Every little girl has once dreamed of happily every after in from of a fairy tales with true love, adventures and magical beast, but even though these...moreEvery little girl has once dreamed of happily every after in from of a fairy tales with true love, adventures and magical beast, but even though these things might happen they might not happened the way one would expect them to. "Wildwood Dancing" by Juliet Marillier is a sweet and delicate story of five sisters who finds a way into the Other Kingdom, filled with dwarves, fairies and wizard on the bright side, and the mysterious and pale living dead on the dark side. Every month the girls travels to this place in order to dance with all the creatures, but when love starts to bloom and their father falls ill everything changes.
Written in s simple yet almost poetic prose this novel is a delightful and easy read full of wonders and fears. Reading this was nothing I had hoped for, because it was something quite different from my expectations, and yet I enjoyed every single page, sentence and word. Mariellier is skilful with her choice of words and her characters slowly comes to life, even though I would have liked to get to know the younger sisters better. She manage to create a world of her own build on familiar feelings from fairy tales, but still she manage to make it her own. I truly enjoyed this with its simple plot and beautiful language. (less)
"Shades of Grey" by Jasper Fforde is a dystopian novel about a corrupt government and its endlessly many rules sorted by how much colour one is able t...more"Shades of Grey" by Jasper Fforde is a dystopian novel about a corrupt government and its endlessly many rules sorted by how much colour one is able to see, and these colours are not to mixed. Fforde creates a very scary and yet realistic story with lots of complexities and satire.
“The best lies to tell are the ones people want to believe."
Once I tried to read Fforde's "The Eyre Affair", but I found his writing a struggle, and his story so slow-moving that it only left frustration and the book unfinished. Some of these elements are in "Shades of Grey" too. The plot moves slowly and takes about fifty pages to get into before the story starts to unfold itself, and the information about this corrupt society is given. The plot is not always moving slowly and steady, but suddenly speeds up in the end of the novel, leaving the events almost rushed and unfinished, like the author ran out of pages.
“'Edward, Edward,' he said with a patronising smile, 'there are no unanswered questions of any relevance. Every question that we need to ask has been answered fully. If you can't find the correct answer then you are obviously asking the wrong question.'”
The writing was all right, and the promise of the novel quite interesting. I wanted to read the story, and I wanted to like it, however, several elements such as the speed of the plot and the writing left me only a little satisfied instead of being over the moon. At the end of the novel I still had a lot of unanswered questions about the society and its structure, and if I did not know that Fforde has decided to write a sequel to his dystopian universe I would be rather annoyed but the book entirely. All in all a nice read once one gets into the characters, the plot and its complexity. (less)
"Pandemonium" by Lauren Oliver proves that this series is just another one of its kind; there is no originality to it and turning the pages suddenly b...more"Pandemonium" by Lauren Oliver proves that this series is just another one of its kind; there is no originality to it and turning the pages suddenly becomes a difficult struggle. It turns into an already seen love story that was suppose to deal with true love, and then another guy steps into the picture and changes that utterly and completely.
“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you - sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.”
The lyric writing that Lauren Oliver presented in "Delirium" is gone and replaced with triviality which slowly drains the book for enjoyment. Where the first book deals with the new world, this deals with the world on the other side of the fence. Every pink and fluffy dream Lena, the main characters, has had is shattered to pieces by the cruel reality, making her almost wish to go back and get cured for love. I found this aspect decent, but sadly there is not more to it; the world outside is more or less a jungle of depression.
An small incident that annoyed me a lot, was then Lena hears the world "shit" and is completely offended by it, and yet she says "fuck" several times in "Delirium". It might seem like a small thing, but to me it proves that the author is not very loyal to her characters and does not have a complete overview of her own creation.
“But you can build a future out of anything. A scrap, a flicker. The desire to go forward, slowly, one foot at a time. You can build an airy city out of ruins.”
In other words I do not find any reasons to read this particular book. Good young adult books can easily be found, and this is just another one of the cheesy pointless ones that focuses on a girl who has to choose between two boys. It is very similar to "Matched" by Ally Condie and "Wither" by Lauren DeStefano. (less)
It seems like I have found my number one guilty pleasure at last. 'The White Queen' by Philippa Gregory is based on the historical events of the Wars...moreIt seems like I have found my number one guilty pleasure at last. 'The White Queen' by Philippa Gregory is based on the historical events of the Wars of the Roses, told from the perspective of strong females only. Elizabeth Woodville, who happens to be the female lead and narrator in this novel, is likeable for her love of her children whom she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep them safe from the many feuds of England threading her throne.
“He promised her that he would give her everything, everything she wanted, as men in love always do. And she trusted him despite herself, as women in love always do.”
To follow the intrigues of the three prince brothers, Edward, George, and Richard is quite captivating, and so the story is very likeable even if one is not interested in historical events, however, the writing is quite flat and bland. Philippa Gregory focuses on telling what is happening rather than focusing on the way of telling what is happening which is a shame as this series holds great potential, nonetheless, this is the first book in the series, and I am looking forward to the next, hoping that the author's writing skills will develop.
“Edward lives as if there is no tomorrow, Richard as if he wants no tomorrow, and George as though someone should give it to him for free.” (less)
"Twenties Girl" by Sophie Kinsella is a somewhat classic chick lit novel about a girl whose career is on stake, and her relationship has fallen apart,...more"Twenties Girl" by Sophie Kinsella is a somewhat classic chick lit novel about a girl whose career is on stake, and her relationship has fallen apart, but she has not yet moved on. Furthermore her 105 years old great aunt whom no one really knew has passed away to everyone but the main character, Lara Lington. During the funeral the great aunt Sadie suddenly tells her to make it stop because she needs her necklace. The family considers Lara mental, but this is actually a start on a bitter sweet adventure for the protagonist as well as the ghost.
“It's not enough to believe! Don't you see that, you stupid girl? You could spend your whole life hoping and believing! If a love affair is one-sided, then it's only ever a question, never an answer. You can't live your life waiting for an answer.”
I really enjoyed this story even through I found it to be too long for its simplicity. The action does not start until the second part of the novel or in the very last chapters. Even though I do not read a lot for chick lit, Sophie Kinsella is without doubt my favourite author in this genre; her writing is witty and simple, and manage to make one laugh out loud as well as feel embarrassment. This is a very suitable read for the summer with its hit of the 1920s. (less)
"Slated" by Teri Terry is yet another young adult novel set in a dystopian society that deletes rebels memory in order for them to start over as good...more"Slated" by Teri Terry is yet another young adult novel set in a dystopian society that deletes rebels memory in order for them to start over as good citizens. The idea itself is not that silly, but the way Terry delivers is: I received a copy of the Danish translation which will be released next months so do note that whenever I speak of the language, it might be because of the translation.
The writing style, at least for the Danish translation, is too simple and not at all devouring. It does not leave the reader hungry for the written words as it is written in something very similar to spoken language. The universe is too another aspect of the novel which is too simple when it comes to structure: I do hope the author plans on developing this in the following novels in this series, because it appeared to be a very realistic universe with family and school with the only exception of having one's memories removed completely. Reading along this is not the case, this is actually a the kind of dystopian society your mother warned you about.
What really works for this book is the cover, and I am deeply sorry, but I honestly cannot think of anything else. "Slated" by Teri Terry is just another over-hyped young adult book with kissing.(less)
"Swann's Way" by Marcel Proust is a difficult novel to rate. First of all it is only a piece of a bigger puzzle, one book in a chronicle about time an...more"Swann's Way" by Marcel Proust is a difficult novel to rate. First of all it is only a piece of a bigger puzzle, one book in a chronicle about time and memory by the French author. This is my first Proust, so far I have only read novels about him, and reading Proust is not an easy read. First of all he deals with difficult themes such as the perspective of time in all its forms; the narrator tells about his childhood and then about a love affair which took place before he was born, and then the narrator reflects on this. It might sound simple, but it is not. To say how I feel about this novel is a difficult task, as I both loved it and felt bored by it; it made me doze off several times, and yet I wanted to turn another page. Let me explain:
“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.”
Proust is a master of long sentences, some even half a page, making it difficult for the reader to remember what he started out saying compared to where he ends. I find this rather funny as this novel deals with memory as well. Even though this makes the reading complicated, he is quite good at grasping things and scenarios that are difficult to describe. In the beginning he spends several pages describing the act of going to bed and falling asleep, and make it sound like a delightful tale, explaining it to bits so clear it might scare one.
“Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.”
With his skilful and simple imagination "Swann's Way" becomes a long read that is not set for reading from front cover to the back cover; it is delicate and delightful in every possible way, and a much overlooked theme in classical literature. The novel lacks plot, but fills this lacking with thoughts and ideas waved together by a beautiful language. To rider along with Proust in search of lost times is a journey filled with ambivalence and difficulties, but a journey I would not miss for anything in the world; the stunning and precise use of words is admirable. It took me for ever to get into the story, but when I did it swallowed me completely, and I lost myself in time.(less)
Rating "We the Living" by Ayn Rand is a very difficult task for me to do; if I could divided the book in the middle and rate them differently, I would...moreRating "We the Living" by Ayn Rand is a very difficult task for me to do; if I could divided the book in the middle and rate them differently, I would. The first part caught me off guard; it starts off slowly, introducing each and every character and their looks, but then it starts blooming like a flower in the sun, leaving behind the most magnificent flower that has yet to be seen. I truly enjoyed this part of the book with its independent woman, the love story, and the politics, however, this changed quite a bit when the second part of the book began.
“Sometimes the train stopped at night. No one knew why it had stopped. There was no station no sign of life in the barren waste of miles. An empty stretch of sky hun over an empty stretch of land; the sky had a few black spots of clouds; the land – a few black spots of bushes. A faint, red, quivering line divides the two; it looked like a storm or a distant fire.”
Suddenly the garden in which flower of "We the Living" had bloomed as an outstanding beauty, it was surrounded by lots and lots of flowers drowning this particular beauty in the rest, and I suddenly stopped caring for this flower alone, I could no longer see only its beauty and it was quite a shame. It is not that I did not enjoy this part of the story, because the ending is one of the most tragic and best I have ever read, but the love affairs threw me off, and I suddenly did not think of the main character as an independent woman. This might have been Ayn Rand's project as she was trying to separate herself from her Russian life, but the voices of the few characters becomes distant and dull which explains my poor rating compared to what I got at first. Deciding between three and four stars is therefore very difficult. (less)
"The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton is a classic tale about great balls with great ball gowns, manners and morals. It was also one of the books I...more"The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton is a classic tale about great balls with great ball gowns, manners and morals. It was also one of the books I really wanted to care for, but unfortunately did not. I suspect this is because of the male protagonist, Newland Archer, whom I felt no sympathy for whatsoever.
I recently read the author's "The House of Mirth" which I happened to enjoy very much. I think the deal with "The Age of Innocence" is that it reminded me of a bad chick-lit book that focuses on the drama of love: guy meets girl meets meets other girl.
I admit I fell for "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain because of its cover. The 1920s simply have a special place in my heart as what I consider The Gol...moreI admit I fell for "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain because of its cover. The 1920s simply have a special place in my heart as what I consider The Golden Age. Turning the book around to read on the description made me want to own it even more: it is a historical fiction novel about Ernest Hemingway whom I have read a lot, but hardly know.
It might be a fictional novel told from the perspective of the author's first wife, but there is no doubt that Paula McLain has done some fine researching in order to create such a realistic novel. It gives a great perspective on who Ernest Hemingway was and what a complicated life he created for himself divorcing one woman at the time until he committed suicide.
"The Paris Wife" tells the story of marriage in sickness and in health, love as something magnificent that might leave you heartbroken but also gives you the opportunities of great adventures.(less)
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton was a somewhat different read from what I had expected, however, it was a delightful read. For some reason I expec...moreThe House of Mirth by Edith Wharton was a somewhat different read from what I had expected, however, it was a delightful read. For some reason I expected a different setting and definitely not dealt with topics such as independence of women.
The writing won me completely after only a few pages, and the rest easily followed, however, I must say that I enjoyed the first half more than the second one. Some important events take place that I did not see coming, meaning I did not agree with them. Miss Lily Bart is a snobby woman which normally would not be my cup of tea when it comes to main characters, but surprisingly I liked her hypocrite person who thinks she knows what she wants, but really does not. (less)
It is an honour to say that I have no written everything by Jane Austen expect for her personal letters. Juvenilia truly shows the author's progress t...moreIt is an honour to say that I have no written everything by Jane Austen expect for her personal letters. Juvenilia truly shows the author's progress to actually becoming a well-known writer as many of the stories and plays are very much alike Austen's novels such as Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility and even Northanger Abbey.
To read this 'pre-scripts' as they might seem, is an absolute delight; to see the unfinished short stories, the even shorter plays - Austen wrote plays (!) - and her famous letter-stories was simply a treat and I could not put down the book before I had reached the end. (less)
Despise the fact that The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare is not one of my favourite works of the author, the language, monologues and d...moreDespise the fact that The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare is not one of my favourite works of the author, the language, monologues and dialogues are still magnificent. That said I do not think any book, play or poem can manage on the writing style alone.
Instead of getting into details about what I disliked about this specific play, I would rather write about the things which I think worked. For example there are strong characters, especially the ones with French of Welsh accents. Even thought these dialogues were hard to read they were still quite funny and the characters traits grew strong, however, I do think there is too many characters involved in this play.
Another thing I did like about this play was the overall plot: a man with financial troubles plans to woo (married) women in order to get money from them while three different men are chasing after the same daughter that somehow climaxes in a lot of cross-dressing. I think cross-dressing must have been a good laugh during Shakespeare's time. (less)
As a huge Jane Austen fan, I am very curious to see what kind of literature she read and enjoyed, and it is known that she has read Evelina by Fanny B...moreAs a huge Jane Austen fan, I am very curious to see what kind of literature she read and enjoyed, and it is known that she has read Evelina by Fanny Burney, and I can only imagine how she must have enjoyed it for its wittiness, descriptions of hierarchy of society, and this welcomes a young girl.
The novel is based on letters which Evelina Anville mostly writes to Arthur Villars telling him about her experiences in the upper class part of the society in an almost journal like description. The writing is very enchanting, light and flowing, and I cannot put a finger on any aspect of this. It is simply a treat. This might also have to do with the fact that Evelina is a delightful character with lots of personality, wittiness and sarcasm. Reading about her life and the balls she goes to would not be a good if the reader does not sympathise with her.
In other words Evelina is standard Eighteenth Century fare about manners in a coming-of-age comedy, and being an early novel, you will not see the same strong female characters seen in Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë, but keep in mind these are improvements these woman made in response to reading Burney's novels, so if one fancies the great female writers of the nineteenth century, one should definitely consider reading Fanny Burney. (less)
It has occurred to me that I tend to be quite negative when it comes to Isabel Allende, who even visit my university to receive The Hans Christian And...moreIt has occurred to me that I tend to be quite negative when it comes to Isabel Allende, who even visit my university to receive The Hans Christian Andersen Award, but when it comes to this author, there is always one thing I can be absolutely positive about: I will not be pleased.
Joking apart I must admit that there are always some really great sentences, parts and passages which are so well expressed that it annoys me that the novels, overall, just are not good enough to impressed me. I guess Allende and I could write a bad romance. At least she would make it famous by her name, and I guess that is about the only good thing I can say besides from the writing; the abundance of characters in the beginning, something the author tends to create, simply makes it hard for the reader to actually connect with the story, because it takes a great deal of effort to actually keep track of all these characters, their personalities and their relation to the others. (less)