Posted in TBR Posts

2021 Reading Goals

“It was the largest gathering of the Spirit clans Raisa had ever seen.”

First line in The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

Hello, you lovely people. Hope you all enjoyed the holidays how ever the current situation forced you to spend them. I’m here to let you know about some of the books I plan to read in 2021. I’m mainly making this to hold myself accountable because these books will never be read otherwise. I’ve divided my picks into sections, so it’s not just one long list. I’ve also decided that when talking about series, I’m only sharing the series I plan to start. The sequels in series I plan to read are mainly new releases in 2021, so that’s a different post. We’re starting with the adult fantasy series.

Adult Fantasy Series

  • The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

This series is my top priority in 2021! I really want to read all three because I just know I’m going to love it. I’ve heard that these books get quite dark and depressing, and those are exactly my kind of buzzwords.

  • The Winnowing Flame Trilogy by Jen Williams

These books get so much praise everywhere, and I really want to know what all the fuss is about.

These are the two adult fantasy series I’m going to prioritize, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only adult fantasy books I’m going to be reading. I will probably start other series but these are the ones I want to also have finished by the end of the year.

YA Fantasy Series

  • Shattered Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

This is the companion series to The Seven Realms series which I read in 2020, so it only seems fitting to continue on with Shattered Realms in 2021.

  • The Age of Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

The synopsis of the first book just screams “the chosen one”-trope, so it’s of course a trilogy I need to read. The third book isn’t out yet but is supposed to be released in September.

  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

This is an old series that everyone seems to have read already. Now I’m going to give it a try. There are five books in the series if I’m not mistaken, but I don’t foresee myself reading more than three in 2021.

Standalones

I need some breaks from all these series I’m going to be reading, and I actually have a lot of standalones on my TBR. Here are a few I really want to read in 2021:

  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri
  • The Betrayals by Bridget Collins
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Absolutist by John Boyne

I know Warbreaker is getting a sequel some time in the future, but right now I’m considering it a standalone.

Beat the Backlist 2021

I’ve also decided to take part in the Beat the Backlist 2021 reading challenge. It’s all about reading the books released before 2021, and it is hosted by Novelknight. It seemed a very relaxed reading challenge with some fun prompts, and since I almost only read backlist anyway, this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for me. Just a little fun to help me decide what to read throughout the year. Here are the prompts:

This is the one with 24 prompts, but you can also get one with 52 if you’re feeling ambitious. But as you can tell from these prompts, I can’t pick everything beforehand. Then there’s also ones like ‘has a map’ *laughs in fantasy* and ‘standalone’ where I have too many options to choose from. I’m still going to share some of my picks with you, so here we go:

📚 Genre you never/rarely read: Quite: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (non-fiction)

📚 Picked by a friend/trusted reviewer: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (friend recommendation)

📚 Person on the cover: A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (two people even)

📚 Banned book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Apparently, that one was a little too sexual back in the day)

📚 A book with illustrations: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum (I think this counts)

I probably won’t hit all prompts because I have no intention of adding books to my TBR just to fulfill a prompt. I still might come across something throughout the year, so maybe it’ll happen.

That was some of the books I plan to read in 2021. I am so very excited by so many of them and can’t wait to get started. Do you have any reading plans for the year? Have you read any of these? Please let me know in the comments!

Posted in Wrap up

October 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

“The Home Office telegraphy department always smelled of tea.”

First line in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Just a heads up: This is going to be a very pitiful wrap-up. And there aren’t any spooky books in it either, although those seem like mandatory reading in October. Truth be told, I don’t really care to read such books, and we also don’t really celebrate Halloween here in Denmark. It’s mainly the stores here that are desperately trying to make it a thing.

So about that pitiful reading, here are my stats for the month:

Yes, only 3 books, and I have to admit that one of those was a 20 pages long short story. That short story was Galatea by Madeline Miller, which I’m not going to review. It’s a retelling of a Greek myth as it usually is with Miller and mainly one I would recommend to those of you who, like me, are craving new content from this author.

Another of the 3 books I read was a reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I obviously rated 5 stars. It’s a book I always find good to read when you feel like your life is shit, just to remind yourself that at least it’s not that bad. But anyway, since it’s a reread, I’m not reviewing that one either.

That leaves only one book to review in this wrap-up. Before we get to that, though, I just want to mention the two books I’m currently reading. I’m halfway through The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss but have decided to take a short break from that one. I can only take a certain amount of Kvothe a the time 😅 I’m also a third of the way through The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, which I definitely plan on finishing in November. But those two books are the reason why I haven’t been able to finish more books in October. They took up quite a bit of my time. However, let’s get to that one review, which I took the opportunity to make a little bit longer than usual.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #1)

Author: Natasha Pulley

Published: July 2nd 2015

Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Buzzwords: Victorian London, Japanese culture, magical science

Synopsis: 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

Goodreads

My thoughts

Saying “I love this book” seems like such an inadequate description of my feelings towards this book that I almost gave up on writing this review. But I had such a good time reading it.

It’s the kind of book that’s difficult to talk about because, as its main character, it changes along the way. What it starts out as isn’t what it actually is in the end. I really love those kinds of books. It’s also helped along by a magnificent writing style that relies heavily on the reader to catch onto hints and figure things out for themselves. It’s my favorite kind of writing, so I was completely invested. However, it means that I won’t categorize this as an “easy, relaxing read”. It requires that you pay attention, and I actually think it would work great as a buddy read or book club book.

Since I rate books based on my enjoyment, I couldn’t give this one any less than 5 stars. However, if I were to attempt objectivity, I could probably find a few things that could have been done better. For example, one character’s motivations could have been explored further to make them a stronger character. But I didn’t mind that in the end because there was so much I loved about the book.

Finally, I saw someone on Goodreads call this an alternative version of Sherlock Holmes, and I can definitely see the similarities. So, if all of this sounds like something for you, I highly recommend The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

That’s all I have for you. It was a weird month for me, but hey, I completed my Goodreads goal of 55 books! My unofficial goal is 66 because that would be a new record for me, but let’s see how it goes. I need to read some shorter books to make that happen. Let me know how your October went. What was your favorite book?

Posted in TBR Posts

Books I’ve Recently Added to My TBR #4

If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life.

First line in The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Apparently, I haven’t done one of these posts since the beginning of June, but since no one knows what time is anymore anyway, I feel like I’m excused. I haven’t added all that many books to my TBR in that time anyway. Most of these are actually new releases for Fall, so not books I’m going to be reading immediately. But here we go!

Covers link to Goodreads


Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

Why it sounds awesome:

💥 A Danish author writing in English is a must-read for me.
💥 That cover, honestly.


The Captive Kingdom by Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Ascendance Series #4)

In a peaceful Carthya, Jaron leads as the Ascendant King with Imogen beside him — but the peace he fought so long for is not destined to last.

On a routine sea voyage, Jaron’s ship is brutally attacked, and he is taken hostage. The mysterious captors and their leader, Jane Strick, accuse Jaron of unthinkable acts. They are also in possession of some shocking items — including the crown and sword that belonged to Jaron’s older brother, Darius. The items unearth a past Jaron thought he had put behind him.

Though it seems impossible, Jaron must consider: Could Darius be alive? And what does Strick want from Jaron? Against his will, Jaron will be pulled back into a fight for the throne — and a battle to save his kingdom.

Why it sounds awesome:

💥 I simply love this series and didn’t know a fourth book was coming out.


The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.

Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, a alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall…

Why it sounds awesome:

💥 A hyped author I need to try
💥 House War in PARIS! I usually avoid anything with a murder mystery but I need to know what this is!


The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

If everything in your life was based on a lie
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?


At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.

Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.

Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…

Why it sounds awesome:

💥 It’s Bridget Collins.
💥 That cover is so pretty I wanna cry
💥 That synopsis is reminding me of The Night Circus


Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater and Morgan Beem

Twins Alec and Walker Holland have a reputation around town. One is quiet and the other is the life of any party, but they are inseparable. For their last summer before college, the two leave the city to live with their rural cousins, where they find that the swamp holds far darker depths than they could have imagined.

While Walker carves their names into the new social scene, Alec recedes into a summer school laboratory, because he brought something from home on their trip—it’s an experiment that will soon consume him. This season, both brothers must confront truths, ancient and familial, and as their lives diverge, tensions increase and dormant memories claw to the surface.

Why it sounds awesome:

💥 A graphic novel from one of my favorite authors is perfect because I’ve been meaning to read more graphic novels.
💥 A story about brothers.
💥 Don’t know anything about the comic this is based on, but excited to learn more.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

the only way to survive is to open your heart.

Why it sounds awesome:

💥 I have one friend in real life who reads. Not a lot, so when she loves something, it always goes on my TBR. This is the latest one.
💥 Those words: “…her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact…”. I’m counting on this book to give me some tips.

Those were the books that had managed to sneak their way onto my TBR these past few months. Happy reading!

Posted in Fun Lists

Books I Would Like Better as Movies/Shows

The great horn sounded.

First line in The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett

I know a lot of readers deem it to be sacrilege to say that any movie was better than the book. I’m not one of those readers. You see, if I don’t like the book, there’s quite a big opportunity for the movie to be better. The most popular example is The Lord of the Rings.

A movie or a show has the opportunity to fix some of the issues I have with the book, especially in terms of writing style and sexism in books published (what feels like) 5000 years ago. So that’s what I’m talking about today. I’m going to be talking about books I gave 3 stars or less, that I think I would enjoy more if they hit the big screen. This was inspired by a recent Top Ten Tuesday post where I talked about all the books I love I would like to see adapted.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: 2 stars

I know I’m not the only one who found this book very confusing, but I would still be very intrigued to see it turned into a Netflix series. It has enough interesting characters and a world writers can play around with. Especially the many inventions introduced in the book could be portrayed better in a TV series. In the book, I missed some background information about these things and why they existed, besides the fact that the characters needed them.

Master of Sorrows by Justin Travis Call

My rating: 2 stars

This book was too slow. And it was slow in the wrong way. For example, it spent a lot of time setting the scene every time we changed location. Those 2-3 pages-long descriptions of a room every so often would just be a single shot in a movie, meaning there could be room for so much more story.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

My rating: 3 stars

It’s not that I disliked this book. It just wasn’t anything special. I think that I personally prefer these cutesy romance stories in movie format. You know, with music in the background and generally beautiful cinematography to really make me feel all the feels.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

My rating: 3 stars

This would need a major makeover as a movie to be something I liked, but it can be done. Fewer flashbacks and more present-time interactions between Victor and Eli would make it much more entertaining for me. A little more action, too, please. They have superpowers!

Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

My rating (book 1-3): 2-4 stars

I know we’re already getting an adaption of this, so this is me saying I have high hopes for it! I’m positive the show will do something about the awful gender stereotyping and generally give the characters a little more depth. The show format will also mean that I don’t have to trudge through long-winded descriptions of inns that look exactly the same.

The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett

My rating: 3 stars

This book has so many cool concepts that were sadly overshadowed by the worst case of “men writing women” I’ve ever seen. Watching a movie version would mean less eye-rolling for me and quite possibly make me much more interested in this world where demons rule the night.

That was this week’s fun little post. Let me know what you think of book-to-movie adaptions. Am I completely wrong in saying that the movie is sometimes better? Is there a movie you like better than the book or maybe predict you would if it existed? I would love to discuss it in the comments!

Posted in Book Tags

The Sunshine Blogger Award

“Philip heard him.”

First line in The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen

Hi, guys. I was so kindly nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Naemi from A Book Owl’s Corner. So thank you, Naemi! 😀

If you don’t know, The Sunshine Blogger Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers they find creative, inspiring and positive. It’s a great way to spread some love within the community.

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Now it’s time to answer the 11 question!


What is an interesting non-bookish fact about you that most people don’t know?

Something that most people here in the online community don’t know about me is that I spent 3 years at university to get a degree I’m not even using in my current job. I studied International Business Communication, which I don’t regret because it still improved my communication skills and anybody can find use of that. I don’t think I would have this blog if I hadn’t taken that education. But now I work as a postal worker. I spend my days alone without talking to people. It’s awesome.

Has your opinion on a book ever changed as you got older? For example: Is there a book you used to dislike that you now love, or a book you adored but fell out of love with?

I haven’t tried going from disliking a book to then loving it. I tend not to give books second chances so I don’t reread books I find bad or average. There are some books I read as a child that I don’t love anymore though. To name one: I don’t think I would love the Percy Jackson books if I read them again today.

Which fictional food would you love to try someday?

I don’t notice food, this was so hard! I’m going with a pretty well-known one: Lembas from The Lord of the Rings. It’s supposed to be the most nutritious thing you could possibly get and also tastes kind of sweet. However, the recipe is kept extremely secret by the elves so I doubt we’ll be seeing Lembas any time soon.

You get to resurrect a fictional character of your choice, but in order to gain the energy necessary to restore their life, you have to kill a different character. Who would you save and who would you sacrifice?

I’m assuming the two characters don’t need to come from the same book because I’m totally taking advantage of that. But as this is a quite spoilery question, both in terms of who to save and who to sacrifice, I’m giving SPOILER WARNING for A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara AND Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Don’t read the next paragraph if you don’t want spoilers for those.

Who to save: Willem Ragnarsson from A Little Life. If you’ve read the book, you know I’m also technically saving Jude so there was no doubt in my mind about this. I don’t think I’ve ever been hit this hard by a character death because Willem was just a genuinely good person. He deserves to live and bring happiness to Jude. The one I’m sacrificing to make this possible is Delilah Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic. She’s just the opposite of Willem. Rude, selfish, irrational. She really should have died at the end of that trilogy anyway.

Do you ever feel second-hand embarrassment when reading? If yes, name a scene that really made you cringe!

I guess I do feel second-hand embarrassment but not for specific scenes in that sense. It’s more something I come across whenever I have to read a book in my native language, Danish. I try to avoid this so much because it’s really a horrible language. Any emotional or serious scene will get awkward and cringey in Danish and I just can’t deal.

If you could have one item of clothing from a book, what would you pick? Be aware that any magical properties won’t transfer to our world.

It limits the options when you don’t get the magic, too. I think I’m turning to the Hunger Games universe because why would I not choose something Cinna made? One of those fiery dresses Katniss wears would be perfect to make people keep their distance in today’s environment and also just in general.

Do you speak any other languages? If so, what is one unique thing about them? If not – are there any languages you would like to learn?

Yes, I do speak other languages. I just bashed my native language two questions ago. But Danish does still have some unique qualities. When talking grammar, Danish has two genders. Funnily enough, our language decided to be politically correct before that was even a thing, because those two genders aren’t masculine and feminine. They’re called ‘common’ and ‘neuter’ instead. The downside of this, I guess, is that it’s difficult to guess a noun’s gender as a foreigner learning the language.

I also understand a little German as it is the language we learn in school. However, I will hold on to my right to look confused if someone starts talking to me in German.

What is your biggest bookish pet peeve?

Not sure if it applies to this question but I find it quite annoying when I go to Amazon to buy a book and the Kindle version is the most expensive. That’s the only version I buy through Amazon because shipping to my country is way too much money when Book Depository exists. But how does a digital version of a book cost more than a hardcover? There’s something about that that doesn’t connect in my mind because a Kindle version doesn’t actually “exist” if you get my meaning.

What would you like to see more of in books?

I find this difficult to answer because whatever I say, there are probably going to be a lot of books containing that element. I just haven’t found them yet. So I guess my answer is going to be what I would like to read more of.

The “strong female character” is something I so rarely see done right, at least to my taste. It’s not so much that the “strong” part means physically strong. I think authors have listened to that and moved away from it a little. Now, I think my problem with these characters is due to the fact that their strong trait of cleverness means that they become snarky and self-absorbed. Not that I mind intelligence in my female characters. I love that but I wish it would take a different form sometimes. I also wish that empathy would be seen as the strongest trait someone could have. But that might be a societal thing we need to change first.

Short version: I want more female characters like Vasya from the Winternight Trilogy.

What is the first book you ever read by yourself?

I have no idea how old I was, but I’m sure it was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. For some reason, I have some very vivid memories of this.

Recommend a book that you think doesn’t get enough love!

I’m going with The Binding by Bridget Collins which is a highly atmospheric book about books. But some very special books as they hold memories. If there’s something you want to forget, just get your bad memories written into a book.
The Binding is a slow, low fantasy story with characters you quickly fall in love with, and I think more people should read it.


Those were some really great questions to answer. Now I’m going to nominate 11 other fantastic bloggers who deserve some love. I always feel like I’m too small a blogger to tag anyone which makes this a little weird for me but here we go:

Absolutely no pressure to do this. Just know that I think that you and your blog are real nice 😀 ❤️ Here are the 11 questions to answer:

  1. How are you doing at the moment?
  2. Do you have a Twitter or Instagram account where you talk about books? If so, how do you use them in connection to your blog? If you don’t have such accounts, why not?
  3. Pick one character you would have a conversation with (either one you hated or one you loved). What would you talk about?
  4. Are you an indoors or outdoors type of person?
  5. You like music? What is your current favorite song?
  6. Do you read ebooks? Why do you like/dislike them?
  7. Is there a genre you could never see yourself reading?
  8. You have briefly been granted the ability to pull an animal/creature out of a any book to have them live with you. Who is your new pet?
  9. If you were asked to recommend 2 books with a great portrayal of friendship, which ones would you mention? (If you want to mention more than 2, don’t let me stop you)
  10. Do you have any future plans concerning your blog? Are there certain milestones you want to reach?
  11. What are some of your favorite character traits? What does it require for you to love characters? Name as many traits as you want!

This was a really fun post do to and thank you again to A Book Owl’s Corner for nominating me. Happy reading!

Posted in Uncategorized

5-Star Predictions: Wrap Up Post

“All children, except one, grow up.”

First line in Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Hi, guys. So several months ago I made a post about the 5-star predictions I had at the time. It took me a while, but I’ve finally read all 5 books and it’s time to see if my predictions were correct.


Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Rating: 3 stars

So this was a 5-star prediction because it’s the booktuber Merphy Napier’s favorite book. I have now realized that I don’t share Merphy’s taste in books exactly, and so Peter Pan was just an average book to me. It’s nice knowing the original story, but I would rather watch the movie or maybe read a retelling.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: 3 stars

Even though this first book in the series was only a 3-star for me, I ended up really loving the series. I even gave the last one 5 stars so it sort of counts as a correct prediction, right? It’s a quite romance-heavy YA fantasy series, which usually shouldn’t work for me but this one did. It contains a lot of political intrigue and subtle social commentary on racism. There wasn’t much of it in the first book hence the 3-star rating.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Rating: 3 stars

An “everybody loves this”-book that I only found fine. I really liked the cultural aspects of it and how it just normalizes diversity in all regards. Unfortunately, I didn’t care very much about the story or the characters. It was all just fine and failed to make me feel anything which makes me sound really cold. It just has a little too much fluff for me.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 4.5 stars

Finally something good! With how bad this list is going, I’m counting 4.5 as a win. It’s been a few months since I read it, but there are two specific scenes in here that I still think about constantly. Perhaps the two best scenes I’ve ever read. So many things to love about this book. The only reason I took off half a star is the way Shallan was written. There were some aspects of her character that didn’t really click with me and I felt she was a little too good to be true. But I love Kaladin. Did I mention that I love Kaladin? Because I do. I really love Kaladin.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Rating: 2 stars

Sooo this one won a Pulitzer but I didn’t like it *feels eternally ashamed*. The subject matter of the Civil Rights movement is of course very important and interesting… but I need something more to like a book. The writing style was very detached so it was a struggle for me to care about what happened to the characters. I’m such a character focused reader that if I don’t connect with at least some of the characters, then I don’t like the book.


So how did I do?

Books given 5 stars: 0
Books I’m counting as a win anyway: 2 (The Demon King and Words of Radiance)

…Okay that was worse than even my lowest expectations. And the thing is: I’ve read six 5-star books inbetween these ones. So I clearly just don’t know how to pick the right ones. I decided to take a closer look at these 5 books and tried to pull some lessons for myself from it. So here’s a recap of what I learned:

  • I rarely give 5 stars to the first book in a series. Due to all the set up and introductions, they’re just rarely the best books in their series.
  • Classics can’t get a 5 star from me because that old writing style is the opposite of what I like.
  • Award-winning books aren’t necessarily for me because I’m weird and care about characters more than anything.

I’m not sure whether or not to do this again because it was such a HUGE failure. It’s tempting to try again, though, and maybe learn even more about my own taste and what I require of a 5-star book. I’m curious about your experiences though if you’ve ever attempted to predict your 5-star reads or even just plan to. Is it all just for fun or do you have some use out of it? But until next time, happy reading! Hope you’re reading lots of 5 star books!

Posted in Book Tags

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

“There is a pirate in the basement.”

First line in The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Hi, guys. It’s time to freak out because it’s the middle of the year, although I do seem to have been in a permanent state of “freak out” for the entire year. Can 2020 please end?

Nevertheless, the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag is a great way to sum up the first six months of the year. I have read a lot of books if I compare to my normal standards. So far I’m on 35 and might even be able to read more books than I ever have before in a year. My current best is 65 so I think it can be done. But let’s move on to the questions!


What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2020?

Or rather the best book I’ve read that doens’t fit any other question in this tag. That means that I’m choosing The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. This one opened my eyes to how much I actually love books about books. Mix that with a fairy tale-like story and Morgensterns immersive writing and it simply has to become one of my favorite books of the year.

What has been your favourite sequel of the first half of the year?

I hate this question because I’ve actually read a total of four 5-star sequels so far this year. I’m picking Chainbreaker by Tara Sim because this series needs more attention. It’s a diverse historical fantasy/steampunk series that manages to stay highly relevant and educational. It has the most wholesome characters, too. I really loved the second one for how it just took everything to the next level and expanded on both the world and the story.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?

Well, there are a few. Echo Cycle by Patrick Edwards. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune. The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab, of course.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. This follows a group of ‘chosen ones’ 10 years after they defeated the bad guy and really seemed like it was going to dive deep into their PTSD. It didn’t exactly and I’m so disappointed. The story had so much potential. Instead of following all of the chosen ones, we only follow one and the plot itself could have been more relevant to their PTSD.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. A hyped YA fantasy book is something everyone needs to be wary of, but I hadn’t needed to with this one. Rogerson’s writing really makes this story come off the pages so I couldn’t help but be invested. Then you have the characters and their banter and their friendships and their romance. Oh, and the plot is centered around books that come alive!

What is your favourite new to you or debut author?

A. J. Hackwith, the author of The Library of the Unwritten.

What is your favourite fictional crush from this year?

I’ve already mentioned this book, but I really love Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns so I guess that’s my answer.

Who is your new favourite character?

Rune Saint John from The Tarot Sequence series by K. D. Edwards. He is such a layered character. He has a big heart and cares deeply about the people around him. He’ll protect them at all costs and is very self-sacrificing in that regard. No character deserves as much love as he does.

A book that made you cry?

Only one book has made me cry this year and that is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. This one follows the life of Cyril Avery as he grows up and tries to live his life to the fullest as a gay man in Ireland. As any other life-story, his has its ups and downs, and there was one moment in particular that touched my heart and made me tear up. Amazing book!

A book that made you happy?

I don’t really read ‘happy books’ so this was kind of hard. I’m going with the first and only graphic novel I’ve ever read which is Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. A very sweet Halloween story about friendship that was really uplifting to read.

Your favourite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

I can never remember what I’ve watched. I guess I’m going with 13 Reasons Why because the fourth season came out in June and I watched all 10 episodes in a day. It’s based on the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, which I have not read. Most people seem to hate the show but I really love it for tackling difficult topics and not being afraid of being controversial. I’m so sad it’s over.

What is your favourite post that you’ve written so far this year?

The two posts I’ve written about the Danish translations of Harry Potter (book 1 and book 2) where I really allowed myself to be a language nerd. Those were so much fun to make and looking forward to writing the rest of the series.
I’m also pretty proud of my discussion post about embracing the nuances of the fantasy genre.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

I bought the US paperback editions of the entire Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. I love looking at them on my shelf.

What are some books you need to read by the end of the year?

I did a post recently about my reading goals for 2020 and what books I still needed to read. Just to mention some other books I need to read:

  • Harry Potter (book 3-7, reread)
  • King of Crows by Libba Bray
  • Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  • Burn by Patrick Ness

That was it for my mid year check in. Was it the best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

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TBR Clean Out: Books I No Longer Want to Read

“If I’m not home in two months, I’m dead.”

First line in Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Hi, guys. Lately, I’ve been stressing myself out a lot with all the books I need to read. There are just too many, and it’s actually affected more than it should. I feel a pressure to read all the popular fantasy books to be able to be a part of online discussions. Then I also have to read all the underrated gems to support those authors. And let’s not forget that all while doing that, I also have to fill out the diversity bingo card or get “cancelled”.

To do something active about this stress feeling, I decided that I needed to remove the books from my TBR that I actually didn’t want to read anymore. Some of those I added a very long time ago and now have to realize that I’m never gonna get to. Let’s start!


  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

The fact that I read about one classic a year, should have told me that I was being very optimistic by adding this chunker to my TBR. I had found out that it was different from the movie and wanted to know how. But I could also just read a summary…

  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

This has been on my TBR since February 2018 and was one of those books I added to my TBR when I just discovered BookTube. It was compared to The Night Circus and that was all I needed. Now I know that McLemore’s books tend to lean more towards magical realism and that just not my genre.

  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Added because the same author wrote Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. The synopsis itself isn’t something that really speaks to me and since it’s been on my TBR for more than 2 years, it’s going off.

  • Remaining Books by Rick Riordan

Please don’t kill me. I’ve read the Percy Jackson series and the first 3 books in the Hero of Olympus. I liked the first series well enough growing up, but reading the last three books as an adult simply hasn’t worked for me. Riordan’s formulaic writing means that it feels like I’ve read the same book 8 times. It’s incredibly boring and I’m not going to do it another 8 times. Life’s too short.

  • Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

As much as I love Marvel, I’ve realized that I’m going to just stick to the movies. Reading about superheroes (or whatever you’d call Loki) isn’t something I’m extremely interested in.

  • King of Fools by Amanda Foody

This is the sequel to Ace of Shades which I gave 3 stars. It had potential so I added the second book to my TBR. However, my library never got it and when I have to buy a book, I get a little more picky with what I read. I’ve had to realize that I’m just not that excited about it.

In total I removed 11 books from my TBR (there were a few Rick Riordan books), so it went from 98 to 87. 87 might not sound like a lot but it’s not completely accurate either. When reading series, I only add the one book I need to read next in case it’s so bad I want to quit on the series. So in reality my TBR is a lot bigger and never grows smaller. But this clean out did help a little. Do you remove books from your TBR once in a while?

Posted in Book Tags

The Birthday Book Tag

“One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke.”

First line in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Hi, guys. Sooo… it’s my birthday today. I’m officially 27. I’m not someone who cares very much about my birthday. That’s why The Birthday Book Tag is perfect. Instead of talking about myself, I get to talk about books. Way more fun. This tag was originally created by Antonia. Let’s jump into the questions!


Birthday Cake – A book with a plot that seems cliché but you adore it anyway

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I mean, it has all the clichés and all the tropes you would expect from a YA fantasy series. But it works for some reason. There’s action and political intrigue and I just really loved reading it.

Party Guests – Your most anticipated book release this year

I’m going to assume they just forgot to add an ‘s’ on release because you can’t expect me to only mention one. I have a standalone and continuations of two of my favorite series coming in the Fall. The standalone is, of course, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab.

Then we have The Archive of the Forgotten by A. J. Hackwith, sequel to The Library of the Unwritten.

Last one is Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, the last and long awaited sixth book in The Queen’s Thief series.

It might be a conspiracy but all of these books have the exact same publication date (as I’m writing this): October 6th.

Somebody must hate me.

Birthday Presents – A book that surprised you with how much you loved it

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. This one was very popular when it came out but it seemed to get mixed reviews so I’d actually decided I wasn’t going to read it. Experience had told me that those kinds of books rarely hit home for me. Then it fit an O.W.L.s prompt and here we are. The characters, the banter, the romance, the friendships, the library setting. I mean, this book just turned out to have all the right ingredients for me to love it.

The Happy Birthday Song – A book that certainly deserved all the hype it got

A lot of books deserve all their hype but since it’s June and Pride Month, I’m going with an old favorite: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Univers by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Such a beautiful story about identity and the importance of family.

Happy Music – A book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. There were so many options for this question but just to proove that this one is a great choice, here are some quotes:

“I remember a friend of mine once telling me that we hate what we fear in ourselves,”

“It’s as if she understood completely the condition of loneliness and how it undermines us all, forcing us to make choices that we know are wrong for us.”

“Maybe there were no villains in my mother’s story at all. Just men and women, trying to do their best by each other. And failing.”

But also this:

“You look like a Greek God sent down by the immortal Zeus from Mount Olympus to taunt the rest of us inferior beings with your astonishing beauty, I said, which somehow in translation came out as “you look fine, why?”

Getting Older – A book that you read a long time ago, but you think that you would appreciate it more if you read as a more mature reader

It was much easier to find the opposite of this – books I probably won’t like as much anymore – but my answer is probably A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin which I read when I was about 16 or 17. The thing is that I really liked it back then but I’m sure I would appreciate it a lot more now and pick up on a lot more. Back then, I wasn’t reading adult fantasy and also didn’t know much about the differences between YA and adult. Now that I’m a more experienced adult fantasy reader and I also know the ending of the series, it would be fun to read the first book again.

Sweet Birthday Memories – A book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life

I was really trying to be original but there’s only one answer for this: Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. I’ve been lonely for a large part of my life, especially in my early teens, but these books gave me an escape so I didn’t have to be sad all the time. Being a part of the fandom also helped me make friends (online of course), and one of them is still my best friend.

These books are also still helping me. During my latest reread of the second book, I was reminded that the bravest thing you can do is ask for help when you need it. It was just the thing I needed to hear to realize that I needed to seek help with my anxiety.

Yeah, it’s not like I’m going to tag anyone lol. It’s a fun tag so I’ll probably do it again next year. Happy reading!

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An Update On My 2020 Reading Goals

“The end of our final winter break seems almost like the beginning of a victory lap.”

First line in Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Hi, guys. At the start of 2020, I made a post about the books I wanted to get to this year. As we are halfway through the year, it’s time to check in and see how I’m doing.

I’ll start by going through the books I’ve managed to cross off the list:

  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

This one featured in my 5-star predictions post, but I ended up rating it 3 stars, unfortunately.

  • The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

I didn’t just read this one but the entire series! That’s 3 more books, guys. Maybe I’ll add the companion series to my goals for next year.

  • Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

I wanted to give this author duo a shot and that turned out to be a great idea. I gave this one 4 stars, and will be looking their way again when I’m in the mood for a contemporary.

  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Well, at least I tried this author and now know that he’s not for me. I gave Dark Matter 2 stars.

  • Words of Radiance and Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson

I have loved making my way through the Stormlight Archive. These two books were given 4.5 and 4 stars.

  • The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

This third book in the Wheel of Time turned out to be quite a big miss for me which is sad because I liked the first two. I’m still going to continue with the series and hope this was a one time thing.


That was pretty good, right?. Let’s move on to the pile of books I haven’t touched yet.

  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

I don’t care that it’ll be a while before book 3 in this series sees the light of day. I just want to be caught up. Sadly, I don’t see many positive reviews of this second book so it’s not one I’m really excited about.

  • The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

Book 4 and 5 in the Wheel of Time. Considering that I need a significant break between each book, I’m a bit worried about the fifth book. I completely blame the closed-down libraries for this because I was meant to read book 3 a lot sooner than I actually did.

  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

I’m going to have caught up with this series when the fourth book comes out! I hate having to avoid spoilers for this series so I’m going to be reading it very soon. It will probably still take me almost a month to read so I need to just start it.

  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

This is the kind of book where if I don’t read it this year, it’s probably going off my TBR because then I’m clearly not motivated enough to read it. I still really want to read it because it’s one I think I’ll really love as soon as I get into it.

  • *3 Neil Gaiman books*

My goal was to read 4 books by Gaiman because I haven’t had much luck with him previously. I want to really give it a shot this year and if I still haven’t fallen in love with his work by December, I’m going to stop trying. I’ve only read one book by him so far this year which was Norse Mythology which was alright but difficult to really judge him on. The only one of his other books I’ve planned to read is Neverwhere. Not sure where to go after that. Any suggestions are welcome!


The last book on the list was The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which I’m happy to say that I’m currently reading.

That means that I’ve read 8 and a half of the 17 books I wanted to read. Not to brag about my planning skills… but that’s perfect. Halfway through the year and half of the books read. Let’s just ignore the fact that I’ve read all the small books and left all the big ones for the last half of the year.

Do you have goals for 2020? Let me know if you’re on top of everything or now hate me for reminding you. Happy reading!