Book Review · Books

If You Were Here by Alice Peterson

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(The image has been taken from Alice Peterson’s Website)

 

DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT read “If You Were Here” in public. People will ask you why you’re crying and you won’t know what to say. 

if you were here alice peterson simon and schuster uk book books book review goodreads netgalley blog tour publishing day diary of difference diaryofdifference

“If You Were Here” by Alice Peterson is an emotional story about Huntington’s Disease, a disease that affects your brain & movements and it gets worse as it progresses, without any cure for it yet. 

Peggy has lost her husband to this disease, and now her daughter as well. But what she needs to do now is tell her granddaughter Flo that the disease is hereditary and she might be at risk. 

Flo is about to get married and move to the US, but the news change everything. How do you even deal with such news, right? How do you process it? Through Flo’s character, you can clearly see her confusion and struggle to accept the fact – something that is so common for a human to do. Her fiance is not ready for the risk and will probably never will. The only support Flo has is her roommate James, his sister and her grandma Peggy. Flo needs to make the hardest decision of her life: does she take the test or not? Is she at risk of getting the disease too? What if she is tested negative? But, what if she is tested positive? Or would she just rather not know and live every day experiencing as much as she can? With her mother’s diaries helping her on this journey, she finds hope and strength she never knew she had before. 

I loved Flo’s character. Despite the whole world turning upside down, she picked herself up and was always thinking on the positive side. Sure, there were ups and downs, but damn, that persistence was incredible. 

”If You Were Here” is such a sad, but positive and powerful story about what we can do with our lives, and how we should live every day of our lives like it’s our last. Because – that is the truth: you don’t know whether you’ll wake up in the morning. You don’t know whether you’ll be going through troubles until it happens. You don’t have a map of your life, and that’s completely okay. Try to achieve as much as you can today, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

Please pick this book up. It’s powerful, it’s incredible, it’s sad and it’s motivational. But above everything else, this book is bloody real! 

Thank you to the teams at Netgalley and Simon & Schuster UK for providing me with an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for my 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

Bright Pink Ink by Laura Dinovis Berry

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‘’I was born to destroy everything you ever loved before me.’’

It is very hard for me to judge this work and write a book review. It’s hard to tell you what I think because I don’t feel like I’m an expert in poetry.  I love reading poetry, but I don’t read it as much. I love poetry, but maybe I don’t understand it.

Bright Pink Ink: New and Selected Poems has a jolly vibe to it, a lot of love & happiness, emotions of loss, missing loved ones and love, as well as a feminist vibe that is refreshing. It was an enjoyable read. 

However, it also holds a little bit if monotony with it, very short poems or poems that are written as prose. I encountered a few repetitive sentences on a few occasions and while I know that repeating a line is common in poetry to straighten the meaning and add rhythm – in this occasion it wasn’t pleasurable to read. 

“Maybe I should tell them about my husband’s laugh. A sound that erupts as suns inside me till I float – free as dust.” 

I loved ‘’A poem from 4/14/2015 read on 6/21/2017’’. It is written quite well, with two parallel stories happening while you read, in a different timeline. I really enjoyed it, despite the great annoyance that is the date. The only logical date format I know of is day – month – year. 

There were a lot of feminist vibes through the poems, which was pleasantly enjoyable. On this topic, “Mortal Gods Demand a Sacrifice” was my favourite one. 

“The moon must’ve thought you were the sun.” 

Thank you to the author Laura Dinovis Berry for sending me a copy of Bright Pink Ink in exchange for an honest review. 

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Book Review · Books

It’s a Bright World To Feel Lost In by Mawson Bear

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I love cute little books, especially when they contain something emotional or motivating around them.

This book was one of those cute little books that you pick up now and then, have a quick read through and then go on with your life. And that is the reason why I chose to review it. 

The book is supposedly written by a bear called Mawson that gives life advice. And it’s meant for adults, not children. It doesn’t follow any particular story – in fact – it all seems to be a bit of randomly places throughout the pages, with a lot of adorable pictures of a teddy bear doing things. However, I was having some troubles understanding this book. 

The teddy bear is so cute and the images are indeed adorable, but I found the text depressing, rather than motivating. Yes – it is a bright world to feel lost in, and we do find ourselves lost all the time. But what can we do about it? What is the teddy bear doing about it? I just didn’t get it. I don’t think the messaging was there. I am not sure the author delivered everything that he wanted to say in this book. 

The words had random capital letters, a few spelling errors, and they were also randomly places on the pages, alongside the images, which to some people might be appealing, but to me – it just puts me off. I understand this is the bear typing….. but as I said – definitely annoyed me and I found it ridiculous. 

I know I am supposed to love this book, because it has a teddy bear on the cover – but I just didn’t. 

Thank you to the author (bear’s guardian) Mark O’Dwyer for sending across this book to me in exchange for an honest review. 

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Book Review · Books

Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

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★★★

A quick Chick-Lit, written in Singlish, an English-based patois that Singaporeans speak to each other. It was interesting and unique, and given the fact that I haven’t read anything like this before, I genuinely enjoyed the writing. This is my first book from Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. 

Our main heroine in this book is Jazzy, a 27-year-old, born and living in Singapore. In her mind, she is getting old and her time to get married is running out. 

But Jazzy doesn’t want to just marry anyone, especially not the Asian boys she keeps seeing in the clubs, or the ones that are so traditional and bring her mum soup in the mornings. She wants to marry an English Man, become rich, move abroad and have his babies. 

To achieve this, Jazzy and her friends make a deal to start going into clubs and places and meet their perfect English men. They become Sarong Party Girls, and from chapter to chapter we read about new adventures and troubles that Jazzy gets herself into. 

This book is unique in many ways, there are a lot of immoral scenes that teach us moral lessons. There is so much culture in this book and it’s nice to see how people tolerate moral levels differently in another part of the world. 

I didn’t like Jazzy, and I didn’t agree with almost anything she was doing. From chapter to chapter she kept making stupid decisions, and even though she learnt a little bit in the end, she was still clueless at so many things, which I find annoying. 

As much as I loved the refreshing taste of culture this book gave me, I also didn’t enjoy the main character at all, and am struggling to give it anything more than three stars. 

It is an amazing book, with quality writing that I am sure represents Singaporeans well, culture a plenty and many scenes that trigger discussions. But if you are looking for your perfect character, you won’t find this is Jazzy. You won’t find it in Sarong Party Girls. 

Thank you to ReadersFirst and Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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