Small reviews: ”When Dimple Met Rishi” & ”The Taste of Blue Light”

The following two reviews are for books that I received for review from Hachette UK. Now ,what I need to say is that while I am really thankful for having received these books, I didn’t like them and hope these tiny reviews will help illustrate why.

Title: ”The Taste of Blue Light”                                            bluelight

Author: Lydia Ruffles

This novel was sent to me as a proof copy, so I have no idea whether the finished edition of this book was any different, and if it was, then what kind of changes had been made.

”The Taste of Blue Light” is a YA mystery/ contemporary that talks about a girl who doesn’t remember a day in the summer and wants to uncover the truth. She ended up in hospital after the events and is left questioning everything.

To me however the book was painfully slow. I did not like the characters or the way the book was written and I had such a hard time relating to anything or understanding why certain things were the way they were. The romance in the book could have been left out, it wasn’t relevant really in my opinion.

It took me time, but I managed to finish it and ended up giving it a 1 star rating. It just wasn’t a book I liked and I was left really unimpressed.


Title: ”When Dimple Met Rishi”                                          When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

The premise of this YA contemporary is that there are two Indian families who believe strongly in traditions and want their daughter and son to get married. They set everything up so they are to meet at a summer program for web developers.

Rishi knows about the plan as well and is really excited, because he respects the traditions he is to follow, while Dimple has no idea and is actually against all the rules and traditions that are pushed onto her.

I did not finish reading this book, I think I got about 40 pages in (maybe a bit less than that) and just couldn’t go on. The book was, I am very sorry for saying this, horrible.

The main characters read as if they were the same person- if I hadn’t known whose POV I was reading from, I would’ve thought it was the same person. They were basic and very predictable.

Dimple has to be one of the most horrible young women ever. She completely disrespected her parents and her heritage, she was violent towards Rishi when they met (there was no reason for it) and seemed like an overall problematic person. Rishi was a bland male character and I honestly thought he was Dimple at times.

The first 40 pages left such a bad impression on me and I put the book away. I did not get the hype that surrounded the book. It seems as if the author had tried to write the most typical YA book she could and it turned out great. 

 

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Book review: ”The Immortalists”

Title: The Immortalists

Author: Chloe Benjamin

Published: 2018, January 9th

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Goodreads rating: 5☆

Blurb:

If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present? It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes. Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

Review:

The proof copy was sent to me for review from Hachette UK.

It took me a while to get around to reading this book, but when I picked it up a few days ago and read the prologue, I knew it was going to be a good one.

Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists is a novel about how something we learn can stay around to haunt us for the rest of our lives. It can affect the decisions we make and push us to the extreme. What the novel focuses on, is how the siblings’ lives drift apart after going to the woman on Hester Street.

Hearing when they’ll die shocks them all, whether they want to admit it or not, and that visit will leave a huge mark in their lives further on. The siblings were very close growing up so that makes the falling-out even more tragic. There are many times when they regret not talking or meeting up, not being there for each other when help was needed.

The four ”lives” were in four parts, so all the siblings had their stories told separately and that made for a really interesting reading. I liked how one story picked up from where the other ended. The problems in the siblings’ personal lives and the problems within themselves came through amazingly. There was so much depth and realness to the characters and that made it really easy to find a level on which to connect with them.

The novel was very well written, it was a really smooth and fast read. The style was something I loved a lot because it wasn’t too hammy or fake, it was really straightforward and honest and that made the story realistic.

All in all The Immortalists impressed me a lot more than I thought it would and I am really happy I got to read it. It is an amazing story about love, loss and family with a hint of magic underlining it all. January 9th is definitely a date to look forward to.

Best Books of 2017

I managed to put together a list of 10 favourite books, even though I didn’t read that many sensational books in 2017. There were a few that blew me away, but overall I read average or not very good books, which is sad but that’s the thing with books- you never know until you read them.

All I can hope is that in 2018 I will manage to find more books that will make my heart stop and make me fall in love with reading all over again.

1. ”I’ll Meet You There” by Heather Demetrios

ill-meet-you-there-heather-demetriosThis was, I believe, the first contemporary I read in 2017 and I remember staying up all night to finish this, only to fall asleep crying. This novel was a great surprise to me and I enjoyed it immensely. The emotional roller coaster was too much to handle at times, but was so worth it. The story and the characters (their problems/lives) were well written, realistic and something so much more than what we usually see in contemporary books.

2. ”Gemina” by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

geminaThe Illuminae Files is now on my list of favourite sci-fi trilogies. The first book made it to my favourites of 2016 post, and I am fervently waiting for the third book to come out. These books are so full of action and drama that they truly deserve to be called a space opera. The second book, for me, was so much better than the first. I liked the characters at the centre of everything a lot more, and have to admit to ugly crying while reading the second half of the novel. These books also deserve to be admired for their unique format and the covers (just look at the beauty of it).

3. ”Mees, kes teadis ussisõnu” by Andrus Kivirähk

e-raamat-mees-kes-teadis-ussisõnuAndrus Kivirähk is one of my favourites and his books never fail to amaze me even a little bit. The thought that goes into everything and the imagination it takes to make pieces like this is impressive. This novel made me laugh, but it also made me sad which hasn’t happened a lot while reading his books. The novel takes an interesting turn talking about Estonians and our ancestry. The magic he has mixed into the story, and the metaphors that come through truly make the novel shine.

4. ”Raudrästiku aeg” by Indrek Hargla

28960104”Raudrästiku aeg” surprised me with how great it was. I had read one of Hargla’s books before and did not like it at all, so I went into this book really cautious. The reality- I finished it in a couple sittings and recommended it to a lot of my friends. This is a really good mystery book, the story is all over the place but also makes so much sense. There were a lot of great elements to the story and it is definitely one of the most interesting historical novels I’ve read in a while.

5. ”American Gods” by Neil Gaiman

american-gods-1Neil Gaiman is unquestionably one of my favourite authors of all time. Picking this book up was such a thrill and reading it even more so. I can’t even put into words how good this novel was and how blown away I was once I had finished it. The story is slow and not too action packed actually, but there is still so much going on- stories inside stories, everything vivid and gripping, once you are done you will feel emotionally drained MARK MY WORDS.

6. ”Coraline” by Neil Gaiman

17061The two versions of ”Coraline” in my life: ”Coraline” – my favourite movie and ”Coraline” – one of the coolest books ever. This story will always have a special place in my heart, and is one that I will be more than happy to introduce to my children when the time comes. Weird and disturbing tales have always been my cup of tea and this just has to be one of the greatest. It may be short, but the story within is bigger than anything and it either makes you scared or amazed (there are only two extremes as far as I’ve noticed).

7. ”Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo

la-et-crooked-kingdom-20160222The sequel to ”Six of Crows” was absolutely amazing and better than the first book. The story progressed in interesting ways, the characters were better and their development was beautiful. I felt much more invested in everything that happened and loved how many details there were. The ending was unexpected and, if you’re asking me, UNNECESSARY..but it’s okay, it’s okay (sobs). Definitely want to read the Grisha trilogy now just to get lost in that world again.

8. ”Armastuskirju teatrile” by Jim Ashilevi

E9789949587292I like listening to a podcast called ”Popkulturistid” and Jim Ashilevi is 1/2 of the team. I like the way he talks and looks at things and therefore, knowing that he is an author (amongst many other things) I wanted to read something by him. I saw this book and the premise sounded good and interesting, I picked it up and absolutely loved it. It was an honest and raw book, I got to laugh a lot and also got to take a lot from the book. I feel like this book was somehow a gateway to a world I’ve never seen or thought of before, something definitely changed after this book.

9. ”Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli

10015384._SY540_The second contemporary book on this list, ”Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” , is a book that is so funny it hurts, it’s relatable and paints a nice picture of a very great family and group of friends. I felt so warm and nice while reading this, it just gives you all sorts of cutesy feels. Even though I have decided to cut YA Literature out of my life, because I seriously don’t see any redeeming qualities to it anymore, I have to admit this book is an exception. It is seriously good, give it a try.

10. ”The Girl in 6E” by A. R. Torre

41u3Xj71VrL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_This was the first thriller I’ve ever read and it definitely opened a door I do not want to close any time soon. ”The Girl in 6E” did at times surprise me with the detailed descriptions of certain situations, but it did help paint a very grotesque and intimate picture in my head and made the story that much better. I turned page after page, everything was really fast-paced and before I knew it I was done with the book. The author did a really great job doing research for this book and wrote a great novel with characters one wouldn’t expect to see in any book.

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I took things very slow in 2017 and didn’t push myself to do anything. I felt like I needed to take some time to realise why I am doing what I am doing, I fell away from the blog and read when I felt like it…which is exactly what you should do.

Unfortunately the reading community on the internet has to some extent turned into a competitive one, where numbers matter and everything needs to be recorded. It started getting to me sadly and I didn’t feel as happy reading as I used to. I think I have now found my mojo again and want to end this post by saying: Do what you want, take time off if you need to, just focus on doing your own thing. Reading is a very personal experience and that’s the way it should remain.

I will try to get back to my blog in 2018 and post some great content for everyone to read, I will read passionately and do it on my own terms. Have a great year guys!

 

Book review: ”Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.”

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Title: ”Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.”

Author: Lily Collins

Published: 2017

Pages: 256

Format: ebook

Goodreads rating: ☆

Blurb:

In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.

Review:

This review is a slight rant.

As an author Lily Collins has left me quite underwhelmed. Reading her book made me feel agitated and the overall impression of everything was rather naive and childish even.

The goal of this book was to help people out with tough patches in their lives by sharing her own experiences and wisdom. The idea behind it is rather nice. But it seriously surprises me how many people found this book very inspiring or helpful, I mean sure maybe she hit the mark with a few things…but other than that it was a nice try.

For a woman, who is 28, the writing seemed too young…meaning- it felt as if the book was written by a teenager who had no idea about how the world worked and only relied on the things she had heard and read. It was all so cliche and naive that I felt angry reading it. Everything was so bland and one-dimensional, there was nothing interesting to grasp onto.

I also very much disliked how everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) came back to her dating life. Always. It didn’t matter what the chapter was meant to be about…she always ended up talking about her relationships and how all of them were so hard to cope with. All of it came back to her love life. Full circle.

EXAMPLES:

TALKING ABOUT HER INNER SUPERHERO –> ”I’ve always been a compassionate person who wears her feelings on her sleeve and puts others’ needs before her own. It’s an incredibly positive characteristic, but it also fed my insecurities around speaking up for myself in romantic relationships.”

STILL TALKING ABOUT HER INNER SUPERHERO –> ”Now I can use those skills- which were a direct result of my insecurity- to properly assess individuals (potential suitors included!).”   

TALKING ABOUT HER FATHER’S ADDICTION –> ”I was in my late teens when it started, but at that time I hadn’t yet dated anyone with addiction problems and didn’t know what it looked like.”  OMG, THIS WAS THE ONE SENTENCE THAT MADE ME LOSE IT. DO YOU HAVE TO DATE SOMEONE WITH ADDICTION JUST SO YOU COULD SEE SIGNS OF IT IN OTHER PEOPLE? FOR GOD’S SAKE, SHE IS TALKING ABOUT HER DAD AND THEN STARTS RANTING ABOUT HER BOYFRIENDS AGAIN.

TALKING ABOUT HOW EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS HAS A REASON –> ”The question of ”Why is this happening?” is hard when dealing with career stuff and hard with school stuff, too. But it’s positively gut-wrenching when it comes to dating.”

There is nothing that can express how much I disliked her talking about her relationships in excess. I started thinking of all the younger girls, who look up to her a lot and would have benefitted from hearing more about how certain questions and inner battles made school hard, or getting along with one’s closer friends or family more difficult.

Furthermore, it felt like the book was actually more helpful to her in the end. The way she wrote and the things she talked about seemed as if she was looking for confirmation of her strength and adultness. Just about every sentence made her seem vulnerable and unsure of herself, as if all the troubles she said she had got over were still haunting her every move.

There were maybe a few bits of the book that weren’t so bad, but all in all the book was a major letdown for me. It had so much potential and yet…here we are.

Check the book out on Goodreads here.

 

 

 

Book Unhaul

So this summer I got rid of quite a few books, and by ”got rid of” I mean I gave them to a friend. They were all books that I had already read and didn’t feel like reading again, so to get more room for new books I offered them to friends and found one who was willing to take them all 😀

There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with the books, they were all good, and a few of them really-really great , I just didn’t feel like I would ever pick them up again and decided it was time to move on. Because I didn’t have any serious reason for why I gave a specific book away, I’ll now only show you the books I gave away and not give any comment.

So here are the books I unhauled this summer:

1. “Gone” by Michael Grant

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2. “The Archived” by Victoria Schwab

The Archived

3. “The Merman” by Carl-Johan Vallgren

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4. “Night Owls” by Jenn Bennett

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5. “Gilt” by Katherine Longshore

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6. “Goodbye Stranger” by Rebecca Stead

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7. “Passenger” by Alexandra Bracken

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8. “Wayfarer” by Alexandra Bracken

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These were the books I unhauled. How do you feel about giving books away/ donating them? 

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group that is hosted by Sam from Thoughts On Tomes. Bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers all post on a common topic every Wednesday.  Feel free to join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate 🙂

This week the topic for T5W is Books to Read without the Synopsis.

1. ”American Gods” by Neil Gaiman

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This book is one I didn’t know that much about when I started reading it, and the reason for why I think everyone should start reading the book without the synopsis, is that it was such an amazing book and it surprised me a lot. I think going into this book ”blind” will make the reading experience a lot better and memorable.

2. ”Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

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I had heard that this book was good before I picked it up, but that was pretty much it. I was really surprised by the book, but to be quite honest I was also lost while reading it. This novel is really strange and not for everyone, but incase someone wants to read it…don’t spoil yourself. I have seen the movie based on this as well, but it wasn’t very good, so I don’t really recommend watching that.

3. ”Between Us and the Moon” by Rebecca Maizel

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A really great contemporary that I liked a lot better than I thought I would. There were a few things I knew about the story before I read the book, but that wasn’t enough to spoil everything that was going to happen.

4. ”Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

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This, I think, is a book that is now really hard to read without knowing the synopsis, due to the movie coming out next year. I however read it during a time when it was talked about, but not enough to ruin the book for me. If you read it without any previous knowledge of the story, it will be a wonderful and exciting experience.

5. ”Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters

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I found this book on my friend’s bookshelf and asked her if I could read it because I was looking for new books to read. All I really understood about the story was that there was a lesbian romance situation going on and some kind of plot to steal from a wealthy family. I don’t really remember what my first thoughts were. The book turned out to be so much more interesting than I had thought it would be though. The plot twists were amazing and I loved every page of the novel. I believe there are also two movies based on this novel, but I haven’t seen them.

 

Book review: ”American Gods”

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Title: ”American Gods”

Author: Neil Gaiman

Published: 2001 (the TV Tie-In was published in 2017)

Pages: 541

Format: paperback

Goodreads rating: 5☆

Blurb:

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies…and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Review:

Thank you man at the bookshop! Honestly, I just love it when people I don’t know come and recommend really good books to me. I dare say this has been the best recommendation I’ve got so far 😀

At first I was quite intimidated by the book, I mean take a look at it. It’s a huge book and I felt kind of like maybe the story would be too much for me to handle. Well now that I’ve read it I am really cursing myself for underestimating my reading potential. I have shied away from books like this for way too long!

“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.” 

This novel was by far one of the most complex books I’ve read…ever. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, something happened or something was said that just turned the story in a different direction a bit. It never went far from the main storyline, but it did tip the scales on many occasions.

I am a really big fan of mythology, legends and all sorts of beliefs, and reading about them never fails to nail me to the spot. Neil Gaiman did such an amazing job here with his take on religion and gods. It felt like such an inventive and shocking way to talk about these ”taboo” topics.

“There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.” 

Besides the way Gaiman gave on the story of the main character, the way he wrote it, I absolutely loved the crazy-all-over-the-place band of characters he had. The way they interacted and the way they reflected the cultures they (speaking of the gods here) represented was mind-blowing. I freaking loved the concept of ”new” taking over the ”old”, the fight between traditions and beliefs born hundreds of years ago and then something new born out of addiction to change (pretty much, I mean?!).

“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.” 

And of course putting asides the gods, we have to talk about the main character Shadow, who is one of the greatest main characters to this day, whose POV I’ve read from. When there are usually lots of moments where I doubt the main characters decisions and sayings, then with Shadow this didn’t happen. I vey much liked the way he thought and acted. There was a pleasant ”I don’t give a damn!” air about him and it made Shadow so much more interesting. Seeing this man just quite casually come to terms with everything happening was funny in a way. I feel like the reader could really feel all his pain that came from being in prison and losing his wife, through his actions and words. Every emotion came through really well.

“I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” 

There were so many things about this novel that just made me fall in love with reading all over again and to put everything I felt into words, is kind of impossible. Neil Gaiman truly is a master of his art.

“Every hour wounds. The last one kills.” 

If anyone is in search of a book that is urban fantasy and mythology and a whole bunch of crazy mixed together… this is the book for you!

“Too much talking these days. Talk talk talk. This country would get along much better if people learned how to suffer in silence.” 

Check the book out on Goodreads here.