My 2018 Reading Year in Review

Hello Lovelies!

2018 was an amazing year for me, as I managed to read 74 books, which is triple of what I read last year. This year I completely dedicated myself to this blog and this amazing community, and I want to thank you all for being here, for reading my reviews and for suggesting me books that I absolutely loved. Here’s to another amazing year ahead of us! 

goodreads my books in review 2018 book books blog diaryofdifference


Best books I have read in 2018 (in no particular order):

🌟 Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

🌟 My Name is Anna – Lizzy Barber

🌟 Day Of The Accident – Nuala Ellwood

🌟 Fawkes – Nadine Brandes

🌟 A Game of Thrones (A Song Of Ice and Fire #1) – George R. R. Martin

🌟 City Of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare 

🌟 The Cruel Prince (The Folk of The Air #1) – Holly Black

🌟 Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld

🌟 Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie Lu

🌟 The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

 

Book that disappointed me:

Books of The Month:

🌟 January:

Moonlight Over Manhattan – Sarah Morgan

🌟 February:

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

🌟 March:

The Night Raid – Clare Harvey

🌟 April:

Coming Home – Fern Britton

🌟 May:

Now You See Her – Heidi Perks

🌟 June:

Quidditch Through the Ages – J.K. Rowling

🌟 July:

Fawkes – Nadine Brandes

🌟 August:

Never Forgotten (Never Forgotten #1) – Kelly Risser

🌟 September:

7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

🌟 October:

A Game of Thrones (A Song Of Ice and Fire #1) – George R. R. Martin

🌟 November:

Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld

🌟 December:

Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie Lu

 

Happy New Year!

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The Last Seven Months Of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer [BOOK REVIEW]

the last seven months of anne frank willy lindwer book review books blog diary of difference nazi camp hitler history german

★★

When I went to the library to pick up the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, I also picked up this book. I wanted to learn more about her last months, as Anne didn’t write in her diary after she was found and brought to the camps.

If you, just like me, are looking for books to help you find this info, please skip this one.

The title is completely misleading, as Anne Frank is barely mentioned in the book, and these women that claim to know her seem to not have known her at all. If I see a person on the far end of the fence, or sit together while the guards are counting us, I wouldn’t consider them a friend. Just a fellow unfortunate companion.

Don’t get me wrong – these six women, that went through all this traumatized period, and are brave enough to tell the story are worth mentioning, and are worth of great recognitions. And this book is also a great value to history of what happened in those cruel places.

But when people use a famous person’s name in order to sell a book, on such painful basis, this is beyond me to comment, so I will leave it to you to make a conclusion on your own.

Among this part, the stories of these six women were heartbreaking, and so well-described, it felt as if I was there for a moment. The things they went through and the families they lost is so sad.

I also liked the old images that were in the middle of the book. They added a real image to the words.

If you want to read more about Anne Frank – choose another book. But if you want to find out about other people’s stories from this time period – grab this book.

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank [BOOK REVIEW]

the diary of a young girl anne frank diary german hitler nazi penguin book review books blog

★★★

We have all heard about or read this book. I remember reading it in high-school as a project. And since I never had written a proper book review, I decided to read it again.

I went to the library, and they only had the short Penguin version, with the most important diary entries of Anne Frank. It is only 65 pages. So, I decided to also grab another book – The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer, so I can write a full overview.

This is a diary of a young girl, and she was writing these stories during two years of hiding. Anne Frank and her family are jews and they live in The Netherlands. After the Germans invade, many people are captured and go to designated camps. A few manage to escape and go into hiding. Anne’s family hides in her father’s office.

If you are reading this diary, without knowing anything about history – this could be a happy story. These diary entries are filled with love and hope, dreams of a young girl, beliefs, opinions, descriptions of her first crush and planning a future.

But this is not a happy story. This girl doesn’t get the chance to grow up. This girl doesn’t get the chance to experience freedom, and live to get to know her grandchildren. This is a sad story of not just Anne Frank, but all these people that have gone through that painful journey.

While this book deserves to be read by every person, and this history needs to keep being told many years after us, I feel the need to make a proper book review.

This is not a well-written book, with a great plot and amazing description. So based on that, this doesn’t stand up to the standards. But this book has a meaning that makes up for all the amateur writing. After all, this was a teenager writing it, without even knowing this will someday be shared with the world.

To all of you that haven’t read it yet – I highly recommend it. If you don’t want to go with the long version, read the short Penguin one, like I did.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky [BOOK REVIEW]

the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky book review books diary of difference goodreads novel high school childhood

★★★★★

We all are, or have once been wallflowers. The shy creatures of the universe, strangled in a problematic world where everything is so confusing and hard. We have all once swam in those deep waters, where the finish line is the act of growing up, and we all coped with it in different ways.

Charlie is struggling with the same things we were, when in high school. The friendships, or lack of them, the crushes, the secret thoughts, the exams, the pressure, the misunderstandings with our parents, our goals, hopes and dreams, our visions of what we will become.

It is an emotional, but very realistic story, about one kid, and all the things he learns while growing up. By learning things the hard way, by listening, by watching things happen to his friends and family, by just being a wallflower.

The author has written this book in a way where Charlie is writing letters to his secret friend, telling him about his daily adventures. I loved this way, because the letters give a sense of confidentiality, of honesty, or pure thoughts with nothing to hide.

Charlie is a shy guy, who has trouble making friends, socialising, and lacks a lot of common sense. To me,  this game me vibes of an autistic kid, or an anxious child suffering from PTSD, which hits all the marks, but I don’t know whether or not this was the author’s purpose. It was written in 1998, so I can assume these subjects might have been taboo, as people weren’t as open minded as today.

To me, Charlie was a relatable character. Even though clearly going through a lot more than just a normal kid, in this book, he copes with problems we have all coped. And the part I loved about Charlie the most is – he is honest, so brutally honest, and doesn’t try to hide things he understands or trying to understand. He sees things we don’t tend to see, and he feels things in a way I would want to feel them.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”


Purchase links:

Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble

He suddenly meets a group of friends, that accept him as he is, and he can be as weird and crazy as he wants, no one bothers. These friendships – my dear reader – are something we all wish for, and some of us are so lucky to have them.

I truly believe that this book is definitely something I would give to my kid to read, or to my small siblings. I wish I had read this 10 years ago, when I would relate more, and when all the high-school topics were relevant. But even now, I can still remember the exact way Charlie felt in some situations, and I wish I had read the book and acted differently on some of mine.

”Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”

Charlie will teach us a lot about high school little traumas, high-school crushes and true love, friendships and betrayals, seeing the family in a different way, and acting on things instead of doing nothing. With Charlie, I went back to high-school, and remembered all the good things and the bad, and I ALMOST shed a few tears for all the memories and times I will never have. Now, I raise a glass, and say cheers for all the good memories and friendships made.

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”

Spend a little time, and pick up this book. It is a short and sweet read, and it is a book that everyone should have on their shelves.

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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.

Get your copy by clicking the image below

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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