31 January 2014

January Wrap Up

I really want to start doing monthly wrap ups, it will hopefully help keeping me on track with my resolutions and challenges, and I can go back and see what my favorite books have been and such in the future. All links in these posts will transport you to my reviews of the books - and not goodreads as they usually do. 

This month I read 8 books toward my goal of 50 books, so thats great! The books are listed according to rating! 

In January I also read half of White Space (Dark Passages #1) by Ilsa J. Bick. I did not enjoy it, so when I had read half of it, and was still not enjoying it, I marked it as a DNF (=did not finish). (You can read a teaser here)

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan (series review)

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

UFO in her eyes by Xiaolu Guo
Erasmus Montanus eller Rasmus Berg (=Erasmus Montanus or Rasmus Berg) by Ludvig Holberg

Average book rating: 3.125 hearts

Favorite book of the month:
The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)

I am actually doing very well with both challenges and resolutions. 

For my TBR pile reading challenge, I have read 5 books:
4. UFO in her eyes by Xiaolu Guo

The TBR pile challenge is connected with my resolution of reading the books I already own, since every book I read from my bookshelves, counts towards that challenge. 

For the Finish the Series challenge, I have finished 1 series:

For the Full House challenge, I have read 7 books
4. Less than 200 pages: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
6. Book from a series: The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan (series review)
7. Free or bought very cheaply: UFO in her eyes by Xiaolu Guo

If you want to see how well I am doing with my challenges, check out my Challenges page, since I am updating in regularly. 

My 5. resolution is to "use the library more and cut back on buying books"... That resolution is not going that well. This month I read 2 books from the library (The Last Olympian and Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott) and I bought 6 books... It is not that bad since I bought 3 of them for 1$ - the other 3 weren't that expensive either, 1 was 6$ and the last 2 was 4$. 

My 6. resolution is to "venture out of my comfort zone". I have read 2 books this month. I read a nonfiction book, which was a biograhy of J.K. Rowling (Who is J.K.Rowling by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso) . And I read an adult high fantasy book (The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson)

My 7. resolution is to "participate in read-a-thons" and since it was time for the Bout of Books 9.0 read-a-thon. I was of course participating in it, see my progress, goals and the books I read here.

My extra resolution is "re-read some books" and I re-read one book, and that was Alice in Tumblr-land by Tim Manley

If you want to see how well I am doing with my resolutions, check out my Resolutions page, since I am updating in regularly. 

My little sister created her own blog this month, and it would make her day if you stopped by and maybe write a comment. She calls it The Secret Diary of a Bookaholic - and she has some spelling errors, but it's fine! 

One of my friends also made a blog this month: Book-Munchee

I participated in the Bout of Books 9.0 read-a-thon, which was really fun! If you want to see how well I did, check my post here.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, I found the wikia page for the series, and I just want to write all the things I know about the first book on there, but I don't know how... But I love checking it out and read about the different things!

I just learned to use Edelweiss! I have known about it since I started blogging, but it wasn't until I found this post on Book Riot, that I knew how to navigate and find the review copies on there. 

My blog! I have a bunch of ideas for posts and mini-series, so I have tried to either write drafts or reached out to people this month. Since I am trying to put together a booktuber mini-series, and I want to make sure that they don't mind me using one of their videos. 

Book Reviews:

Valentine's Day! Me and my boyfriend has been together for 14 months on Valentines and he asked me out. Last year we didn't go anywhere, because well, we had just gotten together. So this year he wants to do something special.

The release of Alienated (Alienated #1) by Melissa Landers - I can't wait! 

How well did you do in January?

30 January 2014

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
Series: Mistborn #1
Publication date: October 1st, 2009 (first published: July 17, 2006)
Publisher: Gollancz
Genres: Adult, High fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought on Amazon
Pages: 647

BookDepository (box set) | Amazon | Goodreads

A thousand years ago evil came to the land. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk labor as slaves in volcanic ash fields. A troublemaker arrives. A rumored revolt depends on an untrustworthy criminal and a young girl who must master Allomancy, metal magic.

That summary is kind of vague, don't you think? But it still sums up the story, without hinting the slightest about whats to come, and I love that!

The reason I wanted to read this book was that I thought the idea was so original. The evil guy has one, and this story takes place 1000 years after - seriously, the EVIL GUY WON! Also, instead of just plain old magic that originates nowhere. Magic is allomancy, and only certain people have powers and they only have powers if they have the right metals - that is genious!

It took me quite a while to get into this book, but that was mostly because I had no idea what they where talking about in the beginning. When I reached a 100 pages, pieces started to fit together and I started to understand the book.
I love the way Brandon Sanderson teaches you about the world and Allomancy. You get to learn about it with Vin, she has no clue about anything either, so you are kind of in the same boat. Also, Kelsier is an amazing teacher, I understood everything when he started to explain what Allomancy was.

The world building is amazing, Sanderson really knows how to build up a world and describe it just so you have enough information to know the world, but exactly the right amount to let your brain take over and figure some things out for yourself.
When I read The Final Empire, I felt like I was in the world and after about 200 pages, I felt like I knew everything about the world - even though it kept surprising me and let me learn new things.

One of the things I loved most about this book was the "missing" love-element. This was a very great book, and I find that great books can be ruined by the love element. This book had the love-element, but it did not matter that much. I loved every part of the book that Elend was in, but that was because thpse parts were short and cute - and that was fine!. Also, it is not insta-love. It takes quite a while before any of them realizes it!

I loved all the characters in this book, I feel like good vs. evil is not really a thing here. The "good" guys do some things, but the "bad" guys do some good things as well. In the end you understand the Lord Ruler, you know why he did certain things, and in a way you feel with him - but on the other hand you really do not like him.
Sazed is magnificent, I actually thought that he and Vin would get together, but no. I love how he is so serious but still have a sensitive and funny side. He would be the perfect friend. Kelsier and Vin are like father and daughter, I love that, normally the hero gets the girl, but this time they are like a family.
I loved seeing Vin turning from the skaa thief to Vin the mistborn. She has a hard time dealing with who she is, but in the end she just IS. No more thinking, she suddenly becomes the one she is supposed to be.
The "crew" is wonderful. I loved every single person, I even started liking Breeze! I really like how they were all friends instead of just partners in crime, that gave the story something. Normally I feel like the groups in books are together because they can each get something out of it. This time they are there because they trust each other and this is something they want to do. 

Since this is a high fantasy series, there is a bunch of things that you have to learn, because it is a completely new world you are reading about. I took notes whilst reading this, and I am so glad I did, because sometimes I had a hard time remembering certain things. 

But lets get on with it. In this book, people who can perfom allomancy are called Mistings or Mistborns. Mistings can burn (=use) one of the basic eight allomantic metals, and Mistborns can burn all eight. And there is nothing in between, so if a person can burn 2 of the basic metals, he or she is a Mistborn, and can actually burn all eight. 
There is also something calld Feruchemistry, and people who can "perfom" that, is called Feruchemists. They have a different way of using metals. 

Then there is the hierarchy of the people, there is "skaa" which is basically everybody. If you are a skaa, you are either a slave, a thief or you live on the street without a job. 
Then there is the lesser nobility and the higher nobility. The higher nobility is where everything political is, and the lesser nobility is, well you can say that they are just more fortunate that skaa, but not nearly as fortunate as the higher nobility.
There is also the Garrison, their primary duty is to maintain order in the city - so they are basically the police. 
There is also the Steel Ministry, which consists of obligators and Steel Inquisitors. Steel Inquisitors are quite a strange creature, they are fighting machines and very hard to kill. The obligators are Prelans, and the tattoo's they have around their eyes tells you where in the hierarchy they are. The Lord Prelan is head of the entire Steel Ministry.
Hazekillers are men who are trained to fight allomancers.

I have to give this book 5 hearts because OMG this book is wonderfully written, the world is amazing and the characters are just lovely. An Allomancy is just so fantastic and I have never read a book this intriguing - except from The Hunger Games and Harry Potter.

There actually is a wiki page for the Mistborn trilogy/series, check it out here.

29 January 2014

Tackling the Genres #1: Fantasy

Before I started reading as much as I do know, I had no idea what the different genres meant - of course I had an idea about it, but I basically thought that there was nonfiction and fiction, and that was that. But I was totally wrong, there are so many genres and genres under those genres. To this day, I still have yet to know every genre, some genres makes absolutely no sense to me. But I really want to branch out and read different books, I love fantasy, but there are different kinds of fantasy - and that goes for most of the genres.

Therefore I had an idea, what if I made a mini-series that was all about genres? And then talk about the different genres under that genre - and make some recommendations. It will help me become better at judging books and maybe choosing the "right one". And maybe it will help you find some new genres you really want to read. Either way, it will help in some way.

Fantasy is actually one of my favorite genres, I do not read it that often, because it is a "demanding" genre - especially high fantasy. But still, almost every book I read in the fantasy genre quickly becomes one of my favorites. For example the Mistborn trilogy, I just finished the first one recently, and it was absolutely amazing! Harry Potter is another fantasy series that I love! I think magic is wonderful!

But what is fantasy? Fantasy is a genre where magic and supernatural elements is commonly used. This genre is all-about make believe. The setting is for the most unrealistic and imaginary. Something magical is almost always part of the book either as setting or plot, sometimes magic is practised by the characters in said book. Fantasy is often characterized by a departure from the accepted rules by which individuals perceive the world around them; it represents that which is impossible (unexplained) and outside the parameters of our known, reality.

Epic and high fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy. It is normally defined either by taking place in an imaginary world distinct from our own or by the epic stature of its characters, themes and plot. 
The Lord of The Rings is a perfect example of a high fantasy series, that have both of these attributes. 

High fantasy is also defined as fantasy fiction High fantasy is defined as fantasy fiction set in an alternative, entirely fictional ("secondary") world, rather than the real, or "primary" world

Some typical characteristics of high fantasy include fantastical elements such as elves, fairies, dwarves, wizards, dragons etc. 

High fantasy actually has 3 subtypes
  1. A setting in which the primary world does not exist.  For the most part, maps of the world, geography and history of the fictional world will be provided. (for example The Lord of The Rings and Mistborn)
  2. The secondary/parallel world is entered through a portal from the primary world. (for example Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Chronicles or Narnia and The Dark Tower)
  3. A distinct world-within-a-world as part of the primary world.  In these types of books, the people in the primary world, does not know about the secondary world.(for example Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)

Low fantasy is, as opposed to high fantasy, set in the real world.

Also called "modern fantasy"
The best definition of urban fantasy I've been able to find is: The definition of urban fantasy comes down to this: contemporary tales that borrow story-telling elements from mystery, horror, humour, romance, and fantasy, especially fantasy creatures and/or magic, with the setting often forming an integral part of the story, but not necessarily taking place in an urban area. Source

I know that there is a bunch of other sub-genres for fantasy, for example contemporary fantasy, medieval fantasy and historical fantasy. But I just feel like some of them are hard to define. If you have a definition for any of them, please share them in the comments!
When and if I find definitions, I will add them to this post!

What genre should I tackle next? 

28 January 2014

Teaser Tuesday: White Space (Dark Passages #1) by Ilsa J. Bick

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Want to join? All you have to do is grab your current read, flip open to a random page and share a non-spoiler teaser. Easy, right? Then just write it in the comments or make your own post and put the link in the comments. - But I like to share 2 teasers instead of one.

White Space (Dark Passages, #1)

I am currently reading White Space (Dark Passages #1) by Ilsa J. Bick. I am about 40% in and so far I am enjoying it.. But it is not as good as I thought - but that may change!

Publisher/Year: Egmont USA / February 11, 2014
Genres: YA Fantasy
Format: e-Arc 
Source: Edelweiss
Summary: Ilsa Bick’s WHITE SPACE, pitched as The Matrix meets Inkheart, about a seventeen-year-old girl who jumps between the lines of books and into the white space where realities are created and destroyed – but who may herself be nothing more than a character written into being from an alternative universe, to Greg Ferguson at Egmont, in a two-book deal, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (NA).

Remember to leave your teaser(s) in the comments! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Worlds I don't want to live in and characters I don't want to trade places with!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the girls at The Broke and the Bookish. This tuesday it is all about the worlds we NEVER want to live in OR characters we NEVER want to trade places with. I have made a mix of those 2! 

As usual in no particular order: 

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The World of Panem. I cringe whenever I hear something about Panem, I think the world is interesting and so well-thought - but I would NEVER EVER want to live there. I hate how the Capitol treats their citizens, and President Snow that evil evil man. 

I Am Legend

Robert Neville from I am Legend is a guy I take pity on, but someone I would never EVER trade places with. He is literally the last man on earth, and I would just get too lonely...

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
New World is a world I would seriously not want to live in, I mean, I want to keep my thoughts to myself. I definetely do not want everyone to know what I am thinking all the time! Also Todd.... he is sweet, but he does not have any luck with him! I mean the Mayor is so cruel and evil and just AAAH! 

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)

Oh god, if I had read The Monstrumologist series when I was younger, it had definetely given me nightmares. Who would want to live in a world where all those murderous creatures actually live? That would be scary. Also Will Henry, that poor little guy...

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

I am so scared of aliens, owls is the worst! And this book has it all, an alien invasion and aliens that looks like humans! Oh god..... 

This seriously scared me, you unwound your child instead of getting an abortion? What if that was real life? 

I would definetely not want to get an operation because I had to be pretty, that is something I seriously hate. People that has to make their body perfect, gets operations and surgery - just because they want to be pretty. That is shallow. 

The Program (The Program, #1)

Just because you're sad doesn't mean that you have to forget all the things that made you sad?

Slated (Slated, #1)

I would like to know what crime I comitted. I would definetely not want to forget everything, and have no idea who it is that I am...

    Living underground and dying without ever have seen the sun? No thank you, also I feel really sorry for Deuce, even though she is a hunter, I would never be able to live like her...

    27 January 2014

    Bookish Pet Peeves #1

    We all have them, whether they are about the book itself or the content. But what is it really? You know that feeling you get when you buy a new book, and you find out that there is a spelling error? That is a pet peeve. The feeling you get when you notice a dent or tear in your book? That is also a pet peeve. The feeling you get when you are reading the blurb on the back of the book, and then suddenly it says "and then she meets a guy" or "but who will she choose" and you get really annoyed? That is a pet peeve.

    There is pet peeves about the actual book (for example dents, broken spines, dog ears etc) and about the content (insta-love, love triangles, predictable etc.).

    I have a bunch of them, so I will make this into a mini-series, let me know if you have pet peeves too!

    They can make me want to throw the book out, I seriously cannot deal with broken spines! I love paperbacks, I actually prefer them to hardcovers, so when somebody loans a book, I have to tell them a thousand times, that if they break the spine, they will have to buy a new copy for me. Because broken spines are just unacceptable.

    Also, when paperbacks are on the shelf, they look gorgeous! But if they have the slightest crease on the spine I can't even look at it.

    Do NOT ruin my books, I love my books, they are like my precious children - so when somebody bends a page, I will get really mad at them. I cannot even deal with people dog earing library books, how hard is it to find a bookmark? Like seriously, you can use a receipt, a dollar or a random slip of paper - just DON'T bend the pages!

    Even though I coordinate my books after colour - which means that most of my series are spread out - I still cannot deal with cover changes. Sometimes it really is for the better, like for example Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi or Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. And other times it is for the worse, for example Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

    Yes, we judge books by their covers. No, that doesn't mean that you get to just put a random cover on the book. I hate books where the cover says nothing about the book, or is just plain out misleading.

    I know that some people really like books with deckled edges, but I just cannot stand them! I hate them! Why! WHY would you make deckled edges? I really cannot see the purpose!

    I seriously hate reading a blurb and then getting spoiled for the entire book. For example The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg, it reveals a plot twist that happens towards the end of the book IN THE BLURB! That is just annoying and it makes me not want to read the book. 

    I actually try to stay away from blurbs, since I have been spoiled so many times. Also, I really like going into a book without knowing anything. 

    Do you have any pet peeves?