Book Review: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner @PRHGlobal #partner #BookReview #Contemporary #YoungAdult

Title: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House
Date: February 26th, 2019
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

After spending some time only reading adult fiction and non fiction, I found myself craving some ya literature. I already read some fantasy this year, but what I really wanted in my life was good ya contemporary, since it was my favorite genre for the longest time.
This novel reminded me why I love this genre so much, and even though it wasn’t a 5 stars book for me, or a brilliant masterpiece, it still made me feel that familiar feeling you have when you return to something you love after a long time, and only from that point only, hours spent with Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee were worth it.

The story follows two best friends: Delia and Josie who work together on a TV show in which they talk about horror movies and they also show old cult horrors.
Josie wants to spend her life working on tv, so the show is her step to start her career, while Delia does the show in hope that one day her father will recognize her and make connection.
Delia doesn’t want for Josie to move on after the graduation, because she doesn’t want to be left alone.
On the other hand, Josie knows she has to move to another city to go to college, and she feels bad about leaving Delia behind.

I liked how the story shows the reality of life. It pictures perfect how hard  it is to succeed, and how many people try to reach their dreams, but they don’t.
Sometimes people do their best, but there is a reason why they say that success is hard work + luck + good connections.

The story is written in two POVs, Delia’s and Josie’s, both written in first person.

I liked each point of view, but if I have to state one that I liked better it would be Josie’s.
Maybe it’s because of Lawson, who is her love interest, and is also an interesting character who contributed to the story with his amazing personality.

It is kind of sad for me to say that I liked the girls the best when they were separated.
I know, it sounds awful, especially because this novel is about friendship, but I have to be honest. Together, they sounded kind of rude, especially when they talked to strangers.

Also, one down side of this novel were dialogues. They mostly sounded too forced. They were too much, and unrealistic.
But then again, maybe teenagers do talk that way these days, I wouldn’t know for sure. All I know is that I didn’t click with the way characters talked in this story.

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee talks about friendship, family and life.
It also covers serious topics like mental illness and poverty.

It is still pretty early and there are not many reviews for this book, but from what I see most people enjoyed this novel more then I did, so keep that in mind when reading my thoughts.

I would recommend this book to young adult contemporary lovers.

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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.

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!

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!

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.

 

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Book Review: A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas #BookReview #WomensFiction #BookLovers #Winter #Sweden #AWinterBeneathTheStars

Title: A Winter Beneath the Stars
Author: Jo Thomas
Publisher: Headline Review
Date: November 29th, 2018
Pages: 368
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Escape to snowy Sweden in the gorgeous new novel from the author of Late Summer in the Vineyard and Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard. Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this unforgettable winter story from Jo Thomas. 

Halley has been running from her problems for years.

On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery… until she doesn’t.

The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.

On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…

Review:

If you follow me for a while, you know that year 2018 will be remembered in my reading life as a year I discovered Jo Thomas.  So far I read three of her books and loved them all. Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard made me fall in love with Thomas’ writing and made me want to read everything she wrote, while The Olive Branch won my heart completely and is now one of my all time favorite books.

I can’t even tell you how happy I was when I got A Winter Beneath the Stars unsolicited in my mailbox (thanks to wonderful Becky Hunter). I read it immediately because I didn’t want to wait, but I’m writing my review 1,5 months after finishing the book, so please forgive me if it’s not the best one.
The most important thing is that I really, really liked (loved it actually) it and that if you love funny chick lit stories, you will too.

The story follows Halley who has a job to deliver important wedding rings in Sweden. Things get complicated when her bag is switched in the airport, and now she has to find a guy who’s bag she got with hope that the rings are still in the bag and that her job will be successfully completed.

When I say I really, really liked the book, I mean that I loved it, but I wasn’t in love with it. I appreciate the story and it is obvious that the author put so much effort into researching.
However, I feel like I have never clicked with our main character Halley on the level that I’d like, nor did I like our male character Bjorn. Somehow he was dislikeable.

Other than that, Winter Beneath the Stars was really fun to read. I liked getting to know Swedish Lapland and the (few) people who live in that side of the world, as I have never been there nor do I know anyone from there.

Some parts were filled with so much snow and the only thing that was happening was our main characters talking or thinking something to themselves, while sleigh riding and coordinating dogs.
So if I’m being honest, at some point I lose my orientation and forgot for how long we were riding with our characters.

There were two twists or surprises in the story, but I figured them out before they were revealed. I can’t tell you if the reason for that is because the plot was predictable or maybe I would write the story the same way if I was a writer.
Whatever it is, I just want to stress out that I didn’t mind the predictability.

The story is written in first person, from Halley’s POV, but it also has some (small) parts written in third person.

A Winter Beneath the Stars is Jo Thomas’ first winter novel but I hope it won’t be the last, because it brightened my mood when I was reading it, and I am really looking forward to read her other work.
I feel like this author is the one I’ll always like to come back to.

If you’re looking for a light and fun novel to read during winter, look no further: A Winter Beneath the Stars is the one for you!

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.

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