Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu [BOOK REVIEW]

warcross marie lu book review blog diary of difference wildcard books goodreads

★★★★★

A fantasy of a virtual world, and a game that brings people together. A story of a girl that struggles to pay her rent, and her ability to hack the most important game of the year – Warcross. And when the creator of Warcross hires her, needing her help – she begins her adventure.

From the first moment that I read the synopsis of Warcross, I knew I wanted to have this book on my shelf and read it immediately. A couple of reasons stand behind this story:

  • A girl is a main character, and a fierce one. As boring it might seem, I love a book with brave characters, especially if it’s a teen girl. I think when girls are featured as brave and fearless in books, it gives encouragement to a lot of girls reading the book, that are struggling through their teenage years.

  • I am a vivid video games player. I play a lot of games, and this is something you might not have known about me. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments. I love the gaming community, and I believe that if it weren’t for the video games, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

  • If you haven’t read it, you have all probably heard about Ready Player One. I absolutely loved it, and watched the movie, and I am still in love with it. And when book reviewers started comparing Warcross to Ready Player One, I had to see if this was true. I just had to check for myself.

And then, I got this book as a birthday gift from my boyfriend. (see my Birthday Haul). So here we are, a few reasons after, me having read this book and telling you all what I thought.

Firstly, I feel like I need to say this – Warcross is nothing like Ready Player One.

Yes, we have a virtual world, and (surprise) virtual characters in the world. And yes, there is a game and the creator of the game is involved. But the whole plot and story are so much different in so many ways.

The descriptions of the virtual world, the story lines, the dialogues, the way the story flows, the romance – it is all unique and original.

And for you out there that compare this to Ready Player One – it is as if you are comparing Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde, only because they both have a plot of romance and forbidden love. It is ridiculous, let me tell you.

Even though the Warcross game as its own was brilliantly explained and described, I felt like we didn’t see much of the rest of the virtual world. I loved the way Marie Lu would talk about the world – so much passion in each chapter.

The discussion opens on virtual reality and the worlds that could be created. It is not a matter of whether it will happen, but when? I keep thinking I might be alive when we will live in a world of ”virtuality”. Would we be happier? Would we be smarter? Or would this just be another tool for people to get richer, by using its users? Is the future scary? Should it be?

Emika is a character I think many girls will relate to. Brave and fierce, even though she is afraid inside. A strong, young woman, that stands for what she believes in, even when this might mean losing the people she loves the most.

The story flows so quickly, and each end of the chapter begs you to start another one, and before you know it, it’s 4am and you keep reading, unable to stop. This book has some strange power right there!

The twists were interesting, even though some of them were predictable. Even with the knowledge of this, I would always miss something amazing, and even knowing what will happen, the experience was always pleasant.

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I am so glad I got to read this book, and I am so excited to read Wildcard soon as well. I am definitely recommending this to all of you – I am sure you will enjoy it.

If you have read it, let me know what you think in the comments – I would love to discuss it!

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides [BOOK REVIEW]

the silent patient Alex Michaelides book review books netgalley goodreads

★★★★★

A book that speaks about feelings, and lack of them. Love and emotions. Art and passion. Psychology and memories. And how our childhood might define who we will become.

I have never felt such urgency to read another chapter as I have felt it with The Silent Patient. Such impatience, such excitement. It’s a feeling I wish I can get with all the books in my life.

 

ALICIA

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

Get your copy of THE SILENT PATIENT here:

I love these types of books. Besides the mystery and thriller, the psychological part was an incredibly well-put together piece of art.

The beginning of the story is nice and slow, but with a temptation in it, that makes you flip the pages so fast. A great world and character building, and great character hopping from Theo to Alicia, from chapter to chapter.

Even though we don’t get to have Alicia talking in the book, she says so much. All her movements, all her reactions, or lack of reaction is so well written. Her lack of speaking doesn’t stop her from moving the story forward, and being the main protagonist here.

On the other hand, we have Theo, who we see and get to know more and more with each chapter. A complicated character, with a cute oddness to himself, a characteristic I find with many psychotherapists. He is the person we see at the front of the screen, presenting himself in the spotlight, together with Alicia.

A well-written plot, with an amazing cliff-hanger and a wonderful plot-twist in the end. I didn’t expect it, and I am awfully satisfied of how the authors decides to conclude the book.

I enjoyed this book so much, and I recommend it to all the psychological thriller book readers here. Don’t miss this one, and get your copy today. It’s so worth it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group, for providing me with an e-copy, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and completely unbiased.

 

 

 

 

 

Hippie – Paulo Coelho [BOOK REVIEW]

hippie by paulo coelho books review books blog diary of difference

★★★

Hippie is the autobiography by Paulo Coelho, told in third person. This is a story about people that travel the world, wear funny clothes and flowers in their hairs, and believe in peace, love and freedom.

I have read many of Coelho’s books, even since I was a teenage girl. And all of them share something in common – the path of finding yourself. After reading Hippie, I believe that this is the the best one that covers this subject quite perfectly.

‘’He was a human being, with all the fragility that entails, he didn’t understand everything that happened in his life, but he truly wished to believe he was travelling in search of the light.’’

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Down The TBR Hole #6

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hello, my fellow readers!

My 6th list of the Down The TBR Edition. This time, there are some interesting books, and variety of genres – hope you enjoy!

How it works:

❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ Order on ascending date added.
❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ Decide: keep it or should it go

Here’s the next patch:

down the tbr hole #6 book books blog diary of difference

Which one of these have I kept, and which one have I removed?

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Down The TBR Hole #5

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hello All!
A new week – a new Down The TBR Hole list.

 

How it works:

❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ 
Order on ascending date added.
❤ 
Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ 
Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Here’s the next patch:

#5

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A classic love story that I simply cannot miss or get rid of. This should actually be a priority for me for 2019.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald

I classic again, worth reading. It is also a short read, so I will keep it.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Because by Jack A. Langedijk

I think I won this as a giveaway around 4 years ago. I also think that this book is now back in my home country, Macedonia. I am letting go for now.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

I honestly have no idea how this was in my TBR, but after reading the synopsis I decided to keep it. It seems like it’s definitely worth reading.

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

Christmas in Venice by Meadow Taylor

If you have read some of my previous Down The TBR Hole Posts, you know how I feel about old Christmas books – I probably might never read them, as new ones come each year. But this one seems like a short and interesting read, and I will keep it.

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

I am currently involved with a lot of mystery and crime novels, and I am loving them. This one stays!

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I can’t remove Anna Karenina. But I need to read it and get it off my list for sure.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Another classic. How can I remove the classics? This is the reason they are classics – they need to be read, because they mean a lot.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

I love Cecelia Ahern, and have read many books by her. But at the moment I am not reading much romance, and I will put this one on hold.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

Another crime, but I will remove this one. It seems like something I don’t think I will enjoy as much.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegant

This time I only removed 3. I know, I didn’t do great. But blame the classics. My TBR doesn’t seem to be getting smaller this week. 

Let me know if you have read any of these, and if you want me to keep or remove any of these books from my list! I look forward to see what you think!

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Down The TBR Hole #2

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hi Lovelies!

The second edition of the Down the TBR Hole. On my previous attempt, I have managed to clear 3 out of 10, and I am eager to see how this one will go.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.

  • Order on ascending date added.

  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.

  •  Read the synopsis of the books.

  • Decide: keep it or should it go

Here’s the next patch:

#1

#2

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol and Origin are the only books I haven’t read from the Robert Langdon Series. I am eager to finish what I have started.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

As my previous comment, with already two books on my TBR from Dan Brown, I will remove Digital Fortress from my TBR for now.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

A classic I have always been trying to get my hands on, and a must-read book. Staying!

Verdict: KEEP  ☑

Приказни од Мјаукедонија by Igor Dzambazov

This is a Macedonian book by one of the most popular show-men in our country. As I have no chance of getting this book in my hands right now, I will pass.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

I have wanted to read Sophie’s World since childhood, and I love philosophy. This one is staying, and I will actually push this to be one of my reads in early 2019.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacton

I actually don’t know what this book is doing here, or why I have put it. Needless to say more?

Verdict:  REMOVE ✖

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I am half-way through the second season of the TV Show, and I know that 90% of the times books are better than movies, so I will give this one a go.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

I have put this on my wishlist 5 years ago. Now I realise why. Unfortunately (or luckily), this is not my taste anymore. I think I’ve grown up.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

All I want for Christmas by Amy Silver

I don’t remember adding this book to my list. It seems like a great read, and I love Christmas books. I thought I should keep it in case we run out of new Christmas books, but who are we kidding… As I don’t own this at the moment, I will let it go.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Nanny by Melissa Nathan

I love Nanny books, this subject has a great meaning to me. I am not sure if I will read this in a near future, or ever read it, but I will keep it in my TBR for now.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegant

This time it seems to be 5 staying and 5 going. I think I am getting better at this. My TBR already looks smaller (who are we kidding? :D). Let me know if you have read any of these, and if you want me to keep or remove any of these books from my list! I look forward to see what you think!

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Quidditch Through The Ages – J. K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

For every Harry Potter fan out there, there is a book in the fictional library, that somehow wizards allowed for it to be shared with us muggles.

Note: I am not a muggle, I am, of course, a wizard, but I believe Hogwarts has made some admin mistakes and my letter is yet due to arrive!

But for you muggles out there, this book has been approved to be shared, and it talks about the most famous sport in the wizarding world – Quidditch. A sport in which Harry Potter was a star, just like his father and many famous people before him!

Quidditch Through The Ages speaks about the rules of Quidditch, the history, the famous teams around the world, the most famous players, the most exciting matches, the most devastating injuries, and the most mysterious endings of the matches.

While I was listening to it (Yes, I have the audible version – actually the second audio book I have ever read/listened to), this book made me feel like I was a part of this world, the same feeling I always get when I read the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling is such an amazing writer, and times and times again, I wish this world was real, and I wish I was part of it.

With my audio version, I also got the bonus scenes of the 2014 World Cup being held, and it being reported by Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter. It was the most amazing thing ever. It is also taken out from the Pottermore edition, so I think you might be able to find it online!

This book belongs to the never-forgettable shelf, alongside Harry Potter, and alongside all my other favourite books!

Note: Audible has an amazing offer that let’s you get one book for free once you sign up. So if you want to pick this book, or any other book, click here.

The One And Only – Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

When bio-terrorism threatens to obscure humanity, one woman has the power to restore hope.

Ruby Spencer is a wife and a mother. She also happens to be the only person that could save the people on Earth from dying! In moments when she is planning to resign from the U.S. Special Warfare Council, Ruby and her husband Clay are sent to one last mission.

With the last assignment being a low-risk mission to Taiwan where they need to analyze the zombie infection and consult with scientists, it seems like they are about to go on a long-deserved mini honeymoon.

But everything goes wrong! They get kidnapped, the biggest world powers all plan a war ahead, and it seems that only the ones that have Ruby are likely to win the war. They all fight over her, and she has no clue why. What makes her so special?

Review:

First of all, I have to thank the author, Julia Ash, for sending over this amazing book to me, in exchange for an honest review!  

The beginning of The One and Only is extremely breathtaking! I believe that the beginning might be the best part of the book, actually! The flow of the story is well-thought, and I especially loved the scenes where the author refers to the past, and made me feel like there was another book before that. It is quite easy to catch up with the beginning and the brief details of the past, but if in the future there is a prequel that explains it all – I would love to be the first one to know about it!

Now, the characters are probably the reason that made the book the way it is! We have Ruby, who is our heroine, a brave lady, ready to give all the love, courage and wisdom in the world. She is a mother, a wife, and a brave fighter that never gives up and is never afraid to stand up against evil.

On the other hand, we have her husband – Clay. He was… alright. I suppose? His love for Ruby and their daughter is incredible, but somehow, I could think of him as a manly enough figure in their relationship. He was smart and brave, but not as smart and brave as Ruby.

I couldn’t somehow connect with him.

The character that intrigued me the most is Ox. I loved how Julia has shown us the psychological profile of this man, and the way he thinks. It was lovely reading about his part of his story, and even though he was on the wrong side, it is what he believes in. And the way it is written in so extraordinary, that at times I could see myself giving him an excuse.

The only part that I couldn’t agree with, and I am refusing to accept is – THE ENDING! I will withdraw myself from spoilers, but that’s not how things should have ended! That is not the ending I wanted, that is not the ending I was hoping for. No, no, no. It made me upset, and angry, and I wanted to break something very bad! That was a huge disappointment for me and it changed my whole perception of the story and the book itself.

If you ever get the chance to read this book – you should expect a lot of twists, a lot of ups and downs, and if you are like me and are trying hard to not bite your nails – well, you’re about to fail. This is not your typical book about zombie apocalypse. This is not your usual book about a heroine being kidnapped. This is not your usual book of how a person saves the world. This will be nothing like you expected, and everything you hoped for.

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Set Me Free: The Story of How Shakespeare Saved A Life – Salvatore Striano [BOOK REVIEW]

I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review of this book from Text PublishingNetgalley! The translator of the book did a wonderful job, as it didn’t feel at all like it was translated!

This is a story about an Italian prisoner that tells us how the prison system works, all the unfairness in it, and this is also a story that tells us how a person can still turn up good into a bad environment, and I was very happy that I witnessed that change from one chapter into another.

The way it was written was quite good, even though at times it felt a bit blunt and boring. Shakespeare was used in the book a lot, and sometimes he was overused and was in places where he shouldn’t have been. I believe that Shakespeare had influence over Sasa, but not as much as the theatre itself. I believe it was the theatre that made Sasa free, and not Shakespeare in particular. At the end of the day, I actually think that Sasa made himself free… Sometimes you only need a little push and nothing more.

I loved Sasa’s character, and I loved the way he sees life. I love how he sees the positive in all the negative, and besides all, he still wants to be a better person. We are all human, and we all make mistakes, and sometimes people know they made mistakes, regret them and want to become better. That is exactly what Sasa did, in an unfair environment.

I thought the prison was presented a bit unrealistic, as we all know what happens inside, and as much as Sasa wouldn’t hurt anyone if not necessary, almost 90% of the other inmates would – on regular basis. This was a little fact that annoyed me a bit. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to read another book from Salvatore Striano.

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Piasa – Michael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

The author – Mr. Michael Kott sent me this book for an honest review! I honestly enjoyed reading every single page, and I couldn’t put the book down, which deprived me from some sleep a few nights. This is what I thought about PIASA:

This is a very warm story that covers the life of Sara, a young little girl (don’t call her that, she’ll get angry!). My apologies – a young fifteen-year-old lady that survives a car accident while her whole family dies. In times when destiny is hard to accept, she will get involved into resolving the mystery behind the legend of the Piasa, and this adventure might actually mean a new start in life for her!

For a lady of this age, this destiny is extremely hard to accept, and on top of that, she has a few scars that will mark that experience probably for the rest of her life.

Her life is not easy – she lost her family, and all of her belongings, and here she is now, at her Aunt Claire’s hotel, still unsure whether she is ready to move forward with life.

Sara is a very unusual character. I have to admit that at times, she would made me cringe. Some of the things she says and does doesn’t comply with my opinion, but there are things that I really loved about her. I loved the way she is coping with all the challenges she has, after everything that she’s been through, her ability to admire someone the way she admires Mike, to start believing again, even despite everything that happens around her, to seize the day and enjoy the moments that life can offer. I love how she would find hope even in the darkest of places.

Even though I really liked the character of Sara, my favourite character has to be Mike. The way he thinks, acts and motivates everyone around him is unique. Mike is one of the characters that will make you realise and question some of your decisions in life.

The only character I couldn’t connect to at all was Pamela. I honestly am not sure why – it might be that there weren’t too many situations involving her that would make me care.

The story hooks you onto it and it is hard to put it down. I have never heard about the legend of the Piasa before, and one part of me wanted to find out before reading the book. I am glad that I didn’t, as I found out slowly about it, page by page, and that is an experience that will stay with me.

I love how it is presented that life is so unpredictable in so many ways, that mysteries are all around us, and that we are able to move forward and win – only if we wish to believe that we can do it. And sometimes, we are in doubt, and that is when precious people come into our lives – it all happens with a reason.

The only thing I wish was different about ‘’Piasa’’ is that I could’ve read this amazing book way, way sooner, when I was fifteen. I can’t wait to read the second book of this series – Cryptid.

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