30 mars 2011

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Plot: Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her. (Summary from goodreads.com)

First sentence: "Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom."

I really like the US cover with the reflection of Sophie in the water, but it also gives the impression of a light and funny read, which is true for the first half of the book. I'd take it over the UK cover any day, though.

My opinion:
I picked Hex Hall as my next read because I wanted a funnier and more light read. I fear that it might not have been fair on Hex Hall to read it right after Nightshade, because that was some big shoes to fill. That said, I enjoyed this novel but I feel like I somehow could've enjoyed it even more. However, I did finish it in less than two days so that has to count for something.

Like in all first books of a series, a lot of time is spent building and explaining the world and I guess I've just read too many first books lately because I get a bit bored with that, although it is important. It just kind of slows everything down. But just like with Nightshade, this novel also picked up pace after a while. The second half of the novel kicks some serious butt.

The story is a first-person narrative told by
Sophie, who is just wonderful. She's witty and sarcastic and kills with her one-liners. She is also sort of the underdog at Hex Hall, being a rather sucky witch having been raised by a human mother not knowing much about the magic world and I just love David- beats-Goliath-stories. As chance will have it, Sophie also befriends the least liked student in the entire school, the vampire Jenna. As for Archer, the love interest, I wasn't infatuated with him but I still hope he might show up in the sequel. He sure has some potential.

I pride myself in often being able to guess where stories are going but this I'd never seen coming. That makes me really curious as to what the next installment in the series will bring. I'll definitely read it, but I think I'll wait until it comes out in paperback (I just want all books in the same series to be of the same format).

27 mars 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren. All links go to The bookdepository.


(I've heard so many good things about this)

(I read Wicked Lovely and loved it, so now I only wait for installment 2 to arrive so I can continue with the series)

(I've really become a fan of this whole YA dystopia craze so I can't wait to read it)

(Don't know what to expect at all, but it sounded fun)

26 mars 2011

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Plot: Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? (Summary from goodreads.com).

First sentence: I'd always welcomed war, but in battle my passion rose unbidden.

Cover: It's really pretty and I like the color scheme. It manages to look dark and threatening without being clichéd black. I also love the calla lilies depicted.

My opinion: I really liked the novel. Although it had a slow start, which is rather symptomatic for first novels of a paranormal series because the world building takes up some time. However, it picked up pace and really got me invested in the plot. I finished it in three days despite working full-time. Commuting to work really has increased my reading.

I like the character of Calla. She is not your typical weak and whiny YA heroine; on the contrary, she is strong and responsible. In my opinion, sometimes too responsible. She lets others dictate her life and her future, and she just accepts her destiny. Though, still, I appreciate her not whining as much as many other girls in YA fiction. In addition, her both love interest (classic love triangle, yay) also showed lovable and redeeming qualities and choosing teams was actually much harder than it usually is. On the one hand, there is the alpha male Ren that has been selected as Calla's mate and who she's known her entire life that she's to marry. In the beginning the was overly macho and a real ladies' man, but as the story progressed it is obvious he genuinely does care for her. On the other hand, there is the rebellious human, Shay, who challenges everything Calla has ever learned or knew. There was some serious sexual tension going on. I'm still undecided.

There were many twists and turns, but I have so say I'm quite satisfied that I figured out some of them before they happened, for example the twist in the forest at the night of the union. Totally saw that coming. Something that I did not see coming, however, was the ending. OMG. What a cliff-hanger! That Andrea Cremer is one mean lady for leaving us hanging like this. Thank God it's only (!) 122 days to go before the sequel, Wolfsbane, is released...

25 mars 2011


I regard myself as being a rather eloquent speaker of English, but I have only rather recently started reading novels in English (not counting compulsory course literature for the university, but usually they were a drag). I used to always read the Swedish translations. Why? Don't know. Out of habit perhaps. Or because Swedish paperbacks are loads cheaper (at least until I discovered The Bookdepository - now it's a toss-up).

In a way I have the Twilight Saga to thank for a lot. It's really been an eye-opener. I had never considered the paranormal genre before, which in itself is rather odd given that I've always been equally fascinated by and terrified of the supernatural. On a tip from a friend whose taste in books and movies I really trust, I decided to give this Twilight-thing a shot, never having heard of it before. And it rocked my world. I don't know if I devoured it or it devoured me, but I got totally obsessed.

One good thing about me being so behind in the YA scene at this point in time was that all the installments of the Twilight Saga were already out so I could just plow through them. However, after finishing the Saga I experienced what I can only describe as withdrawal symptoms and went on-line trying to find something to quench my thirst for the paranormal (and to be honest, the romance).

A new world opened before my eyes. What an incredibly wide selection of books there is if you're willing to read in English. Why had I never thought about that before? From Twilight I went on to the House of Night series, which I stopped reading after a few books, and later on to all kinds of YA/paranormal lit. All in English, of course.

Now, my fiancée has to impose shopping bans on me because I can't help ordering loads and loads of English YA fiction on-line.

23 mars 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where we can share book/s that we eagerly await.

This week's WoW is...

... Bumped by Megan McCafferty

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common. (Summary from goodreads.com)


I am somewhat of a "saver". Not a hoarder as in having loads and loads of stuff lying around and not being able to walk in my own apartment. But a saver as in not using things the moment I buy them, especially if they're very pretty or I've anticipated them for a long time. Clothes and shoes are examples of this. I buy a really nice pair of shoes but I leave them practically unused because I want to "save" them for a special event.

This being a book blogg, my relation to shoes are really unimportant, but this saver behavior of mine can also be applied to books. I have a lot of great (at least I think so) novels just sitting on my shelf (for example Delirium by Lauren Oliver) but I haven't read them yet because I've "saved" them. I want to have that great reading experience ahead of me. And sometimes I feel that if I've just finished a great novel, I can being a new one right away out of respect for the awesome one I just read. I'm weird.

So now, I'm picking up one of my 'to be saved'-novels and hope it was worth the wait.

21 mars 2011


I got Melissa Marr's "Fragile Eternity" in the mail today. True to my habit, I opened the book, read the first sentence and then just flipped through the book when I stumbled onto something that really caught my eye. SWEDISH! In an English book!

A skogsrå. Obviously called Britta. First of all, it's not really a commonly used word although the word in itself is not unusual, but you just don't talk about huldras that often. Secondly, it contains letters not even used in English and thirdly there is another word for it in English (huldra).

I can see how that, for someone having a large language such as English as mother tongue, finding one's language in a book written in another language may not be very exciting, but for me whose mother tongue is not spoken by very many people on this earth, it was really cool. And for some reason it made me proud.

20 mars 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren. All links go to The bookdepository.

This week has been a slow one. At least as far as books are concerned. (Otherwise, it's been quite busy).


Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set by Susanne Collins

16 mars 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where we can share book/s that we eagerly await.

I'll start with...

For many of you, this wouldn't be a Waiting on-novel, since I've jealously watched it appear on many IMM's this week. However not mine, so for me it really is something to wait for.

15 mars 2011

Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

The plot:

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?

How could I have let this happen?


17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here. As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see? Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.
(Summary from goodreads.com)

First sentence: "I met Ethan the night I was planning to kill myself."

Cover: One word - beautiful! I absolutely love it.

My opinion: Well, as much as I do like the premise of the story, I didn't like the novel as much as I had expected to. Perhaps I had too high expectations. As I said, I really liked the premise that Grace wakes up somewhere unknown to her and must struggle to get order in her existence, and the first chapter was divine. I also like the trips down memory lane and the unchronological order of the story. I found the characters well-written, especially Grace. Although I wanted to shake her sometimes to make her see her idiotic choices, she felt very real.

So, what did I not like? On a whole, the entire novel was a bit too dragged out for me. It was lots of inner monologue and vivid descriptions. As much as it helped painting a picture of both Grace and the setting, it also slowed the book down. In addition, Entangled is a much darker novel than what I usually read, because it dealt a lot with the darker sides of the human psyche. I might just not be my cup of tea.

And then there was the end. Eh, what? End now? Sorry? It felt somewhat like a Swedish movie. You don't get that you're at the end until the credits show. But, please, it you're interested in the novel, don't let me keep you from reading it, because, after all, there are loads of positive reviews out there too.

13 mars 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren. All links go to The bookdepository.

It is a commonly featured theme on bookblogs to snap pictures of and share news of all the new exciting books you get every week. As no-one bothers to send books for reviews to me and I can't afford to buy new books every single week (sadly), this feature will be perhaps a bit more haphazard in my blog.

Since this is my first IMM, I had trouble deciding how long back I would stretch and I finally settled on February. So these are the books I got in February.


Entangled by Cat Clarke

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Nightshade by Andream Cremer


Across the Universe by Beth Revis (from yareads.com)

Some great month for me. What did you guys get?

10 mars 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

The Plot: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming. (Summary from goodreads.com)

First sentence: "Daddy said:, 'Let Mom go first'."

Cover: I don't have the hardback edition portrayed here, but the UK paperback edition without the stars - God, what were they thinking? - but it is still an enormously beautiful cover. I can just sit and stare at it all day.

My opinion: I loved, loved, loved this book! I really didn't expect to. To be honest, even though the cover is pure beauty I probably would not have picked the book up if I had not won it in a giveaway by YA reads and that's based on its plot. I've never been one much for sci-fi. But I'm really happy I gave it a shot, because I loved it.

I found the novel exciting from the start and it kept my interest all through. There were several aspects of the novel that appealed to me. One is naturally the love story, which I find very sweet and sincere. It definitely has that first love feeling to it, but still it is believable. I also like the 1984 theme with the Eldest ruling the ship with an iron fist. Additionally, all the characters are well-written and interesting.

The altering narration between Amy and Elder was very efficient as we get to share both their POVs, and I think that added greatly to the novel. It also made me read more in every sitting because if an Elder-chapter ended with a cliff-hanger, I had to read an Amy-chapter in-between to get back to Elder. Thus it made it a very quick read. And I read it everywhere! On the train, on the couch, in bed, in the bathroom... you name it. Although I am very prone to motion sickness, I still couldn't help but pick the book up and read it on the 50-minute bus ride to work this morning.

As I understand it all, there will be a sequel to Across the Universe, and I gotta have it! Because this was one of those books that I find myself still thinking about although I've finished it.

The Book Depository

Incredibly inappropriate in the middle of my (self-resolved) shopping ban, I find the world's best website for English books - The Book Depository. Basically, all published fiction books, and some non-fiction, in English are available at prices significantly below the Swedish Internet book stores. Less than ten bucks for an English paperback. But shipping then? you say. That's the beauty of it. Free Shipping! To the entire world! Ka-Ching!

At present, I have about 43 books on my wish list at The Book Depository...

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Plot: Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love. (Summary from goodreads.com)

First sentence: When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.

Cover: Whereas the Swedish covers (both hardback and paperpack) are incredibly boring and never would encourage me to pick up the book, I find the US cover very clean and appealing. It definitely draws me in.

My opinion: It was long ago that I was so hugely engrossed in a book. I really could not put it down, and I finished reading it in less than two days. Last night I thought I'd just read one or two chapters before I going to sleep, but it was impossible to stop. Those one or twos easily turned into ten. Although I decided that the current chapter is where I stop reading for tonight, it was impossible not to continue, because there were such cliff-hangers at all times. As you already understood by my ramblings I really lijked the book, which may seem strange because it was about a dictatorship that forces its young to kill each other on the air. But it was very, very exciting, albeit unpleasant. Naturally, it was a large measure of social criticism in the book. How certain privileged have everything while others have nothing. The death and suffering turns into entertainment. But although the book is dark, violent, sad and hopeless, it is also full of friendship and even some love. CAN'T BE MISSED!


Being a book worm of gigantic proportions, it was only a matter of time before I started my own book blogg. So here it is.

Välkommen! Welcome! Willkommen! Bienvenue! Bienvenido!