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).

January Book Haul

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

Books on sale

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

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

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

E-books

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

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

Never Let You Go

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

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

The Sophisticates Trilogy

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

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

Angelfall: Penryn and the End of Days #1

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

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

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing

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

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

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

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

Books

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

The next two books I purchased this month were:

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

Owlcrate (spoiler alert)

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

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

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

TLDR

Okay, so I bought the following books this month:

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

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

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

Have a great day!

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

February TBR

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

Book Club Books

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

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

Books to Review

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

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

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

Read Along

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

February TBR

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

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

 

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.

Girl in the woods, holding a book

#bookishsickness

Book tag

A while ago I was tagged to do the #bookishsickness. I know that it is mostly meant as an instagram thing, but I thought I’d put it here, because I think it is a fun way to come around some of the books I’ve read, but probably won’t write about.

Diabetes (a sweet read)

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (the entire trilogy, actually). I know it was widely discussed as being literary porn for women, and as not being actual literature, and a lot of people disliked it for merely that reason. I however loved it. I found it so sweet! Too much at times, but so adorable! I loved the overprotectiveness and the naivity. I loved the rush of sweet and innocent love, that sweeps Anastacia off her feet and I loved the struggle to merge the two worlds they both come from. I adored the scenes where Christian clearly longed for someone, he couldn’t have. I would have shaken my head at their relationship in real life and told either one to get a grip and move on or stop being so dramatic and dominant… but in the book they were just sweet.

Chicken Pox (a book you wouldn’t read again)

I am not sure there is such a book. At the same time, I could name many books I wouldn’t read again. I mean, I don’t think I ever read any one book that I just hated so much, I wouldn’t want to read it again. I have not finished a couple of books that I probabl won’t give another chance, but even if I didn, it wouldn’t be a proper re-read. On the other hand, I have read a lot of books that were good, but with a million or more unread books in the world, that I find interesting, I wouldn’t want to re-read a lot of books. Simply because I don’t have the time. L. J. Smith’s The Circle-series is an example of some of these books. I found them to be meh, and now I’ve read them, and don’t have to do it again.

Flu (a contagious read)

The Half Bad series by Sally Green. I read this trilogy late 2016 and early 2017 and it swept me away! I couldn’t put it down and the pages just kept turning themselves, it seemed! It is still one of my favourite series, both because of the amazing story, but definitely also because of the style of writing. I felt so connected to the main charcater (Nathan) without really liking him from the very beginning, and I only came to feel more and more attached to him. I ended up almost loving this broken soul. He is one of those charcaters you feel, you want to pick up and hide inside your heart, so they feel warm and safe and protected from all the bad things. One of those characters, who you know in your heart, will never heal. Like Katniss from The Hunger Games series. She is broken. She wil never heal. But she cannot stop living. Anyways, that really kept me hooked.

Insomnia (a book you read all night)

The Awakening & The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries #1-2) by L. J. Smith. I started the first one one evening and when I turned the last page I simply had to move on to the next. I remember finishing it in the middle of the night and almost panicking for not having the third book too. The next day I went to the library only to realise that the third book hadn’t been translated yet! It was so awful! I waited years before I found it, and then I found it in English published with number four as well. I was so happy, yet the fourth one really disappointed me and I sort of wished I had only read the first three in the series, despite then ending being too open.

Bad Nutrition (a book where you forgot to eat)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. I remember finishing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix completely devastated and heart-broken, and when I got my hands on HP6 I just had to know what would happen next. I started early in the morning and read all through the day, and stopped only to use the lavatory and I only stopped to eat when my mother came and told me, she had dinner ready. It was amazing. I finished the book around 2 am that same night.

Home-sickness (a book related to a trip)

Vampire Kisses – the beginning by Ellen Schreiber. I bought this book in a book store in Costa Rica while vacationing there. I read it rather quickly, and I remember it as being good, but nothing ground breaking or phenomenal. However, I brought it on a trip one day, and we were caught out in the open, when the rain started falling. At that time, the rain came down at approximately the same time every day, and it just poured down like crazy for maybe an hour or three. Then nothing happened until the next day. We were on horseback when it hit, and everything was completely saturated. My book included. My heart almost stopped when I realised it! I looked at it with shaky hands only to realise that the damage was irreversible. However, my good friend told me, it was an important lesson to learn, because I seemed to care a little too much about my books. I belive she was right, although for many years (and still today actually) I would look at it on my shelves and think, that at least it can still be read. Even though it looks very worn.

Thank you

Thank you for reading this. Consider yourself tagged to do this tag, if you think it could be fun! And please do let me know if you do, so I can learn a little more about you!