Monthly wrap up

Best Books read in 2017

Hello everyone!

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! May this one be better than the last one and may this one rock. I hope you’ve spent awesome holidays with your families, friends or even alone if you were alone. Let me reflect shortly on the past year in my life. It has been a year of ups and downs for sure. I’ve turned 25 in March! I’m not should I celebrate it or not, but hey, let’s just put that fact down. I’ve went to an amazing kpop concert by my favorite kpop band B.A.P. Maybe you don’t know that about me, but I’m a kpop fan. It was in May and I traveled with my friend to Frankfurt. On our way back, we’ve met another fan and we are befriended with that girl until now. Talking about kpop, I started listening to an awesome band that I have never thought I will listen. Also, one friendship broke because I started to listen to that band. I have finished my school for a hairdresser in Germany (I’m originally from Croatia and it was my second school to finish). It was a big step for me and also a big thing for me. Finishing school in a foreign country while my family lives 1700km away from me. I have awesome family here and I had awesome support for the exam (support didn’t include my boss, sadly). Talking about my boss, last 2 months have been really mentally hard on me with her bullying me non stop and telling me how I won’t do an exam good cause I’m not good enough. But on 16th of July 2017 I showed her that I’m stronger and better than she thought I am. I also landed awesome job at the beginning of May (I think). A job where I can go with a smile on my face and am truly happy when I come to the office. The guys are so nice and accepting. I also had a loooooong holidays over the summer. Long meaning more than a month. In the summer, I also became an aunt for the 2nd time. This time to a cutest baby girl in the whole wide world (I may be biased). Also, I got a tickets for Harry Potter and Cursed Child in London (22nd Sept). Is anyone else there on this date? 😀 I started changing mentally as well, decided to work harder on my blog (which is my goal of 2018, but more about that in one of the next posts). All in all, this past year may have not be that good but it was good as well. I’m sure that 2018 will be much better year for me!
Since it is my first post of 2018, I wanted to make a list of the best books that I’ve read in 2017. I’ve read 27 books all together in the past year, all of them by female authors! My year started with “If I was your girl” by Meredith Russo and ended with “Christmas at the dancing duck” by Daisy James.

Top books read in 2017:
– Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (review coming in this year)
– Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo (thank you Dora for pushing me to read this one)
– War Cross by Marie Lu
– The book of life by Deborah Harkness
– Celebrity by Melinda de Ross

The books are in no particular order (aside maybe number 1). Those were awesome books that I’ve read in the last year. Let’s see how will 2018 go. I have to set myself some goals soon but one of the posts will be about it only.

Till the next time,
Ana

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Review

Book tour & review: Christmas at the Dancing Duck by Daisy James

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Title: Christmas at the Dancing Duck
Auhor: Daisy James
Genre: Chick lit, Romance, Christmas
Pages: 337 
Format: ebook
Publisher: HQ Digital

A wonderfully festive romantic read to curl up with this Christmas.
The most wonderful time of the year!

Kirstie Harrison is finally coming home for the holidays. Ever since tragedy struck a few years ago, Christmas hasn’t felt the same – but she’s determined that this year will be different…
And staying at the family pub, The Dancing Duck, means it’s impossible not to get caught up in the little village of Cranbury’s festive traditions. And it’s equally impossible to avoid her ex, Josh Turner!
Kirstie is torn between making this the best Christmas yet and knowing that she can’t stay forever. Maybe it’s time to make a holiday wish of her own…?
Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley.

Review:
Some people really hate Christmas and everything about it; from how people to act to the smells associated with Christmas. Kirstie is one of those people. But when her hate ruins her career what should she do then?

I have to admit that when I started reading the book, I wasn’t that sure will I like it or not. I was slightly annoyed by Kirstie and how is she acting. She was grieving and was in pain because of what has happened. But to me, she sounded like a whiny girl. But throughout the book, I started to love her. She had her moments where she annoyed me but they were less than in the beginning.

The Dancing Duck seems like a sort of a pub that I would like to visit; it is homey and welcoming and they seem to have a nice drinks. It is that sort of a pub that a small village has and everyone just gathers there to drink and chat. My grandma is coming from a small island and they also have a bar like that. In the evenings, everyone gathers there to talk. But that is happening in the summer since there is almost no one living there in the winter.

Josh as a main guy was sadly a bit plain. I wanted to see and hear more of him. For me, he wasn’t in the book enough. He was hurt by Kirstie and it is understandable that he is mad at her. But their love-comeback was a bit too quick. I wish that we have heard more of his side and how was he feeling through the time and how was he feeling as she was going out with the other guy.

I loved everything they did with The Dancing Duck at the end; all of those festivities and contests that were held there. And all the festive food! It was amazing how community can make a lot of things different. Thankfully, the pub was saved in the end by one boring painting (or so at least everyone thought).

I loved the character of Emma! I loved her so much! Her energy and her persona was amazing. She seems to be sort of a care-free spirit/person and it pulled me towards her. And I wish to see her jewelry collection and what is she making. She seems to be a great friend to Kirstie as well which is we all need when we are going through the shit.

All in all, I loved this story. It wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t the complete fail either. The setting was amazing, the way story worked was really good. The village community is the bomb! 🙂 Food? Have I talked about the food made by that french chef? Where does he live so that I can visit him and eat that delicious food that he is making?!

Thanks to HQ Digital for this blog tour and a chance to review this wonderful book.

Rating: 4*out of 5

Please, make sure to check out other reviews on this blog tour:
Dancing Duck blog tour

With love,

Ana

Review

Book tour & review: Christmas at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennet

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Title: Christmas at Butterfly Cove
Author: Sarah Bennett
Genre: Chick lit, CHRISTMAS
Pages: 139
Format: pdf
Publisher: HQ Digital

All she wants for Christmas…
When talented artist Nee Sutherland returns to Butterfly Cove for her sister’s wedding, it’s only a matter of time before she has to face her own bridegroom – Luke Spenser – the man she impulsively married, then left in the middle of the night.
Nee hasn’t picked up her paintbrushes in months, a part of her is broken. She knows Luke might never forgive her, leaving him was the biggest mistake of her life – but could coming home for Christmas be the best decision she’s ever made?
Maybe all she needs is a little Christmas miracle…
 

Review:
When I started reading this book, I didn’t know it is a part of a series (trilogy) but I can say that it can totally be read as a stand alone. I plan to purchase first two books because I really want to see the character development first hand. The characters are great in this story, don’t get me wrong, but I need to read the first two books.

I really LOVED this book. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how I feel about it but deeper I went into it, the more I fell for it, for the characters. The story is chick-lit and romance but it is nothing typical or something I’ve came across already. I know that I have a lot of romance books to read yet, but I’ve read a lot of them as well. I was glad that this story left me surprised at some parts and at others left me laughing and crying.

What got me to love this books are two things. Aside the setting and the idea and everything surrounding it. I couldn’t help but imagine the Butterfly Cove and having a big huge Christmas with so many people. It must be stressful, yet so beautiful to spend Christmas with a family and friends. But let’s go back to those things:

  1. Character development of Nee – My gosh! I wasn’t sure will I like her at the beginning but, damn it, as her story unfolded I couldn’t help but to fall for her. The way her art was taken away from her is something that sadly happens often. Not the stealing of art but the way what led her to lose her motivation to paint. Every week, we have a case of this happening and yet nothing has been changing in the world. But even after all this happened, I was proud that Nee has found strength to go back to her art and to let it all out through her art. I’m not a painter, I’m a writer so I often get my emotions out with putting them on the paper. My mom is a painter and I can’t really imagine her anymore without painting. Nee is one of a hella strong characters out there and all the props to her for overcoming what she overcame with support of others.
  2. Male character that is not wearing pants in the marriage – Okay, this may sound weird but I loved how one male character (that’s often mentioned in the book) is actually full of emotions and shows them. And openly says that he loves when his wife takes a lead of keeping their household together and being all organised. In some parts of the world, it is still looked down upon when the women are taking a lead so I think that this being a part of a chick lit novel is an awesome thing. The woman character I’m talking about here (K), is an awesome and strong character. One more reason why I want to read the other two books in a trilogy.

I suggest everyone to read this book if you want something cosy to read why you are curled up with a cup of tea in your hand.

I want to thank HQ Digital for sending me this book for a review.

Rating: 5* out of 5

With love,

Ana

Review

Blog tour & Review: Meet me under the Mistletoe by Carla Burgess

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Title: Meet me under the Mistletoe
Author: Carla Burgess
Genre: Romance, (CHRISTMAS)
Pages: 188
Format: pdf
Publisher: HQ Digital
A fabulously festive romantic read, perfect to curl up with by the fire this Christmas!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the little flower shop…
Florist Rachel Jones might spend every day making beautiful bridal bouquets at her little flower shop, but her own love life is wilting as quickly as a bunch of dead roses.
Luckily, the arrival of handsome detective Anthony Bascombe, the new tenant upstairs is the perfect distraction! Although there’s a catch, Anthony isn’t looking for love – he’s looking for her ex-fiancé, Patrick…
But as the snow begins to fall and her little shop fills with mistletoe ready for Christmas, will Rachel manage to melt Anthony’s heart?
Fans of Debbie Johnson, Holly Martin and Christie Barlow will love this heartwarming read from the bestselling author of Marry Me Tomorrow.

I have to admit that I have never read anything by Carla Burgess but I’m sure that after this book it will change. I mean, it already did change since I’ve read this book. But I seriously loved her writing style. It was so light and yet, it was hard for me to put this book down and stop reading it.

This was perfect book to read now before Christmas and before December is starting because the book is taking place before and during Christmas holidays. I found the timing perfect for me. I have an urge to read some romance and Christmas books. Heh, huge romance lover right here.

Rachel is a character that I adore; I love her red hair (hello there!) and I love her vintage style. To be honest, I wished that it was described more than it was since I’m a sucker for a vintage style even if I’m not wearing it. But she is also a really nice and charming character, always willing to help which we encounter multiple times during the book.

At the beginning, I wasn’t sure will I like Anthony cause I had a feeling that he is hiding something (and he did). But I just had this unsettling feeling about him that he could play with Rachel. I won’t spoil too much or at all, I will leave it to you, my dear readers, to read this book and see if Anthony really played with Rachel. I liked him as a character a lot. In my mind, he looks like a hella sexy guy (that he is supposed to be anyway). I mean, who doesn’t love a guy that’s wearing a suit on a daily basis?!

The plot is amazing and really nice laid out so to say. I mean, yes, it is this typical romance type where the awesome attractive guy comes and falls in love with so-to-say normal girl. As much as it was typical, it wasn’t in a way. The way they met could be typical but when you find out the reason why they met, you get mad and slightly hurt cause the main character has been lied to (in a way *stares at Anthony in my mind*). In the end it was really different where the girl didn’t fall in love right away and just declared her love and then he was like “I love you too”. No, that wasn’t like that and I think that’s what was really interesting for me about this book. The difference to all those books I’ve read. And I have to say that I’m giving a huge applause to Carla for that.

In the end: Did I love this book? YES! Do I want more? HELL YES!! Give it to me!! I really hope that this book will get a sequel. I should probably go and ask Carla on the social media for that. Hang on, I will go do it right away. If you follow me on Twitter, you will get your answer as well (if Carla replies me).

Rating: 4,5* out of 5

Greetings,
Ana

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Blog tour dates

Hello everyone!

This week I’m hosting a blog tour for a book “Meet me under the Mistletoe”. My review is coming up on 30th and the rest of the dates and blogs, you can see on the picture.

Meet me under the misteltoe blog tour

Thank you all very much for supporting me.

With love,

Ana

Review

Blog tour & Review: Christmas at the Gin Shack by Catherine Miller

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Title: Christmas at the Gin Shack
Author: Catherine Miller
Genre: Women’s Fiction, (CHRISTMAS)
Pages: 384
Format: pdf (in my case)
Publisher: HQ Digital

Gingle bells, gingle bells, gingle all the way…
Olive Turner might have lived through eighty-four Christmases, but she’ll never get bored of her favourite time of year. And this one’s set to be extra-special. It’s the Gin Shack’s first Christmas – and there’s a gin-themed weekend and a cocktail competition on the cards!
But, beneath the dazzle of fairy lights and the delicious scent of mince-pies, Olive smells a rat. From trespassers in her beloved beach hut to a very unfunny joke played on her friends, it seems that someone is missing a dose of good cheer.
Olive knows she’s getting on a bit – but is she really imagining that someone in the little seaside town is out to steal Christmas? More importantly, can she create the perfect gin cocktail before Christmas Eve – in time to save the day?

Thanks to HQ Digital for giving me opportunity to review.

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At the beginning, I have to say that I really loved this book! I didn’t really know what to expect from it since I’ve never really heard about the author or this book but the synopsis sounded interesting so I decided to read it and see for myself. It is Christmas themed and I’m in the mood to read Christmas related books. Come on, I already want to decorate my apartment for Christmas. But it is too early (15 days more and then I can do it).

I was surprised by the age of the main character. I have never read a book where the character is 84 years old and I liked it. I loved how much she enjoyed doing all of those things for Gin Shack and being a mischief with sneaking out. But at some moments, she was really like a grandma you would know. Sadly, I didn’t grow up being close to either of my grandmas; I was living too far away and one of them wasn’t really a nice person. Sometimes as a kid, I wished I had a grandma close.

I loved the whole idea with the Gin Shack on the beach and the Gingle Bells weekend. I must say that book wasn’t all soft and cute the whole time. There were few moments where it got deep and problems occurred. At one moment, I got reminded that life could be shorter than we think it is and that we should cherish every single moment of it.

I didn’t know that this book was a sequel so I have to say that this book CAN BE read as a stand alone perfectly and without any fear that the reader won’t be able to grasp what’s happening. Maybe it is a bit hard to get a grasp of the bond between the community, but to me, it wasn’t any big of a deal.

The Oakley Trio is hilarious and I could just hope to have friend circle like this when I’m their age! It was really nice to read about their adventures and see what their mindsets are. I mean, when you read about Veronica, you would think that she is around 30 or something. We don’t really know how old Veronica is but she must be somewhere close to Olive’s age since they both live in Retirement home.

Gin cocktails!!! GIN COCKTAILS!!! I have never really drank gin (or at least I think so) but I would love to try some of those cocktails for sure. Thankfully, we have some of the recipes at the end of the book so if someone feels like trying out, it is possible. Maybe one day if I feel brave enough, I will try making one of them.

Once again, thanks to HQ Digital for providing me with the book for an honest opinion and review.

Rating: 4* out of 5

Greetings,
Ana

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Book exchange

Hello everyone,

I was going through my bookshelf and saw that there are a lot of books that I want to get rid of since I don’t plan to read them or have read them and don’t plan to re-read them or didn’t like them. So I would like to offer those for an exchange. I will put my wish list on the bottom of this post.

A confederacy of dunces – John Kennedy Toole (used)

a confederacy of dunces - John Kennedy Toole

 

Dead Poets Society – N.H. Kleinbaum (used)Dead Poets Society - N. H. Kleinbaum

Emma – Alexander McCall Smith (new – never read or opened)

Emma - Alexander McCall Smith

 

Girl Online #1 – Zoe Sugg (once read)

Girl Online 1

 

Girl Online #2 – Zoe Sugg (once read)Girl Online 2

 

It’s kind of a funny story – Ned Vizzini (new – never used or opened)It's kind of a funny story - Ned Vizzini

 

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour bookstore – Robin Sloan (once read)Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sload

 

Paradise news – David Lodge (used)Paradise News - David Lodge

 

Paris for one – Jojo Moyes (once read !!it’s about only 20pgs)Paris for One - Jojo Moyes

 

Seriously.. I’m kidding – Ellen DeGeneres (once read)Seriously.. I'm Kidding - Ellen DeGeneres

 

The fog withing – Nick Shamhart (once read)The fog withing - Nick Shamhart

 

The key to living the Law of Attraction – Jack Canfield (once read)The key to living the Law of Attraction - Jack Canfield

 

The seafront tea rooms – Vanessa Greene (new)The seafront Tea rooms - Venassa Greene

 

The truth about forever – Sarah Dessen (once read)The truth about forever - Sarah Dessen

 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan (new)Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Levithan

 

Wives and Lovers – Jane Elizabeth Varley (used)Wives and Lovers - Jane Elizabeth Varley

 

My wishlist:
1) Queen of shadows; Empire of Storms; Tower of dawn; The assassins blade – Sarah J. Maas
2) Click’d – Tamara Ireland Stone
3) The Tales of Beedle the Bard / The fantastic beasts and where to find them screenplay – J.K. Rowling
4) Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic – Lisa Lister
5) Geekerella – Ashley Poston
6) Summer at Little beach street bakery; Christmas at Little beach street bakery – Jenny Colgan
7) The Cosy christmas teashop – Caroline Roberts
8) The Takedown – Corrie Wang

This is my wish list but if you have some book that you think I would like, you can write me. Or just write me an offer with the book you are willing to exchange and maybe we can make a compromise.

You can contact me on Twitter

Greets,
Ana