The Secret History by Donna Tartt: book review

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Genre: Adult Fiction

Publisher: Penguin

My rating: 5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many emotions a book can cause. Happiness, anger, relief, curiosity, sadness, etc.. I am always able to tell what a book made me feel, but with this one I can’t put it into words. As an aspiring writer I am quite ashamed of admitting that I feel as if every single word I have ever known has left my body right now. It’s as if I am not allowed to talk about this book. It was so intimate. It’s as if I was told this huge secret and I should not tell anyone a word.

But I am going to talk about it. I will try to explain why this book is a masterpiece. Before doing that I want to address the only thing I did not like about this book which has something to do with Donna Tartt’s writing. I had the same problem with The Goldfinch. She includes many unnecessary descriptions and scenes. Some people might love it. I don’t. This book could have been 100 pages shorter (if not even more) and would still tell the exact same story. I think as a writer you have to see what is important for the story and what not.

But since this book was so fantastic I could easily look away from that problem I had.
This book is about five very complex college students. That’s all I’m going to tell you about the story. You don’t need to know more.

The characters, the drama and the story evolve around each other in such a sensitive way that it all feels real. You are in the book. Whenever they are all sitting around, there is a chair for you. Whenever they are in a classroom you are sitting at the very back with them. You are in this book and there is no other way I can explain the constant uncomfortable feeling in my chest.

This is not a happy story. It’s the most messed up, craziest story ever. I have never read, seen or listened to anything like this. I can’t put it into words and that’s another thing that I love about it. There was so much to think about in this book that I am now left with nothing to say at all. If you would analyze this book in school it would take you more than two years. The conversations, the actions, every little detail was so intriguing. Rereading this book must be even worse. With worse I mean for your nerves not in the sense of it being a bad read.
My hands were shaking, my heart was beating too fast, I felt like throwing up and not wanting to leave my bed any longer. I have never been this emotionally attached to a story. Never in such a negative way.

Everything I say seems to make no sense, so let me come to this conclusion: Read The Secret History

Defintions of indefinable things by Whitney Taylor: book review

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Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Publisher: hmhteen

My rating: 1/5 star (I did not finish this book)

Format: arc

 

 

 

 

 

 

50 pages after reading this cliche of a YA contemporary book I had to give up.
This is everything that was done wrong in All the Bright Places all over again.

Our main character has depressions. She hates everyone. She thinks she’s so much better than every other teenager. She listens to indie music and hates her family.

The main interest is a moody bad boy who also has depressions. He’s an indie film maker who hates life, has a ridiculous nickname and falls in love with the girl the first time he sees her.

The first chapter was already the most unrealistic and overused scene ever. It literally starts with the girl being mean to the guy and the guy is constantly trying to get her attention and it’s just such an awkward conversation.

Being depressed is not cute and you don’t fall in love like that. It’s not just unrealistic, it honestly stupid.
You don’t believe me on how this book is just another romantic Young Adult contemporary about two teenagers who suffer from ‘depressions’ and have conversations you just don’t have in real life? :

“Do you ever wish that you could stop therapy and pills and just, I don’t know, do trivial and pointless things for pointless things for purposeless reasons with other humans who are as weak and hopeless as you, and for even the slightest instant in time forget how vain it all is and just let yourself enjoy it?”
“So you don’t think happiness is real?”
“I think it’s tolerable pain. Happy people have a really high tolerance that’s all.”
“You may want to know why, or you don’t care. Either way, I want us to dig into a cold pizza and whine about how lonely and depressed we are while sitting on top of a heaping pile of rot. An anti-date. Is that terrible enough for you?”

If you liked All the Bright Places maybe there is a chance that you could like this book. But I had depressions as a teenager. I’ve been there and I don’t want to read about some romance with the most unrealistic boy description ever. Chose your story: Romance or mental illness. If you want to put both in the same book please make it a bit less cringe worthy please.

The Edge of Seventeen : movie review

edge_of_seventeenEveryone likes seeing movies with relatable characters, but what if the character is a bit too close to home?

When I saw the trailer for this movie I immediately knew that I wanted to see it. I love teenage movies and I especially like the good ones.
I did not have a great time watching this movie. It hurt me. It sounds ridiculous, but it did. I had to leave my room four times, because I had this huge pain in my chest and I was near tears.

This movie was one of the most honest things I have ever seen. No movie shows teenagers in such an unfiltered way. It broke my heart, because I knew what the main character was going through so well and I felt so bad for her.

 

Hailee Steinfeld’s performance was absolutely fantastic, as well as Woody Harrelson’s. Every single character in this movie felt real. The locations, the rooms, the outfits… EVERYTHING felt so real. Whenever something happened I was like : Exactly! Same! Oh god I thought I was the only one who thought so!
But it wasn’t the good kind of relatable. There were things I wished I couldn’t relate to. As I said it hit a bit too close to home.

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The movie was predictable I won’t lie, but I feel like that wasn’t even important. This movie isn’t really about what’s happening, it’s about the emotions and struggles of our main character Nadine.
I usually watch movies with teenagers for a good time. Easy movies. You don’t have to think a lot. If you are searching for such a movie this is not the one you are looking for. This was so hard to watch, it brought me near tears several times and it will make you think and feel a bit too much.

I would still highly recommend this movie and not just for teenagers. It was absolutely fantastic and I wish it would have gotten more attention when it was out in cinemas !

 

“You know, ever since we were little, I would get this feeling like… Like I’m floating outside of my body, looking down at myself… And I hate what I see… How I’m acting, the way I sound. And I don’t know how to change it. And I’m so scared… That the feeling is never gonna go away.” – Nadine,  The Edge of Seventeen

 

I’ve got your number by Sophie Kinsella : book review

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Genre: romantic comedy, chick lit

Publisher: Bantam Press

My rating: 4.25/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

I review books by category and purpose. This book was a romantic comedy and it’s purpose was entertainment. And it damn well did.
I started reading this book at 10pm and finished it at 2am. It has been such a long time since I’ve read a book this fast.

I flew through this books. Was it a bit predictable? Yes, but which romance isn’t.
This book is about Poppy. She’s about to get married and it seems as if her life is perfect at the moment, until she loses her engagement ring and phone and it turns out that things might not be that perfect after all.
This book made me laugh out loud. Poppy is a hilarious main character. She’s very likable, but I did not get that awful feeling the author was trying to make her relatable.

The story just worked. The entire time I was picturing a movie in my head and I hope it will be turned into a movie because I haven’t seen a good rom-com in years.
Except from the ending and a bit of too convenient plot twists I had no problem with this book. It was exactly what I needed and it was so entertaining.

Final thoughts:
If you are in a reading slump or you need a book for a flight or bus ride or you just want an entertaining book, pick up this one ! Your whole attention will be given to the characters and you will not be able to put it down.

Reading update: 5 mini reviews

I haven’t written a book review in a very long time and there have been a few books I wanted to talk about. In the future I’ll probably do more such blog posts. So here are 5 mini reviews of the 5 books I’ve read since the beginning of 2017 🙂

The life changing magic of tyding up by Marie Kondo

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This book changed a  lot of things in my life. It’s the reason I got rid of half of my books and have started not buying any more. I’m trying to read books from the library or online. It changed my life in a very good way. Not owning unnecessary stuff has made my every day life easier. I don’t have to spend hours cleaning my room any longer. After having used her method once, your room doesn’t get that messy anymore. It freed my mind and it was the perfect book to start a new year with.

Would highly recommend it to EVERYONE !

My rating: 4,5/5 stars

 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

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I feel like this is my year for reading non-fiction. Big Magic is about living a creative life. It’s not only for people who want to write, it’s for anyone who loves creating stuff. This book was inspiring, honest and very important for me. I am a very creative person. I determine my self worth with what I create and lately I had stopped creating things, which meant that my self esteem was very down. Elizabeth Gilbert gave me my motivation and purpose back which made me start writing again. That’s why I would really like to thank her for this great book.

My rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

Lord Arthur’s Savile’s Crime by Oscar Wilde

24874326This is a short story written by the one and only Oscar Wilde. He’s one of my favorite authors and poets. That’s why I’m trying to read all of his works. This one was not a disappointment. I’m not going to talk about the storyline since it only has 64 pages and I would spoil the entire thing. What I can tell you is that it’s a very thought provoking story. You can read it in an extremely short amount of time, but it will take you way longer to fully understand what Oscar Wilde was trying to tell us. For my part I don’t think I have fully figured it out yet, but from what I have understood I came to the same conclusion as always: Oscar Wilde is a genius.

My rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

Maus I by Art Spiegelman

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There are so many movies and books about World War II that you really need a good or ground breaking idea to put out an original new story. This one was a very accurate retelling of what had happened during World War II which I am very familiar with. Not only is it a huge topic at school I’ve also seen countless movies featuring this time period.
Maus is just not very special except from it being a graphic novel, which I feel like didn’t quite change anything for the book itself.
The story was a very well known one, the characters not even likable and except from the good idea of mice and cats there was nothing really interesting about this book.

My rating: 2/5 stars

 

 

On Writing by Stephen King

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If you didn’t know (which you probably don’t) I love writing and I want to become a writer one day. Also I have read two Stephen King books and I absolutely loved both of them. Since he has written like 10000000 books I do think he has the qualifications you would need to write a book about writing. The beginning is a bit slow and he talks a bit too much about his childhood for my taste, but it didn’t really bother me that much.
I listened to this book on Audible and it was read by Stephen King, which was just genius. It felt as if I was talking to Stephen King about writing and books.
If you are an aspiring writer read this book. It is just absolutely fantastic. Full of tips and motivation. If Stephen King says you can do it, then you can !
My rating: 4/5 stars

 

Those were all the books I have read in January and February. Hope you liked this new format of reviews. I will still try to post full on book reviews but it won’t be as often as last year.

What books have you recently read and enjoyed?

I’m a BAD feminist

When I first got introduced into feminism it wasn’t really a hard topic for me. It was pretty easy. There is inequality and we need to change that. But the longer I’ve been a feminist, the more it came to my understanding that feminism isn’t as easy as it should be.

I will always consider myself a feminist. But am I a good feminist? One that you could use as an example for all feminists? I don’t think so.

I judge other people. I judge other women. I know it’s wrong and I always tell other people to not do it, but in some situations I realize that I’m not as good as I think I am.
The example is easy: There is your crush who isn’t interested in you and you see him making out with another girl. The girl wears a lot of make up and very little clothes. You judge her. As a feminist it’s against everything I believe to judge a girl by her appearance. But in that scenario I would have done it. Pretended that I was worth more than her because I didn’t dress that way. Is it wrong? Yes. Would I have still done it? Yes.

See when I have nothing to do with the person that is being judged it’s no problem for me to stand up for them and tell other people to stop. But when you don’t like the person in the first place it’s hard to not judge them because of  all of these other things (that shouldn’t matter).

I’ve seen movies and tv-shows in which there were woman who were trying so hard to be independent that I got sick of it. It’s horrible, that I could even think something like that. But in some situations it’s okay to be weak or to need help. I never got why a woman that needs help from a man should be something shameful or bad.
It’s important to have strong female characters in movies and I love such character, but there is no reason to hate on Bella just because she depended on Edward.

My mom, my sisters, every woman in my life has always told me that my self worth has nothing to do with what a guy thinks of me.                                                                                            Do I still question my looks whenever a guy texts my friends and not me? Yes I do.
Does that make me a bad feminist?
See I agree the way you look or act has nothing to do with the opinion of other people on you, but as a teenager it’s not easy to do that. It’s okay to feel good because a guy said that you look pretty. It’s okay to feel down because your crush didn’t reply to your text. That doesn’t mean that you are not an independent strong woman. IT’S OKAY.

I like it when guy’s make the first move. I once did the first move and it was extremely embarrassing and I don’t want to do it again. Whenever I say that guys should do the first move, people are like “I thought you were a feminist?” and start laughing. As if I am less of a feminist just because I want a guy to make the first move.

The next big problem in my life as a feminist is that I LOVE bad boys. I can’t help myself. I don’t care how many good guys there are in a book or a movie I will always chose the bad boy. There is just something so sexy and intimidating about them. The problem is though they most of the time treat the love interest very badly. But I like it? That sounds very wrong. What I’m trying to say is that the kind of romance I like in books or shows is often described as “bad representation of woman”. Which obviously doesn’t have to be true but often is.

As an example I have Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. There is a bad boy and a “weak” girl. A lot of people didn’t like the book because the lead female character wasn’t strong. But I liked it. I liked the romance. I loved the guy in it and I had no problem with the main character not being independent or strong. Not everyone is and that’s okay. Not everyone is a Hermione Granger or a Katniss Everdeen and that’s okay. Some depend on other people but that’s not a weakness. Yes the main character wasn’t very smart in the book, but what if she just isn’t ? That doesn’t mean she’s less of a woman or that we are now allowed to judge her.

The same way people judged Fifty shades of Grey. As if just because most of the fans are women it means that females have bad tastes in books. If you want to like Fifty shades of Grey it’s your full on right to do so without being judged. Do I like it? No. Does that make me more important or better than someone who does like it? Of course not.

I am a feminist and I will always be one, but it’s sometimes not as easy as I would like it to be. I feel like most people who talk about feminism are still on the men are more privileged than women subject, but right now I’m far beyond that. There is way more stuff to feminism than just that and I’m still trying to figure out most of it.

What makes you a “bad” feminist?

 

Why I left bookstagram

It’s no big secret that I myself have been a part of the Bookstagram community for about two years now. If you don’t know what Bookstagram is, it’s people on Instagram who post bookish pictures.

I honestly just got sick of it and that’s why I decided to change my username and started posting other pictures. Everyday I was seeing pictures with the same books, same settings and same captions. Bookish candles, bookish pillows, brand new hardcover releases, rep searches and stacks of (ONLY) bestselling Young Adult books.
Then I started thinking about what made me a book lover and the honest and easy answer is BOOKS. Not bookish merch or having several copies of books. Not owning a beautiful bookshelf and buying ridiculous amounts of books. No. JUST BOOKS.

The way I felt when walking into a library: safe

I love books but I don’t really care about the kind of books that are on bookstagram any longer. I miss going into a bookstore and browsing through the shelves and finding a book I’ve never heard of before. Then I buy the book, read the book and THEN buy a new one.

Bookstagram is not about books any longer. It’s about who has the most hardcover copies of books, who has the biggest bookshelf and who can read the most amount of books in a month.

I don’t care. I love books, not all of the other things that surround those. I want to hear people’s honest opinions about books. There are so many books I want to read and I really don’t need any more recommendations.
I’ve also already talked about every single book I have ever read on my account and I feel like I’m gonna keep book reading as a passion of mine which I’m going to follow whenever I feel like it.

I hope no one felt insulted by this and I still think that the Bookstagram community is very loving and wonderful !

Favorites: December 2016

It’s the last month of 2016 and I won’t talk about how fast this year went by and how can’t believe that’s it’s almost 2017 no I’ll just tell you about my favorite things in December !

 

1.Movies:

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It’s no secret that I’m an enormous Star Wars fan so I obviously (as probably many other of you) went to the cinema this month to see Rogue One.
The movie was extremely well made. I loved the storyline. It filled that empty space between Episode three and four perfectly. This was a fantastic movie about war and hope. I loved everything about it except the characters which I couldn’t attach myself to.

Would still highly recommend!

Also if we are talking about Star Wars already I would like to just say how sad and frustrated I am about Carrie Fisher’s death. Rest in peace Princess Leia. May the Force be with you.

 

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My next movie favorite is The Fundamentals of Caring. This original Netflix movie really took me by surprise. It’s about this teenage boy played by Craig Roberts, who I absolutely love in the role of the awkward teenager (see Submarine). He is on as wheelchair and his care taker is this guy, played by Paul Rudd ( who I also absolutely love) and they go on a road trip. After Me before you and The Intouchables I didn’t expect such an original and unique movie. It was so much fun to watch and I laughed out very often. If you have Netflix I would recommend spending a Friday night watching this cute little movie !

 

 

 

 

 

2.Books:

 

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Illuminae really surprised me. After watching Star Wars I really wanted to read a Science Fiction book again so I decided to pick this one up and it did not disappoint. It’s written in a very unique format which I did like but in my opinion in some parts the story was very hard to follow because of that format.

Besides that I really liked the characters and couldn’t stop reading this fantastic book!

 

 

 

 

 

3.Music:

 

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The Weeknd came out with a new album and even though it’s the kind of music I usually don’t listen to I haven’t listened to anything else since it’s release. My favorite songs from the album are : Sidewalks, Six feet under and I’d die for you.

It’s just soooo good.

 

 

 

 

What I have been listening to music with are my Sudiosweden headphones ! I have the Vasa model in rose gold black. The sound is amazing and they are so stylish. If you need new headphones definitely give them a try.

sudio_vasa_unboxing_blackWith my code: melandbooks15 you can get 15 % off your order from sudiosweden.com 🙂

 

What were some of your favorites this month ? ❤

The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon: book review

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Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Publisher: Delacorte Press

My rating: 4.25/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sun is also a Star is a beautiful story about two immigrants following this one very important day for both.
Natasha is a seventeen year old African American girl whose parents are illegal immigrants, who are getting deported from America. She has to leave her friends, her dreams and her entire life. This day she’s trying to stop her deportation and stay in America.
Daniel’s parents are legal Korean immigrants. Daniel has a hard time fitting in with his family who expect him to go to Yale and become a doctor.
These two teenagers meet and that’s where the story of this book picks up.

Last year I had read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and was already amazed by how easy and clean her writing style was. I flew through this book and I couldn’t put it down because it was so easy to read.

The story itself was very interesting and great. I loved everything about this book except from the instant love. It is just unrealistic and it was extremely over the top. Except from that this book was very much perfect.

The reason I didn’t like her other book was the horrible ‘plot twist’ / ending. This book’s ending was more realistic and I didn’t expect it.

Final thoughts: This diverse book was very well written and had an extremely great storyline. If you can look away from the cheesy love story you can very much enjoy this book !

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerhill : book review

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Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: HMH books

My rating: 1.5/5 stars

Format: Advanced Reader’s Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t lie to you guys after the first one hundred pages I skipped most of the book. If this wouldn’t have been send to me for a review I would have probably not finished it at all.

If you have read more than 2 Young Adult Fantasy books you will realize very fast that this book is full of well known stereo types.
The first hundred pages of this book were great. The story was very interesting and even though I didn’t like the main character I still wanted to know what was going to happen to her next.
After the first hundred pages though the storyline changed and boy does it get bad.

The main character is such an annoying person. The author tried to make her so relatable and ‘strong’ that after a while I just couldn’t deal with her anymore. Don’t get me wrong I love strong female characters but being strong doesn’t mean that you always have to be the first to start a fight or know everything better than everyone else does. The main character wasn’t strong because of her intelligence or strength, she was strong because strong female characters like Celaena Sardothien or Katniss Everdeeen are known to be in best selling books.

The love interest didn’t have a personality either. He was that ‘bad guy’ who actually isn’t a bad guy, he just pretends to be bad because he is so vulnerable on the inside. Please come up with a better love interest.

There was no part of me that cared for any of the storyline. The story was so attached to the main character, that if you didn’t like her there was no way you could enjoy the book on it’s own.
A storyline should be good on it’s own the same way characters should be interesting enough to read about without an epic storyline. In this book we got neither one of those things.

If you have never read a YA Fantasy book you may be able to enjoy this one, but I wouldn’t recommend to anyone else.