Book Review, Books

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

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When the team from LoveReading UK contacted me regarding A Single Thread, all I knew was that I loved Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier and would therefore read any other book she writes.

A Single Thread follows the life of Violet, during the year 1932, a few years after the First World War. Violet has lost her brother and fiance in the war and is still learning to cope. She is labelled as a ”surplus woman” by the society, a woman that in unlikely to marry.

With the grief, the society label and the suffocation of her mother, Violet starts a journey that will change her life.

She is determined to find where she belongs and who she truly is, in a time where being a woman and succeeding on your own was not praised by others.

Her journey starts with a long walk in a few towns, something she used to do with her late father and brother, and it continues with her learning canvas embroidery (today knows as needlepoint), and the beautiful art of bell ringing (which pleasantly reminded me of The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, a book I read in high school and one I should re-read).

With Tracy’s writing, it is always so easy to lose yourself in the book and teleport to the past and re-live every scene as if you’re there. It is such a pleasurable experience.

I loved Violet, and I loved how she coped with all challenges of that era. Post First World War times were extremely hard, with too many men dying and too many women not being able to ever marry. Violet’s courage and hope kept moving her forward!

This novel yells courage. It yells freedom. It yells independence. And standing along Violet, while she finds courage when you least expect to was a moment I will cherish.

I recommend it to you, if you love novels in the war time period, or novels that talk about courage!

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

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |

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Book Review, Books

Living My Best Li(f)e by Claire Frost

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Fast and chill reads are always the hit for me. I definitely enjoy drinking my hot chocolate and cuddling my blanket while reading a chill book on my sofa. ” Living My Best Li(f)e ” was a modern-day book, that captures today’s problems, and it felt familiar, because I have seen these problems in my surrounding. It focuses mostly on social media, and the differences between what we present online, and who we really are in the real world. 

We have one woman – Bell – who is about to turn 40, and her comfort is broken when her man decides to leave her after years of togetherness.

We also have another woman, Millie, in her mid-thirties, and her little son Wolf (who names their child Wolf?). Millie fell in love with a football star Louis and had a child with him. To her disappointment, she realized the man she is in love with is the most unreliable parent in the world. She also happens to be an Instagram star, that only shows the world what she wants them to see.

While the followers see expensive dresses and well-behaved child, the reality shows that Millie takes a picture of the dresses and returns them to the shop, unable to afford them. She is also receiving calls from Wolfie’s school that he has not be behaving in his best manners.

When these two women accidentally meet, they turn out to be besties. In fact, they became besties so fast, that I had to laugh out loud at how bizarre and unrealistic that was. Do you ever go to a coffee shop, say hi to a person, and then THE SAME DAY, THE SAME CONVERSATIONS you both start sharing your deepest secrets? Yes – it was that bizarre.

I really wanted to love ” Living My Best Li(f)e ” , as it captured a lot of problems. But it only captured the surface of these problems, then solved them instantly and moved on. And I wasn’t satisfied. There were so many little plot problems that the author kept adding to the book randomly to keep the story going, and kept resolving them one by one – no anticipation, no hunger for one more chapter. Disappointing.

First of all, all the characters were not realistic. We have this woman that keeps saying she can be on her own, but she also keeps complaining every second of the day.

Then, we have this other woman, who seems like such a person that everyone is looking up to, but in fact, she is too scared to say no to her ex-love and father of her child, and she keeps up with all his nonsense on a daily bases.

Last, but not least, we have the 5-year-old Wolf boy, who talks like a 20-year-old boy, but behaves like a toddler, and I don’t know how to react to that.

And finally, we have ”the rest of the characters”, who were mentioned and had their own roles in the book, but didn’t have enough of a back story or air-time in order to be remembered by the audience.

The author also introduced us to a plot twist, that came out unexpectedly – but suddenly the government were about to destroy their community center and it was up to them to collect money and save this place in a record time. How convenient for the story, right? With no building up to it, the problem just raised from the ground… And you can all imagine the happy endings and soppy stories that followed with their success.

So yeah – that got me, and I didn’t believe it for a second, and therefore this review. I really wanted to love Living My Best Li(f)e, but nothing worked out. Disappointing characters, plots and lack of thrill. Not a great experience for me. I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you choose to read it, I would love to know what you think! <3

Thank you to the team at Netgalley and Simon & Schuster UK, for providing me with an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |

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Book Review, Books

LifeShift by Michael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

Things can change in a moment. All it takes it that tiny second that can turn our lives upside down. This happened to Alex. See, one day, he is just this unpopular boy that goes to school, and works to earn a little something for himself. Then, in one little moment, he is about to be hit by a train. Only – a miracle happens and he remains alive. But something changed. No, EVERYTHING changed. A new girl comes to school the next morning and tells him he is an Eternal, just like her, a person that lives many lives and keeps getting reborn. He is also supposed to remember his past lives once he turns 18. And not only that, but he also needs to go on a mission to find another Eternal, that would lead them to Zeus.

Bonus: This book is filled with Greek Mythology characters, but they are not the Greek Gods as we know them – they are all Eternals and have a special new fictional story.

I know some of you guys messaged me that the synopsis of the book looked so complicated, and it put you off. The story is actually quite interesting and easy to understand, once you start reading it. So go on, and put this on your TBRs!

lifeshift - michael kott book review books blog diary of difference

The story and the plot itself are so unique – I haven’t read anything like this before. Michael managed to recreate a whole new world, and new type of creatures – Eternals. I loved the idea of the Eternals – people that have many lives and remember their previous lives. They can even choose where they want to get born next, and how to look. I also loved the superpowers they have – communicating through thoughts and dreams, healing, reading the past of a person by touching their hand… However, in many places in the book this was described too fast and too wide – there would be 5 pages of an essay of only description. I would much prefer if we could explore the story and history through the characters more.

The characters were likable. All of them. I liked Alex – he was a typical American boy. Sometimes a bit oblivious to everything happening around him. I found it a bit upsetting how he couldn’t choose who he wanted to be with. But on the other side, I quite admired him for how he coped when his world just changed in an instant, and so many people he knew were not what he thought they were, and on top of that he had to choose who to trust and who not to, and he had to agree to go on a mission that risks his life, even though he still couldn’t remember if he was an Eternal, which meant that maybe he is not like them at all.

Circe was an interesting character too. Such an energetic person with a wild personality – she would be the one that brightens up a room as soon as she walks into it. She can also be very possessive of the people she loves. She quite reminds me of myself in my teenage years in everything she did – funny, reckless moments – all worth remembering. Even though I couldn’t find a favourite character, all the people we meet in the book were equally loved by me.

This is an amazing story – a fiction fantasy that gathered Greek Mythology characters and created something entirely new. I enjoyed it a lot and I can’t wait for the next book of the series to come out. This book opens up a great discussion about people that can be reborn and remember their past. My view on life is that once we die, our soul goes into another body that gets born in the exact same moment, and even though we don’t remember it, we always carry a piece of that inside our hearts. There are occasions though, where some people remember their past lives.

What are your thoughts about life after death? Would you maybe pick this book up?

A special thank you to the author, Michael Kott, who send me a copy of  ‘’LifeShift’’ in exchange for an honest review. All my thoughts are my own, and completely unbiased.

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Uncategorized, USA

Postcard from Rhode Island – RandomActsofCards

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It has been a while since I have shared the postcards I’ve received. This year, I’ll try to post a bit more, as I know you love looking at the lovely postcard!

I received this postcard from the lovely reddit page – RandomActsofCards!

Special thank you to /u/sweetbabysister for sending me this postcard! I have only a few states in this format, and I am really looking forward to collecting them all 🙂

Do you like sending postcards, and how did you start doing it?

Japan, postcrossing

Fear of moving out

Annette has a fear of moving out. We all do when we’re young. It means new life, new friends, new environment. It is one of scariest things for one kid.

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Annette has a fear of moving out.

Annette is a girl from Japan. She sent me this card by  Postcrossing, with the ID of JP-799542 and she told me she’s from Kagashima, Southern Kyusha. Right now, she might, or might not have moved with her family. In the card she was really scared.

Everything is so unsure and my life currently is on hold… 🙁

Annette, let me tell you something. Moving to a new place is not the end of the world. I don’t know whether you moved or not, but moving doesn’t always means a bad thing. It’s not always about losing everything, house, neighbourhood, friends… Sometimes, you have to think on the better side. It means gaining new ones , and that means a new start in your life. It means new friendships, new smiles, and new adventure, that will bring new memories. Don’t say no to life. Don’t say no to destiny. Say yes to the opportunity for something new. Always find the positive side in everything you do.