31 juli 2011

In my mailbox (19)

 In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren
Links go to The Book Depository.


 Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

When I took a course Classic English Literature at the university, as a part of my teaching degree, we read great classics of the English language from Shakespeare's Macbeth and Aphra Behn's Oroonoko to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and of course Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I absolutely adored P&P, as did most of my female co-students but rather few of the males. I later made the somewhat fatal mistake of lending my copy to a friend, who took the same course about a year later. She then in turn, lent it to a friend of hers and I got it back in an awful state. 

Then I stumbled upon these new releases of a few of Jane's novels (two more coming out soon) and I really like them. The design of the covers is very well-executed and they will no doubt appeal to new young readers, but I feel that perhaps the summaries on the back deludes these said readers as they make the novels into something they're not. One might easily think that dark supernatural forces are at work to keep Lizzie and Mr Darcy apart, judging for the summary. I do hope that new generations will love Jane anyway though. I know I do.

Misguided Angels by Melissa de la Cruz

I actually got this novel a few weeks ago, but I've forgotten to include it here. I got a Price Drop Alert e-mail from The Book Depository that the price of this had been lowered. To €2.97! (Sadly, the price is already back up, but I managed to the one before that). Although I have not yet read any of the four previous books in the series (they're standing in my bookshelf though), at that price I couldn't resist this one. Some of these days, maybe I should actually read the first installment...

What was in your mailbox?

29 juli 2011

Book Blogger Hop (3)

The Book Blogger Hop is a place for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  Hosted by Crazy-For-Books,  this weekly meme is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, get to know someone new and basically just share our love of books! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list! 

This week's question:
What's the ONE genre that you wish you could get into, but just can't?

Tough one this week. Although it might seem like I only read YA here on the blog, I do read other genres from time to time and I have only been reading YA for about a year (after Twilight opened my eyes to a whole new world of fiction that I previously though I was too old for). 

The one genre, which really isn't my cup of tea is poetry. I might appreciate a poem here and there sure, but whole poetry anthologies, not really. When I studied English at the university and took English literature, "Turner" by David Dabydeen was a compulsory read. For those of you who don't know it, it's a long narrative poem inspired by J.M.W. Turner's painting The Slave Ship, which in turn was inspired by, among other things, the mass-killing of African slaves known as the Zong Massacre. The poem was just a drag for me, but when I late looked up the history of the Zong that really gripped me. Without the poem I'd probably never learned about the Zong at all, so it was a good thing that we read it.

Update: I now see that I'm a week too late with this answer (you miss a lot when you're abroad), but I'll let is stay here anyway.

28 juli 2011

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Plot: Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever. (Summary from goodreads.com)

My opinion: I struggled somewhat with this novel. It started off rather interesting with Tally's 16th birthday coming up and all what that entails, but until she actually showed up in Smoke, I found the novel somewhat dull and mainly read by obligation. However, as I said, when she shows up in Smoke and comes to realize a thing or two about her life and the society she lives in, I find a new interest. And from that point it's action all the way and I couldn't put the book down.

I have read in many reviews that the MC, Tally, is not a very liked character but rather shallow. And I can agree with that, but I can also see why. She has been brought up thinking in a certain way and expecting her life to move along a certain path. All of this just disappears in front of her and she is forced to throw away everything she ever believed in. When she ultimately does this, that's when I start liking her. Being in Smoke alters not only the way Tally perceives herself but all of the world around her.

In a way, Uglies differ from many other dystopias out there in the sense that the world actually seems like a good place. No wars, no hunger, no poverty. Just a bunch of overly pretty people partying away, and that's why most people in the City don't feel the urge to rebel, because what would they gain? However, there are a few people who have realized the truth about the surgery and chosen another way to live, which is a threat to the Pretty community and must be stopped at all costs...

Uglies is a fast and in many ways though-provoking read, where the obsession with appearances and beauty was an interesting aspect of the novel. It also raises questions about loyalty and friendship, and manages to throw in a little love story in the mix. I enjoyed it and will probably try to get hold of the next book too.

27 juli 2011

Waiting on Wednesdays (3)

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...

 A Million Suns by Beth Revis

 I love-love-loved Across the Universe! In fact, that was the novel that got me into book bloging because I really felt and urge to share that reading experience with others who love books. I just can't wait 'till I get my hands on this baby!

Review: Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker

Plot: Lovestruck Summer is the story of 18-year-old Quinn, an indie-rock girl spending the summer in Austin on a coveted music internship. While she hopes to find the perfect hipster boyfriend, she unexpectedly falls in love with a college cowboy who makes her challenge her own stereotypes, expand her musical tastes, and ultimately open up her world.

(Summary from the blog of the author herself)

Cover: The cover is absolutely hideous. There is no way I would've picked this up in a bookstore had I not already decided to get this exact novel. But based on cover, never.

My opinion: I read one raging review about this novel and when I found it on The Bookdepository for just above 3€, I didn't hesitate a second; I just bough it. It's not an elaborate novel with many different side stories and a huge cast, but still this novel really managed to draw me in. Last night, I just thought I'd read a chapter or two before going to sleep but I ended up finishing the entire novel. Well, the 265 pages of it.

I really enjoyed this novel! More than many I've read lately. Although rather predictable, Lovestruck Summer is a really sweet and summery novel that gives you the urge to want to visit Texas or perhaps just go abroad and do something crazy. 

The novel has very likable characters, from the main character Priscilla to the sorority cousin Penny with her cross-dressing dog and the internship co-worker Jade. And not to mention cowboy next door Russ! Mmm-mm. What probably worked so well for me in this novel was the chemistry that Melissa Walker managed to create between her characters. I often find that authors have difficulties to create a romance that I "feel", but  this one was very well executed. One was not surprised by the romance itself; it was kind of obvious what was to come, but because it took a while for it to go anywhere a lot of excellent romantic tension was built. And you know how I love my romantic tension!

So, if you're looking for a fast read and a sweet romance, Lovestruck Summer is the perfect summer read!

25 juli 2011

In my mailbox (18): German edition

 In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren. 
There will be no links whatsoever this week.

Since I arrived home late yesterday, I did not have the time nor energy to do an IMM, so this week's will be a late one, but nonetheless an In My Mailbox. A German edition, since the honeymoon was spent in Germany, save a few hours in Salzburg, Austria.



Der Mann, der lächelte by Henning Mankell
Die Rückkehr des Tanzlehrers by Henning Mankell

I visited my host family, where I lived for three weeks eight years ago as part of an exchange program, and they were kind enough to give me some crime novels in German. In fact, the author Henning Mankell is Swedish but he's very popular in Germany, as are many Scandinavian crime authors. Even though he is Swedish, I have never read any of his novels but it will be interesting to do so in German.



In Wahrheit wird viel mehr gelogen by Kerstin Gier
Über den grünen Klee geküsst by Jana Seidel

I don't know what it is with German books for women but they almost always are very pink. German women (or perhaps publishers..?) must really love the color. I have read one novel by Kerstin Gier before and I really like it so why not try another one. I'm not familiar with Jana Seidel, but the story seems sweet enough and neither the plot or the language too complicated.


 Bayerns Märchenschlösser für Kinder by Sylvia Riedmayer
A bookmark featuring Schloss Neuschwanstein

Ever since I visited Schloss Neuschwanstein (the beautiful castle on the bookmark) in 2003, I've been mildly obsessed with this beautiful and romantic fairytale castle and the man who bought it, romantic albeit somewhat crazy king Ludwig II of Bavaria. A man living in a fairytale world of this own creating remarkable and beautiful castles. I think for a while I almost had a little crush on him, although him being crazy and well... most importantly dead for a rather long time. This is just the right book to entertain this crush and the love of his castles.

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Plot: It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. 

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend. 

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect. (Summary from goodreads.com)

Cover: I really like the US cover depicted here, because it just goes so well with both the title and the content of the novel. Bikes do play an important role. The cover also gives a very summery feel to the book.

My opinion: Up until last week I was a Sarah Dessen virgin. I had never read a Sarah Dessen novel. So when I came across one in my local library, I decided to grab to see what the hype was about. And now I get the hype. I really do.

Along for the Ride is in a sense a coming-of-age novel although it only plays during one summer. Auden has spent most of her days buried in her schoolwork in order to get her parents' approval and has in fact never really been a child, but rather an adult. She is hopelessly socially flawed because she's never taken part in social life of important adolescent rituals. During this summer, however, Auden discovers new side to herself and who she can be and changes. I think it was really moving to see these changes in Auden, which was a very likable character, who I to some extent could relate to. Not all characters were nice and relatable though. All through the book I was less than mildly annoyed at Auden's father. A bigger egoist seems hard to come by! I was furious at the man at times.

Sarah Dessen is a really talented writer who cares about her characters and who makes the reader care too. This was my first Sarah Dessen, but it certainly won't be my last. I just wish that this book and others like it would have been there when I was a teenager myself.

17 juli 2011

See you later, alligator

This upcoming week I will not post anything here on the blog nor will I be able to answer or comment on anything.


...between Sunday 17th and Sunday 24th of July I will be away on my honeymoon!!!

In my mailbox (17)

 In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren. 
Links go to The Book Depository.



The Espressologist by Kristina Springer 
I've never read anything by this author and almost no reviews of the book either, but from its summary, it seems like a nice and light read. And the parallels to Jane Austen's Emma makes it a must-read.

Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
I've been looking forward to reading this one after having read so many great reviews! It seems fun and romantic and a real summer read! I'm so glad I waited to get this cover because I just like it so much more. Just too bad now that I have to wait for a long time to get the paperback version of the sequel in this version...

What was in your mailbox this week?

15 juli 2011

UK / US / Sweden

I do love beautiful covers so much that I sometimes wait for months to the book with the prettiest cover. This is a feature which compares covers from the UK, the US and Sweden.

Along for the Ride
UK / US / Sweden

I know a lot of people like the UK version with the dress and all but I just don't like it at all. If anything, I'm put off by that cover. It does nothing for my wanting to read it. With the US cover and the Swedish cover it's a toss-up for me. Both feature semi-cropped people and I just like people on my covers. I feel that the US cover goes with the title, with the bike and the two people being on it. However, the Swedish cover screams summer read.

Which do you prefer?

Book Blogger Hop (2)

The Book Blogger Hop is a place for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  Hosted by Crazy-For-Books,  this weekly meme is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, get to know someone new and basically just share our love of books! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list! 

This week's question:
How/where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?

Hmmm... well I usually buy my books. I'm very materialist when it comes to books. I want to own them. I want to look at them. I want to caress them.

However, to cut down on my book buying, I would like to check out more books from my local library but that would entail them buying more newly published books in English. The English section of my local library is laughably small, a few Harry Potter books and some Penguin Easy Readers (simplified and abridged versions of classics or movies, of about 60 pages), so in order for me to get YA books from the library, first they have to be translated into Swedish -and let me tell you what a considerably small percentage of books are, although it's getting much better than when I was a teen. So books that are a few years old or just very popular (such as Twilight and The Hunger Games) can sometimes be found in a translated version. I understand that they don't have as wide a selection of English books as let's say an American, Australian or English library, for natural reasons, because most people in Sweden actually want to read in their mother tongue. Personally, however, I like reading the original, so when I pick up a Swedish translation in the library instead of buying the original English version it's because I'm poor. Or cheap. Or both.

Discovering The Bookdepository has largely increased the number of books bought, because of their fab prizes and free shipping. Buying English books in Swedish bookstores is usually rather expensive (again because the market for it is rather small) and the selection limited to very popular book series. So The Bookdepository is a blessing as well as a curse. Wide selection + cheap books + free shipping = larger orders = spending a lot of money. I'm just not as selective in my book buying nowadays. But then again, I love my books.

14 juli 2011

Review: Ward against Death

Plot: Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…(Summary from goodreads.com)

Cover: I like the cover a lot because it gives that haunted almost Gothic feel. The only bad thing is that now I have a picture of the main characters and don't get to make them up on my own.

My opinion: This novel took me a lot longer than usual to read and not because of the writing or the plot, but because of its format. I don’t have an e-reader only my computer (which is not a laptop) so I couldn’t bring the book to my usual favourite reading spaces: a train/bus on my way somewhere, the bathroom or my bed. Thus it took me forever to finish it, because otherwise I read a chapter here and there in before said places. Now I couldn’t so it made my reading a bit more irregular, which wasn't good for the reading experience.

When I received this e-ARC from the publisher (thanks a lot!), I had no idea what to expect and sometimes that can be a good things. Many a books have disappointed me in the past because my expectations were sat too high. Although I didn’t have any real expectations for this novel, it still somehow exceeded them. I was immediately drawn in by the first chapter with Ward performing his necromancy on the nobleman’s daughter Ceila, who doesn’t even realises she’s dead. Many are the mythological creatures who recently have found themselves appearing in numerous books lately but a necromancer, well.. that’s a first for me anyway.

As for the characters, they are quite enjoyable. Celia is a kick-ass protagonist. Though a murdered nobleman’s daughter brought back to life, she is in no need for a man to save her. She proves that more than once killing off enemies by throwing daggers through their throats. Now that’s some real sass. Ward on the other hand, too likable, is a quiet rather shy and upright necromancer/physician who never dreamed of stumbling into something like this. As always I like it when the story is told from both protagonists’ POVs, as is the case with this novel. The part that I am a bit disappointed in was the romance aspect. The summary made me expect more of this, which makes this "just" a good read instead of a great one.

All in all, there wasn’t a slow minute in this debut and I enjoyed Ward against Death a lot. I think you should give it a shot.

Release date: 2nd of August 2011.

11 juli 2011

Mouth-Watering Monday (4)

Mouth-Watering Monday is a new weekly meme started by Brittany at Nice Girls Read Books. As book bloggers, we love to admire pretty covers, old and new. This meme takes the guilt out of judging a book by its cover, instead embracing it and showing off our favourite finds of the week!

Anasazi by Emma Michaels

There just something about girls with read hair on book covers.

10 juli 2011

In my mailbox (16)

   In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren. 
Links go to The Book Depository.

I apologize for the immensely crappy picture this week, but I seem to have forgotten my good camera at our new house so I had to dig up my old crappy one in order to give you an IMM today. Once again, I payed a visit to my local library, though this time not wandering aimlessly around the shelves trying to find something but rather having browsed through the library catalog before going, which increased the success rate.

From the library:


 Ful (original title: Uglies) by Scott Westerfeld 
The Swedish title 'Ful' is an adjective meaning 'Ugly'. The reviews of this series have been a bit divergent, but I find the idea rather intriguing. And I do like me some good dystopia.

The Swedish title translates into 'Much more than you know'. I understand it is hard to fathom but I am actually a Sarah Dessen virgin. I have never read a single book by her but I thought it time to do so, so when I found this novel in the library catalog I grabbed it. It seems like the perfect summer read.

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
This is actually the Swedish translation of the novel, although they've decided to keep the original English title. I've been with Carrie and the girls for many years now, and still watch my shoe-box DVD collection of all episodes over and over. I am thrilled to meet Carrie as a teenager. Even my fiancé is interested in reading this book, since he watched SATC with me all the time.

What was in your mailbox this week?

6 juli 2011

Review: Själakistan by Ann Rosman

Plot: One late summer day near the Carlsten Fortress in Marstrand, a visiting school class makes a terrible discovery. The corpse of a woman in medieval clothes and without head is found at the ancient sacrificial stone. Shortly thereafter an old lady get the biggest shock of her life when she sees the head, on top of a trellis with roses and sweet peas.
When Karin Adler at Gothenburg police is informed by his colleague Robert, she enjoys the last day of her vacation. She has separated from her partner George and now lives aboard her boat in Marstrand.

The woman at the sacrificial stone turns out to have belonged to a group of people engaged in a live action role-playing game, set in the Medival times, at the remote St Erik's park on the island of Marstrand. That the police is dealing with a very cool calculating offender becomes clear when the forensic examination states that the headless body is not associated with the found head.

Karin and colleagues Folke and Robert now fears that there may be more victims, and pretty soon they get information about yet another macabre finding. A dismembered woman's body without the head. DNA samples show that the two women most likely are sisters ... (Summary from bokus.com, translated)

Cover: There are two different covers, one for the hardback and one for the paperback. This one above is for the hardback and I think it works well with the genre and the plot.

My opinion: Earlier I wrote about the Swedes and our relationship with crime stories, especially in summer time. I don't read much crime literature, I must admit, but when I do I prefer some of our own crime queens, for example Camilla Läckberg (also avaliable in English!) or the author of this novel Ann Rosman. What I like about them and their books beside the fact that they're always a fast read, simple yet entertaining and exciting is the fact that the motive for the crime always is to find in the past. As a history buff, I like this. 

Själakistan (roughly translates to 'Chest of souls') is very much rooted in history as the traced lead the police officers back in time to the witch trials, which in itself is very interesting, I think, even with the modern murders taken away.  Mixed in with the investigation and the history of Marstrand and the witch trials, there's also a parallel story from the 50's taking place, which also proves to play an important role for the present.Our Swedish crime queens also focus a lot on the main characters and their lives, their friends and family and love interests. I like that.

So, bottom line, if you understand Swedish and like a well-researched and exciting crime story mixing everyday life and history this might be a novel for you. And for me, I actually found myself wanting to pick up another crime story. 

5 juli 2011

UK / US / Sweden

I do love book covers, always have. Rather often I make decisions on what book to buy based on the cover. Usually, the US and UK covers are different and I often like one a lot more than the other. I can ever wait a few months longer for a book to get the prettier cover. A lot of bloggers do cover comparisons and it is a feature that I really like, so I though should start my own. I got so many nice reactions when I posted Swedish covers for If I Stay and Where She Went so I though I'd add some Swedish covers too...

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

UK / US / Sweden

I really don't like the UK cover. The whole color scheme is not appealing to me at all, too orange. The Swedish cover is rather pretty (and of course I love the title - Helena) but I don't really see how it connects to the story. So for me, the US cover is the winner. I love everything about it and it definitely screams Greek mythology.

What do you think?

4 juli 2011

Mouth-Watering Monday (3)

Mouth-Watering Monday is a new weekly meme started by Brittany at Nice Girls Read Books. As book bloggers, we love to admire pretty covers, old and new. This meme takes the guilt out of judging a book by its cover, instead embracing it and showing off our favourite finds of the week!

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

As soon as I saw this cover, I was drawn in. I couldn't stop starring at it. The color scheme, the type of the title, the dress flowing in the wind, the dark clouds working their way around the girl... I don't even mind the chopped head. It's perfect in every respect. Kudos to the cover designer! 

3 juli 2011

In my mailbox (15)

  In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren. Links go to The Book Depository.


I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you by Ally Carter

I have read mixed reviews of this series but I still decided to get it anyway. Party because they sounded like that lighthearted read you need sometimes and partly because I love these covers by Orchard books. Anyone read these?


Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

I got my first ever NetGalley! Yay! And a good one too! Well, at least a galley that I saw on someone else's IMM (sorry forgot who) and got interested in. If it's good or not, I won't know until I read it. But it sure sounds great!

What was in your mailbox this week?

1 juli 2011

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a place for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  Hosted by Crazy-For-Books,  this weekly meme is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, get to know someone new and basically just share our love of books! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list! 

This week's question:
What keeps you reading beyond the first pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

This is my first Book Blogger Hop and I think it's staring with an excellent question. I guess what keeps me reading is a really strong start. Whenever I get a new book, the first thing I do is read the first sentence. I even read them out to my fiancé, who doesn't share my passion for books. So bottom lime, a strong start is what captures my interest and especially when it's a very "in medias res" kind of start. You know, where you are thrown right into the plot. No long explanations, nothing. Just boom - right in.

What makes me stop reading a book is if it's too slow, if nothing really happens, if it's just a a lot of talking and really nothing happening. Or if I don't care about the characters. When I think about it, that's probably the nail in the coffin for a book for me - if I don't care what happens to them. However, I usually do finish the book anyway. Only very rarely do I put it done until it's finished, although I should probably do it more often. Why waste time on a book I don't like..?