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!

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!

My book journal and a fountain pen on a flowery background

2018 New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome to 2018

I hope you had a wonderful 2017 and that you made it peacefully into 2018!

With 2017 behind us we move into 2018 and this is a year  have a lot of expectations to. I like the idea of a new year meaning a clean slate, but I also think this idea has been fairly romanticised. It sometimes seems like a new year automatically means that everything will be easier. Like it is any easier to quit smoking, just because the calender suddenly says 2018. Or that it is okay to keep doing something, you actually want to stop, just because there’s only three weeks left of the year, and then you’ll stop at New Year’s. But I do still see some sense in letting the new year become a divide between old habits and new ones. It creates a sort of calm in setting goals.

New Year’s resolutions

This year I have made some resolutions and I want to share them with you. I normally don’t make resolutions, because I think it is silly to make promises to yourself just because the year is ending and a new one begins. As you probably understood from the paragraph above. Except for this year.

Last year my friend Cecilie made some resolutions, goals so to speak, and she achieved every single one of them. This actually made me want to have some goals too. Then on December 31 I spoke with my boyfriend about it, and he said something (that I don’t remember), that made me rethink this whole resolution-thing again.

Therefore I have put together a little list of things I want to achieve this year.

Bookrelated resolutions

  • I want to read 35 books in 2018. This is not really a resolution, but more of a reading goal. I just put it here, because I think it makes sense.
  • At least 18 of the books I read in 2018 must come from my own shelves. I borrow way too many books from the library. I love to do this, but it also means that the books I actually buy just end up on my shelf almost as an accessory, because the library books need to be returned after a month.
  • At least 5 of the books I read must be e-books that I read on my Kindle. I love my Kindle, but since I don’t travel very much I actually don’t use it very much. Yet I have a lot of unread books on it that I really want to read. It just never happens, ’cause my Kindle is packed away and probably low on battery.
  • I will try to write a blog post every week. I love my blog, but I often feel I have nothing relevant to say, or that what I have to say is not enough to write an entire blog post. And then I write none, but stick to the long instagram posts instead. I hope that this resolution can help me to explore different post possibilities and force me into being creative (something I am just not by nature). But I am also afraid that this is the first of my resolutions that I will break… (yeah – I don’t give myself a lot of credit – this is also one of the reasons I don’t normally do resolutions; I tend to break them).
  • I will become more organised. I have notes lying everywhere! Papers, books, clothes etc. lying everywhere. I can never find my things and I can never remember where I put the things I don’t want to loose – you know, when you put some things in a specific place so that they do not turn up missing. This resolution therefore means keeping my lists and notes in specific notebooks. I hope to be able to gather all my book notes and the likes in one place. All my sport notes in another place etc. So far I have gathered three journals in order to do so, but hopefully I will one day be able to keep all of my notes in one place.

Non-bookrelated resolutions

  • For the first six months I cannot drink soft drinks. Soft drinks are my weak spot. I can go without candy, cake and other sugary items, but I crave soda pops often. I hope that after the first six months I will not crave soft drinks again – and maybe not even dink them, but in case this is proving very hard, I need to be able to look forward to a day, when I can binge drink sodas.
  • I will do my best to get rid of my running injury. Lately I have been a little too laissez-faire in my rehabilitation, and at the same time I have been way too eager to run like I used to, but it has to stop now. I love to run, and I would like to be able to run without pain again. And then hopefully next year (or later this year) I can have actual running goals.
  • I will work on bettering my exam performance attitude. Honestly, I never thought that this could be a problem, but I think it has become one for me. I don’t like finals. Nobody does, I know that – but I also don’t like them as in I don’t think they are the best way to assess my skills. I know it is the cheapest way probably. But I hate the fact that every thing I have done for the past eighteen months can be assessed in a 40 minutes oral test. A test in which I often perform badly, because I am so nervous, but also because I never seem to be able to grasp exactly what it is I am supposed to do. I just cannot seem to “knække koden” as we say in Danish – I’m sorry, but I don’t know what the English equivalent is. My dictionary says crack the code, but I don’t think it is used the same way… Well, anyhoues I need to actually try to want to perform well, because I know that that is what future employers will look at. They don’t know me and they haven’t seen me work. They just look at my test score. Reduce me to the numbers in my life. Okay. That was definitely not a change in attitude! I will work on that.

Wish me luck

Well, I ended up with quite a few resolutions… I will try my best to actually follow through on them. But hey – first post of the year in week 1 – that’s a good start!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year?

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!