The cover of Song of Blood and Stone

Song of Blood and Stone

Title: Song of Blood and Stone

Author: L. Penelope

Published: St. Martin’s Press, 2018

Song of Blood and Stone

Song of Blood and Stone takes place in the world of Elsira, which is a land of Silents; people, who cannot use the magic that is Song. Those who can are called Singers.

In Elsira lives Jasminda, a child of a Silent and a Singer, who bears the Song within her and the skin of a Singer on her outside. Because of this, she mostly keeps to herself, since people are afraid of her and her Song.
Jasminda has lost her parents and her brothers and lives alone in the family cabin on a small patch of land outside the nearest town, and now she stands to lose this too.
One day a group of soldiers and the injured spy they have captured find their way to her cabin, and she is forced to let them in. Jasminda slowly forms a bond with the injured captive named Jack and when they manage to escape the soldiers, it is the beginning of a long journey for both of them. Jasminda is racing time in order to keep her land and her last connection to her family, while Jack is on a mission to save their country.

My thoughts

I cannot find the words to describe what a wonderful experience it was to read this fantasy! I was completely taken aback by the marvellous story, magical universe and compelling characters that this story holds.
The story is told through a third person narrator, but still juggling multiple point of views (POV’s), which I love. The main character Jasminda is so likeable and relatable and she has quickly climbed the ladder of my most liked characters.

I think L. Penelope has managed to write a story that will both take you away, but can also make you think about your own world and life. This is one of the strongest and most important possibilities of any fantasy ever, I believe.
I know we all love different things, and I am really afraid of overselling this, since I think it is important to go into a new book with less than high expectations, since your expectations can kill the reading experience. However, I sincerely recommend you read this, if you love a good fantasy novel!

Sneak Peek

I have been allowed to show you an excerpt from the book Song of Blood and Stone and I am so happy and so excited for this! You can find this excerpt by clicking on the title below this section and it will lead you straight to it! The excerpt is chapter two in which we meet a wounded soldier and a good samaritan. I sincerely hope you enjoy this chapter as much as I did! And if you wish to read the rest of the book, I can assure you that you don’t have to wait for long: It will be on sale on Tuesday May 1st 2018 right where you normally buy your books and can already be preordered many places.

Song of Blood & Stone excerpt

Find the excerpt through this link.

L. Penelope

The authoer L Penelope sitting and looking at the camera

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.

Song of Blood and Stone is out on May 1st.

Dewey’s Readathon 2018 Spring #2

Dewey’s readathon has kicked off and I am (not so) ready! It seems that time flies and suddenly you were supposed to sit and read, but you are thrashing through the last few points on your to-do list for the day. I wanted to take some pictures before I got started, so I could update this blog post with photos along the way and not be dependent on good lighting, but now I think I’ll end up taking a break and do some photos then in stead. Oops.

However, reading should also be done! I am going to be active here and on Instagram, and feel free to drop by.

The stack for this Readathon

As mentioned in my previous post I expect to read (some – if not most – of) six books. The books I plan to read are a mix of different genres and are chosen partly because of that.A stack of books I hope to read at Dewey's Readathon next to a vase with pink flowers

Final Girls by Riley Sager. 440 pages.

Hot Mess by Lucy Vine. 248 pages.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. 207 pages.

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. 248 pages.

Sindstequila by Sofie Riis Endahl. 267 pages.

Hvis der skulle komme et menneske forbi by Thomas Korsgaard. 314 pages.

The snacks

I forgot to make hummus! It’s so bad! But I will have to make it later. I did however shop both fruits and vegetables, and cookies and candy. So I think I will be set. I’ve made smoothie and bought and ice cream for later. The dinner has been taken care of and there’s not much left for me to do, but read.

Carrots in a glass and a bowl of hummus on the side. In the background is a book stack

 

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls will be my first read for today. I’ve wanted to read it for so long and I finally got my hands on it at my library. I will be reading it in the Danish translation, which I am quite excited to do! I normally prefer to read books in their source language, but lately I’ve been very fond of reading in Danish.

I don’t really have a lot of expectations for this readathong-wise. Or, that may have come out wrong. What I mean is that I hope to finish it today/tonight, but I am not sure I will. I have high expectations for it bookwise. I have heard many good things about it and I am very much in the mood for a thriller right now! Also; both Karin Slaughter and Stphen King has praised it, so i really hope I’ll love it!

What are your first read for today?

19:12 – 5 hours into the readathon

I am halfway through Final Girls and really enjoying it! Although one of the characters annoy me so much it almost makes me want to put down the book and start something else. But the story is great and I want to keep reading it! I also like how the chapters are put together.

I should probably eat dinner by now, but I do not feel hungry. So I ate a kiwi instead and took a banana and a bag of store-bought cinnamon rolls (kanelgifflar) with me to the sofa. I’ve also eaten a pound of carrots with hummus since the readathon began, so maybe that’s why I don’t feel particularly hungry.

I will keep updating this post for the entire readathon!

Final Girls, Sindstequila, A Wrinkle in Time, Call Me by Your Name, Hot Mess og Hvis der skulle komme et menneske forbi spredt ud på en gråt underlag.

Dewey’s Readathon 2018 Spring #1

Dewey’s Readathon is coming up and I am so excited! Last time I had a birthday to attend to in the middle of it all and when I came back home I was really tired. Sunday morning though, I read like a crazy until the end and had a blast! I ended up reading 496 pages and did reach some of my reading goals for the event. If you’re interested in seeing how I did and what I read last time, you can see it here. But last time was my first time participating ever, so this time I walk into it a little wiser.

What is Dewey’s Readathon?

Okay, so basically Dewey’s Readathon is a 24-hours-readathon where you read as much as you can for 24 hours at a specific time. This time we start on Saturday April 28. People from all over the world participates and we all start at the same time. In Denmark that time is at 2pm. We then read until 2pm on Sunday April 29. If you are not located in Denmark you can find your start time here.

But it is not just about reading! People who participate bond over blog posts and Twitter updates or Instagram stories – or whereever else they decide to share their experience. Furthermore, every hour there will be a little challenge available that you can either do or decide not to do. It is completely up to you! Sometimes it is nice to have a little break from reading, but at other times, you cannot be bothered to look up from your book. And that is completely fine!

If you do want the chance to do these small challenges, you should sin up for the readathon here. If you just want to read and interact with other readers, you don’t have to sign up. If you do sign up though, you will have access to a list of places where you can follow other readers.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask them! Leave a comment or send it to me via my contact form!

My readathon

So last year I read an astounding amount of 496 pages. This year my list is a little more extensive than that. I have 1.748 pages on my list right now Not counting the books I’ve put in my “maybe” pile. It is important for me, to have a mix of genres and to have shorter books. I do not read plenty of books at the same time well. Therefore I need to have books in my stack, that I can hope to finish.

Despite being quite fond of graphic novels I actually haven’t put any in my readathon stack this time.

The stack

My stack contains a variety of books by both Danish and international authors. Only one book is in English though. This also means, that title with no English translation will appear. I will quickly list the books here in no particular order and afterwards write a few words about why these books are in my stack.

  • Final Girls by Riley Sager. 440 pages.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. 207 pages.
  • Sindstequila by Sofie Riis Endahl. 267 pages.
  • Hvis der skulle komme et menneske forbi by Thomas Korsgaard. 314 pages.
  • Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. 248 pages.
  • Hot Mess by Lucy Vine. 272 pages.

I do not think I will get through all of these, but I needed something to choose between, that wasn’t my entire book collection. I think I have gotten the perfect mix between different genres and styles and hope it’ll help with my motivation. I rarely read for this long. Final Girls is a crime fiction novel and I think I will start with that one, since it’s supposed to be trhilling and captivating. I might also start with Hvis der skulle komme et menneske forbi but I’ve heard it should be a rather tough read, so maybe it’s a little hard to start with that one. On the other hand, I do not want to get to this in the darkest hours of the night.

A Wrinkle in Time is a children’s book that I have heard a lot of great things about and I really think it could make my readathon a little magic. Hot Mess is supposed to be hilarious, and I believe I will really need that at some point. I hvae plenty og sweet and funny books in my maybe pile, that I will also be able to go to, in case I need more of that when I get started.

Call Me by Your Name should be amazing and sweet, and I really want to read it. Moreover, I can also listen to this on audiobook if I get too tired and need to read in other ways. Sindstequila is a tough book too, but it sounds incredible and important, and I am really excited to read this! I think I will end with this one, but I am not entirely sure. It of course also depends on how much I will actually manage to read.

The snacks

I am not a big snacker when I read, but I do need to have something. I will make sure to have plenty of fruit, vegetables and hummus (I love hummus), but also some cookies and dried fruit. And of course a little candy, because I know I will crave it despite trying to live a little healthier.

My go-to drink is water, so that won’t be a problem, and I am also fully stocked up on tea. I am still not drinking sodas, and water and tea will therefore have to do.

The Updates

I will update here on my blog and on instagram throughout the event. And if you want to follow me, just swing by. I will be more than happy to share this readathong with you! Find me on Instagram here.

What about you?

If you are participating, please leave your Instagram handle or website address in a comment below! I would love to follow you too!

 

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.

The cover of the e-book The Ganga Shift on a mobile phone next to a grey vase and a read burning candle

The Ganga Shift

Title: The Ganga Shift

Author: Mary Bernsen

Published: Parliament House Press, 2018

The Ganga Shift

Isabella hasn’t had an easy life and this has led her to jail. Because of her background and her limited ties to the outside world, she is chosen for a government funded experiment on gene mutation. Her body however doesn’t react on this treatment as expected and in order to provoke the correct response out of her body she is tossed into a dome together with a group of shifters, whose only goal is to make Isabella shift too – even if they kill her in the process.

My Thoughts

One of the first things I often do when starting a new book is consider the title. In some cases I research it. This was one of those cases. The Ganga Shift. I didn’t know what to put in the word Ganga. And I was also somewhat unsure about Shift. Maybe this stems from me not being a native English speaker, or maybe I am just unschooled in this topic. My research however quikly led me to Hinduism, which I found odd, and I actually sort of dismissed it and instead accepted that I would find out during my read. And I did. And I hadn’t been far off. This amazed me and at the same time it made me so happy! I found it very refreshing to have a different cultural background to this kind of story and I loved that Hinduism played a role in this story.

Throughout the story Isabella grows to face the challenge she is met with and her change is evident. She is a very headstrong character, who is not afraid of asking for help, when she needs it. She is genuine and stubborn, and I found her to be very different from anyone I have ever met/read about before.

Chase and Brayden – her cell mates – are a couple of fun types too. Chase is this calm and controlled being, who meditates and who is very independent. Brayden is anything but. He is a young man with practically no manners (according to Chase) and he is very animalistic. The book changes POV between these three characters which gives a very dynamic reading experience, and also muliple POVs are just brilliant, because it broadens the view of each character, since we both get to follow their own mindset, but we also know what others think about them, despite what comes out of their mouth.

I really loved the Ganga Shift

It was so different, and so spectacular and I seriously loved the Hindu approach. I loved that the main character was a vegetarian, and even though it didn’t play a major role, but were more a character treat, it mattered, because I like when authors challenge conservative tropes.

I loved the love triangle between our main characters, although I am not quite sure I buy into it. The ending was fresh and concise, and despite the fact that I felt there were a few situations that moved by quite fast, it was an altogether marvellous, enthralling and refreshing read that I highly recommend you read!

Should you read it?

My feeling is, that if you enjoyed stories like Twilight, The Hunger Games, Song of Blood and Stone etc. then you will probably also enjoy this one. If you enjoy a headstrong female lead, a small love triangle, sci-fi books on DNA-alteration and paranormal shifting stories, then this could very well be a story you would also enjoy! And if you on top of that also like a book filled with cultural references, then I am sure you will love this!

Thanks

I would like to thank Parliament Hous Press for letting me review a copy of this book! I have been eyeing it since they announced the cover reveal of this book in January and I am so glad that I finally got to read it, and that it was such an amazing experience!

A stack of books that I intend to read during Dewey's 24-hour readathon

Long time no see

So I have been sort of absent for the past few weeks, and I am sorry for that! I just have not been feeling very good and have had to cut down on a lot of my daily activities. That unfortunately included my blog. I am not completely back yet, but I miss this and I have had so many ideas for blog posts, that have just faded away due to my inactivity. And it kills me! Because I really want to make this work and I really want to share my thoughts and bookish life with you guys!

So I hope to be able to pop in every once in a while and write a little something. Maybe work on some reviews too, but mostly I just need to get re-acquanted with running a blog and letting my inspiration unfold on these pages again. And I sincerely hope you will still be there, when I am back at full force – which is hopefully very soon!

That’s the beautiful of life isn’t it – even when it’s grey and horrible; Life is ever changing! We do not know what tomorrow brings. I am wishing for rays of sun. At the very least I am hoping the clouds may lift.

I know I do not give much explanation, but it is a very personal matter that has kept me away and I would like to keep it that way. At least for now. But see this as an apology and a promise that my silence is about to change!

I want to thank all of you who has stayed with me! All of those who still peeps in once in a while to see if there’s somehing new. You all make me want for a quick return a little bit more.

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

International Women’s Day

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

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!

The Kindle verison of Wildwood's cover in black and white

Wildwood

Author: Jadie Jones

Published: Parliament House, 2017

Series: The Hightower Trilogy

Wildwood

Tanzy is a young girl at around 18 years who lives with her mum, who prefers to stay indoors at home, and dad, who owns a horse farm named Wildwood, where he fully invests his time outside of the family. One day however, something terrible happens; Tanzy loses her father and is dragged in to a long period of sorrow where her mother retreats and leaves Tanzy to fight on her own. This is very tough to read about and Jones has written this exceptionally well! We feel the despair that Tanzy goes through and it is hard to see how she will ever pull through.

My Thoughts

Wildwood was an amazing page-turner and I was thoroughly consumed by Jones’ incredible story!

Tanzy is in many ways a very relatable character, I do however think, that she turns a little more than slightly annoying towards the end of the book. She misses vital and obvious clues that could help her on her way, and she sometimes act a lot younger than her age in that she reacts on pure emotion rather than rationally. This I felt was quite disturbing to my liking of her character. Despite this fact, I really loved the story! The ending left me a little deflated, since a lot of new things and characters were suddenly introduced, but I guess that is to be expected when there are more books in the series.

Jadie Jones has written a marvellous fantasy story that can appeal to a lot of different people. It is hard to know what will happen next, and Jones has created the feeling that the reader is just as lost as Tanzy is, when she is introduced to the bigger picture. It is hard to know who to believe. The story unfolds so deliberately that parts of it reminded me of how J.K. Rowling managed to weave in hints and plot twists in the Harry Potter series. Again, the only regrettable thing about this is how slow Tanzy is to pick up on these clues.
But I for one will be moving quickly on to the next in the series!

Should You Read It?

If you enjoy a good fantasy story that at the same time deals with universally human topics such as grief, this will probably be a good read for you. If you at the same time enjoy a book that leaves little hints to figure out the plot every now and then, then this book would be a good one for you to get your hands on. The story flows from page to page and I sincerely had a hard time putting it down, whenever I had to stop reading (you know, when life gets in the way and you have to go to work or eat dinner or sleep). More than once the book reminded me of the Harry Potter series – not in its use of magic at all, but in the way that Jadie Jones has built up her world and her story.

Thanks

I was kindly send this copy by the Parliament House in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

If you have become interested in this book, you can read more about Wildwood on Goodreads by clicking here.

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).