Book Review · Books

My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber [BOOK REVIEW]

my name is anna - lizzy barber books books review blog diary of difference diaryofdifference

★★★★★

Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.
How far will they go to lay the past to rest?

My name is Anna is one of those books that captures your attention from the moment you look at its cover. Then, it drags you into a story, makes you bite your nails throughout, lifts you up in the air with the amazing writing and than smashes you back into the ground with the incredible twist at the end. Exactly what you want and need from a thriller.

The story is being told by two girls:

  • Anna, a girl raised with a religious mother, where everything is forbidden and everything is a sin. And when on her 18th Birthday, Anna decides to disobey her mum and go to a theme park, she feels like she has been here before. And then random events lead to her realising that she was taken away when she was a little girl. And her real name is not Anna at all…

  • Rosie, a girl whose big sister has been missing for fifteen years. And when the media is ready to let the story go after the fifteen years anniversary, Rosie is determined to do whatever it takes to discover the truth of what actually happened on that day at the theme park.

The first thing I noticed in this book, that makes it different than all the stories about the kidnapping is – that the plot is being revealed in the first chapters. I was not expecting to immediately know that Anna and Rosie are sisters and Anna was kidnapped as a girl, but this was stated in the first chapters in the book. I personally thought that this would be the big twist, but the twist came to be so much better than that.

I loved how you could relate to both girls, for different reasons, and how even though they were sisters, how one little moment changed their lives completely. How Anna was raised with different beliefs than Rosie, and how they grew up to be so different, but the same…

This was a great story that give you thoughts about ‘’what could’ve been…’’ and it makes you wonder – if certain things didn’t happen, would our lives be the same?

The end for me, was particularly meaningful. The last moments, the realisation, the conclusion, the story that ended, or the one that never begun, all the things we could’ve been, but are not, and all the things that we wish we could have changed, but we can’t.

If you, like me, are into kidnapping stories, amazing twists and thriller stories that take your breath away, this will definitely be the perfect book for you. This will be a hit at the beginning of 2019, and it will hit the top shelves. I know it hits my favourite shelf – for sure!

A huge thanks to Penguin Random House UK, for providing me with a hardback copy, in exchange for an honest review of this book. The opinions in this review are entirely my own, and completely unbiased.

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Book Review · Books

The Plus One – Sophia Money-Coutts

the plus one sophia Money-COutts Netgalley ARC Book review books blog diary of difference

I love romance, and chick-literature. I love fast reads, and enjoyable nonsense. The cover looked so cute, and when I got approved the ARC on The Plus One from Sophia Money-Coutts on Netgalley, I was excited to read it. And then, it all started going downhill…

The Plus One is a book about Polly Spencer. She is thirty, single and works for Posh! Magazine. I didn’t like the Poly Spencer of now, and I thought, this might be a book where the main character is a lady with no self-respect, gets dumped, doesn’t have any ambition in life, and that’s okay. People learn, people change, or if people don’t change, they start to be happy in their own world, without bothering what others think about it.

But Polly – she is all of these things, and on top of that she is not a happy bunny. She keeps complaining about things without trying to act on it, and her day consists of her checking if the phone has a message of her ‘crush’, and asking herself eighty-six times whether to send a message first or not.

the plus one sophia Money-COutts Netgalley ARC Book review books blog diary of difference

I usually love these types of books, but not in cases where the character is just so… I don’t even have the words to explain.

And the book is full of words used too often (Shenanigans is such a lovely word, and Sophia destroyed it for me), lame pick up lines (‘I carry farm animals. I can manage you.’ – WHO SAYS THAT?), dialogues and useless waste of pages with people deciding what to eat:

‘So let’s get some onion bhajis to start. And then I’m going to have a butter chicken. And it comes with popadoms, right?’

‘Yes’ – I said, taking the menu from him.

‘And I’ll get the chicken jalfrezi. And plain rice. Mums, do we have any chutney?’

And it goes on…

At 42%, I decided to store this is my DNF stack. I really wish I had loved it, and I am so sad I didn’t.

But life is too short to read the books you don’t like…

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Postcards · postcrossing · Random posts · RandomActsofCards · Received Postcards · reddit

Postcard Haul #2

postcard haul blog diary of difference

Hello my wonderful people!

I haven’t posted a Postcard Haul in a while, so I have a lot to cover! I have received 11 amazing postcards, all of them so lovely and beautiful, and from so many different countries as well.

To all of you that have sent me postcards that are in this post, thank you very much! You are all amazing people, and I am in love with every single postcard I have received!

Are you ready? Here we go!

Postcard haul pt 1

  • The Butterfly and the Squirrel postcards are from Rift from Goodreads, for the Goodreads June and July Monthly Postcard Swap!
  • The lovely colourful card is from /u/TurdQueen – Allison from RAOC on Reddit!
  • The lady that plays the instrument postcard is from India, from /u/scoobyishere, again from RAOC on Reddit.

Postcard haul pt 2

  • Popular English Art by Noel Carrington and Clarke Hutton comes from UK, from a group called JBUK, on the mobile app Litsy. I have met some amazing people there, and Helen is one of them!
  • The amazing deer postcard came from India. I won this postcard from a Facebook Lottery.
  • The Dante card comes from… You guessed it, Italy! This one is from Postcrossing.
  • The last card on this picture comes from Berlin, Germany, from Christian. I am so lucky to be able to understand when people would write to me in foreign languages. I love that feeling!

Postcard haul pt 3

  • Postcrossing postcard coming from Belarus. Thank you Irina!
  • This amazing San Francisco comes from Reddit, RAOC. Thank you to /u/DaenerysWon from USA
  • Cute cat postcard from Russia. Thank you Nataliya!

 

Now, a question for all of you:

When was the last time you have sent a postcard?

 

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Book Review · Books

Delusions – Amy Crandall [BOOK REVIEW]

Book Review - Title

★★★★

A must-have for all the lovers of psychological thrillers and mysteries – this is a book that will show you a twisted side of a human being so well, that you will not know what happened once you reach the end! A masterpiece of a thriller – a delight for all the murder solvers out there! 

Synopsis: 

A deadly game is being played. The question is . . . who will survive?

  ***

As she waits to give her statement in one of the interrogation rooms of Arcata Police Department, Abigale recites the same line over and over inside her head.

I did not kill anyone.

I did not kill anyone.

But there’s a trail of bodies, and it leads straight to her. The events that brought her to this very moment all point to one thing . . . her guilt.

She must convince Detective Collins of her innocence, but how can she explain her ties to the victims, and the evidence that has her name written all over it?

Then there’s the mysterious Facebook profile, DarkHeart434.

Who is DarkHeart434? And why does it seem like this person has all the answers, including the identity of the real murderer?

As pieces of the puzzle start to come together, everything about Abigale’s life begins to unravel–her past, her present . . . and even her self-proclaimed innocence.

Delusions - Amy Crandall - book review - books blog diary of difference - mystery - thriller - murder

”She remembered now. The deaths. They weren’t just delusions planted in her mind by others. They were real.”

This book starts in an interrogation room, where two detectives are questioning Abigale about the murders that happened – and she is the main suspect. As the interrogation happens in the present, we follow the story in the past from Abigale’s point of view, from the moment she moves into the new town.

The story and plot are so well set, and the past and present are so well connected that give you clues step by step, until you reach the grand ending, and nothing is as you expected. Even though I realised what is happening around the middle of the book, I still had to keep reading to find out whether it was true in the end.

This is, for certain, the best ending of a mystery book I have read so far!

The characters – some of them – are so twisted, and so psychologically unstable and scary, that it makes you wonder. Such possessiveness and anger, and twisted mind – Amy managed to perfectly such a rare condition. ( I am trying so hard here to stay away from all the spoilers.)

”Abigale wasn’t the outgoing type. She’d rather sit in her room with her nose buried in a book than socialise with anyone outside her inner circle of friends, which was small to begin with.”

I wish I could connect with Abigale’s character – but I just couldn’t. That was the only flaw I had with this book. I didn’t care enough for her, and for what was happening to her. The side characters were amazingly portrayed though – I enjoyed reading about Julia and Mike, and Damien – what an interesting character!

”There was something about him that made her feel alive and ready for anything, but there was another part that screamed danger. She wasn’t sure she liked either half.”

The ending, as I already mentioned, was the best one I have read – it was so unexpected and so amazing – I can’t explain that feeling of satisfaction when all the little pieces from the puzzle throughout the book finally come together – spectacular!

If you love mystery, psychological thrillers and good book that keeps you on your toes all the time – this is the book for you. I highly recommend it!

Thank you to the author, Amy Crandall, for sending me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

And don’t forget – follow me on Instagram to get daily updates on what I am currently reading – @diaryofdifference

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Book Review · Books

LifeShift by Michael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

Things can change in a moment. All it takes it that tiny second that can turn our lives upside down. This happened to Alex. See, one day, he is just this unpopular boy that goes to school, and works to earn a little something for himself. Then, in one little moment, he is about to be hit by a train. Only – a miracle happens and he remains alive. But something changed. No, EVERYTHING changed. A new girl comes to school the next morning and tells him he is an Eternal, just like her, a person that lives many lives and keeps getting reborn. He is also supposed to remember his past lives once he turns 18. And not only that, but he also needs to go on a mission to find another Eternal, that would lead them to Zeus.

Bonus: This book is filled with Greek Mythology characters, but they are not the Greek Gods as we know them – they are all Eternals and have a special new fictional story.

I know some of you guys messaged me that the synopsis of the book looked so complicated, and it put you off. The story is actually quite interesting and easy to understand, once you start reading it. So go on, and put this on your TBRs!

lifeshift - michael kott book review books blog diary of difference

The story and the plot itself are so unique – I haven’t read anything like this before. Michael managed to recreate a whole new world, and new type of creatures – Eternals. I loved the idea of the Eternals – people that have many lives and remember their previous lives. They can even choose where they want to get born next, and how to look. I also loved the superpowers they have – communicating through thoughts and dreams, healing, reading the past of a person by touching their hand… However, in many places in the book this was described too fast and too wide – there would be 5 pages of an essay of only description. I would much prefer if we could explore the story and history through the characters more.

The characters were likable. All of them. I liked Alex – he was a typical American boy. Sometimes a bit oblivious to everything happening around him. I found it a bit upsetting how he couldn’t choose who he wanted to be with. But on the other side, I quite admired him for how he coped when his world just changed in an instant, and so many people he knew were not what he thought they were, and on top of that he had to choose who to trust and who not to, and he had to agree to go on a mission that risks his life, even though he still couldn’t remember if he was an Eternal, which meant that maybe he is not like them at all.

Circe was an interesting character too. Such an energetic person with a wild personality – she would be the one that brightens up a room as soon as she walks into it. She can also be very possessive of the people she loves. She quite reminds me of myself in my teenage years in everything she did – funny, reckless moments – all worth remembering. Even though I couldn’t find a favourite character, all the people we meet in the book were equally loved by me.

This is an amazing story – a fiction fantasy that gathered Greek Mythology characters and created something entirely new. I enjoyed it a lot and I can’t wait for the next book of the series to come out. This book opens up a great discussion about people that can be reborn and remember their past. My view on life is that once we die, our soul goes into another body that gets born in the exact same moment, and even though we don’t remember it, we always carry a piece of that inside our hearts. There are occasions though, where some people remember their past lives.

What are your thoughts about life after death? Would you maybe pick this book up?

A special thank you to the author, Michael Kott, who send me a copy of  ‘’LifeShift’’ in exchange for an honest review. All my thoughts are my own, and completely unbiased.

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