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.

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Rivalry, Revenge and Bitches: Tell Me a Secret by Jane Fallon (Book Review) #BookReview #WomensFiction #Revenge #TellMeASecret

Title: Tell Me a Secret
Author: Jane Fallon
Publisher: Penguin, Michael Joseph
Date: January 10th, 2019
Pages: 404
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

Two years ago I read Jane Fallon’s My Sweet Revenge and I really liked it. You can read my review here. I loved how it was a perfect read for book clubs, because there was so many things people could discuss about, and I am happy to say that with Tell Me a Secret the case is the same.

This book would make a perfect book club pick. There are so many small details and clues readers could pick up, and also characters’ actions they could debate on.

What I liked the most about this novel were it’s characters. Almost all of them had strong personalities and they felt real.
I was always character driven reader, so it is really important for me to have opinions about characters, whether that be positive or negative opinions. There is nothing worse then flat heroes, and this book is full of impressive people.

The story follows Holly who just got a promotion in the company she works at. She is a screen writer, and now is in charge of others writers for the teen soap opera they work on.
After her promotion, strange things start to happen to her. Her scripts are all messed up, her colleagues get personal emails from her, that she hadn’t sent, and even her boss gets one.
Someone is trying to sabotage her, so she wouldn’t keep her work position.

Tell Me a Secret is mainly focused on friendships and rivalry. It talks about real friends and fake ones, and how far people would go when it comes to relationships with others.
It’s second focus is family and importance of people that are close to us.

There is no love story, which was kind of surprising to me, but I also have to stress out that it wasn’t missing at all. I think that this novel was complete and amazing without romance.
So if you’re not a fan of romance, here’s the book for you!

This book made me think and question why people lie to make themselves look better in others’ eyes.
I hate lies and don’t like people who tell them. I almost never lie, so reading about pathological liar in this book was kind of interesting. Still, I rolled my eyes at that character so much and thought she was just pathetic.

The end was so much different then the one I would chose to have in my real life, if I was in Holly’s shoes. I guess that just proves that Holly is bigger person then me.

In the end, I just want to mention that Fallon’s voice is so good that it was a pleasure to read this story.
Some parts were dragged, and maybe the novel could have been a bit shorter, but still, I appreciate every single chapter of this book.

And the cover… OmG, Jane Fallon always has these awesome book covers with food or drink on them, that are simple but attractive. You can not notice her book with those covers!

Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who like to read about friends and enemies, family and lots of drama.
If you like to discuss about books you read, this one is a perfect choice!

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:

Book Review: One New York Christmas by Mandy Baggot #BookReview #OneNewYorkChristmas #Christmas #Chicklit

Title: One New York Christmas
Author: Mandy Baggot
Publisher: Ebury, Penguin Random House UK
Date: November 15th, 2018
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisherr for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Will this Christmas romance be just for the holidays?

A fun, festive romantic comedy to curl up with this winter. If you love Josie Silver’s One Day in December, you’ll love Mandy Baggot’s heart-warming festive romance.

Lara Weeks is heading to New York with best friend Susie for the Christmas trip of a lifetime.

festive break in the snowy Big Apple visiting the tourist hotspots, not to mention the shopping, seems like the perfect way for Lara to get over her ex-boyfriend. Or maybe make him so jealous he begs for a second chance.

Enlisting the help of gorgeous actor, Seth Hunt, doesn’t quite go to plan, but there’s something about him that has Lara wishing for a different kind of happy ever after

Review:

One New York Christmas is the second christmassy book written by Mandy Baggot that I have read, and I can officially say that her festive novels are must have during winter.
I loved the previous one (One Christmas in Paris) and I adored this one too.

The story follows Lara who spends her holidays in New York, trying to heal her broken heart.
On the other side there is Seth, a good looking actor with a kind heart, who tries his best to succeed in the acting career, and make his parents proud of him.

At first, I thought this will be a romantic, funny story, and it was, but it was also so much more.
The story explores some complex topics like adoption and unknownness of one’s own origin.
Then, it also talks about being homeless and how there are more then few reasons how one can end up on the streets, even when he’s trying to do something with his life.

The story also talks about family, friendships and human relationships, and it well inquires those aspects.

But at the same time, while talking about such serious subjects, it manages to entertain readers, make them laugh, relax then and put them into Christmas Spirit.

I liked almost all the characters, Seth and Lara, their best friends and their family members. There are only few “unlikeable” characters, which were ment to be “bad guys” of the story, but I didn’t mind them.

However, I have to stress out that one character I admired the most was New York itself.
Yes, you’ve read it right! Mandy Baggot described that city and it’s atmosphere during December so well, that it got his own role in the story, and I as a reader couldn’t forget that we were in New York.
That, my friends, is what I call amazing writing ability!

I loved almost everything about this story, but there is one (probably not that important) thing that made me feel a bit uncomfortable, and I will tell you what it is, because I’m always honest in my reviews. However, I think most people wouldn’t even notice that thing.
I didn’t like how Lara called her brother Aldo, who is adopted, her “almost-brother”. It happened 12 times in the story, and it made me feel like she was trying to separate herself from him, like stressing out that he was not her brother by blood was so important, she had to call him almost-brother instead just calling him brother instead?
I don’t know, we have one adopted family member (my father’s cousin) and I can imagine if his sister was calling him almost-brother it would hurt his feelings. It would make him feel like he wasn’t genuine part of the family, and it would be wrong.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading One New York Christmas and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys festive chick lits and Christmas stories.

I can’t wait to see what other books Mandy Bagott has written/will write because this author is definitely on my tbr!

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: 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!

Book Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White @PHRGlobal #partner #BookReview

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press, Penguin
Date: September 25th, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Review:

I think The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein was my most anticipated book of the year, when it comes to ya titles.
I do have to admit that I lack when it comes to that genre this year. I feel like so many books came out and after my blogging/reviewing slump that started last year and lasted until August this year, all I try to do is catch up, by trying to see/read what was popular and what still have to come out, I feel kinda lost. The struggle is real!

Reading this novel was a relaxing pleasure for me. This time I didn’t go blind into the book (I know, shocking!) and I liked it that way.
I have already watched/read other reviews so I kinda knew what to expect, but that didn’t ruin my reading experience. If anything, it made it even better.
Why?
Because I already expected a slow plot developing so it didn’t bother me.

The other reason why I wasn’t bored by the slow plot is that I knew this is a retelling of a classic, and most classics that I’ve read were pretty slow when it comes to plot developing and pace.

Character wise, this book was excellent.
Elizabeth was an amazing protagonist and I enjoyed reading her POV. I loved how everything she did was based on her purpose to survive in the best conditions possible.
I also liked side characters, but also Victor, who was likeable and mysterious.

The whole time I was reading I felt like the author was hiding something from readers, something important.
I didn’t understand why Elizabeth and Victor were connected on such a strong level, and I loved the feeling of the hidden mystery, of the atmosphere it created.

The writing style was great. This book reminded me how much I loved White’s writing in Paranormalcy.

Also, I chose the perfect time to read this book. Now when everything is in Halloween decorations and spooky books/movies are desirable, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein came as the best option.

I would recommend this novel to lovers of retellings, spooky books and young adult genre.