Before starting, I would like to say something first (sorry if it sounds dramatic - it's not):
I am aware there might not be many (or anyone, maybe) reading my blog. Although, I would like to apologize for not have been making any reviews this month... I am sorry. I promise to do better next month. With the books from May and the missing ones from April. Now that's said!
It's keeping on going well! I found a new book to my favorite shelf (North and South), which took me more than 10 days and still I managed to read quite a bit.
Oh! BTW - It's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (I just liked the Danish cover better)
The month of May will be focusing on Classics. One from before the 20th century and one from the 20th century
And my classic before the 20th century will be:
Yes, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (long title) the sequel to Alice in Wonderland
I actually already read my classic from the 20th century which was:
I love Anne of Green Gables and it was nice to read it again, but more about that in my review.
So that was the book from April and the books for May.
Chapter 11, North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell,
In my opinion it have been a great month. I have read a great deal of good books and once again I am satisfied with the amount of books I've read... Although two of them were plays - but Jeppe on the Hill was written in such old Danish that it reminded more of German, so that was a great challenge.
But it is a new month, with new categories!
Today is April Fool's Day and though I do not enjoy the pranks and such myself, it seems only naturally that this month's category should be humor and what is the opposite of humor? Tragedy! Just like an old fashioned greek play!
The choice for the humorous book is:
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday is one of the best book I've ever read. I laughed out loud several times! I have for a long time wanted to reread it and now I think it is time again!
The tragic book will be:
Everyone seems to love The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I have not really wanted to read him myself, but now I am giving him a chance. Who knows? Maybe I will need to buy a lot of John Green-books when I'm done. I have of course heard a lot about it and my conclusion is that this would be a good choice for a bit of tragedy.
And for my book club's choice of the month it is Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. I have once read her book Slammed, but I was not so positive. It is time to give her a second chance!
These was my books of March and my TBR of April. Looking once again forward to new books!
Title: The Assassin's Curse
Series Title: The Assassin's Curse (#1)
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Original Published Date: 2012
Edition Language: English
Category: Fantasy,Young-Adult, Adventure, Romance
Summary: (from Goodreads:) Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.
To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks--all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic...and the growing romantic tension between them.
Review: How does ancient Arabia, magic, a pirate princess and an assassin sound to you? To me it sounded AWESOME!!!!! And it was a really awesome book. Not much romance as I hoped, but it didn't bother me.
I like when I know something is not realistic it still seemsrealistic, like it doesn't take three days to cross the desert! It takes the time it takes and I am appreciating it. What I also appreciate is that Ananna, the main character and narrator, has a bit of a pirate jargon. Or... I don't know if I would call it that - I am not a pirate - but surdenly it is clear she ain't talking no standard English. It is the little details that makes you appreciate it more. The character's are also after my taste. Ananna is suspicious, tries to seem tough and, at many points, actually is. Naji is gloomy, mysterious and both of them are not PERFECT! I can see faults at both of them!
Cassandra Rose Clarke's novel is not like any fantasy, young adult romance that is so popular. Here it is more the adventure rather than the romance that is the thing you shall be looking for. But I expect some more in the next book... But not so much more.
Title: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen
Original Published Date: 1811
Edition Language: Danish
Category: Classic, Romance, Historical Fiction
Summary and review: This will be a very short review....
It is about two sisters who, after there father dies and there half brother inherits the big estate they have lived in, has become poorer and there chances of finding husbands are not much in their favor. The two sisters are inseparable, but also very different - one cannot grieve without everyone knowing it, the other, well... I think you get the picture.
This book is about the big question: should we let our heart or our brain control our actions? Or putting it as Austen: Sense? or Sensibility?
My thoughts of this book was... Well, it is not Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, but the characters in Sense and Sensibility were nicely described, but not as lovable (and lovingly hateful) as in Pride and Prejudice, but I very much enjoyed reading Austen again. It has been a great while since I last did it. I will, although, say that I missed the author's sarcasm. I did not see it as often as in Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. Therefore, mostly, I cannot give this one five stars, but rather four stars.
Title: House of Many Ways
Series Title: Howl's Moving Castle (#3)
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Original Published Date: 2008
Edition Language: English
Category: Fantasy, Children,
Summary: (from Goodreads:) When Charmain Baker agreed to look after her great-uncle's house, she thought she was getting blissful, parent-free time to read. She didn't realize that the house bent space and time, and she did not expect to become responsible for an extremely magical stray dog and a muddled young apprentice wizard.
Now, somehow, she's been targeted by a terrifying creature called a lubbock, too, and become central to the king's urgent search for the fabled Elfgift that will save the country. the king is so desperate to find the Elfgift, he's called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, the great Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer won't be far behind.
How did respectable Charmain end up in such a mess, and how will she get herself out of it?
Review: I love this series so very much! I have been taken a very long time to finish it, because now I am sad: I WANT MORE HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE!!!!!! *many, many tears and lying on the floor, hitting it with fists and feet* And I know I will never get it, because dear Mrs Jones can no longer be brilliant - God rest her soul!
I enjoyed the book. Like Castle in the Air Howl, Calcifer and Sophie are not the main characters in this book, but is minor characters. I wish so much Jones had wrote another book about them!!
House of Many Ways is not Howl's Moving Castle and it is probably impossible to write another book as brilliant as the first one. House of Many Ways is, although, very joyfully. There is more normal days (as normal as it can get in a wizard's house) described in this book, rather than in Castle in the Air (the second book), which was more out-on-an-adventure-book. Of course there is adventure in it, but because of this - and other reasons - it reminded me a bit more of the first book, than the second book had - and that pleased me a great deal.
Charmain, the heroine, is a character I really enjoyed. She is useless in a household, she is a bit rude, she is a bookworm (always a good sign) and she is ginger(!!!!). Waif (the dog) is a good and sweet helper, but Peter (I guess he is the male main character) is a bit... Nah. He kind of disappointed me. I have always thought Diana Wynne Jones was good at creating creative, different and original characters, but Peter was really just... plain. I mean - compared to the gallery of the characters in Howl's Moving Castle ... I can tell with those characters what kind of person they are and in a lot of details, too. Peter... I actually can't say much, other than his magic skills is terrible. It disappoints me. Not good enough!
No big plot twists this time, which surprised me. Once again, not as good as the first book.
My big problem with House of Many Ways and for that sake also Castle in the Air is actually that I would love them, if I didn't every single time expected Howl to come any time and steal all the spotlight, and be let off disappointed. But... Howl was rather hilarious in this book, once again! He and Sophie is really the perfect match! Fortunately, even though they only are minor characters in the book, they are very less minor here than in Castle in the Air.
Looking at the book alone I enjoy many of the things I also enjoyed with the others - the language, the writing style, setting etc. etc. AND! not to forget: Diana Wynne Jones' wittiness! Which is the biggest reason I absolutely adore her and this series.
Title: Howl's Moving Castle
Series Title: Howl's Moving Castle (#1)
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Original Published Date: 1986
Edition Language: English
Category: Fantasy, Children, Romance,
Summary: (from Goodreads:) Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle.
To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
Review: I love this book! I reread it once every year, and I never grow tired of it! I will recommend it to EVERYONE, who is missing a real magical fantasy that have a once-upon-a-time-atmosphere. Because this book is just magical - no more words are needed, but I will do so anyway.
The book takes place in the land of Ingary, which is of course an imaginary country in a time where wizardry is a profession and technology is not developed the way we know it. E.g. there is no cars, only carriages. Or in Howl's case - a moving castle.
It is a classical fantasy (although it is written in 1986) and already in the first line, you know it. "In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three."
The characters are wonderful! All of them. Sophie is the main character, and it is her point of view we see the events from. She is sarcastic, witty and lovely. There is a great character change for Sophie, from being a "grey littler mouse" to an independent, bold grown up woman. Or a bully, as Michael, Calcifer and Howl describes her. I would say though, they use the term 'bully' a bit lightheartedly.
Calcifer is Grumpy-funny. He is impolite, spoil, egocentric, but you cannot not love him and laugh with him. He is by the way a fire demon and looks very like as in the book cover (the cover artist has done a good job).
Michael is Howl's apprentice and is a typical teenager with a bit of lack of a spine.
Then there is Howl. Howl is a handsome, vain, arrogant and a bit childish character. Just like Calcifer, he has not many good characteristics, but it is impossible not to love him. He is really funny when he tries to get sympathy or be taken serious (which no one does). He is a bit of a diva in the fun way. I don't know who I love the most: Sophie, Calcifer or Howl. All funny, but in very different way.
When I say funny, I do not mean haha-funny and slamming my hand on my lap. It is... British-funny - quirky. Dry sarcastic humor is my favorite kind. But at the same time it is a children's (8-12 I would guess) book, so the humor is of course not only dry - which is pretty grown up humor - but also pointed toward the younger reader.
Actually I think that is the great thing about this book. No matter what your age is, there is something for everyone.
And the language is in my opinion perfect. It is delicate, a bit old-fashioned but at the same time simple, but not at all plain.
I think it is a combination of the characters, the humor and the language that make me go back and reread the book, and every time I read it I enjoy it as much as I enjoy a hug. It is a cozy book. I think it will always be my all-time favorite.
That is how a fantasy should begin! Howl's Moving Castle is just magnificent!
Title: Days of Blood & Starlight
Series Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (#2)
Author: Laini Taylor
Original Published Date: 2012
Edition Language: Danish
Category: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance,
Summary: (from Goodreads:) Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
Review: I really liked the first book. Star-crossed lovers have by all time been some of the biggest success! Just look at Romeo and Juliet! Karou and Akiva is two different species (chimera/human and angel) and born enemies. As it is said in the summary Karou feels betrayed by Akiva, so in this book she is feeling hurt and angry. I kinda missed some golden moments between Akiva and Karou - a feeling that everything will might be okay. A split moment where Karou forget her anger - and then remember and steps back. I need something!
The first book was a paranormal romance with action here and there. This book is a paranormal war-book. A war is coming between the chimeras and angels and that is the main plot this time. It is a tense plot and it makes me want to read further, but again I need beautiful moments! I need romance! I respect the author for that, because it is more realistic - my problem is, I don't want that being realistic!
Akiva is again a wonderful character, a tormented one and not over-the-top-one, and Kauro has changed a lot from the first book. She is growing in character in a convincing way. Nothing seems rushed, which I appreciate.
Once again Laini Taylor is amazing to describe the settings. One of the main settings is a kasbah, which she describe as looking like a sandcastle, so those who don't know what a kasbah still have an idea of how it is looking. Loving it! The look of the different chimeras are also really well done.
It is actually a really well done book, but the lack of romance disappointed me - it costed a star. But, but, but! It is looking like that in the last book, the romance will bloom once again, so I am sooooooooooooo gonna read it soon!
Was not as great a reading month as January, but I am still pretty satisfied, because this month have been a busy one, friends and job etc., and I used many evenings on watching movies instead of reading and still I managed to read four books and be halfway through The Devil Wears Prada - which I don't know if I will finish.
This month I chose The Devil Wears Prada and Wuthering Heights and I haven't finished any of them (I didn't even start on Wuthering Heights), but I my challenge was reading a romance and a chick-lit... All four was full of romance, as you might have guessed, and the last three... Well 'mommy-porn' isn't that pretty much the same as chick-lit. I would say.
So... I might not finished the book I chose, but I would still say that I accomplished this months challenge.
But I am not going to stop choosing books for March. So the next categories for this month will be... Paranormal YA and Classic Fantasy! And when I say classic I don't actually mean classic, but more like a fantasy with the once upon a time-feeling!
And I already knew from the beginning of this year, what that book should be:
House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones is the third and last book in the Howl's Moving Castle-series and that series is one of my absolute favorite and I can't wait to read the last book!
And for my other category I have chosen:
Days of Blood and Starlight written by Laini Taylor is the second book of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone-trilogy. I really liked the first, which surprised me and I am looking forward to this one.
Last month I also had to read a book together with my book club, that is not going to happen this month (I've already read the one we are reading).
So here was my choose for books of March. I can't wait!
I don't know what my problem is, but it has been a couple of weeks since I last read this book. I had chose this book as my chick-lit book of the month, but I have some troubles... When I read it, it's all right - not wauw, but all right - meanwhile I want to read something else. Counting pages to the next chapter, so I can read a chapter from an other book. I don't know if I am going to finish this book. I will give it to March to find out if I am finishing it or not.
As to my reading challenge I have read two Crossfire books and Fifty Shades of Grey... I would say those are pretty much qualified for chick-lit books, won't you..?
Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Series Title: Fifty Shades (#1)
Author: E.L. James
Original Published Date: 2011
Edition Language: English
Category: Romance, Erotica, Chick-lit, Contemporary,
Summary: (from Goodreads:)
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
This will be a short review.
I am no saint. I really like these books! Actually, I would say they are so much more than just "mommy-porn"! In my opinion E.L. James have really wrote very deep characters. E.g. Ana's subconscious and so-called inner goddess. I love how she portraits parts of herself as individual persons inside her head, talking to her too. Sounds like a crazy person? I hope not, because then I am a crazy person.
And yes, I think Christian is a well made character. Why do I feel like I am defending myself? Well, never mind that. I love these books. I love Christian... Not SM Christian, but the other part of him.
My reread experience was better than the first. Well, it was my first... Erotic book. I was a bit overwhelmed last time. Now I could enjoy it, but I must say: the second book is my favorite still!
P.S. I have seen the movie and I sooooo much more in love with book-Christian, than gloomy Jamie Dornan. Although, he has a good behind...
What is your favorite? The Fifty Shades of Grey-trilogy or the Crossfire series? Or do you, like many, hate them both?
I must say, I am a Fifty-girl!
Well... Now I got that out of my chest, but as it says in my headline; I am not going to compare them. What I am going to do is giving an overall review of the first two books of the Crossfire series.
Title: Bared to You and Reflected in You
Series Title: Crossfire (#1, #2)
Author: Sylvia Day
Original Published Date: April 2012, October 2012
Pages: 414, 371
Edition Language: Danish
Category: Contemporary, Romance, Erotica, Chick-lit,
Summary: (from Goodreads:) Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…
He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…
Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires.The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...
Yeah, woman and Man meet, they both have ghost of the past hunting them, troubles occurs thanks to the ghost. Not an original plot, but I don't mind.
That was the first book... The second was not so much different. New troubles occurs. Old troubles are still in the air.
It might sound boring and unoriginal, the way I 'sell' it, but I mean - I think it is okay, because to me, I read it for entertainment, not the big literary blow-your-mind-book.
For the first time in years I read the second book right after I read the first. Sounds positive,eh? No! I read the second book, because after I read the first I thought: "What? Is that it? It's already done? But nothing really happened!"
It started out good. Very good. I always like the pre-relationship in these kind of books. The male main character's first name: Gideon - I really don't like that name. It reminds me of a giddy (got that? Gideon/giddy-on - haha) Irishman, not a dominating, controlling billionaire. The surname is good. Cross. Gideon Cross.
A like him and I like the female main character, Eva Tramell. She's got a fighting spirit, which I really like.
But my problem was, that after the pre-relationship it got reeeaally serious and oh-I-can't-bear-not being-with-you. Actually, I said nothing really happened, and it didn't, but at the same time a lot of things happened. They were just not revolutionary to the plot. Just the same I-don't-know-if-this-relationship-will-work-but-I-am-soooo-into-him!
So a lot of things happened, but at the same time - nothing happened. I almost never forget a book, but to be honest... I have almost forgotten most of it.
The second became better. Actually felt like there were a plot. Still a lot of going, without going anywhere, but it got better.
I am still not entire fed, but at least this ending was a better closure than the other. I can now move on and wait to read the rest of the others later, like I prefer. And yes, I am going to read the rest.
I gave Bared to You 3.5 stars and I gave Reflected in You 4 stars. It is going the right way, but for now, the Crossfire series will have overall 3.5 stars.
Romance is one of the most popular literary genre. 84% of romance book buyers are women who choose contemporary and historical romances as their top picks. The majority of romance readers prefer paper copies than e-books and love discussing the plot with their friends and other readers.* Romance books are also highly popular among book lovers' community on BookLikes.
We've looked through the book bloggers' bookshelves and picked top 12 romance books. The following infographics includes most read and shelved titles by book bloggers on BookLikes. Scroll down to find the blogs and book reviews.
Happy Valentine's Day to all book lovers! ♥
The Great Gatsby
Romeo and Juliet
Fifty Shades of Grey
Anna And The French Kiss
I obviously loveeeeeed this book! I reread it last year (or was it two years?) and I forgot so many things! These were the things I forgot and now loved:... read more
Pride and Prejudice
Gone with the Wind
Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Series Title: Firebird (#1)
Author: Claudia Gray
Original Published Date: 2014
Edition Language: English
Category: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Thriller, Romance,
Resume: (from Goodreads): Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined
Review: Oh... My God! I have a new book in my favorite shelf! We are reading this book in my book club and I wasn't looking forward. I have said it a few times, and I am saying it again; I am getting tired of young adult, and actually I find them more weird the more they try to get original. It started with paranormal... then dystopia and now, perhaps the next step, sci-fi.
Yes, A Thousand Pieces of You is indeed a sci-fi. Travelling through - in this book - four dimensions parallel to our own. That, I would say, is pretty sci-fi, but it so much more than a sci-fi. Travelling through these parallel dimensions the main characters are trying to find out the evil plot that has caused them to loose Maguerite's (the heroine) scientist father. It feels thriller-ish, and then one of the dimensions, in a Russia where the czar is still ruling, it almost feel like I am reading a historical romance. Romance is a big part of the book. A lot of my fellow readers in the book club were disappointed because of this. They hadn't the impression that it would be a romance, so they got the wrong expectations. I, myself, was not fooled. I knew it would be a romance more than anything, and I guess that is why I love the book.
I was ready to be disappointed - had my other book next to me so I could shift from bad to good, but in the end I did not as much as look at my other book. As long as I read it I could see things I hate in every book I read. This is not Star Wars where every little detail is considered. I could pinpoint a lot of fails in A Thousand Pieces of You and I could also find other things I hate. They talk about fate as a mathematical theory. I think fate is so ridiculous that it actually makes me grumpy hearing about it.
But somehow I was not bothered by any of this things. Maybe because I was so open-minded - because I only expected the worst - I ended up not being bothered and enjoy what this book is - fiction! I was thrilled, curious, excited, feeling a bit of a crush on Theo (one of the male main characters) then forgetting him after joining team Paul (the other). I really love love-triangles, and I think this is one of the better - I hope it will be just as juicy in the next books. Normally when there is a love-triangle I don't give a damn about one of the men. I did not here. I want them both to have Maguerite - but I do have a favorite (Paul!!!!). Very unlike me - Theo is more my kind of man - talkative, casual, teasing.
I surprisingly think the plot is very, very good. I liked it and I need to give the author, Claudia Gray, credit because you need to be good at describing a setting to be able to give the reader a picture in their head without feeling confused. Also, I think she did this with less words than I would imagine with these settings. It's not description, description, description. It's simple. I would say Gray has a good writing style.
And I looooove the second last chapter. There was a plot twist I did not see coming!!!
Let me say it simple. I love this book. I cannot wait for the next book - and I hate those facts!
BTW: Just wanted to comment on the cover of this book. I mean, have you ever seen such a gorgeous book cover???! And the cover to the sequel? JESUS!
Must say it is a very optimistic month.
I normally read 3-4 books a month and here I am - nine books!
I am proud of myself! Was surprised that I had finished my challenge of January so fast (10 days) and boy, I enjoyed those books! For now it seems like a good idea with that challenge I made! For now I have only one book I didn't thought positively of which was Peter and Wendy, funny enough! I would had thought I would love it.
And I am excited to a new month and new categories in my challenge!
February is the month of Valentine and looooove and my categories are inspired by this occasion we do not celebrate in Denmark.
This month's categories will be Romance and Chick-Lit!
And the books are... *drum whirl*
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë will be my romance and The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger will be my chick-lit.
Other than that, I just joined a book club and for February we have to read A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray, and as much as I've read there is romance in it, so I guess it works!