i love books. i love every kind of book. i just want to hug them all but i can't. can't hug every book, can't hug every book. (to the tune of "can't hug every cat."
Happy December! My favorite month of the year, if I'm being honest. There is nothing quite like waking up on the first of December and knowing you have only 24 days more to go before Christmas. But we're not here to talk about December. Let's talk about what I read in November!
In November I read four books, and I'm okay with that number. That being said, we are only four days into December and I'm already on my third book. It's shaping up to be a great reading month.
The first book I read was "In the Afterlight", by Alexandra Bracken. I had been anticipating this book for so long, because I really loved the two first books in this trilogy. Unfortunately, I was very ddisappointed with it. Nothing really happened, all the action was off-page, and most of the characters got on my nerves. The only good thing about this book was Vida, Chubs, and Zu. The ending also felt cheap, with Ruby going against what she had been saying since the beginning. Still, I ended up giving it a 3/5 stars. It was decent.
The next book I read was "Machine of Death", by various authors. This is a short story collection about a world with a machine that tells people, very vaguely, how they will die. Of course, craziness ensue. It was a very fun book, and I will be posting a review very soon. 4/5 stars from me.
Next up was "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn. This book let me down. The hype was too much for me. I enjoyed it, but not as much as everyone else. My main problem, I think, was that I read a review that said "You can't trust anyone in this book!", so of course, I didn't trust anybody. Turns out, the majority of the characters were completely trust-worthy. Nothing shady about most of them at all. So I was just looking for something that wasn't there. Still, I enjoyed it, and gave it 4/5 stars.
The last book I read in November was "The Retribution of Mara Dyer", by Michelle Hodkin. I won't say too much about it, because it was an ending to a trilogy, but I thought it was a really good conclusion. It didn't go in the direction I thought it would go in, but that's a good thing. My one problem is that I never felt connected to the characters, and that's why I didn't love it. So again, 4/5 stars from me.
And that is what I read in November! I'd say it's a pretty good reading month. Some of these let me down, but I'm happy I read them. Bring it on, December!
Yes, it is true. I have decided to come back to this website. Lately I have been thinking of making a bookblog, but I decided it was too much work, so instead I will be blogging from here again.
I have not made a post since the very beginning of this year, and I am so excited to start again. I haven't decided what my first post will be about, because I don't really want to write a review of a book I read before decideing to come back.
To fill you in, I am currently reading "The Retribution of Mara Dyer" Michelle Hodkin. I am only 159 pages in, but I'm really, really enjoying it, and I'm so excited to see how the series ends. Highly recommended!
It's the end of another year, and I am back! This time it is to do my top 13 books of 2013, and that includes books I read in 2013 and not just books that were released this year.
There are in no particular order.
Let's start of with the Cassandra Clare books I read this year, to get them done, because I read six. Only four of them are on this list. City of Glass, because I thought it was an amazing addition to the story that was action packed and fun, and everything I wanted to happen happened. I'm not one of those who hate the following books, I love them too, but City of Glass was the only one who stood out to be and deserved to be on this list. Clockwork Angel was a great start to a series and it flowed nicely over in Clockwork Prince, which is why they are on my list. Clockwork Princess only got 4 stars from me, and when I reflect back on it I still wouldn't change the rating, but I still think this deserved to be on this list.
This year I really got into historical fiction. One of the historical fiction books I read was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and it is a beautiful narrated heartwrenching story. I am really excited to go see the movie. Another historical book that was beautifully narrated (I'm sensing a pattern here), was Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, an amazing story about a girl who loses her brother and finds solace in a diary from a girl who lived long before her. And there is time travelling involved. Maybe.
Another author I read more than one books from this year was Tabitha Suzuma. Both of her books blew me away. First there was Forbidden, a book that absolutely crushed me. It involves a heavily taboo relationship between a brother and a sister, that you couldn't help but root for. Then there was Hurt, one of my most anticipated books of this year. This is about a diver, Matheo, who is hiding a horrible secret from his family and friends and girlfriends. I don't want to say anything more because I don't want to spoil anyone, but I seriously loved this.
2013 was a great year for series. There might be another post coming about that (hint, hint), so I won't go into much detail, but here are some of my favorite series-related books I read this year. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken was a great start to a new series, and I loved the world building, and while the writing now and then confused me I loved the characters. I'm about to start the sequel, so maybe that will be appearing on my top list next year? The House of Hades by Rick Riordan is the fourth installment in the Heroes of Olympus series, and it was another great book. The series keeps getting better. Then there was Light by Michael Grant, the last book in one of my all time favorite series, the Gone series. Light was an amazing but heartbreaking conclusion, and I'm so sad it's over. Lastly we have Every Day by David Levithan. This is actually a series. Yep. It's on my standalone shelf (sigh), but there is a sequel slahs companion novel coming out in 2015, I just checked. Anyway, I loved this so much. The idea was original and it was told beautifully.
Lastly, standing by itself because it didn't fit with any of my previous categories, there is Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick. This is the real story of a boy's life during a civil war (I think it was a civil war and tbh I can't even remember where he is from), and it absolutely broke my heart to see what he had to go through, especially knowing that it's real and people still have to go through this stuff. I sobbed on a boat. With probably 200 people around me. This book is a masterpiece.
That's it then. Top 13 of 2013. I think this is a pretty good list. I read a lot of other really good books this year, but these are the ones that stood out to me.
Merry belated christmas and happy new year!
I spent most of today reading this book. I had two major breaks (took notes to ten pages in history and went to the movies), but other than that I mostly just read. And what a book it was.
It's 03:00 am and I actually have plans tomorrow, so I'm not gonna write a review or a rant or anything, but I did enjoy this a lot. It was better than Mark of Athena, because it focused less on the romance that in the previous book almost overshadowed the plot.
Sometimes it was a little bit all over the place and I missed some proper group scenes with all of them together (it was always either two or three of them together and then the rest sleeping/staying on the boat), so it wasn't perfect.
The characters really made this book for me, especially Nico. It was fun (or maybe interesting is the better word) getting to know more about him and more about the different aspects to his character. He is absolutely one of the best characters in the series. Other than that, stand-out POVs were Leo's (with his newfound romance) and Hazel's, just because Hazel is awesome. I wish Piper had been in it more, because I love Piper to death, but maybe in the next book!
Speaking of the next book, another year?! *groans* That's not unexpected of course, but I still wish it was sooner.
I barely have any words, and I don't know where to start with the few I have. I finished this ten minutes ago, and just finished sobbing my eyes out. Despite this, this isn't a flat-out sob story. It's a story where you cry for a minute or two here and there, and then you don't cry at all for another fifty pages. Then at the end you a cry a little bit more, for the tragedy of the whole thing. But you know what's coming and you've already felt the punch, and I think that was done really well by Markus Zusak, because it gives you the feeling that his mission with this book is to actually tell you a story, and not just a cheap plot to make you cry, because a lot of the time the sob-books do get really popular, and it's nice to know that he wasn't just counting on our emotional reaction to make this popular. He cared about the story and he cared about the characters, and he wanted us to care about them too, which succeeded, at least with me.
All the characters were wonderfully written and displayed in such a believable way. I don't know to say that "all the characters were grey" and "there was no truly bad or good characters", because this is Nazi Germany we're talking about, and there were some truly nasty people back then, of course, there is no denying, and some of them were in this book. Most of them, however, were characters you could root for and feel for, and I appreciated that. It showed a different side to life under WW2 than what we usually see (or at least what I've seen) in literature.
The book was at times very slow-paced, but it didn't stop me from needing to turn the page, because just because there wasn't a lot of action going on all the time, I always needed to find out what happened to Liesel, Rosa, Hans, Rudy, Max and the others next. Again, as I said, it was another side of life during WW2, and it showed that even then life could have good days and okay days.
Just to touch on the narrator, that was fantastic. I was very skeptical going into this knowing that Death would be telling the story (sorry if that is a spoiler, but it's pretty much revealed in the prologue so I don't think it matters), because I was afraid his world would take too much away from Liesel's story, and that it was confusing. Thankfully, it was not like that at all, and this was still one hundred percent Liesel's story, just with a rather different narrator.
Very well done. I would say I'm excited for the movie to come out next year (yes, next year, because us norwegians get our movies late), but I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to my heart being broken all over again. I have seen the trailer a couple of times, and the cast looks fantastic and it will probably be great.
(This review can also be found on my goodreads)
Because my blog contains more or less only reviews, I thought it was time to change things up a little and do something fun: a tag!
I wasn't tagged by anyone, this was literally just the first thing on my dashboard, but who cares about that, right?
This tag originated on youtube and was originally created by Dany on Books.
1. What is your favorite thing about autumn?
Nothing, really. It rains and it rains and it rains, and it's grey and cold and wet. It's not for me. The one good thing about this season is the autumn break. I can't wait for that.
2. What book on your shelves reminds you of school?
"Matilda" by Roald Dahl. She was my hero and I always tried to be like her in school. Actually, I still try to be like her in school. I'm not as smart or as nice (or as powerful), but I can try, right?
3. Find a book on your shelf which has something Autumn related on the cover.
Anna Dressed in Blood. I haven't read it yet, but it has flying leaves and bare trees. You can't get more autumn-y than that, am I right?
4. What is your favourite horror/Halloween story?
I hate horror and I have never read any horror, so N/A. (Maybe if I read Anna Dressed in Blood that will be my favorite)
5. What is your favourite horror film?
Same as above.
6. Which book release are you most looking forward to this Autumn?
There are three very interesting and very exciting books coming out! I honestly don't remember the last time there was a book fall as good as this one.
"House of Hades" by Rick Riordan, "Never Fade" by Alexandra Bracken and "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth. These are all sequels to amazing books, and I can't wait to see where the story takes us this time.
Don't they all look beautiful? *dreamy sigh*
7. Which film release are you most looking forward to this Autumn?
I'm not really sure what's coming out in the next couple of months, but I'm just gonna go through the list of "coming" movies on the website of my local movie theatre, and mention all the movies that looks interesting, and put a link to the trailer.
Gåten Ragnarok - this is a norwegian movie, but despite of that it looks really badass. The effects looks good, the story sounds interesting and the script sounds good. I think this will be a great family movie.
Diana - I'm slightly obsessed with royalty at the moment, and although I'm not extremely interested in Princess Diana's story, this is still a must-watch for a royal watcher like me.
Ender's Game - I wasn't a huge fan of the book, but I think it will translate very well to the big screen and I'm excited about that.
Catching Fire - obviously, who doesn't look forward to this? No more needs to be said.
8. Show three books that you are hoping to read this season.
"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak.
"Hurt" by Tabitha Suzuma. This was one of my most anticipated books of this fall, but it's already been released so I couldn't mention it in question #6.
"Unwind" by Neal Shusterman. I haven't been in the mood for dystopian for so long, and I'm still not in the mood, but I've had this on my shelf for a long time and I really want to read it.
That is the end of this tag, I hope you enjoyed reading it.
I TAG EVERYONE! Do it. All of you. Have fun! (and you should comment here if you do it so we can be friends)
After reading it a second time, I can conclude with that I didn't like it more than the first time, but I didn't like it less. My opinion on it hasn't changed. (That was a horrible conclusion, don't mind me.)
It has a slow beginning, but you do get into the plot after a while, and the characters are all easy to care about. Maybe you love them, maybe you hate them, but you care, and that's what shows good character-ship. (That's not a word.) It's if you're indifferent to the characters that the author is doing something wrong.
The writing style is so-so, nothing special, but the worldbuilding is interesting and believable, and the setting is cool. Cassandra Clare also writes kissing/romance scenes very well, but I think I've mentioned that in every single review I've made of a Cassandra Clare book, so you probably know that.
A good start to a good series.
This book broke me. And to think that all of this is a true story and actually happened... I have no words.
This book is norwegian, and as far as I know there are no translations of it, but I recommend keeping an eye out for it.
When Samuel is 13 years old, he discovers a possible terrorist attack. The mysterious Agency, that's behind the attack, gathers information from the past n a gigantic library. On the Hardangervidde they have a secret school for timetravellers, where Samuel becomes a student. He soon understands that there is more to the Agency than timetravelling and gathering of facts. But it's only when he goes back to Paris under the revolution that he discovers the shocking truth about his parents and himself.
This book is the first book in a new norwegian middlegrade/young adult(-ish) series. I borrowed this book from a girl at camp who said it was really good, and the summary sounded interesting enough, so I took it with me home.
It was really great. The concept was the first that struck me. It's been a while since I've read anything so unique as this. It was very creative, and it felt really original.
I really enjoyed Samuel's character. I've never read about a character with narcolepsy. It's not something that you read about every day, and this book touched in it in a way that felt, at least to me, very real. Samuel was also realistic to his age, and was a very believable character. There were a couple of things that bothered me, but that had to do with the author, and not the character. His narcolepsy was almost forgotten halfway through the book and only brought up maybe one or two more times, like it wasn't even a problem. At one point early on in the book he also mentions that he struggles with claustrophobia, but in one scene where even I (with no claustrophobia) felt the need to take deep breaths because I imagined the dark walls closing in around him, he had no reaction at all. It would've been great to see these two struggles more fleshed out, and hopefully they will be more explored in the sequel(s).
The friendship that formed between Samuel, Nora and Martin was a very natural friendship with a nice, realistic "flow." It did not feel forced like it sometimes do, when the author places a few characters that would not be friends in real life and here they're suddenly bffs. They weren't natural friends, but it worked. They dynamic was great, and at times it reminded me of an early Harry, Ron and Hermione.
One of the things I personally struggled with in this book was the writing. It was very confusing at times, and it was very hard to imagine the setting. It was not explained good enough to make any sense. I also hate it when norwegian children books use english words. Sometimes it works, but when you use "stuck" where you could've used something norwegian and it would've looked a lot better, you're doing it wrong in my opinion.
There were a few times during the book that I picked up on sexist comments made by various characters. I'm not gonna recite them, but I just felt like mentioning it, because it's not something I appreciate, especially not in a book for children, and especially not when it's not called out on.
Do not let my negativity shy you away from the book if you get the chance to read it! It is very good, and especially the big secret reveal towards the ending. I held my breath for 15 minutes, more or less. It was very intense, and the actual secret was so worth it. I'm in awe.
The sequel will be out in August, and I'm hoping to get to it very soon after it comes out. What I'm not looking forward to is paying full price for a newly released norwegian hardcover... we'll see what I can do about that.
(This review can also be found on my goodreads account)
Because I read Lola and the Boy Next Door before I read this, the outcome of this book wasn't any big surprise. Not that I think anyone were surprised.
According to my Lola-review, I gave Lola a 4.5 stars. This one is strictly a 4 stars. Lola got 4.5 stars because I wasn't crazy about the first 100 pages but absolutely loved the last 200, this gets only 4 stars because I liked all 372 pages, but not with the intensity that I loved the last 200 pages of Lola. (Okay, I should shut up now before this gets more confusing.)
I really liked this book. The setting? Gorgeous. I loved reading about Paris, and the people in Paris and the buildings in Paris and everything else parisian. And it made me really want to go back to Paris, and I think Stephanie Perkins was aiming for that. I've been to Paris three times, but it's been a while, and the other times I've been there I've been too young to really admire the city and the architecture there. It has always been more like "YAY DISNEYLAND". (Which is probably where my mind would go at least 75% of the time if I went back today, but nevermind.)
The writing was good, no complaints there, but it wasn't extremely beautiful. It was exactly what a contemporary romance book should be written like. Perfect for the book.
I loved St. Clair, and all of their friends in their group.
Anna, however, I had a few problems with. It was nothing major, but a few times she came off as very elitist. Elitist characters is one of my biggest pet peeves. Other than that, Anna was great.
This book was at times very, very predictable. There were two big things that I guess very early on. So that's another con.
There were a couple of other pet peeves of mine that this book ticked off, but those were only some very small ones that doesn't really matter because they happen in nearly every single book, so I won't even mention it.
Other than these few cons just mentioned, I highly enjoyed this book and would recommend.
EDIT: Apparently, I'm capable of writing an entire review of a romance book without mentioning the romance. Bravo, self. Bravo. Anyway, the romance was highly enjoyable. There was just enough of a balance between attraction/lust and emotional connection to make in believable, and I found myself rooting for St. Clair and Anna, like I was supposed to. It really did feel like they got each other and they truly felt like best friends. I adored them.
Okay, prediction time. The last book in this series is called "Isla and the Happily Ever After". But that is all I know about that book. Only the title. I have not read the summary. I will after I finish writing and posting this. As of right now, again, the title is the only thing I know. 1: The book is about the same Isla that is briefly in this book, where she defends Anna. Easy. Why else would we even need her in the book, if not to establish her as a character? I have more to predict. 2: The love interest is Josh. There was no reason for him to be younger than them and not graduate with them. He was an important character in the book, but we did not get to know him very well. Based on these things, I'm willing to guess, without having read the summary (I promise) that Josh and Isla is the couple that Isla and the Happily Ever After in centered around. (AND THIS WILL BE SO EMBARRASSING IF IT'S WRONG)
This review can also be found on my goodreads accounts.
It was so, so good to finally reread Percy Jackson! Especially after having my mind polluted by the movie for so long. Seriously, I could barely remember what happened. The Ares part? That surprised me. *shudders*
I won't write a long review or anything, so I'm just gonna say that I love this book/series, it shows that Rick Riordan has really done research, and I like how the dialogue between Grover, Percy and Annabeth really sounds like 12-year olds talking.
To start of: This series is turning into a soap opera.
The good thing about that? I'm addicted to soaps.
You can even see it on the titles. It went from the basic "City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass", to the very overdramatic "CIty of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire." As I said, this doesn't bother me that much, because as I said, I love the overdramatic, but I did notice it.
This will probably not be my most coherent review, as it will just be me writing down most of the notes I took during my reading, and expanding on them, and trying to put them in a order that makes sense.
There is a lot of kissing in this book. A lot. So much kissing. I love complicated romantic stories and reading about relationships, but the amount of that in City of Lost Souls overwhelmed. Of course, nobody writes kissing scenes like Cassandra Clare, so it could be worse.
Now that I'm talking about relationships: How much do people actually care about Maia and Jordan? I like them (although them getting back together is highly problematic), but I really don't care that much, and multiple times I feel like their relationship issues take up time that could be spent with characters I'm actually invested in. Like that scene where Maia says they should talk and I thought "Yay! Development!, and then they didn't talk at all. Was that really necessary? Again, I don't dislike them, but I wish their relationship had been toned down a few notches.
Let's continue with the relationship talk. Clary and Jace. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I have never really liked Jace. He didn't exactly grow on me in this book (how could he, when he wasn't even himself?), but their relationship did. For the first time, in that chapter where Jace was himself again for a short while I found myself believing that their realtionship was as real and their love as consuming as Cassandra Clare has tried to make me believe for four boks now. Kudos.
Of course, talking about love, I can't not mention Magnus and Alex. Sigh. Siiiiiigh. And I was really starting to like Magnus, too. I prefer Alec to Magnus, so yes, I do feel defensive over him. That does not mean I do not understand why Magnus broke up with him. I understand very, very well. The fact that he thought about it and talked about with Camille was awful and it sucks, but the fact remains that he didn't go through with it and was gonna decline. And I like to think that counts for something. Magnus finally snapping was of course inevitable, even if Alec hadn't done what he did, because he does a lot for the shadowhunters and barely gets any "thank you"s. It will be interesting to see how they cope in City of Heavenly Fire without a high warlock by their side. It will be challenging, I'm sure. (but magnus will probably show up sooner or later anyway (hopefully sooner)).
And now, for something that has nothing to do with relationships: I LOVE ALL THE INFERNAL DEVICES REFERENCES! That needed caps-lock. Especially the whole "A Tale of Two Cities" scene, that killed me. That is one thing that concerns me about all the new series that she has planned, she won't be able to drop all these hints around, unless she already has, and we don't pick up on them because we haven't read it yet? That is of course a possibility, and I certainly hope so, but I highly doubt it.
I DON'T CARE WHAT THE CHARACTERS ARE WARING UNLESSS IT'S RELEVANT TO THE PLOT! (sorry, needed to get that out of my system)
Simon got his time to shine! I am so proud of him for calling the angel. I'm very worried that he might die now that he doesn't have the mark anymore, but hopefully everything will work out.
Sebastian is a horrible person and I absolutley hates his guts. But I think it is hilarious that his plan is to literally burn down the world. It sounds like a joke ("I'm mad! I'm gonna burn down the world!"), but he's so serious. Oh, Sebastian.
Maureen as the leader of the New York clan? YES! Although I am kinda upset that Camille is gone, believe it or not. I like the idea of her and Magnus, not that I think they should be together, but the idea of other lovers coming and going, but them always being drawn back together, not even in a romantic way, and that no matter what they will both always be out there. It's hard to explain.
I KNEW ROBERT LIGHTWOOD WOULD COME BACK, I CALLED THAT! I also thought (or hoped) the last scene of the book would be the Lightwoods (Maryse, Robert, Jace, Alec (after coming home from the break up) and Isabelle) eating icecream, in a room full on tension because everyone is working through their own issues, but at least they are together as a family again. But I can't have everything.
Okay, rant over. I'm excited and nervous for City of Heavenly Fire. Bring it on, Cassandra Clare.