Book Review · Books

After (After #1) by Anna Todd [BOOK REVIEW]

After by Anna Todd [BOOK REVIEW]

After by Anna Todd is the perfect teenage romance book.

★★★★

I know I’m late to the After party. But hey, better late than never! I started After by Anna Todd in the evening, then stayed up all night because I had to finish it. And then, I begged my teen sister for the second book. She kindly agreed to give the book to me. I hope she doesn’t change her mind just to torture me. We’ll have to see how this unravels. 

Synopsis:

Tessa is just starting college, and she’s got everything planned. In one year, her boyfriend Noah will join her as well. But then she meets her wild roommate Steph as well as the incredibly rude guy with a British accent, Hardin. And everything changes!

My Thoughts:

Tessa is a good girl and she doesn’t do parties and short dresses. And she goes to a party with Steph and something changes. She can’t look away. Harding is doing something to her and she can barely resist. But she has a boyfriend. And also, everything she has a good moment with Hardin, two bad ones follow. Hardin is toxic, and Tessa hurts him in return as well. Also, their communication has to improve. Not the mention how the whole boyfriend situation was handled. 

Honestly, I thought my opinions would be conflicting. But they’re not. I really enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to the second one. Also, I know Hardin is based on Harry Styles, but while I was reading the book, he didn’t once cross my mind. I also often have fantasies about celebrities, I just don’t happen to write them. Honestly, it’s not a big deal. 

My only worry was that teens might see Hardin’s toxic side and think that’s how a girl should be treated. But that would mean underestimating the girls out there. Even in the book, Tessa was aware Hardin’s behaviour was not okay, which is why she reacted the way she did. The facts she would return only meant that she had feelings for him. Their relationship has more issues than good parts, but in all honesty, when I think about my high school days, it was that way for me too. I didn’t handle things well. Sometimes I didn’t communicate well. I trusted people I shouldn’t have trusted. And that’s the beauty of this book. 

After by Anna Todd is the perfect teenage book.

It reminded me of my days of high school and uni. Attending parties I shouldn’t have and trusting people that didn’t deserve my trust. Handling relationships badly and having terrible ability to communicate. And this book brought all the excitement back and more. Fond and not so fond memories that reminded me that I have lived at the fullest. 

In the next book, I do hope that their relationship improves. I hope Hardin grows up and Tessa communicates to him, instead of hurting him back. Also, I hope Tessa fixes her relationship with her mother as well, even though her mother needs to work on her own biases as well. I also hope that the dramas continue as well – I really love them. 

After by Anna Todd was a very refreshing read for me, because I don’t usually read teen romance anymore. I really hope I read it sooner, and I think I should get back to this genre as well. It kept me intrigued and hooked all the way through, and I certainly recommend it. 

P.S. If you want a good boy Hardin, watch the movie instead of reading the book. But don’t expect too much. It could’ve used a more “”bad boy” looking actor as well. Sorry, Hero, it’s nothing personal. You’re just not the Hardin I imagined. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
| Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★★★

This year, I had the opportunity to re-read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It was a favorite of mine when I was in high-school, and I read it again to see whether I still enjoyed it. 

John Green’s writing is one that I can always come back to. It’s very easy to enter the world he builds, and I remember vividly how much I enjoyed Looking For Alaska as well.

Hazel is suffering from terminal cancer. And even though her tumor shrunk by some miracle and bought her a few years, Hazel knows not to be hopeful. She is lonely and depressed, and she feels like a burden to her family. She goes to Cancer Kid Support Group, quite frankly, just to make her mum happy. 

But then one day, a gorgeous Augustus Waters suddenly appears, and Hazel’s story is about to change. He is immediately intrigued by her, and he wants to get to know her. Before they know it, they spend all their days together and get closer to each other. 

And Augustus’s story is also not a fairytale. He has been battling cancer and won, and now he’s supporting his friend Isaac with his eye cancer too. Which is also how he ends up to the support group meeting. 

I loved their instant connection, and I loved their love.

Their bond was something special and for the short time they were together they manage to have so many adventures and learn so much about each other. And when the tragedy strikes, which I won’t mention, even though most of you probably know how it ends, it’s very sad. It’s devastating and heartbreaking. That part made me cry the first time I read it, it made me cry on my re-read and I am quite sure it will keep making me cry every time I read it. 

I loved Hazel and Augustus’s love for books, and the whole part about Hazel’s favourite book and their trip to Amsterdam. Not only because they do it, but because of how selfless Augustus is with his last wish, and his letters, to try and make this happen – just for her. You can see that the only thing he cares about is Hazel. And it’s such a beautiful thing to see.

But something I noticed, that many of you might disagree with, is that I wasn’t too fussed about their love this time. It was cute, but maybe because they were teenagers, it felt not as deep. I think that if they happened to stay together and marry, that after 10 years they wouldn’t be happy. There were little things in the book that made me feel like this. And I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I’ll just put it out there.

What I loved most about The Fault in Our Stars is how real this book is. Especially about the cancer part.

I have had the luck to not ever be ill myself or have any family close to me, but I have had friends and long distance relatives suffer from cancer, and I could feel the suffering and heartache it causes. Especially when a person you love so much doesn’t make it. And the process of treatment is such a hard battle, ongoing struggle and fighting the odds. It must be so hard to keep fighting and to stay positive. I can understand why some people feel like they just want to give up. Even Hazel does a few times, especially at the beginning of the book. The pressure you feel from the family as well, they want you to keep fighting, and you just can’t imagine another day of suffering, it must be devastating. And John Green explains this part so well – and it hurts my feelings every time.

The Fault in Our Stars is a one of a kind.

Still an all-time favourite, and I think it will always stay that way. Happy and sad story of two teens in love, trying to fight cancer against all odds and just be happy, when destiny has other plans. I definitely recommend it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Far From Perfect (The Valentines #2) by Holly Smale [BLOG TOUR]

Far From Perfect (The Valentines #2) by Holly Smale book tour harpercollins kaleidoscopic tours blog blogging books review

I am extremely happy and excited to be part of the blog tour for Far From Perfect by Holly SmaleThank you to the team at Harper Collins and LoveReading– for sending me a copy of the book.

Far From Perfect is the second book in the Valentines series. Read my review of the first book – Happy Girl Lucky.

Synopsis:

Being born in a family that is considered Hollywood royalty is not easy. When all her family is expecting perfection form her, Faith just wants to be normal. 

Instead, paparazzi follows her everywhere. She needs to rehearse everything she says and does. She needs to be herself – but, you know, someone else… at all times. 

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🎉 I am so excited to be part of the Blog Tour hosted by @kaleidoscopictours for this amazing book! 🌺 Far From Perfect by @holsmale is the second book in The Valentines series, published by @harpercollinsch 💖 I loved the first book in the series, Happy Girl Lucky. I am also a huge fan of the Geek Girl series that Holly has written. If you have a copy as well, join me in reading this book in the first week of August! 💖 🍾 Have a look at the other bookstagrammers participating in this tour as well – they will be tagged and some will be in the comments! 🍾 Share the love! 💖 📖 SYNOPSIS: 📖 Be yourself but, you know, someone else . . . Enthusiastic but not desperate; calm but not dull; funny but not try-hard; sparky but not crazy; feisty but not aggressive; beautiful but relatable; elegant but not icy; confident but not arrogant; feminine but not girly; nice but not boring. Faith Valentine has it all – fame, money and extraordinary beauty. But what she wants more than anything is a quiet life away from the cameras. Except nobody ever asks Faith what she wants, and her family’s expectations are crushing her. The world thinks she’s perfect, but is there is more to perfection than meets the eye?

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My Thoughts:

Far From Perfect manages to portray an unwanted life in the spotlight of a girl that simply wants to be normal. I was very satisfied to see how the media was presented in this book. They push famous people’s boundaries, twist stories and stir waters, causing dramas. And while I understand this is their job, I am grateful to see someone write about the negative impact they have on famous people.

I loved Faith as a character and I was so proud to see her stand up and fight. It was so easy to put myself in her shoes and experience her anger and frustration of not being listened to. I loved the friendship Faith has with Scarlett. It is real and funny and strong. But most of all, I loved the sister bond that Faith has with Mercy. It is so pure and emotional, and it made me think of my own little sister and how much she truly means to me. 

The story Faith tells us is a story that will touch every teenager. The struggles of love, family, friendships and finding purpose in the world. We have all been there, we have all fought the same battles and we understand. Even though some problems may seem trivial as a grown up, I remember how important those moments were to me when I was young, and how they shaped me today, and I was glad this was not underestimated in this book. 

And sometimes, life makes us forget. Time passes by, and we are lost for a bit. Until a book comes in our hands – to remind us what really matters. This is that book. A beautiful continuation of the series. I recommend it to the teenagers – to find your purpose; and also to everyone else – to remember what that purpose is!

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins [BOOK REVIEW]

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins book review books reading read goodreads blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

In Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen survived the Hunger Games. People in the other districts are starting rebellions. The Capitol wants their revenge!

In a post-games time, Katniss is trying to live her life as normally as possible. But nothing is the same anymore. Not since she has won the games and made a mockery of the Capitol in front of everyone. And now, when it is time for the new games to begin, there is a twist in the rules. The old victors are going back to the area. So Katniss has to fight against every other person in the arena, as well as against the Capitol. 

Read my review of the first book in the series – The Hunger Games.

I have to be honest, another games never occured my mind. From all the possibilities I though might happen next, a year where all the victors fight against each other was never a possibility. That is perhaps why I am having troubles to decide whether I think this idea is unique, or rather lazy. Either way, my feelings are with Haymitch on this year’s games: 

“So, Haymitch, what do you think of the Games having one hundred per cent more competitors than usual? asks Caesar. 

Haymitch shrugs. “I don’t see that it makes much difference. They’ll still be one hundred per cent as stupid as usual, so I figure my odds will be roughly the same.”

We follow Katniss again, when she’s trying to decide between two boys. 

Option one: she sort of likes him, but would rather be friends with.

Option two: she loves him, but cannot be seen with him, as it puts his and her family in danger. 

To me, this is a rather obvious choice, but what do I know? 

Either way, it’s a very difficult time for Katniss because she never asked for any of this to happen to her. She is frustrated and angry and it is all the Capitol’s fault. 

“Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.”

Despite the weak plot, I really enjoyed this book and I devoured it in one day. Katniss is a fierce character and I loved her resilience. I also loved Haymitch, mostly for his brutal honesty. I am not so sure I like Peeta, though. He is being a major third wheel in every possible situation, and if he just died in that arena, everything would’ve been okay. The fact that he also slows Katniss down in these games is very annoying. He is just a very inconvenient character, and while I understand that inconvenient characters are needed for plot twists and trouble causing, I wish I at least liked him more. 

This book ended with a major cliff-hanger, not surprisingly so, and I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series. I highly recommend it if you loved dystopian YA. It’s worth reading, for sure!

Purchase Links:
| Amazon UK |Amazon US |


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Book Review · Books

Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfeld [BOOK REVIEW]

pretties by scott westerfeld uglies series goodreads books book review bookshelf reading read blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

Pretties is the second book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I loved the first book a lot, and I had to continue the series! 

In the first book, we are introduced to a world where beauty means everything. People are born as Uglies, and once they turn 16, they undergo plastic surgery and become Pretties. 

Tally is still an Ugly, and all she ever wants to do is become a Pretty. After all, all of her friends are already Pretties. But she meets Shay, who doesn’t want to become pretty, and during amazing adventures in the first book, Tally discovered that there is much more in the world than just being a Pretty.

If you haven’t read the first book yet, please be aware that this review will contain SPOILERS. If you want to know more though, I would suggest reading my review of the first book, Uglies.

In Pretties, Tally is now a Pretty herself. She is completely different, until one day a person from the old crew pays her a visit. She can vaguely remember some things, and a challenge is in front of her. A letter from herself from the past will make her remember why she is a Pretty now and what she needs to do next. 

But accepting such a task means danger of being found out and silenced forever. But if she succeeds, she might actually find a cure to being a Pretty. 

My Thoughts

Filled with adventure, I read this book in only a few sittings. I am in love with the world the author created, and the moral dilemmas he tests us on. The chapters and scenes are vivid, entertaining and never dull. 

I did, however, struggle with characterisation. Even though I am a huge fan of Tally, she wasn’t much different from any other character. They were all sort of the same, believing in almost the same things, and not much  else was said. I would really have loved to see more perspectives from the Specials, but I think that is coming in the third book, which gets me all the more excited. 

The last few chapters were everything and I will cherish all the moments. Many “book highlightings” were done  and many quotes were remembered. I also need to mention that plot twist in the end. I should have seen it coming, because all the clues were there, but I didn’t. And I can’t wait to read book number 3. 

I recommend it to all readers who enjoy different worlds, adventure, a bit of fantasy and dystopia.

Purchase Links:
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