Monthly Archives: May 2015

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson – REVIEW

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I listened to I’ll Give You The Sun on Audible. 

Published: September 16th, 2014

Publisher: Dial Books 

Pages: 371 (hardback)

Audiobook length: 12 hrs, 57 min

 

 

 

 

 

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Synopsis by the publisher:

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

***

The Writing

Nelson’s writing in this book is so beautiful and unique! The way she makes you see all the paintings in front of you so vividly is amazingly well done!

It was funny, puzzling, different, beautiful and heart breaking.

The beautiful pros and flows of the book captivated me from the very beginning and held me in its grip the whole way through.

The Characters

Noah: He was such an interesting character. To follow him as he struggled with love and his sexual orientation was both heart warming and breaking at the same time. I just wanted to jump into the book and help him out.

And these invisible portraits that he makes in his mind described all of his feelings in such a unique way with so few words.

Jude: She was definitely my favorite and it was probably because she was the one that was easiest to relate to for me. Her thoughts on love, boys and family was really a treat to read. And how she follows her grandmother’s “bible” made me laugh out loud while listening.

The Plot

I think this is the first time that I’ve read a book that has two different plot lines that does not go over the same period of time. But it worked out so beautifully and it was one of the things that really made this book so different and wonderful.

And the way that Nelson intertwine those timelines was handled perfectly!

I did see some of the plot twists coming, but it didn’t really spoil the joy of the book in any way and I can’t really pinpoint why.

Thoughts

I’d heard so many good things about this book before I started it and I was a little afraid that I had gotten too high expectations, but amazingly enough it lived up to my expectations and then some!

It was just a beautiful book that had me going through so many emotions as the story progressed and the characters developed. I really connected with the twins and when the story was over I wanted it to be more.

A gripping and wonderful story about family, love, growing up and realizing that life is not going to be what you expected. Just as this book ended up meaning so much more to me than I ever expected!

Definitely one of my favorites for 2015!

five-stars

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Body Loving by Christina de Vries – POEM

When was the last time

You looked in the mirror and said 

I love this body of mine?

*

When there was nothing you’d like to change

Nothing to improve or work with

When you didn’t compare yourself to strangers?

*

Ask me. The honest answer is 

I can’t even remember 

And scary enough, I’m not alone in this

*

Thrown at us from every direction is the guide

Wanting people to become unrealistic creatures

Wanting us to show it all, but makes us hide

*

Creating a dream to become something unreal

To try to get results only photoshop can make

And when you don’t get there, what do you feel?

*

The shame of not being good enough

Some break down because of failing 

There’s only so long a person can act tough

*

I don’t love my body. I wish that wasn’t true

How perfect it would be to only see 

The miracle that makes me and you

*

Think of all this wonderful body can do 

It heals itself, loves and handle pain 

Let’s stop the shaming and say thank you

*

Thank you for letting me feel 

For taking me places and creating memories

For being something to be proud of and not conceal

*

It’s time to focus on getting better from the inside

Using time well spent by giving out a compliment

And stop judging on what is on the outside

*

Learn to see the beauty of a broken soul

To love all that makes us human 

Appreciate the mistakes that makes us whole

*

Body shaming is just another word for hate

And why should we talk down about 

The one thing keeping us grounded, unique and great?

*

It’s long overdue to turn body shaming into body loving 

To take care of it as our most important asset

Because without it, we truly are nothing 

*

You might never see perfection but love it anyway 

For all it gives you and where it takes you

Repeat after me and say:

*

I love my body!

I love my body!

I LOVE MY BODY!

*

Scream it to the world so they can all hear

Write it in the sky and at the bottom of the sea

With those four words, chase away the fear

*

Of never becoming a copy of a lie

Embrace that miracle that is you 

And kiss those body shamers goodbye

*

Life is too precious and too short for shame

Take a break. It’s time to love yourself

Besides, how stupid would we look if we were all the same?

*

©Christina de Vries – Geek Heaven

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Vacation Book Haul

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Why Do We Fall In Love by Shots of Awe

Woke up to find a new Shots of Awe movie this morning and fell in love with it!

Too good not to share 🙂

Enjoy!

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Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – REVIEW

luckiest-girl-alive-9781476789637Luckiest Girl Alive was sent to my by the publisher via Netgalley to read and give an honest review. 

Published: May 12th, 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 352

 

 

Synopsis by the the publisher:

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Aliveexplores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

And now, over to the review!

Luckiest Girl Alive is probably not a book that I would have picked up in the store. I was not really sold on the synopsis when I first came over it and I didn’t LOVE the cover. But after reading some really good (no spoiler) reviews, I decided to request it on Netgalley.

What it turned out to be, was nothing like I ever would have expected it to be.

This book is quite difficult to review without spoiling you guys so that’s why I’m doing it a little different this review, but it is for your own good. Haha!

The thing about this book is that it is brutal and it is uncomfortably honest at times. It takes a look on the pressure for women when it comes to looks, status and career. And what makes this book very thrilling and gripping is the secrets that unravel throughout the books.

It was well written and how it all come together was done really well. It took me a little while to get invested in the story mostly because Ani is not a character that I personally felt extremely connected to in the beginning.

I watched this video prior to reading the book so I was very prepared to not immediately like Ani:

Did Knoll make me care about Ani?

Definitely! I rooted for her even though I did not agree with all of her choices.

Did I see some of myself in her? Yeah, I did. The pressure she’s under is something that I think most women faces at some point.

She was a refreshingly honest character and I really liked that. It  made the story into something more than what I ever thought possible. It touches on some extremely heavy subjects that needs this kind of focus.

And the plot twist! Let’s just say that I had to stop reading the section, go back and read it again just to be sure that my eyes hadn’t tricked me.

Some parts I wished were gone even more into depths with and I really would have loved to get to know some of the side characters a little better. Especially Ben. I wish we could have heard more about him.

And I believe Knoll gave it the perfect ending!

4star

Highly recommend if you want to read something a little different, brutally honest and somewhat uncomfortable in a good way.

People are comparing it to Gone Girl. Since I haven’t read Gone Girl I can’t vouch for that, but maybe it helps you get more of a feel to what kind of story to expect of this book.

***

Would you like your own copy of Luckiest Girl Alive? Go to Amazon or BookDepository by clicking on the logos below:

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This book is also being made into a movie produced by Reese Witherspoon.

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The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft – REVIEW

urlThe Far End of Happy was sent to my by the publisher via Netgalley to read and give an honest review. 

Published: May 5th, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Pages: 368

Trigger warning: suicide, mental illness, depression.

 

                                         ***

Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family’s little piece of heaven into a scene from hell.

The story starts with the day that Ronnie’s husband is supposed to move out. But when Jeff pulls into the driveway drunk with a shotgun in the passenger seat, Ronnie realizes that nothing about that day will go as planned.

We follow Ronnie, her two kids, mother and mother-in-law through the twelve intense hours of a suicide standoff. Slowly Ronnie recaps the way their marriage went to pieces and she tries to figure out just how Jeff could get so depressed that he would consider taking his own life.

An emotional journey based on a true story.

***

The Writing

Kathryn Craft has done a really good job writing this story from different perspectives and giving the reader a unique insight to a very emotional and intense situation. I enjoyed her writing. The dialogues between the characters felt very real and emotional.

The way she describes the surroundings and all of the events really does make this intense story come to life.

The Characters

Ronnie was a strong and likable character. I felt for her from the very beginning of the story and was rooting for her the whole way through. Her emotions and way of handling the situation felt very genuine.

I was impressed by her strength!

Janet (the mother-in-law) on the other hand, I wanted to slap sideways more than once. She was so quick with wanting to blame Ronnie for the whole situation. Trying to point the finger at everyone else instead of seeing her own problems and how they could have caused some of Jeff’s mental problems.

A well made character that I loved to not love.

And let’s not forget about the two young boys: Will and Andrew. Loved their innocence as well as their young wisdom! They were so cute and lovable.

The Plot

This book took me a little longer to get through than I expected and not because it wasn’t good, but because it was quite mentally draining to go through. My first though after finishing the last page was: Whoa! That was intense!

There is no careful build up to where this story gets intense. It starts out that way and then you get the backstory little by little. I really liked that!

The storyline was very different from anything that I’ve read before. It talks about mental illness in very nice way. You get to see the side of a dysfunctional marriage that you often hear about but could never really grasp.

I was intrigued all the way through this emotional ride and I felt like it could not have ended any other way.

4star

An emotional, brutal and beautiful story about love, life and the prospect of death. About losing and finding oneself in situations that can seem hopeless. About finding faith in the darkest of moments if one looks for it in the right places. 

Above all, it is a story about family. The love and the hurt, and everything in between.

***

Would you like a copy of The Far End of Happy? Go directly to the Amazon or BookDepository page by clicking on their logo below:

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I Was Thinking… Let’s Explore!

In April I went on a vacation with my mom’s side of the family. Our trip started out in San Fransisco, then LA and Las Vegas. This trip was a huge reminder of just how much I love to travel and explore the world. To see new places, get to know new people and watch the beauty of diversity.

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This was my second trip to the US and I loved it just as much this time around. The people are so much more open and easy to talk to. If you talk to a fellow stranger (Norwegian) here most of them would immediately be uncomfortable and question your sanity. But when I travel I like to make new friends and get to know their lives as much as I can with the little time that I got. So screw you sanity and stranger danger! Hello happy stranger word exchanger! And we did get to know a lot of interesting people! And see some amazing places! I will be posting a video from the trip as well so be on the look out for that on my YouTube channel!

 

There’s no doubt about it that we are a curious species and I realized during my trip that I need to explore more.  (Explore More! See what I did there?) But I don’t have Bill Gate’s wallet or his private jet so my exploration possibilities are a bit more limited. So I’ve decided to explore more (I did it again) around me! Oslo has a lot to offer and I haven’t even seen half of it, so I’m going to start exploring my own town. And some other places around here in Norway whenever I have a chance. I’m going to make it into a journey. Some of the exploring will be on my own and others will be shared, but either way I will share them with you guys 🙂

So what do you say guys? Want to explore with me? 

Let’s go!

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I Was Thinking….. Never Assume!

Lately I’ve been having a lot of stuff on my mind and it feels about time to get them out there. So the “I Was Thinking..” posts will appear from now on and whenever I feel like getting something off my chest.

Never ASSUME! Then you make an ASS out of U and ME!

I’m so tired! The past nine months I’ve been struggling with my right arm and shoulder, making it impossible to work at my day to day job. I’ve seen several experts and doctors. Taken several treatments that showed little to no improvement. But there is one thing that they’ve all agreed on is that the pain I’ve been struggling with is real and it will not get better by itself.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been getting a new evaluation at a polyclinic that I’ve never been to before. And finally I feel like they’ve found the problem and now they’re working on a plan to get me better. What I have (in addition to the tendonitis)  is an unbalanced shoulder. This means that my right shoulder because of tension and the tendonitis has been pushed forward. When I move my shoulder or am tense, the shoulder bone squeezes my nerves and blood vessels. This makes the brain cut off some of the messages that helps me balance my arm and makes it hard to work with it.

Well.. I don’t want to make this into a medical journal, but the thing is that the past months have really taught me a lot about myself and mostly about how people talk and gossip when one has a disease that can’t be seen.

To have people around you that thought were better than that does something to you. It can really bring you down and make you question so much.

It’s been an eye opener and quite a shock to hear how insensitive people can be and how easily they make assumptions about things they know nothing about. It’s so easy for people to point their fingers and have an idea of what you’re going through when really, they don’t have a clue.

For instance, did you know that 1 out of 15 people (in Europe) suffers from major depression? And if you include anxiety and all kinds of depression this number increases to 4 out of 15! (source: WHO report)

Now look at your list of Facebook friends! Doing the  math with these statics it shows that so many as 30 of my friends could have a major depression and up to 120 if we include all kinds of depression and anxiety.

Now, think back to how many times you’ve asked someone how they’re doing and they’ve answered fine, but you had a feeling that wasn’t the most truthful answer. We’ve all been there and we’ve all settled with the answer and decided that it was none of our business. Then you maybe mention it to another friend of the both of you that something feels a bit off and suddenly before you know it the ball is rolling and getting out of control.

“Are you okay?”

You know what? It’s okay to answer no to that question. It could potentially be a bit awkward because we are so used to the everyday politeness, but it sure is refreshing to say it like it is.

And I beg of you! Stop assuming what other people are feeling at any given moment. Take the time to look them in the eye and ask them one more time if they are really okay and if there’s something that they would like to talk about.

The answer might surprise you.

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The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings – REVIEW

murder complexThe Murder Complex was sent to me by the author for an honest review. I was hoping to post a video review of this during the book tour, but the wifi on my trip was not sufficient to upload such a video. So here’s the written review a little late, but better late than never, right?

The Murder Complex is the first book in The Murder Complex series.

Published: June 10th, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 416

***

Meadow Woodson is fifteen years old. She’s been trained by her father to fight, kill and survive in any situation. She lives with her family in a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex and has a higher death rate than birth rate.

Trying to survive and make an income for her family, Meadow meets Zephyr James who is – although he doesn’t know it yet – one of The Murder Complex’s trained assassins. Is their meeting a coincidenceor a terrifying strategy? And will she discover the haunting truth about here family?

***

The Writing

Lindsay has written a bloody and exciting start to a series. I really enjoyed her world building and was early on very engaged in this story. I liked how that she wasn’t afraid of making it too brutal or graphic. No sugarcoating!

The Characters

Meadow was such a strong female protagonist and I loved that. She had those tiny insecurities that would come natural to any teenager, but there wasn’t too much anxiety going on which felt very right according to the story and situation that she was in. She was strong, sassy and wise in so many ways. I did not agree with all of the choices that she made, but I did enjoy the journey we had together.

Zephyr, oh Zephyr! One could really feel his pain and his frustration. And while he was a character to fear I could not help but to fall a little in love with him.

The Plot

I think the plot and plot twists was what made this book so good! Some of those twists took me completely by surprise and had me at the edge of my seat.

The build up to the climax was written perfectly and THAT ENDING! Talk about a cliffhanger!

five-stars

I enjoyed this book from beginning to finish! It was exciting and different! There wasn’t one thing that I wish were different and I can’t wait for The Death Code to come out on May 26th. I’ve already placed my pre-order and the day can’t come fast enough!

Thank you so much to Lindsay Cummings for sending this amazing book my way and for captivating my with a fantastic story!

***

Would you like your own copy of The Murder Complex? Click on the Amazon or BookDepository logo below:

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A Magic Dark and Bright by Jenny Adams Perinovic – REVIEW

23569334A Magic Dark and Bright was sent to my by Patchwork Press via Netgalley for an honest review. 

This is the first book in The Asylum Saga.

Published: April 28, 2015

Publisher: Bookish Group Press

Pages: 330

***

A Magic Dark and Bright is the story of Amelia Dupree who lives in the city Asylum, Pennsylvania. She’s been seeing a ghost from the night that her brother died.

Amelia set out to help the lady in white that turns up at the edge of the forest behind her house hoping to in someway connect with her brother. She had no idea that trying to help will unleash a curse on the town.

Charlie moves in to the creepy MacAllister house and Amelia immediately likes him even though she spent most of her childhood fearing Charlie’s grandmother because of the rumor that she’s a witch.

And when young girls start to drown in the Susquehanna River, one after the other, the people of Asylum looks for someone to blame. And the blame falls on the MacAllister’s.

Amelia and Charlie work together to uncover the dark secrets of the town and realize that they might have unleashed an evil bigger than they could have ever imagined. Is it too late to save everyone that they love?

***

The Writing

I found this novel to be really well written. The surroundings and events were written in a way that really had me feeling like I was there and could experience all the emotions that Amelia went through. I thought that the dynamic between the characters and in the town felt very real. The story was creepy at times but I feel like it could easily have been written even creepier.

The Characters

Let’s start with out female protagonist here. I really liked Amelia and felt that I connected with her pretty early in the story. She’s curious and funny. And  even though she has her issues she came off as a strong character. I miss her already!

When Charlie showed up I was curious but did not trust him. I felt that there was something off about his character, but he definitely grew on me.

There were loads of other characters that I enjoyed, but Ransom annoyed me from the moment he appeared. I do believe that was the intent of the writer and so I hold no grudges. I enjoyed to dislike him.

The Plot

I have to say that some of the plot twists I did kind of see coming and then there were some that definitely took me by surprise.

I thought that the build up was done beautifully and the story had me entertained and curious all the way from beginning to end. Well done Perinovic!

***

This was a book that I really did enjoy and flew through in about a day. I already miss it and I definitely look forward to the next book! The wait will be too long, but I have good feeling that it will be worth the wait! 

The perfect blend of teenage romance, magic, creepiness and mystery! Highly recommend!

4star

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