Book Review, Books

Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend – Crystal Hemmingway

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★★★★

Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend is a funny and beautiful story that focuses on the loving mother-daughter relationship and presents issues in a comedic, but loving way.

Crystal planned an amazing holiday with her boyfriend, but her mother decides to join them last minute. Crystal is having great difficulties to say no to her mother and this causes her to become single, homeless and unemployed. And now, living with her mother is the only option she has left.

When bearing her mum seems, well, unbearable, Crystal decides to sign up for a robot research and fills a form asking for the robot to have all the qualities that Crystal’s mum likes in a person. Crystal does this with the intention to find company for her mother, a best friend, in the hope that then she would be left alone, and doesn’t tell her mum about this robot-companion. This all happens, of course, without the mother knowing.

But what no one expected to happen was for the robot to be so human that it’s unrecognizable. He looks exactly like a human, and a very handsome one as well. He also has no flaws and is perfect in everything he does. Crystal’s mum hasn’t been happier in years and she really enjoys all the attention and caring she is getting – but when she starts to develop feelings for the robot, Crystal has to make a decision: does she hide everything and make the robot disappear, or should she tell her mum the truth?

I loved the style this book was written in: emails, diary entries and letters. A unique style with a fast-paced tempo that made me read it in a day and I enjoyed every moment of it.

The mother-daughter relationship was accurate and at times very comparable, however, I did not agree with Crystal in some of her choices. She was mean to her mum sometimes and didn’t know how to express her feelings. Who has ever forbid their mum’s from calling them? Have you ever said to your mum – look mum, from now on, you will only call me for one hour in a week? Sorry, but ridiculous…

Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend is not a book I would usually pick up and it is way out of my comfort zone, but I did enjoy it. It was everything I expected it to be; cute, dynamic, funny and meaningful. I need more books like this one in my life.

Thank you to the team from LoveReading UK, for proving me with a paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review, Books

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

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★★★★

I am probably the last person posting a book review for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

When the book came out, the movie followed shortly after. In that time, I decided to watch the movie rather than reading the book. The movie was amazing and I loved it. But a few years later, when this book found its way to me again, I needed to read it and solve the ultimate battle – movie versus books. As it usually happens in my case – the book version won – without any doubts.

The Hunger Games is a story about Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12, who lives with her mum and little sister in the poorest district of them all. She hunts in the woods with her friend/crush Gale in order to provide food for her family.

Surrounded by all twelve districts, there is the Capitol, the shiny city where all the rich and popular people live. A long time ago, the districts tried to go into war and lost. As part of the surrender, each year the Capitol organises a live TV show, called The Hunger Games. Every year, a boy and a girl from each district are randomly chosen to battle in an arena until the last man standing.

When Katniss’s little sister is chosen as the girl tribute from district 12, Katniss volunteers to take her place without even thinking. Both her and Peeta (the male tribute) are then headed over to the Capitol and the preparations for the games can begin.

In a world where people like watching children kill each other, it can be pretty upsetting to see this as a reality. I can’t help but think that unfortunately, people have some instinct left in them and are unconsciously enjoying watching other people suffer. Think of the gladiator fights, ultimate fighting matches and other events similar to these.

Putting that aside, what I love about this book was the attention to details. From the descriptions of the districts, to the preparations for the games. And the game itself was so well written that I kept turning page after page, desperate to see what will happen next.

I love Katniss, her bravery, her love for her little sister, all the sacrifices that she has made. Starting with her volunteering instead of her sister, to her love with Gale. Her spirit to make things right can be felt throughout the whole book. Her rebellion and her stance with all the people that are not treated fairly by the Capitol.

Even though presented as a Young-Adult, I am convinced this is a book every adult should read as well, and have a few thoughts about their surroundings. I loved the first book, and I can’t wait to start reading the second book of the series as well.

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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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Book Review, Books

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

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★★★★

In the 1940’s, with the world at war, Eleanor Trigg leads a mysterious ring of secret female agents in London. Twelve of these women are sent to Paris to aid the resistance.

They never return home!

Shortly after the war ends, passing through New York’s Grand Central Station, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase beneath a bench. The case is filled with a dozen photographs, each of a different woman.

Setting out to find the women in the pictures, Grace is drawn into the mystery of the lost girls of Paris, their fierce friendship, unthinkable bravery – and, ultimately, the worst kind of betrayal.

Eleanor is a woman that men fear and women hate. Wherever she goes, fear follows. However, in a world of men who lead and men who are in war, she starts a programme in London where she recruits women, prepares them and deploys them to help in the war. The women have to aid the man, transmit radio messages and blend in with the french people. Eleanor makes sure they are prepared for every possible scenario, and she would’ve joined them, if they let her. As much as she seems cruel, she loves her girls like her daughters, and when things go horribly wrong, she blames herself.

Marie never imagined she would be recruited by Eleanor. Leaving her daughter behind and going into the unknown, she is deployed in Paris for a very dangerous mission. But can friendships so easily made survive the dark days of war? And what happens when Marie is one of those twelve women that disappear without a trace, never to be seen again…

And then Grace finds the suitcase full of photos of women and she can’t help but wonder what happened to them. The paths of these three women will indirectly cross over, leaving us, readers, with an amazing story to follow.

The writing is incredible and it transports you right in the 1940’s. Feelings and emotions are overflowing. I am not completely sure how I felt with the ending, as it ended too predictable for my taste, with a lot of unrealistic scenes and no character development, really.

But even despite all that, it warmed my heart and made me rethink my life decisions. The Lost Girls of Paris is a book about women who are brave and loyal. Women who are not afraid to stand up and fight. Women who have everything to lose and nothing to regret. A tale of pure emotion.

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

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Book Review, Books

Chat Love by Justine Faeth [BOOK REVIEW]

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I wanted to read this book immediately after reading the synopsis, and I was honoured when the author, Justine Faeth, approached me and sent me an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.

The book synopsis is a very promising one. Lucia is having trouble finding a man. After a few disastrous dates, she chooses to follow her friend’s advice and tries Chat Love, an online dating service. As promising as the synopsis sounds, this book didn’t quite deliver. With Chat Love, I found the whole setting of the book unrealistic. There is a nice background story and a great idea, but it hasn’t been properly executed.

Lucia is an Italian lady. She is a city girl and a business woman. She is searching for love. See, Lucia is under pressure by her Italian family to get married. And I can completely understand that pressure, being born in a country where I have met people with similar beliefs. Lucia’s family thinks that a woman is made to be a mother, and not have a career. They think that if you are thirty and you haven’t got a boyfriend yet, you are useless and unworthy.

And I completely agree with Lucia when she tries to stand up to them and tell them how it’s important for her to find a man she will really love, not just marry in order to please her family. In some scenes though, it appears as if she hates her family, and has very bad attitude towards them. I understand completely where her frustration comes from. 

But then, on the other hand, we have a Lucia that is being a hypocrite.

And while this whole book seems like she is searching for her true love, when someone appears and cares about her, she is acting as if she’s not interested. Woman, WHAT DO YOU WANT? She wants true love, and she doesn’t want to be used as a one-night stand, which is completely acceptable. But going on a date with a man for the first time, and telling him you want to get serious is creepy. Even if that is your long-term goal, you DO NOT say it on the first date. It scares people away. It makes people think you are a creep.

Also, given the fact that the synopsis promises an online app, this left me disappointed. During this book, we don’t get to really see a single chat happen through this app. Apart from a few letters from Jake. Honestly, I expected a back and forth conversations with men before a date happens. In the book, we get to see Lucia dating a lot of men. I didn’t stop to count them, but there must’ve been around twenty dates. And all these men had something wrong with them. But she never screwed up.

I will be honest with you now, and you people need to be honest with yourselves. In your life, you will meet people, and some people will make you giggle. Others might make you gag. But sometimes, the reason for a bad date is you. I am only trying to be honest here. I have screwed up a few dates myself, and you must have done the same thing too. That’s life though. We have to move on and try not to blame others for our mistakes. I wish this been represented in this book.

I really wish I loved this book.

I have mixed feelings, because despite all, this book did make me think and bring up discussions with people around the various topics, from family beliefs, to being creepy on first dates, to finding out what you really like. In a summary, as much as I didn’t enjoy it, I also am grateful for this book, for bringing out a lot of things to think about.

If you love chick-lit and short romance funny novels, you might enjoy it. If you think any of this discussion points is intriguing, you might enjoy it. I would love to have a chat and see what you think of this book.

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