Hot Mess af Lucy Vine

Hot Mess

Forfatter: Lucy Vine

Udgivelse: Flamingo, 14. februar 2018

Antal hjerter af fem mulige: ♥♥

Original titel: Hot Mess

Oversat af: Elisabeth Kiertzner

Om Hot mess

Ellie Knight er 29 år og fanget i et singlehelvede med den ene forfærdelige Tinder-date efter den anden. Hun er ikke super vild med sit job, og hun bor på et værelse i en lejlighed, der er så forfærdelig at hun omtaler den Lortehullet. Ikke nok med, at hun skal slæbe sig gennem tilværelsen som datende single, så er hendes far nu også klar til at date igen efter moderens død. Hendes liv er mildest talt langt fra perfekt. Men måske er det helt okay?

Bogen består af små kapitler, der indledes med en form for dagbogsnotat, samt kapitler, der er skrevet som mailkorrespondance mellem Ellie og hendes far og søster.

Hot Mess er kaldt for Tinder-generationens Bridget Jones dagbog, og hvis man kender Bridget Jones, så siger det i den grad noget om, hvad Hot Mess er for en bog.

Mine tanker om Hot mess

Jeg har haft virkelig svært ved at finde ud af, hvad jeg synes om denne her bog. Der var tidspunkter, hvor jeg grinede højlydt, og så var der sider, jeg blev nødt til at springe over, fordi de simpelthen var for uinteressante.

PLottet

Historien er i sig selv ganske udmærket. Vi starter lige på og hårdt, hvor vi introduceres for både Ellies (ikke helt så tiltalende) personlighed og den situation hun befinder sig i; single-helvedet. Herefter får vi langsomt afdækket mere og mere af både Ellie og livet som single af alt hvad det indebære. Der løber en god rød tråd gennem hele fortællingen og den er slet ikke svær at holde styr på.

Indimellem er der dog nogle mails fra Ellies far til hende og hendes søster, og jeg må indrømme, at jeg slet ikke kan se pointen med indholdet i disse mails. Jeg er sikker på, de er tænkt som et humoristisk indslag, men de er for meget, for dårligt skrevet og alt for ligegyldige til at de giver mig noget som helst, og jeg valgte ret hurtigt at springe dem over, når jeg læste. Og selv om jeg i sidste ende vendte tilbage – bare fordi, det var det rigtige at gøre, når nu man vil skrive en anmeldelse af en bog – følte jeg ikke på nogen måde, jeg manglede noget ved ikke at have læst dem. Alt hvad jeg skulle forstå, forstod jeg efter at have læst den første.

Kapitelindledningerne sagde mig heller ikke noget. De sætter scenen, så man som læser er klar over, hvor vi befinder os, men det kan man også tit blive klar over i løbet af de første par linjer. Jeg føler mig dog sikker på, at dem, der har holdt af Bridget Jones’ dagbog, vil synes bedre om dem end jeg.

Karaktererne

Persongalleriet i Hot Mess er ikke stort, men det behøver det heller ikke at være i en bog på kun 270 sider. Der er mange navne at hitte rundt i, men de vigtige personer formår alligevel at fæstne sig lidt bedre i hukommelsen end de mindre vigtige.

Ellie

Vores hovedperson Ellie Knight er som tidligere nævnt 29 år. Hun er nyligt single og bor derfor på et værelse i en lejlighed med to andre. Hendes vennekreds består primært af Sophie og Thomas, men også kollegaen Maddie har fået en plads. Ellie fremstår på mange måder som en bitter kvinde, der nærmest hader alt, hvad der ikke lige falder i hendes smag. På sin arbejdsplads virker hun endog meget usympatisk og direkte led.

I nogle situationer, virker hun meget ligefrem og morsom at være i selskab med, og det er ofte hende, der har givet mig anledning til at grine højt.

Vennerne

Sophie og Thomas fremstår som en tætknyttet vennegruppe, der deler alt med hinanden. Det er også Sophie og Thomas, der i sin tid fik Ellie på Tinder og swipede de første mange mænd for hende. Der er en god dynamik i gruppen og deres relationer og samtaler virker ægte og dybe.

Familien

Omvendt har jeg det med familien. Samtalerne mellem Ellie og hendes far Allan og søster Jenny virker dybt absurde og til tider skræmmes jeg endda over, hvordan søstrene taler til hinanden. Ellies søster er en stolt kvinde, der er flyttet langt væk med sin mand og datter, og som absolut ikke har behov for at tale om noget med familien. Ellies far er en mand med et dybtliggende og yderst velfungerende humor-gen, hvilket absolut er nødvendigt, når Jenny angriber ham med en enten enormt tør humor eller ondskabsfulde udtalelser. Samme gen er dog også skyld i, at jeg flere gange var i tvivl om, hvorvidt faren lavede sjov eller forstod en joke.

Hvem kan læse Hot Mess?

Jeg vil anbefale singler og unge kvinder at læse denne. Den er humoristisk og tør på samme tid. Selv om den er sjov og nogle gange lidt i overkanten, lukker man alligevel bogen med en følelse af, at man er blevet lidt klogere på livet. Især vil jeg dog anbefale den til de af jer, der har været glade for Bridget Jones. Der er mange ligheder, men det er en lidt særlig måde at skrive en bog på, og altså ikke en, jeg bryder mig særligt om, men hvis du gør, er jeg sikker på, at denne her også falder i god jord hos dig!

Et godt råd er dog at springe farens vedhæftede dokument til mailen over. Nogle vil helt sikkert synes, det er hylende morsomt, men hvis du ikke er en af dem, så går du altså ikke glip af noget ved at droppe dem.

Anne Mette Hancocks bog Mercedes-snittet

Mercedes-snittet

Bogen er et anmeldereksemplar tilsendt fra forlaget.

Forfatter: Anne Mette Hancock

Udgivelse: Forlaget Lindhardt og  Ringhof, 2018

Serie: Nr. 2 i Kaldan/Schäfer-serien (læs om nr. 1 Ligblomsten her – dog på engelsk)

Efter den succesoplevelse det var, at læse Anne Mette Hancocks debutroman Ligblomsten, havde jeg virkelig set frem til at få fingrene i den næste i serien. Jeg forudbestilte bogen tilbage  marts, og da vi nærmede os udgivelsesdatoen den 1. juni, var jeg simpelthen så spændt! To uger inden dumpede der dog et anmeldereksemplar ind af døren fra de fantastiske mennesker hos Lindhardt og Ringhof, og jeg var jublende lykkelig! Det tog mig ikke mange minutter at være fuldstændigt fanget af handlingen og fyldt af gensynsglæde over de fantastiske karakterer Heloise Kaldan og Erik Schäfer!

Om bogen

I Mercedes-snittet forsvinder tiårige Lukas fra sin skole, hvilket får Heloise til at tænke, at hun har ret i, at det er farligt at sætte børn i verden. Hun bliver af avisen bedt om at dække sagen, og støder herved atter på sin gode ven Erik Schäfer, der efterforsker sagen.

Det viser sig at være en sag, der stikker helt af og peger i mange forskellige og forfærdelige retninger. Pludselig dukker Lukas’ telefon dog op, og herigennem opdager politiet, at Lukas er besat af pareidolia – af at fotografere ting, der ligner ansigter. Der er særligt et billede, som tiltrækker sig politiets opmærksomhed, men det virker stadig umuligt at finde noget, der peger konkret på, hvad der er sket med Lukas.

Mine tanker om Mercedes-snittet

Anne Mette Hancock trådte frem på den danske krimiscene med Ligblomsten, som indbragte hende Det Danske Kriminalakademis debutantpris, og nu markerer hun sig tydeligt og bestemt med Mercedes-snittet som en krimiforfatter, der er kommet for at blive. Og det har hun i den grad også fortjent. Anne Mettes sprog og skrivestil er levende og nutidigt. Karaktererne har dybde og sjæl, og Anne Mette formår på fineste vis at levere en krimi, der kravler ind under huden på sin læser. Mercedes-snittet er eminent og velskrevet, og der er ingen tvivl om, at hver eneste sætning er nøje gennemtænkt og bearbejdet.

Mercedes-snittet er dansk krimi, når det er allerbedst. En af de mere fantastiske ting ved serier, er den udvikling, man får lov til at følge hos karaktererne gennem helt små og for handlingen næsten ubetydelige øjeblikke. Dette er også et træk Hancock har tilføjet sit værk med umådelig detaljerigdom og skarphed.

Min eneste anke er, at Michala Friis er alt for lidt med! Så kære Anne Mette Hancock: Michala Friis må for min skyld godt få sin helt egen serie – hun er så skøn!

A stack of books I read in February.

Quarterly Wrap-Up of 2018 #1

When I first started this post, I had imagined that doing a quarterly wrap-up would be ideal, since I don’t read a lot of books in a month. Therefore, out of fear that one of my monthly wrap-ups would consist of me writing about this one book I started, but didn’t really finish – I decided to do quaterly wrap-ups. This would allow me to share more experiences with you in one post.

However, I had not expected to read as much as I did. January was filled with six books, and I figured it was because I took my exam and then was left with almost two weeks before I started school and work again. But the streak continued into February, and then I just decided to do one quarterly wrap-up, but the rest of the year I will do monthly wrap-ups. I’d rather write a short post about this one book I didn’t really finish, than a loooooong post about all of these books I read, knowing that most of you will give up by the time you see the lenght of it, and the rest of you will give up after the first few paragraphs.

Wrap-up

I will briefly list the books I have read in the same order that I read them, and afterwards I will talk about a few of them and a bit about my reading motivation in this same period of time. Please note that some of the titles are in Danish (and consists of the odd letters æ ø å) because I read them in Danish! If the book has an official English title (and I know it) it will follow in parenthesis ().

January reads

  • Ligblomsten by Anne Mette Hancock
  • Stalker by Michella Rasmussen
  • Pigen fra Månehøjen by Lene Krog
  • Grænsebørn by Bent Haller
  • Nattevagt (Night Guard) by Synne Lea and Stian Hole
  • Er du okay, Fie by Anika Eibe

February reads

  • Krokodillevogteren by Katrine Engberg
  • A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Begin Again by Mona Kasten
  • Kåde Kvinder by Giovanna Casotto
  • Voksenlivet er en myte (Adulthood is a Myth) by Sarah’s Scribbles

March Reads

  • Wildwood by Jadie Jones
  • Farlige Fristelser by Giovanna Casotto
  • Den sidste gode mand by A.J. Kazinski
  • Søvn og torne (The Sleeper and the Spindle) by Neil Gaiman
  • Fordærv (The Few) by Nadia Dalbuono
  • Provinspis by Ditte Wiese
  • Pernittengryn og Lorelei by Helle Melander
  • Sjælens pris – Dæmonherskerens arving #3 by Haidi Wigger Klaris
  • Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope
  • Suddenly Us by Marie Skye

Succinct Wrap-Up

I read a total of 22 books in these three months, which is almost my reading goal for 2016. That is quite amazing and frankly also quite unfathomable. But I have never felt forced to read this many books, it has almost come naturally, because I had a lot of books I wanted to read.

Seven of these books have been review copies from either an author or a publishing house, and I feel honoured to have had the chance to review these books. Except for one, I really loved reading all of them. And the one I didn’t enjoy as much, was mainly because it just wasn’t my kind of read anyway. It really wasn’t a bad book.

 

honourable Mentions

Stalker

by Michella Rasmussen is a Danish YA book about a young girl who suddenly has an admirer, that slowly turns stalker. It is amazingly well written and deals with an issue I haven’t read about before. It takes both the stalker’s and the victim’s point of view, which I think is absolutely fantastic and it works terrificly in this book. The audioversion of it is amazing too!

Krokodillevogteren

by Katrine Engberg is a Danish crime novel that has been translated into several languages (I do not think English is one yet, though – unfortunately). It is about a murder on a young girl that has been committed in the most gruesome way. The characters in this novel were brilliant and I fell in love with them as much as I loved the story itself.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing

by Jen Castleberry is a fantasy story with a twist of a feminstic approach. It tells the story about a young girl, who has been raised as a boy in order to be able to slay a Fire Scale dragon and collect the winnings afterwards, so that she can save her family from poverty. It is brilliantly crafted and I really wish it would be longer, since I really connected with the main character Cayda.

Provinspis

by Ditte Wiese is a realistic YA novel, which has quickly climbed up to be one of my most valued reads. Again, this is Danish, and hasn’t been translated yet, but I think it should! The narration and the voice of the story is spot on with the youth and Ditte tells a tough story about growing up and wanting to get away. If you read Danish and love a good YA-novel, you should read this one! And please let me know what you think afterwards as I would love to discuss it.

Ligblomsten

by Anne Mette Hancock is again a Danish crime novel, but this one is a bit different from most othe crime novels I have read. Ligblomsten (Corpse Flower) deals with the notion of revenge and I don’t really think anyone is actually killed on the pages, which makes it even more interesting.

Song of Blood and Stone

by L. Penelope is a fantasy novel set in a magical land, and th characters are so compelling. I loved everything about this book and I cannot wait to share this with you, when I post a full review of it on Sunday, April 29. It is amazing and if you love fantasy you should read it. End of story.

Reading motivation

I have been on a roll reading wise. I have no idea how it happened that I already read 22 books, but I have in no way felt pressured to. I have just read. And listened at any available time. I did cut down a little on reading for school, but only because I am only following one course this term. And I have also cut down a little on my work hours since I have been dealing with some personal issues that demanded I took some time to myself.

in the future

As mentioned earlier in this post, I will post a monthly wrap-up in the future as this was far too comprehensive a post for my own liking.

A picture of the Egmont building where the publishing house Carlsen is located

Bogbloggerevent om realistisk YA-litteratur

Lørdag den 14. april stod i bøgernes navn, da jeg brugte min eftermiddag i selskab med andre skønne bogbloggere hos Forlaget Carlsen/CarlsenPuls til et arrangement om realisme i YA-litteratur , der var arrangeret af Julie The Book Cat. Som stadig forholdsvis ny bogblogger var det mit første af den slags arrangementer og jeg var spændt og helt tosset nervøs hele morgenen og formiddagen på at skulle af sted. Men af sted skulle jeg!

Realisme i YA-litteraturPose med sponsorgaver fra bloggerevent om realisme i YA litteratur

Programmet bød på hele tre forfattere, to redaktører og en forlagschef (og sådan én har jeg aldrig mødt før!), så det var et tætpakket program, vi skulle igennem på de tre eftermiddagstimer. Derudover blev vi overhældt med fantastiske gaver fra mange forskellige sponsorer, hvilket var en noget overvældende oplevelse for mig, og jeg turde næsten ikke tro på, at jeg fik lov til at slæbe det hele med hjem!

Hvordan skriver man YA?

The authors Caroline Ørsum and Camilla Wandahl talks about the process of writing YA literature

Først på programmet var Caroline Ørsum og Camilla Wandahl til en snak om hvordan man skriver realistisk YA-litteratur. Caroline lagde ud med at definere begrebet realisme som mulig virkelighed og menneskelig handling, hvilket er vigtigt at forholde sig til, når man vil skrive realistisk. Derfor er det vigtigt at researche og undersøge mange af de elementer i ens tekst, man ikke selv på forhånd ved noget om. Der er dog stadig en frihed til at ‘finde på’ i realistisk ungdomslitteratur, hvilket Caroline har gode erfaringer med, da hun opfandt bandet Pale Blue Horizon til sin nyeste bog Wiki over Miss Elises elendige liv.

De to forfattere kom også ind på deres skriveprocesser og fortalte, at de begge skriver forholdsvis ufærdigt. Derudover bød Camilla ind med gode råd til at få en god skriveproces uden skriveblokader (hint: skriv i små korte intervaller og accepter, at det du skriver kan ændres senere).

Hvordan udgives en ny bog?

Nanna Nørh fra forlaget Høst & Søn kom forbi og fortalte om hele processen bag en bogs udgivelse. Hun fortalte bl.a. lidt om, hvordan redaktørerne mødes og fordeler manuskripter, samt hvad der sker, hvis et manuskript antages eller afslås. Til hverdag arbejder Nanna både med danske og udenlandske titler, og processen er forskellig i de to, da de udenlandNanna Nørh fortæller om en redaktørs arbejde i forbindelse med bogudgivelsesprocessenske titler jo allerede er udgivet og derfor ikke skal redigeres i indhold. De skal til gengæld oversættes, så her arbejder hun meget med at finde den rigtige oversætter til teksten, hvilket glædede mit lille oversætter-hjerte. Nanna lagde også vægt på, at en redaktørs job ofte går ud på at foreslå ændringer, og faktisk ikke rette, som mange ellers kan tro.

Kan YA blive for råt?

Forfatter Ditte Wiese og redaktør Kaya Hoff fra Carlsen snakkede om grænserne for hvor råt man kan skrive YA-litteratur. Dittes egen debutroman Provinspis er en rå oplevelse, som faktisk får mange voksne til at fravælge den, når de køber bøger til deres børn og børnebørn. Både Ditte og Kaya mener dog ikke, at YA kan blive for råt. Det kan måske i nogle tilfælde blive for meget, men i sidste ende er de dog enige om, at det vigtigste er, at det rå og barske giver mening! For hvis det ikke giver mening, så virker det ikke. Derudover løftede Ditte sløret for, at hendes næste roman kommer til at være en lidt anden type rå roman, og jeg er vildt spændt på at se, hvad hun kan trylle frem! Ditte Wiese og Kaya Hoff taler om, hvor råt YA litteratur må være

Aflsutning og rundtur

Afslutningsvis gik forlagschef  Christian Bach fra forlaget Carlsen på scenen og fortalte kort om tilblivelsen af CarlsenPuls, samt præsenterede kommende udgivelser fra forlaget Carlsen og CarlsenPuls. Dette bød på en masse spændende titler, som fik mig til at genoverveje ideen om at droppe job og uddannelse og blive fuldtidsbogorm i stedet. Herefter sagde vi pænt tak og farvel til de dejlige mennesker, der havde afsat tid til at glæde en flok bogbloggere med en fantastisk arrangement på sådan en lørdag eftermiddag. Christian bød dernæst på en rundtur på forlaget hvilket undertegnede bestemt ikke kunne takke nej til.

Til sidst fik vi kastet endnu en bog i hovedet og sendt hjem med varme hilsner og masser af smil. Alt i alt var det en yderst givende dag, og det er bestemt ikke det sidste arrangement, jeg deltager i. Stemningen og muligheden for at stille spørgsmål var fantastisk! Og det var så meget anderledes end de større arrangementer, jeg plejer at deltage i (som eksempelvis Bogforum).

Hvad var der så i posen?

Arrangementet var sponsoreret af og posen fyldt med lækkerier fra: Forlaget Carlsen, People’s Press, Høst & Søn, Gads Forlag, Forlaget Cobolt, Tante Te, Coolstuff.dk, Forlaget Brændpunkt og boghandlerkæden Arnold Busck.

Farvel og tak for fisk

(Ja, en tyvstjålet litterær reference)

Det var en helt fantastisk eftermiddag, og jeg er lykkelig for, at jeg havde mulighed for at deltage. På trods af min sære personlighed, der ikke tillader mange nye indtryk af gangen, før jeg løber hjem og gemmer mig under dynen, så havde jeg en fantastisk oplevelse! Julie havde stablet et flot arrangement på benene og jeg er utroligt taknemmelig for det hendes arbejde har givet mig!

Af hjertet tak til alle.

The book The Few by Nadia Dalbuono on a table

Fordærv

Bogen er et anmeldereksemplar tilsendt fra forlaget.

Original title: The Few

Forfatter: Nadia Dalbuono

Udgivet: Alhambra, 2018

Serie: Leone Scamarcio #1

Fordærv

Fordærv er første del i en serie om den erfarne kriminalkommissær Leone Scamarcio. Scamarcio er søn af en italiensk mafiaboss, men har valgt at gå en modsat vej og må derfor kæmpe for sin integritet som en af Roms politimænd. En dag bliver Scamarcio kaldt til et møde med sin chef, som beder ham om at undersøge en særlig sag – helt uofficielt.

Sagen handler om en død trækkerdreng, som er fundet myrdet i sin egen seng, og da der pludselig også dukker billeder op af denne trækkerdreng og en af Italiens højtstående politikere i en særdeles ømtålelig situation, er Scamarcio pludselig dybt involveret i en sag, der er svær at holde hemmelig. Som efterforskningen udfolder sig og trækker Scamarcio med ind i mere forfærdelige lag af det Italienske samfund, begynder Scamarcio også langsomt at miste sig selv lidt.

Mine tanker

Fordærv er en af den slags krimier, der tager læseren med politiet rundt i store dele af efterforskningsarbejdet, samt hovedpersonens tanker og privatliv. Det betyder, at man som læser kan få lov at udfolde sagen i samme tempo som hovedpersonen gøre det, hvilket også betyder, at man ofte føler sig lige så fortabt og forvirret som den stakkels kiminalkommissær, der er sat til at løse mysteriet.

Jeg havde svært ved at vænne mig til de italienske navne, og i lang tid følte jeg mig forvirret over, hvem der var hvem. Plottet var dog fængende og Scamarcio spændende at følge.

Mysteriet om den afdøde trækkerdreng leder Scamarcio til den italienske ø Elba, hvor en amerikansk pige er blevet kidnappet. Det virker næsten umuligt at finde en ammenhæng mellem disse to sager, hvilket gør historien endnu mere interssant. Når man som læser selv får lov at lege detektiv, synes jeg, man får lidt ekstra ud af historien. Jeg synes, det er fedt at få lov til at gætte løs og lave forskellige mulige scenarier i hovedet under læsningen.

Plottet var gennemtænkt, og der gik lang tid før, jeg begyndte at forbinde ledetrådene. De forbrydelser, man præsenteres for er barske og modbydelige, og jeg kan ikke lade være med at håbe, at det ikke er en gengivelse af virkeligheden. Den sørgelige sandhed er dog nok, at det er en ret virkelig gengivelse af virkeligheden. Og selv om det gør mig trist at tænke på, så er det også en stor del af, hvad jeg kunne lide ved bogen.

Scamarcio er en velskrevet figur, som på mange måder virker ægte og menneskelig. Dalbuono har med snilde sørget for at han er en karakter, man har lyst til at vide mere om. Han er meget uafhængig og arbejder hårdt for at gøre sit job godt. Han er brysk, men samtidig også meget relaterbar. Noget af det, der gør ham særligt interessant er hans retfærdighedssans, som er formet af både hans baggrund med en kriminel far og hans job hos politiet.

Samlet set synes jeg, at romanen var en anelse forvirrende, omend spændende og grotesk. Scamarcio er svær at holde af, men samtidig er han også svær ikke at kunne lide, og han betyder helt bestemt meget for at romanen fungerer. Dalbuono har gjort et fantastisk arbejde med at lade sine karakterer udfolde sig gennem handlinger og tale, fremfor at give direkte beskrivelser af dem.

Min største anke er, at jeg synes, historien bevægede sig langsomt fremad. I forhold til, hvor forvirret jeg følte mig over navne og det velsammenskruede plot, var det sikkert en god ting, fordi det gav mig tid til at samle tankerne undervejs. Det kostede dog lidt på læsemotivationen hele tiden at sidde og føle, at der var langt endnu.

Er den noget for dig?

Hvis du er nået hertil, vil jeg skyde på, at du generelt godt kan lide at læse krimi, hvilket jo bestemt er et godt udgangspunkt. Fordærv er uforudsigelig og tager dig konstant med på nye udviklinger i sagen, der ikke altid giver mening ved første øjekast, men som vil sætte tankerne i gang. Derudover er hovedpersonen Scamarcio som nævnt meget menneskelig og derved let at identificere sig med.

Hvis du også er ved at være en lille smule træt af den stereotype krimiromanhovedperson, (ham den midaldrende mand, der drikker og ryger lidt for meget, og som har opgivet familielivet (bevidst eller ubevidst) på grund af arbejdet) så frygt ej: Sådan en er Scamarcio ikke. Hans dæmoner er nogle andre, hvilket giver denne roman et friskt pust. Sandt at sige er han ikke gift, og hans kærlighedsliv halter godt nok også lidt, men han føles stadig anderledes. God anderledes. Jeg håber, det er intentionen, at han fortsat skal være lidt anderledes på det punkt.

Hvis du holder af at læse en krimi med et gennemtænkt plot, der også vil få dig til at undres, når du har lagt bogen væk for en stund, så kunne denne bog sagtens være god for dig. Hvis du foretrækker en krimi, der kravler ind under huden på dig med forfærdelige og virkelighedsnære forbrydelser, så vil du nok også kunne lide denne. Selv om man er sparet de groteske detaljer om forbrydelserne, så er de stadig væmmelige at tænke på, og jeg er stadig rystet over, hvad mennesker kan gøre mod hinanden…

Tak

Jegvil gerne takke forlaget Alhambra for at sende mig et eksemplar Fordærv til anmeldelse!

The Danish edition of The Power by Naomi Alderman on a wooden desk.

International Women’s Day

Indlægget indeholder reklame, da en enkelt bog er et anmeldereksemplar.

Today, on March 8, it is International Women’s Day. A day where we celebrate what women have achieved throughout the years and commemorate the movement for women’s rights. A lot of strong women (and men of course too) have worked hard to gain the rights we have today and men and women still struggle to achieve equal rights for all.

Therefore today is a very important day, because it also commemorates progress.

But what have today to do with books nd literature, you ask. And I can understand your wonderment. I have decided, that I want to share with you eight (since it is March 8) books featuring fierce females on this day as my own sort of celebration. The books are different genres and features different kinds of strong women. I sincerely hope to be able to recommend a read for everybody that comes by this post.

The Books

Firstly I’d like to make it clear that there are MANY books on this subject and it has been sort of hard to pick just eight. These eight books have been picked based on their voice, and I have only picked books that I have read or plan to read. Also, the books will be listed in no particular order!

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

This book features a young Marjane growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is a memoir in the form of a graphic novel and it is both uniquely beautiful and heartbreakingly honest. Marjane tells the story of this revolution from a child’s pespective, and creates a humorous tone to the very grave situation she finds herself in.

Dødevaskeren (The Corpse Cleaner) by Sara Omar

This is a rather new book published in Danish about a young girl and her family in Kurdistan. Frmesk, the young girl, is unwanted by her father simply because of her gender. This leads to a childhood where she constantly doubts her worth and place. Her well-read and sceptical grandparents become a light in her life. This heart-breaking story is Sara Omar’s debut novel and it is a seriously strong one of that. She has been under protection out of fear for her life after writing this novel, since it critiques a lot of the actions made based on religion.

The Cosmopolitan Islander by M. P. Tonnesen

This novel tells the story of a woman, who learns to find herself and her place in the 21st Century. We follow Chloe, a strong and independent Danish girl, who grows up in Denmark but moves to England to make a career for herself. She, however, suddenly finds herself moving to an island, where she is almost forced to be a stay-at-home-mum, because of the lack of possibilities for her on the island. This novel is a marvellous story of female identity and of life as this amazing thing that will take you places if only you let it.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry

In this fantasy novel we follow Cody/Cayda, who is a young girl living in a very poor part of her country together with her parents and sisters. Fifteen years ago their town was burned almost entirely to the ground by a Fire Scale dragon, which means that there are no longer any tourists to help develop their economy. Therefore, Cayda’s father has decided to train Cayda to be able to slay a Fire Scale, so she can win the grand prize and thus provide for her family. The only problem is, that only men can hope to claim this prize. Cayda has therefore lived as Cody since she was around five years old under the brutal will of her father. Everybody but her sisters seems to have forgotten that she was once a little girl. When the time comes, Cody travels to Yurka to slay the dragon, and on her way, she meets a man, who realises that Cody travels with a secret, but at the same time sees great potential in her.

The Power by Naomi Alderman (REKLAME – Anmeldereksemplar)

This sci-fi novel, that comes out in Danish today, tells the story of how a simple, yet powerful, change in the female body can suddenly change the balance of power in the world. Slowly, women realise that they can give men shocks. This novel therefore describes a change, but also the reactions and the thoughts that follow such a new ability. It is thought-provoking, however funny and interesting, since it not only makes the reader think about the power balance, but also sparks thoughts about what we can permit ourselves to do.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking was by far the most awesome girl I knew when I was a little girl. The day my father (accidently, I might add) told me that she was a product of Tommy and Annika’s imagination my heart broke a little. Pippi is not only physically superior to everybody else; she is smart, honest, funny and completely her own. She embarks on a vast variety of different adventures, some of which are fairly normal (like going to school), but she also goes on pirate adventures. You should definitely know about this girl. Even if the books about her are really written for children and are written many years ago.

New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

In this dystopian novel do we follow Phoenix, who lives alone in a city that has almost fallen apart. Everyone lives in tribes and it is often either kill or be killed, when you meet someone else. On the other side of a wall is the Sanctuary; a place, for everyone, who can follow the rules. Break the rules and you are thrown out into Phoenix’s city. For six years has she managed to stay alive and under the radar, but suddenly she sees a little girl in trouble. A girl not older than she was, when she her parents were killed in front of her and she was left alone in this world. She decides to interfere and help the girl, which completely turns her world around as she is captured by a resistance movement, who plans to fight the Sanctuary. ‘Cause maybe it isn’t really a sanctuary.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This thriller is really remarkable. It tells the story of a woman, Rachel, who is almost disintegrating due to her intake of a vast amount of alcohol. Her life is spiralling downward, but from her seat on the train she can follow a few minutes in a couple’s life every day, which brings her great pleasure. When one day she reads that the woman from that couple is missing, she decides to take action. At the same time she struggles with her ex-husband and his new wife, who lives just down the street from the couple she follows. Rachel is a broken woman, who slowly and unsteadily raises herself and finds her voice again. It is also a crime thriller, told through various points of views and spun together in a remarkable way.

 

Happy International Women’s Day

If you can recommend other books featurering awesome women feel free to drop a comment below and share it with the rest of us! I will appreciate it!

I hope you have a wonderful March 8!

A book on a flowery background with a set of headphones attached to it

Audiobooks – or no audiobooks

I love to read, but I must admit that sometimes it would be nice to read a good story without sitting still. I’ve tried reading while walking to and from school, but honestly it is not a very good combination. Not only do you get easily distracted from your reading, but you do not pay nearly enough attention to the traffic. I don’t even walk that much anymore. Either I take the train, where I can read, or I bike, where I cannot read. Enter: Audiobooks.

Audiobooks

I was never the big fan of audiobooks, actually. Don’t get me wrong; I think the idea is amazing! I just tend to let my mind wander, when I listen to audiobooks. Which leads me to be (slightly) confused when my mind finds its way back to the story. However, this year I decided to try listen to them again. Really try. Earlier I have listened to Passing by Nella Larsen, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I also started Half Bad by Sally Green, but quickly decided to read that one myself. Not so long ago I tried to listen to Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, but had to give up, because my mind wandered. That’s it. My entire experience with audiobooks. Passing was quite good actually! The next ones not so much. This year I’ve bought 70 audiobooks. Yes I know, it’s only January, but I really want to give it a go!

Stalker

One evening a few weeks ago I was home alone. While eating my dinner in heavy silence I decided to put on an audiobook instead of turning on the radio or putting on some music. I chose Stalker by Michella Rasmussen (read by Kristina Pfeil Nielsen) and it didn’t take long for me to absolutely love it! The story was absolutely enthralling and if my boyfriend hadn’t come home and told me to go to sleep, I would have stayed up the entire night listening to the story. It was seriously amazing! The book is in Danish, but if you know Danish I recommend you listen to (or read) this one!

Stalker is about a young girl named Julie, who suddenly finds herself the attention of an unknown admirer. At first she feels flattered and finds it very exciting. Later however, she begins to see how her admirer is actullay quite creepy, and she realises that some of the things this admirer does are harmful. It dawns on her that this admirer is not just any admirer; it’s a stalker, who will do anything to get close to her.

Concurrently, a boy from Julie’s school begins to take an increasing interest in her. At first he doesn’t quite understand why he does the things he does, but later he begins to realise that there is an undeniable connection between him and Julie. He sees the pain she is in when no-one else does and he knows that he will do anything to protect her from harm.

Or no audiobooks

Having listened to Stalker I was convinced that I had made a mistake not listening to more audiobooks in my life. I was so happy I had bought a lot, because now I could listen to them all the time. Soon after, I started another book by a Danish author, namely Dæmonherskerens arving #3: Sjælens pris by Haidi Wigger Klaris. I read the first two books in the trilogy last year, but never got around to reading the third one and so I figured I might as well listen to it.

I am no more than twenty minutes into the story and I have had to stop. It is just….. I am sorry to say this, because I really don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, but honestly; this audiobook made me realise how much it means that it is the right person reading the book aloud. It is so awful. I really feel like the woman on the recording wants nothing to do with the book and that she was forced to make the recording. Her voice is completely flat. There is no trying to emphasise the main character’s emotions. And I mean, the main character has just made a choice that will forever keep her away from her friends and the family she has ever known. Her choice will tie her to a world she hates and a fate she hates, and she made her choice only because there was no other way she could save her friends. Yet, the speaker could have just as well read a recipe for homemade pasta aloud. There is just no spark.

That is the question

This broke my spirit a little. I started another recording, but more than halfway through the book I have realised that I don’t particular like the book, which doesn’t make the audiobook experience any better.

Do you have any amazing experiences with audiobooks that you can recommend I listen to? I would really love to hear your suggestions, since I really want to love the concept of audiobooks. I really want to be able to listen to a book on my bike ride to and from work, or when I go for a walk. Honestly, the concept of audiobooks is great! I just keep feeling disappointed by the fact that only a few recordings seem to be amazing, while so many others seem to be only half decent.

The crime fiction book Ligblomsten by Anne Mette Hancock on a flowery background next to a bookmark

Ligblomsten

Author: Anne Mette Hancock

Published: Lindhardt og Ringhof, 2017

The book

Ligblomsten (Titan Arum – look it up, you’ll be surprised) is the first crime novel from Anne Mette Hancock. We follow Heloise, a journalist who has recently had some credibility issues at her work place. Heloise is a young and sturdy woman, who suddenly finds herself entwined in an old murder case, because she begins to receive letters from a woman named Anna Kiel. The woman who is wanted for a murder commited years ago. With the help of policeman Erik Schäfer she tries to unfold the mystery that connects her to this old case and the killer on the run.

My thoughts

I loved this one. Okay, there I said it – you can stop reading the review now.

No really, I really enjoyed this book so much. I have had cravings for crime fiction for months now, but had some other books I needed to finish, yet after Christmas I found some time to get started. And what a start.

Ligblomsten is told through various points of views, which is something I am often very fond of, because it adds perspective to the story. In a crime novel it also adds mystery through ‘the pronoun game’. You know, when everybody is always referring to “he” and “him”, but never mentioning a name or something personal that will make you realise who is in fact talked about. That ‘pronoun game’. This is no exception, and Hancock makes it work. I was constantly trying to figure out who was connected to whom, and who “he” could be.

At the same time the story is carried by a varied gallery of characters, who are actually very believable and likeable. I didn’t get very far into the story before I thought: “Oh no, I am going to hate this person.” But I didn’t. Despite the character having traits that I normally find very annoying in book characters.

I liked that we mostly follow Heloise instead of the investigators, since it made the story much more suitable for us laypeople. Crime novels tend to be a little to heavy on the police/investigation perspective, and then they lose me. This book however managed to balance the two worlds to perfection. In doing this, we readers are introduced to the private lives of Heloise and Schäfer, which adds to their character and gives us a deeper understanding of the two.

Both Heloise and Schäfer are very likeable, and as I have already mentioned, they are also very believable characters. I really look forward to reading a lot more about these two and the adventures (or horrors) they’ll come across!

This is by far not the last book by Anne Mette Hancock that I will read.

Should you read it

I gave this book five stars on Goodreads and if you like a well-planned plot, an exciting and well-written story that is hard to figure out you should read this one. Moreover, the characters felt very human, and that just makes the reading experience so much better. Whether or not you like these characters has an impact on your experience too, of course, but I am positive that both hardcore crime fiction fans as well as new and curious crime fiction readers will find this book exciting and wonderful!

The books Desert Skies, Rebel Souls and Pigen fra Månehøjen on a flowery background.

2017 in Books

2017 has been an amazing reading year for me. Only this year did I begin to actually organise my reading; keep lists of books I have read and lists of books I want to read. It was this year I finally began to learn how to use Goodreads (Okay, I did that yesterday, so maybe I’ll learn a lot more in the new year).

2017 proved to be a year where I read a lot of books. More than anticipated. 20 more books than anticipated. That is crazy! And I very much enjoyed most of them! 2017 was also a year where I did not DNF any of the books I began! Maybe I have become a more flexible reader, or maybe I have become better at picking my books. I don’t know, but I am happy for this experience.

owlcrate

This year I began an owlcrate subscription, and I am so glad I finally got to do so! It was my birthday present from my boyfriend back in May and it has opened my eyes to a world og book merchandise and all the creative little shops that exist. And I love it!

Owlcrate has also introduced me to a variety of books I had never heard of, and thus also to authors I had never heard of. This means that 2017 for me has been a year where my knowledge of books and pretty much anything book related was seriously widened. If one can say that…

ARC’s

This year also became the year where I received my very first ARC (Advance Reading (or Review) Copy). It was something I dreamed of doing someday after having settled as a bookstagrammer – or a book blogger, when I finally got my blog up and running. It was such an amazing experience, and I still feel bubbles in my chest when I think of it or look at my books; An author actually wanted me to read her book, write down my thoughts and post a review of the book. And not just one author: Two authors. I cannot believe it.

I keep being in awe of writers. Of authors. They get to do this fantastic thing; write down stories for me to read! They’re like super stars to me. And then suddenly, some of them want to hear my thoughts on their books. I am still so thrilled! And so happy! I honestly didn’t expect to be able to do this in my very first year in the online bookloving community. The ARC’s I received can be seen in the image at the top of this post.

I am so grateful for this experience I would like to thank M. P. Tonnesen and Lene Krog for giving me this experience and for letting me review their amazing stories: Desert Skies, Rebel Souls and Pigen fra Månehøjen!

The reads

I managed to red 40 books in 2017, and although a few of them were for my class in literature at the teacher education, I actually enjoyed all of them. Some more than others of course 😉

I read a variety of books this year including two children’s books. I rarely read children’s books, which I can see is actually a mistake. Especially since I work with children, because I wouldn’t know where to start, if they asked me to read a book to them.

The Holiday Bag

This year I tried my local library’s new concept; a holiday bag. A concept, where one of the librarians of my local library mixed a bag of books for me based on some questions I had answered as I ordered one. It is a concept I hope, they will keep doing and a concept I hope more libraries will begin, since it is a really great way to find new authors and new reading material. Without this bag who knows if I would have ever been introduced to The Girl at Midnight or Regnfaldet.

The best read(S) of 2017

This is a tough one, since I feel I have read a lot of amazing books this year. Some of the books that I have the best recollections of are:

  • Half Lost by Sally Green, which was an outstanding reading experience – so was the entire trilogy(!) – and I really look forward to reading more of Sally Green’s work.
  • The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. This was a creepy read. One of those, where you are sometimes scared how much you like the book, because it is actually quite disturbing. I cannot recommend people read this enough, and I sincerely hope thet one of the Danish publishing houses will decide to publish it!
  • Haabet by Mich Vraa was amazing! I don’t normally read this genre, but I was swept away by Vraa’s writing! I even contemplate on reading more of his books alone because of his skills as a story teller!
  • Spektrum by Nanna Foss. Yes. I know Spektrum isn’t one book. But Nanna writes exceedingly well and the books are so different, yet all the same. In a good way! And I love how the main character’s change from book to book. Even though it makes it so much harder when the book ends.
  • Til døden os skiller by Kit A. Rasmussen. This was so good, and I also possible just read it at the right time, which made the experience so much greater! I loved how the book was written like this mystery I, the reader, needed to solve – yet there was no mystery, only a tough story, where I could only hope for a happy ending. It is such an important story to tell and I think Kit did an amazing job!

Okay, I could keep on going, but I promised myself I wouldn’t make a top 20 out of 40 books. I could do that though. Or well… a lot of book would probably share the places. So this is a handful of the books I enjoyed this year.

Happy New Year

The bookstagram community, Goodreads and all the book bloggers I follow has opened my eyes to the importance of being organised and I have tried to be this year, but I still need a lot more practise!

All in all 2017 has been amazing and I can ony hope that 2018 will be even more so!

Happy New Year!

The Danish book "Kopierne" in a tree.

November Wrap Up

Not only was November a month where I bought a lot of books, I also managed to actually read more than I do on average in a month. In this wrap up I will give some explanation as to why I chose to read the books I read, but also provide you with a short summary of the book and further bring you my opinion on it.

Desert Skies, Rebel Souls

This book was generously gifted to me by the author M. P. Tonnesen in relation to the book’s release date in exchange for a review. I also got the opportunity to ask Michelle some questions to an interview I brought as a part of the book launch blog tour that was arranged. You can read the interview here.

Desert Skies, Rebel Souls is a story about the young Danish girl Olivia, who travels to Israel in search of herself; trying to run away from her parents’ expectations at home. She works at a kibbutz, where she crosses paths with the young and handsome Chaim. It is practically love at first sight, and Olivia is whirled into his world one kiss at a time. However Chaim has to leave for the army and in the meantime Olivia backpacks through the Middle East with two of her backpacking friends.

It is a very sweet story, with all the ups and downs that do necessarily follow in a love story like this. I very much enjoyed Olivias story, and I loved all the descriptions of the beautiful places she visits. I never truly felt the depth of her relationship with Chaim, though, but that has a lot to do with this whole “love at first sight” concept. And also a little to do with morals…. 😉

Mostly, it just made me want to pack my bags and travel the world; travel the Middle East. <3

Fandens fødselsdag (The Devil’s birthday)

This book I chose, because I had to read aloud to some of the children at my school. November is the month of literature and the pupil’s read, read, read all through the month. Twice the teachers read to them instead. In larger groups, where the children could go sit and listen to the story they felt like hearing at the moment. It is a very good event, I believe!

Anyhow, I chose to read Fandens fødelsdag to them, which is a sweet story about the Devil, who always gets what he wishes for, but this year something is still amiss. Then a little (naughty) angel girl swings by and celebrates Fandens birthday with him. She arranges a treasure hunt and practically bosses the poor devil around. In the end though, she is called back to Heaven and Fanden tells his parents that he wishes for friends to come over for his birthday.

I liked this story so much. There is so many things to discuss. Mostly though, the children thought it was funny, which is also very important when reading books: we need to enjoy them.

Kopierne (The Copies)

This book I had to read for my studies.

In Kopierne we follow Jonas, who it turns out, is actually a copy of the real Jonas, who suddenly returns. Jonas (the copy) then flees in order to avoid being killed, which is what is done when a copy is no longer needed. He runs into the woods, where he meets Ian – another copy (and later a third boy/copy joins them). Together they travel through the woods while trying to keep themselves together, in hopes of finding a ship. It is dangerous though, because they are still being hunted by the men, whose job is to kill them, but in the woods they must also be aware of boars. Slowly the boys start to lose themselves and staying sane is suddenly more necessary than finding the ship. Yet, without the ship there seems to be no hope.

This was a horrific story, that had me thinking a lot about many different things. Like; what kind of society accepts the use of copies when their own children are away e.g. due to hospitalisations? Why is a copy needed? Why do te copy need to be so human, that they will fight for their survival? And how can parents dismiss a copy so easily, when they seem so real?

And those were the questions I had only twenty pages into the story.

I really liked this one! I am a big fan of books where form and content are mutually exclusive. We can see how Jonas slowly degenerates in the chapters. The sentences. The headlines even. However, this story was very hard to read. Children being rejected hurts me so deeply, and this was a book about an entire community – world maybe even – where everybody thought it alright to stop caring about a person, simply because it is a copy, who is no longer needed.

Intet (Nothing)

The fourth book I read this month was also for my studies.

In Intet we follow a group of kids from the seventh grade in ground school, who come together in trying to show one of their classmates that something matters. This particular classmate had left class stating that: Nothing matters, and so nothing is worth doing. The rest of the pupils in the class try to gather items that really mean something to them, however they do not choose themselves what matters, but someone else in the class points to them and tells them what to put into the pile of things that matter. It all though, turns into a horrible episode of bullying and … *sigh*

When I closed the book I thought: “hm.. njaeh.. I don’t know.” ’cause I really didn’t know what I thought of it. The kids were awful, and I couldn’t help but to think where all of the adults were. Who could simply just let this happen? At the same time, I found it to be one of those books that were not written to be enjoyed, but merely written to be worked with. Written to provoke, to spark some thoughts, to question something. And maybe I just questioned the wrong things.

Now I actually sort of like it. Well, it is still an awful story, and I still have doubts about using it when teaching myself. Mostly because I think the book says so many things, that  do not think, I can talk about with my classes. I fear too many will not get the book, and I fear they will instead just feel horrified or bored.

Spektrum: Ursiderne

I read the first two in the Spektrum series a few months ago and really liked them. Now I finally got my hands on the third one.

In Usiderne we follow Nasrin, who is new to the group. Nasrinlives with her father, who is never home, and her late mother’s friend, who takes care of Nasrin. Nasrin lost her mother some years ago in a terrible accident and the loss has made Nasrin very reticent and destructive. In this book the group digs deeper into the mystery that was (briefly) introduced in Geminiderne (Spektrum 2). This search for answers are very important to Nasrin, because it helps her understand more about her mother’s death, but the group – and especially one of them – plays an important part in Nasrin’s self healing.

Nasin is by far a much more destructive character than we have encountered before, but I really liked her. Not as much as I liked Emilie and Pi (especially Pi) from the earlier books, but I really do think that the author Nanna Foss has extraordinary character creating skills! She manages to write characters that are truly honest and believable; and so easy to identify with. Moreover she dares to end her book(s) with a cliff hanger, so great it should be illegal! I am so enthralled by her writing and I cannot wait to read the next in the series!