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text 2017-06-16 13:30
Summer books you can't miss!


Summer is coming.


Now, after I've made that trying- to-be ASoIaF reference, it's time to talk about books! This time of the year is all about light. easy, enjoyable read no matter if you are somewhere on the beach with salt in your hair or lying in your aparment under the air conditioner.

I loved and utterly enjoyed every book listed below and highly recommend you read them!

1) Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Jenny Han




 Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?



2) Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon




My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


3) 1000 Days of Spring - Tomislav Perko





A true story of a young successful stockbroker going broke, and lifting his thumb in search for his true self, by traveling the world.

After almost five years of traveling on five different continents, Tomislav laid down in a hammock in one village on the coast of Ecuador, and started writing a book. 

He was determined to put down everything he knows about traveling, and with that, answer the questions that many people ask him for years: 
- How is it possible to travel with almost no money? 
- Is his way of traveling safe enough? 
- What are the worst, and the best moments on the road? 
- How can you earn money while traveling? 
- Where to look for sponsors? 
- How did his parents and friends react? 
- Why is he traveling in the first place? 

Since it was impossible to give a simple and short answers to those questions, he started answering them in the only way possible - by telling his life story. 

Tomislav wrote about his student days, about the days when he had a well paid job as a stockbroker, about going bankrupt, about turning his life around, about first ventures on the road with a backpack on his back, and about finding a way that he will follow in the years to come - by traveling. 

Tomislav wrote about hitchhiking in numerous countries, sleeping in homes of strangers, camping on the side of the road, eating in supermarkets and drinking beer in parks, volunteering, many anecdotes that he encountered on the road, natural beauties that left him breathless, and about the beautiful people that he met on the way. 

Tomislav wrote about love.



4) The Storyteller - Andrea Tomić





Terrible things can happen when a storyteller falls in love.

There are thousands of stories of forbidden loves, many of them including a princess and a slave. When you live in a world of nine kingdoms and each has its own rulers and legends, the chances of not hearing a story like that are minimal.

Ever since her father, the king of the Third kingdom, passed away, princess Rachelle has been entertained by her servant Daniel. He would tell her his own stories or the ones she had already heard. None of this would be a problem if he hadn't fallen in love in with her over the years.
Now not only does he need to spend every day near his loved one knowing she could never love him back, but he has to hide every glimpse of his feelings. Because if he doesn't, he might get killed.
But when the princess starts feeling the same way, their fairy tale begins. 
However, unlike every other story he had ever told, this one might not have a happy ending. This time the Storyteller became a character and lost his possibility of creating happy endings. 



5) World Whisperer - Rachel Devenish Ford




Seven years ago, Isika’s mother walked out of the desert with three children in tow, leading the priest of the Worker village to marry her and take in her children. In all those years, fourteen-year-old Isika has never been able to fit in as a Worker or live up to her role as the priest's daughter, and worse, she has been helpless against the tragedies that have fallen on her family.

But now the four goddesses they serve want another sacrifice, and Isika's stepfather has chosen the next child to be sent out to sea: the little brother who Isika loves more than anything.

This time Isika will not be powerless.

Together, she and her two remaining siblings leave the walls of the Worker village to save their brother, traveling into unknown lands and magic they never could have imagined.



6) Confessions of a Queen B* - Crista McHugh



Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. 

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways. 

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check. 
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check. 
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan. 

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.



7) Chasing a Croatian Grl: A Survivor's Tale - Cody McClain Brown




This is the lighthearted story of American Cody McClain Brown’s adjustments to life in Croatia. After falling in love with an enigmatic, beautiful Croatian girl (whom he knows is from Croatia but assumes that means Russia), Cody eventually woos her and the two move to Split, Croatia. There, he encounters a world of deadly drafts, endless coffees, and the forceful will of his matriarchal mother-in-law. Chasing a Croatian Girl moves past the beautiful pictures of Croatia and humorously discovers the beauty of Croatia’s people and culture.


8) Slip - David Estes




As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.



9) Luna Tree: The Baby Project - Maya Berger




Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingers. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship? Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance. She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn't let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything. Her ultimate desires come true.



10) Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins




Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?


 11) Once and for All - Sarah Dessen



As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.


12) Everwind - Barbara Mišković



Deep in the dark and dreary Scandinavian forest there lies an ancient fortress of Stormgard. It is an orphanage for talented children who posses the priceless gift of magic. Unfortunately, after the dreadful war that nearly devastated Stormgard it became difficult for the Archmage to find new teachers for his apprentices. A beautiful, fire-haired woman from Great Britain applies for the job of an enchantress but Torval is unsure if she's really cut out for the job. Little does he know that their new enchantress has a secret. A secret so great that it could change everything!


13) Republic of Stone - Tanja Radman




After decades of dictatorship of the tyrant Rector, a resistance awakens alongside the truth withheld from the young heroes, who suddenly face tasks beyond their understanding. Learning about their magical origin, as well as the powers they gained in a rather bloody way, five young sorcerers are preparing for another war - one which might change everything, or even worse, nothing at all.

'Republic of Stone' is a historical fantasy novel situated in the medieval times of the Republic of Ragusa (today Dubrovnik, Croatia). It is the first of the Lex Legis series, which was translated into English after the Croatian paperback version sold out in two editions. Combining real historical places, events and characters with elements of Slavic mythology and pure epic fantasy, this book will take you on a journey you will never forget. If you decide to be adventurous and visit Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, you will be able to carry this book around real locations you can still visit today and relive the amazing magic battles from the story, bow before the evil Rector’s statue and defiantly whisper the forbidden sentence only the members of the Lunarian secret society know, learn about the hidden magical life of one of the most famous Croatian medieval scientists – Marin Ghetaldus, and walk the streets where the young heroes of this book learned about their destiny…



14) Bridesmaids - Jane Costello




Four weddings, three disgruntled ex-boyfriends in the congregation, two wayward 'chicken-fillet' boob enhancers, and one gorgeous man, it's tough being a bridesmaid.
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review 2015-11-04 17:08
This One Thing
This One Thing: A Novel - Damian Maher

“There is no love in the gay world!” Daniel is told.
“Be a servant in the world of cocks! That’s our religion! Cock is our God Almighty!”

Daniel cannot accept this philosophy. He longs for more.

Growing up in the absence of his emotionally unstable mother, Daniel suffers at the hands of his cold and rejecting father and his second wife. His childhood insecurities deepen with the early recognition that he is gay, and he soon realizes that, because he is different, answers will have to come from within. He conceals his inner truths but secretly goes to the porn cinema and soon finds himself alone in a world of erotic fantasies. Although he fervently yearns to find true love, his insecurities propel him to choose solitude and the pleasures of anonymous sex, which so reliably protect him from being hurt and disappointed by others.

With the magic of an unexpected encounter, Daniel’s life begins to change. Although he has to face seemingly intractable prejudices—and even overt homophobia—the most difficult battle of his life is overcoming his own self-protective defenses as he tries to find love.

This One Thing documents with great subtlety and nuance Daniel’s determined odyssey of self-discovery and growth in a world where being gay remains a challenge. It will contribute to the legacy of insightful and heartfelt novels depicting experiences shared by gay men the world over.

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review 2015-07-12 01:07
Girl at War by Sara Nović
Girl at War: A Novel - Sara Nović

Not particularly well-written, and it seemed like it was meant for a younger audience.  Lots of telling, not showing, and it didn't feel very convincing or that there were any real emotions connected to what went on.  Too much jumping around, rather than building the story. Disappointing.

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review 2015-05-25 17:26
Girl at War by Sara Nović
Girl at War: A Novel - Sara Nović

This book was released into a crowded field, as many immigrant and western-educated authors of diverse origin publish English-language stories about war in their home countries. Particularly good novels in this category include Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht; A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini; and A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam. Even the exact premise of this book – protagonist experiences conflict in her home country as a girl, immigrates to the U.S., and later returns with an adult’s perspective – is hardly unique; for that I recommend Nayomi Munaweera’s Island of a Thousand Mirrors, or for a non-fictional version, Zainab Salbi’s Between Two Worlds.

All of which is to say that while Girl at War is not a terrible book, it does little to distinguish itself either on its literary merits, or as compared to similar stories; it’s the poor man or woman’s version of the books listed above. But one of the wonderful things about books is that pricing does not depend on quality, so you need not settle for less.

This book is divided into four sections, alternating between two time periods. In the first, our protagonist, Ana, is a 10-year-old Croatian girl who experiences violence firsthand when the Yugoslav Civil War breaks out in 1991. In the second, Ana is a 20-year-old college student in New York, who appears to be suffering from untreated PTSD; she decides to return to her now-peaceful home country in a desperate attempt to deal with her memories. (Has she considered therapy? In one of several head-scratchers, neither she nor her trained foster parents ever think of this, despite her extensive trauma symptoms.)

This is a quick read: the plot moves rapidly from one scenario to the next, not in the sense that there's much excitement or buildup of tension, but by briefly sketching many scenes rather than lingering or zooming in on a few. And the writing is simple and easy to read. The downside is that nothing pulled me in; the story feels flat and recycled, more like an outline than a completed novel. The writing style is bland and the scenes fail to come alive. The same is true of the characters. Ana's trauma seems to be the beginning and end of her character; the only other thing we know of her is that she was considered a tomboy as a child, and that's a single fact, not a complex personality. Nor are the other characters any better; they fulfill specific roles in the plot rather than emerging as interesting individuals.

Overall, then, my reading experience was that of being told a story, rather than feeling transported to the setting and experiencing it firsthand. It was too hurried, too bland, too mass-produced to be memorable for me. That said, I harbor no active dislike for the book; it contains a decent portrayal of the lasting effects of trauma, and readers will learn a bit about the most recent war in the Balkans. Those whose emotions are more readily engaged will no doubt have a more meaningful experience with it than I did. But lest you become exhausted with stories of civilians caught up in war, I'd recommend those books mentioned in the first paragraph of this review before this one.

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review 2015-04-07 16:05
Inspirational travel book
Samsara - Put na Istok - Hrvoje Ivančić


*napisano i objavljeno za i na portalu www.citajme.com

Hrvoje Ivančić poznati je hrvatski bloger, reporter, pisac i vječni putnik. Njegov prvi roman ‘Dunavski blues’ o dvojici prijatelja koji se upute na putovanje od Zagreba do Crnog mora gumenim čamcem, oduševio je javnost i zasluženo dobio književnu nagradu Rikard Jorgovanić. Nakon dugog putovanja kopnom do Indije i boravka u toj zemlji, izdao je svoj drugi roman ‘Samsara: Put na Istok’.

Samsara u hinduizmu označava ponovno rađanje u fizičkom tijelu, a u ovom putopisnom romanu ona označava transformaciju u sadašnjem životu, odustajanje od jednog sjedilačkog načina života i prihvaćanje nečeg novog. Ovaj putopisni roman nastao je pet godina nakon autorova putovanja i sadrži mnoge autobiografske elemente iako ono nije autobiografsko djelo. Sam autor je izjavio: „Glavni lik Slaven je personifikacija mojeg indijskog osjećaja koji je nastao na tom dugom putovanju. Zbog svega što mi je Indija dala nisam mogao ići samo na čistu putopisnu formu, htio sam izvrnuti svoju unutrašnjost i svoj osjećaj pretočiti na stranice.“

Priča počinje željom mladog profesora Slavena da otputuje na istok. Nakon završenog školovanja i zapošljavanja u školi, Slaven osjeća kako postoji još nešto u životu što mora učiniti kako bi se nakon toga mogao mirno skrasiti sa svojom djevojkom i postati zadovoljan malim stvarima u životu, običnom svakodnevicom koja ga sada guši. U početku ima podršku svoje obitelji i djevojke, iako ga oni nisu u mogućnosti potpuno razumjeti. Pronalazi način da otputuje i upusti se u avanturu života, putovanje kopnom od Hrvatske do Indije. Prvo putuje sa Srećkom, a nakon Sarajeva i Istanbula, put nastavlja sam.

Put je započeo kao posljednji čin nemirne duše koja žudi za avanturom i slavom, a završio kao duhovno putovanje samospoznaje u svetom gradu Indije, Varanasiju. Slaven je kroz tisuće kilometara počeo ljuštiti kožu staroga sebe simbolično putujući sa sve manje i manje prtljage da bi na kraju završio bez ičega, u prljavoj odjeći proseći hranu na prljavim ulicama grada Varanasija uz obalu rijeke Ganges.

Roman ‘Samsara: Put na Istok’ počinje kao putopisni roman, prerasta u roman ceste, a završava kao priča o samospoznaji. Preobražaj koji doživljava glavni junak događa se postepeno preko introspekcije samoga sebe na dugom usamljenom putovanju na kojem Slaven uviđa da je dio univerzuma i da mu ne treba mnogo kako bi bio zadovoljan. On uči da ako samo ispruži ruke, naći će se neka dobra duša koja će mu udijeliti porciju hrane i da svijet obiluje dobrim ljudima koji su spremni pomoći.

Isto tako, autor se osvrće na činjenicu da Indija pruža mogućnost duhovnog preobražaja, ali da se ono ne može dogoditi trenutno za određenu svotu novaca. Naime, mnogi stranci dolaze u Indiju na kratko vrijeme samo kako bi se kasnije mogli pohvaliti da su doživjeli neko nadnaravno ili duhovno iskustvo jer su platili kako bi par sati gledali u svijeću i time se osjećali ispunjenima.

Svako duhovno iskustvo dolazi isključivo nakon mnogo truda, osobne želje i detaljne introspekcije. U svakom slučaju, Slavko je prošao kroz sve faze od ostavljanja obitelji i djevojke, napuštanja svih svojih materijalnih dobara i želje za slavom do života na ulici i prošenja hrane od prolaznika. Njegovo posljednje opraštanje od staroga života i staroga sebe dogodit će se ispuštanjem kamenčića iz svog džepa, upravo u nepreglednu rijeku Ganges.

**ova mi je knjiga dodijeljena od strane autora u zamjenu za iskrenu i nepristranu recenziju

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