Funny and romantic: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella (Book Review) #BookReview #Comedy #Chicklit #IOweYouOne

Title: I Owe You One
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK, Transworld
Date: February 7th, 2019
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

For the last three years in a row, Sophie Kinsella puts a smile on my face every time I finish her newest book. I mean, there is a reason why she’s my favourite author, but I have to admit, I wasn’t in love with every book she ever wrote.
However, ever since she published My Not So Perfect Life it’s like we’re on a happy train and we’re not getting off. Every book she writes is pure perfection, and I Owe You One is one of those treasures.

The thing is, when you read a book by your favourite author, your expectations are high. You can’t help it!
So going into I Owe You One, I expected to like it, I wanted it to make me feel better, make me laugh, swoon and root for characters… and it delivered.

The story follows Fixie who got her nickname because she likes to fix things. She wants to make everything better for everyone, and to her, family always comes first.
One day in a coffee shop a stranger asks Fixie to watch his laptop while he goes away for few minutes. In that amount of time, the roof above starts to sink, but Fixie can’t leave the laptop, so she protects it with her body, and even though she ends up wet to the bone, laptop ends up untouched.
The story goes from there. The stranger, who’s name is Sebastian writes her a note with which she can ask him anything in return, because now he owes her one.

Going into the story, after few chapters readers can already assume how the story might end, because it is obvious from the start what a douche Ryan, Fixie’s love interest, actually is.
I mean, it’s been a while since I read about that kind of jerk in my books. A perfect character to hate, if you ask me!
However, it’s not always about the end, it’s about the journey!

I like how I Owe You One is characters based story, and we get to see not only different type of persons who functionate together, but also their development through the story.
I like how all of them have their flaws and the author really made them real, so by the end of the book readers will probably have the feeling like they know them. At least, that’s what happened in my case.

The writing style was amazing, as always. I flew through this book.

In the end, without spoiling anything, I just have to say there is one scene closer to the end of the story, that made me feel chills while reading (and they were good chills!). They were more like tingles.
It was such a beautiful scene, and out of everything this novel provides, I think that scene is how I will remember it.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes funny scenes, romantic moments and family dynamics in their books.

Advertisements

The one with intelligent humour: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (Book Review) #BookReview #ComingOfAge #YoungAdult #Contemporary #BookLovers

Title: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
Author: Preston Norton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 410
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

Warning: This novel contains strong language and touches the topic of suicide.

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe is the one novel I feel like I had on my kindle app for the longest time. I got it unsolicited from the publisher (which I’m very thankful for) way before it was published, and then at first I saved it so I could read it closer to it’s releasing day, but then life got in a way, I hit that blogging and reviewing slump, and this book was one of the victims of the mental state I was in.

As Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe was on many bloggers lists of favorite books of 2018, I decided it was the time for me to read this book myself, and now when I finished it, I only feel sorry I didn’t get this book a chance sooner, because it was amazing!

The story follows Cliff who is known at school as Neanderthal because of his height. He got into fight with a popular boy at school, Aaron Zimmerman, and he is on his mission to get revenge.
However, after nearly death experience Aaron comes back to school claiming that God spoke to him, and gave him the list to make their high school a better place, and Cliff is the chosen one to help him complete the list.
From there we watch a new friendship being born and follow our main characters on their adventure to discover life.

First of all, this book is really funny. It talks about serious topics like poverty and suicide, but it still has that intelligent humour that never came over board. I really appreciate it for that.
Second, the way serious topics and problems were talked about made me appreciate this novel even more, because it touches important things, but never loses that light tone.

I think that I’ve read that this novel is perfect for fans of John Green and I agree, but also I have to stress out that there is something unique that Preston Norton gave to this story, something that is entirely his.

I know, in my reviews, I usually say that I want to read author’s other books, but this time I’ll say I know I will read Norton’s next novel, because there is no way I’m going to let myself miss it. I will probably read it as soon as it comes out!

As you probably guessed, Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe impressed me, and if I read it last year, it would probably on my list of favorites too, but there is a big chance it shows up on my 2019 favorite lists.

If you like ya contemporary and coming of age stories, trust me, you do not want to miss this one!

Book Review: Not Just for Christmas by Natalie Cox #NotJustForChristmas #BlogTour @orionbooks #BookReview #Christmas #Comedy

I am so honoured to be today’s host in the Not Just for Christmas blog tour.
I want to thank Alainna Hadjigeorgiou from Oron Publishing for giving me this chance.
Not Just for Christmas was so fun to read and I really, really enjoyed it.

About the book:

Title: Not Just for Christmas
Author: Natalie Cox
Publisher: Orion
Date: November 15th, 2018
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Charlie hates the holidays, and this year is shaping up to be her worst yuletide ever. Her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her flat is out of bounds after a gas leak, and her mother has gone to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her fifth husband. Finding herself single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, Charlie hesitantly agrees to dust off her wellies and spend the festive season in Devon, looking after Cosy Canine Cottages, her cousin Jez’s dog-care centre.

However, her plans for a quiet rural Christmas with only the four-legged friends for company are dashed as soon as she meets Malcolm the deaf Great Dane, Hugo, his gorgeous (but engaged) owner, and Cal, the undeniably attractive but unbearably haughty and patronising local vet…

Review:

If you’re looking for a good Christmas comedy, look no further!
Not Just for Christmas (or Mutts and Mistletoe, as it was previously published under that name) has everything you need this season in your festive chick lit: the most likeable protagonist you could wish for, many cute dogs, pups, hot guys, snow, food and lots and lots of humour.

Still, even though it’s funny and entertaining, it does not go overboard and everything in this novel, every element, is dosed just right.

The story follows Charlie, who after the accident that caught her apartment, stays at her cousin’s place.
Her cousin runs hotel for dogs, and after she goes on a trip to meet the love of her life, Charlie stays to run the place over Christmas.
Charlie is not a dog person, but day by day she discovers the beauty of mutts and one’s relationship with them.

Not Just for Christmas was lovely, warm story that put a smile on my face so many times.
It is a feel good story that will make readers’ lives better, I honestly believe that.

The writing style is stunning, and it reminds me of Sophie Kinsella’s, but it is still different. In my language, I would call it “pitko” which means that you drink the words, that’s how it easy is to read.

This book has 352 pages and it felt like it had only 200 pages, that’s how fast I read it (and I am a slow reader).

I liked all the characters. Even our villain was sympathetic.

Still, my favorite was Malcolm, a deaf Dane who certainly gave this book a heart.

I don’t say this often in my reviews, but I wouldn’t change anything in this novel.
It was perfect just as it was, and I am so grateful I had a chance to read it.

I can already see it will be the one book I’ll recommend to everyone around me.

If you’re looking for a good Christmas comedy, I highly, highly recommend you Not Just for Christmas (or Mutts and Mistletoe) because trust me, it will put a smile on your face and warm your heart, just like it did my.

Follow the Tour:

Book Review: Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington #EveryTimeABellRings #BookReview #Christmas #MagicalRealism

Title: Every Time a Bell Rings
Author: Carmel Harrington
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Date: November 19th, 2015
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): An angel gets its wings…

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.

As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.

Hence, Christmas is cancelled.

So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.

But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…

Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Carmel Harrington’s next book tells the story of Belle, a young woman and foster carer from Dublin who faces the hardest decision of her life this Christmas on The Ha’Penny Bridge.

Full of Irish charm, magic, and the warmth of the festive season this is an emotional, heartwarming story that will stay with you long after you’ve reached ‘The End’. Perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern & Jojo Moyes.

Review:

Trigger warning: This book talks about child loss.

Every Time a Bell Rings was on my wishlist for the longest time, and this year I decided to grant my wish and bought myself a nice paperback to start a festive season. It was my first Christmas read of 2018 and I am so glad I chose this novel to be the one, because I loved it so much.

Fist advice that I’d give to everyone who wants to read it is to avoid synopsis on the back (or on Goodreads, and yeah, I know I am guilty of pasting those here) because they give too much away.

The story follows Belle and Jim from their early age. We get to see their lives trough years, and most of the events we see happen’ around Christmases.

The story talks about fostering and it manly focuses on this topic, showing us what it’s like to be foster child but also what it’s like to be foster parent. Because of that factor, I can say that I learned a lot about something I knew very little about.

From all the serious subjects this story brings, there is one particular that can be triggering (I mentioned it in the trigger warning) and that is just heartbreaking.

After something like two thirds of the book we get to see the heart of the story, as dash of magical realism plays it’s part.
When I reached that part, the Christmas Spirit really hit me hard, filled my heart with joy and made me want to celebrate life.
I understand my words may sound like exaggerating to you, but if you(‘ll) read the story, you(‘ll) probably get them.

The writing style was really good. The novel is written in first person, from Belle’s POV.

The cover is so beautiful and eye catching, and it was the first thing that caught my attention, but after reading the book I do have one comment, a thing I’d like to be different.
Belle represents POC, she is black, so I wish the girl on the cover was black too. I wish they showed her curly hair because it was mentioned more then few times in the story.

As you could conclude from my words, this book represents diversity, because main character is POC and it also talks about fostering.

In the end, I just want to mention that my copy of the novel has an interview with Carmel Harrington in it, and I really enjoyed reading her words, hearing her say she believes in angels and where her idea came from.

I’d recommend this novel to readers who’d like to read something to put them into Christmas Spirit, but don’t hesitate when it comes to books with more serious topics.

Book Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver #OneDayInDecember #BookReview #Christmas

Title: One Day in December
Author: Josie Silver
Publisher: Penguin
Date: October 18th, 2018
Pages: 417
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don’t meet the one.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Review:

Warning: This book talks about love at first sight.

Pure and simple: I loved this book.

…and to be honest with you, it took me by surprise how much I loved it. It was a perfect book to read, with beautiful writing and fascinating story with feels that gave me shivers.

The story follows Laurie who, one day in December, sees a boy and falls in love. They didn’t talk, she knows nothing about him, but the chemistry and the connection they had by just looking at each other is too strong to forget.
She spends a year dreaming about that boy, trying to find him and believing they were made for each other.
One day, a year later, she happens to meet him, but as her best friend’s boyfriend.
Laurie keeps her secret with her because she doesn’t want to ruin her friendship with Sarah. However, erasing Jack from her heart is not an easy task.

Going into this book I thought it’ll be a quick, easy read. Boy, was I wrong!
I mean, reading this book was pure pleasure, but it was not a light read.
It talks about love, life and human relationships, and if you ask me, it stands somewhere on the edge between women’s fiction and general fiction.

We follow our characters during a decade and we see what they went through during that period of time.

This is pitched as a love story, and it is a love story, but it doesn’t talk only about romantic love.
It talks about different shapes of love: platonic love, love between lovers, friends, parents and children.

It also talks about grief, falling apart, life taking you different directions, marriage and human interactions.

The writing style is beautiful. Some scenes were so emotional and it takes talent to engage readers in a way Silver did.

The story is written in first person, following two POVs: Laurie’s and Jack’s.

The Christmas setting is captured excellently and the novel really gives you that festive vibe, even if the story itself doesn’t take time only during Christmas.

The only thing I wish for is an epilogue. I loved how the story ended, but I think with two, three pages more that talk about some time later it would be even better.

I loved this book so much more then I thought I would. It is now one of my favorite Christmas stories, if not even my favorite, and I would recommend it to everyone who believes (or want to believe) in love at first sight, likes to read about friendships and life twists and turns.

It’s a brilliant piece of fiction.

Book Review: Tainted Luck by Cynthia Austin #BookReview #TaintedLuck #Halloween #Horror

Title: Tainted Luck
Author: Cynthia Austin
Publisher: Britain’s next bestseller
Date: July 30th, 2018
Pages: 129
Format: eARC
Source: from Author for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Levi Kast was content living his life in the shadows. He didn’t want much, just his dad’s attention and the girl of his dreams to notice his existence.

Instead, he got more than he had bargained for.

Taylor James was the new student at Kennedy High. She was eccentric, impulsive, Gothic and…dark.

She always got what she wanted, and she decided instantly that she wanted Levi Kast. He became her obsession.

Despite Levi’s initial response to retreat from her other world presence, he was eventually drawn to this girl and her obsession of death and ghosts.

But Taylor had skeletons in her closest, including a dead boyfriend, and before Levi could understand them, he found himself her next victim.

Review:

Trigger warning: This book talks about suicide and mental illness.

This book is short, so I’ll try to make my review short as well.

I have to admit that if I haven’t been contacted by the author I would probably never read this book. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to, but because I simply haven’t heard about it before.
This is why reviews are so important.

Tainted luck is a story written from Levi’s POV, about a new girl in the school who is mysterious but also a bit addictive.
It has paranormal elements and talks about witchcraft in bits.
If you ask me, the biggest part of this book centers around mental illness.

The story itself is good. I loved how it was developed, from one atmosphere when everything was mysterious and cutesy to the other when it became dark and dangerous.
I loved that, and the whole story was really good. Yes, it had some problems and holes that could be easily fixed, but my main problem (and I hate to say this) lies in the writing style.

I really feel sorry to say that, especially because I was contacted by the author, but I feel that if the story was told in a different, better way it would be so much better.
It had potential to really become Britian’s next bestseller, but sadly, I don’t think it will.

It wasn’t just the writing, I had some issues with characters too.
Levi was not totally unlikeable, but he was annoying at times. However, I would ascribe it to the writing style. With his unpleasant comments he would throw on almost every time when talking about Taylor or describing certain situations.
One sentence even made me feel uncomfortable, and I am quoting it here for you, so you can get the picture what I’m talking about.

“…I turned to her, my patience as shaky as an anorexic supermodel…”

Taylor was unlikeable and rude. This is the was she talked to her own mother:

“Yeah, whatever Mom. How about doing your fucking job and put some dinner on the table?”

What is even more troublesome, that sentence right there made Levi see Taylor in a different way, he started to respect her because from then on.

As for others, they were just stupid most of the time. Didn’t have the courage to stand for themselves, but let that Taylor girl do whatever she wanted, even though their destiny was in question.
I don’t think that anyone could start a seanse in my presence against my will.

I won’t say anything else, I think you got the idea.

Even though you maybe wouldn’t say from my review, I am glad that I read Tainted luck.

I would recommend it to fans of paranormal and to those who want to read something quick and easy, since it has only 129 pages and it reads pretty fast.

Book Review: Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis @PHRGlobal #partner #GiveTheDarkMyLove #BookReview

Title: Give the Dark My Love
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Give the Dark My Love (#1)
Publisher: Razorbill, Penguin
Date: September 25th, 2018
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

Review:

Trigger warning: this book contains graphic surgical operation scenes, talks about deathly disease and also has some scenes with animal cruelty.

 

Give the Dark My Love was one of my most anticipated books this year. 
In all honesty, the first thing that appealed to me was this gorgeous cover, then the synopsis.

This was my first time consciously reading an anti-hero story, and God I loved it so much!
I’ve heard before from many readers how anti-heroes stories are the best ones, but I guess it takes one to read until he’s proven right!

I’ll tell you this, and I mean it wholeheartedly: Give the Dark My Love is one of the best (if not even the best) books I read this year and it will surely be in my top 10 books I read in 2018.
I loved so many things about it, and I am on a mission to tell you everything, so you’d pick it up and hopefully love it as much as I did.

First of all, character development: I loved, loved, loved how the characters we met at the beginning of the story were totally different persons at the end.
There is nothing that I love more in my books then a good character development, and this novel has it at it’s best.

Second: It explores grief and human relationships on such a strong level that even though this world our characters live in is so different from ours, we still empathize with them, understand their feelings and grief with them.
This is fantasy, but still it feels real in a way.

Third: The world is unique, different, dark and gives you creeps. It is perfect for those who like dark fantasies, but it is also perfect as a pick for a spooky read, especially in this time of the year when everyone wants to have that Halloween feeling.

Fourth: Exploring alchemy and necromancy is very interesting in this book, that I even had a feeling I was learning something new.

Fifth: Political games also play part in the story, as one fantasy wouldn’t be complete without it.

Sixth: What kind of story set in high school would it be without little high school drama? Give the Dark My Love has little drama in it, but it is nothing too big and it has it’s reason, but it’s also entertaining at time.

And seventh and final: The writing style is sooooooo good, you will fly through this book and it will keep you interested from the start to the end.

Overall, I am so pleased I have read this book. I had so much fun reading it, but it also made me emotional and I can’t even tell you how many times I have said “OmG, this book is so good!” while reading it.
The start and the first half are pretty good, but the second half is what made this book exceptional!

I would recommend this book to lovers of dark fantasy, adult and young adult.
I would also recommend it to readers who would like to try to read fantasy and to those who like stories about anti-heroes.

I can’t wait for the second book to come out!