.

Despite it being a Christmas book, I didn’t really feel the Christmassy vibes too much, but I think that is due to the fact that the focus on this book wasn’t entirely Christmas. We only got a glimpse of the holiday spirit around the end of the book – but it wasn’t in a Home Alone sort of style. It was simple.

Despite that, I still enjoyed this book a lot, and it was the perfect book for me to get me through my days when I felt poorly and lying in bed. I recommend it to all of you out there that love romance, Christmas, a bit of an adventure and searching for our true selves.

Thank you to the team at Mills & Boon, for letting me be a part of this Christmas adventure! 

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Book Review · Books

Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou [BOOK REVIEW]

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Love, Heather is one of the most disturbing YA novels related to bullying I have read! 

Please be aware that this book has bullying and assault triggers. 

Stevie and Lottie have been friends since they’ve known about each other. And when Lottie starts to hang out with the popular kids, Stevie wants to fit in too. One thing leads to another, and Stevie gets bullied by them, which quickly leads to the whole school avoiding her.

Then Stevie becomes friends with Dee, and they start plotting a revenge on the popular kids, which very quickly gets out of hand. The ” Love, Heather ” pranks are now spreading without anyone being able to stop them.

Stevie’s family is a bit of a troubled one. Her mum and dad are divorced, and her dad doesn’t have the interest to see her often, being busy with his new missus. Her mum is starting to date other men too, often not spending time with Stevie. Lacking her family love, Stevie sees Lottie’s family as hers. Very understandably, given the fact she has spent countless days and nights there. Lottie’s family is not perfect either though. They have their own problems, and the most recent one is Lottie’s mum transitioning into a man.

Stevie as a character

Stevie is a person that makes you want to feel for you, but you can’t. She is supposed to be sympathetic and she is supposed to be a victim. However, most of the time I found her quite annoying and attention seeking. It is also important to mention that she is not alone and could reach for help, but she didn’t, despite people often asking her whether she is feeling okay and if there is anything they can do to help.

The world was always revolving about Stevie, and she couldn’t understand how other may feel as well. A scene where she tells Lottie how to accept her mum’s transition comes to mind. We all know that Stevie cares about Lottie and her mum, but Lottie is way closer and more affected in this situation. There are times where it’s not our place to say things, and leave people to cope in their own way, and Stevie was not able to achieve this state of mind.

Powerful!

While I couldn’t connect to Stevie on many levels, I absolutely cherish this book because it brings up bullying in a very powerful way. It is very emotional and very intense, every bit of reality hits hard and makes me angry for all the children out there that are getting bullied every day. I was once that kid. I was a Stevie too! And it sucks to see it happen again and again, and realise how cruel life and people can be sometimes, when no one gets punished for what they have done.

I loved how this book showed how small things done in consecutive way can have enormous effect to a person, or a group. How the small things we say today can hurt us badly. And I hope people will read this book with the hope of spreading the knowledge and standing up to bullies, before things go out of hand.

Thank you to the team at Netgalley and the publishers at Crooked Lane Books, for sending me an e-copy of Love, Heather in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Close To Home by Cara Hunter [BOOK REVIEW]

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Close To Home is, I believe, the first mystery/thriller book I have given one star to. I had very high hopes for this one. And it crashed my hopes quite hard. 

Close To Home is the first book in a series called DI Adam Fawley.

The books are not related to themselves and can be read as standalones. They all feature the detective Fawley, therefore the series solution. Something similar to Dan Brown’s series. I listened to the audio book, and I think that the format might have a little blame on my rating.

In this book, the 8-year-old girl Daisy Mason disappears from her parents’s summer party. No one in the neighbourhood saw anything, not even the parents, and the detective is trying to keep an open mind in this whole situation, as someone is clearly lying.

The story begins with an interesting premise, and I loved the initial interviews that are happening, right after the disappearance. And after this initial moment, everything goes downhill.

There are many twists in this book, and they all are happening based on dumn luck or weird circumstances.

I would understand if this happened once or twice, but they have solved the whole mystery with coincidences happening one after another as well as random plot lines being added in the middle of nowhere, just to keep the story going.

Oh – we’re running out of clues. Let’s add a secret random second family the dad has. Oh – we’re running out of clues again. Let’s add a suspicious background for the mother. And now, let’s make both these events come up at them at the same time, right when we’re trying to solve an investigation. And now, let’s add a mental issue with the brother. (Despite receiving all doctor’s reports at the beginning)…

Too many events that came up afterwards and that I still have trouble to believe could make sense.

And on top of all this, I need to mention that the book doesn’t have chapters as such. The parts are split with excerpts from social media. Something which I truly believe I would have enjoyed if I read the book. But instead, I was listening to it. And it is so annoying.

The below excerpt is not a quote, as I don’t have the paperback copy. However, it does represent the true format of how this sounded in the audiobook: 

Twenty-ninth of October, nine twenty five.

Angela G Bettaton at angela dot g bettaton. I hope they find the person that took Daisy. Hashtag Daisy Mason. Hashtag Find Daisy.

Mike eighty seven at mike dot eight seven The person that did this should take responsibility. Hashtag Find Daisy. Hashtag Missing Girl. 

The ending – it just wasn’t worth the wait, and it was the most unsatisfying ending I have ever encountered in mystery novels.

I regret picking this book up and I regret reading it. I really wish I love it, as I was looking forward to Cara Hunter’s new novel, but now, I am not so sure anymore.

If you think you might enjoy it, please pick it up! Perhaps you might love it, who knows! 

Thank you to the team at Penguin Random House, for proving an audiobook for me listen to, in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Princess in Practice by Connie Glynn

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★★★★

From Connie Glynn comes the second book of the Rosewood Chronicles – Princess in Practice, and it is the adventure of a lifetime that we all have been waiting for. If you thought Undercover Princess was amazing – you will definitely love its sequel.

”Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

The story continues where it left off, with Ellie, Lottie and Jamie settling after the adventurous ending and getting ready for their second year in Rosewood. With the new school year starting, their enemies are on the rise again, plotting their new actions, and Lottie and Jamie are more than ready to protect their princess.

But as always, things are not as easy as they seem, and they never suspect that danger will be so close to them, now more than ever.

I loved that Lottie has her moment with her old best friend, when she visits the hometown, and tells him all about the princess world. It was soothing to know that she still cares about him, and always will, despite their lives being very different now.

Throughout the book, we don’t see any romantic scenes, but we do have a lot of subtle talks about them. I really loved the romance between Anastacia and Saskia. Maybe not the romance itself actually, because to be honest, as much as I love the author, she doesn’t have a skill set for writing romance. What I did love, was the dedication of the couple to stay together and what Saskia would do and sacrifice, just for the person she loves.

I was very upset with the author trying so hard to make Lottie and Ellie a couple. Yes, we know lesbian relationships are against the rules in the kingdom and Ellie’s father would be furious to find out. But Lottie had such a nice slow-burn romance going with Jamie, getting to know him and all. They even reminded me of Dimitri and Rose from Vampire Academy. They have a thing, and the author ruined it with trying to convince me Lottie likes girls. Well, I am not convinced. I already have my favourite girl couple, and it’s not Lottie and Ellie.

Princess in Practice was a better-written book than Undercover Princess in my opinion.

If I had to choose though, I would still prefer the first book, because of the whole set up. The friendship stories were better and even the villains were better in the previous book.

The villains we had in this book were plain, without a character, and I simply did not care about any of them. Even that last chapter, with the mysterious leader that stands behind everything, all I could feel was – MEH!

When it comes to the friendship, and the wider team that helps these three main characters, we didn’t really get to know them much more than we did from the previous book. My favourite was and will stay Raphael, who always makes me laugh.

”What? Why don’t I get to be a plus-one?” Raphael maned, tutting. 

”Because, Raphael,” Anastacia mocked, ”you’re not a trained bodyguards, nor are you a princess.”

To conclude, I loved reading Princess in Practice. It had a nice overall story and it was very easy to read. I will definitely be waiting for the third book to come out and will be desperate to read it! A great book during the summer period for sure. If you love princesses – that is 🙂

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Book Review · Books

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly [BOOK REVIEW]

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When you are little, you watch a lot of movies. For us girls, life is filled with princesses and happy ever afters. With castles and knights in shining armours. And it’s always that the beautiful girls get their princes. Only beautiful girls get to be happy.

In this book, we get to really see the reality of what I have said above. It is all true. Only beautiful girls get the happy ever after. But beauty doesn’t always mean pretty.

In a world of prejudice and bullying, Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly shows people, especially girls, that it is okay to be different. It is okay to be brave and follow your dreams. It is okay to be wild and strong willed. The people that truly love you, will always be by your side.

Meet Isabelle – Cinderella’s ugly stepsister. The girl that cuts her toes to get into the glass slipper. For those who didn’t know, the original Cinderella story by the Grimm brothers indeed has a scene where both ugly stepsisters cut their heel and toes, just to fit in the slipper and marry the prince.

‘’The little toe was the hardest. Which didn’t come as a surprise. It’s often the small things that hurt the most – a cold glance, a cutting word, laughter that stops when you enter the room.’’

Isabelle has never really wanted to be evil, but jealousy and mum’s pressure have been doing their own thing. When she gets a second chance in life though, she goes for it. She must complete an impossible task to find her happy ever after. And while doing so, she will find her true self.

‘’Most people will fight when there is some hope for winning, no matter how slim. They are called brave. Only a few will keep fighting when all hope is gone. They are called warriors. Isabelle was a warrior once, though she has forgotten it.’’

Be prepared to feel all emotions, and cheer for Isabelle, when she is fighting against the world. Relive the magic of an amazing retelling and be ready for an unforgettable adventure. What Jennifer has done to bring the Grimm feeling into a powerful story is to be admired. I will admire and cherish this book forever.

I am not a fan of re-reading books, but this will definitely be one book I will always come back to.

‘’Algebra comes from Arabic. From al-jabr, which means ‘’the reunion of broken parts’’. Al-Khwarizmi believed that what’s broken can be made whole again if you just apply the right equation.’’

”If only there was an equation that could do the same for people.”

Thank you to the team at ReadersFirst, for sending me a paperback copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

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