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

30/06/2012

Classics getting a makeover

I just came across this article in the New York Times - To Lure ‘Twilight’ Teenagers, Classic Books Get Bold Looks


Because the old classics are public domain, any publisher can release a version of one, with the content untouched, but the cover redesigned.

We all know that Twilight made Wuthering Heights and some other classics re-famous through Bella name-dropping them as her favourite books. I thought that was awesome as I don't really care why (or even what) people read - just as long as they do.

And my initial opinion (which remains even now) - Those covers are stunning! I am actually half tempted to buy them, so their strategy could definitely be working!

The traditional covers also make young protagonists look much older than their true age, while the newer ones portray characters like Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” as the young adults they actually are, making them more appealing to young readers. 

On the other side though - to quote the article again: If kids want to read ‘Emma,’ they want to buy it in the adult section, not the teen section,” she said. “Kids don’t want to feel like they’re being manipulated.”

25/06/2012

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

The Sookie Stackhouse series, book 12

Review of book 10, Dead in the Family, can be found here
Review of book 11, Dead Reckoning, can be found here

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With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down
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It's hard to review this book, because I consumed it in less than a day. (And then after watching episode 1 of season 5 of True Blood, keeping track of what happens got really murky!)

Like the previously reviewed Dead in the Family (#10) and Dead Reckoning (#11) it spans over just a handful of days, but once again I genuinely enjoyed reading it and returning to Sookie and her, shall we say, remarkable life. It ties up some loose strings and you get the feeling Sookie is slowly getting to a happier place than she's been in a lot of the previous books.

It's a quick read with a whole lot of things going on without the book feeling crammed and they are things that are entirely reasonable to happen so quickly are many are consequences of others. There are also a lot of trivial things like taking a shower and putting on nail polish; however this is a guilty pleasure of mine and I really don't mind reading about things like that - because I enjoy Harris' way of writing. But I could imagine if you'd never read any of the other books and picked this one up, you'd wonder what kind of rubbish you'd just walked into.

I was happy to see Sookie seem more logical when it comes to her love life; it's time for things to change. It was also cool seeing her with more normal responsibilities (in regards to Merlotte's). And though as I've never liked them (or their place in the story) I am happy to see the faeries go. I can't say much more without spoiling the plot, but I can say that for a big fan of the books (or really if you're just in the habit of finishing a series no matter what) this is far from a bad book to make your way through. After Dead in the Family I was almost ready to abandon ship, but Deadlocked left me hanging in a way that makes me want more - lots more, not just one final book.







327 pages / published in 2012
 Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2012

17/06/2012

50 Shades of Grey

No, I have not read the books, and no, I don't intend to.

My 3 main reasons:
  • I don't like reading erotica (throwing in the towel on that genre. I don't mind sex scenes in regular books, but all those details in erotic novels, I just don't need)
  • it started out as Twilight fanfiction which just got published for crying out loud (this sort of offends me the same way Cassandra Clare's success offends me (this post on ONTD sums up all my feelings on that subject) - in the mean time, while they're earning the big bucks I've had Writer's Block since I was 15 years old)
  • ... mommy porn? S&M fetishes for the main stream crowd? Oh hell no
All my suspicions and reasons for not reading the infamous books have been confirmed by many opinions aired on the internet, but this review by Wicked Wonderful Words nails it completely. As Willa says in it, these past few years we've seen one hyped book or series after the other and that's great as it keeps the market fresh. However I also think the hype sensation and the over the top fangirling can throw off a lot of readers. Honestly I turned down 50 Shades of Grey before I even properly knew it because of the Hype (sort of like the hate many developed for Twilight without even reading the series, because they were simply sick and tired of fangirls). Hyping is also the main reason as to why the YA section of every book store looks like a gothic dungeon filled to the over-flowing brim with black covers, neon coloured titles and mysterious female silhouettes or faces - all sprouting fangs.

Also in the rumours section - the author of 50SoG EL James may or may not rewrite the trilogy - this time telling the story from the guy's POV... so, exactly like Stephenie Meyer intended with Midnight Sun and Twilight.

Any thoughts out there? Any desire to complain or rant about a book or a series? Here's your chance :)

14/06/2012

To Seduce an Earl by Lori Brighton

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On the outskirts of London in a meadow of lavender, sits a house of esteemed ill repute. But this is no house geared toward pleasing men. No, this house is for women who have come to seek their own delight. And for three young ladies it’s where they’ll find something completely unexpected…true love.
Grace Brisbane will do whatever it takes to save her dying mother, but with a stepbrother intent on gambling and drinking, their funds have run dry. What’s a girl to do when she’s left poor and destitute? Seduce an Earl, of course. Handsome and rich, the Earl of Rodrick is the perfect target. Unfortunately, Rodrick despises innocent virgins. There’s only one place where Grace can learn the secrets of seduction… Lavender Hills. The moment Grace spots Alex, the man who will teach her the ways of intimacy, she knows she must guard her heart. Alex is charming and gorgeous and completely inappropriate.
As a young man, Alex Weston is blackmailed into working at Lavender Hills in order to save his family from London ’s prisons. There could be worse ways to spend his days and nights. Still, seduction has become a chore and thoughts of freedom keep him up at night. Until he receives a new client, the sweet Grace Brisbane. He should be thinking only of his growing need to escape, instead he’s captivated by the lovely Grace. The more time they spend together, the more he realizes that their brief meetings aren’t enough. For while marriage between a lady and a whore could never happen, Alex knows in his heart that he is willing to accept nothing less.
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This is my third review of one of Brighton's books, but unlike the first two which were requested review, I came upon this one for free on Amazon (kindle version).

It's a very quick read, it took me only a few hours to devour the first half of the book. It's a full on erotic novel, but it's got a fairly decent plot to support it. I'm generally not really a fan of erotica and found those parts.. well somewhat erotic obviously, but also awkward to read.

I enjoyed the tension built between Alex and Grace and liked seeing it from both of their views, but I did end up finding it a bit drawn out. The whole *whine whine no way can the other one love ME but I certainly won't just sit down and talk with the other about it* got quite frustrating. But then again, the book (like so many others) would be over way too quick if the characters were that logical. Also, I'm not a fan of instantly falling in love with someone - he's just spent pages whining about how he's sick of sex and women and then he sees her and WHAM - love at first sight.

To Seduce an Earl is the first of a trilogy and given the text above (the "back cover") it's pretty obvious what will happen next. It's in no way a book for you if you can't accept a bit (if not a lot) of historical inaccuracy;Victorian modesty seems to have left the building amongst other things - The editor may never have been in it. I found a handful errors and mistakes that could have been easily caught as well as some writing that really could have used some more work. Also, Brighton's attempt to make her characters have some sort of English accent seems to always fall back on making them say words like "tis" a lot (as in "this is"). The ending turned everything into a fairytale and my thoughts about it generally deteriorated the closer I got to the ending which could easily drag the whole thing down to just 1 or 2 stars. But, the book was free and the read overall enjoyable (at least the first half) - just leave your brain at the door before you go in.



 Approx 90 000 words / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2012

09/06/2012

Travels with Tinkerbelle - 6000 Miles Around France In A Mechanical Wreck by Susie Kelly

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The author and her husband devised a simple plan – to take a tent and the dog and drive around the perimeter of France. Like many simple plans it went wrong before it started and they ended up with two dogs and a campervan named Tinkerbelle.
On the second day of their journey Tinkerbelle begins to self-destruct, helped by the new dog who does his best to eat her from the inside out. This is their story, as they travel from sandy beaches to snow-topped mountains exploring the diverse cultures, cuisines and countryside making up the country called France. Their journey takes them to places out of the ordinary, meeting interesting characters and witnessing ancient traditions. While the dogs rejoice in the freedom they find running on the beaches, Susie and Terry spend a lot of time holding their breath, wondering whether Tinkerbelle will manage to negotiate impossible mountain routes and get them home before she completely disintegrates.
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When Blackbird Digital Books contacted me to hear if I wanted to review another of Kelly's books I immediately accepted. Like her other books – Best Foot Forward: A 500 Mile Walk Through Hidden France and The Valley of Heaven and Hell: Cycling In The Shadow of Marie Antoinette, Travels with Tinkerbelle is a mixture of travel and history sprinkled with humour. However, though still worth the read, it's not quite as successful as the other two. In Best Foot Forwards she walks across France, in The Valley of Heaven and Hell they bike around the country - in Travels with Tinkerbelle they ride a car. That's not nearly as big as a personal challenge - sure the campervan isn't the best of vehicles and it's mentioned here and there that driving it kind of sucks, but it's just not the same. In the other two books at the end of a day's travel she's got blisters or a sore butt, here she and her husband just want to stretch their legs and walk the dogs and may have argued extensively due to getting lost. It's really not comparable.

That being said, I did enjoy reading the book (though it felt incredibly long at times). It's got a few really great places, where I felt the spirit of the previous books, but mostly it's just a really long, yet often vague description of known and lesser known things to see around France. It never got so bad though, that I didn't feel like reading on; it was never a struggle to pick the story up again either. It's simply just not as good as the other two.

So in conclusion to my ramblings. She's written better books, but this one is still worth the read.





Approx 90 000 words / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2012

Also:
Travels with Tinkerbelle is a revision of "A Perfect Circle", previously published by Transworld Publishers. Enhanced features of this edition include links to more information about the most significant places visited on the trip and an accompanying on-line photograph album.

08/06/2012

Book Haul #2 - Books from London


I'm home from London and I've got this little stack to prove it :)

As you see, only 2 of the purchased books were on my to-buy-list (#3 and #4); as it turned out Waterstones' prices on their website and in their actual stores are worlds apart. As such, many of my planned purchases were way too expensive and I plan on buying those online some other time. In the mean time though I found a few I couldn't live without (#1 and #2) and a third that I didn't even knew existed (#5).

  1. The Rogue, The Traitor Spy Trilogy #2 by Trudi Canavan
    • It's years and years and years since I read the original Black Magician trilogy and quite a while since I read the prequel The Magician's Apprentice as well as the first book in the series that follows up on the story in the The Black Magician trilogy. Now I've finally got my hands on book number 2 and am really looking forward to hearing more about Sonea's son and the rest of the lot. The big question is whether or not I'll be able to remember who's who and so forth.
  2. The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
    • One more hopefully awesome book by the utter Queen of  Tudor-related books. This one is not actually about one of the big historical figures but about Hannah Green - a bookseller's daughter whose mission was to spy on Mary for Elizabeth before either became Queen. I'll let you know once I've read it if it's completely fiction.
  3. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
    • The Bloggess (from thebloggess.com) wrote a novel; she's spent several weeks on New York's Times Bestseller List and I can't wait to start reading this one.
  4. Deadlocked, The Sookie Stackhouse series #12 by Charlaine Harris
    • Second to last in the series (or so I believe) it's time for this to end. The last book was not all that good, and I'm hoping for more in this one.
  5. Bitterblue, Graceling Realm #3 by Kristin Cashore
    • I didn't like Graceling, but I muchly enjoyed Fire. Now it's time for Bitterblue - taking place 8 years after the events in Graceling, I didn't even realise this book was out/being written until I found it on the shelves of Waterstones on Picadilly Circus.