Tuesday, 29 June 2010


I have acquired my BookSneeze status today!

I review for BookSneeze

Really hope to get some nice books to review... Will start requesting immediately of course.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Do I look fat in this?

As you might or might not have noticed, I have updated the looks of my blog! She's way prettier now in my opinion. Not really sure what I think about the background though.. Wanted something with books but not exactly this one.

Anyway, also renamed it and made some other small changes. I think it looks way more professional this way. I have done my good for today!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Summer Wishlist

The sun is finally shining! After so many dark months of cold and damp, we finally have a reason to grab our books, get a nice cool drink, put our feet in a bath or swimming pool and just lay back, enjoy the sun and a light read.

So, being still dripping wet from swimming, I'm sitting here contemplating about which books I really want to read this summer. Heavy classics or big fat fantasy books are more sitting-in-front-of-a-hearth-with-a-blanket-and-a-mug-of-hot-chocolate kind of thing, so I'm scratching these of my list. I want some nice chick-lit action! (And some PNR/UF/YA of course. Couldn't live without those.)

So my Chick-Lit Wishlist for Summer '10:

  • Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
  • Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
  • The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
  • The Nanny Diaries - Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
  • In Her Shoes - Jennifer Weiner
  • The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
  • The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing - Melissa Bank
  • The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares
Really hope I can borrow these in the library or from a friend, don't really want to spend money on them *blushes*. I'm doing a catch up run on chick-lit this summer. Never really read it (as you might see), always liked the unrealism and escapism aspect of fantasy more.

Happy reading!

Saturday, 26 June 2010


 Just a quick review of Fallen for today. Of course not as good as Rebel Angels, but for a first book in a series it was great.

Fallen (Fallen, #1) Fallen by Lauren Kate

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce's boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant - even evil - history. Her history is no stranger to evil as it involves the 'shadows' that have plagued Luce since childhood and always appear when something bad is going to happen.

It was a nice book. Sword & Cross was positively gloomy, both Cam and Daniel were incredibly sexy, Penn was sweet, Luce is credibly emotional messed up and the shadows kinda creeped me out after a while. The angel thing was subtly done and not rushed. You can see Luce starting to admit the truth; she wasn't normal anyway.

To me it felt a bit like Twilight, how it should have been. Light, fast, a smooth read that leaves you wanting for more. And with real danger, not just some sparkly sparkly "marble" vampires that think themselves to be the shit. If you think about it, no one ever got hurt in Twilight. I like that Lauren Kate took a little risk here and ventured to kill off some of the characters that we really liked. It fits the story nicely.

I can't help but compare Miss Sophia to Rebel Angels' Miss Moore. It was more of a shock in Rebel Angels, but the betrayal of an older person the protagonist confided in felt similar. And in both cases, I liked not everyone is to be trusted.

Nice love story and good young-adult book.

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Getting the nervous shivers..

I've been pestering myself for months, wanting to buy Shiver, but not being able to (for obvious reasons...read below) and now I found this incredibly generous girl that wants to share the joy of blogging by organizing a give-away! Just saw that today, and the contest ends tomorrow (oh boy!) so I hope I still stand a chance! :D Anyway, now I'm trying to make as much advertisement for her, but I don't really have the means to spread the word very effective...

So everyone of my three readers in total, please tell Ayesha that I really want to win this! I love young-adult novels, and Shiver just sounds so romantic... I can't get it in the library (poor me) so I will have to import it via the English Amazon otherwise... And as you guys all know, I just spend all my money on Fallen and Hush, Hush and some other books I really wanted too.

So everyone, follow Ayesha's blog, and spread the word!
(or join the battle)

Fingers crossed!

Finding the positive in negative spaces

After reading Rebel Angels, which I loved, Labyrinth is a disappointment. Have been trying to get into it for several months now but I keep reading other books in between. That will become a great review to write... Two of my favourite reviews to re-read (not so much to write, I was pretty annoyed at the time):

Land of the Living Land of the Living by Nicci French

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I had to read this book for my English class, and that kind of ruins everything (it even made reading the Hobbit boring), but that aside, I didn't think this was a good book at all.

The writing was fine. The editing was fine. The point of view was fine. Even the characters were okay. It was the plot that bothered me.

It starts off interesting: Abbi awakes, doesn't know how she got there or why she's bound and hooded. Then she spends pages and pages being afraid and, well, tortured. Then she escaped.

And that's when the story takes a total unrealistic turn. Abbi just runs around being crazy, finds out she left her whole life behind for no reason. She leaves her friends because they don't believe something happened (and to be honest, I started doubting her too; I'm not sure if this was the writers intention or not, but if it was, they did a good job). 

Some spoilers ahead: those few last days she finally manages to reconstruct are just ridiculous. It's totally out of character and a strange thing for a person to do. Live with someone you don't know? And then the conclusion... talk about a failure. The writers could have saved the book by making a believable ending, but they manage to make the whole search for her captor pointless. Good for her that she saves that other girl, but to be honest, I didn't really care at that point any more. And pushing your thumbs in some ones eyes? That's just plain disgusting. Complete let-down.

I wouldn't suggest this book to anyone. Just go read something else. There are way better thrillers out there than this one. I will read something else of Nicci French in the future, to see if my problem was just with this particular plot or with the writers, but I won't be breaking my neck to get my hands on one.


I just noticed the other reviews about this book, and I just can't disagree more. Realistic? Really?! I don't know how many people you know that leave their normal lives behind, go crazy and spend all their money, decide to live with a total stranger, get hit on the head and held captive for no reason, then manage to escape, and forget how they got there in the first place!
And, no, this isn't a light or fast read. It took me days to wade through this over the top "no one believes me!" crap.

Don't get tricked into reading it like me. It will let you down.

View all my reviews >>

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book is just disappointing. Characters just change, the HEA is weak, and my poor poor Jacob gets abused.

I did like the first part of the book though. It was just more of the same, but oh well, that worked for her other books too, didn't it?

Jacob's book was fun. I loved seeing more of him, as he is my favorite side character. Through his eyes, I actually began to like Bella. He has a genuine love for her, but isn't afraid to say what he thinks.

But then, oh god. Spoilers ahead.

Getting pregnant was just so.. predictable. It probably was necessary as Meyer wanted to get the Volturi back to Forks, but it felt really forced. Then the friggin baby starts to bruise stuff. And break ribs. And drain Bella. And really, that's way too disturbing and disgusting. No, that's not okay at all.
Then my poor, poor Jacob IMPRINTS on this thing?! Oh dear god. I liked it when he was still in love with Bella. I liked the banter with Edward. The "burning man" thing was a bit weird, but oh well. We are used to Meyer's repetitiveness.But in Breaking Dawn she went too far out of her way to create a HEA... And, it wasn't even well done.

I didn't know Jacob had imprinted until it was actually said. That is what I call bad writing.

Another thing that bothered me was the enormous difference between vampire Bella and human Bella. When she turns vampire, she suddenly loses all her "oh, I'm not good enough for him, why does he love me?" crap. How the hell did that happen? I though that was part of her personality, and that was supposed to stay... She makes some vague comments on "still not liking surprises and presents" but she didn't whine about it at all! And she isn't bothered by her beauty? I though she didn't even want to look in a mirror because of her ultra-low self-esteem. That's just horrible. Never thought I would miss Bella's complaining.

Off course, Edward becomes even more pretty pretty! Ugh. "I never saw him before". So wait, all that omg-he's-the-most-beautiful-thing-in-the-whole-wide-world was an UNDERSTATEMENT? And there isn't even an explanation for us mere humans why he is even more gorgeous. But maybe that's because we see everything murky and unclear.

Why is there so much tension building throughout the book, to be let down as an anti-climax afterwards? First, you have the threatening war between the bloodsuckers and the wolves. After waiting and waiting and patrolling and waiting it turns out... that everyone is good friends. Where is my fight? Then, the Volturi is coming. Oh no! So we prepare and wait and practice and wait and ponder and worry and wait and guess what... Dea ex machina Alice saves the day! Every one cheers and parties, and I'm sitting in a corner crying. I just wanted a tiny fight. Just a little one. Please?

Renesmee turned out okay. She had some cool powers and I liked she wasn't a normal kid and well, she likes Jacob. Though, the bond between Renesmee and Bella wasn't strong enough. We always get told there isn't any bond stronger than one between a mother and her child. Well, for all I know, Renesmee could have been just another member of the Cullen family. I don't think that's a good sign... I see more mothering instincts from Esme than from Bella, and Bella is the narrator for god sake!

I'm disappointed. When I started reading, I expected light, fast and a teen-vampire romance with a lot of insecurities and angst. What I got was Meyer's artificial depressingly different trick to get to the HEA she wanted. There were way to many pages that you could do without. If you just read the first hundred, Jacob's book, and the last fifty, you didn't miss out on anything. Don't think I will ever read it again. Maybe I can make someone else happy with my copy.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, 21 June 2010

Only 9900443 to go! Doing the math..

I have a new goal in life: to read 1,000,000 pages in a lifetime.* Yes, a million pages. In fiction books. That will come down on (on an average of 350 pages per book) reading about 2857 books. Lets presume I will live another fifty years (fingers crossed), that will be about 57,1 books every year. And that's a goal we can work with.

Started counting on the first of January this year, I have currently reached my first 10,000. That's 1% everyone! At this rate 50 years will be a pretty accurate estimate. (Getting bored with numbers already? Just wait and see...) What if I'm finished early? I won't have purpose in life any more!

Ah well, maybe that's the time when I will start to read the List of All Lists: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. At the moment I have only read 7 out of the 1001 *blushes*. Yes, I should be ashamed. But I'm working on the classics! Still have those 50 years before me, remember? I have 994 left to read, so that means I will have to read an average of 20 (19,88 actually.. but how do you know when you've finished 88% of a book?) every single year! That on top of all my to read YA and UF and other guilty pleasures...

Combined with my 1m-pages goal I will have to read 20 List-books every year and 37 other books. Damn.
Don't you just love numbers?

PS*. This idea is from one of my groups One Million Pages Per Lifetime . Come and join the struggle!

My pages read:

(I only count pages of finished books on this one, for it's easier to oversee; so it always be about 200-500 pages lower than my actual number of read pages)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Counting down

I just read Rebel Angels by Libba Bray, and I have to say, this is one of the best young-adult novels I have read in a very long time. My review:

Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2) Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In one word: amazing. Rebel Angels had everything I missed in A Great and Terrible Beauty. The love is bitter-sweet, the realms magical, the action thrilling and the friendship genuine.

The writing also improved greatly since the last book, and unlike in GBT I actually understood what was happening without having to read back. The mystery was maybe a little predictable, but still very well done.

I admire Libba Bray for taking risks and not stay inside the safe-zone. She actually dares to talk about sexual abuse and neglect and self-mutilation in a young-adult novel, without describing it too shocking or explicit.

I also think she has done some good research on the age she is writing about. The balls and visits feel like Austen, only written in a modern way.

Haunting book. Absolutely loved it.
Give me more Kartik!

View all my reviews >>

And Mrs. Bray gets extra points for her awesome covers. I can keep drooling at them for hours.

To Read Before I'm Allowed To Touch My Shiny New Books: 9
Up Next: Labyrinth I guess... Will have to finish it someday.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Reading till you drop

In one of my groups one came with a great idea: the goal of reading 1,000,000 pages in your lifetime. I myself started counting my pages since the beginning of this year and I'm pretty proud on my total of over 9000! (no DBZ pun intended...)

I really have to started reading a dent in my TBR pile though... it's getting huge! I think I have read about 50% of the books that I own.. and I keep buying more! So I actually invented a point system so I will have to read about two books (or one very difficult) before I allow myself to buy a new one, and well, it's working...okay, let's just say that it works.

Too bad is that I recently got all these awesome birthday presents (don't you just hate that...) and yes, they deduct points! :( So I will have to read Rebels Angels and Dracula before I can buy my new batch (Fallen, Hush Hush, White Witch Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction) and now I'm looking into it, maybe I'll have to read even more (oh noes!). I'm way to impatient for this!

Isn't it great how we set boundaries for ourselves?

Oh and of course my latest reviews:

Eldest (Inheritance, #2) Eldest by Christopher Paolini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don't know, this book was one big meh for me. Eragon's trainig grows boring very quickly, how the pains in his back are solved is an anti-climax, Arya is still playing hard to get and I didn't really care for Roran's chapters; that could have been a story he would tell Eragon after he heroicly killed the Twins. I'm very sad for Murtagh, I totally adored him... Why do all the hot guys have to turn bad? Him being Eragon's brother?.. Way too rushed and come on, who didn't see that one coming?
Only things I really did like in Eldest were Angela ('cause she's awesome) and how Sapphira calls Eragon "little one" (that was really sweet).

Edit: One thing that annoyed me in particular was the complete unnecessary and random use of the word "naught". Why do they keep saying that?! I guess Paolini wanted to give their language an antique or sophisticated feel but come on, throwing "naught" in every sentence where "none" or "zero" would suffice is just stupid.

View all my reviews >>

Frankenstein: Complete and unabridged (Wordsworth Classics) Frankenstein: Complete and unabridged by Mary Shelley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the dark and horrible story of Victor Frankenstein, who gave birth to the frightening, hideous, infamous monster.

I read the abridged and simplified version when I was young, and well, I though it was pretty boring. Now I read the original unabridged version I can only begin understanding how brilliant this story really is.

Sceptic as I am, every time I heard people raving about how the genius 18 years-old Mary Shelley wrote this astonishing tale, I thought that this was just overrated following-the-crowd crap. But I got to admit; good old Mary captures human nature just perfectly.

We see the ambitious Victor Frankenstein grow up, see how he passes time with his caring family, we see his drive, how he developed his affection for his studies. Life is still fun and it holds great promise for the future; but we all know there are terrible things about to happen, and Shelley won't let us forget that.

I really liked we didn't get to see exactly how the monster was formed, and that she actually has found a good reason to not tell us. It isn't just a simple writing trick, it fits perfectly in the story and suits Victor as character.

The further we advance in the obscure world of misery, it becomes clear that Shelley will not spare our heroes. She does about everything to torture them. The monster wants revenge on his creator, and in doing this, he hurts himself beyond what is reasonable.

Frankenstein is not a strong character, he is actually quite weak. But that is his charm, and that's what, in my opinion, makes this story so disturbing. Because Victor is so stunningly normal, it feels close to home. He is not some kind of super hero with super humanly powers and traits; he has many faults, some even unforgivable, but a good heart. You just can't help to feel for him, as he descends in his own personal hell. His love for Elizabeth and Clerval and his father is genuine and heart-warming, and his misery is portrayed perfectly. It doesn't feel like self-pity at all. I really started to get a soft spot for the poor man. No human being should endure such a hardship.

A few things that struck me while reading:
- Mary really likes the word "wretch". No, she absolutely adores it. It is mentioned on almost every other page of this book; and what I found quite interesting is that both Frankenstein and the monster consider themselves wretches, and both consider themselves as the most miserable.
- Was it normal for men to cry back then? Tears start flowing everytime someone is done injustice. I wonder if it's just because the writer was a woman, and that she has a certain idea about how men should be, or that it was generally accepted then for men to weep, and let their tears run freely without shame.
- The undying admiration for nature. It's like their TV. They don't get tired of watching it and studying it closely. It makes me want to see the world through their eyes.

Yes, I will have to admit it. Mary Shelley did write a classic tale about humanity and what will happen if we lose ourselves in science. The only thing I wonder about is if she really knew the complexity of what she wrote. Did she really understand what her little horror story would mean for us in this time?
Anyway, a must read.

View all my reviews >>

The Pit and the Pendulum The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's gruesome, it's horrible, it's painful and it's gross. Totally loved it.

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Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherworld, #3) Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paige is a witch, and Coven Leader of the American Coven. That sounds more important than she really is, because the Elders don't really want to give her any power.

Now she has to look after Savannah, daughter of deceased dark witch Eve, with powers no one can predict.

Enter Leah, bad half-demon, a Volo, which means she can levitate things. Levitate in the way that she can chop your head of with a flying plate.

Then there is Nast, leader of the Nast Cabal, a sorcerer business-Mafia, who wants custody over Savannah.

This starts a chain of actions that well, fill the whole book. This book is one long roller coaster ride of fast-paced plot twists. It was very different from Bitten and Stolen indeed, but Paige is a whole different character, so I don't mind. The romance was predictable but kinda cute, Cortez dialogue fit him quite right and Savannah acted like a real thirteen-year-old. Fun read!

View all my reviews >>

Wow, I didn't know I wrote so much since last time. Hm, I guess I'll post the others later.