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!

My Name is Anna is being published on 10th January, but you can pre-order your copy today on the links below:

Amazon 
Penguin House UK
Waterstones

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.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Advertisements

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…

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

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?

 

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

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.

Get a copy of DELUSIONS here: 

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

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

LifeShift by Michael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

book review blog diary of difference books

★★★★

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.

Get your copy now:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

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.

Click to buy a copy

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

The Dead Sagas: Volume I, Part I – Lee Conley [BOOK REVIEW]

The Dead Sagas: Volume I, Part I by Lee Conley is a dark fantasy novel, a horror saga unlike any other. This is not a book for the weak. This is the book for the bravest, the ones who dare to read it, and the ones who can handle to continue living with what they now know.

Book description:

In a land called Arnar, where brave warriors fight for glory, a great evil comes alive.

The secrets of which the scholars were writing about in the past years, the scary stories that were being told in families throughout the generations are becoming true.

Creatures we thought were dead are now walking through the streets, spreading their disease, killing innocent people, and are about to take over Arnar.

The brave warriors are prepared to die defending their lands, but how can you fight creatures that barely feel pain? Are the warriors strong enough?

 

the dead sagas lee conley book review blog

 

My Thoughts:

A story that will leave you breathless until the very end, a story that will push you into anxiety and make you bite your nails. A story that speaks about evil, and good, love, bravery and survival, a book that will sit on your shelf after reading it, and you’ll give it a look once in a while, and say: Ahh.. that was good!

In The Dead Sagas we have the chance to follow the stories of many characters. We will meet scholars and apprentices, we meet warriors and lords, we meet people from the street, doing everything they can to survive, we meet survivors that have seen things and we will meet sailors that are dying.

From chapter to chapter, the story goes from one character to another, and we slowly see the progression of the evil creatures, the spreading pace by pace. While it starts with sailors getting sick and dying afterwards on a ship, it slowly continues to become more and more intense, as we see people literally transforming into dead walkers right after they die, right in front of our eyes.

You will meet Bjorn, who escaped a tribe that cooks and eats people, you will meet Arnulf, who sees unimaginable things will being a lord of the watch. You will see him go through the greatest pain in life, you will see him afraid and brave, you will see him fighting, even though he wants to go and cry in the corner and die.

You will meet a girl that sells her body, so she can buy food for her and her little brother. You will meet a woman warrior, and learn about her amazing and brave story, you will watch how people see their loved ones die right in front of their eyes, and sometimes, they even have to be the ones to kill them in order to survive.

Even though we learn so much about the characters and their stories, it was hard for me to really connect with any of them, as the chapters moved fast from one character to another. This is probably the reason to why I also found the beginning quite slow. It took me around 90 pages, to start realising what is happening.  

There will be a lot of violence in this book, a lot of swearing, and scenes that might upset or offend you. This book is not for the weak ones, that is for sure. And while for some of you this might put you off this book, I do have to say that if the book didn’t have a strong language and violent scenes like it does, it wouldn’t have been the same.

The biggest ‘’flaw’’ I had was the ending. I won’t say anything spoiler-ish , as I don’t want to ruin the book for you, but let’s just say that I didn’t expect it to end the way it did.

Even though this is a story about the dead people walking around and killing everything in front of them, this is actually a book about the survivors, the ones that managed to retell this story – the ones that lost anything and everything to be where they are now. This is for the lives of the brave souls, the mighty warriors, that were noble and tried to protect their lands.

A massive thanks to the author, Lee Conley, who managed to find me in the deep waters of Twitter, and who agreed to send me a paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.   

The One And Only – Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

When bio-terrorism threatens to obscure humanity, one woman has the power to restore hope.

Ruby Spencer is a wife and a mother. She also happens to be the only person that could save the people on Earth from dying! In moments when she is planning to resign from the U.S. Special Warfare Council, Ruby and her husband Clay are sent to one last mission.

With the last assignment being a low-risk mission to Taiwan where they need to analyze the zombie infection and consult with scientists, it seems like they are about to go on a long-deserved mini honeymoon.

But everything goes wrong! They get kidnapped, the biggest world powers all plan a war ahead, and it seems that only the ones that have Ruby are likely to win the war. They all fight over her, and she has no clue why. What makes her so special?

Review:

First of all, I have to thank the author, Julia Ash, for sending over this amazing book to me, in exchange for an honest review!  

The beginning of The One and Only is extremely breathtaking! I believe that the beginning might be the best part of the book, actually! The flow of the story is well-thought, and I especially loved the scenes where the author refers to the past, and made me feel like there was another book before that. It is quite easy to catch up with the beginning and the brief details of the past, but if in the future there is a prequel that explains it all – I would love to be the first one to know about it!

Now, the characters are probably the reason that made the book the way it is! We have Ruby, who is our heroine, a brave lady, ready to give all the love, courage and wisdom in the world. She is a mother, a wife, and a brave fighter that never gives up and is never afraid to stand up against evil.

On the other hand, we have her husband – Clay. He was… alright. I suppose? His love for Ruby and their daughter is incredible, but somehow, I could think of him as a manly enough figure in their relationship. He was smart and brave, but not as smart and brave as Ruby.

I couldn’t somehow connect with him.

The character that intrigued me the most is Ox. I loved how Julia has shown us the psychological profile of this man, and the way he thinks. It was lovely reading about his part of his story, and even though he was on the wrong side, it is what he believes in. And the way it is written in so extraordinary, that at times I could see myself giving him an excuse.

The only part that I couldn’t agree with, and I am refusing to accept is – THE ENDING! I will withdraw myself from spoilers, but that’s not how things should have ended! That is not the ending I wanted, that is not the ending I was hoping for. No, no, no. It made me upset, and angry, and I wanted to break something very bad! That was a huge disappointment for me and it changed my whole perception of the story and the book itself.

If you ever get the chance to read this book – you should expect a lot of twists, a lot of ups and downs, and if you are like me and are trying hard to not bite your nails – well, you’re about to fail. This is not your typical book about zombie apocalypse. This is not your usual book about a heroine being kidnapped. This is not your usual book of how a person saves the world. This will be nothing like you expected, and everything you hoped for.

                        | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest |

Quarry’s Climax – Max Allan Collins [BOOK REVIEW]

quarry's climax - max allan collins - book review - diary of difference - reader blog - seo - digital marketing

Quarry’s Climax is the 14th book of the Quarry series, and even though I only had the chance to read this one, the rest of the books are certainly something that I have put on my TBR list!

The plot is simple – until, of course, it gets complicated:

Quarry is a Hitman – he kills people for pleasure, I mean, money! He works for this guy ‘’the Broker’’ and his new mission is to protect a chairman of an underrated Porn magazine and strip club – The Climax. When this task might seem easy, suddenly everyone hides something and everyone has secrets. And then our man Quarry – who usually goes on the spot and just kills whoever he needs to, now has to play the role of a detective, find out what the hell is going on in this rat hole, and eliminate any danger.

Now – first things first – I am not usually a person that reads these types of books – Pulp fiction, hardboiled fiction, entangled harsh noir stories, but this book pleasantly surprised me with its light reading experience and admirable description of the characters.

Quarry – now that’s one interesting character! Quarry is what happens when you mix a Cowboy personality, with a bit of witty humour, no respect for ladies and egotistical appearance. I happened to actually kind of like this guy!

Though the part I didn’t like it how he treats women and talks about them as they are a piece of meat with no brain whatsoever. I am not a feminist, but I mean – you couldn’t have tried harder, I guess. He would just go to a scene, let us know how irrelevant and thick this lady is, he would sleep with her, never call her again, and then continue with his life as nothing happened. Wonderful, isn’t it?

This is one of a kind book for me, and even though I wouldn’t put it on my favorites pile, it has a special place in my heart. I greatly enjoyed it, and it made me smirk at times. I will definitely explore this genre in the future, and I am sure that Quarry’s Climax was a great beginning for me on that.

I received this book by winning a Goodreads Giveaway from Max Allan Collins and Hard Case Crime.

The Canadian Alternative: Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels – Dominick Grace (Editor), Eric Hoffman (Editor) – [REVIEW]

Thank you to the author for sending me this book for an honest review through Netgalley.

I started read this book with no knowledge about the background of comics, especially for Canada. I have always loved comics, but never really read anything that speaks behind the scenes of how it started, what is the philosophy behind it.

I expected this book to teach me a lot of new things, and help me see the world in a different point of view, and I wasn’t disappointing at all. This is not a book that will deprive you from your sleep at night – in fact, it is one of those books where you read to learn, and it might seem boring at times, but that is only because it is full with information at all times. Wonderful read.

 

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest |