Posted in Book reviews

Book Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ALICE: THE WANDERLAND CHRONICLES by J. M. Sullivan

  • Published: 16/05/2017
  • 360 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.25

Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.

Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote – if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.

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I consider myself to be so lucky for being recommended this book. I read some amazing reviews and I heard so much about it, but because of my never-ending list of books, it took me a while to get to it.

Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles is very unique retelling story with unbelievably exciting and thrilling plot.

Author kept characters very true and close to their originals but gave each of them their own twist. It’s not the typical genre I read, but I love reading something different for a change and this was a great choice.

Pages were flying in front of me, it was probably one of the fastest reads for me and I just couldn’t stop. With every page I grew closer to Alice and it was impossible to not admire her for her strong love to her sister and her bravery.

I found the idea for the plot exciting and different. I’m not big fan of zombies but somehow this didn’t bother me much, it was very refreshing as opposed to sweet fairy tale stories.

Simple and present POV was a nice change as well, it made story float naturally without a lot of jumps between past and present and gave it it’s thrilling speed.

This book is 100% a real page turner, I couldn’t predict anything and open ending left me gasping for more.

At last but not least what a beautiful idea to hide your own message into the book. I kept writing the letters down from the beginning, as story started to unfold, so did the message. I’ve never seen such a thing in any book and if the great plot wasn’t enough to get addicted to reading of this book, message would definitely get you hooked.

I LOVED IT FROM THE FIRST PAGE TO THE LAST, please pick this book up when you get a chance and read it, I would love to hear your opinion.

“That’s easy, Alice,” he said. His amber eyes melted into hers. “It’s the first rule of chess: always protect your queen.”

 Professional Reader

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Discussion: Caffeine & Kids, how young is too young to drink coffee?

In past few weeks I’ve been consumed by reading some fantastic books and couldn’t wait to share some reviews of the ones I enjoyed the most.

Although I worked nearly every day (I run a small Cafe), I didn’t feel like there was much to share from my work life or something else coffee related.

However today I came across (not for the first time) another customer who placed an order with me for two coffees, for herself and her (I would guess 9/10 years old) son.

Everytime this happens, it makes me feel a bit uneasy. I drink a lot of coffee and my body is kind of used to the caffeine hit. I can deal with highs and lows of caffeine in my body but on rare occasions I still get hand shakes or fast heartbeat. I love coffee and I believe in its benefits. I also believe in moderation and even if drinking coffee has its benefits, I’m aware it’s not a good idea to overdo it. I’m an adult and I make it my decision to drink coffee, I enjoy the taste and after drinking coffee for about 15 years, I also need it.

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But what if you are making this decision on behalf of someone else, someone much younger, someone who is your responsibility? Can you just say ‘No’ or let them decide?

It’s happened to me few times that there were parents or grandparents ordering coffee/iced coffee for their children or grandchildren. On one occasion the girl couldn’t have been older than 6. I love my job, take it very responsibly and I feel it’s my duty to inform (warn) parents that our coffee is strong, offer them decaf option, but not on one occasion they chose to change their order. They always gave an options to their kids and made them decide. I’m confused.

I’m not mother myself so maybe it’s difficult for me to understand but I don’t think I would let my underaged child make this decision, I don’t think I would let them drink full caff coffee.

I’m not sure if it was lack of knowledge what caffeine does to you, or how highly addictive it can be. Maybe it was just one off and they just felt tired?

Currently media is full of programs and talks about how bad sugar is, how we need to protect our children from it and make sure we keep amount of sugar in our diets to minimum. Surely caffeine is no different, it just isn’t spoken about as it’s not a wide spread problem….. yet.

I would really like to understand and discuss this issue. It makes me very uncomfortable to tell my customers they shouldn’t have something they asked for, telling mothers what is good or bad for their children or on one occasion, making their 6 year old granddaughter decaff iced latte (without them knowing) as I couldn’t make myself to press that button on the ‘caff’ grinder.

Please comment and join in discussion I would love to see your point of view on this issue.

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ THE LUCKY ONES by Mark Edwards 

  • Published: 15/06/2017
  • 382 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.45

It was the happiest day of her life. Little did she know it was also the last.

When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces.

A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky.

But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben.

Happiness…and death.

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I managed to get my hands on this great thriller few days go. Newly published, it ranked really high on Amazon and I’ve decided to get a Kindle version of it straight away.

Thrillers being my favourite genre, I’ve read fair amount of them and unfortunately many of them became easily forgotten over time or tend to have similar plots and twists. What an amazing surprise was to come across this one, great and unique plot and every chapter packed with excitement. REAL PAGE TURNER.

The Lucky Ones is the first book I read written by Mark Edwards and I can’t believe I’ve never read any other ones.

The book si written from different POVs and characters and their lifes are very believable. Ben quickly became my favourite character and I was really worried about him. He seemed like a person who needs his life to get better and that made me instantly extremely concerned about him and his son.

I tend to enjoy and love Killer’s POVs in any thriller and reading the thoughts of killer who wants his victims to die happy, was very interesting.

Although some things I could guess and work out myself, author still managed to keep me excited and surprise me with lots of twists and turns. Final just left me staring at the screen, not believing it’s over and what just happened?? Just genius!

I would recommend this book to any thriller lover and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

It was easy 5 star review given to this novel and I can’t wait to read all the other ones written by Mark Edwards, which I’ve already purchased on Kindle. Exciting reading nights ahead of me and more reviews to follow.

Thanks for reading and comment if you also read this book and your views on it.

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ THE PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS by Taryn Leigh

  • Published: 29/03/2017
  • 290 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.48

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa. Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach. Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence. As Sarah’s story is slowly revealed, her intriguing tale will keep your interest every step of the way.

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This book is a rare find. I typically read different genres but I was recommended this book by a friend and I never looked back. I read it in less than 6 hours because it was impossible to put it down, walk away from this story and get on with my life before I knew how it ends. I’m giving it 5* without a hesitation and adding it to the list of my all time favourite books.

The perfect imperfections is written in such a beautiful style and you fall in love with characters from the start

It’s written really clever way and only revealing a bit by bit. Sarah, who has decided to move back to South Africa to heal her broken heart and put distance between her and her dark past, keeps her pain locked inside and doesn’t share what happened with anyone, not even her best friend, until the end. It makes this book a real page turner.

It’s also a story of real friendship that holds you above the surface when you feel like drowning. It’s so beautiful, I felt a tiny sting of envy for this amazing relationship.

The story of the true love, that overcomes everything, even decades of separation.

The story of fresh starts, even if you feel like you have no reason to keep going.

Author is very descriptive and makes you feel like you suddenly happen to be in South Africa. I’ve never been there but she has painted a ‘perfectly imperfect picture’ of the place, I could literally feel the heat of the country and see the real colours. I have a great imagination but I hardly experience such a strong feeling of being at the place of the story. It immediately made me feel like booking a flight to South Africa.

If you want to read a ‘feel good book’, dealing with grief, need a positive vibes in your life or just love happy endings, this book is for you. And if you are just like me and usually stick to the same genre, give this book a try and I promise you, you won’t be be disappointed.

The beauty of a new day always carried with it a sense of hope. Each day could be so vastly different to the one before. Life could change in an instant, from joy to sorrow and from sorrow back to joy. Nothing in life was guaranteed, no one held the promise of another day.

But I’ve realised that sometimes things can be a little different, almost vastly different, yet make perfect sense when they are brought together. Sometimes differences are what make things symmetrical.

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ THE ONE by John Marrs

  • Published: 04/05/2017
  • Genre: psychological thriller
  • 416 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.31

How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

What a fantastic book! Very very well done to the author. 

Before I start my review I would like to note that I’ve given this book 5 stars for numerous reason and it has become one of my favorite books so far. 

Writing style, short and sharp chapters were building up excitement and book dragged me into the story from the first page. Concept of DNA match choosing your lifetime partner is not only really clever but kind of scary as it could easily happen in very near future. 

Story involving couples that had their DNAs matched, affects of it on their lifes, decisions they have to make in order to be happy for the rest of their life with the person meant for them. 

I couldn’t help but to create some sort of personal feelings towards all characters and their stories. Even the least likeable characters made me feel like they too deserved happiness. Twists and turns continue thorough all book and there wasn’t a chapter that wouldn’t contain some sort of surprise. 

Multiple POVs were little confusing at the start as this book really evolved around many people and their life’s. However after only few chapters when I got to know all the characters it was very easy to switch between them. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about such a short chapters but this book was so exciting that short chapters were definitely in favour of it. 

It only took me half a day to read this book as it was absolutely unputdownable. One of the most exciting books I’ve ever read and deeper into the story I got, faster I was reading as I couldn’t wait for the next page. 

I will leave any spoilers out as this book is so amazing it deserves to be read without any expectation, I fell in love with the characters, with the writing style and I will recommend this book to absolutely everyone who likes to read, no matter what genre you like, this book deserves a shot.

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Fast reader: Pros & Cons OF speedy reading

Few weeks ago, while I was posting my reading progress of the book in one of the book clubs, I was told “gosh you are a fast reader”.

I guess I am. I didn’t pay much attention to it, only when I kept running out of books on holidays or when away from home. Otherwise,  I always have my ‘To be read pile’ to go thorough and I constantly feel like I have ‘too many books and so little time’. If you also love buying books, without thinking when you will get a chance to read them, you probably have very similar pile yourself.

What is considered fast reading? I can easily read one book per day or two (aprox.300 pages) if I love the book and have free time obviously. Once I get into book, sometimes it only takes as much as few pages or one chapter, I find it extremely difficult to leave a book on a side and get on with my life. If the story sucks me in, I need to know what happens and spent many sleepless nights reading just to see what’s on the next page. You could call me bookworm or addicted on books and both names would be quite fitting but I blame all those great authors, letting me slip into their stories and live the life of someone else just for a little bit.

However, I assume reading one book in a day or two isn’t super speedy and most of the people, having a free time, could go thorough books in about the same speed as me.


How does the speed of my reading really affect my reading experience? Right, this is something I keep thinking about a lot recently. I realise when reading faster, I find myself not always focusing on descriptive text, and many times,  I have to go back and reread it again to get my head properly into the setting. Also,  I am aware a lot of readers look up new words, words they don’t recognize or are not sure about their meaning, in the dictionary. I must admit, I don’t do it and I never really have, not since I learnt to read and understand books in English (English not being my native language). I know I would probably really benefit from that and it would definitely help to improve my vocabulary but I just get carried away and dragged into the story and words are not words anymore, they create story and coming across some words I’m not totally familiar with doesn’t really disturb my experience. In return, I get to read more books in shorter space of time and enjoy more stories and worlds I can visit thanks to my vivid imagination.

Do you start a new book straight after you finished one? Well this is one of the habits I’m trying to change. It’s sort of fight between my conscious mind telling me I should just sit back and think about the book I’ve just read, think about the story, what this book gave me. Just indulge the experience. My unconsciousness forces me to pick up a new book from my pile and get into new story, be someone else again and leave past in the past. Nowadays I try and force myself to have a break between books and just process it. I struggle, to be completely honest, but I hope it’s better for me. I tend to love and enjoy some books so much and forget about them so soon and I believe it is because of the speed I’m going thorough books.

I would love to hear your take on reading habits and how fast is too fast…

Does reading speed affect how you enjoy the books?

Do you use dictionary? Is it slowing you down or totally improves your reading?

Do you read book after book, more books at the time or do you have any other reading habits you want to share?

Comment bellow, I would be very interested to see if I’m the only one wondering about this topic or there is more of us 🙂

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐ SISTER by Rosamund Lupton

  • Published: 02/09/2010
  • Genre: Mystery, crimi, thriller
  • 358 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.77

Nothing can break the bond between sisters …When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister’s disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister’s life – and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face.The police, Beatrice’s fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

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I chose Sister based on many recommendations from my fellow book lovers and decided to take it with me as a ‘journey’ book. Oh my, it got me hooked. I struggled to close it and nearly forgot to board my flight. Considering this book has been published quite a few years ago, I can’t believe I’ve never came across it.

Sister is written in form of letter which makes this story more personal, powerful and just so heartbreaking. It’s written from perspektive of Bee, older sister of missing lively, young and independent Tess.

Bee travels back to UK after phone call telling her, her sister Tess is missing. Knowing her sister the best and being so close to her Bee can’t believe her sister would run away or disappear without a word and from the first moment knows, someone must be behind her disappearance.

With all hope of finding Tess well and safe, Bee searches her flat, speaks to people who had any contact with her sister but unfortunately Tess has been found dead in old public toilets. Post mortem suggests suicide and police has no need to question it and closes the case.

Bee knows her sister the best, she knows there is no way Tess would end her life and doesn’t stop the search and refuses to grieve, until she finds the person responsible for her dead.

Lots of secrets and lies surface with turning every page. Tess had a stalker, secret lover (married professor), gave birth to stillborn baby Xavier, post natal depression and many more lead Bee to to different directions and so many possible murderers.

At the end of the book we found out that Bee is only writing mental letter to her sister and is actually being held captive by her sister’s murderer at the same place of her sister’s death. Totally unexpected turn left me shocked and had to reread the last chapter just to be sure. All pieces suddenly fall back into place and when you don’t expect happy ending anymore, newly found friend saves her life.

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I loved this book, found it gripping and exciting in this sad, terrible kind of way and would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good unpudownable book with unpredictable ending.

Our mind is who we are; it’s where we feel and think and believe. It’s where we have love and hate and faith and passion.

But you want to know if Xavier is burried with you. Of course he is, Tess. Of course he is. In your arms.

If you enjoyed this review, go and check out R. Lupton’s Q&A on this book by Alexandra Beggs and Bruce Handy, courtesy of vanityfair.com.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2011/06/qa-rosamund-lupton-on-her-new-psychological-thriller-sister

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Beginnings

My first book? Can’t possibly remember the title or who the author was.  My memory doesn’t go that far back, I just know, it was really long time ago.

I probably picked up my first book and I was hooked. I was reading during most of my childhood and I’ve been reading for most of my adulthood so far.

I really believe you either love it or hate it. If you get dragged into the story, when things start happening and you can feel what you are reading, THAT’S IT.

It was nothing more or less for me. Being transfered to different reality, the one you can mostly choose by choosing a genre. As easy as it is nowadays to choose program on Netflix.

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Books are more than that to me. It’s hard to explain and if you love books, love filling up your bookshelves, appreciate book recommendations or feel overly sensitive over borrowing your precious book gems, you can certainly understand.

I’ve always felt a bit excluded and found it hard to belong anywhere. Only recently, I found a Book club on Facebook I joined and finally feel like part of community that understands and share this passion with me.

I can’t believe how may people out there still find so much happiness in reading, because seeing libraries or bookshops feels nowadays like the thing of the past.

My newly found confidence in reading and sharing my opinions brought me here. I used to enjoy writing when I was younger but move to different country, learning a new language and adjusting to new culture have distracted me for a long time. I’m making my comeback and trying it in my second language so some grammar mistakes are expected.

So here it is –  my passion for books and soon hopefully for writing too.