Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek [BLOG TOUR]

the high moments sara-ella ozbek blog tour fashion simon  & schuster blog diary of difference

★★★★

I am very excited to be part of the Instagram Tour for The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek. Thank you to Kaleidoscopic Book Tours for this amazing opportunity, and for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The High Moments is a book about Scarlett.

She’s not perfect and she has a very tricky relationship with her mother. All she wants is to be successful and for people to like her. 

She is one of those people that make goals on New Year’s Eve, and then reflect back one year later, just to realise that nothing has changed. But one day, she does decide it’s time for a change. So she moves to London. She doesn’t have a particular plan, but she does want to be a designer. 

She ends up getting a job at a modeling agency with a very low salary. But the fashion industry is the worst place you can go to, if you are willing to change yourself, just to appeal to others. 

Which is something Scarlett, obviously, does. 

She makes friends that aren’t that real. She hands out with the wrong crowd. And she sleeps with men she shouldn’t. She takes drugs. She consumes alcohol. Way more than she is supposed to. But at least people start to recognise her. They invite her to parties she could only have dreamed of. Surely that can’t be all that bad? Well – it is. 

And she doesn’t really learn from it, until it’s way too late. 

This book was compared to The Devil Wears Prada, and I don’t agree with that comparison. The Devil Wears Prada is a gem, and the first of its kind, so it shouldn’t be a very easy story to compare. Just because this book follows a woman that works in a very fast paced fashion industry it doesn’t mean comparisons should be thrown left right and center. 

Additionally, Scarlett is a very insecure person. And despite her goal in design, she doesn’t show a lot of determination. She seemed to care way more about her parties, than to be good at her job and get promoted in her career. But I think that her immaturity comes with her age, and the story was captured in a time when she still needed to experience everything and grow. Which she does, at the very end of the book, even though it’s a slow start. 

Aside from this, I really enjoyed the book, and it only took me one day to finish it. I was very invested and entertained, and I have only praise for that. The scenes were very realistic and the characters were very real. The plot was predictable, but I expected that. Every time Scarlett would make a bad decision, I knew it would come back to bite her. And I also knew she would learn to grow from all the mistakes she made – which she does. And that pleases me. 

“Everyone always wonders how good people can do terrible things, but bad behaviour is the easiest thing in the world, really. You just don’t think about it.”

If you love fast-paced books, filled with humour and fashion, I promise you will enjoy The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbek. It will lift your spirits and make you giggle. And on top of that, it will make you discuss Scarlett’s choices in life with your best friend. What more do you want in a book? 🙂

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh [BLOG TOUR]

★★★★

Thank you to Mills & Boon, for sending me a copy of Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh, and for the opportunity to participate on this blog tour. 

Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh is the second book in the Union of the Rakes series. It can be easily read as a standalone though.

Synopsis:

This is the story of Jessica McGale. Her family business is in need of investors, after it collapses due to a fire. Jessica is determined to acquire investors for her business at any cost. When she realises that London’s elite will never give a chance to a humble farm girl like herself, she does the unthinkable. She poses as “Lady Whitfield” and joins the elite on the table. She especially tries to get close to the Duke of Rotherby, as his influence and support could save her company. But one thing Jess never expected to happen, is to grow feelings for him. 

Noel is the carefree and notorious duke, but only his close friends truly know him. When he meets Lady Whitfield at the business bazaar, his world shifts. She makes him want to obey every command she tells, which is something he never imagined doing. He struggles to trust people, but trusting Jess is so easy. 

But what happens when the business bazaar is over, and so is the fake portrayal of Lady Whitfield? How do you cope when someone has lied to you, but you want them in your life forever? Read this amazing book to find out! 

My Thoughts:

I was so hooked about this book, and I finished it in two days. While the plot is a bit predictable and it has a Cinderella vibe to it, I still enjoyed it a lot. 

I could completely understand where Jess was coming from, and in order to save her business, I don’t think there were any other options, given how much rejection she faced in the first chapters. But as soon as she started developing feelings, she should’ve been honest with Noel. The person in me felt uncomfortable for her every single time she would deliberately put herself in an awkward situation and not tell the truth when she had a chance to. And the business trip to the farm? Oh, that got me biting my nails again. I also understand that continuing with the deception was a crucial part of the plot, to produce the drama that it did, but I am just not a fan of dishonesty. 

Noel was an amazing character, even though, at times, he seemed like the typical rich boy.

I loved the way his relationship with Jess progressed during the couple of days, and how he started opening up. Honestly, I didn’t believe it at first, given that it was based on a lie. I thought that given the fact how much trust issues he had, he could never get past her betrayal. And for me, his way of coping and resolving the issue didn’t fit with his character. I have the feeling that people who are lucky enough to have a high income and live in the elite societies are much more wary of “gold diggers”, and everything Jess does (even though for a good reason), seems to be for her business. So I wouldn’t have blamed him if he reacted in a way more different way and just told her to “bugger off”.

Overall, I enjoyed Would I Lie to the Duke and it was a very pleasurable short read to get me away from reality. I don’t always dive into historical romance, and this was a surprising change that ended on a positive note. Honestly, I am glad that it sparks a debate in my mind and makes me think of “what I would have done” on either side of the relationship. I would have acted very differently. And maybe that’s the reason I’m not married to a duke (yet). 😀 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Book Review · Books

Teddy Bear Tea by Ellwyn Autumn [BOOK REVIEW]

Teddy Bear Tea by Ellwyn Autumn Book Review children's book

Teddy Bear Tea by Ellwyn Autumn is a children’s book that follows a few friends that meet for tea at promptly three. It is interesting and captivating, and I really loved it! 

Teddy bears are usually the favorite companions children have, and this book reminded me of my own teddy bear. The storyline flows very fast and the rhymes are cute. Suddenly, you are in this amazing forest, having tea with the teddy bear and its friends. There is laughter and fun, and there is happiness and joy.

“Deer, chipmunks, and snakes,
With berries, tarts, and cakes,
Came together beneath a tree,
With Teddy, Rabbit, and me,
For tea at promptly three.
It was a grand sight to see!”

The illustrations are adorable and reminded me of the old-school children books that I used to have when I was little. They are very vivid with bright colours, and I know that children will love watching them and identifying the teddy bear and its friends. 

Something I really enjoyed as well was the font that was used in the book. It was captivating and it looked really nice. I also loved the decoration it has on the first capital letter of each page.

I definitely recommend it that you read this with your children and let them explore the images. Teddy Bear Tea is the perfect book to leave a positive feeling, right before bed time.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

Book Review · Books

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman [BOOK REVIEW]

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman [BOOK REVIEW] Viking Penguin Random House instagram tour blog blogging mystery

I am so happy I am able to be part of the instagram tour for The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Thank you to the amazing team at Penguin Random House and Viking, for sending me an ARC copy of this book.

Synopsis:

We follow Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim, who all meet up on Thursdays and solve mysteries. But when a murder happens in their environment, they cannot stay idle. Having their own tricks up their sleeves, they uncover evidence and keep getting closer to solving the mystery. But one mystery leads to another, and another, and before they know it, they are tangled in a mystery where everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted. 

My Thoughts:

Their personalities, especially the ability to be brutally honest and not care what they say or do is what kept me giggling throughout. Their resilience and perseverance, and the ability to trick people as well as be a nuisance was so refreshing to read, because it was so real, and I have seen it before. 

I used to work in a care home with people that were suffering from dementia, and I am glad that there is a book like this one, that realistically describes how the elderly spend their free time and how mischievous they can be. 

Sometimes they help the police, and sometimes they hide things and manipulate so much that I just couldn’t believe the audacity (which was funny on its own). But I think what I loved the most was how much fun they have while they are doing what they want to do – solve mysteries. And they are very good at it! 

“In life, you have to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you.”

As a foreigner, I thought I wouldn’t understand the British humor.

But I suppose living with a British partner and working in the UK does help a lot. Damn, I’ve been here too long 😀 Although, there was one part that I did not get, and my partner had to assist me with. 

I didn’t understand the meaning of “What forty-six kilos was in real money”. And when explained, let me tell you, I was not impressed. 😀

“People without a sense of humour will never forgive you for being funny.”

On the subject of mystery, because in the end, this is a mystery novel, it does deliver. There are multiple mysteries, shall I say multi-layered, and some of the mysteries did keep me wondering until the end. Some of them, I did guess quite early in the book. I kept thinking that all the mysteries would somehow end up connected, and they do, but not in the way I expect – that’s all I will say, without revealing too much.

I loved the The Thursday Murder Club.

It made me giggle, it made me wonder and try to solve the multi-layer mystery, it made me sad and surprised. It got all the emotions out of me, and I loved it! I would definitely recommend this book! 

“Tony is not a believer in luck, he’s a believer in hard work. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |

 

Book Review · Books

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [BOOK REVIEW]

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern book review blog blogging books reading goodreads magic illusion romance

I don’t even know how to start my book review for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It was too magical, that I feel like everything I write will not do this book justice. To me, it felt like I was a part of one big secret. And in this book, Widget has something to say about secrets:

“Secrets have power,” Widget begins. “And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it’s really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours.”

Therefore, I feel like everything I might say will make this magical book a little less magical than it already is. I feel like this is an experience that you need to read for yourself, get acquainted with this Circus, with its characters, and feel like a part of it. 

Two people, brought up in different circumstances, have been getting ready for the challenge all their lives. They can’t avoid it, they are bonded to it. Their task is to be better than the other person, be a better magician, be a better illusionist. Their destiny is magical and dangerous, and the circus is their arena. 

“You need to understand your limitations so you can overcome them.”

The circus is a beautiful place.

It is magical. It is everything you’ve ever wanted as a kid. The lights, the music, the mystery, the performers… Everything that happens in the circus has its own story. Many characters involved and their own adventures mix, get tangled and interfere with the two competitor’s destiny. I loved the descriptions of the different tents, the ice garden, the labyrinth, the cloud maze, the tent with the bottles…

“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”

The writing in The Night Circus is beautiful. It is slow-paced and very imaginative. Slowly, it takes you to a place where people perform illusions, read tarot and foresee the destiny, tell stories, build magical clocks. If you’ve ever been to a circus, you will feel like you are there again. If you haven’t experienced that before, this book will give you the best possible introduction. A story of magic, love, destiny and storytelling like you’ve never seen before and you’re unlikely to see soon. It’s no wonder this book receives such hype. 

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
                                                      – Oscar Wilde, 1888

The Night Circus is a favourite. The ultimate favorite. Today, tomorrow, and probably until the rest of my life. For all the characters inside it that mattered. For the happy ever afters. But most importantly, for the storytellers. For my grandma, for Widget and for Erin. And for the other storytellers like them – because without them, we wouldn’t be able to truly find magic.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

Social Media:
| WishlistKo-fi | FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest |