Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Strange the dreamer – Laini Taylor

36187690| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: THE DREAM CHOOSES THE DREAMER

Since he was five years old, Lazlo Strange has been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to go in search of it. Then a stunning opporunity presents itself – in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legandary warriors – and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

 

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My thoughts: I’m finally DONE! Thought I never see the day. It is so slow and what the heck is I missing? Did I even read the right book because quite frankly, I can’t see what’s all the raving about. It is so dark. Incredibly dark and slow and with a terrible ending. Not a series I wish to continue to say it frankly.

I got through it and I did like parts of it to be honest. Other not so much. And I had such issues getting into it. I got to around 150 pages and had to put it down for several weeks before I could start it again. And only because I’m waiting on the January book club book that should be here any day now and I’m trying not to start anything new.

The world of Lazlo and Weep is certainly one heck of a good writing. I give you that. The environment and descriptions of both characters and history is wonderfully done and I really liked the character Lazlo. I can see the charm and maybe understand why others like this so much. For me personally it just never hit home. I’m not much for those heavily angst-ridden, young adults, fantasy themed books that are so popular nowadays. I need some velocity to get hooked in that kind of themed book. Like the ACOTAR series for an example. That had everything I wanted, needed and sought for. This one? Not so much.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance

Mallicks: Back to the Beginning – Jessica Gadziala

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Goodreads synopsis: A girl raised by monsters.
A man who helped get her free.
A love that spans decades.
Let’s go back to the 80s to see how Charlie and Helen Mallick fell in love.

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My thoughts: Fantastic! Pure perfection. Perfect ending (maybe) on a perfect series. The story about how the Mallicks family started. This is seriously the best one I have ever read by Gadziala. Utter flawlessness! And I loved it all. I loved the history, how they met, follow their life and how they build their company. Follow the growth of their five sons, Ryan, Shane, Hunter, Mark and Eli. I already knew them from their own books but it was satisfying to get all the history. And we did get some deeper explanations on some stuff that just wraps the whole series in a big nice bow. It all makes sense now. There is no words to explain how perfect and wonderful this was. It certainly played on all my strings and emotions. And it left me with a major hangover and wonderful feelings of feel good.

I have nothing bad to say. I wish I could erase everything I read, just so that I had the ability to read it again, for the first time.

Everyday things · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Did you miss me? – Karen Rose

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Goodreads synopsis: Best be nimble, best be quick, I’m right here and you’re my pick…

The last thing Ford Elkhart remembers is walking his girlfriend back to her university dormitory. Now he’s lying tied and gagged on a cold, dark floor, with only one chance to escape before he ends up like the bones surrounding him…

Assistant State’s Attorney Daphne Montgomery is devastated by her son’s disappearance, and is immediately convinced that his kidnapping is connected to the white supremacist she’s just had jailed for murder.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Carter isn’t so sure – especially when he learns that Ford’s girlfriend is also missing. Is Ford’s abduction payback for Daphne’s courtroom victory? Or is he a pawn in an even more dangerous game?

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My thoughts: I actually gave this a four star rating at first but after I slept on it for a night I found out that it certainly did not deserve that. It is not a bad book really. It is quite complex with a lot of characters and histories, that are woven together until the truth and nothing but the truth is finally out. There are some tears and a lot of speculation on how it really is. Some I did have right and some I did not. What bugs me however is how long it was. It was longer than I remember Rose’s books to be and there was a lot that happened but now after one night, I only really remembers the biggest highlights. Which in my opinion makes this book not as memorable as it should be to receive a four star rating.

Even though this is the book about Daphne and Joseph it was Clay and Steevie who were the most interesting characters. Rose have written a lot of books and I do hope Clay and Steevie got their own. I need to know how that will end.

The plot of the book is quite well done in my opinion. There is some 30 year old secrets, more newer secrets, blackmailing, misunderstandings, kidnappings, hunting and the focus on the strengths of a mother. Never mess with mama bear. I liked it. Some stuff didn’t make sense but regarding how detailed it is, it was quite expected.

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

The one and only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

11594337.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

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My thoughts: Cute story. It certainly is a quick and easy read, but then again it is a book for children/young adults. It was exactly what I needed after Us against you. Something easy, fast, light and funny. Perfect for that dreadful book hangover.

So as I said, it is a cute story. You follow Ivan who is a Gorilla and some of his friends. It is a touching story who lifts the topic about animals in cages for entertainment and moneymaking, in a nice and sound way. The book is completely from Ivan’s point of view which makes it even better since he is an animal but still tries to communicate with the humans around him.

Touching book who fit readers in all ages but mostly it is written toward children. I can see myself reading this one to my future children one day. And it is suppose to come out as an movie also where, among others, Sam Rockwell is the voice for Ivan and Angelina Jolie as Stella. I movie I certainly is going to watch. I just love animated movies.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Sports/Games

Us against you – Fredrik Backman

36373463.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach.

Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.

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My thoughts: Wow. Just…. WOW! How am I suppose to put words on my feelings toward this book and author, when Backman constantly amazes me to the point where it is almost gut-wrenching. This man is one great author who can write such deep characters, devastating fates, joy and sorrow but still keep a flake of hope, shining it’s bright, warm light throughout its pages. It is sad, heartbreaking, funny, stirs all your emotions and if you do not cry to this one, you are one “dead inside” person.

Us against you is the sequel to the book Beartown. Equally devastating, equally good. If interested you HAVE to read Beartown first. The sequel is about what happens next and thereby, you do need to get it in the right order.

The book is exceptional, emotional and just.. just.. so wonderful. Even though it is dark and is about a small little town in the aftermath of the darkness that has settled upon them it is one great read. You follow characters that are deeper than you can reach. They fight each other and they fight for each other and hell… my heart hurts for them all for different reasons.

The ending could not be more fitting and yes, without a cliffhanger, it is promising more. The story about Beartown is still not yet finished.

 

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

The Liar – Nora Roberts

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Goodreads synopsis: When her husband Richard is killed in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But she soon learns a horrible truth – Richard was a conman and a cheat, and their life together was a lie.

Returning home to Tennessee, Shelby discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the form of handsome carpenter Griffin Lott.

But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard’s shady business, Shelby realises she is still not safe from his lies…

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My thoughts: I’m done with the year 2019’s first book. Well to be honest I have been done with it for several days now, but I have just not had the time to write a review. The new year started of with a bang and my to do list have been huge. But anyway, lets talk about the book instead.

Roberts is a very up and down author for me. I often find her to slow, dragging things out and use way to much details in both appearance, environment and dialog. But this one certainly was a pleasant surprise. It is probably one of the most heavy in the dialog details that I have ever read by her, it is huge and at a few moments it is quote boring. But it still works. She have made such a great job with all the characters that after a while you do not think about it anymore.

The characters are so deep and diverse that it feels real through and through. I did not like Shelby in the beginning but she did grow on me when her true self came forward. The relationships are so deep and interesting that it was capturing me in a way that it is hard to explain.

Other than that it was as predictable as you would expect. But I didn’t mind it this time. I would certainly recommend it to a friend. But do not expect anything new, diverse and exploding. Because this is nothing like that. This is one of those feel good books you read with a cup of tea, some lighted candles and just enjoys.

Everyday things

2018 Summary

2018

Goodreads has this neat little feature that at the end of the year, they show you some statistics of your reading year. Like how many books and pages you have read. Whats you average in rating and some other fun stuff. And off course I’m going to show you how my reading year have been.

I’m pretty happy with it. I did read some really great books in 2018. I have started to be a lot more selective with which book I do read and feel I hit some real jackpots. But I also have read some not so great books. That’s just life I guess.

Here is some fun facts about my reading year 2018.

2018
avarageavarage2most ratedmost,least

2018reading
Number of physical books:
49
Number of e-books:
76
Number of audiobooks:
25

Top 5 favorite books:
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
A court of mist and fury by Sarah J Maas
From Lukov with love by Mariana Zapata
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Assassin’s code by Jonathan Maberry

Most memorable:
A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J Maas

Most emotional book:
Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Worst book hangover:
Dark lover – J.R Ward

Best cover design:
A glimmer of hope by Steve McHugh

Best first time author:
N0S4R2 – Joe Hill

Least favorite book:
Brilliance By Marcus Sakey

Biggest disappointment:
At Peace By Kristen Ashley

Fantasy/Paranormal

Santa Claus: The King of the Elves – B.C. Chase

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Goodreads synopsis: Meet Santa Claus, the epic hero. From internationally bestselling author B.C.CHASE comes an imaginatively fantastical take on the man in red featuring a brilliant host of classic and original fantasy creatures including dwarves, dragons, goblins, and of course elves. This not-to-be-missed allegorical tale of courage, determination, and selfless love has been critically acclaimed as an instant classic destined to be passed down for generations to come. Also available as an abridged children’s edition.

 

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My thoughts: What a bad book. I’m so sorry Chase but this was not good in my opinion. The writing is terrible and it is really hard to read. Keep in mind that I read books with more than 1000 pages as if it was a magazine and English is not even my first language. I should not have this kind of problems. I’m not the only one who had troubles either. This was elected to be the December book in our book club. All of us (sure we are not that many) had trouble. I’m not even sure the others even finished it because they as me, struggled so much. But since it was a book club book and I also run this review blog, I wanted to finish it. I so wanted to like it and gave it a chance after chance. There was nothing fun about it and now I regret that I didn’t DNF it early on. Because god damn this was boring. And I payed 8 dollars for this.

The idea of an darker Santa story was intriguing and maybe it would have been a lot more fun to read if not for the writing. For me it felt like Chase tried to make it more than it was with a complicated way of writing. This is not Kafka, Chaucer, Mellville or Tolkien we are talking about. Books should not be hard. They should be enjoyable and fun to read. Don’t destroy it with a veil of sophisticated texts that clearly just isn’t you. I did not feel the author at all. There was no soul and for me, in my opinion, this one is just not worth the time.

Contemporary · Everyday things · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Shadow dance – Julie Garwood

51J31JlyR4L.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.

Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.

Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk.

A powerful thug who rules by fear, a man who harbors a simmering secret, and an unexpected romance that pierces all defenses–beloved author Julie Garwood weaves these dazzling elements into a brilliant novel of romantic suspense. Shadow Dance is a searing tango of passion and peril.

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My thoughts: This was so good. So, so good! I absolutely love Noah and Jordan. I love how different they are and even though their long history as friends, they never were any romantically inclined to each other. Their feelings never just appeared but slowly grew, together with their personality and everyday life, is just such a great line to follow. It is a deep, connectable story with an interesting side plot that to be quite frank, I never really needed. It was the cherry on the ice cream but oh, what a ice cream.

The whole book is just so warm, fuzzy, exciting with a lot of suspense, hilarious characters, deep connections and just wonderful romantic suspense. This is what I want and hell, you did it again Garwood. You freaking did it again.

Unfortunately it do end on a cliffhanger. Not one of those bad ones but still a cliffhanger. It may be quite interesting to get to know all the answers someday, but still, at this point, I don’t feel the need for it. So on that note, I do really recommend this series and even though there is cliffhangers, there is no bad ones. And it is just so worth it.

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

The Fireman – Joe Hill

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Goodreads synopsis: The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

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My thoughts: This is the type of book you wished Goodreads had the ability to give half stars to. Because I do not feel the book is worth four stars, but it is not as bad as a three stars either when I think about it as a whole. However I do not feel this was a consistent read. After N0S4R2 (which I freaking LOVED) this was a major snoozefest and I’m sad to say that I was so bored some of the parts that I’m now amazed that I actually continued.

The beginning was so good. I loved the whole burning plague, dystopia where the earth is on the brink to unravel plot. It was well thought out, written, interesting, capturing and skillfully described. I loved the characters and the more day to day business you was a part of. Then around two, three hundred pages in, it started to fall. The characters was now even better but the day to day business certainly started to drag. And worse it got, the longer I read. There was some highlights in the middle of the book that did capture me, but mostly I was more or less waiting for stuff happening. I was bored out of my mind some times and this is a great example of the saying “Longer does not equal better” .

And the ending, how am I even going to be able to describe my thoughts and feelings about the ending. There is so much but at the same time so little happening that I can’t wrap my head around it. Not after all that I have already read. And it was by far not satisfying.

So to be honest, I loved some parts of it, others bored me. But I did love N0S4R2 so I know he will make it.