Posted in Wrap-up

September Wrap-up

I know it is a cliché 90% of us use at the beginning of a wrap-up post but HOW THE HELL IS IT THE END OF SEPTEMBER? I have recollections of the beginning of the month when I started the paperwork for university, then my birthday, and endless hours waiting for the mail guy to deliver my package, and suddenly October knocks on the door. Can I get those days back? I really need them. Plus, the weather cheated. It’s still summer here. Where is the cold??
Continue reading “September Wrap-up”

Posted in Book Reviews

Eyes Are The Windows To The Soul

my grandfather's eyes

Title: My Grandfather’s Eyes
Author: B.A Spicer
Release date:
November 27th 2013
Format: eBook
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half star

Alex Crane is not a nice woman. But she understands what it is to be set apart from other people, and she knows the pain of unrequited love.

Inside a small cupboard at the top of the stairs during a Christmas game of hide and seek, five-year-old Alex Crane listens to her cousins as they dance downstairs chanting, ‘Poo face! Poo face!’ She raises a small hand and covers her moles, glowing with shame and confusion. She does not want them to find her. Already reeling from the loss of her beloved grandfather, the cousins’ careless words cut deep. But there is worse to come, and Alex discovers that there are very few people in the world whom she can trust. Years later, self-assured but emotionally disaffected, Alex marries, knowing that the only person she cares for is her closest friend, Lizzy. Trapped and with diminishing hope, Alex almost gives in to Richard’s suffocating devotion. However, the discovery of a family mystery takes her over. She pieces together clues and delves deeper into the past, recalling scenes from her childhood which mask a devastating truth. The cupboard at the top of the stairs cannot hold Alex forever. Continue reading “Eyes Are The Windows To The Soul”

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (September 28th 2016)

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This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

This week again, there were changes of plan regarding my reading schedule. When I was told Carry On was 500 pages long, I knew I had to start it early enough to save a day to review. It turned out it was useless, but I did not know it at the time!

∧ Then ∧ Carry On, Rainbow Rowell/ The Fire Child, S.K Tremayne

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Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

21%. I reached 21% before I decided to give up and erase this book from my Kindle. You cannot say I did not try. Boy did I try. It would have been fun to write a review of why I DFN’ed it but I don’t believe I have enough material except for “why does a bad Harry Potter fanfiction have such a good rating?” I opened the book (virtually of course, I am so glad I did not by a physical copy) not knowing a thing about the story. Maybe I should have read the synopsis before! Nothing convinced me – neither the million Harry Potter parallels, not the characters. The writing itself could not save the book. I am aware I am on the very unpopular side of the general opinion right now, but I just did not see the point of finishing a book that bored me to death. Really, I literally fell asleep reading it. That never happens to me. Never.

the fire child

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:

‘You will be dead by Christmas.’

What is best to fight a slump than your most anticipated story of the year? I cannot believe I waited three months to read this. I’m amazed at my willpower! (Well, it has more to do with the numerous ARCs I needed to read than pure willpower, but shush, let’s keep it a secret.) Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed with the story.

≈ Now ≈ Manipulated Lives, H.A Leuschel

manipulated

Five stories – Five Lives.
Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?
Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

Starting this one today!

∨ Next ∨ Queen of Shadows, Sarah J. Maas

queen-of-shadows


The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

It is time to meet Celaena again and hope she does not annoy me as much as she did in the last book. And the book before. And the first book. A girl can hope.

Have you read any of these books? What is on your list this week?
Do share in the comments:)
Happy reading
!

Posted in Blogging Life, Mental Health

Today on Donna’s Anatomy

I just realized this title sounds weird and somehow dirty. But what I have to tell you is neither weird or dirty. This is a small update on why there was no review last week and why there will be less reviews for the remaining months of the year. Also, It is a little apology to the authors and publishers who have trusted me with their work.

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Now that the subject of the post is clear (me, me, me!), let me say I’m not going on holiday after I won the lottery (unfortunately!) It turns out my health requires me to slow down on reading and blogging once again. Some wires in my brain have stopped functioning correctly. That is all I understood from my doctor’s speech. Doctors should have their own interpreter!
One of the results is a tiring tiredness (my teacher would hate me for that!) who makes me forget what you just said, what I just said, how to properly attach a leash to a dog or what the hell I was going to do in the kitchen.

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As you can guess, issues with memory make writing reviews or posts a tiny bit more difficult!
I cannot bring myself to go on hiatus because it would mean leave the most part of my social life behind, and I would go berserk in a week. Make it three days. Instead, I will take more time to read, meaning my Wednesday posts will become quite boring! Also, reviews might become slightly different and contain less critical content. I will do my best to keep them worth reading, but I have already noticed changes and I wanted to apologize if you feel the quality suffers from this.
I have closed my blog to review requests for now and will stay away from NetGalley (this can only be good for my ratio!)
I will keep commenting as much as possible, but with a smaller time frame, I might miss a few posts. As blogging is now an important part of my life, I felt this post was necessary!

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For authors and publishers: I will of course fulfill all of my engagements, I just need a little more time to work. If your book has not been reviewed yet, I apologize for the delay and will do my best to publish very soon!

The now-recurring personal post is over! I wish you all a great week, and plenty of brilliant reads and waffles!

Posted in Tags & Awards

Suntag: All The Series Ever (Read/Reading/To Be Read)

I was quite silent this week. I won’t bother you with whys and hows, because today is all about Tags!

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I was tagged by the lovely Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger to do the All The Series Ever Tag created by Fadwa over at Word Wonders. I did not really care whether or not books belonged to a series when I started blogging, but in the past months, I have slowly begun building a nice list! Continue reading “Suntag: All The Series Ever (Read/Reading/To Be Read)”

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (September 21st 2016)

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This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

∧ Then ∧ Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Jen Campbell

weird

This Sunday Times Bestseller is a miscellany of hilarious and peculiar bookshop moments:
‘Can books conduct electricity?’
‘My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that’s ok… isn’t it?’

A John Cleese Twitter question [‘What is your pet peeve?’], first sparked the ‘Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’ blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller’s collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor.

From ‘Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?’ to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year’s weather; and from ‘I’ve forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter’ to’Excuse me… is this book edible?’

This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top ‘Weird Things’ from bookshops around the world.

I cheated. I was supposed to read Jenny Lawson’s good looking book, but then my birthday happened and I received brilliant gifts, including Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops. Between two fights with the post office, I just had to grab this book and get a good laugh. Some people should not be allowed in bookstores.

≈ Now ≈ Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson

lets pretend

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

I am only a few chapters in, so I can’t really say much, but I am not as convinced by this book as I was by Furiously Happy.

∨ Next ∨ Manipulated Lives, H.A Leuschel

manipulated

Five stories – Five Lives.
Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?
Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

I really like the sound of this book. I will try and catch up with the three reviews waiting to be written before picking it, so I better get to work.

Have you read any of these books? What is on your list this week?
Do share in the comments:)
Happy reading
!

Posted in Life in General

26 Turning 9

It feels weird to write a post about your birthday, a bit self-centered, but I’ll live with it. I don’t want to pressure you into wishing me a happy birthday and sending me cake, although the cake would be appreciated. But it’s that time of the month. No, not that time. The “Let’s Get Personal” time.

So, according to my ID I’m turning 26. According to my mother, I’m turning 6, again and forever. According to me, I’m turning into an even more cynical and bitter version of myself.

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I did not always hate my birthday. I had the best of times when I moved into my first apartment and all my family thought it would be so cool to offer me furniture and stuff to make that place my home instead of books or make up. I thank them for that, because the place would have been empty otherwise. I had an awesome night at the pub for my 23rd birthday. I am so glad I don’t recall everything that happened that night. I had a crazy birthday night in Japan, trying to remember everyone’s name and taking the subway a little drunk at midnight (Am I the only one who can get drunk with only 4 cans of something containing a ludicrous 3% of alcohol in it?! I miss those cans.)

But generally speaking, I’m not a fan of my birthday. Blame it on family members and bad luck. More recently, blame it on a crazy mental health and bad luck. But most of all, blame it on that stupid comparison to others and what they have achieved at the same age, or worse, younger. I know I should not because it’ll give me wrinkles before my time.

So there will be disappointment, and maybe even a few tears. Yes, I’m emotional so let’s take bets: happy tears or sad tears?
But I was inspired by Jenny @ Jenny In Wonderland, whose birthday was earlier this month (Happy birthday again!). Like her, I ponder about all the things I haven’t done yet and I am not the shiniest person to be with on my special day. But that does not mean I can’t celebrate my victories, big or small. I can keep comparing, or I can remember all the things I survived, like my first white hair and too many dentist appointments.

So while I am stuffing my face with lemon cake (special thanks to Claire for the recipe) and having a Suits marathon, you can discover 26 things I have achieved, been, seen or experienced.

#1 Lived on my own

#2 Went skying

#3 Raised my baby dog to be the sweetest and most adorable cutie ever

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#4 Traveled to Spain and Portugal

#5 Went on many yoga workouts (No, I won’t post pictures, they’re embarrassing)

#6 Overcome my dentist phobia

#7 Learned to drive

david-in-car

(Because there’s no birthday without DT)

#8 Never gave up on my dream

#9 Kicked agoraphobia’s ass once already

#10 Shared a bathroom with no shower cubicle with 30 other girls  (for a prude like me, it’s a miracle I did it)

#11 Went to my teenage years favorite band’s concert

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#12 Bought my first car alone

#13 Put together every piece of furniture in the house

#14 Became a pub regular (not an alcoholic!)

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#15 Went from a good student to a studying-machine to get into Ritsumeikan University

#16 Forgave

#17 Survived school

hated-high-school

#18 Paid for university and provided for myself thanks to student jobs

#19 Rescued and adopted a deaf dog

#20 Found a friend for life

#21 Lived alone in Japan

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(Yes it is a terrible picture and I have a thousand others with amazingly mind-blowing landscapes but look, a bookstore!! And because we are in Japan, it’s open from 10 to 25. Yep, 25. Weirdly I never saw that hour when I was there)

#22 Went to the movies and ate way too much pop corn

#23 Became a tutor

lord-testing

#24 Demonstrated for our rights and against laws and projects (Once a French, always a French)

#25 Won a paintball game

#26 Fought like hell for my mother, because it’s always been us against the world

If you made it this far, thank you so much for losing 4 minutes and 37 seconds of your day, here’s a hug.

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This is the end of the self-centered and useless post of the day! Next week will be all sun and fun with a tag! I just wanted it to be a reminder that we all compare ourselves to others sometimes, that small things matter, and that every road is different.

Do you like birthdays or do you hide in your room and turn off the phone until it is over?

Posted in Hype or Like Meme

Hype or Like Friday: Books That Made Me Want To Read

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Larkin, Britt and Jill . Check out the Goodreads group to know more about it and stay up to date with the weekly discussions and book of the month.

September 16th- Books That Made Me Want To Read– Think about what books you read while you were in school that made you want to read. Maybe you were an English Lit major in college because you fell in love with Shakespeare or Jane Austen.
Continue reading “Hype or Like Friday: Books That Made Me Want To Read”

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (September 14th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

∧ Then ∧ Undertow, Elizabeth Heathcote

undertow


A heart-pounding psychological thriller for fans of Disclaimer and Apple Tree Yard.

My husband’s lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.
Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcé with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of ‘second wife’. She knows she’ll always live in the shadow of another woman – not Tom’s first wife Laura, who is resolutely polite and determinedly respectable, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night.

It turns out I quite enjoy the “don’t trust your husband” trope. Beware of your husbands, ladies. It starts with hiding the dirty laundry and before you know it they hide a body.

≈ Now ≈ The Ice Beneath Her, Camilla Grebe

the ice beneath her

Starting this one today! Cleo’s review sparkled my enthusiasm about finally discovering a Nordic crime story.

∨ Next ∨ Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson

lets pretend

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

Time for a small break from my usual genre to something lighter before my head explodes. I am sure this one will be entertaining enough to give me the break I need.

Have you read any of these books? What is on your list this week?
Do share in the comments:)
Happy reading
!

 

Posted in Book Reviews

One-way Ticket To Paradise

I love lists. Lists are handy to keep track of everything, including the essential steps for the perfect vacation. If I don’t write it down, I might forget I want a Suits marathon, or a karaoke night. And without karaoke, what’s the good in going on a holiday?

french guesthouseTitle: Return toThe Little French Guesthouse
Author: Helen Pollard
Publisher: Bookouture
Release date:
August 26th 2016
Format: eBook
Pages: 336
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In her second book, Helen Pollard invites us to spend a few days in a small French heaven for a well-deserved break. So I packed (heavily, as usual) and wrote a list of everything I am looking for in the perfect summer story, before diving head first into Return To The Little French Guesthouse. Now let’s see if our stay at La Cour Des Roses fits the criteria!

For a perfect summer holiday, you need:
Continue reading “One-way Ticket To Paradise”