Book Review · Books

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin [BOOK REVIEW]

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin [BOOK REVIEW]

I remember loving Elsewhere when I read it as a teenager. And now, reading it again, I know why I always loved it so much. It’s sad, happy, but most importantly, real. 

About the book:

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin [BOOK REVIEW]

Pages: 271

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format I read it in: Paperback

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

“I’m just a girl who forgot to look both ways before she crossed the street.”

Liz is almost 16 and she dies in a hit-and-run accident. And this is where her story begins. Instead of going wherever it is that people go when they’re dead, she wakes up on a big boat that’s heading to a place called Elsewhere. It turns out that people go to Elsewhere when they die, they live there (if you can call it that), age backwards and then return to Earth as babies to be (quite literally) reborn. 

As we follow Liz around on the ship, she is having a very hard time understanding she is dead. She thinks this is all a dream and expects to be woken up anytime. 

“It can be particularly difficult for young people to realise they have passed. Young people tend to think they’re immortal. Many of them can’t conceive of themselves as dead.”

As the story goes on, Liz meets her grandma, Betty, who passed away before Liz was born. Due to how time is measured in Elsewhere, Betty now looks quite young. Young enough to be in a relationship with Liz’s friend. We’ll get into that in a minute.

Liz is supposed to now live her life and find an avocation.

An avocation is like a job on Earth, except you have to really enjoy doing it and can only do it if it makes you happy. So Liz becomes a counsellor for the Division of Domestic Animals, and her task is to welcome dogs on Elsewhere and explain everything to them when they arrive. I loved the idea that the dogs could talk with some people that can speak the dog language. Some of my favourite scenes are when the dogs are talking – the humour in them is priceless!

At the beginning, Liz is having a very hard time accepting this reality. She dies before she could truly live her life and she will never grow up, have children, buy a house, or grow old. Not on Earth and not in Elsewhere either. She’ll just age backwards from 16 to 0. She is very depressed and spends a lot of time at the Observation Desks, where she can watch people on Earth through binoculars. She even tries an illegal way to make contact and it massively backfires. 

“Many people on Earth spend their whole lives dead.”

But in all this grief, she meets a friend and things slowly start to get better for her. She starts to find joy in the years she has left and enjoys herself. This book has a powerful message about living in the moment and making the most of life with the cards you’ve been dealt. It’s a sad, but true story about life and death, grieving, depression, but also about friendships and love.

“People, you’ll find, aren’t usually all good or all bad. Sometimes they’re a little bit good and a whole lot bad. And sometimes, they’re mostly good with a dash of bad. And most of us, well, we fall in the middle somewhere.”

The ending is a bit sad, but at the same time satisfying. And it will definitely make you want to read the book backwards as soon as you have finished it. 

About The Author:

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin [BOOK REVIEW]

Gabrielle Zevin is an internationally best-selling and critically acclaimed author, whose books have been translated into thirty-eight languages.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry spent several months on the New York Times Best Seller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Best Seller List, was a USA Today Best Seller, and has been a best seller all around the world.

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Book Review · Books

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland [BOOK REVIEW]

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland [BOOK REVIEW]

I had the amazing opportunity to participate in another instagram readalong – this time reading House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland with some amazing bookstagrammers. Huge thank you to the team at Tandem as well as the publisher Hot Key Books or sending me a copy of the book to read and review!

About The Book:

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland [BOOK REVIEW]

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Pages: 352

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US


Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

My Thoughts:

I loved the mystery that surrounded the Hollow sisters and their disappearance. It gave me a Stranger Things vibe and the writing was beautiful!

I loved the relationship that the sisters had with each other and I also appreciated how complicated their relationship was with Cate. Once I finished the book, I was able to fully understand the reasoning behind it, and I loved how this was represented in the book. It must be so hard for Cate to have done what she was doing all her life, and I was really amazed by her character!

You can feel the suspense from the very first chapter.

It grips you and it doesn’t let go until the very end! Reading this book as part of a readalong was so hard. Imagine only having to read 50 pages a day, when you just want to devour the whole book in one evening. I am not sure where I acquired the patience I needed to be able to resist finishing this book early.

My favourite character was Iris.

I loved how she grew as a person throughout the book. So did Tyler, even though, let’s be honest – he wasn’t a very important character in the first place. I felt like his presence was unnecessary at times, and he seemed to have existed in the book to just assist with one thing around the end. A bit convenient in my opinion.

One of the favourite parts about this book is how I started reading it and I formed certain opinions about certain characters. And as I kept reading, these opinions changed so dramatically, but in such a natural way. By the end of the book, I felt like I was a completely different person as well.

I was left slightly unsatisfied with the ending, as it doesn’t quite end. I feel like there is still some room left for perhaps another book. If so, I’ll be the first in line to read it. But if not, I liked how it leaves us to determine what might be happening in the future, with a slight guidance on what the character’s plans are.

If you’re one of those people that love searching for clues and answers, you’ll have so much fun reading this! I went on a wild paranormal adventure entangled with myths, fashion and wild flowers. House of Hollow is certainly one of my favourite titles this year.



About The Author:

Krystal Sutherland is an internationally published author. Her first novel, Chemical Hearts, was published in over 20 countries and was named by the American Booksellers Association as one of the best debuts of 2016. The film adaptation, produced by Amazon Studios, stars Lili Reinhart (Riverdale) and Austin Abrams (Euphoria); Sutherland served as an executive producer on the project. Her second novel, A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, was published to critical acclaim in 2017 and has been optioned for adaptation by Yellow Bird US. In 2018, she appeared on the annual Forbes “30 Under 30” list. Originally from Australia, she has lived on four continents and currently calls London home. Her next novel for young adults, House of Hollow, is set for publication by Penguin in spring 2021.

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Book Review · Books

Awaken (Northern Witch #2) – K. S. Marsden [BOOK REVIEW]

awaken northern wiitch book 2 k.s. marsden book review diary of difference books goodreads netgalley series novel


Awaken is book 2 from the Northern Witch Series. Read my review for Winter Trials, book one in the series.

I have enjoyed reading the first book, and I was so eager to get to the second one. This is a story about a young boy Mark and his grandma, who is a witch. This is also a story about Damien, a new guy in town, in which Mark falls in love with.

The second book starts where the first book left off. Mark and Damien have feelings for each other, but Damien is a danger to himself and others, and grandma will try to fix this with her power.

The book is a short and fast read. It is fast-paced, and I kept spinning the pages intensely. It brings you the feelings of home, and winter times, and family moments, and high-school memories. It has all the good vibes put together neatly.

The high-school romance was an addition to the book, and it was a pleasure to read. I enjoyed it a lot, even though we didn’t see as much romance in this book as we do in book one.

And then, there is the word ‘’Dunno.’’ A word that I don’t really mind, unless it’s used too often. And it bothered me, I will admit it.

But then, there was Nanna – a character full of light and power that pierces through. A character full of wittiness, giving life to each scene unlike any character can. A woman I so greatly admire, for her love and dedication to the family, and unconditional love and teaching towards her grandchild.

I read about magic, and high-school, more about high-school than magic. I wish there were more romance scenes, and was terrified when the book finished the way it did. I was afraid, and happy, and excited and sad, and not to forget, annoyed, but this book gave me all the right feels at times, and all the wrong ones too.

It has never been harder to judge a book in-between this space of annoyance and love, and I am struggling. But I love Nanna too much.

I would recommend you to read this (or the first book in the series, if you haven’t yet). If you enjoy LGBT high-school romance and witchcraft adventures, this one will be a pleasurable read for you.

Thank you to the author, K.S. Marsden, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Never Forgotten (Never Forgotten #1) by Kelly Risser [BOOK REVIEW]

book review blog diary of difference books


All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. – Anatole France

How can one day go so very wrong? One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for how she will spend the Summer before her senior year and the next she’s finding out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they are moving away from the only home she’s ever known.

Now she is in a new country, taking care of her mother, living with grandparents she never met, meeting new friends at school and a guy she really likes and having weird visions of a father who was absent her entire life. There is a secret of who Meara is, and everyone seems to know this except her.

Meara is determined to find out the secrets that will change her life forever.

never forgotten book review blog

The beginning of this book in unbelievably good! Amazing intro and perfect character development. I loved how you could feel with Meara all the time, and go through with her while she leans about her mum’s sickness and the movement to another country. It is very realistically described, and we manage to see this all through the eyes of a troubled teenager. And the descriptions of the scenes? Ahhh, just see for yourselves:

The room was a deep purple and accented with an eclectic blend of antiques and comfortable furnishings. It was the kind of room that made a person long to grab a book and cozy into the oversized couch for a several hours.

Thought, sometimes, there would be things that didn’t make sense to me:

The guy who delivered the pizza forgot plates and napkins. So, we just opened the box and dug in.

Which delivery place on Earth, for God’s sake, delivers plates and napkins? Is this an American thing? If I order pizza, I expect to dig into it with all my fingers, get really messy, and then lick them in the end. Just saying…

There were many twists and turns, mostly little ones in this first book, but the middle of the book gets really slow paced. For a moment, I thought this might be an unpleasant read, but it turned out to just be a calm before the storm, where the biggest twist happens right before the end, and it leaves us wanting more – therefore, the second book. Nicely done, Kelly Risser, nicely done!

Meara is an amazing girl, and we follow her story. She finds out her mum’s cancer is back again, and they have to move from USA to Canada. For a teenage girl, that is a huge change. I loved the way she coped with it, even though, at the beginning she made me quite agitated – her mum is dying, and her thought are – life is unfair, why do I have to move to another country, and change schools and lose my friends? It made me incredibly angry, but as much as I don’t want to admit it, those are the exact thoughts a teen would have in such moments. We don’t really tend to think about how our parents feel until we get older and wiser, do we?

I liked Meara, apart her irritating personality at times. She is a typical teenage girl, and many girls, me included, can relate to her so well! She is a good person, and she cares about the people around her.

I loved Evan – he is just the sweetest person / boyfriend a girl can have. I honestly wish I had a boyfriend like him when I was 13-years-old. He made sandwiches, and they watched a movie in the car because it was raining, and he would come to Meara’s house with flowers, and offer to help out with the chores? He is the cutest person ever.

He was about six foot tall with wavy, black hair that curled over his ears. Tanned skin, lean muscles, and strong hands that ended in long, graceful fingers.

But then, there is Kieran… I know he is the bad boy, but I might be able to ship him and Meara together – maybe? We’ll see… It’s an unpopular opinion, but I actually want to see them together. Even though Evan is just the sweetest thing, and it would be horrible if Meara broke his heart.

I really enjoyed this book – maybe I enjoyed it the most from all the other Young-Adult paranormal books I’ve read. It was a great first beginning to a series, and I can’t wait to dig in the rest of the series.

As a finale – I had to also include this quote from the book:

Humans are spiteful creatures. They destroy more than they create. That is why I do not associate with them.

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Book Review · Books

Inner Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #2) – Sarra Cannon [BOOK REVIEW]

book review blog diary of difference


I greatly enjoyed Inner Demons – the second book from the Shadow Demons series. To see my review of the first book – Beautiful Demons – please click HERE. My sister seems to have a good taste in books – I am very glad I started the Tea’s Wishlist challenge on Goodreads.

Inner Demons continues right where Beautiful Demons end. Harper has been chosen to join the cheerleading team, which means instant popularity and people noticing here. But that’s not all – when you are a member of the cheerleading squad, you not only learn routines, dances and cheers. You also learn how to do magic!

The cheerleading team is the training squad for the magic learne

rs that belong to the group of witches who are called the Order of Shadows. All these witches are powerful, and Harper has a special place in this team.

We get to see Harper discover a whole new world – a world that she didn’t really ask for. We are following her adventure in discovering how powerful she can be, but also how much pressure this role brings. Harper is awesome, by the way! And sometimes stupid. 

The battle between the What-Is-Expected-Of-Me and Who-I-Really-Am is constantly there, and even though Harper is initially a brave girl – sometimes she loses herself into this whole new world. She is such a real character, because she is brave and wants justice, she wants to find out all the secrets, but then she becomes a coward for little things and the next thing we know – she goes into a very dangerous adventure.

inner demons - shadow demons #2 - sarra cannon - book review

I loved all the characters, especially Harper and Jackson ( I am #TeamJackson). In this book, you will also get to know Jackson better and find out a little bit about his spooky past. The flow of the story is so well written and even though it didn’t have major plot twists like the first book – it managed to answer a lot of questions I had, while still managing to bring up even more unanswered questions.

In this book Harper will witness a ceremony of her friend that will change the track of the whole book. When she realises that there are so many secrets that everyone is hiding from her – she will decide it’s time for her to seek them herself.

A lovely paranormal fantasy – filled in with a lot of magic, a wonderful plot behind it, and a fearless female character, I would definitely recommend this book and series. And don’t thank me – thank my sister!

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