Book Review · Books

Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up – Holly Smale [BOOK REVIEW]

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Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up is a Christmas special and a spin-off from the Geek Girl Series, written by Holly Smale. It is cute and full of Christmas spirit and I only have one regret – I wish I read it in December.

In this book, we follow the lovely and geeky Harriet again. She is stressed about her first date, but her friends come to the rescue. They have an action plan on how to make this boy fall in love!

As I have already mentioned in my Geek Girl review – I love Harriet’s personality. Her geekiness is something that I didn’t read much about while growing up and it makes me happy that it slowly starts to be available to teenage girls.

Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up features Christmas and I loved all the facts about different Christmas traditions all over the world, all the Christmas jokes and recipes in this book. When reading, I could feel the Christmas Spirit on every page and it was wonderful.

There isn’t a big story line or any twists happening, but Geek Girl: All Wrapped Up is a lovely festive addition to the original Geek Girl series. I can’t wait to read the next book and see what Harriet is going to do next. Something mischievous, I am sure!

I have also written review for a few other books by Holly Smale. Check them out on the link below:

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Book Review · Books

The Swords of Silence by Shaun Curry [BOOK REVIEW]

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I was born and raised in a country where religion is sacred. I was surrounded with Christianity all my life. However, while I have learned lessons of love, respect and hope, I am not a believer. I do believe that we need to be kind to each other, respect each other and hope for a better tomorrow, but I don’t believe there is a God out there who decides our faith. My review is based on how I felt while reading and I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion and should be respected for that.

The Swords of Silence features father Joaquim, who moves to Japan in the 1620’s, to share the religion of Christ. However, the brutal regime in Japan forbids any other religion than Buddhism. The Shogun is determined there is no more Christianity in his country. Throughout the book, we follow Joaquim’s journey, where he manages to get captured and escapes several times, with the help of God.

This book perfectly captures the regime in Japan during this time.

The true terror and the brutal punishments if you ever dare make a mistake. The world of no mercy. But this book is also a product of divine inspiration and has great elements some of us consider fantasy.

Many of the scenes in The Swords of Silence that featured escaping were unrealistic and resembled the Bible stories. We had walking on water, moving of mountains and a big storm in the sea that only affects the enemy ship, even though they are only metres away from father Joaquim’s ship.

There is one scene though, that I was absolutely in awe with, and that was the scene with the duels. As a person who trained karate all my life and is very familiar with the rules of a duel, honour, respect and combat in martial arts – this scene was perfectly set and accurate. It brought all the emotions and it was brutally realistic. And it is because of this scene that I will give this book three stars.

The Swords of Silence is a great book, and I love the fact that the author captured moments in history that were true and brutal, and not many people in the world know about. A story that will make people aware of what was happening in the past. Even though I am not a believer in God, I stand by that people shouldn’t be mistreated, bullied, or in this case – brutally murdered for what they believe in. Everyone has the right to believe in anything they believe in.

If this book was more realistic with the events and scenes, I would have given it five stars for the message it shares with the world.

True fact: Around 1% of the population in Japan claims Christian belief or affiliation. Most large Christian denominations are repressed in Japan today.

Thank you to LoveReading UK, the publisher Harper Collins UK and the author, Shaun Curry, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an 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

Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie

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★★★★★

One ordinary day. One extraordinary event. Their lives changed forever. 

Nightingale Point is a book that shows the aftermath of a terrible disaster. A story about many people’s lives, how this event changed them and their recovery and grief.

BEFORE

The book starts with giving us a brief description of people living in two neighboring buildings. We get to know their daily routines, their worries and hopes. We get a glimpse of their everyday lives and start to care for them.

We meet Mary, who has moved from the Philippines into the UK to persue her career as a nurse. Her husband is always away and her children are distant.

We meet the brothers Tristan and Malachi – they have a tragedy of their own, and Mary is like their mum. Tristan is the naughty 16-year-old and Malachi is the older, more responsible brother.

Then we meet Pamela, a 16-year-old who loves running and falls in love with Malachi. However, her racist dad forbids her to see Malachi and locks her inside the building,

We see Elvis as well, who has learning disabilities and lives with his carer. He gets bullied by Tristan one day when Tristan spits in his face.

AFTER

On 4th May 1996, a plane crashes into these two buildings at Nightingale Point and everything changes.

Every resident that lives on Nightingale Point has a before and after story. The ones that survived, but also the ones that didn’t.

This is a story about how much one event can turn your life upside down, how it can change you and also how much little things mean in life, but we forget them so often.

I found it amusing that we had different chapters from different people’s perspectives, and each character had its own different writing style and life to it. This was amazingly done by the author. I found the chapters with Elvis especially refreshing, as they were so heartwarming.

Based on real tragic events – the crash in Bijlmer, Amsterdam and also the fire in Grenfell Tower, the author did a wonderful job in showing the readers the true pain, trauma and the battle of moving forward when a tragedy happens.

Guys, if you haven’t read this book, please pick it up. It will be a hit and it will change your life. Every time I look at this book, I will remember how much little things matter in life and will always call my dad and ask him how he’s doing. Because it matters.

Thank you to the team at HQ for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

The First Time Lauren Pailing Died – Alyson Rudd

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★★★★

The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is a beautifully-written novel that opens your eyes about life and its meaning. A very powerful novel with interesting story. I have read books that have a few similarities to this one, but I haven’t read anything like this before.

The main character in this book is without a doubt, Lauren. In the first chapters, we learn more about her and her parents. Lauren is an intriguing child, able to stare in the distance for a long time and able to see a different mummy that doesn’t exist. When Lauren dies as a teen, the story splits into a few parts and we have parallel universes and different story lines happening.

In one of them, Lauren hasn’t died at all. She wakes up and continues life as normal. In another, her parents have a little daughter and are coping with Lauren’s death while raising the little girl. The third would represents Lauren’s mum who can’t cope with the pain and commits suicide, leaving Lauren’s dad on his own. With all of the story lines, one thing stays the same – a mysterious disappearance of Lauren’s dad’s boss – Peter.

In every life Lauren lives – she feels like she needs to find out what happened to Peter. In all honesty, this mystery was supposed to be the centre of the story in the book, but to me it just didn’t make sense at all. Once we got all the answers, all I could think of was that these two stories could have easily been made into two separate books.

While I had mixed feelings about the mystery of Peter, I definitely loved the parallel universe theme in the book. There were so many alternatives in Lauren’s life. It puts into perspective how one choice in your life can make a difference in the long run. If you only change one decision, you could end up somewhere completely different.

I cannot recommend this book enough, if this is a genre that intrigues you. If you are planning to read it, I would suggest to avoid reading reviews and synopsis and go with a blank page of expectations. The less you know – the better your experience will be. Keep your mind open and enjoy. Happy Reading! <3

Thank you to the team from HQ for sending me a hardcover ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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