Book Review: My Single Friend by Jane Costello

my single friend

Title: My Single Friend
Author: Jane Costello
Publisher: Znanje (Croatian publisher)
Date: 2010
Pages: 376
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): At 28, Lucy is doing well for herself. She’s got a great job in PR, her boss loves her, and her best girlfriends Dominique and Erin think she’s great. More important than anyone’s opinion is that of her flatmate, and oldest friend in the world, Henry. For twenty years they’ve been inseparable: beauty and the geek. Henry thinks the world of Lucy. So why does she feel the need to lie outrageously on dates? From rock-climbing to Chekov: when it comes to prospective boyfriends, Lucy is compelled to embellish her C.V. with unlikely porkies that always backfire – with hilarious results. Henry can’t understand it. Lucy is so loveable: why can’t she just be herself? But when Lucy turns the spotlight on Henry, he wishes he’d never brought it up. With a penchant for jumpers and NHS-style specs, Lucy decides that Henry is in need of a makeover – big time. Enlisting the help of Dom and Erin, it’s not long before the girls have Henry out of the flat, and into the Topman changing rooms. A new haircut, contact lenses, a flirting master-class from Dom …poor Henry doesn’t know what’s hit him. But nothing can prepare them for the surprise results! Before long, Lucy realises that their lives will never be the same again.

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Review:

What a fun and quick read this book was!
Having read and loved more then few books by Jane Costello before, I kind of knew what to expect from this novel, and I am so glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.

This book was everything I wanted and everything I needed at time.

It follows a 28 years old Lucy who works in a PR agency and lives with her best friend Henry, whom she knows for 21 years.
Henry is a perfect example of freak and geak.
He has a massy, longish hair, wears weird clothes and acts even wierder when girls are around.

One night, after watching some tv show, Henry agrees for Lucy and two of her best friends, Erin and Dominique, to give Henry a new look. They will do their best to transform the mate into a best looking version of himself.

Boy, did they suceed!

After his makover, Henry looks so attractive that girs realise they were blind to his hotness.
The matter of fact is, Lucy finds out she maybe has some feelings for her best friend…

This book was written in first person, in Lucy’s POV.
She was an entertainig narrator: funny and smart, but still blind to some situations that were obvious to us as readers.

Henry was a guy every girl could wish for and if that kind of man exsists in real life, please someone introduce me to him. He is a dream guy.

Lucy’s friends were very likeable, and the situation at Lucy’s work, which was a side story in this novel, was intriguing to read about even though I kind of expected the revelation of the situation in the similar way as it was handled.

I think this book is perfect for curing reading slumps and to make you forget the world around you for a few hours you would need to devour it.

I would recommend it to every chick-lit reader and to lovers of Sophie Kinsella’s books.

4,5

Book Review: No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista

no love allowed

Title: No Love Allowed
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Swoon Reads
Date: April 19th, 2016
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher, for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!

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Review:

„Love destroys people to the point where they don’t even care who else they hurts in the process.“

It has been three days since I finished this book and still, it is all I’m thinking about.

Ask me why is that, what makes this novel so special that it captures my mind like there’s no important things in my life, and I problably wouldn’t know what to tell you.

But what I do know is that I don’t think that any review I write for this piece can do it justice.

The story is written in third person, following two perspectives: Caleb’s and DiDi’s.

Caleb comes from a wealthy family and all he wants is to have a gap year between going to college, so he could travel trough Europe with his cousin Nathan. In order to earn that, he has to spend the summer attending certain events with his family, and have a girl that will make him a company.

That’s where Didi comes in. She’s a girl raised by a single mother, not poor but definitely far from being rich. She agrees to pretend to be Caleb’s girlfriend for the summer, so she could experience the lifestyle she never had. Also, Caleb agreed to pose her for her painting, since she’s an artist.

They make an agreement: One mustn’t fall in love with the other.

What took me by surprise in this story is it’s characers and how the story kept me inrigued.
Nor Caleb or Didi were likeable. They were gray, had their flaws, but still, I cared about them and wanted to know everything about them: why they acted the way they did, what made them think the certain way and how they are going to deal with cards that life throws at them.

This is the story you read for it’s completeness. Even though main characters aren’t the ones you want to befriend, you still root for them and want the best for them.
Side characters are so interesting, I really got attached to Preston, Nathan and Natasha.
They have that impact on you as a reader:  you want to know more about them.
When I heard that the story about Preston and Nathan is planned to be published later this year, I welcomed the news with all my heart.

Although at first this novel gives an impression as a cute ya spring/summer read, with it’s goergous cover and warm colors, that is not the case.
Yes, it does have cute moments and swoon worthy situations, but it also deals with some serious topics like mental illness and suicide.
I think when it comes to those, the writer did her research well.

What I liked the most about this book is Didi’s passion for Van Gogh. You can feel it trough the whole novel.
The story starts with quote by Van Gogh, and when following Didi’s perspective you can notice that everyday things like clouded sky reminds her of his work. She also talks about him with passion, but still she doesn’t overdo it.
Her affection for Van Gogh’s work and him as an artist is almost touchable, like it has a personality on it’s own (just like Paris had in Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss).

This novel also has some beautiful, memorable scenes, like 4th July scene and the one at (almost) very end with paintings.

The story is not only full of vizuals, but music also plays a part in it. Not a big one, but you can still feel it.
I guess it had an impact on the author while she was creating her story.

The writing style is good and you can speed trough this book.
It is not poetic and has not many memorable quotes, but it is still really beautiful.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Katie McGarry‘s books while reading.
The writing style is still very different from McGarry’s, but I think that her fans would enjoy this novel as well.

4,5

 

Note: You can read my interview with an author and win yourself a copy of No Love Allowed here.

Book Review: Splintered by A. G. Howard

splintered

Title: Splintered
Series: Splintered (#1)
Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Lumen (Croatian publisher)
Date: January 1st, 2013
Pages: 324
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

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Review:

So you think you know everything about Wonderland?

Then think again, because this isn’t the Wonderland you remember from your childhood.

Prepare yourself for the creepy, dark and twisted version of the happy place you used to visit when you wanted to feel better.
In this Wonderland, White Rabbit is a skeleton-looking faery with horns, and here, flowers wait to eat everyone who step on their theritory.

Alyssa Gardner is a great, great, granddaughter of the real Alice, who once visited Wonderland.

Women in her family are cursed. They can hear bugs and flowers, and eventually, everyone of them lose their minds.

Alyssa is on the mission: she wants to find the Wonderland and take the curse off from her family. By doing that, she’ll save her mother and herself.

I love this version of Wonderland.
The world building was amazing.
The logical aspect behind this world building was worth to be admired.
I really like how the writer portrayed Wonderland as a fairyland and all the characters from our well-known story as mysterious faeries.

The writing style was also beautiful. There were so many good sentences and quotes and if I read my own copy intead of the one from the library, it would probably be full of marks and underlines.

Our protagonist, Alyssa was pretty interesting to read about and in some kind of way, she was different from other female characters in ya novels.

There are two more characters worth mentioning: Jeb and Morpheus.

Morpheus was very manipulative, but because he is a faery, it made me appreciate him and I liked him as a character (when I look at the whole picture). As a love interest, he isn’t the greatest choice, but he is still better then his rival (if you can call him that).

Jeb, on the other hand, is the person I wouldn’t want for anyone. I didn’t like him at all, and honestly, just when I think about him it makes my nerves go up.
Why I have a negative opinion about Jeb will be discussed in my spoiler section.

There is also one character that I’d like to talk about: Taelor.
To us, she is presented as Alyssa’s rival and we weren’t supposed to like her, but I couldn’t help but to do opposite. In my eyes, she was pretty realistic and I actually think she tolerated a lot from her shitty boyfriend.
I feel like we all had to root for her to brake up with Jeb so Alyssa could be with him, but I actually rooted for her to brake up with Jeb so she could get rid of the douche.

The pacing was great, action packed in all senses. I even lost the track in some fighting scenes but it wasn’t long enough until I figured out what happened.

The only aspect of this book I didn’t like was romance.
In our love triange, I feel like Alyssa had an option to choose between bad and worse.

I also didn’t like the scene at the very end, which I like to call „The redemption scene“ (if you read the book, you’ll know what I mean).

Plus, I think there was too much cheese on the last page, if you get me!

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Spoiler Alert!!!

Why I didn’t like Jeb:

He was in relationship with Taelor who he treated bad. He kept putting her on second place, made her feel insecure in herself. He went on prom with her but hang out with others and saved only two dances for her.
At the same time, he had no problem accepting that her father would rent a place in London for him to live in.
spoiler vrpca

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Showers of Books Giveaway Hop

showers of books

Welcome to the Showers of Books Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds.

In this giveaway I am giving you a chance to win a  book of choice, up to 20 US dollars.

The giveaway is international as long as TBD ships to your country.

After you enter this giveaway, don’t forget to visit other blogs for more giveaways.

 

You can enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLAIMER:

  • This giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.
  • You must be 18+ old to enter or have your parent’s permission to enter (because I’ll need to ask you to give me your adress so I could send the book to you).
  • I am not responsible for the shipment, but am responsible to order a book on time (The Book Depository is responsible to deliver you a book on time and in a good condition).
  • Once chosen, winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply, otherwise another person will be chosen as a winner
  • NO CHEATING! Cheaters will be disqualified

 

Good Luck! :)

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No Love Allowed: Interview with Kate Evangelista + Giveaway (Blog Tour)

NoLoveAllowedTourBanner-2

 

Today as a tour host, I had an opportunity to interview Kate Evangelista, an author of No Love Allowed.
I really liked this book (you can read my review on No Love Allowed’s releasing day, April 19th) and was pretty excited to ask Kate some questions.

 

blog tour

Interview:

 

Kate

  1. No Love Allowed is a story about love, culture and difference between being rich and poor, but it also deals with mental illness. What kind of research did you have to do to in order to make this story?

 

My research swayed heavily toward Bipolar Disorder. I wanted to understand as much as I could about Didi’s mental illness so that I could write the story that was authentic to her character. I didn’t want to let Didi down. And I hope I was successful. 

 

  1. What I really liked in this book is Didi’s passion for Van Gogh and his work. 
Tell me, is there an artist you feel passionate about?

 

Gustav Klimt is probably one of my favorite artists of all time. The passion as seen in The Kiss is swoonworthy. Just staring at the lovers caught in such an intimate moment gives me goose bumps.

 

  1. Do you have your favorite scene and if yes, what is it (just to let you know, mine is 4th July scene, as I’m sure is of many who read your book)?

 

My favorite scene would have to be when Didi takes Caleb to McDonalds for the first time. In the book it’s pretty obvious that Didi is a fish out of water in Caleb’s world. But it’s also pretty clear that Caleb is a fish out of water in Didi’s. Seeing him watch her eat a Big Mac is hilarious.

 

  1. At one scene, a song by Maroon 5 plays in the background. What songs did you listen to while creating this story?

 

For this book, I listened to the entire Overexposed album of Maroon 5. There was something about the emotions in that album that really spoke to me and brought out the characters.

 

  1. In you Acknowlagments you said you’d like to see Chris Pine playing someone in the movie adaptation. Who else would you like to see being part of No Love Allowed movie?

 

Well, for Caleb, I would love to see Dominic Sherwood in the role. Ever since one of my editors put him in my head as a peg, I couldn’t see anyone else. As for Didi, I think Hailee Steinfeld would kill it. I don’t even want to start imagining who would play Nathan and Preston because my head would explode. Do you have any suggestions?

 

  1. Is hanging out with Caleb, Didi, Nathan, Natasha and Preston over or is there a chance we’ll read more about them?

 

As a matter of fact, Nathan and Preston’s story, No Holding Back, will come out October 19, 2016. So after reading No Love Allowed, add No Holding Back to your TBR right away and be ready for a wild ride that takes our boys to Europe.

 

  1. How long it took from creating this story in your head until you decided to write it down?

 

The story came to me a year before I started writing it. I was focused on so many other stories that at the time I just couldn’t give Didi and Caleb the attention they needed. But when I was finally ready, their story came out in a flood of words in the span of two weeks.

 

  1. What inspires you as an author?

 

Everything and anything. It can be a scene in a movie. A line from a song. Even shiny, sparkly things. All I know is I have to be ready when inspiration strikes because I never know when it will hit me.

 

  1. Do you have a certain time in the day that reserved only for writing or do you write whenever an inspiration hits you?

Depends. There are times when mornings call to me. Then there are times when afternoons are the sweet spot. Recently it’s always been at night. So really, the story dictates the time I write.

 

 

  1. Have you read a good book lately that you’d like to recommend?

 

Oh! I love this! I recommend Written in Red by Anne Bishop and the rest of the books in the series. Urban Fantasy at its best. I forever ship Meg and Simon. If any of you have read it or are reading it, gush with me on twitter. I need to fangirl. 

blog tour

Giveaway (US Only)

Giveaway information: Contest ends May 5th

  • Two winners will win each a paperback copy of No Love Allowed

ENTER HERE: 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

blog tour

About the book:

no love allowed It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!

 

Author Website * Amazon UK * Amazon US * Goodreads * The Book Depository

 

Blog tour hosted by:

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Book Review: The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

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Title: The Smell of Other People’s Houses
Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd
Date: April 7th, 2016
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: From Publisher, for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Alaska, 1970: growing up here is like nowhere else.

Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother.
Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father.
Alyce is staying at home to please her parents.
Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Because if we don’t save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves?

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s extraordinary, stunning debut is both moving, and deeply authentic. These intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare and wonderful talent.

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Review:

What you need to know about this book:

– The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a novel that came into existence from four different short stories.
– It follows four different perspectives, all written in first person, all points of view are teenager’s.
– This book takes place in Alaska in 1970.
– Four characters of this book are telling us different stories, but they are all intertwined at some point.
Even thugh this is a novel, you can read this book in two different ways:
1. From first page to last, like every other novel;
2. You can read only a certain POV and you will still have the complete story about the character who’s POV you’re reading.

– I think Ruth’s story was the most interesting one, but Alyce’s story was the most enjoyable to read.

What you should be warned about:

– There is some strong violence described in this book.
Not every POV is an interesting one (at least I found Hank’s story to be dull).
– This is a literally fiction that follows four teenagers, and it does not follow the pace most ya novels have.

What I liked about this book:

– Writing style is great and poetic.
– This book covers some serious topics in a realistic way and the writer did a great job describing those situations (violence, teen pregnancy, suicide attempt).
– The cover is so pretty and the title is also beautiful.
– The writer presented us a story she wanted to tell in a bit more then 200 pages and didn’t write about unnecessary situations just to make her piece longer.

What I’d like to change in this piece of work:

– Even though I knew this book was taking place in Alaska, I didn’t have a strong feeling I was reading about Alaska so I guess I’d like it if it was described in a stronger way.

Overall, this was a quick read and different from books that I usually read.
Even though I wasn’t fully satisfied with it I think many people will enjoy reading this book.

I would still recommend it to readers who’d like to read something that is taking place somewhere different then most books do and to readers of ya who’d like to start reading something out of their comfort zone, since this is a (historical) literally fiction that follows teenagers.

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March Wrap Up and Book Haul

Here, I am, posting my monthly wrap up late again, but better late the never, right? 🙂

In month of March I read 10 book, which is amazing for me because I usually read around 7 books per month.
Some of books I read were pretty short so that is probably the reason why I managed to read 10.

Here are the books I read in March: (clicks on covers will lead you to my reviews)

a summer mali princ Holding Court Cover no love allowed pokušaj take me on my map of you Summer Nights at Moonlight hotel blogger girl 28436039

My favorite book of the month: my map of you

 

Book Haul:

These are the books I collected in March (click on covers to see their Godreads pages):

Purchased: do mjeseca

For review: love charms Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00025] hope no love allowed 28436039

Borrowed: alisa timmy pokušaj

Won: Summer Nights at Moonlight hotel between the forgotten

 

I think that’s it. I hope I didn’t forget to mention any.

What books you guys got this month?
Did you read one or two books worth recommending?

Feel free to let me know.