A gripping crime that will make you hold your breath: The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup – Book Review (Blog Tour) #BookReview #BookTour #TheChestnutMan @MichaelJBooks

I am so honoured to be today’s host in The Chestnut Man blog tour.
I want to thank Jenny Platt from Michael Joseph, Penguin for inviting me.
I just loved this gripping novel so it is my honour to tell you everything about it.

About the book:

A NAIL-BITINGLY THRILLING CRIME NOVEL FROM THE SCRIPT WRITER BEHIND THE KILLING

Rosa Hartung is returning to her job as Minister for Social Affairs, a year since the disappearance of her twelve year-old daughter. Linus Berger, a mentally ill young man, confessed to her killing, but can’t remember where he buried her dismembered corpse.

That day a young single mother is found murdered at her home in the suburbs of Copenhagen – she’s been tortured, and one hand has been cut off. Thulin and Hess, sent to investigate the crime, arrive to find a chestnut figure hanging from a playhouse nearby.

When yet another woman is murdered, and another chestnut figure is found, Thulin and Hess begin to suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women.

Thulin and Hess are drawn into a race against time, as the murderer is on a mission that is far from over . . .

My Review:

It seems to me that everyone already knows about Soren Sveistrup because of The Killing, but since I’ve never watched it, this was my first time encountering his work.
It will definitely not be the last, because my Soren Sveinstrup journey just began!

In case you didn’t have a chance to see The Chestnut Man in person, let me tell you: it is a massive book. It has more than 500 pages and bigger format than usual novels. You could easily use it as a weapon!

But despite this novel looking intimidating at first, it reads really easily because of the short chapters, intense story and great translation.

The story follows two main characters, detective Naia Thulin and investigator Mark Hess who work on the case together. The murders they have to deal with are not easy on the stomach because the killer likes to do amputations while the victims are still alive. On the crime scenes, there is always one little chestnut man, as a mark of a killer.

There is so much more to the story, because we follow so many characters who’s stories intertwine.

At first it was bit hard for me to follow and connect everything and everyone, because of so many different characters with to me unusual names, but after some time (around 80 pages into the story), it became pretty easy to follow.

This crime novel is the first one that reminded me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even if their stories are totally different, I recognized the similar dark atmosphere.
If you like Stieg Larsson, don’t miss out on this one!

This book really pulled me in. I was so invested in this gripping story, wanted to know everything and solve the crime myself, but also it made me want to know why characters acted the way they did, and what is under everyone’s surface.

The Chestnut Man is a brutal, chilling story that made me question are psychopaths really born that way, or do they become what they are because of others?
I think it’s both, and I think the second plays the main part what will become of a person.

Overall, I recommend The Chestnut Man to every single crime novels fan.
This book is the one that should be on everyone’s tbr-s and I predict that by the end of 2019 it will be on many people’s favorites lists.

 

Follow the tour:

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Playing Book Fairy in Zagreb: Giving Away my Books #ibelieveinbookfairies #Booklovers #Books #BookFairy #Zagreb #Croatia

At the very beginning of 2019 I caught myself thinking how can I start this new year on a positive note.

If you didn’t know, I am a huge believer in karma, or as I like to call it, the law of “the world gives you back what you give and do to others”. Because of that, I like to start year with doing something good.

This year, I was inspired by Book Fairies who I worked with (I actually worked with Simon and Schuster UK who collabed with Book Fairies) in 2018 (and you can read bits about it here). They are organization of people who leave books around for other people to find them.

I like the idea, because as a book lover, I can only imagine how excited I would be if I found a great book somewhere in the city, that waits it’s new owner to take it.

  

So what I decided is to take 5 ARCs that I enjoyed reading but knew I wouldn’t reread, and took them with me to center of Zagreb, while the tourists were still there.
I chose 5 places and left books for someone to find them. I really hope they found a good home.

 

In the time I was working on my “project book fairy” I didn’t have official stickers, so I wrote my own message similar to the one Book Fairies use.

I can now proudly say that I am also one of book fairies, and to be honest, the feeling is good.

 

There is something satisfying in giving to others, so if you have some books you don’t want to keep anymore, I highly recommend you to do something similar (or donate them).

 

P.S. I apologize for the low quality of pictures. It was dark and I used my phone camera.

What do you do with books you don’t want anymore?
What about ARCs?

Feel free to leave your opinions, comments and links bellow.

Tis the Season with Lush @LustLtd #LushHrvatska #SelfCare #MeTime #Cosmetics #LifeStyleBlogger #Christmas

It is no secret that I am in love with Lush products. Ever since I started using them few years ago I feel like my life is sparkled with joy. 
I like to try new things from time to time, but I always come back to Lush, because they are just unique.
I mean it, my week is not complete if I don’t have a nice bath, and Lush Bath Bombs are always my no 1 choice.

I love how the company care about environment and how they have naked products in their supply. They are cruel free company, and am happy to know that my money that I spend on self-care products goes to conscientious firm.

Christmas scents are my favorite, and every year I buy myself Lush products in the amount that will last me trough the whole year.
Since I am very enthusiastic about them, I decided to share them with you.
Most of the products you see are double stacked, but here I will show you only one product of each.

This is not sponsored post and I purchased every single product with my own money.

 

Bathing 

Bathing is my favorite thing to do when I have some me-time. There’s nothing I like more then read a book in the bath, listening to some instrumental music and enjoy myself.
Lush bath bombs are my favorite, but Bubble Bars are right there after them.

This time I decided to go with Holey Night bomb which smells so nice and relaxing, Shoot for the Stars bomb which is my no 1 favorite bath bomb by Lush and I like to use it trough the whole year around so I always buy more then a few to last me long. Next is Perle de Sel which won me with it’s festive smell. It was just amazing and I couldn’t resist.
Butterbear is also one product I like to go back to. It doesn’t make the water looking all fancy, but it makes my skin so soft and I love it so much. The last product on the picture is Puddy Holly bubbleroon which smells like pure Christmas.

 

Showering

Just so you know, when it comes to showering, soaps are my favorite go-to products.
I know that they apparently leave your skin dry, but I like to believe that if you use kind soaps it is not the case. I like how after using the soap I feel really clean, plus I almost always moisturize my skin with body lotion.
On the picture you can see Golden Pear, a Christmas soap which smells just like sweet pears. It’s also pretty soft.
Next to it is Santa’s Belly, which is a shower jelly that smells like apples and is fun to use.

 

 

Body-Care

On the left you can see Sugar Plum Fairy body scrub which I took purely because of the smell.
It smells so amazing, and next time I’ll go to Lush I’ll have to ask them if they have bath bomb or some other product with that smell, because it could be my new favorite.
We all know exfoliation is good to do at least once per week, so there’s never enough of scrub products. This one won’t take too long to finish, unfortunately, because it’s pretty soft.
On the left is Snow Fairy body lotion which smells like my childhood. It smells like candy and bubble gum, like sugar store, like my childhood dreams. I think this is the most popular smell by Lush, and it’s for a reason!

 

Skin-Care

The last but not the least, since skin care is so important to me, I couldn’t resist and I had to buy Rudolph jelly face mask.
It smells like chocolate cake and it clears your skin while leaving it glowy.
I still have to try this one to tell you if it really had that effect (I probably already tried it when you read it so ask me in the comments if you’re curious).

 

 

 

 

 

That is it!
Tell me do you also like to use Lush products and which are your favorite?

Also, if you have any questions for any of these, or want me to write about other products in the future, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Trip to Budapest: Visiting Frida Kahlo exhibition, exploring the city and eating delicious food #FridaKahlo #Budapest #Travelling #Food

This October me and my colleague and a friend Monika spent a weekend in the magical city called Budapest.
This is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and to me it is the most beautiful city I have ever visited.

Our main reason for this trip was Frida Kahlo exhibition (which was impressive to say the least), but we also wanted to explore the city, eat some Hungarian food and just have good time.

Most pictures from this post were taken by Monika Hranj.

Day 1

We travelled with an agency, and took us less then 5 hours with bus to reach Budapest.
First thing we visited was Citadella. You can see the whole city from there (and the first pic from this post is taken there, and it was taken by me so excuse my lack of talent).
Everything we saw there was so mind blowing.

  

After that we went to explore the city and their main street called Vaci.
I remember it being my favorite part of Budapest, back when I visited this place for the very first time. Since I was there the first time around Christmas time, the whole street smelled of food and mulled wine, but this time around that wasn’t the case.
It was still beautiful, and while exploring we stumbled upon Starbucks (that was located in some other street that I don’t know the name of).
It was a big deal for us since we don’t have Starbucks in Zagreb.
For the first time ever I tried Pumpkin Spice Latte (it was my desire to try it for the longest time), and I ate the most delicious apple pie ever.

In the evening, after some relaxation in our 4 stars hotel, we took a cruise trip on the Danube river.
It was nice and relaxing and some buildings and views took my breath away.
We drank champange, because that is the ritual.

 

After the cruise trip we went to have a dinner.
We located one beautiful magyar restaurant with authentic food.
Hungarian food is pretty similar to croatian, and we were pretty satisfied with taste and portions.

 

After the dinner, we decided to walk through the city and then went into our hotel.

 

Day 2

Day two was the day of the exhibition, but before that, we went to Heroe’s Square.
I don’t think pictures can ever prepare you for the magnificentness of that place and sculptures that are there.

 

We had some free time before the exhibition so we decided to try magyar cremeschnitte. There was no place to sit in the cake-shop, so we ate it from the paper plates.
Magyar cremeschnitte is unique and (allegedly) different from every cremeschnitte all over the world.

As we walked to Hungarian National Gallery, where the exhibition took place, Monika took this photo. We named it “Looking in the eyes of death”:

The exhibition was stunning. It was so spectacular, impressive and breathtaking.
Frida had a hard life, and she transferred her pain into her work. We noticed it all and the feeling I had while I was there is hard to describe with simple words.
All I’ll say is that I will remember it for a long, long time.

 

 

After the exhibition, it was time to go home.
On our way back to Zagreb, we had a quick excursion to Balaton Lake where we also ate dinner.
Sadly, because we were too tired or too hungry, we forgot to take a picture of the main course, but only took a picture of the soup, which was mouth-watering.

 

 

Overall,

I loved being in Budapest. I love that city. I could easily imagine myself living there, but the main problem in reaching that goal would be to learn the language.
But hey, you never know where life can take you, and what you are capable of doing, until you are there.

I think visiting Budapest this year was one of the best decisions I made. I liked hanging out with Monika and I think this trip brought us closer.

It also sparked my passion for travel and reminded me how good it is just to get away from your routine and explore something new.

If you’ve never visited Budapest I highly encourage you to do so, because it is one breath-taking place to see.

October Reading Wrap Up #bookbloggers #booklovers #reading

OmG guys, it’s already November!
I have no idea how the times passed by so quickly, but at least I had some fun reading books while the days went…

In October I read 7 books, and I am really happy about it.
I didn’t push myself too hard, but I do plan to push myself in November, because there will be HoHOHo readathon and since we only have 2 months until the end of 2018, I want to end this year with as many finished books as possible, especially now when I am in a such a reading mood.

Anyway, these are the books that I read in October:

      

My favorite book of the month: 

 

That is it!

Tell me what awesome books have your read this month?

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?

Book Review: This Love by Dani Atkins

Title: This Love
Author: Dani Atkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Date: March 23rd, 2017
Pages: 466
Format: Paperback
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

If you’re looking for a damsel in distress story done right, look no further!

This Love is the story about Sophie Winter who finds herself in a hard situation in which she can’t cope without someone’s help.

The story starts with drama. Sophie’s flat is on fire and she’s trying to get out before the fire swallows her too.
She managed to save her little cat Fred by letting him go out of the window (I really loved that cat, it was my mission the whole time to know that Fred is save), but for her it is a bit harder to get out.
That’s where Ben, our knight in shining armor plays his part.
He gives her directions what to do to get out of that flat alive.

Ben’s kindness doesn’t stop right there. Oh, no! He helps her find her cat Fred, and even (because of some circumstances) offers her the place to stay.

I know stories about ladies who need to be saved are not in fashion anymore, but as I already stated, This Love is done right. Sophie didn’t want to find herself in the role she played, but her entire home burned and she was in a really bad situation. She had no choice but to accept other people’s help.

At first I really liked Ben. He is that type of character women all over the world dream about. He has a good heart, always knows what to say and is kind, plus he looks really, really hot.
He is way too perfect to be real, and that is where my adoration for him fall back. 
I wished he had at least one flaw (actually, in my had I started plotting a story in which he was really a psychopath with great acting skills).

The writing style is really good. Dani Atkins pulls you in with her voice and makes you forget about the rest of the world. I was thinking about the book even when I was not reading.
It is written in third person.

This Love is a perfect title for this novel because you can feel and see the love in so many shapes through the story.
It is no wonder that it received RNA award in category “Romantic Novel of the year”.

I enjoyed reading This Love, and I feel like I gained a lot as a reader from this book, but it is my duty to mention that this story also reminded me of two very popular novels: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker.
I’m not saying it is a reap off of those two novels by any mean, I’m just saying it has some of the same elements as those two.

Overall, This Love is a perfect book for romance lovers and for those who want to read a good book about damsel in distress.