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Quicksand

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  7,939 ratings  ·  958 reviews
A mass shooting has taken place at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest suburb. Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg is charged for her involvement in the massacre that left her boyfriend and her best friend dead. She has spent nine months in jail awaiting trial. Now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. How did Maja—popular, privileged, and a top student—become a ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Other Press (first published 2016)
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3.76  · 
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 ·  7,939 ratings  ·  958 reviews


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Navidad Thélamour
“No one asked if I wanted to save Sebastian, but you all blame me for failing…”

I was truly excited to read and review this novel, Quicksand, by Swedish author Malin Persson Giolito. I first heard about it when it was just a deal to be translated—just another deal that happens every week in the publishing world. Yet, already I was intrigued by the premise and kept an eye out for it. So, you can imagine that when it happened across my path as an advance-read copy, wrapped in an unobtrusive (and pr
...more
Miriam Smith
I was quite excited to have won this in the Goodreads Giveaways as it looked very intriguing since it was dubbed as Sweden's best crime novel of 2016. However, I've decided (disappointingly) not to finish it as I just can't get into it even though I've made it to page 122.
I could quite possibly be in the minority looking at reviews of this book, but I found it to be very slow and repetitive and just didn't go anywhere.
The premise of the book sounds great, and I was hooked at the prologue but t
...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor
Ever sine Columbine, school shootings have seemed endemic to the United States, happening way to often, always devastating and difficult to understand. When I saw this was set in Sweden I was intrigued. Maja is a senior in high school when this novel takes place but will soon find herself in prison and on trial. What did she do? What did she know, and when did she know it?

Management is our narrator and she takes us into her time before the shootings, her time in jail, her talks with her lawyers
...more
Laura
“One percent of the people on earth own fifty percent of all the assets on earth. The poorest half of humanity owns less than five percent of the assets on earth. We don’t talk about that. I mean...”

Quicksand was good, but less of a thriller than I had been expecting. It lacks the suspense or tension often found in thrillers. Quicksand is, however, a thought-provoking psychological study on an eighteen year old woman on trial for her involvement in the mass shooting that resulted in the death
...more
Jill
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Right from the first two pages, we know the premise of this extraordinary book: an attractive, popular teenager named Maja Norberg and her troubled, incredibly wealthy boyfriend Sebastian opened fire in a classroom in a tony Stockholm prep school. Maja’s best friend and Sebastian die in the shooting and there’s little doubt that Maja did it.

But does that make her guilty?

Quicksand, dubbed a literary thriller, is more “literary” than “thriller”. Those who love suspenseful “whodunnits and why did t
...more
Trish

There is a reason this Swedish novel rocketed to the top of Europe’s bestseller lists. It has everything—enormous wealth, inequality, immigration, teenage angst, drugs, sex, and death—but it also has whip-smart writing, the constraints of law, the quiet and unbreakable bonds of family. Entirely suitable for teens, this is a YA title worthy of the designation.

Told from the point of view of a young woman just out of high school, this story recounts how Maja awaited her trial on school shooting and
...more
Charlotte May
A high octane crime thriller. It starts with a school shooting - 4 students and a teacher are shot. Only Maja remains.
Did she do it and why?
The novel switches between the intense courtroom scenes and flashbacks of events that led Maja to be in that classroom in the end.
It is a fantastic portrayal of the teenage mind, and how unsettling it can become. The characters felt real, I chose pretty early on which side I was on and so waiting for the jury verdict was as pulse pumping as if I was sat in
...more
Amber Myott
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
While it looks like I am in the minority compared to other reviewers, I really found this book a big disappointment. It definitely wasn’t a “thriller” as it has been touted and it was very repetitive.
At times it read like a bad teen romance novel. I only contuined to read to the end so I could see the “ verdict “ and that only covered a page.
I believe books with a similar theme such as “We need to talk about Kevin “ & “ Nineeteen minutes “ were done much better.
Liz Barnsley
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was really excellent. Atmospheric, beautifully written and the main character Maja is extraordinarily compelling.

It is described as a courtroom drama but actually the courtroom scenes are sparse, this is mostly Maja's story of how she came to be sat in said courtroom accused of murder and incitement to murder.

Brilliantly drawn and intriguing - Full review will follow a bit nearer publication.
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
For more of my reviews, visit my blog at https://theblondelikesbooks.wordpress...

Quicksand was my first Buddy Read of many to come with Sam from Clues and Reviews! so be sure to check out her review of the book, too.

Quicksand is a courtroom thriller about an eighteen year old girl named Maja who is on trial for a shooting at her high school that was completed by her boyfriend. Throughout the book, we'll learn what Maja's role in the shooting was. Did she know about it? Was she part of it? Guil
...more
Sam (Clues and Reviews)
Quicksand, the upcoming courtroom thriller, by Malin Persson Giolito follows Maja Norberg; eighteen years old and on trial for her involvement in a mass shooting at a prep school where her best friend and boyfriend were killed. I, for one, am a fan of any courtroom style thriller. I also really loved Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and the synopsis of this title seemed similar. Needless to say, I was very eager to read this one and was thrilled when my friend, Danielle from The Blonde Likes Boo ...more
Alice Lippart
Engrossing, exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved the writing and it brought up a lot of interesting discussions on various issues in Scandinavian society.
Nigel
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
In brief - Hum - didn't work as well for me as it obviously does for some. 2nd half was much better than the first though.

In full
The opening chapter of this book caught the scene well for me. Maja is there in the classroom, the only uninjured person, with her boyfriend and best friend lying dead after a mass shooting. The main part of the book starts when Maja, having been in prison for 9 months, appears in the courtroom charged with murder and inciting murder. The story deals with the time befo
...more
Bandit
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quicksand tackles a situation so quintessentially American that it’s easy to forget its Swedish setting…a school shooting, something that’s become tragically quotidian in the US news and is quite unusual for other places. At least, because it is Swedish, it avoids certain nightmarish logistics and no one proposes to arm the teachers, but it does go on at length about so many other things. The fascinating angle here is perspective, the story is told by a survivor/participant in the massacre now o ...more
Randee
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2017-wom
This is not exactly what I would call a murder mystery. There are murders, to be sure, and there is mystery as to what one character is actually guilty. But, I would call it a novel of suspense. It is well written and I like how it gradually reveals more pieces of the puzzle. I was never lacking interest so I will say it is actually 3.75 if we rated a bit more specifically overall. The first 85% of the book is definitely 4 stars, but it was so exceptionally good that the ending is actually antic ...more
Essi | morrisongrl
So this one is kind of hard to rate for me. I kinda want to give it more stars for the writing,and the story telling. But I have to rate it by my own experience&feelings about it.
The author used to be a lawyer,which really shows in the courtroom scenes. They feel beliveable and are very realistic. Yet,not boring. The reason why I gave only three stars,and why,in the end,I didn't love this book,is that I feel I wasn't the target audience. The characters are teenagers and the story is about t
...more
Imi
Maja Norberg, an attractive and popular teenager, is a survivor of a mass school shooting. I don't want to give any more away about the premise of this up and coming YA thriller (despite the fact the blurb already gives much of it away...), because the opening chapter does such a good job of throwing the reader into the story with a bang, in a way that means you never feel fully comfortable again. I've read quite a few books similar to this in concept over the past few years (Cartwheel, With Mal ...more
Thomas Strömquist
Maja Norberg is on trial for her involvement in a school shooting, but what did she really do? And what did or didn't she do leading up to the horrible event? We are thrust into the story after months in custody, when the court hearings start and only gradually we learn what happened. Too gradually, I felt, and a large part of the book had me wondering if I really had to go through all of it to learn anything more from the glimpses of memory fragments and descriptions of a longs row of happening ...more
Maja Ingrid
Read Listened to before I'll watch the netflix show! (whenever that will be)

This was surprisingly good!

This book follows two timelines - one following the prosecution after a school shooting, the other following the events that led up to the shooting. I listened to the audiobook and it was so well narrated, definitely the right medium for me for this book. It's well written, very detailed and I liked the way Maja, the main character, narrated the story. I thought parts would be boring, especiall
...more
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
2.5 stars!

Sadly, I found Quicksand to be very underwhelming, after being so keen to watch the recent Netflix adaptation. After my reading experience, I don't think I will be bothering with the movie. The pacing was slow and also, didn't feel overly thrillery to me. We get introduced to young Maja, who is on trial for not only murdering her boyfriend's Dad, but also taking an active role in a school shooting. Her boyfriend would also have been on trial, if he hadn't got shot dead. Maja's POV is u
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Raised in a prestigious area of Stockholm, Maja Norberg is an unusual teen. Not because of her wealth, or her dysfunctional family, or her desperate sounding love life. No, she is a standout because she is charged in the murder of her teacher, her boyfriend and her best friend in a high school shooting. “I killed them. I killed Amanda. I killed Sebastian. And it wasn’t out of love. We can say whatever we want about it—I still did it.”

But is Maja really the guilty party, or is the culprit the cur
...more
Bonnie Brody
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quicksand is a thoughtful and in-depth psychological study of a young woman on trial for the mass murder of her classmates. Maja is a student in Djursholm, Sweden, a very posh upper class area. Not all of the students are privileged, however, as some are in the high school because of their intellectual gifts that fit in with the school's special economics program or because of pure luck.

Maja is 18 years old and sitting in jail awaiting trial. Her defense attorney is the best trial lawyer in Swed
...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Maja is on trial for the mass murder at her school that involved her killing her boyfriend and her best friend. She has become the most hated teenager in the country but no one really knows what happened and she hasn't exactly been talking. Is she really a cold blooded killer or a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with a self defense tactic gone wrong?

While I am usually a fan of courtroom crime thrillers, this one just didn't quite hit home for me. I felt there was a lot of re
...more
Kasa Cotugno
Praised as the Swedish thriller of the year, Quicksand arrives with a great deal of advance trumpeting, but unlike its predecessors, is not a descent into voyeuristic mayhem and sadism. Quicksand is told exclusively by Maja Norberg from her prison cell following a horrific attack on her closest schoolmates. That is set out in the first two pages. How she came to wind up on the classroom floor with her charismatic, troubled boyfriend dying in her arms fills the next 492 without a dull moment.

Mal
...more
Roy
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A slow burn literary thriller. The last 1/3 was where most of the plot unfolds. Alot of personal reflection from the main character. Just never connected with this one. Dont expect a crime novel.
Sheila Beaumont
This excellent crime novel was a bestseller in Sweden, and I can see why. It's not only an intense legal thriller, but also a psychological study of the various people involved in a school shooting.

Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg is on trial for abetting in the massacre carried out by her boyfriend, son of the richest man in Sweden. The story is told from Maja's viewpoint as she languishes in jail before and during her trial, with frequent flashbacks into what happened before the shooting.

This bo
...more
Tess
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel, Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito, continues the trend of shocking and highly readable Swedish novels translated into English, readied to be a sensation stateside. The first chapter catapults the reader directly into the story, throwing you off balance and it takes the rest of the novel to feel like you are back on solid ground.

Without giving too much away, the story at the surface is about a school shooting. When I realized this, I was of course a bit shocked but also worried it w
...more
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
I “5 star adored” this Swedish “courtroom thriller” and am amazed it hasn’t gotten more buzz in the U.S. since its March release! In a nutshell, Quicksand is the movie Cruel Intentions (elite prep school, lots of money, partying, drugs, neglected high schoolers, and an intense love affair), if Sebastian (PS – Quicksand‘s main character is also named Sebastian…it’s almost too perfect!) had shot up his school and Annette had gone to trial for helping him.

The story shifts back and forth between Ma
...more
Sumaiyya
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such an interesting court room drama + crime fiction mystery. It carries a subtle but effective message on class, society and race. The book frequently picks up in pace and intrigue, but also tends to slow down occasionally to give you a not so much of a breather because it's all so uncertain. I loved the final quarter and portrayal of Maja as a modern, rich teenager who is facing mass murder charges. Can't wait to do my full review ❤ ...more
Paul
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Quicksand – Highly Addictive Scandi Noir

Quicksand was the winner of Sweden’s Best Crime Novel 2016, and has been given a billing in the English language of being a cross between The Secret History meets We Need to Talk about Kevin, and that fans of Serial and Making a Murderer will enjoy this book. I would like to add that any love of Scandi Noir will find Quicksilver highly addictive and completely engrossing.

Maja Norberg is 18 years old and is standing trial for murder, or correctly put for a
...more
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Nordic Book Club: April 2017 - Quicksand 4 46 Apr 26, 2017 07:50PM  

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Malin Persson Giolito was born in Stockholm in 1969, and grew up in Djursholm. She has worked as a lawyer for the biggest law firm in the Nordic region and as an official for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
Persson Giolito has published three previous novels. Her latest novel, Quicksand (Störst av allt), was published by Wahlström & Widstrand in June 2016 and has been sold to 24 c
...more
“Kärleken är inte störst eller renast, den blir aldrig en perfekt blandning, bara en oren vätska. Man borde lukta på den innan man smakar. Men risken är att man ändå inte märker att den är giftig.” 3 likes
“death is just a single heartbeat away from life,” 1 likes
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