Four books, here amongst A WIld and Unremarkable Thing, on a green background.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing

Author: Jen Castleberry

Published: Parliament House, 2017

A WIld and Unremarkable Thing

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing is truly a remarkable story. My biggest fear while reading was that the book would not be long enough. And it wasn’t!

We follow Cody/Cayda, who has been trained by her father for the past fifteen years to be able to kill a Fire Scale; one of the dragons that come out every fifteenth year to mate. She has lived her life like a boy for just as long, because no girl could ever hope to claim the winning prize for slaying a Fire Scale.

The time finally comes for Cody/Cayda to begin her journey. Her father, who has been quite hard on her, lies injured at home, so she has to go alone. On her way to the town of Yurka she meets Penn, who accompanies her.

Meanwhile we also follow Fares, the crown prince, and Wolfe, his best friend, who decides that he will become a champion and slay a Fire Scale.

My Thoughts

The story is an incredible page-turner and from the moment you turn the first page you will have entered the spectacular world of A Wild and Unremarkable Thing, where you will find yourself until you turn the very last page.

I really found this story enthralling and I love the way Castleberry has woven her sentences together. It creates a dynamic read and keeps the story fast paced. Moreover, I enjoyed the multiple point of views that add a certain “layeredness” to the story, since we follow different people’s thoughts and actions.

Cody/Cayda is very easily loved and really brings a lot of character to the story. I hope there will be more to read about her some day. Despite being raised as a boy for the majority of her life, it seems that deep down she has no doubt that she is a girl, but she also knows that she will live her entire life as a boy/man if it means her family will be saved from poverty and her sisters can refrain from selling themselves to the men in town.

Penn is a mysterious character, but also easily liked. He is beyond fascinated with Cody/Cayda and it is very interesting to see the impact she has on him. Moreover, it is amazing to see his character unfold.

Wolfe is a silly character, but I really liked him too! He is the stereotypical “academic”, who doesn’t see that the world is different from how it seems to be in the books he always reads. He is persistent in his decision to become a champion even when his friends laugh at him. He doesn’t take any advice from others, but fully believes that the answer is in his book. Despite his stubborness, which could at times really annoy me, I really enjoyed his passages. Maybe this has partly to do with Fares, his friend, who was such a goof.

The characters were often quite superficial and normally that would bother me, but A Wild and Unremarkable Thing has this “fairytale”-like sense, which made it completely okay. I think.

My only complaint is that the book ended when it did. It felt too rushed, and I could have easily read an entire new book about what would happen next.

Should You Read It?

Well, yes. I would very much suggest that you read it if you enjoy a good fairytale or fantasy story. If you enjoy a good laugh while also being quite serious. It isn’t just this magical story about slaying dragons. It is also a powerful story, however slightly underplayed, about gender identity, family and friendship. And it is the story of doing the right thing no matter the costs and a story about proving one’s worth.

Furthermore, Castleberry writes marvelously and the various points of views make the story flow incredibly fast and easy. I loved this story and I will definitely read it again some day!

I sincerely hope this is not the last I will hear from Jen Castleberry!

Begin Again by Mona Kasten on a wooden table next to a flower

Begin Again

Author: Mona Kasten

Published: Bastei Entertainment, 2017

Series: Again #1

I first saw Begin Again in an Instagram post by Buecherpalast (who by the way has an amazing feed) and was sold immediately by its amazing cover! After a while though, I realised that the book was only available in German and although I understand German alright I am nowhere near being able to read a book in German. However, a little over a week ago I realised that Begin Again had been published in English and I quickly applied and was approved for an EARC by Bastei Entertainment through Netgalley – which by the way was amazing and so unexpected!

It took me only a few days to read it, but had I not been on a road trip for two of those I would have read it in one sitting.

Begin Again – The Book

Allie is a strong young woman, who moves to Woodshill, Oregon to get away from her family and begin her own life as the person she feels she wants to be.
Kaden is the brusque and handsome young man, who owns the apartment, that Allie hopes to rent a room in for the duration of her college time in town.
Of course there’s tension between them from the start and Kaden comes across as being very arrogant, authoritative and even sort of sexist. Allie takes his behaviour because of her desperate need for a place to stay, but also because of her sincere physical attraction to him, which is at times almost erotic to read about.
Kaden slowly warms to her presence and begins to take her places and show her the town, all while Allie is making great friends on her own.

The scenes between Kaden and Allie are written extremely well, and as a reader you can feel the electricity between the two roomies and the attraction between them that Allie tries to ignore. As Allie is trying to start her new life, even the reader is kept in the dark about her past, and must wait for her to be ready to unfold her past life to us as well as her friends.

My Thoughts

This was such a sweet read and I was hooked from the very beginning to the end. Surely we’ve read about these type of characters before: The young woman, who wants to create her own life, and the apparently strong young man with a bad boy attitude and a broken soul beneath, who merely needs to heal before being the perfect guy. This does not mean that the book doesn’t have to be read though, since Kasten writes amazingly well and creates wonderful characters that you want to follow! I especially liked the relationship between Allie and Kaden, which was described so vividly. This is also one of those books that introduce the reader to diversity without pushing it down one’s throat, which I felt was refreshing.

Begin Again is the first book in the Again-series and the next two have quickly become highly anticipated reads of mine! I constantly wanted to know more about the lead characters and to see how their lifes unfolded. I sincerely hope that it will be published in Danish sometime soon.

Should You Read It?

If you enjoy stories like Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James or the After-series by Anna Todd, then I really think you would enjoy Begin Again. I know I did and am now impatiently waiting for the rest of the series to be translated into English (or Danish if any publishing houses here would be interested).

January Book Haul

January has been crazy! I told myself I should contain myself this year and stop buying books just because they’re cheap. Then plusbog opened the year with an amazing sale to introduce their new audiobook app. That meant close to 300 titles on sale for 1 DKK (£0.12 or 0.13 or $0.17) each! Titles I will probably never listen to went in the basket simply because I told myself that I would maybe (though probably not) begin listening more to audiobooks.

Books on sale

We have this thing called January sale, which is one of the most silly things I know. Everybody has just spent millions (well, you know what they say about exaggerating) on Christmas gifts and food and ornaments and trees and decorations and fireworks and more food… and now the wallet is a little sore. “Great,” the shops say: “We’ll just lower the prices and then they’ll come shop anyways.” And we do. We do come running. And spend more than we normally would. Some of us at least. Most of us probably.

Well, I did fall for it and ended up with no less than 70 audiobooks, 6 e-books and 5 physical copies. It’s more books than I can go through in a year.

I will not go through all of the audiobook titles, but most of them I bought because they were books I sort of want to read, but they are not very high on my TBR. However, for 1 DKK I would give it a try. Hopefully they are all of good quality, so that it doesn’t ruin the experience of the book to have it read aloud.

E-books

It is way too easy to buy books for my Kindle. It’s one click and then the book is in my kindle library. And they are often just so cheap compared to the physical copies.

This month I have purchased six e-books and I really look forward to reading them all! They are a mix of genres, though mostly fantastical tellings.

Never Let You Go

The first one is Never Let You Go by Chevy Stephens. It is a story about a woman escaping an abusive relationship with her daughter and her husband goes to jail. One day her now ex-husband is released from jail, and she suddenly begins to feel watched…

I have high expectations to this one and really hope to read it this year! I don’t know though, ’cause I have a lot of books I want to read this year 😉 Probably also more than I will end up reading. Isn’t that every bookworm’s problem?

The Sophisticates Trilogy

Okay, so this was probably a stupid purchase. I mean, I may have ended up buying something wonderful, but I primarily bought it because it is a complete trilogy that was on sale for only $1. It sounds amazing though – and I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t think it sounded like something I would read!

The Sophisticates Trilogy by Christine Manzari is a dystopian sci-fi trilogy. It’s a story about the seventeen year old Cleo, who has been genetically modified and raised to be a super soldier, but who in the midst of it all begins to long for freedom. Clearly that is ground for trouble.

Angelfall: Penryn and the End of Days #1

Again a book that was very cheap and accidentally ended up in my Kindle library. However, it is about angels and the end of days – what’s not to like?!

In Angelfall by Susan Ee angels of the apocalypse have descended to demolish the modern world. However, when the angels fly away with a little girl, Penryn; the girl’s big sister, will do anything to get her back and therefore makes a deal with a fallen angel.  Angelfall is the first book in a dystopian trilogy.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing

This book is my first pre-order purchase ever. I just knew I had to have this and read it. I read about it on Parliament House Publishing’s instagram and was sold immediately. The title alone is amazing.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry is a fantasy story about a female dragonslayer (oh yes – they also exist!) on her route to the Summer Alps, where she will collect a reward for slaying a Fire Scale. However, the roads to these things are never simple and easy, and Cayda (our dragonslayer) must aso learn this.

This book has me on the edge almost. I love a good fantasy set in some sort of medieval setting (which I believe this is). I have put this on my TBR for February, and really hope I get to read it too!

Hopefully my New Year’s Resolution to read more e-books will help me read some of these.

Books

Despite how easy it is to handle and buy e-books, I prefer to read actual books; physical copies. This also lead me to buy two books in January that I have already bought for my kindle. These are the first two books in The Collector Trilogy by Dot Hutchison: The Butterfly Garden and The Roses of May. I have already read The Butterfly Garden and I really think it is an amazing and creepy thriller! The Roses of May, however, was constantly pushed a little and I just didn’t get to read it last year despite the fact that I really look forward to reading it. This year, in May, the third book in the trilogy (The Summer Children) comes out, and I plan to read The Roses of May before that happens.

The next two books I purchased this month were:

  1. The Danish edition of Victim Without a Face (Fabian Risk #1) by Stefan Ahnhem. Again, this as a book I should have probably put on my wish list before buying it, because I fear it will stay on my shelves for quite some time. It just sounded so good when I had it in my hand in the store, and for only 30 DKK (£3.54 or €4.03 or $5.01) I put it in my shopping basket.
  2. The Danish edition of Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace #1) by M. J. Arlidge. I have wanted to buy this since before Christmas, but didn’t want to spend too much on it. I found it on sale while shopping for books for my boyfriend and put it in the basket as well. Again, this is a book that will probably stay on my shelves for quite some time before I read it. It’s not that I don’t want to read now, I just have so many books I want to read, and I try to also read some of the books I have had for a longer while.

Owlcrate (spoiler alert)

On top of all these books on sale I also received my owlcrate this month, which is the last book I bought this month and also the only one I didn’t buy on sale. Well, technically it was the first book I bought since my subscription renews on the 1st. Nevertheless it was the last book to arrive.

The book in an owlcrate is always a surprise, and when purchasing the crate you gamble a little. This month however, I thought I knew which book was in the box, and it was a book I really wanted to read! I was right!

The book in the January Owlcrate was The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I think this book sounds absolutely amazing, and it has also received a great deal of praise. It came with an owlcrate exclusive cover, that is gorgeous. When I saw the Barnes&Noble edition of the cover I hoped so much that the owlcrate edition would look like it! An it does. Sort of. It is dark and beautiful, and under the dust jacket is the most wonderful golden print. I adore this book! I hope it is just as fantastic inside as it is on the outside

TLDR

Okay, so I bought the following books this month:

  1. Never Let You Go by Chevy Stephens
  2. The Sophisticates Trilogy by Christine Manzari
  3. Angelfall by Susan Ee
  4. A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry (also, what an amazing surname)
  5. The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
  6. The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison
  7. Victim Without a Face by Stefan Ahnhem
  8. Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge
  9. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  10. 70 audiobooks that I will not give the name of

Thank you for reading<3 I love that you stop by once in a while! To help you out, I try to put a new blog post up every Friday, though sometimes it happens that the post will be slightly delayed. I will post once a week though!

If you have read (or plan to read) any of the books I’ve mentioned in this post, feel free to tell me about your impressions! I would love to receive recommendations on what to read next or what to expect!

Have a great day!

My February TBR consists of: Red Queen, The Alienist, Twilight, and on my Kindle: A Wild and Unremarkable Thing and Wildwood

February TBR

I do not normally make TBR’s for entire months. Actually, I don’t even make TBR’s very often with the intend of reading something at a specific time or in a particular order. However, this time I have done something new. I have joined a book club (three actually) and I have signed up at a publishing house to read two of their books and submit reviews. Also I have joined a read-along. This then demands a TBR, because without it I would be caught up in reading whatever I can get my hands on and not reading any of the books that was originally intended.

Book Club Books

I have joined three book clubs on Goodreads and I expect to follow at least two of them in February in their monthly read. In the first book club we are reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I have gotten a hold of The Alienist, but am still waiting for the other. Not that I have to read them both, I just want to read them both! That’s the big problem for me with books; I find it hard to limit myself.

In another book club we are reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. I have wanted to read both of these for so long! However, I am number 21 on the wait list for The Good Daughter and since I have so many other books I want to read in February I have decided that this one will not be a mandatory part of my February TBR, but more of an extra. I really want to read the book some day and I have been close to buying it more than once, so in case I finish all the other books early (as if), then I’ll probably buy The Good Daughter and begin this as well. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just read it some other time.

Books to Review

This headline may be a little misleading, since I also plan on reviewing some of the other books I get to read in February. However, these are the books I have promised to review before a certain date.

The first book is A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry. I pre-ordered it back on January 2nd and has been waiting excitedly ever since. On January 23rd it was finally released and it is the next one I will begin after finishing the book I am currently reading (which is Krokodillevogteren (The Egyptian Plover) by Katrine Engberg). Then Parliament House Publishing announced that they needed people to review some of their titles and since this was one of them, I signed up to do that!

While signing up another title caught my eye and I therefore also signed up to write a review of Wildwood by Jadie Jones. Wildwood is the first book in a trilogy (also known as The Hightower trilogy) and the second book Windswept comes out this year. I am so thrilled to be reading these books and I hope the whole experience of writing a review because someone asked for it and not because I just wanted to share the book with you will be awesome.

Read Along

I have never before taken part in a read along. Nor have I ever even buddy-read something. I mean, sure I have read books for my classes in school, but that’s not really the same thing. Therefore I am plenty excited! We are reading the Twilight saga – a series I haven’t read yet despite loving the films. That’s not entirely true. I read New Moon once on a holiday, becaue it was the only book around, but I found it so dull I didn’t bother with the rest of the series when I got back home. However, many have now told me that that was a mistake, and that despite the second book in the series is very dull (they agree with me on this), then the rest of the books are great! I hope they are right. Now I will see for my self by reading Twilight in February. Hopefully I will want to move on and read the rest of the series too.

February TBR

  1. A Wild and Unremarkable Thing (Jen Castleberry)
  2. Wildwood (Jadie Jones)
  3. Red Queen (Victorie Aveyard)
  4. The Alienist (Caleb Carr)
  5. Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
  6. A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)
  7. The Good Daughter (Karin Slaughter)

The list is in order of priority; ranging from my most anticipated reads to the least (however still very anticipated) reads. I look forward to keeping you updated on instagram and here!