31 May 2016

May rewind

So, May has been quite the month! Usually it's one or the other but in May I had a ton of fun reading wise even though the month has been very hectic and a lot of stuff happened but I actually feel like May has been a great month overall.

In May I...

  • Read 18 books which adds up to 4934 pages
    • I listened to 2 audiobooks, read 2 ebooks and 14 physical books! 
    • I read 13 books by female authors and 5 by male authors
    • I read 6 new releases
    • I read 8 YA, 1 middle grade, 1 new adult and 8 adult books! 
    • I read 14 books in Danish and 4 in English
    • I read 11 books I'd received for review, 1 of my own, 2 library books and 4 from storytel!
  • Had an average rating of 3.53
  • DNF'ed The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye 
  • Bought 13 books, received 1 from my mom and received 14 for review! Only one of those 14 is in English though - although there's 1 from Hot Key on the way. 
  • Continued reading both the Wildwitch series by Lene Kaaberbøl and the Calendar Girl series by Audrey Carlan
  • Finished 2 series; The Selection by Kiera Cass and Slide by Jill Hathaway
  • Technically started a new series, but since I'm unsure whether I want to continue I don't know where to put it. It's the Reaching out of the Shadows by Mannah Pierce. 
That was quite the mouthful! I like having these statistics on hand though and I really like sharing them with you! 

reading goals
I can't believe I managed to read 18 books this month and there's a chance that I might reach 19 books before the month is over! Because I'm writing this in advance on Monday and I post this wrap up on Tuesday, so I might finish one more book! I'll make a tiny update if that's the case.

The 18 books I read this month is...

  1. Kys by Lone Diana Jørgensen 
  2. Viridians blod (Vildheks, #2) by Lene Kaaberbøl 
  3. Hambros Allé 7-9-13 by Lone Kaa Andersen 
  4. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover ★ (first impressions)
  5. Som i et spejl by Lise Lotte Frederiksen ★.5
  6. The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent 
  7. Argentineren der kom sejlende på en cedertræsplanke by Morten Vittrup ★.5
  8. Stalker by Michella Rasmussen 
  9. Forget You by Jennifer Echols 
  10. Cast Adrift (Reaching out of the Shadows, #1) by Mannah Pierce ★ (review, first impressions)
  11. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami 
  12. 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad ★.5
  13. April (Calendar Girl, #4) by Audrey Carlan ★.5
  14. May (Calendar Girl, #5) by Audrey Carlan ★.5
  15. Slide (Slide, #1) by Jill Hathaway 
  16. Impostor (Slide, #2) by Jill Hathaway 
  17. The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson 
  18. The Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass 
It looks unbelievable! I can't believe I managed to read so much in a single month!

My favorite book of the month is the only one with a 5 star rating and that is Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover - I LOVED it! I also really enjoyed Som i et spejl which is a nonfiction book about literature! It was such a joy to read both of those books!

Last month my 'finished series' total was 9 and since I managed to finish 2 series this month I've reached my goal of 10 finished series this year! So that's the first goal reached!
I didn't reread anything or read any classics so I'm still at 2 out of 5 rereads and 5 out of 10 classics!
My YA ratio this month is still quite high but I managed to read just as many adult books so I call it a win! I had so much fun reading this month!
I focused on review books this month, just like I did in April, which is why I only read a single book from my shelf which was Slide by Jill Hathaway.
Once again I forgot about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin but I'm thinking about starting over and reading 6 months at once.. Maybe I should do that tonight!

blogging goals
I finally got into blogging again! So even though I read a ton I also blogged a ton! I've also written a ton of reviews for my Danish blog and I finally got my blog plan in my bullet journal to work for me. I'm quite proud of myself to be honest and I definitely count May as the best month of the year so far!

On a more personal note
I wanted to talk a bit about what I actually did during May so here it is;

  • I went on a date with my boyfriend and I brought my baby brother along! We went to the cinema and watched CIVIL WAR and it was great! 
  • I went on another date with my boyfriend, this time just us on a lunch date since we'd been together for 3 years and 5 months and we wanted to do something special! 
  • My boyfriend got picked up by an ambulance and held at the hospital until the day after. It was quite nerve breaking and I'm happy he's okay! 
  • I began taking zumba classes again and I've definitely missed it! 
I'll share the books I got in May soon so look out for that! 

Top ten beach, or summer, reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday we create a list inspired by a particular topic! This week is about beach reads! 

Since it's basically summer now it's perfect for beach reads, I've switched it up and made it beach and Summer reads since I consider them Summer reads! 
For me a Summer read is either contemporary or features adventure, or both! 

Lorali by Laura Dockrill
First up is Lorali by Laura Dockrill which I actually read on the beach last year! It's about a mermaid named Lorali! It takes place both on land and in the sea!
I really, really enjoyed it and I believe the author posted something on IG about a sequel!
You can read my review here.

Forget You by Jennifer Echols
I just read Forget You this month and it was quite good! There's beach parties so that's something! The main character Zoey is in a car accident and loses a bit of her memory. She can't remember what happened that night and the book is about her trying to find out what happened and realising her true feelings and friends. It's definitely a page-turner!

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Another one I read on the beach last year, or maybe the year before, but there's also beach scenes! I was disappointed with this one, but it's a good beach read nonetheless.
It's your standard contemporary; boy meets girl, but this time the guy is a celebrity and, well, I can't remember much.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
I read this in April and I absolutely loved it! It's a time travel book and a good chunk of the book takes place on Honolulu, Hawaii! For me Summer is the time for adventures and this definitely features adventure!
Read my review here.

Half Irish by Peter J. S. Waugh
Another book I've just read! This mainly takes place in Ireland, so you get an Irish summer vibe with rain and a bit of sun once in a while.
You can read my review here.

How to Love by Katie Cotugno
I read this a few years ago and I loved it! It's an older YA which features teen pregnancy and a love story, of course. It's quite good and I always think of Summer when I look at it!

All of the Above by James Dawson
Lastly there's All of the Above which is one of my favorite books of all time! I received it during Fall last year and I devoured it! It has LGBT themes, our main character is an introvert who loves to read and well, contemporaries are the bomb for Summer.
Read my review here.

How to be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski
Another one I read last Summer! Friendship and roadtrip - that's all I'm gonna say.
Read my review here.

I wanted to share some of the books I hope to read this Summer, starting next month; 
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
This should be THE summer book! I bought it on my trip to Ireland in September 2014 and it's been on my shelf ever since! As far as I can remember there's two friends, the extrovert goes on vacation of something and leaves a to do list for her introvert friend which she has to complete before the Summer is over.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I know that memoirs aren't the typical Summer read, but this is full of adventure so I think it's perfect! I know there's some different cultures and traveling so there's that.

The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella
Again, contemporary. I finally found the last copy I needed to complete my collection so I can now read them! I've used one and a half year to look for cheap copies of the entire series so it's anticipated now!

The Losing It series by Cora Cormack
I know I'm going to be reading this series because I have received the first one for review from a Danish publisher and I'm on the list for the sequel which releases in July here in Denmark! Definitely looking forward to it!

28 May 2016

Cast Adrift by Mannah Pierce

Cast Adrift (Reaching out of the Shadows, #1) by Mannah Pierce. Published by Clink Street Publishing in August 2015. Received for review from the author through Publishing Push. YA, science fiction, LGBTQIA. 3 out of 5 stars. 
All I knew going into Cast Adrift was basically that it is set in space and I've been looking for books along the lines of Across the Universe by Beth Revis and Cast Adrift sounded just like that! I mean, it's set on a spaceship, just like Across the Universe so I couldn't say no...

It started out quite mysteriously, like you can read in my first impressions post about this book. Even though I'd read the entire first chapter I started over and read the first chapter again because I didn't understand anything. It helped though and I quickly read 100 pages!
It's sad that the beginning is so private because I definitely felt left out the first time around, and it only helped a bit the second time.

In the first 30 pages or so we're told that our main character, Jax or Emmanuel Rafael Jax Esteban, is the heir to the leadership of one of the five big space clans, Navajo. His mother has, with the help of nanobots, changed his appearance to keep him safe. His mission is to become a spacer, once he's of age, then challenge the usurper, his uncle, and reclaim his inheritance.

There's quite the infodumps in Cast Adrift and while some of them are quite interesting, others are a bit boring and the rest makes me grimace. For example. Each spacer crew has spacers, cats and cabin boys. Spacers have been cabin boys and/or cats themselves and have since become spacers. You start out as a cabin boy (12-14) and once you turn 14 you can become a cat. The role of a cat is to relieve sexual tension amongst the crew.. Yes, I was quite uncomfortable which that piece of information, and you're a cat until 17 or 18.
We also have a hybrid, Rae, and a cyborg, Tre.
We follow a traditional crew which means only males and cats can't offer up 'their other hole' until they're 16 and it's their own choice. There's of course more.
Since it is a science fiction novel infodumps are to be expected, but there were so many! And it is a bit overwhelming even if it wasn't hard to follow.

The crew on the Willow consists of a captain, a queen, an enforcer, cabin boys, cats and more. It grows throughout the book. The queen on the Willow is still a man, his name is Ean and I couldn't picture him as a man! He's so feminine and I know that that is the point, but I couldn't picture a man!
Since I've mentioned that the crew only consists of men, or boys, it's safe to say that there's LGBTQIA features in Cast Adrift. I don't mind it, I actually found it quite interesting not following females at all - we meet a few, but that's it.
I have a problem with the 'cat' part of the story though. They have each other if they want to relieve sexual tension GOD DAMMIT! I definitely struggled with that part and I don't think I can continue on with the series if it's as big a part of Foothold as it is of Cast Adrift. I mean, it's men having oral sex with 14-17 year olds, I'm not comfortable with that. For me it definitely borders on pedophilia.

My favorite thing in Cast Adrift is the friendships! Particularly between Rae and Jax. I loved how brotherly they quickly become towards one another and I definitely looked forward to their parts! I also love the budding friendship between Rae, Jax and Kip - but that's later on in the novel.
The friendships and the missing females are actually the things I liked about Cast Adrift. 

If you've noticed I've talked more about what Cast Adrift is about than my actual feelings about it, and that's because I'm horrified. I can't look past the cats and that really ruins the book for me. Therefore a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Sorry.

So, to summarize Cast Adrift in keywords; LGBTQIA, friendship, space, men, sex (incl. borderline pedophilia).

24 May 2016

Top ten genres I feel different about as time has passed

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday we create a list inspired by a particular topic! This week is about books we feel different about as time has passed, but I'm making it genres I feel different about as time has passed instead. 

I thought I'd make this a more interesting post so instead of naming some books, I'm talking about genres! I've been wanting to do something like this for a while and the opportunity presented itself.

Let's just start with erotica. I'd never thought I was going to read it, let alone enjoy it. It's still very much out of my comfort zone, but I'm beginning to enjoy it. I had a hard time with sex scenes in books until, well now, and I think it has very much to do with my age! At 19 I feel like it isn't exactly 'wrong' to read books with sex in it, and I definitely think it's something you should wait to delve into until you're ready. I read it once in a while but I definitely prefer my mature YA and NA books for now! So, I've gone from a 'never' to a 'every once in a while'. 
Mature YA and NA was, and is, the perfect way to ease myself into it though. I mean, I love Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover and I really enjoyed Forget You by Jennifer Echols and both books have sex scenes. I feel like I've grown! 

I love the idea of historical fiction, like I've talked about many times, but I don't really enjoy historical fiction. I have a good deal of HF on my shelves but I usually shy away from them. Honestly I'm afraid I'll get disappointed, because I usually am. Although, I've bought All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer, Red Queen and The Other Boleyn by Philippa Gregory, all the Edward Rutherford novels (which is currently translated into Danish) and a few others. I've even tried reading The Book Thief - two times and I've never gotten more than halfway through and even that has been a struggle. 
So, I still read it once in a while but I don't think it's my genre. 

I'd never thought I'd be a reader of nonfiction - but I actually love it. I don't really read biographies, and I fear I never will, but I like memoirs. The Happiness Project is one of my all time favorite books, A Room of One's Own is high on the list as well! I also just read Som i et spejl which is a Danish book (not translated, yet) about 7 important female characters in literature. 
I've even received the Danish edition of Popular by Maya van Wagenen for review and I'm really looking forward to it! 
As long as it's memoirs and about literature, I guess I like it. 

Another genre I thought I wouldn't enjoy. I'm still not totally into it, since I have a hard time finding ones I need to read. I have all of Austen's works though and a bunch of the Wordsworth editions, a massive copy of Les Mis and many others. I was unfortunately disappointed by both A Clockwork Orange and 1984 which was the ones I wanted to read with a passion! So, my real problem is a fear of disappointment! 

In 2012 I didn't think about the fact that books were divided into YA, childrens and adult. I knew where the YA books where at the library but I never thought about it. Then after discovering booktube and bookblogging in 2013 I became obsessed with YA and read mainly that. Now, I still enjoy it, but it's far from the only thing I read.
I feel different about YA know because, well, I am a bit older, but I also feel like we read about the same tropes all the time. There's not much new in YA. Sometimes I even have a hard time distinguishing books e.g. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga.

Just like erotica there was a time where I said 'never' but around my 17th or 18th birthday I thought I might as well try a book or two and well, The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski is still one of my favorite books. I've also just read Ugly Love which was so, so good and I have Losing it on my TBR shelf!
I fear that I'll come across some of those books that are written solely for the sex scenes, but I feel like it's a bigger problem in erotica and not new adult. The main reason I enjoy new adult though, is the fact that the characters are older, more my age and I can relate to them. I have a hard time relating to YA characters at this point.

I was unsure whether to include this or not, but it is a writing genre, so why not?
I've always had a hard time with short stories and novellas, but I'm really starting to enjoy them! I have Kindred Spirits on my shelf, I have a collection of Fay Weldon's short stories waiting to be read and reviewed, I've just bought a short story collection from Penguin and I actually own a bunch of anthologies!
When I need a book I can jump in and out of, I think an anthology is great. You can read a story here and a story there! I've been disappointed in the past though, but I'm trying to pick 'better' - e.g. find ones I actually want to read.

Is there any genres you feel different about, now?

20 May 2016

First impressions, Cast Adrift

Cast Adrift by Mannah Pierce, received for review through Publishing Push
First impressions is yet another new feature I want to add to the blog! It's basically like first paragraphs but better!

I just started reading Cast Adrift by Mannah Pierce which is the first book in the Reaching out of the Shadows series. I received Cast Adrift for review from the author a little while ago, and I'm finally getting around to it!

So, Cast Adrift is a science fiction book which takes place in outer space! I didn't need to know anything else before agreeing to a review, I've been looking for books similar to Across the Universe by Beth Revis and this is the closest I've gotten so far!

I'm not totally sold on the cover, I like the simplicity though! And I get it more now that I've read the first chapter. It's not something I'd pick up on my own though, sorry. I'm intrigued by the story though and I can't wait to read more.

The book begins with this paragraph;
Jax had to trot to keep up with his escort. The big man's stride was smooth and effortless but deceptively quick. Jax recognised it as one of the many features that dissuaded the honourable from challenging and the dishonourable from attacking.  
Cast Adrift (Reaching out of the Shadows, #1) by Mannah Pierce, p. 1

So, Jax is our main character, thus far. I believe he's somewhere around 11 and on a mission to claim his inheritance - though, there's a while before he can do that, some years at least.
In the first chapter we meet Rae, he's a hybrid. He has fangs and whiskers and he's inhumanly fast! He's quite cute to be honest.
The first chapter is very secretive and vague, the information is definitely not handed out to you! You have to connect the dots and keep on reading before understanding anything. I'm not sure if I like it or not, yet.

I'm enjoying it though, even though the beginning is so vague.

17 May 2016

Top ten books I picked up on a whim

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday we create a list inspired by a particular topic! This week is about the books we've picked up on a whim.

The books I read on a whim
The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass
I needed a quick audiobook and I stumbled across The Selection. I had no intention of actually reading it, but I couldn't find anything else so I picked it up. I loved it and I quickly read The Elite and The One afterwards. I saved The Heir and The Crown for this year though and I've now finished the series!

The Shamer's Daughter (The Shamer Chronicles, #1) by Lene Kaaberbøl
I had 3-4 hours of train rides and I'd only read classics and required books that week, or something, so I needed a quick and easy read so I grabbed The Shamer's Daughter just before I ran out of the door. I actually managed to finish the book I was currently reading, Mrs. Dalloway, begin this one and I actually finished it on the train ride home!
At this point I've read the whole series, her Katriona series and begin her Wildwitch series!

I'm Still here by Clélie Avit
I picked this one up last month because I needed a quick read, but I also needed to read books from my 'to review' pile and this one jumped out. I read it in a single day and I loved it!
Elsa is in a coma but can hear everything around her, Thibault needs a place to hide and he finds himself in Elsa's room. And there's a blooming lovestory in the works. Such a quick read!

Forget You by Jennifer Echols
This one I've just finished, on Sunday actually. I'd finished the book I'd been trying to get through the last two weeks, I'd then picked up another book after finishing that one and then I finished that one too. I just grabbed this one because I have to read it before the Danish version is released in June. I managed to finish it just before midnight and I really, really enjoyed it. I have a bunch of problems with it though, but I think I'm free of the slump that has tried to catch me!

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
One day I found myself in need of another quick read and since I'd just received The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry I picked it up! I finished it before bed and it was quite enjoyable. Not as good as I'd hoped, but full of literature and books so very, very enjoyable!

The books I bought on a whim, this year
[geim] by Anders de la Motte
This one is the latest book I've bought! It was a hardcover wrapped in plastic so I had no idea what it was about since the back featured a phone with a text saying 'wanna play a game' and a yes and no button. That definitely sold it to me and I can't wait to pick it up!

The Enchanted by Rene Tenfold
I've seen it around but I've never known what it was about. Also, I'd never seen the cover on the edition I bought. It was cheap and it's about death row - I'm intrigued!

The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe
I love the 1950's and the summary mentioned both the publishing industry AND the 50's so I couldn't pass it up! Looking forward to reading it!

The Castle by Franz Kafka
I went to a bookstore and this one was on sale. I've been trying to branch out when it comes to classics and when I read that he never finished this one - it literally ends mid sentence - I knew I had to buy it!

Blue diary by Alice Hoffman
I've never heard about the author or the book but the summary intrigued me! A man brutally rapes and murders a young girl, 13 years later he's married and living a normal life when the police stumbles across new evidence which links him to the crime. So intrigued!