Books of March

Turns out I do most of my reading on the bus or while waiting for school to start since I’m always there way to early. Due to the circumstances not to be named I have not been reading that much and everything I have read has been very lighthearted and easily read.    

The Bookshop on the Corner

Jenny Colgan


Bought this one on a sale because I wanted something really lighthearted to read during these trying times, it did not disappoint. This is exactly the type of book that should be read during a longer vacation or when forced to stay home due to a virus. But… Maybe it fits better to read it during a vacation, after reading it I really want to go to Scotland. Colgan knows how to describe the scottish highlands in an alluring way. A bit sad to read it when you aren’t allowed to leave your home, therefore stopping all plans to go to Scotland before they even could begin to form. Although the books was a lovely easygoing escape that I didn’t expect much from I can’t help but feel that it was somewhat rushed at times. Not in the overall plot, just certain sentences felt rough. I read the swedish version so I will never know if it how Colgan wrote or if it is the fault of the translator. I do wonder a lot about the title, first I just thought that the Swedish translation was bad but it really do say “on the Corner” despite the actual bookshop being in a van and not on a corner? Very confusing. Despite that it is a very cute book.

Ella Enchanted

Gail Carson Levine 

There is a movie based on this book starring Anne Hathaway that I have watched an embarrassing amount of times because I have terrible taste in movies and one of my favorite genres is anything based on Cinderella. The movie is nothing like the book, as it often is. Neither of them are bad, they just aren’t anything alike. The book is super duper cute, it is written for younger children, pre teens. It a heartwarming story about learning about consequences and standing up for yourself but most importantly, how important our own choices is, that no one should be allowed to take that freedom from us. Beside having some great life lessons it also has one of the cutest romances. Unlike the movie where the prince is arrogant, the book version is a complete gentleman (gentelboy) who only want the best for Ella. This is a book that I really wished that I had read when I was younger, but it still works for an older person.            

Kiss of the Royal 

Lindsey Duga

There are multiple reasons for why I liked this book. Firstly despite the lore being perhaps the most ridiculous one I have ever had the pleasure of reading it still felt well developed and thought through. Sure, having kisses be the catalyst for magic to work is a bit weird and having true love being the answer to all problems is maybe a bit cliche, but Duga makes it almost believable. And, you know, having true love being the solution to everything would be pretty nice right now. Secondly, I loved the character development. The relationships between the characters is good and really drives the story and the characters forward. I love the family bond between the main character and her page boy. I was in constant fear that the page would turn out to be in love with the main character and jealous of the love interest, a pitfall many authors fal in to (why do authors think that love triangles are fun?), luckily for me Duga avoided it. The only place where I truly think that Duga fails is in the romance, but now that I have written that out I realises that it may be due to the fact that the main character literally didn’t believe that love existed and there for made for a bad protagonist in that sense. When she finally accept that love is real the romance between the main characters is described fin. So, no the romance wasn’t bad. Lastly, unlike other authors, Duga chooses fantasy names that was not terrible or unpronounceable, although Lorena is a stupid name for a horse. In conclusion, this is yet another good escapism in a trying time.            

Salainis

I had learned already many of the Outland methods of communicating by forest notes rather than trust to the betraying, high-pitched human voice.

None of these was of more use to me than the call for refuge. If any Outlier wished to be private in his place, he raised that call, which all who were within hearing answered.

Then whoever was on his way from that placed hurried, and whoever was coming toward it stayed where he was until he had permission to move on.

Salainis

I had learned already many of the Outland methods of communicating by forest notes rather than trust to the betraying, high-pitched human voice.

None of these was of more use to me than the call for refuge. If any Outlier wished to be private in his place, he raised that call, which all who were within hearing answered.

Then whoever was on his way from that placed hurried, and whoever was coming toward it stayed where he was until he had permission to move on.

Books of October

The Falcon Throne

Karen Miller

This was not a good book. It was a lot like Game of Thrones. A lot of intrigues and back stabbing, also a lot of treating women badly. The biggest difference is that, after the mistreatment, the woman gets to tell us why the thing that just happened to her was bad. I feel like it would have been easier if they just weren’t mistreated in the first place. When writing a fantasy novel you get to choose everything in the story, there is no reason to be so misogynist. I don’t understand why Miller chose to have the age of consent for marriage at just 14 years, that is kind of pedofilic. At least, that didn’t actually happen in the story, a small blessing.  

Also, it is a bit old and boring to read about a man that feels betrayed by his family, when in reality he is just a big bigoted asshole. The family was well within right to exclude him.       

Seeker

Veronica Rossi

This one was not as funny as the first one, and that’s a shame considering the humor was the only thing that made the first book good. The reason this book wasn’t as funny as the first one, was that it was split between two point of views. We still get Gideons p o v and he is still hilarious. But we also have to read from Daryns p o v and she is just boring.

The book also suffers from having an extremely boring and slightly confusing plot. I think that the main problem is that the book feels a bit rushed, and therefore a bit unnecessary Rossi could easily had made the first book a standalone, there was no need for a lackluster sequel.

Changes

Jim Butcher 

This book gave me somewhat of an identity crisis, when I realised that I started reading this series five years ago. For some reason I kind of took a break after the last book. So it had been about a year since I last read something by Butcher, and let me tell you, I didn’t realise how much I had missed him. Harry Dresden is one of the most dramatic and sarcastic book characters ever, and it makes for an entertaining read. I was a bit unsure before starting, because of Susan Reapers. Of all the side characters she is the only one I don’t like, but it all worked out in the end. 

The endings cliffhanger didn’t surprise me, because I had accidentally spoiled it to myself ages ago. Still, it was annoying that Harry and Murphy didn’t get to hook up. I’m looking forward to see how things get resolved in the next book. This time I’m not going to wait a year to read the next book .       

From Unseen Fire

Cass Morris 

For some reason I had a real hard time getting the hang of the roman names. This made it somewhat hard to enjoy the book, but that was in no way the authors fault. She did, in fact, write a really good book. I loved how historically accurate it was, while still being a fantasy book. I have always loved a book that blends truth and mystery. I would like to know the difference in magic, does it really just depend on the god you worship, and if so, can you change the magic you practice when changing religion? Maybe that will be answered in the next book. What Morris  really excels at; is describing realistic and lively relationships, that you can’t help but love. If I read the next one it would be for the characters, not the plot.

Books of September

Reviews of all the books I read in September because I love reading and talking about literature.

Of Mice and Men 

John Steinbeck 

This was a required reading from school so I was a bit sceptical from the beginning, but wow, I was pleasantly surprised. I have only read a few books before, that are as beautifully thought out as this one. It’s most definitely worthy of its status as a classic and I recommend that everyone reads it. The fact that the book is short is both a positive and a negative thing. I would have liked to get to know the carathers a bit more. Knowing the name of Curley’s wife would have been nice, she does, after all, play a big role in the book. On the other hand, I feel like the simplicity of the book is one of the things that really makes it great. Steinbeck only put things that mattered in the book, which means that one really has to pay attention to everything in it, if one wants to get all the foreshadowing. I’m looking forward to re-reading this book in the future and see if I can spot any more foreshadowing.

The City Of Brass 

S.A Chakraborty

I picked up this book mostly because it said on the back that it was set in Cairo and I love Cairo. In that aspect I was kind of disappointed, they leave Cairo after approximately 60 pages, though I was pleasantly surprised in many other aspects. Most of the book unfolds as a classic fantasy story. A very well written one, but still kind of classic. It’s first at the end of the book, that Chakraborty really shines as an author. The way everything goes to hell truly builds up the excitement and the many plottvists in the end left me wanting to have the next book now! I love how all of the characters are so well described and complex. It was also nice and refreshing to read a book with Islam as its main religion. Over all, the book is a wonderful first and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.   

Riders 

Veronica Rossi

This book was amusing from start to end, something that came as a pleasant surprise. Rossi’s biggest accomplishment with this book is the way the story is told and the fact that she manages to keep it interesting even after she told the ending half way through the book. The main character, Gideon, tells the story of how he and his fellow horsemen of the apocalypse ended up captured by the American military. Like I said, halfway through he tells the ending to that particular story, but Rossi throws in a new plot element that makes one want to keep going. I loved the way that she wrote, it was a lot of fun surprises.

Conversion

Katherine Howe

I can’t decide if the ending was brilliant or frustrating and that is the beauty of this book. I loved how relatable the girls in this book were. I, a high school girl, could relate to how all the girls in this high school behaved. I, myself, have also felt that anxiety over schoolwork and the annoyance of grownups not listening to us. Beside all of the teenage relatability, it was interesting to read two stories intrewinde. I was a bit surprised that the stories didn’t connect more in the end. I thought that the spirits from the past, was back hunting the present. That’s not at all what happened. Like I said in the beginning, I can’t decide if the ending was good or not. It was kind of an open ending, there was a minor affirmation on a supranational element, but it was all just swept under the carpet and the troubles was explained as a stress related disease. Somewhat frustrating, but the way it would have ended had the story been real.

Ulysses 

James Joyce

I read this book on a dare, a family friend that has known me forever said that even I, who read adult novels at 11 years and so far only quit reading one book, was going to fail in reading this. I, of course, had to prove him wrong. Hadn’t it been for the sheer sprite of it I would have given up. This book is that annoying. I can understand that the way Joyce writes is fascinating, and some parts of it, I even enjoyed, but most of all the book is so complex that it’s boring. I read a guide before starting that said that it was supposed to be funny, not true. Also you aren’t supposed to have to read a guide before starting a book, that is some sort of elitist shit. I feel like this book is considered a classic mostly to make normal people excluded from the academic literature discussion. Literatur, even the “classics” should be for everyone.