A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 

Pages: 200

Genre: young adult, horror



The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

My thoughts


“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”

What struck me first was how well Patrick Ness had written Conor, considering he’s a child. A lot of authors seem to forget they’re people too and capable of understanding, so I was glad this wasn’t the case here. The kids are different from each other, but also have intentions behind their actions. Here a kid is even a bully with intent, not just because “he doesn’t know better”, something the teachers agree with:

A bully with charisma and top marks is still a bully.” … “He’ll probably be Prime Minister one day. God help us all.”

But this is not a story about bullying, it’s one about the harshness of reality, about feelings, grief and admitting the truth to yourself. And it’s a lot darker than it first seem, the monster is not some fluffy Pixar’s Monster Inc. version. I really liked the monster and the stories it told, it directs the whole story. The book is also about how it is for a kid to have to grow up all at once, preparing for his own meals and going to school when other things have become far more important. Some might call him “independent”, but he doesn’t admit to his situation, showing how he’s still a child acting on his fear, not sense of responsibility.


To be said, this is a nice story for kids to learn to deal with grief or others to remember how good it is to not be a kid anymore. Conor acts out and want someone to reprimand him so it will shake him back to the feeling of normal. The loss of control is what’s most relatable, that frustration when the world just won’t seem to listen. Still, this book isn’t ground-breaking in the way some people claim. It’s a good idea, a heartfelt story that I shed one single tear over and okay writing, but I won’t claim to understand all of the hundred quotes in different nuances the monster told about stories.

For example; “Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.” or: “Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and hunt.” I have four more similar quotes, what is the difference between them? To sound mysterious? Did nothing but annoy me, unfortunately. I honestly wondered if I was rereading past pages.


– final thoughts –

It reminds me of a Neil Gaiman story, but it feels like it’s trying too hard to make everything grander or more symbolic than it’s delivered. The ending wrapped everything up with a bow so perfect that it didn’t match the tone of the rest of the story, so I don’t really know what to believe. Read it if you are curious, but if not… I don’t think you’re really missing out.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Pages: 280

Genre: fantasy, fairytales


“The beast might shout and snarl, and he might well devour her, but he’d at least been interested enough to listen to her speak.”

A new collection of short fairytale-inspired fantasy stories, some set in the grisha universe. I’ve never seen illustrations that fits the stories so well, and it’s a treat as the picture becomes more complete each time you turn the page.

I have a long and bumpy history with fairytale retellings, mostly irritated by them not modernizing or putting a twist on traditional fairytales, or doing so and forgetting to be a complete and good book as well. The stories in this book definitely mantained the magic and mysterious feeling of fairytales, while having more depth and interesting characters, not to mention the great endings. In some stories it’s clear right away where the inspiration is from, personally I seem to like the stories that were most unlike the original. While I like Bardugo’s writing, I feel it can sometimes become too focused on being clever and unexpected than actually keeping a reader attentive to the story itself. I’ve felt it in books like “crooked kingdom” before, and it seem to be more of a problem when the fairytale behind the story was obvious. It’s tricky, because the cleverness is arguably what makes her stand out as an author as well.

I have two favourite stories that I would recommend this book for alone. “When water sang fire” is the last story and I got pulled in to the relationship between Ulla and Signy and how it would play out. Also I love mermaids. “Ayama and the thorn wood a strong second “ is a close second for me, just the spirit of that girl and how she overcomes her circumstances is lovely to read.

*spoiler below*

An example of the lovely drawings, that spoils some of the plot of one story, but included as a reason you need to get this book in physical form.

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Ash by Malinda Lo

Pages: 291

Genre: fantasy – fairytales, young adult, lgbtq

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Cinderella retold…

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

My thoughts


“Ash” is an okay book, with an okay main character and that’s it. Normally I like fairy tales retellings, especially if you have to guess which fairytale it is based on. In this book, however, you pretty much know straight away that it is a Cinderella story. The name of the book – and the main character – is literally Ash, as in the ash and soot Cinderella is always covered in. At the beginning, the setting sounded so promising, the fairy and fantasy-element in it so strong. Unfortunately that feeling died with her father, when she was forced away from her home and had to play it out like any other Cinderella story.

But what is a Cinderella story without a romance and a happily ever after? I was looking forward to the f/f relationship I had read all about. I am still searching for a relationship in these pages, because it never seems to start. I don’t think I can say more without spoiling the whole thing, but just know – if you want to read this book because of the lesbian/lgbtq tag/genre solely – you might want to reconsider. Unless you expect something children under twelve might call a romance, because in any relationship (friendly or romantic or sisterly), this fairytale never does anything else than skim the surface. That might be the problem for the rest of the magic elements too, we only hear about them, not actually witness them most of the time.

While this book has its magical moments, as a whole it is a bit too weak and dull. I think I’ll do as Ash and get my joy straight from the real fairytales, because this version contains too few twists or new elements to be better than the originals. Perhaps if the f/f relationship had been stronger, or maybe the plot had some original twists. But perhaps I just know too many versions of Cinderella too well, for those who only know of the Disney version, this book might be ejoyable. “Ash” had potential, but it ended there. The cover is beautiful, though.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer


What does it take for a well-off young man to donate all his money and wander into the Alaskan wilderness (north of Mt. McKinley) with minimal equipment prepared? August of 1992 his body was found, four months later. After the author wrote an article on him, he chose to continue investigating what had happened and who Christopher McCandless was. It leads to this book about the events leading up to the event, how McCandless took the name Alexander Supertramp and it wasn’t his first trip alone. He had gone to Mexico and back in a kayak and wandered the US for years, meeting people who mostly got a good impression of him. It’s strange how he affected certain people, even if it’s looked at with the lense of his death becoming a nation-wide story. Alexander himself wrote about his months in the wilderness and took picture of the place, he underlined thoughtful philosophical quotes in books like anyone. But not everyone meets such an unfortunate end all alone, after having eaten something toxic or simply starving to death.

“I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong… to measure yourself at least once.”

My thoughts


I didn’t get as much out of this book as I was looking for. Mostly because it’s not Alexander/Christophers story. Obviously, since he’s ufortunately dead. His notes was the most interesting part of this book, along with the interviews of the people who met him. The author adds other similiar stories, some more interesting than others, as well as own experiences. It comes in an odd place that makes it seem more like filler than if it had been towards the end, as an extra information. There’s not enough material to justify the length of the book, which makes the middle part more boring than necessary. Other than that, the authors writing was good. There’s no romanticizing the events that occurred, but at the same time there’s given reasons for why people choose to live solitary, off the grid that way or want to be in the wilderness.

who was this person?

Personally I don’t agree with the voices claiming Christopher to have a death-wish, had overly romaticized the trip or that he’s a hero for doing something so daring and breaking out of the average life. There certainly seems to be elements of all three, he was too unprepared in the end, he seemed to be escaping and he seemed to be spontaneous. He’d already travelled a lot and been on the road, so he wasn’t straight out from normalcy and college. The last person who saw Christopher alive warned him about the dangers as he noticed he didn’t have much gear, even gave him some, but figured he wouldn’t stay out there that long. This is the part of the story where I question how in his right mind Christopher was, and what his plans were originally. But even with this there wasn’t one personality trait or fault that automatically lead to his death. He got unlucky, in the end. I think that’s the main idea I’ve gotten from this book that I wouldn’t have from articles that claim he was one thing or another. People have done stupid shit and survived, even in the wilderness of Alaska, but McCandless got unlucky.

I wonder if Christopher would’ve liked the book himself. Maybe not. I wanted to know what lead to him wanting to spend time alone out there, as well as what went wrong, and could’ve liked a more direct layout of the theories when it became obvious there were no final answer. I would recommend the book if you’re very interested, if not I think articles online or even the wiki page would be a great place to start. I haven’t yet seen the movie “into the wild”, but I’ll keep you updated when I do. I’m expecting that to give a much more “McCandless as a daring hero” vibe than this book, but maybe not.

Have you ever wanted to spend time alone in the wilderness? Can you imagine what would lead a person to do what McCandless did? I’m still wondering why he changed his name, any ideas?

the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur

Genre: poetry



There were so many pages I liked I ripped up a napkin and used it as bookmarks and now my family is laughing at me.

I think people who really dislike this collection and the previous “milk and honey” isn’t able to look past the “it’s not poetry!?!” opinion and realize it doesn’t really matter. I think it’s gotten so popular because it’s relatable fears, opinions and thoughts from a young woman, perfectly phrased and with powerful, simple drawings. What’s so bad about that? Sometimes I like poems where you have to decipher meanings and look up words no one would use in the real world, but I get why it’s not everyone’s preferance. Let people like what they want.

In this collection, I found that I especially liked the longer writings and those about family and, well, feelings. It’s something for most in here, another reason it’s so popular. It’s not the greatest writing I’ve read, but it’s precise, clear and simple. Some lines can help as short reminders, much better than the positive quotes everywhere, while others go more in depth. Would read again. It also helps that the book looks adorable. But that doesn’t mean I necessarily got very much from it.

Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman

The review where I find out if I liked the book or not. It felt slow and in the middle I even skimmed pages. I finished it and felt relieved, but when I think back it’s still with a certain fondness. I didn’t really enjoy the read, so what kind of witchcraft is this?


According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are gathering, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist, oops

My thoughts


– the unique plot – 

The gods was interesting, the end of the world is always something to read about, especially when you throw in an Antichrist, witches are a plus, but demon Crowley and angel Aziraphale is definitely the best thing about this book. They are an awesome, iconic couple and I wish we’d gotten more of them. Looking back I realize the moment they split up, and other parts of the plot unfolded, might’ve been when I lost interest.

– fantastic writing – 

I haven’t read anything by Terry Prachett, but they’re obviously both brilliant writers. The humor worked sometimes, but other times it fell through. Some elaborations to the writing made the pace even slower. Everything was leading towards the end of the world and I just wanted to get there without too many derailings. Also, it might be confusing to follow so many POV’s and some was more interesting to me than others. Ms. Zuigiber, a certain god and war journalist, is my favourite, both terrifying and impressive. Ah, I’m glad I’ve read this book, when I think of it.

– overall – 

I liked the concept, but the book itself didn’t fit me. It seems like Good Omens will become a bbc tv series and if so, I’m so excited for it. Supernatural was awesome, but dragged out and didn’t really have a point. Here you got even more potential and please make it great.  Would recommend it if you liked American Gods, have read other books by the authors before or like things like Supernatural and plots with the end of the world.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Pages: 500

Genre: urban fantasy

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The Chequy is a secret organization, part of the british government and consists of people with powers. Powers like taking over other’s bodies when they touch you, like Myfawny is able to. She’s a Rook, which is a high ranking, fancy title, but mostly means she’s doing paper work and organizing. She’s considered a nervous wreck, seeing people tortured makes her throw up, but she’s really good at her desk job. She’s the “resident nerd” and a great planner, which becomes vital as she learns she will lose all memory of who she is.

My thoughts

It’s a fantastic book, and I loved all her weird colleagues like Gestalt who has multiple bodies he controls. Give me that ability please. The “secret organization” part was better than expected, since the different powers are original and interesting and so is the characters they belong to.

“You have a scary face?” Ingrid sounded skeptical. “Yes,” said Myfanwy indignantly. “I have a very scary face.” Ingrid surveyed her for a moment. “You may wish to take off the cardigan then, Rook Thomas,” she advised tactfully. “The flowers on the pockets detract somewhat from your menace.” 

When Myfawny learns she’ll wake up with no memories of who she is, she starts to write letters with information and encouragement to her new self and I loved those parts. Through that, and the words of other colleagues, you get a feeling for who she was before, and the complete personality change. The original Myfawny had been taken from her family as a child and the schooling she went through enchaced her abilities, but left her traumatized in not so obvious ways. The new version doesn’t have those memories or limits. She’s both a better and worse version because of it.

 – in short – 

Intricate and interesting mystery, witty writing that made me laugh several times. Some background info I didn’t care about, but it didn’t matter anywyay. Cool position titles. Would absoloutly read again, and recommend it for a witty and clever read.


What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami


That is the longest title i’ve seen in a while and it fits exceptionally well.

This book’s a part journal, part running diary of the famous author Haruki Murakami, and was the first novel I read by him. I still found this book interesting, even if I’m not a runner – not at all.

My thoughts


– this book is about running and so much more – 

I was looking for motivation and insight, which I got, in a way. There’s a lot of reasons to read this book. The writing’s fantastic and so is the self-reflections and general thoughts it included. I like Murakami’s view of the world, which is a weird thing to say, but his thoughts on why he’s running and his stories are interesting in themselves. Like when he sold his jazz club to become a full-time author because it was what he wanted. He went against common sense, but he gives his reasons to why that didn’t stop him. And there seems like nothing will stop him from running for a while either, which still baffles me that one could genuinely enjoy.

– i will never run a marathon but – 

What surprised me the most was the meditation aspect of long-distance running and why someone deliberately cause themselves pain, like Murakami running a marathon in the scolding heat of greece’s summer, on his own. I’m no stranger to pain, but that’s something else. And Murakami doesn’t seem to understand it completely either, only that he wasn’t about to do it again.

When Murakami wrote this book, in 2005, he’d run somewhere around 24 marathons, which I have to be amazed at. He’s been running longer than I’ve been alive. It was really interesting to search for the reason to why he’s be able to keep putting effort into something so demanding for so long. Definitely something to strive for, but it doesn’t mean I’m about to go running anytime soon. I now believe some enjoy it, but they can keep it. I find my meditational exercise elsewhere, even if I didn’t realize it before this book. 


– Murakami on writing –

“Writers who are blessed with inborn talent can freely write novels no matter what they do – or don’t do. Like water from a natural spring, the sentences just well up, and with little or no effort these writers can complete at work. Occassionally you’ll find someone like that, but, unfortunately, the category wouldn’t include me. I haven’t spotted and springs nearby. I have to pound the rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of creativity. To write a novel I have to drive myself hard physically and use a lot of time and effort. Every time I begin a new novel, I have to dredge out another new, deep hole. But as I’ve sustained this kind of life over many years, I’ve become quite efficient, both technically and physically, at opening a hole in the hard rock and locating a new water vein.” 

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Pages: 578

Genre: young adult, historical, fantasy-ish

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Evie O’Neill’s powers and personality gets her in trouble in her hometown and she’s sent to live with her uncle in 1926′s New York City. She’s excited for the big city, but finds a rather eccentric uncle who runs a museum of strange occult things. Evie’s good at getting what she wants and she sneaks along when her uncle is called out to help with a murder investigation. Occult symbols have been found at the gruesome crime scene and they need an expert. But it’s Evie’s abilities that’s most helpful.

My thoughts

This book sounded so interesting, but I never found myself liking it. The plot is meh, the setting more exciting, but nothing special there either. The writing might be my biggest problem with this book, it slows down where it doesn’t need to and skips most details that would’ve made the setting feel more real. The year is 1926, but flappers, newspaper boys and less women rights are the only real difference. It feels like a cheap way to make the main character Evie more interesting, to make her a “modern girl” living in another time, but with the mind, views and knowledge of this time.

The grand finale was going to redeem this book and after nearly 400 pages I was ready for it. There has to be one with crime, where they solve the mystery and shit goes down. BUT it was perhaps the worst part of the book. Until then it had at least been some mystery, not who the murderer was, but how to stop him. When it came down to it, the murderer was ridiculous and so was the writing at the end.


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graffiti by savannah brown


My thoughts



A lovely and spooky collection of poems. That doesn’t seem to summarize it. Just read the thing, it’s worth it.

I was a bit concerned when I held up the (now redone I realize) cover of graffiti and saw the similarities in style with “milk and honey”. Both books have a simple, minimal look and drawings, but there the similarities also ends. The poems in here are all Savannah. All her dark thoughts, or romantic ones, surrounded by loneliness and creativity. They’re poems from a person figuring out this “growing up” thing and dealing with shit, the things I would rant about turned into poetry. Some of the poems felt a bit unfinished, but that seems natural with a writer who’s just starting to publish.

And the illustrations was a nice add-on. I adore the look of those little ghosts. One of the poems that spoke to me most was “haunted”. “i can measure how sad i am by how afraid i am of the dark” and how much I feel like throwing myself into the void, yep absoloutly.


I’m looking forward to read more of Savannah Brown as her debut novel is coming out sometime in the near future!