Velkommen

På bloggen her kan du finde anmeldelser af alt fra fantasy, science Fiction, kærlighed, chicklit, YA og NA til historiske romaner, krimier, spændingsbøger, og hvad jeg ellers lige falder over, der ser spændende ud. Herudover er der bl.a. Book Hauls og Kommende Udgivelser, samt Månedlige Opsummeringer. Occasional posts/reviews in English.
~ Iben
Bibliotekar, bogblogger & boganmelder

27/12/2011

The BoB Awards 2011

And so 2011 is coming to an end and we're making out way into the dreaded 2012 (if you're supersticious and believe the prophecies at least).

It's been quite a year for me what with buying an apartment and moving out, living on my own for the very first time and getting established. It's been a big experience but thankfully mostly a good one.
I've been single since Easter and though I definitely wouldn't turn down Mr Right I'm also greatly enjoying the company of my friends whom I can bond much more with now that I live so much closer to them all.
I got my Bachelor degree this summer and started right away on my Masters, I'm now almost done with the first semester and things (grades) are looking good.
To my great surprise and joy I got a job just few weeks after applying for one and I'm now more or less financially secure and pleasantly surprised over how many nice coworkers and potential friends I've gotten at IKEA.
I have been a bit slow with BoB ever since the move but my reading is picking up again now and now that I'm finally done writing my final paper for this semester I can focus on getting some reviews written.
All in all it's been a good year and I look forward to the next.

In regards to reading goals, I will once again have a go at the 100+ Reading Challenge in 2012. I made it all the way and above this year, reading a total of 103 - at least, according to GoodReads. According to my own list I've read 106..

It's always difficult to pick and chose between the best reads of the year, but looking at the list, there are really a lot of dystopian novels this year, The Hunger Games, Matched, Insiders, etc. I've also been leaning heavily on the YA novels (which may be why I'm now starting to get desperately fed up with them) as well as some of the more epic fantasy books.



And now for the BoB Awards!
(based solely on the books I've read this year (2011), not on the year they were actually published)

Book of the Year - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Most Awaited Book - A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

Best New Idea - Inside Out (Insiders #1) by Maria V Snyder

Best Writing - Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Best Series - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Best Epic - The Mistbory Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Best Historical Novel - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (okay so it's not historical I suppose, it's a classic. Still, it's awesome)

Best YA Novel - Amber Frost by Suzi Davis

Best Fiction Novel- This Bird Flew Away by Linda M Martin

Best Travelogue - Best Foot Forward by Susie Kelly

Best Mystery Novel - Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

Best Character - Shadow from American Gods by Neil Gaiman




*~*~* A Very Happy New Year To You All! *~*~*

25/12/2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, seasons greetings, all that jazz.

In Denmark we celebrate on the Eve of the 24th so we're all done here and now it's just a few lunches today and tomorrow. It was a mostly nice evening, but as we (my parents and I) celebrated in their house, joined by my sister, her wife and their 3 year old son - things often got very loud. The kid is .. 3 and every bit as undisciplined, annoying and high pitched as these can be. When it was time to exchange gifts he was a regular menace and insisting to "help", he grabbed and ripped the paper of them, making it a bit hard to enjoy unwrapping. As such I lacked the Christmas spirit by the end of the night as everything just centred around him and his tantrums. Maybe he'll have grasped some basic manners by next year. Maybe I'll have developed some patience for his antics. Maybe Santa is for real.

For now I have a paper to finish due the 3rd of January (1300 words to go) and a single shift at my work place from 8-15 on the 30th and a hopefully awesome New Years Eve party with my friends.

I hope you all are having a pleasant time and get into the new year safely.

23/12/2011

Stormglass by Maria V Snyder

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As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.
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It took a pretty long time to really get into this one. I read the Study trilogy a while back and as you may recall (or can read about here, here and here) that started out great but ended up being a huge disappointment.

Storm glass centres around the girl Opal who's introduced in the third book of the Study trilogy and I really struggled to even remember what her role was and what was significant and what wasn't. The general plot is all over the place like spilled milk and it isn't engaging enough at all to cry over.

I never felt close to any of the characters and their doings just seemed too plot devised - rather than the flow of a good story, this felt choppy and too conveniently timed.

Over all it was a sort of decent read, but I don't think I can be bothered to read any more by this author.





488 words / published in 2009
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

14/12/2011

Angel by LA Weatherly

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Angels are all around us: beautiful, awe-inspiring, irresistible.
Ordinary mortals yearn to catch a glimpse of one of these stunning beings and thousands flock to The Church of Angels to feel their healing touch.But what if their potent magnetism isn't what it seems?Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars.Willow has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from.
Until she meets Alex…Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her.The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible.In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.
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This is the book that inspired my previous post Reading from experience, and though Weatherly tries to hide it a tiny bit, it fully earns the label "yucky love at first sight". I'm not a fan of two people meeting each other and finding each other so breathtakingly beautiful, that you, the reader, just know that they're gonna end up together, raising 5 kids and a puppy. I'm honestly sick of this over the top infatuation and looks-fixation that so many authors push, like some addictive drug.

Regardless I actually really enjoyed Angel, but the ending kicked one star off it's final score. I just thought it was too much of a let down after such a build up.

The overall story is quite compelling, and I loathed to put it down during the read, but now, a few days later, I can't really recall what the actual draw was. It's well written, and I did like the characters. I missed most of the hype about the book, so I don't know how others reacted to it. I'm a big fan of angels, I love the medieval lore about them and the modern interpretations, and I think Angel was a really interesting take on the subject. In it angels are these non-divine pretty evil creatures that basically brainwash and kill people and obviously our heroine and hero are out to save the world. The fact that they're both 16-17 years old is a bit of buzz kill to me, I don't know, I just feel so old lately, reading about all these young people having all these adventures and finding eternal love like there's no tomorrow. Maybe I just need to lay off the YA genre for a while.






506 words / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

12/12/2011

Reading from experience

I was about to thrash yet another book for the whole "OMG you're beautiful." "Hey, so are you! Let's fall madly deeply eternally in love." but then I got to thinking. Are we, the readers, bound by situation? Do our personal lives reflect on how we experience a book? Of course they do. How often don't we hear people saying that they read to escape, read to experience adventures and so on and so forth.

My point is, I think the same applies to the 'romantical' aspect of a book. I'm not just talking about girls falling in love with Edward/Jacob, but how we actually react to a couple falling head over heels for each other.

Personally, I love a good love story - when it's executed right. However added to my rant on people who just happen to be stunningly good looking and also always happen to be the main characters who seem to fall in love for mainly that reason (though the authors will usually throw us a few extra carrots in the form of good manners or good with children etc), I can get really frustrated with some couples on paper. And I think, maybe that's because I'm single. I'm not a bitter old crone who hates happiness, I'm simply just not in love. And I think some authors actually describe the stages of teenagers in love pretty well, but because I'm neither, I don't get it. I don't have butterflies and tingling sensations of my own at the moment, and thusly it feels off reading about it, like it's way overdone. And sure sometimes it definitely is, but I think, other times it's actually pretty accurate, it's just reviewed by single people, who can't properly put themselves in the characters shoes.

It's something to think about.

10/12/2011

Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

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Cedardale Court is a neo-gothic murder mystery with enough fools and old flames to keep you happily mixed up for most of a long weekend. When Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, move in with their Uncle Henry, and a simple drainage problem turns a normal Sunday morning into a slightly darker affair, it's not easy to tell where everyone might end up, or if they'll even make it at all.
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I didn't know what to expect when I started to read Cedardale Court. The author emailed me a while back and something about the way he wrote just that captured my interest. Here was something different.

I've come to love these amazing books that rather than whisk you away into some magical world filled with unicorns and double rainbows, it just gives you life. Ordinary albeit slightly off-the-rocker life. The fact that I've become addicted to crime shows like CSI kinda helped too.

Cedardale Court is about the life of a man and his daughter who suddenly find themselves in the midst of the most weird situation and in the span of just a few days their lives are changed completely. Christensen portrays the different characters magnificently, right from the elders to the mental neighbours. Like some of those films they always release up around the holidays, this book show you the happenings of a bunch of different people and it all ties up neatly in the end. Unlike most of those films, this book does it really well. If I wore a hat I would take it off, instead I'll just recommend this book to you all.

It's really good. Do yourself the favour and read it.




Approx 94000 words (kindle) / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

03/12/2011

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

The Harper Hall #1

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Forbidden by her father to indulge in music in any way, a girl on the planet Pern runs away, taking shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, opens a new life for her.
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I first read the Harper Hall trilogy when I was in my early teens and back then I loved it endlessly, so much in fact that when at a library sale and I came across 3 battered copies I bought them immediately.
I've since them read the books numerous times and even got my hands on the prequel disguised as a sequel, the Masterharper of Pern. I've never read the many books that came before these, but have always intended to.

Very recently Anne McCaffrey passed away and I picked up the first book once more. I was a bit surprised at how much things have changed. Reading with a more critical (and adult) point of view, I found the main character Menolly far too whiny. I'm so used to strong female heroines, that her poor confidence and her lack of ability of stand up for herself took me aback.
I also thought the general language of the book had a very childish tone. Menolly is 15, but is more immature than the 10 year olds from Tamora Pierce's books.

Wikipedia will have you believe that fixed gender roles make Menolly an outcast, as she is unskilled at tasks which are regarded as women's work on Pern and excels in the male-dominated field of music. She chooses to live alone in the dangerously unprotected world outside the Hold instead of allowing her natural talents to be suppressed. Personally I think that's giving the girl far too much credit for an impulse decision, but eh.

However those things aside, the story still held me as firmly as it once did, and I still want a fire lizard of my own.





208 pages / published in 1976
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011