Saturday, 28 February 2015

'Dunaway's Crossing', Nancy Brandon

Dunaway's Crossing
Goodreads * Amazon UK * Amazon
Book summary: Bea Dot Ferguson has a life many in Savannah envy: a wealthy husband, a luxurious house, a baby on the way. But appearances are deceiving. To hide a terrible secret, Bea Dot married a man she didn’t love—only to suffer his brutality later on. When her cousin Netta invites her for a visit in rural Pineview, Georgia, Bea Dot jumps at the chance to escape. But she soon learns she’s traded one perilous situation for another—Pineview has been infected with deadly Spanish influenza. As the epidemic escalates, Bea Dot and Netta must fight for survival. With the help of Will Dunaway, a recently returned Great War veteran, Bea Dot draws upon strength she never knew she had. As she and Will desperately try to avoid contagion, their mutual attraction grows, making them both the target of her husband’s wrath.

A sweeping Southern tale of hope and betrayal, love and loss, Dunaway’s Crossing is a moving testament to the strength of the human spirit.
I couldn't put this book down, seriously! It's anything I expected it to be. It's much deeper and darker but still beautiful and full of hope. Bea Dot bears a dark secret of her past and has to deal with the only man that knows it - her abusive and violent husband Ben. She has a strong spirit that her spouse didn't break yet. Her character got a chance to develop while staying in Pineview.
Nancy Brandon has a natural gift of writing about feelings and relationships between people - I totally adored the short moments when Ralph and Netta were sharing their joy of having their baby on the way after so many failed attempts. She perfectly portrayed the quarrels between Netta and Bea Dot and their touching reunion. All good characters in the book were beautifully built and saying goodbye to them was very hard.
Apart from engaging story and unexpected plot twists the strong point of this book is it's historical background and the way it had been illustrated: the tough time of spanish flu pandemic, fear and pain of loss. Also the time when women had no rights and were supposed to be obedient wives and mothers, when divorce was considered a huge scandal.
I love historical fiction and romance plots that are not too invasive. The Dunaway's Crossing hads everything that a good historical novel should have: well written story, solid background, realistic and lovable characters and a deeper message.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

'Bad Romeo'', Leisa Rayven

Goodreads * Amazon UK * Amazon

Book Summary: When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan's romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time. 

Cast as romantic leads once again, they're forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they'll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks
This book just doesn't sit right with me. Just... doesn't. I was hoping for something really good looking at how people were excited about it. At least for something bearable... And first pages of the book got me hooked but then... like a huge SLAM of the door on my face... what's going on here?
I disliked both main characters. They were irritating, self and sex obsessed. Ethan had hurt Cassie in the past (erm... will I ever know what happened, in details, please?) and she still chases after him... because her body wants him. But he treats her horribly all the time... and she still chases him.
Also, I've found the way of narration a bit confusing when we were jumping from past to present tense... and from present to past again... 
This book was so frustrating I had to put it down. Twice. I had to force myself to finish it.
To be honest, I think that Leisa Rayven missed her chance to write a very good and beautiful book. Her writing style is nice and I hope one day I'll read her again, but not in this series.
The story around this toxic relationship filled with poor sexual "tension" just made me angry, sad and a bit disgusted.
and a *half*

received via NetGalley for an honest review

Monday, 23 February 2015

Versatile Blogger Award :)

Recently I've been nominated to a lot of Blogger Awards and Tags, so I want to thank all of you for it! I've  had a lot of concerns how my blog will go on with my not perfect English skills, but here am I know, with almost 50 subscribers on GFC and bloglovin' and support of other bloggers from all around the world. Without you I wouldn't make it that far (it's just a few months since I've launched this blog but for me it's already some kind of an achievement!).

To Versatile Blogger Award I was nominated by:

Thank you so much <3

1. Nominate 15 other bloggers relatively new to blogging.
2. Let the bloggers know that you've nominated them.
3. Share 10 random facts about yourself.
4. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post and/or sidebar.

I'd like to nominate:

(nominating only 5 bloggers to this Award, because other kind-of-new-to-blogging bloggers I wanted to nominate were already nominated by someone else :))


1) I'm scared of taking my Kindle Paperwhite 2 with me to classes when the temperature is below 0 Celsius...
2) I suffer from melissophobia (fear of bees) and spheksophobia (fear of wasps)... severely!
3) I'm Polish but my boyfriend is Scottish - long distance is not ideal but what can you do when love is in the air ;)
4) I love learning new languages and English is my favourite so far :) I've been learning Latin, French, German and a bit of Finnish as well.
5) I am addicted to lipsticks and lipglosses - light colours, no reds! ;)
6) I don't watch movies or tv series with any form of violence (only occasionaly - if it's a historic movie). This seems weird considering the next fact...
7) I love watching documentaries about serial killers or programs like 20/20 or 48 hours mystery ...
8) I've seen Braveheart when I was 12 and I couldn't stop crying for 2 hours...
9) I travelled a lot with my parents when I was younger - I've been to a lot of countries in Europe, but never outside of it.
10) I have a fear of falling out of balcony or a bridge ... is that a phobia? :O

Sunday, 22 February 2015

'Love Hurts' Malorie Blackman and others, collection of short stories

Goodreads * Amazon UK
Random House Corgi Childrens

Book Summary: Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

Love Hurts is an anthology of short stories written by well known authors (like Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak or Jenny Downham). Most of these stories are simply extracts from already written books. We can read a bit of If I Stay, We Were Liars or The Infinite Moment of Us - most of chapters are parts of different titles, but there are some separate stories as well.

If you didn't read original books it's easy to get confused while reading extracts, because they're simply out of context and we don't know the background of characters or events. On the other hand you can get to know different writing styles, read pieces of bestselling books and decide if you'd like to pick them up or not.

I'm not sure if making a book out of parts of other books is a good idea. I think readers would enjoy it more if these were separate short stories. I have to say that my favourite story was Malorie Blackman's standalone Humming Through My Fingers. It was a solid and touching read. 

I wouldn't call this book a waste of time but it certainly wasn't what I expected it to be. I would recommend it only to those who want to get to know writing style of different authors and decide whether they would like to read their works. If you expect an unique read like My True Love Gave To Me you will be disappointed.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

'The Summer I Turned Pretty' trilogy by Jenny Han

Book Summary: Belly has always lived for the summertime because it means all her favorite things: swimming, the beach and the Fisher boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. She has spent every summer with them at Cousins Beach for as long as she can remember. She has always been in love with Conrad and finally, one summer, it seems like he might have feelings for her too. But it turns out, so does Jeremiah.

As the summers go on, Belly has to choose between two brothers who love her as she comes to the realization that she will have to break one of their hearts.

First of all, I've read all three books in Polish translation so I didn't have an opportunity to get to know raw writing style of Jenny Han. I use English on daily basis so I was able to find a few little mistranslations especially of typical sayings or idioms, but overall it was a solid and fair rewording.
I don't want to make 3 separate reviews for all parts of trilogy, so I'll try to shorten and summarize my thoughts and impressions in one blog post.

The story
I liked the idea of adolescent girl developing her feelings to two of her best friends throughout summers she has spent with them. She was always closer to older of brothers - Conrad, mysterious and serious, but Jeremy who was funny and easygoing, had also a very special place in her heart. Throughout the books we follow Belly's on and off feelings to two brothers but also her memories of summers she spent in Cousins beach house with them, their mother Susannah (who was very dear to her) and her own brother and mom. To be fair, these retrospections are the warmest and the most adorable part of the whole series.
We're not only the witnesses of characters' growing up and redefining their feelings and priorities but also of them dealing with loss, pain and life turning points.
In the first book only Belly is the teller of the events, in It's not summer without you we can get to know Jeremi's point of view and in the last book we can finally read the thoughts of mysterious Conrad.
While reading the trilogy we will wonder who will win Belly's heart in the end. Which brother will she pick to be with, which brother she loves more and how it will affect the relationship between Jeremi and Conrad.

They are likeable but not always mature. They are still teens though so this is their right. Sometimes Belly's choices and decisions were annoying me, because she should have known better, even at the age of 15. Jeremi is a bit reckless, Conrad mysterious till the end and Belly? Belly is just growing up - and we all know what does it mean to be a growing up girl. Throughout the series characters are developing and changing but they're still very young, discovering the world and themselves.

#1 The Summer I Turned Pretty
The first book in the series is a kind of indtroduction to the whole story. We're getting to know all characters, their past and events that led them to this very point in time. It was a very light and even paced read, although personally I think it's the worst of all three. I'd give it 3,5 *stars*

#2 It's Not Summer Without You
It's more emotional than the other previous one. Characters are growing up, stuggling with loss and making hard decisions. Better and more solid than the first book. 4 *stars*

#3 We'll Always Have Summer
While we think everything is said and done and Belly has finally made up her mind... The storm is coming up. The most confusing of all three, having the reader wondering all the time, till the very end. The ending was not a real surprise for me, but how it all happened - was a surprise indeed. 4 *stars*

Overall the Summer I Turned Pretty series is a fun and light read, great for teenagers and great for summertime. It's adorable and easy to get along with. Plus the new covers are incredibly cute!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Swoonuary! A Valentine's Day Special with the Bookish Groupies - means February is about LOVE

Hello beautiful ladies, and welcome to the Bookish Groupies first annual event, Swoonuary! 

Are you in the mood for a sugary sweet romance? What about a contemporary so cute, you're left squealing like a school girl? If you are, then perfect, because that is what Swoonuary is all about! After reading quite a bit of fantasy and science fiction lately, the girls and I are ready to dive back into the land of hook ups & heartbreaks, happily ever afters, and happily never fucking again . . . well the last part might be something I'm looking for, but you get the idea. All month long, we've decided to read both romance & contemporary novels in Lieu of Valentines day, the day for all things cheesy. But what fun what it be if we didn't have other bloggers join us? That's where you all come in . . . 

To read more CLICK HERE :)

I was invited to this event by Tika and I'm very happy to take part in it :) You can do that too! February is this one month a year when everyone is talking about love... so why not read about love? I'm very excited to finally cross some cute'n'sweet (or sometimes sweet'n'sour) romance books out from my to-read lists :)

What I'm planning to read:

Summer series by Jenny Han

I own the complete trilogy in Polish so I've decided to give it a go in February. I think it will be a light and relaxing read after all my exams and perfect for the season (although it's still winter :))

Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

It's unfortunately on my DNF list so I've decided to pick it up again this month. Hopefully I'll finish this time.

The Right Side of Mr Wrong

The Right Side of Mr. Wrong by Jane Linfoot
which I've received from Isabell for a guest review. I've been slacking on reading it because of my exams so I think now it's the right time to speed up my reading :)

And hopefully I'll read even more than that :)