Book reviews · Bookish posts

Should we stop writing negative book reviews?

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It seems that the bookish community has had a shifting opinion on the idea of book reviews and what they should be. It might just be my tiny Twitter bubble, but it seems to be that more and more people think that writing negative book reviews is rude. And that if you didn’t like a book, you shouldn’t write about it, or even rate the book at all.. Continue reading “Should we stop writing negative book reviews?”

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Bookish posts · personal

My 2019 Reading Goals

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After updating you on how I did on my 2018 reading goals, I thought it would be only fitting to let you know what I’m planning on working on during 2019. I loved holding myself accountable through the blog posts I have written about my goals. Here’s to 2019. 🙂

Goal 1: read all the books I still have on my physical TBR
Right now, I have about ~23 books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. In 2019, I finally want to read most, if not all of them. Of course, I will probably also buy a bunch of books this year. I’m not counting these as part of the physical TBR, however, I do want to end up with less books on my physical TBR at the end of the year than I started with.

Goal 2: diversify my reading even more
In 2018, I think I did a pretty good job diversifying my reading. But at the same time, I think I started to see some holes into the diversity I did read. So, in 2019, I want to focus specifically on the following:

  • Read more books by black authors and with black main characters
  • Read more books with disabled characters
  • Read more books set in Australia and Africa.

Goal 3: read more classic fantasy
Here’s a confession for ya: I have never read a Brandon Sanderson book in my life. I want to get more into fantasy in 2019. I always see those ”top 100 best fantasy books” lists online with the same books on them. So yeah, I think it’s time to read some of those. Continue reading “My 2019 Reading Goals”

Bookish posts · personal

2018 Reading Goals Wrap Up: how did I do?

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At the beginning of this year, I made a post with some of my (unconventional) reading goals for this year. And then, in the middle of the year, I wrote a mid year goal update. Since the end of the year is upon us, I thought it was time to wrap-up my goals and see how I’ve done.

Goal 1: stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. In my mid-year check-up I said that I found it SO hard to let go of the pressure I put on myself to read a ton of books. But since I went back to school in September, it’s been easier because I’ve had less time to think about it. I ended up reading 42 books this year. I was silently hoping to get 52, but I’m okay with not reaching that number.

For 2019, I’m putting my Goodreads challenge at 1 book. This way, my Goodreads will still track all the books and pages I read, but I won’t pressure myself in reading a certain amount of books. I really want to focus on the quality of the books I read instead of the quantity.

Goal 2: read more classic novels
Let’s make a list of all the classic novels I read this year:

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Although I’m quite happy with this list, I do realize this list is just as long as it was during my mid-year reading update. I haven’t read any more classics since making that post! I think part of that has to do with starting law school and wanting to only read ‘easy’ fiction. I do have a few more classics on my shelf, which I will list on in my upcoming 2019 goals post. Continue reading “2018 Reading Goals Wrap Up: how did I do?”

Book reviews · Bookish posts

The 6 most disappointing books I (attempted to) read in 2018

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As of right now, I have read 42 books this year. I was on track to break 50, but then law school happened and it all went downhill from there. But hey, 42 books is still great! And many of those books were wonderful. Others, not so much.. Today I want to share the books that disappointed me this year.

‘Disappointing’ doesn’t mean they were the worst books that I came across this year, it simply means I had just such high hopes for them and ended up not loving them nearly as much as I had hoped.

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-30 om 15.03.46The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
In 2018 I finally tried to get into Maggie Stiefvater and it did not go well. I always say that I need to understand the motive of the characters to care about the story and that’s where this book completely fell flat for me. Some rich spoiled private school kids search for a Welsh King and somehow it has to do with psychic energy but like, why? I made it halfway through and it’s still not clear. Which made me not excited to pick this back up again.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodSchermafbeelding 2018-12-23 om 16.49.08
I wanted to be blown away by this book SO BAD. But I just wasn’t. A story set in a theonomic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. But I just felt so MEH about the execution. The first 100 pages or so are kind of slow, and we don’t really learn about much at all. I just felt like I was groping around in the dark, trying to figure out what was going on and how we got there. Continue reading “The 6 most disappointing books I (attempted to) read in 2018”

Bookish posts

Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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Anything that goes against the grain immediately grabs my attention; maybe that’s why I love listening to unpopular opinions so much. Sharing them has been a thing on Twitter lately, and it inspired me to write this post!

Katniss should’ve ended up alone
People are either Team Peeta or Team Gale.. and here I am sitting quietly, by myself, in the ”Katniss should’ve ended up alone” team. Before you crucify me, let me explain. Katniss never made a choice. People were pulling at her from different angles, and she was just falling for the person that happened to be right in front of her. I never felt like she was one hundred percent going for either or. Ending up alone would have fitted her independent personality.

Floppy mass marker paperbacks are the best
I know a lot of people don’t like these, but I LOVE a good floppy mass market paperback. Especially the really thick ones that look like bricks. There is something about them that makes them so lovely to read and go through. But then again I don’t mind breaking the spines of my books, so I think that helps a lot.

Highlighting books and dog-earing them is okay
I actually talked about this before, but I wanted to mention it here because I do feel like most people disagree with me here. I love annotating my books, and I love when they look all beat up. It just makes my books look so loved. Going back to books that I annotated ages ago makes me feel nostalgic inside, in the same way that looking at an old journal might do.

Rainbow shelves stress me out
Writing this, I realise that this definitely fits with my previous point. Maybe I’m just not neat enough, but rainbow shelves kind of weird me out. I feel like it’s not how a bookshelf is ”supposed” to look. I like the messy book bookshelves have, and it’s how I prefer mine. But hey, to each their own.  Continue reading “Unpopular Bookish Opinions”

Book reviews · Bookish posts

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

Now that I have started a new degree that’s eating up all my time, my blog has been a little more quiet. And so has my reading.. However, I still love talking about books with you guys, and instead of jumping right into the long, long list of reviews I still need to post, I thought I’d combine them together here to catch up. 🙂

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The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

An emotional rollercoaster, that how I would describe this book. I’m only just dabbling into the genre of magical realism, but this was the first novel I’ve ever read that incorporated it in a way that I loved. It was beautiful, gut-wrenching, realistic and cute. Definitely worth the hype.


Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
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I recently read, reviewed and LOVED The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas. After that, I knew I had to read more of her work. This book had the same suspense and awesome true crime aspects as her other works, but I found this book to be a little more predictable – I predicted who did it way before the actual reveal happened. Still a solid 4 star read though.

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This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
One of my favorite series this year was the Shades of magic series by V.E. Schwab. So obviously I was excited to read more of her works. The premise of this book really intrigued me, it’s about a world in which monsters are created from crimes and acts of violence, like massacres and murders. But the story left a lot to be desired, especially regarding the world building. So much was never explained, and for me it really took away from the story.

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The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free by Alex Perry
Africa is a continent that’s long been misunderstood – and abused -by outsiders. Correspondent Alex Perry traveled the continent for most of a decade, meeting with entrepreneurs and warlords, professors and cocaine smugglers, presidents and jihadis. I loved how he gave them a platform in this book while also giving the reader historical context as to why certain situations exist in the first place. A book that taught me a lot, but especially to spend more time listening to stories from locals.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I really want to catch up with you guys! Have you read any of these books? If not, what have YOU been reading lately?

Bookish posts

14 Great YA Books You Should Add To your TBR Right Now

It’s no secret I’ve been critical of YA fiction in the past. I hate a lot of tropes, have a love for very specific books.. I could go on. I don’t want this space to be negative, nor do I want to be the girl to trash books on the internet. It’s just not what I’m about.

So today I want to share with you a long awaited list of YA books that I DO in fact, enjoyed reading. I read a wide variety of books, so this list will also consist of a wide variety of books. What they will have in common is that, of course, they’re catered towards a YA audience, but they’re also actually good.

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14. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
Often cited as the best YA introduction to Western Philosophy, Sophie’s World is one of those books that holds a special place in my heart. The first half is a bit slow plot-wise, but don’t let it catch of you off guard! When I first read this, I read the entire second portion of the book is less than a day.

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13. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy NelsonA book that will eave you fuzzy and heartbroken at the same time. I’ll Give You The Sun tells the story of two twin siblings and the loss of their mother. This book is absolutely beautiful, in both storyline and writing style.

 

Cinder
12, 11, 10 and 9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The four books that make up The Lunar Chronicles are absolutely phenomenal. This is a widely known series, but if you haven’t read them yet, just know that you absolutely should! Cinder, Scarlett, Cress and Winter are all names of characters based on various fairytales, as their names suggest. Their lives end up winding together as their dystopian future is being threatened by a plague.

The Hate U Give

8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Read this book and then watch the movie (which comes out in less than two months!),pretty please. You’ve probably heard of this one also (if you haven’t, HOW?!) so you know that it tells and important story about racism and police brutality in the United States. Iwasn’t the biggest fan of the writing style here, but the actual story itself is very well done and important.

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7, 6 and 5. The Shades of Magic series bij V.E. Schwab
I know technically this book is considered ”adult” but it definitely reads more YA to me. The main characters are all fairly young (19 and 21 if I’m not mistaken) and the books are very accessible in both the storyline and the writing style. Definitely check this out if you love a good fantasy!

 

4. Salt To The Sea by Ruta SepetysSchermafbeelding 2018-08-27 om 18.51.29.png
This book is based on true events, and I always find it hard to review those. This novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Although this book is definitely not perfect, it was a quick read and it taught me a lot about this specific moment in history. Continue reading “14 Great YA Books You Should Add To your TBR Right Now”