Book Review: Five Years From Now by Paige Toon

Title: Five Years From Now
Author: Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Date: May 17th, 2018
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): What if you met the right person at the wrong time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other.  Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they must separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

Review:

First of all, I want to say thank you to my wonderful friend Amanda (who is also an awesome blogger and you should all check out here blog here) for giving me a copy of this novel.
Amanda knew I was dying to read Five Years From Now, because it is the newest piece of work from one of my favorite authors, Paige Toon, and she was kind enough to send me a copy.

Once again, Paige Toon didn’t disappoint. In Five Years From Now she created two wonderful main characters who will win hearts of the readers all over the world.

This is a beautiful, emotional story that will make you smile, hold your breath and also, it will probably make your heart wrench.
As matter of fact, your heart will probably be broken to that level that you will go online and talk about it all day long (or maybe even longer).
At least, that’s how it’s done on twitter.

Since everyone talked about how emotional this novel is, and there was even a video of the author crying her heart out while writing this book, I prepared myself for the worst.
Can you imagine the consequence of my preparation?
Yes, you’re right. I didn’t cry at all! But in my defense, I’m not a big cryer anyway, plus, this story was still pretty emotional for me.

If there’s one thing I learned from this wonderful novel is just how long the period of 5 years actually is.
So many things can happen’ in 5 years, lives can change drastically.

The story follows Nell and Van from when they were 5 years old to when they were in their forties.
They met because of their parents, who were in love and lived together. When they were 10 a big tragedy separated them and Van moved to another part of the world, Australia.
They kept seeing each other every five years. There was always that big chemistry between them that turned out into love, but life isn’t always as you want it to be.
They both built their own families, lived their own lives, but couldn’t forget each other.

In whole honesty, while I was reading Five Years From Now I had a feeling I already came across this story before, and then it hit me: Love, Rosie! I’ve never read the book, but I’ve seen the movie multiple times, and Five Years From Now reminded me of it.
But still, even though it had some similarities, it is also so different.

Toon’s writing style is so amazing. Her books are always so easy to read, with beautiful sentences.

I want to stress out that Five Years From Now is not only emotional story, but it also has brilliant atmosphere, with amazing descriptions of Cornwall and it’s beaches.

Reading this book while on vacation is the perfect score!

I feel like everyone who already read this piece of literature talks about the end, so I won’t.
In all honesty, I wish they wouldn’t either, because it spoils the reading experience.
I’ll just say I liked it.

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Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena @PHRGlobal #partner

Title: An Unwanted Guest
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books, Penguin
Date: August 7th, 2018
Pages: 290
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.

Review:

If you’re a fan of “Who done it” books, games or movies, you will probably love An Unwanted Guest.
I’d say it’s a typical “Who done it” story, but in reality, I wouldn’t know, because I rarely read that type of books.
Why? Honesty, the only reason that comes to my mind is that those books are just not popular enough, and therefore, it doesn’t even cross my mind to pick up one.

Thanks to Shari Lapena, I can proudly say I read one “Who done it” novel this year.
If you follow my reviews for a while now, maybe you know how much I enjoyed Lapena’s first novel The Couple Next Door. 
So… when I had a chance to read An Unwanted Guest, I grabbed it.

The story follows several characters (honestly, I can’t even tell you how many of them there were) who end up snowed in in a hotel for the weekend.
Early in the morning, they find a dead body of a woman who stayed in the hotel with them, and since no one can get out from the hotel, and no one can come in, it is obvious that one of them killed the victim.
Or was it someone else all along with them in a hotel, an unwanted guest?

First of all, this story reads fast as lightning. Trust me, I’m a slow reader, but I sped through the book. If an inspiration to write some reviews for my blog didn’t hit me, I’d probably finish it in one sitting.
However it took me 2 days to finish it (actually, 6 hours to be precise).

At first I was afraid I wouldn’t keep up with all the characters, since there was so many of them, but it was easy to tell them apart.
Not once did I mix them up.

The story itself is not as intense as I thought it would be, but it was interesting all the time.
I was really invested and wanted to know what will happen’ next chapter after chapter.
Short chapters also helped to hold my attention.

The end was not shocking, but it was unpredictable.
I didn’t guess the killer.
As for the very end, I can say I predicted it. However, I think most readers will be satisfied with it.

Movie Monday: Love, Simon

Movie Monday is a feature here on my blog, in which I’m rambling about movies I’ve watched lately.

Last week I watched Love, Simon. It is an adaptation of a well-known ya contemporary book Simon vs. Homo Sapiens Agenda.

 

Love, Simon

I think by now everyone and their mothers have already heard about one of the most amazing ya contemporary books that came out few years ago: Simon vs. Homo Sapiens Agenda.
The hype around that book was real, and it was justified, because the novel is astonishing.

However, we are not here to talk about the book, we are here to talk about the movie (tbh, I planned to do book to movie comparison but as I was watching, I realized just how much of the book I actually forgot, so it wasn’t possible).

The movie was astounding! It was everything I wanted and more.
After a very, very long time, I feel like I watched a movie that can be compared to my favorite movie of all time: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

When I compare it, I think about the feelings I had while watching (Oh, the feels!!!) and the atmosphere through the movie, but the stories are completely different. One thing that they definitely have in common is that both movies have important messages. Different, but very important.

I feel like Love, Simon is the movie everyone would enjoy. I can not imagine how someone would not like it. My friends who watched it all enjoyed it, some even recommended it to me because they didn’t know there was a book and that I have already read it.

I watched it with my fiance and tbh I was little afraid how he’d react because he doesn’t like high school movies, but he loved it. He told me it was the best movie we’ve seen in a while and that it will probably become evergreen. I hope he’s right!

If you still haven’t watch Love, Simon, what are you waiting for??
It’s streaming on Netflix and it is also available on DVDs in some countries.

Sunday Post (Weekly Wrap Up August 20th-26th)

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This meme was created for bloggers to spotlight posts they published in the week, as well as to talk about what they plan to write in the week that’s coming.

Sunday post is also great opportunity to showcase books we got in the week behind us.

Hi Guys!

What a crazy week behind us! Our GiGi got sick and it really scared me. His temperature was so high, it was 40,4 when average cat temperature is 38-39. He couldn’t eat and he stopped purring, and was acting like he lost his will for life. I was afraid he would die.
We took him to two different vets (because after visiting the first one GiGi acted even more sick, so I called my friend who is a friend of a woman who runs Prava Šapa, an organization that takes care of sick and homeless cats, so she recommended a good vet to us).
GiGi is now recovered, he plays and purrs again and I am so glad because of that.
I am so thankful to everyone who sent him their positive thoughts and I also decided to donate some money to Prava Šapa, because it’s organizer played big part in his recovery.

Last Week on Book Dust Magic:

Monday: I wrote about my trip to Albania

Wednesday: I reviewed The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Friday: I reviewed Bookish Boysfriends – A Date With Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt

 

Next Week on Book Dust Magic:

Upcoming reviews:

  

Book Haul and Currently Reading:

For review:

I was really happy when I got this book from Becky Hunter, who’s working in Headline Review.
I already started  it and it’s really good. The writing style is amazing and it has everything I love in books: fashion, magazines and powerful women, but I am only on page 20sth, so a lot still has to happen’!

 

 

 

 

 

That is it!
Let me know what’s been going on with you, what you’ve been reading or watching this week and feel free to leave your links so I can visit you.
Have a lovely Sunday!

 

Book Review: Bookish Boyfriends – A Date with Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: A Date with Darcy
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Bookish Boyfriends #1
Publisher: Amulet Books, ABRAMS
Date: May 1st, 2018
Pages: 392
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences.

Review:

Who wouldn’t want a date with Darcy?
I don’t know… I was never Darcy’s kind of girl (I think Adrian Ivashkov would suit me better) but I’d still want to go on a date with Darcy, just like probably every bookish girl in this world would. Yet, our main protagonist Marrilee had a chance to really live that dream (and thank God she’s just a fictional character, because so many of us would be jealous of her!).

From what I understood, A Date with Darcy came to life in the most amazing way.
Tiffany Schmidt decided to write it when she realized there was no book about everyday girls dating real fictional characters. She wanted to read that kind of book, so she wrote it.

I bet she had some fun on the way, because I surely had some fun reading the story she created.

A Date with Darcy follows Merrilee Campel, 15 years old girl, who starts new school along with her sister and best friend. She immediately notices how polite guys in this school are and suddenly she gets a feeling they could be real book characters in disguise, with all the Shakespeare quotes and elegant attitude.
Soon she finds herself in a relationship with a guy who says he could be her Romeo, but love is really complicated sometimes…

Reading this novel was really fun, as it was pretty funny at times.
I think younger audience would appreciate it more, but I think everyone who wants some amusement in the book would value it as well.

The first half of the book was not the greatest. It was pretty childish at times and even silly, but the second half made up for all of it.

Novel is written in first person, from Merrilee’s POV, and it reads on an average pace.
It took me a week to finish this book, but let me stress out, it was a busy week.

Overall, A Date with Darcy was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to younger readers.

Book Review: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas @PRHGlobal #partner

Title: The Cheerleaders
Author: Kara Thomas
Publisher: Penguin Random House Childern’s, Delacorte Press
Date: July 31st, 2018
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

 

Review:

So… I went into The Cheerleaders with an expectation to get a story similar to I Know What You Did Last Summer or The Scream, but instead I got… something different.

I don’t know why I thought there will be a a killer chasing characters who’d fear for their lives, because that was not even promissed in the blurb. Anyway, because of my wrong expectations, the story for me was just… slow.

There was not much going on, but only discovering what had happened in the past.

However, don’t think this book is not good or interesting, because it is. It really is.

The story follows Monica who lives in a little town Sunnybrook. Five years ago, a huge tragedy hit the place. Five lives were lost. All five belonged to cheerleaders, one belonged to Monica’s sister Jen.
Monica is still hunted by questions and mystery around Jen’s death and she wants to find out what really happened.

This is my first time reading Kara Thomas‘ work and I really enjoyed her writing style. She was on my tbr for a while now, because I want to read her book The Darkest Corners since the day it came out, only I still didn’t have a chance.
Now when I read The Cheerleaders, I want to read it even more.

The story is written in two perspectives, one from Monica, written in first person, and second from Jen, written in third person.
I liked Monica’s chapters much more, but Jen’s were really important for the story.

This story touches some really important topics like statutory rape, suicide and abortion, but I wish more attention was paid to them. I feel like they were mentioned and that was that, the story moved on. I mean, their part of the story was huge, but they were almost… glossed over.

Since this is mystery, it’s purpose is to get readers involved, to get them try to figure out what happened before the end, and I feel like most readers will complete that mission successfully.
I had no problem figuring out the truth whatsoever.

Overall, The Cheerleaders is an entertaining ya novel that will capture readers until the very end.
I would recommend it to lovers of contemporary high school fiction.

Trip to Albania: Where I went, what I did and what I ate in Albania

This summer me and my boyfriend spent our summer vacation in Albania.
We decided to go there because his friend was there last summer, and loved it so much that he decided to go back this year.
My boyfriend was really intrigued since he loves travelling, so we booked 8 nights via Booking app, packed our bags and went for an adventure.

 

Sarande

Our main destination was Sarande. It is the tourist based city with lots of programs to offer. You can go on boat trips (there are organized trips to Corfu Island, Greece daily), you can enjoy yourself clubbing and hanging out with young people. They also have rich street program, you can try your luck in the small amusement park, get a tattoo, let the artist draw your portrait, or enjoy the music played by a young boy with violin (he played only popular songs, and he was amazing).
Of course, there are lost of restaurants and coffee shops with the most amazing and serviceable staff.

As it goes when you’re on vacation, most of our days we spent chilling on the beach, and taking walks in the evening.

I finished four books while there, and I am happy to say that all of them were good.

Blue Eye

If you go to Albania, you have to visit Blue Eye. It is one of the most beautiful places in the Europe. It is a water spring and natural phenomen in which people actually do swim. It is so beautiful, you could stare into it all day long.
There you can also visit one of the caffee shops or restaurants, and enjoy yourself by the river, surrounded with beautiful nature sounds.

   

Ksamil

Ksamil is one of the most beautiful beaches in Albania, and it was my favorite place.
We spent there one day, whole day, just chilling and relaxing. The color of the sea is so blue and beautiful because of the white sand. The sand makes it so easy to walk into the water, and it is so easy to swim. So many people play with ball or toys there, even the older ones, but of course, this place is like a heaven for children.

 

Borsh

My boyfriend’s favorite place in Albania was Borsh. It is a village with 7 km long beach, and it is so beautiful. It’s a perfect place for relaxation, because it is pretty quiet there.
This place is THE PLACE for bookworms, because you have ideal conditions for reading. So many people read on that beach, that I couldn’t believe. It felt like every third person had a book in their hands, and what is even more amazing, you can buy books there on the spot, in case you forgot or already read yours.
You can also order drinks or coffee there and enjoy yourself without moving from your deck chair.

  

 

Food

We had breakfast in our hostel (we stayed in a hostel called Gjika and I can’t say enough good things about them. Staff are the most amazing and likeable, always ready to help and always asking if everything was okay, and the housing itself was nice and always clean).

Breakfast would usually be composed of an egg, frankfurter, leafy cheese-pie, vegetable casserole and fruit.
The best thing – it all tasted surprisingly well.

During the day we would usually take something from the bakery (the have really good bureque with cheese, meat, onion or spinach) and drink it with one dairy product that is not available my country, so we were all into it.
It’s structure and taste is like milk with splash of yoghurt.

Dinner we would always eat in the restaurants. We were very pleased with all the food and how work-hard but still very friendly and polite staff are.
Prices are very affordable too.

     

Albanian Ice Cream is one of the best ice creams I have ate in my whole life.
They have so many tastes and it has one spectacular note in every taste, that is what makes it special.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take the picture of it.

 

Cons

As it goes in life, everything has it’s pros and cons, including Albania.
As I already stated everything that I liked there, here I will briefly mention what I was not a fan of.

There are many stray dogs and cats just walking the streets. It is really hard to see them so close to the road because unfortunately, great number of them lose their lives there.
I came home with disturbing images of dead cats and dogs that will hunt me for a very long time.

What is really sad but also hopeful is that this problem can be solved with spreading awareness of importance of sterilization.
If people cared more for animals, their towns would become more beautiful and animals would be happy, therefore people would also be more happy.

The traffic could also be improved.

Poor people asking for money.
Poverty is one of the problems of Albania. Many people just don’t have enough money to survive so they ask for help.
I don’t know how the politics in Albania works and what is the reason for poverty, nor could it be solved easily (probably not), but I know that those kids (I even saw few months old baby sleeping with poor mum) need hope and a chance to build their future, and right now, I don’t think they have it.

Now you have it – my impressions Albania, so if you’ll ever think about visiting that country, you can see how I spent my time while there.
Overall I liked it, and I see myself going back there one day, in a hope that some of it’s problems will be reduced.

 

Let me know what you think and would you ever want to visit Albania?