Contemporary · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Simon vs. The homo sapiens agenda – Becky Albertalli

19547856.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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My thoughts: I have been avoiding these cutesy, young adult romances as the vampire avoids sunlight. Not only because they often are to fluffy and angst filled for my taste. But also because they feel to unrealistic and predictable. It is like these teenage movies where you have 75 minutes of “funny” cringe worthy scenes and you still KNOW that the prins and princess will get each other in the end. I can see the charm, I do, and I do watch them sometimes when I don’t have the energy to use my head. At times I only want to be filled with something shallow, where I can remember or forget. Depending on the mood. And I do wish I could enjoy them, as much as so many others do. I feel I miss out a lot but the most of these YA I have tried, I have not enjoyed no matter how much I have tried.

But I did enjoy Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda. It is not specially fun, it has its moments, and it brings up the storm of emotions in a young boys life who knows he is gay, but has yet told anyone. Except Blue. The mysterious, email friend Simon has but don’t know who it is. Blue is also gay and they talk a lot about how it is to still “be in the closet” and the big “coming out” thing. I loved that I could not predict who Blue was until he was revealed and it was a total surprise.

What I liked the most with the book was the day to day life. Simon is a great character. He is deeply developed, funny and sarcastic. He is grounded in the story and who is easy to relate to. I had some trouble the first 50+ pages since there is a lot of characters and it was hard to keep track of who talked when or did what. But as soon as I got used to the way it was written it was much easier and the book was a fast past read.

It is a great book but still a little to light and fluffy for my taste. But then again, YA Romance is not my favorite genre. I did like it and feel that this is a great book for all ages. Now in 2018 the movie on the book, Love Simon, have had a release and of course I want to see it. Haha. I love movies made on books. Usually not as great, “The Book was better”, you know, but still want to see them.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Brilliance – Marcus Sakey

23299555.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “brilliants,” and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in – and betray his own kind.

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My thoughts: With its highly cliché content, generic story and with a complete lack of original ideas from the author, it is sad how this novel has been raised and praised in the bookish community. The original idea of it all is pretty cool and something I could love since I’m a total “superpower” buff. But this is just a lame version of x-men. Without the cool powers, the sexy suits and expensive toys. But still the corrupt governments, the terrorists, the two sides against each other and the family conflicts are the same story that we have been fed for like 20 years now.

It is even more sad how Sakey have focused more on the style of the book than the content itself. Written it “ready” for the movie business and it is almost like he wants to flip us off with a highly obscene gesture. I feel the book is written like a screenplay, ready for Hollywood, not the bookshelf’s. It feels like he did not care about the book itself but only hoped on the possibility to get an Hollywood movie contract to bring in the money and fame. There is no real character development and the male protagonist is a boring, apathetic, grey guy with no real emotions and the total lack of self-confidence to use his own head.

I actually gave this book a two star rating at first but now after I have had the time to sleep on it and really think about the book, I feel that it is not fair, and lower it to a one star rating. Why you may ask? Well it is as simple as that the book did not give me anything. It was highly predictable and nothing surprised me. It was not funny nor exciting. I did not like the characters, the plot or the way it was written. This will probably be a movie in the future ( oh wait, it is actually already in development according to IMDB) and I’m not that interested to even see it. So that’s that. Let’s move one shall we?

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

The lightning thief – Rick Riordan

28187| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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My thoughts: Of course I have seen the movie and more or less already knew what to expect. I do not often like to read (or in this case listen) to books after I seen the movie, but I have seen reviews that the books is so, so much better than the movies and felt like I was missing out on something. However I did not find the book as great as all those reviewers raved about. But it was a good book.

I did somewhat enjoy it. It started of really good and the ending tied itself together real nicely. A little slow sometimes but it was okay. I would probably have liked it more if I read it before the movie though. There are some things changed between the movie and the book. I do not know why really because I can’t see a reason to why they could not do it as in the book. It was like the same but different. And I think some stuff in the movie had made more sense if they did it more like in the book. But that is just my opinion.

There are also a lot of stuff in the book that is not in the movie, which surprised me. This whole “half god” thing would have had a bigger impact with it. But I guess they had their reasons. The book, however is educational in a fun way. Greek mythology was a big topic when I was in school and after what I can remember, the history facts are correct in the book. I love books for younger readers that also is educational. And I think if this came out when I was a kid, I would probably have loved it. I was really interested in Greek mythology and history at a time.

I will probably listen to more of the books. They are easy and relaxing and perfect to listen to when I’m at the gym working out. But I will probably not love the series as so many others seems to do.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2657| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature. 

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My thoughts: This is an hard review to write. Trying not to step on any toes here. I dont really know how I should put my thoughts and feelings in understandably words. This is one of those classic books that “you just have to read before you die”. Well I haven’t read it before and the story intrigued me so why not? However I dont think it made the same impact on me like on the other millions of people. I have grown up with the learning that every human being, no mater skin color or sex, should not be treated different. We should treat all humans and living things, like for an example animals, such as we want our self to be treated by others. That is such an obvious thing for me that it is hard to think that this is not an reality all over the world. I have seen racism and I have friends who have experienced it. And quite frankly it is hard for me to imagine that people have been and still are, that mean, selfish and disgusting.

In that time period when this book was published (1960’s) the story takes on an really important topic that, at the time was highly discussed and Martin Luther King was on the way up. I know the books was banned from several states in the US and that really shows how close minded some people are and I wish to believe that this book did some great things with lifting some of the problems. Today I think it’s more used as an history novel and classic that shows us how it was and still are at some places. To not forget and to learn and understand and not do the same mistakes again. Do you understand what I mean?

To make a point with this review, the book is really great. Not an full five star rating from me because in this day and time, I do not perceives it as any greater than many other books about the similar theme I have read. I like the story, the characters and Lee has done a wonderful work with describing both the story line and surroundings so that me as an reader gets a feeling that I’m really there. I would totally recommend it to anyone who would listen and feel that no mater where in the world you are from, you should read it.

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

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

20603758| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

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My thoughts: Great! Great! Oh did I tell you, Great book! Really. It was so “new” and unlike the most of the books I usually reads that it made it all better. It is, literally, a whole new world.

You get to meet great characters who have a miserable life for one or another reason. The real world is dying and the only way to handle the crippling depressions is to flee into another world. OASIS. The biggest virtual world game there is, with millions of planets and there you can be what ever you want, play games, meet people and what not. There is also an very special game in that world. A game where the price is to huge to comprehend. And Wade, our main character, wants it. At that is pretty much what the book is about. That and his fight for survival.

And it was great. The writing was just perfect and for a non Technic gal like me, I really needed those extra explanations. I can see how that is an source of irritation for people who already knows that stuff and probably makes the book wordy for them. But I needed it. However, I do feel that the technical talk got to be a little to much sometimes, and that made me fall out from the story. Just because of that, I cant give the book a full score.

In 2018 the movie on the book will come and I cant wait. It will be awesome to see the world and not just read about it. And since it is Spielberg who is directing it, it cant be other than great.

Have you or are you gonna read Ready Player One?

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

Wonder – R.J Palacio

11387515| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

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My thoughts: What a heartwarming, sweet little book that I´m so happy I got to read (or actually listening on). The book is funny, sweet and makes you laugh and cry. Little to many cliches and the book is a little to fluffy sometimes but it is still a really great book.

We meet August. A boy born with a heavy facial deformity. He is starting a regular school for the first time and the book is about him, his first year, his friends, his enemy’s, his family and his family’s friends. We get to see and learn about August from all the people around him.

The book takes on the hard topic about being different and struggling in a world there everyone is suppose to be perfect. There is bullying, hard words, the struggle to fit in and the struggle to be a good person. The struggle to be brave and the happiness in being original and just your self.

Me myself got a huge flashback to my early school years trough this book. I was bullied a lot in school and had low self esteem. Hardly any friends. The desire to just fit in was big. The book brought it all out. I was August when growing up. I was his friends and his sister and the feelings I long ago forgotten started poring back. I think that is a huge reason to why I love this book, since I in some ways can relate with August even though I don’t have a disability. I can relate, understand and now as I´m an adult I can see that I have come really far from that small, scared little girl I once was. And it gives me the hope that everything is possible and if we all could look outside off our self, books like this wouldn’t be needed.

I love the book. And yeah i do agree with some of the reviews on goodreads that just being disable in any way do not make you great och deserves a medal. But I think some of them do not think that this is a more of a children book. It is suppose to have a happy ending. It is suppose to take up a hard topic in a way that i child can understand. It is supposed to show that great tings happens to great people and to be kind and open toward others.

In November the movie about August is having its premier. Me of course is gonna see the move and I’m totally gonna remember this one and read this for my future children.

Have you read the book and what did you think about it?

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

IT – Stephen King

36013075| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis:‘They float…and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too.’

To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.

It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .

The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.

Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

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My thoughts:
It is a lot of talk about “IT” right now and it´s all because of the movie who had premier earlier this month. Me my self have not seen the new movie yet but I saw the old one when I was a kid. I thought that I should read the book this time since I don´t remember that much from the movie. So I did. I did not only read it. I also listened on the book so I could follow the story even when at work or doing boring house chores. Perfect solution. 🙂

It is a really good book. It is a good story, great characters and a exciting plot. Can not say that it is scary in any way though. But i´m not that kind of person who gets scared by books. I like that you feel like you are really there in the story. You can feel the heat of the summer sun in 1958. You can feel the panic and your own feet against the ground as they are being chased. You are just there. But you can also really clearly see that this is a Stephen King book. Because everything takes just to long. It is a little to much in the end and one thing just don’t make sense to me. And that’s to bad really.

I felt a few times through out the book that it was going to slow and I wanted them to “just get on with it”. Around page 500-600 it was dead calm. The calm before the storm, you could say, but it was a boring calm. If I didn’t have the pressure to get done with the book so I could see the movie, it would have been easy for me to lay down the book at that point. That’s the problem with me and Kings book. They are great, then they are like on hold, in a grey area that´s just pissing me off and makes the story stop. If I don’t get myself over those 100+ pages, I will probably never pick up the book again.

But I ended it and i´m happy for it. I would totally recommend this book to who ever likes to read big books. I don’t think you have to bee an horror fanatic och fantasy reader or anything like that to read this book. It is really for everyone, I believe. Just have an open mind.

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Everyday things

My next two weeks – IT here I come!

img_0875Now for a time forward, there will only be reviews on old books published here on the blog. That is because I will be reading IT by Stephen King and I´m estimating that it will take me about two weeks (if i get the time i hope i will get) to get trough it. It is a freakishly fat book with just under 1400 pages. I´m not 100% sure but I think this will be the thickest book I ever read. I think about a 1000 – 1100 is my record so far.

I´m not afraid of thick books, but i´m a little afraid of this one. Not because it is a horror book about clowns. No, because i´m a little afraid that i wont like it. I saw the movie when i was a kid (like five years old). img_0879Yeah i know. Don´t know what my mother thought, letting me do that. However it did not effect me on any serious levels (probably because I had seen worse in real life). Now that the new movie have had premier I thought, maybe I should read the book before I see this one. Don´t remember much from the first movie and the book has been quite hard to get a hold of, until the movie hysteria that is going on right now.

So yeah. Just a little warning that I will have my nose stuck in this book the first weeks to come. Wish me luck. 🙂

Have you read IT? Would you recommend it to others? Have you seen any of the two movies?