tisdag 4 september 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

Every morning A wakes up as a different person. For one day A is that person. And he/she/it has been it all; boy, girl, transgendered, skinny, fat, poor, rich, happy, depressed. Everything.

A is used to it and has developed ways of quickly accessing the current persons name, situation etc. A never gets involved, tries to stay as true to the person whose body it´s inhabiting. Coasts along never really questioning things.

When we enter the story A wakes up as Justin, a 16-year old boy who´s kind of a jerk to his girlfriend and takes her for granted. A is instantly drawn to Rhiannon, the girlfriend, and spends a wonderful day with her doing and acting in ways that Justin would not.

When A wakes up the next in a new body he longs to see Rhiannon again and over the next few days and countless new bodies to inhabit A falls in love with Rhiannon.

That is not the only first for A. A boy whose body he inhabited for a day is trying to contact him, claiming A is the devil himself.

This is the first book written by David Levithan I´ve read and I was instantly drawn to the premise of it. Such an exciting idea! The ending left me a bit heartbroken though. I do not like sad endings, I like my happily ever afters or at least the promise of a happily ever after. But it was a fitting ending.

torsdag 30 augusti 2012

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is one of those books that I´ve been meaning to read for ages and now that I finally have my first thought is to wonder why the hell I didn´t read it sooner! My second thought is that I need to read it again, immediately, to catch all the details I missed the first time around. And to swoon over Taylor and Jonah some more.

A fair warning, the beginning is a bit confusing. But part of what I love about it is that when you realize what´s going on, when you see the magic that is Jellicoe Road, you know that the pages of confusion in the beginning were very much worth it.

The story is about Taylor Markham who was abandoned by her mother at a young age and now lives in a boarding school with other kids that are neglected, abandoned or otherwise troubled. She is not very close to anyone except Hannah, a woman who lives on the edge of the school grounds.

Each year territory war games are played by the children in the school against the Townies and the Cadets, and this year, Taylor is elected the leader. She tries to balance that responsibility with the sudden disappearance of Hannah and the reemergence of Jonah Griggs, the leader of the Cadets, and a boy from her past.

And then there is the other story of the five young girls and boys. It is a manuscript, written by Hannah of events that start with a terrible car crash. The five survivors all become integral parts of each others lives. As you can probably guess their story is also connected to Taylors. I won´t say any more on that subject, or anything else really.

Oh, one last thing; to top it all off this book is chock full of memorable quotes. Quotes that I want to have embroider and hang on the wall or write down and keep with me in my wallet. Here are some examples.

"You´re are my priority. Your happiness, in som fucked up way is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don´t think that will be happening in my lifetime."

"It´s funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. Maybe that´s why humans find it so hard getting over love affairs. It´s not the pain they´re getting over, it´s the love."

"´What do you want from me?´ he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More".

"What´s the difference between a trip and a journey?... When we get there, you´ll understand."

Not bad huh? But don´t take my word for it. Read Jellicoe Road. Now.




onsdag 29 augusti 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

The story takes place in The Republic, fomerly the western part of the United States. It´s a nation constantly at war with the colonies outside the borders.

15-year old June is born into one of the wealthiest most powerful families. She is a young prodigy, quickly rising in the ranks of the army. Day lives in the same city but his life could not be more different. Born in the slums he is the cities most wanted anti-government criminal.

The two would never have met had Junes older brother not been killed and Day immediately become the prime suspect. Hell bent on capturing her brothers killer June goes on an undercover mission to capture him.

The book alternates between the point of view of June and Day, letting us get into the heads of the two main characters which I liked.

It´s a fairly routine ya-dystopian tale with starcrossed lovers, conspiracies and a bit of mystery thrown in. Not bad really just not all that great either. Part of what brings the story down is that it was too predictable. I could anticipate what would happen and that took down the excitement the author no doubt wanted us to feel.

The book is continued by "Prodigy" which will be released in January 2013.

tisdag 28 augusti 2012

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

Thus begins one of the best books this year. 

A seemingly normal day in a normal home in a Los Angeles suburb 11-year old Julia and her parents wake to the news splashed across every newspaper in the country - the rotation of the Earth has begun to slow down. Meaning the length of the day is increasing little by little as is the night. From our well known, ingrained, 24 hour rhythm a day turns into 25 hours, 26, 27 and on and on with no apparent stop in sight. 

It´s a disaster that sneaks up on people. A day of 27 hours can be dealt with but when the sun is up for 50 hours straight followed by 50 hours of night it messes with things. People start to loose it. Animals get confused and die. Crops whither everything and everyone is affected. 

In the midst of all this Julia deals with more normal issues; being lonely at school, liking a boy who doesn´t seem to know she exists, parents who fight. Existence in that stage where you´re not a child anymore but not really a teenager either. 

I could go on and on about the miracle of this book. It´s been a while since I read it and I still think of it sometimes, how for all our technological advances and wisdom, we really have no control at all. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

"One upon a time, an angel and devil fell in love. It did not end well." Very good beginning.

Meet Karou, a blue haired art student in Prague who spends her time with her best friend at their favorite café and filling her sketchbook with drawings of creatures and demons. She also spends her time running strange errands for Brimstone, a stern monster with golden eyes and horns.

As these errands get increasingly frantic sending Karou between magical portals, black market auctions and bazaars in Marrakesh, beautiful winged beings start burning black handprints on doorways all over the world. The reason for the mysterious errands and the black handprints soon become painfully clear.

Enter Akiva, one of the winged creatures and, according to Karou, "the most beautiful thing she had ever seen". She is immediately drawn to him, and him to her. The reason for this instant connection has to do with their past and a transformation of Karou and we get thrust into another story involving a girl named Madrigal

True love, Supernatural creatures, Magic, Destiny. Sounds good but I´m having mixed feelings and will probably not be reading the continuation, Days of Blood and Starlight, which will be released in november this year.

onsdag 16 maj 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth - Review

This review contains spoilers for Divergent. If you haven´t read it what are you doing?! Go. Read. Now. 

Insurgent was one of those books I´ve been looking forward to for a long time, pretty much since since I finished Divergent! I think I´ve spoken about how nervous I am before reading the sequel to a book I´ve loved. I worry, I fret, I try to keep my hopes down, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn´t.

Let me just say that any nervousness I may have felt was TOTALLY UNECESSARY.

It´s been quite a while since I read Divergent and in the beginning it was a bit tricky to remember who all the characters were and where they were. To help with this a friend sent me this link: But I read Divergent a year ago It´s a very good guide to remembering stuff written by Veronica herself.

We pick up pretty much where we left off in Divergent in the Amity compound where they´ve fled following the Erudite attack. Plot wise there were a lot of surprises; big ones and small ones. The writing is rich, the prose engaging. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The quick pace was paired with quieter moments, many of them with Tris and Tobias. And let me tell you, those two *sigh*. They love each other but they don´t always agree with each other or like each others decisions which makes it so realistic. It´s not all hearts and flowers and for just a tiny smidgen of a second, I was worried for them.

My love for Tris knows no bounds. Katniss can go hide in a corner somewhere because this is a real character! Being a divergent she is a kickass, determined kind of person and she is a strong girl. But she´s still human. She feels sad and weak and stubborn and every other emotion. The guilt she feels over Will´s death and her sorrow over her parents death is palatable. And she makes mistakes because people do. But she also grows and learns which people also do :)

And by the way, Tobias (Four) is pretty darn awesome too :)



Now the waiting starts for the next book...

söndag 6 maj 2012

Blood Red Road - Moira Young

Saba has lived all her life in the dried up wasteland of Silverlake where she and her family are constantly ravaged by sandstorms and the punishing sun. Saba´s family is her father, her little sister Emmie and her twin brother Lugh. Her brother means everything to Saba, though twins they look nothing alike, he is blonde and beautiful she is scrawny and dark. As long as the two of them are together, everything is alright.

One day a sandstorm sweeps across their home bringing with it four horsemen who kidnap Lugh. Seeing no other alternative Saba sets off on the quest to rescue her brother. On the way she meets, and reluctantly befriends, a gang of girl revolutionaries called Free Hawks and a daredevil named Jack.

Though slow in the beginning the story picks up pace and I was literally tearing through the pages! The world is interesting and well drawn, the author gives us hints as to where and when it might be without revealing too much. Many words were purposefully misspelled which bothered me a bit in the beginning but after a while I got used to it. It even felt natural, and completely possible, the way the words had morphed and evolved.

Now Saba. She isn´t a very likeable girl at least not in a good portion of the book. In fact she´s pretty angry and selfish and clearly shows her contempt for her little sister. But she is also brave, extremely determined with crazy survival instincts. In fact, those three treats go for all the women in the story. No damsels in distress as far as the eye can see! Saba gets better as the story goes though and I grew to like her a lot. And there´s Jack of course *sigh*, he´s cheeky and forthright and knows exactly how to push Saba´s buttons and seems to know her instantly. I really enjoyed their interactions.

So all in all an enjoyable read, a few too predictable twists in the end but not too bad to spoil my enjoyment of the book.

The next installment of the Dustland series is expected late October of this year.

fredag 20 april 2012

Across the universe - Beth Revis

This book is riddled with secrets and mystery. We start with 17 year old Amy who together with her parents are being cryogenically frozen but we aren´t exactly told why. There are hints of politics and military and problems but we are mostly left in the dark. Fast forward 250 years where we meet a boy named Elder who is next in line to become leader of the ship we are on, Godspeed. But there is mystery here too, there are a lot of things that Elder isn´t being told.

Amy wakes up by accident; her "pod" is unplugged and she nearly dies in the process. She faces the reality of being on a ship floating in space. She knows no one, and in the eyes of the people on the ship she is the strange girl who looks funny, talks funny and is just odd and possibly crazy. She also has to deal with the fact that her parents won´t be woken up for another 50 years.

Amy is not the only one of "the frozen people" who is unplugged. The rest aren´t as lucky as she was however. Terrified that something will happen to her parents Amy, together with Elder and a friend named Harley, set out to find out who the culprit is.

Looking at the cover you´d think there would be a big romance but there isn´t. There are burgeoning feelings but that definitely isn´t the stories strong suit. And that´s ok, the drama taking place between Elder and his mentor, Eldest, is one of the best parts of the book.

The exciting thing about the book is that it is indeed a mystery within a mystery within a mystery. And just when you think all is revealed - think again!

All in all it was a good book and I will definitely be reading the second one, A million suns.

torsdag 19 april 2012

Shatter me - Tahereh Mafi



 For 264 days Juliette has been imprisoned in a mental hospital. It's been 264 days since she last talked to one person. And it´s been even longer since she last touched someone. The last time she did it had terrible consequences.

Outside the prison, the world is and breaking; diseases are killing people, there is a shortage of food, birds do not fly, the weather is unpredictable and the clouds are the wrong colour. The power lies with the Reestablishment who promised to fix things - but problems remain.

Then one day life in the cell changes when a new prisoner is added to her cell. His name is Adam. She does n´t know why he's there or why they are forced to share the cell. She only knows that Adam is very familiar, and that she both loves and hates having to share the small space with him. She is so used to not having any contact with people at all and is afraid of what might happen if she does. Because what happened to her Juliette has made not only the fysical cell her prison but she is also imprisoned by her fears and her past.

Adam's arrival spurs on a series of events that I will not reveal. I can say that the two leave the mental hospital and go somewhere else. There, we meet a very interesting character named Warner. Warner is one of the leaders of the Reestablishment. And he is very interested in Juliette.

There is a curious thing about the Adam that first felt a little too convenient and easy. Until something else happened that made the whole situation much more interesting. If you read the book you know what I'm talking about :)

Overall, I liked the book, especially the first part of it was wonderful to read. I´m guessing that the second book (which will be out next year) will have more focus on action, but I hope the author does not lose the other aspects of the story.

torsdag 29 mars 2012

Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

Catherine Crawfield spends her free time killing vampires. Half vampire herself, she does to avenge the rape of her mother by a vampire. The rape that left her mother pregnant with her. Out on one of her nightly hunts at some seedy bar she is captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter (who reminded me a little of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Learning that Cat is half vampire he proposes a deal. He promises to help her find her vampire father (so she can kill him) if she helps him kill bad vampires.

As the two of them train and start their hunting Cat is surprised to find that Bones actually is a nice guy, and here she thought all vampires were asshole killers. And (of course) their feelings for each other slowly deepen. A problem with that is her mother. Cat got her hate of vampires from her mother so she´s understandably reluctant to bring home her new boyfriend.

The two of them start hunting down bad vampires who and a bigger pictures begins to unravel and we learn that we´re dealing with more than just a few bad vamps.

There are two things however that annoyed with this book: 1) what happened to them finding her father? That storyline wasn´t mentioned after those first few chapters. I suppose it might come again in the next book but I wondered about it. And 2) The ending didn´t satisfy me at all. Not that I didn´t understand her reasoning but is was frustrating.

But all in all it was an ok read, there´s paranormal romance and a mystery which is often ok in my book.

måndag 26 mars 2012

"Before I Fall" movie adaptation gets director

I haven´t yet gotten around to reading Before I fall (it´s on my very long list). I have however read to other books by Lauren Oliver and I adore her writing.

The filmrights for ´Before I fall´were sold to Fox 2000 about a year ago and now it seems a director has been found. Gina Prince-Blythewood, who helmed ´The secret life of Bees´is apparently eyeing a rewrite before moving forward.

The story centers around 18-year old highschool student Sam Kingston. Sam leads a seemingly flawless life, great boyfriend, three best friends and first choice at everything. She is also self-centered and callous.

And then she dies.

And wakes up again. Only to relive the last day of her life seven times. It´s basically a heartbreaking version of Groundhog day.

We probably won´t be hearing much of the movie plans for a while. In the meantime we can read the book and if you already have, think about how you would do it.

ps: Interesting note, another book by Lauren Oliver is also optioned by the same company; the dystopian story "Delirium".

tisdag 20 mars 2012

Soulless - Gail Carriger

The setting is Victorian England and vampires and werewolves roam the streets. They even have roles in the government.

Miss Alexia Tarabotti is a soulless spinster with an Italian father (who is dead) and a mother who is prone to nervousness. Being without a soul she is of the prenatural variety and abilities enable her to remove the supernatural ability of others as long as she is touching them. Alexia is also intelligent, witty, rebellious and fearsly independant.

When the tale begins we find Alexia in a library at a party when she is attacked by a vampire. While defending herself Alexia accidentally kills the vampire bring forth the investigation into the matter by BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) and it´s chief investigator Lord Maccon. He and Alexia have crossed paths before and both are quick to say how much they dislike the other. Though we soon realize that they are both just busy denying their mutual attraction.

What follows is the mystery of disappearing vampires alongside some very nasty creatures interest in Alexia.

It is a Victorian Romance/Urban Fantasy/Steampunk with a mystery thrown in. Entertaining, original and fun it´s definitely a book to recommend!

tisdag 13 mars 2012

Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver

Warning: this review contains spoilers for Delirium. If you haven´t read it go do so now :)

I finished this a few days ago but haven´t been able to write a review. My emotions after having read the last page were all over the place and I paced around frantically. In short, I was a mess. All because of that effing last page.

First let me say that Lauren Oliver has an undeniable gift for words. From the opening words I can feel, hear and sense everything written her words are, in short poetry and it´s a joy to read.

Pandemonium is jumps between two timelines, beginning with when Lena is running through the wilds having just escaped without Alex and later (the NOW) when she is in New York as part of the resistance. I´m not always a fan of switching between timelines but this time it definitely works and it was a brilliant way of showing how Lena herself grows and becomes a strong self sufficient young woman.

Pandemonium introduces a wider range of characters a large part of these are those in the wilds and part of the resistance though difficult in the beginning Lena comes to feel at home in the wilds. We also meet two important members of DFA (Deliria Free America) an organization devoted to the cure and who´s leader, Thomas Fineman is pushing for a lowering of the age for when the cure is administered. Thomas has a son named Julian who although not cured yet is looking forward to it just like Lena once was. I won´t reveal how but Lena and Julian end up captured together. And Lauren Oliver once again describes masterfully the war raging inside Julian as he and Lena become closer.

The last few chapters is an action packed roller coaster of a ride which I won´t spoil for you. Suffice to say the ending had me shocked. And, to be perfectly honest, pissed off. I gave this book four stars over at Goodreads. It would´ve been a five if it hadn´t been for that ending and my fears for what the next book, Requiem, holds in store for us. My only hope is that Lauren, and Lena, won´t disappoint.

fredag 2 mars 2012

Cover & title reveal for 3rd book in Matched Trilogy

IT´S HERE! Not the book yet, but the cover and title!
The cover follows a simple progression that reflects the progression of the series. Cassia started off on the first cover existing in a glass orb, then on the cover of Crossed, she put her fist through the glass. Now in the third final installment she´s rising out of the orb!

lördag 25 februari 2012

The Taker - Alma Katsu

The story opens in present day Maine in the sleepy town of St. Andrew. Recently divorced and living a dull, unfulfilled life Dr Luke Findley is on yet another tedious shift at the hospital. It becomes anything but however when the police come in with a young woman named Lanore who admitted to stabbing a man to death. As Luke tends to her cuts and scrapes she starts to tell him her story.

We find out that Lanore was born 200 years ago. She tells of how she was forced to leave the small town of St. Andrew for Boston and how she became an immortal. But above all it is about her love for Jonathan, her childhood friend. Jonathan is overwhelmingly handsome and charming and his family owns the town. Lanore pines for him throughout it all, even when in Boston, she cannot forget him and the belief that they are meant for each other.

Throughout the books we move back and forth between the 1800s to the present day where Lanore keeps telling Luke her history while they drive away from St. Andrew. Finally coming to the end and how she ended up in the woods of St. Andrew with blood on her clothes.

It´s a book about love and immortality in a historical novel. With some magic and alchemy thrown in.

The book has by some been compared to The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. I will let you decide for yourself :)

lördag 4 februari 2012

Forgotten - Cat Patrick

Every night at around 4 in the morning, when London is sound asleep, her memory resets. Everything that has happened the previous day vanishes from her memory. Things she´s said, people she´s met, what she did - everything. What she does remember however are things that haven´t happened yet. She remembers the future in flashes. When she has a fight with her best friend she "remembers" them making up in the future. She knows she´ll be travelling to New York when she´s a grown up, remembers going to college and so on.

At 16 she has devised a good system for getting through it. At the end of each day she writes down the events of the day and stuff that she needs to remember. Everything she doesn´t write down disappears.

Reading the premise I was intrigued! After having it however I find myself ambivalent. Perhaps it´s because there´s a lot going on; meeting (and then meeting again) a cute boy whom she grows to love but can´t remember, terrifying visions, an absent father, and fighting with her best friend. All this in 277 pages. It wasn´t bad at all, it just wasn´t that great. It was an ok debut. Cat Patrick is a good writer and undoubtedly has interesting ideas. Here´s hoping her second book, Revived, coming out in May is executed better.

torsdag 2 februari 2012

Teasers

Laini Taylor, the author of "Daughter of smoke and bone" has announced the title of the second book. The title is "Days of Blood and Starlight". The book will be released September 2012. Below is a teaser.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel—a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.


Another teaser released was for Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I have previously written about Divergent (you can read that here ).

And the teaser goes like this:

“He kisses me again, more insistent this time, his hands squeezing my waist. His breaths, his body, my body, we are so close there is no difference.”








onsdag 1 februari 2012

Darkness Falls - Cate Tiernan

If you´ve read this blog before then you know how much I loved "Immortal beloved" by Cate Tiernan. I finally (finally) got my hands on the continuation and spent a few days with the book in my sight at all times.

Sequels can sometimes be tricky and I´m always slightly nervous going into one when I loved the first book. I can tell you that my fears were totally unjustified. Because this book is just as amazing as the first one!

The book begins with my beloved Nastasya at River´s Edge, the retreat for wayward immortals. She´s not happy but starting to get the hang of things and feeling almost content. And she wants to be there.

Her confidence in that things will be alright takes a turn for the worse however after new years eve. During a ritual on the eve of the new year she casts of the darkness but finds it being thrown back in her face when she experiences several setbacks and troubling dreams about her former best friend now nightmare Incy.

This book is darker than the previous one but Nastasya hasn´t lost her snark, humour and she truly is a wonderful character. We get to see a few more glimpses into her past and also views of River´s past!

So. A wonderful continuation and another must read!

And now begins the wait for book number 3, january 2013 seems an awful long ways away...