30 oktober 2011

In my mailbox (29)

In My Mailbox is a meme created and hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

It is a great way for everyone to share their new books with the world: bought, gifted, won, borrowed or from the library. 


Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
This cover may look pretty in this picture, but it is soooo much prettier in person. All shiny and nice. I pre-ordered it a long time ago, but was a bit surprised though, when I found it in my mailbox this week. You see, according to The Book Depository (where I ordered it from), it wasn't to be released until November 1,and as far as I can tell it's still October and it most definitely was when it arrived on Wednesday. Oh well, I'm not complaining. Just the tagline from goodreads makes me want to sink my teeth into it: "The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

28 oktober 2011

Book Blogger Hop (8)

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 is your favorite Halloween costume? Even if you don't celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?

I do not celebrate Halloween. It's not that I mind the tradition of Halloween - in America - but I don't live in America and Halloween has never been a part of Swedish culture. We have another type of tradition around that same time that sort of derives from the same roots, All Hallows Eve. But instead of dressing up we go to the churchyard and light candles to remember our dead. I love this tradition, I think it's very beautiful.

The more americanized Halloween has excises in Sweden for about ten years, no more, and brought here by store owners wanting to make money. Thus I boycott it. I might imagine celebrating it if I ever was in the US at the time of Halloween, though. And I'm sure I would've loved it if I actually was American.

In my part of the country though, we have a tradition of children dressing up on January 13 and going around "dancing the Christmas out". I once dressed up as a Christmas tree and it was a huge success, so I guess I'll go with a tree.

27 oktober 2011

Review: Blue dahlia by Nora Roberts

Plot: Trying to escape the ghosts of the past, young widow Stella Rothchild, along with her two energetic little boys, has moved back to her roots in southern Tennessee-and into her new life at Harper House and In the Garden nursery. She isn't intimidated by the house-nor its mistress, local legend Roz Harper. Despite a reputation for being difficult, Roz has been nothing but kind to Stella, offering her a comfortable new place to live and a challenging new job as manager of the flourishing nursery. As Stella settles comfortably into her new life, she finds a nurturing friendship with Roz and with expectant mother Hayley. And she discovers a fierce attraction with ruggedly handsome landscaper Logan Kitridge.

But someone isn't happy about the budding romance...the Harper Bride. As the women dig into the history of Harper House, they discover that grief and rage have kept the Bride's spirit alive long past her death. And now, she will do anything to destroy the passion that Logan and Stella share... (Summary from goodreads.com)

My opinion: Sometimes I just need a break from all YA and love triangles and with Nora Roberts you always know what you will get - and from time to time that's exactly what I need. Although as predictable as ever, three strong and beautiful women befriending each other and finding themselves having to cooperate to finish as task, Nora Roberts still manage to keep my interest up during the course of the novel. I always like the supernatural elements of Roberts' novels and this is no exception. I am really curious to see who the Harper Bride is and what she wants. Being a history buff I can also appreciate that the answer most probably is to find in history.

Nora Roberts trilogies really are guilty pleasure of mine and I'll keep reading them when I need a break from the YA stuff. Not only does this novel contain great gardening tips (at least if you live in the American South and don't have as cold as climate as we do here) but also a ghost story and a steaming romance. After having read almost merely YA for a while now, I had forgotten how graphic the act of making love is depicted in books written for adults. I bet I was blushing while reading parts of the book. That won't stop me from devouring the other two books in the trilogy though, I'm sure.

26 oktober 2011

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

The plot: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. 
(Summary from goodreads.com)

My opinion: I'm sad to report that I was somewhat disappointed with this novel. I had expected more from it. The novel started out great and I was hooked from page one, but then the pace was just too slow and I started losing interest.

Also, the romance aspect of the novel did nothing for me, and given the fact that I am a great admirer of love stories I was a bit bummed out. As it sadly too often happens in YA, the love story progressed too fast and the two lovebirds started sharing their undying love for one another like the day after they met and I didn't buy it. What's wrong with letting one's characters fall in love like normal people? I also didn't care that much about if the ended up together or not, which basically is death for a literary character in my book.

On the upside, what did I like about the novel was a male MC, the somewhat unique premise and the world building, it was intriguing. I do understand the need for detail when building a new world with so much lore, I really do, but this is a case of details gone wild. There's just too much of it and the pace suffers. I found myself skimming through large chunks of text to get somewhere. I finished it though, more out of some kind of "obligation" than actual interest.

If the authors had chopped about a third of the novel, i.e. all unnecessary details, thus pacing the story a bit, it might have been an excellent book, but now it just wasn't my cup of tea.

25 oktober 2011

Girl with the dragon tattoo movie

Why oh why?

I just saw a trailer for the first American re-make of the Swedish film "The girl with the dragon tattoo" (Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor) and I've one question (actually two): Why have they made Rooney Mara speak English with some kind of weird accent? And why don't they at least give her a Swedish accent if they want to give her one? Why oh why? 

Not only am I Swedish, I am also an English teacher in Sweden and I KNOW what a Swedish accent in English sounds like. And believe me, that's not it. The thing that usually gives us away is that we don't voice our s's (since we never do that in Swedish) and distinct stress patters that differ from English intonation, British, American or other. 

Oh well, I guess we should be happy that they at least shot the movie in Sweden. And of course, I will see the American version when it's released.

23 oktober 2011


Well, there'll be no In My Mailbox this week because my mailbox has been sadly empty of books this week. Partly due to a rather limited budget for books at the moment and partly due to the fact that I have earlier ordered and pre-ordered some books that I wait for but that have yet to reach me.

It's not really a problem though because I have so many books that I haven't read yet to make me last all year through. Maybe I should get to them instead of always buying new ones. But then again, I really have a hard time keeping from getting new books...

19 oktober 2011

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

The plot: When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. 

So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.  In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart. (Summary from goodreads.com)

My opinion: If I was to sum up this novel with only one word, that word would be AH-MAZING! And for someone who generally thinks that she's not that into contemporary novels that is saying a lot. Another word that also comes to minds in connection with this novel is unputdownable, because that is exactly what it was. I started reading it on Thursday when riding the train to work and finished it on Friday after getting home from work. On Thursday night I stayed up over an hour later than planned just because it couldn't put the book down. It was highly addictive! I even caught myself thinking about it at multiple times during work on Friday.

This love story for me was incredibly intense, and extraordinarily well-written. The sexual tension was excellently executed and thus very believable. I found myself having butterflies in my stomach on more than one occasion while reading.

I am generally in favor of stories told from two different POV's and so also with this novel. Having the privilege of getting to be inside both MC's adds to the story, I find, because then one can get to see and understand feelings and reactions from both sides. This writing technique is also very efficient in making me cover many pages in one sitting because I always want to go to the next MC and see how he/she reacts to what just happened. All the time with this novel, I had to force myself not to read "just one more chapter"...

So all in all, I can't wait to take on the other two Fuentes boys... were it not for my sad lack of book funding this month. Oh well. Christmas is soon here.

16 oktober 2011

In my mailbox (28)

In My Mailbox is a meme created and hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

It is a great way for everyone to share their new books with the world: bought, gifted, won, borrowed or from the library. 


Blå dalia (Blue Dahlia) by Nora Roberts
Svart ros (Black Rose) by Nora Roberts
Röd lilja (Red Lily) by Nora Roberts

Before I first read Twilight and discovered the whole YA scene and after I stopped reading children's and middle school books like the twins of Sweet Valley High I mainly read books for adult because there no other types of books to be found in Sweden at the time. Nowadays, YA is superbig here too and many teenagers even read English books. Yay! That was not the case ten years ago though. So technically, me, my mom and my two older sisters read the same books and the same authors. 

One of these authors was Nora Roberts and I can still appreciate her from time to time, especially her "paranormal trilogies", for example I've read the Key  Trilogy and the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy. I borrowed the first novel in this so-called In the Garden Trilogy (Blue Dahlia) from my mother-in-law a few years ago and liked it. So where there was a three-for-two grab I decided go get the whole Trilogy. Sometimes I just need some Nora Roberts in-between all my YA.

And by the way, aren't the Swedish covers just so much prettier? They almost always are when Nora Roberts in concerned, for some reason.

Did you get something good this week?

12 oktober 2011

Review: Epic fail by Clair LaZebnik

The plot: Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail? At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point: As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects. As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list. 

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long. (Summary from goodreads.com)

My opinion: I was very eager to get started with this novel, seeing as Pride & Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels (and not to mention the 1995 BBC miniseries. Colin Firth... yum). I just had do read this modern take on it.

For me, this novel was somewhat of a Catch 22. I'll explain what I mean. A big part of why I really enjoyed this novel was that it is based on P&P. I spent a considerably large amount of the reading time trying to figure out who corresponds to whom in the original story and the same for the plot really. I was a little bit lite detective work, and I enjoyed it very much indeed. But I also think it might have limited the actual story in the novel, having read the 'original' so many times and knowing it so well. However, as highly entertaining as I found it to try and link the characters and events of this novel to those of P&P, it also kind of made me lose focus on this story. I spent too much time comparing and not enough actually reading this story for what it was. Thus my Catch 22 moment.

9 oktober 2011

In my mailbox (27)

In My Mailbox is a meme created and hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

It is a great way for everyone to share their new books with the world: bought, gifted, won, borrowed or from the library. 

All links go to Goood reads. 

Since I haven't been blogging for a few weeks, this IMM contains several weeks' worth of books. Sadly. I wish I'd be able to buy this many books each week...


Flickan med snö i håret by Ninni Schulman
This is a Swedish novel written by a Swedish author and the title translates to "The Girl with Snow in her Hair". As always with the Swedish novels I post here it is a crime novel. The interesting thing about this one is that it is set in a small town just about half an hour-an hour away from the town where I grew up and I recognize many of the places and things mentioned in the novel. Fun! 

 Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
I'm not quite sure what made me get this one. It seems good, though. Any thoughts?

Beautiful Darkness by Cami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
I have the first novel of the series on my bookshelf but I haven't read it yet. However I read in a number of reviews that these novels tend to end with a cliffhanger so I though I'd better have the next one ready if I too would suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Soooo pretty! I've had my eyes on this baby for a long time and even pre-ordered it. Since then I've read that many people compare it with Fallen, which I really didn't like (couldn't even bring myself to finish it). I hope that's not the case.

Elemental Reality by Cesya MaRae Cuono 
Okay, okay I admit it! I got it because of the gorgeous cover! 

Enthralled by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (editors)
And again with these short story collections that I hardly ever read. But still I keep getting them. Perhaps this one I should actually read. It seems promising.

What was in your mailboxes?

8 oktober 2011

Back in the land of the living

This has been a lot longer blog break than I ever intended but there was just no time for it. Or for reading even. So I had not to blog about. We've finally moved into our new house, yay! And cleaned out the old apartment. And done most of the teacher-student-parent talks that we are obliged, by law, to do every semester. Only four more to go and they won't be until two weeks so finally I'm back on the book track. I've read three books since last time and there'll be reviews soon. This last one I read really was exactly what the doctor ordered to get my reading mood going!