Saturday, August 27, 2016

Review: Girl Online On Tour


This is the sequel to Girl Online, and will therefore contain spoilers for that.

Title: Girl Online On Tour (Girl Online #2)
Author: Zoe Sugg
Publisher: Penguin
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: Listened to it on the app Storytel
My rating: 3,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Penny's bags are packed.

When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend.

But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot... and her blog, Girl Online.

Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

My thoughts:
I found this a lot more enjoyable than the first book, Girl Online. This might be because my expectations weren't that high for this, and therefore I wasn't disappointed, or to me, this was simply a better book.

I listened to this on audiobook, which might have something to do with how much I enjoyed it, but I don't know if I would have enjoyed it more, or less, if I read it as a physical book. This book is just okay, and I didn't expect more from it.

It really shows that Zoe Sugg is trying to bring up important themes in this book, such as standing up for yourself. And, as she is mainly a youtuber with a lot of young viewers, I think it's great that she brings up this in her book, that many of her fans will be reading. The book isn't serious or heavy, but Sugg brings up the themes in an easy way, not forcing it on the reader.

If you didn't enjoy Girl Online, you probably won't enjoy this. I, personally, enjoyed this book more, but I did enjoy Girl Online as well. You are still dealing with the same characters and the same type of writing, so it's important to keep that in mind.

It's probably not a book I will recommend to everyone, because I don't think that many of my friends will enjoy it. However, if you enjoyed Girl Online, or like watching Zoe's videos, I will suggest picking it up, because it's not as bad, even though many people try to say it is. 

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: The Last Star

This is the last book in The 5th Wave series, and will contain spoilers for the two other books.


Title:
 The Last Star (The 5th Wave)
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Year published: 2016
How I got this book: Listened to it as an audiobook on the app Storytel
My rating: 3,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They're down here, they're up there, they're nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies on truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now byb ourselves.

In these last days, Earth's remaining survivors will need to decide what's more important: saving themselves... or saving what makes us human.

My thoughts:
I was quite satisfied with this ending, which made the series as a whole better to me. I thought it wrapped up the story nicely, while still leaving some things to the imagination.

We read from several different perspectives in this book as well, all characters we are familiar with. I really think the multiple POV's worked well in this series. Sometimes it just doesn't work, but it did here. My only problem, and this was because of the audiobook, was that there were two readers. Which meant that I knew the gender of the POV's view, but if I didn't pay close enough attention, I would have a hard time figuring out if it was Ringer or Cassie, or Ben and Evan, for instance.

The plot picked up a lot more in this book, and I felt like something was happening all the time, without being to rushed. I had no idea how the story was going to end, and I won't spoil it here, don't worry, but I was pleasantly surprised with it.

This was better than the second book, which to me, didn't really do much. Overall, I enjoyed this series. It's not one of my favourites, but I didn't dislike it either. Not something I'm going to recommend to everyone, but if I think someone will enjoy them, I will mention them. 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My TBR Shelf From Before I Started Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hello!

The theme this week is Books On my TBR Shelf From Before I Started Blogging, and I have plenty of those, trust me. I started this blog in May last year, so I haven't been doing for THAT long, so I have quite a few books to choose from.


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Room by Emma Donoghue
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks


Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
Just After Sunset by Stephen King
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Mystic by Alyson Noel

These are all books I'm hoping to get too soon. Both Beautiful Darkness and Mystic are in a series, so I'll have to reread the other books first, but I want to get to them some day in the near future. 

What are some books that have been on your TBR-list for a really long time?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review: The Hidden Oracle


Title: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Year published: 2016
How I got this book: Bough it through BookDepository (Affiliate link)
My rating: 4,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, hi lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.


But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs hep, and he can think of only one place to go... an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

My thoughts:
I am so glad Rick Riordan continues to publish books containing the same characters. We meet characters from the Percy Jackson series, and from the Heroes of Olympus series, and I love it. 

Apollo is the main character here, now a mortal teenager, but still funny as ever. Every chapter started with a haiku, and details like that are amazing. Apollo's inner monologue is funny as well, and I chuckled out loud several times during this book. I even read some parts out loud for my mom, so she could laugh as well.

This is, as most of Riordan's books, aimed at people younger than me. It's a fast read, and the language is easy. The jokes are obviously made for younger people, but I find them funny. This is just something to be aware of, I don't think I would have liked this book if I went in thinking it would be for an older audience. 

I would recommend reading both the Percy Jackson series, and the Heroes of Olympus series, before reading this. It's not necessary to understand the plot, but it does spoil some major things from those books. So if you want to read them, start with them. If you have no plans of reading them, you can just skip to straight to this book, though I think you would enjoy it more if you have the backstory. 

This is a book I would totally recommend to everyone. I absolutely love mythology, especially Greek, so if you enjoy that as well, this will be right up your alley. The more you know about Greek mythology, the funnier the books get, in my opinion. Because there are references that you might not pick up on, if you haven't read about them before. But the books are still enjoyable, and at the end of the book there's "Guide to Apollo-Speak" that explains a lot of the words, myths, gods, heroes etc. 

If you enjoy middle-grade books, fantasy or Rick Riordan's writing, this is definitely a book you should pick up.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Review: Life & Laughing


Title: Life & Laughing: My Story
Author: Michael McIntyre
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Year published: 2010
How I got this book: Listened to it as an audiobook on the app Storytel
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Michael McIntyre has become Britain's biggest comedy star. His debut stand-up DVD was the fastest selling of all time, only to be eclipsed by his second that sold over 1.4 million copies and was the 2009 Christmas number one. He hosts his own BAFTA nominated BBC1 series, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, and won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-up in 2009 following his record breaking fifty-four date Arena tour.

But how did he get there?

Michael reveals all in his remarkably honest and hilarious autobiography Life and Laughing. His showbiz roots, his appalling attempts to attract the opposite sex, his fish-out-of-water move from public to state school and his astonishing journey from selling just one ticket at the Edinburgh Festival to selling half a million tickets on his last tour. Michael's story is riveting, poignant, romantic and above all very, very funny.

My thoughts:
This is definitely a book that works extremely well as an audiobook. I laughed so much whilst listening to this, just chuckling to myself. When listening to this as an audiobook, instead of just reading it, you get to hear McIntyre read it himself. He does impressions and really engages with the reader and the story. It's probably funny reading it by yourself as well, but I would recommend listening to it if you have the chance.

If you read my blog regularly, you might have noticed that I've read quite a bit of autobiographies lately, and I am really enjoying it. McIntyre's is the funniest book I've read so far, but he is also one of my favourite comedians.

As a fan of British comedy, I knew this book would be right up my alley. Both my mother and me are fans of McIntyre, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. I have no regrets, and have also encouraged my mother to read this. It's interesting to listen to his story, because I'm used to him being this big, successful comedian, and forget that he hasn't always been that.

I don't know if this is a book everybody is going to enjoy, but if you like comedy you should at least try it. I would recommend maybe watching some of McIntyre's work before going in to this book, so you get used to his humour and style, but that's just what I'd do.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set In A Fantasy World

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hello!

This week's theme is Books With X-Setting, and I chose epic fantasy books, set in their own world. Epic Fantasy is one of my favourite genres, because they just transport you to a new world. And, because of all the world-building, they are usually series with at least 3 books, meaning you get to spend a lot of time with the amazing characters in the awsome setting. I decided to split this up, so I have five books that I really like, and five books that I really want to read. 

Read

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Graceling Realm trilogy by Kristin Cashore

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas


To Be Read

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Original Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brocks


What is your favourite book with a fantasy setting? I hope you all have a great day!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review: The Infinite Sea

This is the second book in the series and will contain spoilers for The 5th Wave.


Title: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Year published: 2014
How I got this book: Listened to it as an audiobook through the app Storytel
My rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
 How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others' ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven't seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

My thoughts:
I went into this book with really low expectations. I thought The 5th Wave finished at an exciting place, and was excited to read more. But the reviews of this book, and the next, are absolutely horrible. So many people disliked this book, and I understand why, after reading it myself. But I also understand those who did like this book.

I felt like so much stuff happened in this book, yet I also got the feeling that nothing really happened. They weren't any closer to beating the Others, and the Others weren't any closer to beating them.

Ringer made this book for me, without her I would have disliked it, a lot. Cassie got on my nerves, and so did Evan. I found their romance-thing totally misplaced and inappropriate in this book, and it just annoyed me. It got to the point that I wanted one them to die so they would stop.

We get to read a lot of this book through Ringer's perspective, which I really enjoyed. I found her part of the story the most interesting, and she's a great character. We also got to know the past of Poundcake, one of the members of Zombie's squad, and I greatly enjoyed that as well.

I don't really know how I feel about this book, but I know that I'll read the last book in the series as well. If you really enjoyed reading The 5th Wave, I will suggest picking it up, but to remember that most people don't like this as much as the first one.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?


Title: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Author: Mindy Kaling
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Year published: 2011
How I got this book: Listened to it as an audiobook on the app Storytel
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck-impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence "Can I just say one last thing about this, then I swear I'll shut up about it?"

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you've come to the right book, mostly!


In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door - not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

My thoughts:
This book is funny. This book makes you think. This book opens your eyes. 

I listened to the audiobook version of this book, read by Mindy Kaling herself, and absolutely loved it. I don't read many auto-biographies, but I always really like the ones I choose.

When listening to this, it feels like Mindy right there, telling you these stories about her life, and what she learned from them. It isn't too formal, it just feels like a friend talking about her life. Mindy Kaling is funny, and therefore, this book is funny as well. I had high hopes for this, as a lover of The Office (which she wrote for), and I was not disappointed.

Kaling mentions other comedians as well in this book, and how some of them helped her. She talks about Amy Poehler (whom I absolutely love, everyone should read her book Yes, Please!), and how she warmed to her when she started at Saturday Night Live.

I always find books like this inspiring, because it shows that if you really work hard for something, you can achieve it. Kaling worked hard to get where she is now, and she has definitely deserved it. 

This is a light-hearted book, but it still makes you think about what's important in life. A book I would recommend to a lot of people, even if they might not know who Mindy Kaling is. However, if you're  fan of hers, this is definitely something to pick up as soon as possible.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review: The 5th Wave


Title: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Year published: 2013
How I got this book: I use the app Storytel (not an affiliate link) to listen to audiobooks. I use the Norwegian version, but they have it in several countries.
My rating: 4,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains.
After the 2nd, only the lucky escape.
After the 3rd, only the unlucky survive.
After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother - or even saving herself. But Cassie myst choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up ro to get up.


My thoughts:
This book wasn't originally very high on my TBR-list, but I am SO glad I picked it up. I was browsing the Storytel app after downloading it, and saw this, and figured I could give it a try. 

We read from a couple different perspectives in this book, but mostly from Cassie or Zombie/Ben. I read some reviews and saw that many didn't like the switch between POV's, and that they found it confusing at times. Listening to the audiobook, I had no problem with that. The different POV's were voiced by different people, a girl for Cassie and a boy for Zombie.

This pick up in the middle of the 4th wave, which I really enjoyed. We didn't get to know the whole story immediately, but got to know more and more through flashbacks. A big part of the book, at least Cassie's POVs were flashbacks, but that didn't bother me. 

The plot is faced paced throughout the book, with a few, very small places where it's slowed down a bit. How the alien invade the earth creeped me out, and I just kept thinking "what if this actually happened?". This isn't a book that will stick with me, so those thoughts left me as soon as I put it down, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it.

My only complaint about this book was the romance. I didn't dislike all of it, but I felt like it contradicted Cassie's personality in different ways. She told herself to not trust anyone, and she was so sure that was the way to survive, and the we have this insta-love with Evan. I don't read a lot of books with insta-love, so I'm not too tired of it, but I found it really unrealistic. However, ignoring the insta-love part, I did really enjoy their relationship, though I don't think the book needed it.

I am looking forward to watching the movie adaptation of this book, and see how true it stayed to the book. I've only seen the trailer, and so far so good. This is definitely a book I will recommend to other people, especially teenagers up to my age. I've heard that a lot of people didn't really like the next book, but I will give it a shot. I have a lot of faith in Rick Yancey, and I hope he doesn't let me down.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review: Cress

This is the third book in a series, and will contain spoilers for Cinder and Scarlet

Title: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year published: 2014
How I got this book: Bought it at a local bookstore
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitive on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope iles with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My thoughts:
I like this series more and more as I read, and I'm quite sad that I only have one more book after Cress. 

All the characters are really likeable, and none of them are perfect. They all have their flaws, making it easier to connect with them. We are introduced to a new character, Cress, in this book, and we also get to read from her perspective. We actually met Cress shortly in the first book, as the girl who warned Cinder about Queen Levana and her intentions.

The plot is fast paced throughout the book, even though it is over 500 pages. Meyer is great at writing from the different perspectives, without it ever getting confusing. I think a big part of the fast pace is Meyer's ability to switch smoothly between characters, making the story progress at all times. 

In this book, as well as in the two previous books, the fairy-tale aspect is used just enough. It's very clear a re-telling of Rapunzel, though a version that works with this story. There are plenty of references in the book, but just the perfect amount, not too much.

I will be picking up the next book, Winter, as soon as possible. I really want to see how this story ends, and what'll happen to our beloved characters. Without spoiling anything, there are a couple of them that I'm worried about at the moment. 


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