Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

The underground railroad – Colson Whitehead

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Goodreads synopsis: Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

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My thoughts: I’m sad that I didn’t like this more. Maybe I had too high hopes for it but I thought it would move me more than it did. Since Whitehead won a Pulitzer prize for this one there are obvious people who think this is literature art with some beautiful sentence, genius structure and intriguing story. However, it did not work for me and my biggest problem with the book is that it is written in this type of macro view, the chapters are jumbled and there is a big historical “fault” in the book. If the chapters were in a “correct” timeline order (except Mabel’s chapter) it would not have been too much jumping back and forth for me. I hate broken structure and time jumping like that when it isn’t done with smooth finesse.

So, let’s start with the historical “fault”. I read this book as an historical fiction because that is how it was presented to me. Now however I wish someone would have told me that it is more of an allegory. Then I would probably not have irritated over the fact that in this book the underground railroad is an actual railroad underground with train and everything. I didn’t think I was so bad on American history so I had to dedicate some time to google and find out what was true. No there was no real underground railroad as I thought. And this irritated me boundlessly.

The next thing is that I felt the book somewhat unemotional, distant, meek and cold. No real thoughts or feelings. Nothing that really moved me. Maybe it is me who are to jaded and cold for a book like this, or maybe I can’t relate on the same level since I’m not American or black and my history, family’s history and my country’s history is a lot different. If it would have been written from first person perspective, so that me as a reader would get some thoughts and feelings and not this cold storytelling, I would find it a lot stronger and more relatable. Because feelings I can relate to.

It is still an uncomfortable read with a terrible story and it do make you think. So, Whitehead have done something right. The book is not a graphic read and even though I felt somewhat detached, I think Whiteheads goal was to start some thoughts and of all the discussions I have found on the internet, he has certainly succeeded.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Classic/Historical

1943 – D. Clarke

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Goodreads synopsis: The book doesn’t have a fulfillment synopsis so I will try to write something short about it.

Here we meet Letty. A young teenager who is thrown back in time from 2017 to 1943 Harlem, New York. The time is completely different than what he is used to and you get to follow Lettys struggles to adapt to this hard times. He make friends in a world where being a woman or black is like a sin and you get to follow his struggle to find a way to get back to his own time. We meet some nice characters in this modern time travel story.

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My thoughts: I received this book from the author against an honest review and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised even though I had some big problems with it. I really like time travel books and that is one of the reasons I choosed to read this book.

First off, the language is really weird for me. Let me remind you that English is not my first language and even though I mostly read in English, it will always be a second language to me and this book was just a little too hard. There is no good flow in the language and it keeps switching from proper use of words to slang and in between there are some big words, which I feel don’t belong in the telling of the story. The lack of easy use of the English language and flow did the story hard for me to read and I had to take breaks ever so often due to the strain it put on my mind. I also feel that the book is missing some depth. Both in character reactions, feelings and story wise. This can of course be a result due to the language and my inability to read the book with ease. Unfortunately, I would not recommend the book to someone who do not have English as first language or is a stronger reader than me. Oh and I don’t like the cover. It doesn’t do the book justice.

I do however like the story itself. It is an entertaining idea and it is quite exciting. Even though there is nothing new in the theory about time travel and Clarke have clearly choosed the way that is the most simple and easiest to understand it is likable. I like Letty and I like the characters he meet in 1943. They made the story come alive. I also like the little twist with “Red” and that I didn’t know who he was until the end of the book. The story is also a little sad and it makes you think, which I see as an positive thing.

Would I read anything by Clarke again? Yeah probably. If the book have gone trough some heavy editing first by a professional who could ease up the language for people like me. Until then, No! 🙂

 

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The doll’s house – M.J Arlidge

23519826| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.

Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing – her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.

For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it’s chilling evidence that she’s searching for a monster who is not just twisted but also clever and resourceful – a predator who’s killed before.

And as Helen struggles to understand the killer’s motivation, she begins to realize that she’s in a desperate race against time .

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My thoughts: I was skeptical about this book. I liked the first one in the series, but the second got pretty low rating by me. I am however happy that I choosed to read it anyway because it was really good. There is one thing I have an issue with however. And that is all the drama.

There is 5 female characters in this book who have some kind of issue with one another. There is jealousy and other stuff that just brings the story down. I hate drama and I hate office politics. Bringing this two together and it brings it all down for me and I am ashamed over the female genus because I know that this happens in the real world. However, it was still nice to get some kind of closure on the whole Grace and Harwood fiasco and I hope the drama is now over.

The story itself is classical. No big surprises and it is something you have seen or read to many times. It is still entertaining and then I also like these slow burner, English crime books that ends with a bang. Helen Grace keeps being an enigma and after three books, I can’t say that I know who she is. I know she has some problems due to her childhood and that she has a strong desire to help people. But other than that, she is a complete puzzle to us readers.

One other thing I liked with this book is that the chapters are really short and it pleases my OCD. I can absolutely see myself read the fourth book in the series.

Classic/Historical · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The horse and his boy – C.S Lewis

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Goodreads synopsis: A wild gallop for freedom. Narnia… where horses talk… where treachery is brewing… where destiny awaits. On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.

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My thoughts: This is so far my favorite among the three books I have read. I really like it. The story is set in the Golden age and it takes place in the south outside of Narnia’s borders. Because Narnia is actually not that big. The book has a completely different feeling. It is somewhat darker and more medieval with fairies, horses, King and Queens and of course, War! They have swords and complete knight equipment. The ladies have big, flowing dresses and they live either in castles or poorer in small houses. They are fishermen’s, farmers or have other, not so legal ways to provide for them self’s. The story is simple and just about a Boy and a horse. Who talks by the way and it makes the story just better. More magical.

They are on an adventure through danger from both people and nature. They meet a girl also with a talking horse and decides that four are better than two. The book is about staying alive, do the right thing, friendship and fight for the weaker people.

There is also a mystery that you don’t get to know the truth about until the end of the book and it made it all more real. A little darker but still with the learning that there is light in the end of the tunnel and if you fight for what’s right, yourself and your friends, you have done alright. And even though the book is a lot darker than what I associate with Narnia, you still get that Narnia feeling.

Contemporary · Romance

Cyrus – Jessica Gadziala

35450200.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis:
Cyrus
Family. Brotherhood. Music. Women. That was pretty much my life. And it was one I was happy with too. Until I came across her- the one woman I knew I had no right to put my hands on, the woman who I still felt such a connection with that, even though I knew I had to keep my hands – and other body parts – to myself, I wanted to be in her life. So I became her friend. Except, this sweet, shy, bookworm was making being honorable a hell of a lot harder than I expected.

Reese
Family. Books. To be perfectly honest, that was pretty much all my life was about. And I was happy with that. I lived a thousand lives. I saw and felt things in stories I never could have otherwise. Besides, real life was never as good as books. Until I came across him. He was leading man material if I ever saw it. You know, just not for me. He made that perfectly clear. We were going to be friends. Friends. That was it. Except, maybe that simply wasn’t enough…

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My thoughts: I have been looking forward to this book since I read about Reese in Kenzi’s book 14 Weeks. Mostly because she was a little mysterious, social awkward and a total book nerd. Who can not relate to that if not me? However, I must say I’m a little disappointed. I still gave this book a four-star rating but that is mostly because I love the series and the Navesink Bank universe and the characters Cyrus and Reese is to die for. Their story however is not as good. Pretty boring actually.

It is sweet and a little funny yeah, but not quite my cup of tea. I need more excitement and suspense. Or more humor or more feelings or more depth. Just more! This was kind of bland and it all went a little too easy and there where to big jumps in time. Suddenly it had gone 5 weeks. When they were not talking, I would have loved to read about them see each other or an awkward meeting or a fight. Just something with emotions. There where talk about some real “on his knees, begging for forgiveness” work and kissing her feet to make up for stuff that happened, but there was just some lame show of affection that made me a little sad. It was promising some heavy standoff between some characters but also that never happened. And the story about Kenzis reaction to Cyrus was completely ignored and I would have loved to read Reeses reaction when finding out that Cyrus “destroyed” a book.

Just many small things building up to a big thing. A little more time and more depth would have made this book one of my favorites I think. But even the high score, it is one of my least favorites of all the (30?) books I read by Gadziala. Story wise. The characters are on top of my favorite list though.

Everyday things

Top 10 Romantic book <3

14 February, the day of love. Cupid, hearts, roses and chocolate. A little too much for my personally taste. A little to shallow and forced. Love should not be forced like that. It should come in the small, everyday life. I have been in a steady relationship for 10 years and we have never really “celebrated” valentine’s day so this is no “I’m single and hate Valentine’s day” rant. And since I’m not going to celebrate it this year either I thought, maybe I should. But instead of celebrating cheesy love, why not celebrate books? Romantic books. Because even if I don’t celebrate the day for love, I’m a total romantic buff. And of course, I read romantic books.

I have compiled a list with 10 of my favorite romantic books from different genres. We have some dark, some happy, some suspense and some contemporary. A little bit of everything and it is all romantic. Look and see what you think and please leave a comment if you wish before you go.

Happy Valentine’s day.
❤ XOXO ❤

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King by T.M Frazier. This is not a book for the faint hearted or easily offended people. Here you get some heavy and hot sex, lies and destructive behavior but still a great story. I do however have to warn you that this is not a standalone series and it will end on a cliffhanger. But it is totally worth it.

 

9
18399198Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell. Here you have a strong, opinionated, headstrong and lovable nurse who gets to experience her worst night of all nights. We have a strong, alpha male who work in law enforcement but risks it all to save this young, sweet little boy. Get yourself ready for the ride of your life and a love story who sparks from the darkest ground and lights up the sky. This is the first book in the stand-alone series about the Edgar’s family.

 

8
33724Can you keep a secret? by Sophie Kinsella. Imagine yourself in a position where you reveal your darkest secrets to a stranger and later finds out that this stranger can both save your ass or ruin your life for all eternity. What would you do? Well I would probably do as Emma does in this book. And it is hilarious.

 

7
10964Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. If you haven’t read it, at least you should give it a try. You may not like it, but then you don’t have to hear “what, you haven’t read it?! You must read it! It is just that good!” Yeah the book Is THAT good and I totally love it and I wish everyone would just read it so the mankind can move on to other books to rave about.

 

6
25676540Preacher by Dahlia West. The book for you with an open mind. This one took me by total surprise and became one of my favorite books of all times. Yeah that is how good this is. And the female main character is everything I want to be and the story so catching that it is hard to put it down. And there is some heavy, sexy romance in it to. 😉

 

5
11381643Playing for keeps by R.L Mathewson. I rave about this stand-alone series to everyone who would listen. I feel that this book does not get the recognition that it deserves and it is one of my favorites. Too bad the cover is so ugly. But do not judge the book by its cover and I’m so glad that I didn’t do just that because I love this and the whole series is just so heartwarming and wonderful.

 

44
33288638Wait for it by Mariana Zapata. Did not know what to expect but I certainly did not see myself read this book, with its 670 pages, in one go with only bathroom and some small food breaks. I love when a book gets me that wrapped up, but it is total killer on my body and head. Still worth it and you still need to read this if you not already done it.

 

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30197979Spotless by Camilla Monk. Friend of mine recommended this series. Right now, I only have read this but it is so good and funny that the whole world need to know about it. This is also one of those few books I feel would be great as a comedy movie with the right actors.

 
22406849Matilda’s last waltz by Tamara McKinley. An old-time, romantic book with family secrets, lies and love in the Australian farmland. The book that started my love for Australia and fire for historical suspense. Great read I need to read again soon someday.

 

11
27852385The seventh hour by Tracey Ward. I’m not a big fan of the Young Adult genre so when I read one of these full score, hit me on the head and let me die, romantic books, AND no one is talking about it, it just makes me sad. This book is so good, so great and worth every penny. And it is not one of those mushy and meek type of YA romantic books either. It is just perfect.

 

heart

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The treatment – Mo Hayder

647954| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Midsummer, and in an unassuming house on a quiet residential street on the edge of Brockwell Park in south London, a husband and wife are discovered. Badly dehydrated, they’ve been bound and beaten, the husband is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing.

When DI Jack Caffery of the Met’s AMIT squad is called in to investigate, the similarities to events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime with the necessary detachment. And as Jack digs deeper, as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both the past and the present, the real nightmare begins…

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My thoughts: I have very few triggers when it comes to books. I read most of it. I don’t like it all and it can affect me bad mentally, but mostly I can handle it. But the few triggers I do have, are different types of sexual assaults. Specially against kids. I can read a book when the story is that it already has happen and you get to read about it in past tense and preferable not in that much details. Read it happen in present time and aftermath is something I have tough time with and I do my best to avoid those types of books.

So, you can imagine how tough this book was for me. And I didn’t know that it was supposed to be about pedophilia and other sick monsters. Now I’m glad I didn’t know since the book is terrifyingly awesome and if given the choice, maybe I would not have read it. But since I do have read the first book, I should have been a little smarter and foreseen that this would be a big part of the book. Apparently, I’m not that smart.

This book was so much better than the first book and I love the broken dynamic between Jack and Becky and how they, even though all the shit that has happened, not give up. The truth comes out and it just makes them fight harder for them self’s and each other and I love that. Other than that, the book is a typical British crime novel. Some really sick stuff is happening and you get some answers on questions from the first book (So yeah you should read them in order) and it builds something of a series I can see myself continue.

But no, this is not a light read but I do think it’s worth it.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Take the key and lock her up – Lena Diaz

22608022.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Lena Diaz returns with another sexy, thrilling Deadly Games novel and the darkest question of all: What do you do when your freedom could cost you your life?

Detective Emily O’Malley just stumbled upon a killer’s lair—and the remains of a woman he kept locked away for years. But this killer isn’t done yet. More women are missing, and all clues point to Devlin Buchanan—the man who seems to know just a little too much. Emily’s instincts are rarely wrong, and now they’re telling her this sexy, mysterious man is hiding something big …

As a trained assassin for EXIT Inc—a top-secret mercenary group posing as an international tour company—Devlin “Devil” Buchanan isn’t afraid to take justice into his own hands. But when the hot new detective on his trail gets too close to the organization and a contract is placed on her life, Devlin does the only thing he can: he turns rogue agent and kidnaps her to save her life.

With EXIT Inc closing in and passions running hot between them, Emily and Devlin must work together to find the missing women and clear both their names before time runs out … and the key to freedom is thrown away.

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My thoughts: I have not read that much by Diaz. Only this series and this book is the last one (as I understand it) in the series Deadly Games. I loved the first three books and they all got top score by me. These books are old fashion, romantic suspense that makes you want to stay home from work, sit in your reading nook and do nothing but read all day and night. That is how good these books have been. I must, however, say that I was a little disappointed on Diaz with this one. The story is awesome as always but I do not like the ending.

Well, it ended the only way it could have ended and that is fine. I’m satisfied by that. But since this is the last book, it should not have been as many questions (tough small) left for me as a reader. It should not imply that you will get all the answers if you start the series EXIT and then you read the synopsis about the first book in the EXIT series and there is nothing that implies that you will get your answers.

However, if you can ignore that those small questions won’t get any good answers, the book is awesome and I love all the characters. I love the story and I love how strong and fierce (in the right way) the female character is. It is just so good and I can’t say anything other than these books are so worth reading if you are a romantic suspense junky as I am.

Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Grin & beard it – Penny Reid

23337863.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

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My thoughts: I’m in love. Yes I am. I’m in love with Penny Reid. And even though i’m straight I can totally appreciate beauty. Specially if you have the beautiful gift of writing. Which Reid totally has. And it is so obvious in this book.

I’m that kind of reader who makes faces when I read. I smile, frown, I cry and even look bored if the book is boring. But I do NOT laugh out loud, hardly ever cry so that other notice, gasp or talk to the book and the characters. Do you still follow me here? Okay… but this book started with me laughing out loud. Yes. I was like 4 pages in, it was 06:22 am in the morning and it totally made me laugh and I was hooked there and then. The book is highly funny in this sarcastic, in your face, type of way and I totally love it.

I have read one book by Reid earlier (the first book to this series, this one is the second). And even though I really liked it, I did not LOVE it. Not like I love this one.

The characters is just wonderful and it is nice to really get to know them more. Cletus (who is not the main character in this book) has such a big part and you can’t do anything other than loving him, and looking forward to his own book. Sienna is wonderfully quirky, funny and has like “joke diarrhea” which is funny as hell. Jethro is this dark, brooding type of man who is trying to make amends for his past and make everything right by his family and friends. He is open, funny and lovable if given the chance and him and Sienna really match each other perfectly.

I thought, half way through the book, that some shit would happen and you would get this tense, anguished and mentally exhausted part, but it never came and it was so uplifting that Reid not followed the mainstream way, that seems to be dominating in this types of books. And that just made it all that much better.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

After The Dark – Cynthia Eden

30836269.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Former FBI agent Samantha Dark was one of the most respected profilers in the bureau, an expert on the twisted minds and dark hearts of the most depraved criminals. But when her own former lover turned out to be the serial killer she was hunting, Samantha’s career was destroyed. Blamed for the FBI’s failure on the complex case, Samantha fled Washington, DC, for the quiet anonymity of Alabama.

Now an all-too-familiar killer is hunting once again. She can catch the sadistic assassin, but that means putting her trust in her former partner, Blake Gamble. Ex-military, Blake is tough, protective, precise. With her entire life on the brink, she knows he wants her back in the FBI…and possibly more.

But someone else wants her, too. A threat is waiting in the dark, a killer who has set his sights on the ultimate trophy victim—Samantha.

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My thoughts: I don’t know if I just had to high hopes or what not for this book, but no matter what the reason, I was not happy with the result. It is so repetitive. Yeah I get it that the characters want something or need something but do you have to keep thinking it, saying it and be angry if you don’t get it and keep it on a loop even after you get it. It destroyed the story. Specially since the story could have been good, even though you get to know the truth early on.

I still liked the book enough to give it a two star. It is still not positive but since the story was intriguing even though no suspense or excitement, I got through it. It is an average read. Not something I would recommend to friends if they not specifically requested something in this line. However Eden has done a great job with capture a killer’s mind and the law enforcement work and even if the whole story was predictable, it still was somewhat entertaining.

But I didn’t like the character’s dynamic to each outer. Someone who do not trust someone, don’t just show up the next day and have complete and utterly trust in that person. And the relationship between Gamble and Dark just didn’t feel real at all and quite forced. There was nothing with it that I liked and that makes me a little sad.

So, to conclude it all, I liked the story even though it was predictable and you got to know it all already in the beginning. I did however don’t like the characters and the general dynamic in the story. Probably had higher hopes for the book, than what I should have had.