Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: Doing It


Title: Doing It!: Let's Talk About Sex
Author: Hannah Witton
Publisher: Wren & Rook
Year published: 2017
How I got this book: Bought it through BookDepository
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Figuring out how to build and maintain healthy relationships - with your family, friends, romantically and with yourself - is a crucial part of being a teen. It's not easy though, particularly in a digital age where information and advice are so forthcoming it can be hard to know who or what to believe or trust. Porn is everywhere, sexting is the norm and messages about body image are highly mixed. Hannah combats this by tackling subjects ranging from masturbation and puberty to slut shaming and consent in an accessible, relatable and extremely honest way. She is unembarrassed about bringing little-discussed topics into the open, and such empowers teens to have the confidence to conduct relationships on their terms, and in a way they feel comfortable with.

My thoughts:
I am an avid watcher of Hannah's YouTube channel, and I expected to throughly enjoy this book from the moment she announced she was writing one. Based on her channel, I guessed that she would write a book like this, and I am so glad she did. The book is both educational and funny, which makes it easy to read.

Hannah's voice in the book isn't too formal, and I felt like she was talking to me through a video, not writing an educational book. You can tell that it's really her behind the writing, and I had her voice in my ear as I was reading. 

This book covers a lot of different subjects, also including things she might not have experiences herself. She has a lot of guests in this book to help with this, as they are able to provide a voice from experience. One thing I really enjoyed was that Hannah kept repeating that she knew she was privileged, as in the fact that she is a cis, straight, white female. I am that as well, and I think it is important to understand that we will never experience things the same way as, for instance, a black, transgender female. That is why I think it was so brilliant that she brought in friends, instead of writing everything from her perspective.

Hannah has said that this book is mainly for 16+, and I understand why. It deals with some adult subjects, and I think it's harder to understand if your younger. However, this is a book I feel like a lot of people should read. You might learn a lot about things you've never thought about before, and it can really open your eyes. I am telling several of my friends to read this book. And it's a quick and easy read as well, I read it in just under two hours. So it's not a big commitment either.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Bird Box



Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Publisher: Ecco
Year published: 2014
How I got this book: Bought it at the store Outland in Bergen
My rating: 4,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Something is out there, something terrifying that myst not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be sage. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat - blindfolded - with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children's trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it a man, animal, or monster?

My thoughts:
I didn't really know what to expect when I went into this book. The only thing I'd heard about it, was that it's a great book to listen to as an audiobook. Before that, I'd never heard of it before. So when I saw it being recommended at a bookshop, I just had to pick it up. And I am so glad I did. 

This isn't the biggest book, and I flew through it in just a couple of days. Even though it is under 300 pages, there is so much happening and you connect with the different characters. You switch back and forth from Malorie going down the river and flashbacks, which sets up the story. 

The premise is really interesting, and I haven't really heard of anything like it before. The idea that there is something that will kill you out there, but you can't open your eyes to see them is really intriguing. Humans are curious, so I can't imagine how hard it is to knowing there's something there, but you can't look at it. Because of this, I was always at the edge of my seat. Because the characters can't look outside, we don't know anything that's happening outside either. We only know what they know, or guess, which really helps the suspense in this book.

I am really glad I picked this book up, and I have recommended it to several of my friends and family members. This is unlike what I usually read, but it made me want to read more books like this. It's super suspenseful and quite scary, without feeling too much like a horror book. 

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review: Mer


Title: Mer
Author: Joelle Sellner
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors
Year published: 2017
How I got this book: I got this as an arc through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 4,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh. After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn's father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well - Aryn is making friends at school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be ... human.

My thoughts:
It was the cover of this graphic novel that caught my attention, and I just knew that I wanted to read it. And, thankfully, I was able to. 

The art in this graphic novel suits the plot and the setting, and it really drew me in. This is an artstyle that I want more of, and I also liked the diversity in the characters. They don't look alike, and we have different sizes and colours, which really made me happy. 

The plot is incredibly fast paced, which is not surprising, considering that it is a graphic novel. I flew through this in one sitting, and when I finished I wanted more. The author has really though about how to use mermaids in this story, and I loved that she also used the legend of Atlantis. 

If you like mythology, mermaids and other sea-related creatures or myths, this is definitely something you should pick up. If you haven't read any graphic novels before, this could be a great place to start. 

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review: How to Be Happy


Title: How to Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Sex and Teenage Confusion
Author: David Burton
Publisher: Text Publishing
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: I got this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
A funny, sad and serious memoir, "How to Be Happy" is David Burtons's story of his turbulent life at high school and beyond. Feeling out of place and convinced that he is not normal, David has a rocky start. He longs to have a girlfriend, but his first "date" is a disaster. There's the catastrophe of the school swimming carnival - David is not sporty - and friendships that take devastating turns. Then he finds some solace in drama classes with the creation of "Crazy Dave", and he builds a life where everything is fine. But everything is not fine.

And, at the centre of it all, trying desperately to work it all out, is the real David.

"How to Be Happy" tackles depression, friendship, sexual identity, suicide, academic pressure, love and adolescent confusion. It's a brave and honest account of one young man's search for a happy, true and meaningful life that will resonate with readers young and old. 

My thoughts:
I generally enjoy reading memoirs, and this was no different. I haven't read that many, but this was the first time I didn't know anything about the person the memoir is about. Even so, I still enjoyed it. 

The writing is very straightforward and easy to read and understand, so it was a fast read. I did however feel like it should have a different title, as "How to Be Happy" is quite misleading. If anything, this book left me feeling sad. There wasn't a lot of focus on the happy part, just a bit at the ending, which didn't really make up for the lack of it in the rest of the book. 

I always find it interesting to read about other people's lives, and this was no exception. It's nice to see how other people see the world and react to their circumstances, and I think it opens my mind and helps me understand the people around me.

If you don't like reading memoirs, this book is probably not for you. If you are like me, however, I would give this a chance. You don't have to know a lot about Burton to enjoy this book, something I appreciated. 

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wrap Up: March




Long time, no see! I've been busy with a lot of different things lately, and that has affected my reading and my blogging, but I am happy to be back! At the end of March I started reading a bit again, so I did manage to finish a few books in March, which I'm really happy with.


Wintergirls // Laurie Halse Anderson // 5 stars

Evig Søndag (Eternal Sunday) // Linnéa Myhre // 5 stars

The Lightning Thief // Rick Riordan // 4 stars // REVIEW

Kjære (Dear) // Linnéa Myhre // 3 stars


Bird Box // Josh Malerman // 4 stars

The Miserable Mill // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars

Catching Fire // Suzanne Collins // 5 stars // REVIEW

How to Be Happy // David Burton // 4 stars


The Sea of Monsters // Rick Riodan // 4 stars // REVIEW

The Titan's Cure // Rick Riordan // 4 stars // REVIEW

The Austere Academy // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars

The Ersatz Elevator // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars


The Vile Village // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars

The Hostile Hospital // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars

Norse Mythology // Neil Gaiman // 4 stars


There has been quite a few re-reads this month, to help me get back into reading. I've also listened to the A Series of Unfortunate Events on audiobooks, and I am thoroughly enjoying them, and I can't wait to finish all of them. 

How was your reading month? What is the best book you read in March?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: Princess in the Spotlight / Take Two


Title: Princess in the Spotlight / Take Two  (The Princess Diaries #2)
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year published: 2001
How I got this book: Borrowed it at my local library
My rating: 4,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
"Seriously, Lily," I said, "I have to have guard diligently against falling in love with somebody like your brother, because in the end I might have to marry Prince William."

Not that would be such a great sacrifice.

Nothing's simple when you're the new Princess of Genovia. At least, that's what Mia reckons.

With her mother dating her Algebra teacher, a secret admirer sending her mysterious e-mails, and a bad case of the hots for her friends Lily's brother Michael, Mia's discovering that life as Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo can feel like a right-royal muddle!

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this book more than the first one, but that might because I have gotten used to the writing and I am more invested in the characters.

Mia is as funny in this one, as in the first, which I really liked. Her reaction to the world around her is always funny, and I do feel for her most of the time. It can't be easy living her life, but it is still fun to read about. 

There are, of course, some romance in this book, with Mia receiving anonymous love e-mails. I found it quite easy to figure out who it was, but it didn't take away any enjoyment from my side, so I didn't really mind. 

Hopefully, I'll be able to find the next couple of books at my local library, because I would like to continue on with these books. However, I don't think I would buy them, so it all depends on my local library. 

If this series sounds like something you'd enjoy, I would recommend picking up the first one and figure out what you think. They are intended for a younger audience, so keep that in mind if you're my age or older. 

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: The Princess Diaries


Title: The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Turtleback
Year published: 2000
How I got this book: Borrowed it from my local library
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom...

NEWS FLASH: Dad is a prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)

DOWNER: Dad can't have any more kids. (So there's no heir to the throne.)

SHOCK OF THE CENTURY: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

THE WORST PART: Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmère, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne. 

Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty - no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind.

But what's a girl to do when her name is PRINCESS AMELIA MIGNONETTE GRIMALDI THERMOPOLIS RENALDO?

My thoughts:
It was completely random that I ended up picking up this book from the library. I went there wanting to borrow something, but I didn't know what. The English section isn't that big at my local library, and this was the first book I saw that I might enjoy, and that I didn't own. And so, I brought this, and the sequel, home with me.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and it is super easy to get into. Mia's voice is funny, and it's really entertaining to read what she thinks about different thinks, and how she reacts to what is happening to her. It is clear that this is the mind of a teen-ager, and it brings back memories from when I was Mia's age, and it's really enjoyable.

Another great thing about this, is that it feels like you are reading a personal diary. Cabot has added small details, which make it seem so much more realistic. The fact that Mia writes down her homework, to-do lists and other random lists gives it a much more personal feel. Especially because that's how I would use my diary as well, I would just write down whatever I wanted or needed to remember. 

I am continuing on with this series, but I am not sure if I will read all of the books. I did not know that this series has 11 books, I thought it might have 3 or 4. However, I will continue reading them until I don't find them as entertaining anymore, which means i might read all of them. I just have to wait and see, but I will definitely recommend the first one. It's funny, light-hearted and makes you feel good. 

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review: The Bad Beginning & The Reptile Room



Title: The Bad Beginning & The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events 1 & 2)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Year published: 1999
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
The Bad Beginning
Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

The Reptile Room
Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I'm afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don't be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.

In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they'd hoped never to see again.

I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

My thoughts:
After watching the Netflix series I decided that I wanted to read the entire series. I read the first three or four books several years ago, but wanted to start on the first one, even so. I am listening to the series through the app StoryTel, and I am really enjoying it so far.

The writing style for these books are so unlike anything I've ever read before. I love the way the author, Lemony Snicket, is talking to the reader throughout the story. His voice is really unique, and make these books so much better, in my opinion. 

All the adults in these books are so useless, and I get so frustrated when they won't listen to the children. I just want to shake them, and make them understand and help the Baudelaires. Since I have seen the series and read these books before, I knew what was going to happen, but it was still enjoyable. However, I am really excited to get further in to this series, where I won't know how things turn out. 

Though these are definitely books for children, I would recommend them to others. They are funny and fast reads, and they are really exciting. 

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: The Mesmerist



Title: The Mesmerist
Author: Ronald L Smith
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published: TODAY, February 7th 2017
How I got this book: I got this as an arc through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists - until they discover that Jess is a mesmerist and that she really can talk to the dead. Soon she is plunged into the dark world of Victorian London's supernatural underbelly and leans that the city is under attack by ghouls, monsters, and spirit summoners. Can Jess fight these powerful forces? And will the group be able to help? As shy, proper Jess transforms into a brave warrior, she uncovers terrifying truths about the hidden battle between good and evil, about her family, and about herself.

My thoughts:
I didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up, but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't read any reviews before starting it, and therefore only knew the synopsis. 

The setting of this book is interesting, and I will always favour a book set in Victorian London, so this made me really happy. I felt connected with Jessamine from the beginning, which helped me get into the story. Because of the length of the book, we weren't able to connect as much to the other characters, but they were still likeable, although a bit flat. 

This is a fast paced book, which means you never get bored whilst reading it. I am older than the intended audience, but I still found it exciting, and I wanted to know what happened next. This is definitely a book I would recommend buying if you, or someone you know, fits the audience, and they enjoy reading.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Wrap Up: January



Hello,

I've definitely started this year with a bang, when it comes to reading. I somehow managed to read 16 books in January, and I really hope I can continue like this throughout the year, though my expectations aren't all that high. However, this means that I am doing really well with my reading challenge so far, which is to read 50 books this year.

In addition to reading a lot of books, I've also enjoyed the books I have read. And that, to me, is more important than reading plenty. Quality over quantity.



The Song of Achilles // Madeline Miller // 5 stars // REVIEW

The One Memory of Flora Banks // Emily Barr // 5 stars // REVIEW

The River at Night // Erica Ferencik // 5 stars // REVIEW

The Witches // Roald Dahl // 4 stars


The Return of the King // J.R.R. Tolkien // 4 stars

Zom-B // Darren Shan // 3 stars // REVIEW

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Ultimate Guide // Mary-Jane Knight // 3 stars

The Call // Peadar Ó Guilín // 4,5 stars // REVIEW


De Usynlige // Roy Jacobsen // 3 stars

The Books of Mirrors // E.O. Chirovici // 5 stars // REVIEW

The Bad Beginning // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars

The Hunger Games // Suzanne Collins // 5 stars // REVIEW


The Reptile Room // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars

The Princess Diaries // Meg Calbot // 4 stars 

The Wide Window // Lemony Snicket // 4 stars

Mer // Joelle Sellner // 4,5 stars


What is the best book you read in January?