Head On by John Scalzi

Genre: Sci-fi

Pages: 335

Look at this great, minimalistic cover! It’s so perfect. Well, maybe the person should’ve been a threep (robot). 



Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth―and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.

My thoughts

Rating out of five:


I was drawn in by the interesting plot, especially as it’s techonological development to combat illness. What I got was an fbi agent Shane discovering bodies, getting into accidents, Shane and his partner Vann trying to connect it all together and find the motives. In the middle it seems very messy, and not in a good way.

Everything is happening around the two fbi agents, mostly not caused by their actions. They are two pieces in a game where I have barely been introduced to the world, let alone who or what could be behind the murders. I can’t bring myself to care when someone dies that early on, even if it’s to kickstart the need for Shane’s investigation in this story. For the Hilketa player I was almost half into the book before I felt bad for him, with some details on how much pain he must’ve been in.

I think this would work very well as a tv series, where you get to see the threeps and Hilketa game from the start. For the most part I think so because you can watch and judge the other people in the story, try to find the murderer yourself, where here you don’t really get details on characters. The book included things like how Shane’s treated differently because he’s a Haden, both at work and in private, what being an Haden means and some of how the sport Hilketa works. But it’s a lot of information that needs to go out just for the reader to understand what the fbi agents are doing. For example that statistics in Hilketa is displayed in this one public way, and changing that can be illegal because here is the information it gives on players, so it’s a lead. Trying to do that without information dumps (which I think was well done!), along with introducing characters connected to it, and that there’s more than one murder. It’s a lot and while I found it surprisingly easy to follow, it made the investigation, and such the story, slower and less focused on characters.

This is the standalone follow-up to a book called Lock In, which I haven’t read. I would’ve like to know more about how the locked in syndrome and Haden people started out, with the development of the threeps. I looked it up and it seems like the short book Unlocked contains all the backstory, so I would like to read that too. It’s free here, and while the writing or plot doesn’t give you insight in Head On, if you’re interested it seems to be a smart 60-pages read before the other books.

I would recommend this book to people who are excited about the concept, but be aware that it’s a mix of sci-fi and fbi murder investigation. The feeling this book gave me: excitement about the sci-fi aspects with the robots and medical technology, but strange annoyance at the murder investigation.


Thank you to Tor Books for receiving a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Stormlight Archive #1

Pages: 1000

Genre: epic fantasy



A new Cosmere novel, it’s an epic story of war and kings battling for power on the world of Roshar. Shardblades and Shardblades transforms normal men into near invincible warriors and to obtain them many has given their life and even traded kingdoms. The battle of the Shattered Plains one of the worst, and the place Kaladin was brought as a slave. He was a soldier before a betrayal, and now he’s in the front line carrying a bridge and watching everyone around him fall by the enemy’s arrows. In a war that doesn’t make sense, where the armies are uncordinated and the many leaders always has more slaves coming to take the dead one’s place, Kaladin’s trying to survive. At least most of the time.

At the same time a Brightlord and commander of an army Dalinar Kholin is having visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant and he can’t decide if they’re real. His late brother, the king, seemed to go mad with the same thing at the end. Across the ocean a young woman named Shallan is plotting her own plans trying to save her family. She’s trying to train under a scholar, heretic and overall unusual person, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Everything is intertwined in this confusing war.


My thoughts

Rating out of five:


It’s the best series I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson yet, having read Mistborn, some of The Reckoners and Warbreaker. They’re all complex, amazing stories. But in this series you really start to see the connections to the Cosmere universe, if you know where to look.

The characters are all well-written and dimensional, with unique personalities and their own motives, like any Sanderson characters. My favourite in this book I would have to say is between Kaladin and Dalinar. Kaladin has been betrayed and branded a slave, he’s basically sent on suicide missions the whole book with his team at bridge four. The momen he takes on the responsibility of his fellow bridgemen’s lives my interest of him as a character along with respect for him was through the roof. The things he accomplishes from there and the journey he has, where he’s beaten down so many times physically and mentally, it really makes this book.

But he’s nowhere near the only character this book is about, I think I even like Dalinar even better. He’s the perfect general-character, with his flaws and strengths and mannerism. How does Sanderson write every trope so well? Shallan is another great character, as she travels to the scholar Jasnah to train under her and steal something from her. But Shallan has her flaws, which sometimes made me really annoyed at her character and how – understandably – immature she is compared to the rest of them.

The plot is great, and I won’t say much about it in fear of spoiling it. There’s lots of battle scenes, and I enjoyed following Kaladin and his bridge the most, as they tried to survive being in the front line, basically as bait for the Parshendis attacking. The magic system, with the storm-infused spheres as sources. What can I say, except gush over how incredible it is. Something that used to be of value to magicians has since become actual currency, which becomes vital for the plot, it’s great.

I feel myself wanting to say this is not the book to start with if you haven’t read Sanderson before, maybe with the exception of being really into high fantasy. It’s easy to get into the world in comparison to other similiar books I’ve read, but it’s still a lot of info, especially connecting it to the Cosmere plotline and I won’t understand everything until further read-throughs. I’m so excited to see where the rest of the series is going!


– favourite quotes –

*warning: minor spoilers*

“Sometimes the prize is not worth the costs. The means by which we achieve victory are as important as the victory itself.”

“A man’s emotions are what define him, and control is the hallmark of true strength. To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.”

“He’d never been an optimist. He saw the world as it was, or he tried to. That was the problem, though, when the truth he saw was so terrible.”

“The immortal words: ¨Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.”


Book Series I Won’t Finish

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I’ve gone on a purge of my tbr list and realized there’s book series I won’t ever get to because of various reasons. It might be years since I read the previous book, maybe the book  wasn’t that good or it didn’t need to be made into a series. So here’s my official goodbyes!


Throne of Glass: Tower of Dawn, book 6

As the series have progressed it went from young adult to new adult, the focus of plot and characters have shifted and for some reason I lost interest with each new book. Book five was a struggle to get through. I think there’s been too many let-downs that I can’t get over, it’s a whole post in itself. I’m still on the fence if I’ll ever give it another try, but I think I’ll spare myself from it.

The 5th Wave: The Infinite Sea, book 2

I’ve picked up the second book of this series twice, and while I liked the first one I couldn’t get into it. I have yet to see the movie with Chloe Graze Moretz though (I love that actress).

The Darkest Minds: In the Afterlight, book 3

The biggest problem is that I don’t know if I read the second book “never fade”. I’m pretty sure I did, because I tried to start it again and it was just familiar enough to be boring. That along with having been some years, I don’t think I’ll get to finish this one.




Night School: Endgame, book 5

Read it so long ago, started the book again, but wasn’t feeling it. Won’t happen, even though it has good ratings.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children: Hollow City, book 2

The first movie was good, will watch the next one too, but the book I read so long ago and doesn’t really catch my interest anymore.

Embassy Row: Take the Key and Lock Her Up, book 3

First book in the series was fun, second book more of a mess. I won’t get to the third, even though it has good ratings.





Currently Reading | Book Things

It’s time for another update! I’ve just come back from a week in Belgium, so that’s the reason behind the fewer updates this past week. It was so much fun! And also I feel awful now, hoping to not become really sick because I have two days to cram my entire math curriculum. FUn! Also going from nearly thirty degrees celcius to ten hurts a lot, I miss summer so much.

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I started reading “Wolf by wolf” by Ryan Graudin on the trip over, and even though it became a bit much war at the same time as I learned about WW1 and I was reading this book around WW2, the book was really really good. I would define it as magical realism, which I haven’t often seen in war books. In the book Hitler’s rule has taken over Japan and this girl was put in death camp and experimented on, which gave her some unusual abilities along with changing her looks from dark to fair. She escaped and is competing in this motorcycle race in this awesome plan to assassinate Hitler. It’s a weird plot, but it was done so well.

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I’ve given up on “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, it was time. I can’t bother to go check just how far I got, it was at least 40 percent, probably I got further than halfways. It was slow and uninteresting, even if I can see why it’s a classic with its ideas of the dystopian future and surveilance and such.

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“Head on” by John Scalzi is a book that took a while to get into, but I’m starting to like it. It’s a sci-fi book, with a dash of mystery and fbi agents included. A part of the population experienced something called “Haden’s syndrome” where they’re basically locked in their bodies, so robot bodies are made for accessiblity. Which leads to a new sport, Hilketa, where the players can attack each other without doing harm. Until one player dies, and the Haden fbi agent Chris is trying to find out how and why. Really cool concept, I haven’t gotten that far yet.





The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan  four out of five stars

My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey  four out of five stars

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli five out of five stars

Leave This Song Behind three out of five stars

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson five out of five stars

Alt som ikke har blitt tjoret fast, Eirin Gundersen

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah five out of five stars

Secrets for the Mad by dodie four out of five stars


Young Adult Titles with “Night”| Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week. 

There’s a lot of frequently used words in young adult titles to pull from. There’s love obviously, dark, star, fall. I’m sure the list goes on and will be looking forward to seeing all the other lists with frequently used words in genre titles. I’ve made a top ten list of ya titles with the word night.


Here’s the three most popular books I could remember: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I already see a trend.


Empire of Night by Justin Somper (vampirates = vampire + pirates !!!), Night Broken by Patricia Briggs and The Night Is For Hunting by John Marsden are action-filled books I loved.



The Night After I Lost You by Sarah Rees Brennan and Night School by C. J. Daughtery is parts of two good series with some spying and romance.


On my TBR is A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston and The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett. Turns out purple covers and “night” in the title is popular together.








Secrets for the Mad by dodie | Audiobook Review


Genre: memoir 

Rating out of five stars:


who is dodie?

Dodie Clark, often just dodie, is a musician and youtuber I follow. Her music is lovely and relatable, her honesty refreshing and she makes videos on topics like mental health and depersonalization, bisexuality and just being a young adult.

the audiobook

I wasn’t rushing to read this book when it was released, which is why I only got to it now. It didn’t feel like a book I needed to read from what I gathered, but it got good reviews and when I found the audiobook I was sold. dodie’s voice is lovely and calms me, which is weird to admit. Her phrasing of thoughts is good as well.

The audiobook is great! I highly recommend to listen to memoirs this way, especially if the author is narrating it like this one, and you like their voice. It’s the person telling their story, with all the emotion they have about it visible. 10/10 audiobook, especially as some chapters include songs that fits with the times and ideas she’s talking about. It was my favourite parts and reminded me why I love her music. Also it was nice that all her friends voiced their parts in the audiobook, giving another perspective on dodie’s life.

what it’s about

The book felt aimed at teenage girls especially, as dodie takes a lot from her own experiences and those she is told from fans. The first chapter, one I really liked, is about how she was writing and a girl found her, told dodie her story of struggles and anxiety and dodie gave some advice, shared some experiences. I think that’s very transferrable to the content of the rest of the book.

I loved the song-parts and when she described them. I realize that I’m more interested in how she thinks about the world as a young adult in the business she’s in, something I get through her youtube videos and songs. In many ways this feels like a book that is written too soon, but at the same time it might be people out there that really needs it, if only for the idea that everything, every situation is temporary, much more temporary than it feels when you’re fourteen and not in control of your daily life. And for that alone I’m glad this book exist and is out there spreading that message.

Comparing this book to other memoirs I’ve read, it has a lot less to say and less new information or personal experiences to share, because dodie is already an online personality. Lately, after the book was published, she’s openly questioned how much to share, but I feel it’s a real thing in this book as well. She doesn’t seem to pour herself into it, like her music lyrics. But it fulfills the role of comforting and giving advice to young people, along with other smaller things like giving a bit of backstories to songs or times in dodie’s life. It’s a book that I expect is important for certain people, which is why I give it a good rating, but I didn’t personally gain a lot from it. It could also be that I felt like she was telling a story I in many ways already know, between having followed her casually and having been a teenage girl. 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah | Audiobook Review



Genre: memoir


My thoughts

Rating out of five: 


the audiobook

It’s the best kind of audiobook (in my opinion), where the author narrates the memoir he wrote. Trevor has the perfect voice for these things already, and the emotion, power or softness he brings really brings out each element of the book. Would definitely recommend the audiobook, as well as the story.


the story


Trevor Noah is known as a comic and host of The Daily Show, born and grown up in South-Africa before also getting big in USA.

Every detail in here is fascinating. I’ve watched Trevor on tv occassionally, I knew the bare minimum about him growing up in South Africa and being a kid of mixed race when that was illegal under apartheid. In this book I also got to know about everything from how complex South-Africa is considering all the different groups of people who lives there, with eleven (!!!) official languages, to how his relationship with his amazing and strict mom was when he grew up. There’s so many stories he tells, some funny, some heartbreaking, most either both or a place in between. Among all of this is some sturdy thoughts on change in society and how he views the world and people.

“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”

Trevor speaks six languages. That and his ability to be a chameleon in social settings is some of the qualities that led to his success, as he talks about in here. Also religion seem to be out to kill him, as the many trips to church with his mom sometimes ended in kidnappings and catastrophies. I applaud the way these stories are told, with the seriousness they need and a lot of humor. I’m a bit unnerved by how Trevor manages to tell some stories so calmly, and still sound perfectly honest and genuine. That’s a skill or a mindset I still can’t tell where comes from.

The ending is heartwrenching and filled with tension, but then he takes it all around to his mom’s belief again and I was crying. There’s some things in this book that most would see as too unrealistic if it were fiction, including his step-father nearly killing his mom. I don’t know what to say to this other than it felt like a book that someone had poured their truth and soul into, and I honestly encourage everyone to read it. Most articles I’ve seen of this book talks about how Trevor was in jail for a week, but it’s the “smaller” things it’s worth it for. Like how he acquired a cd burner and started a dj business, and what that meant. Or how his mom didn’t let risks derail what she did in her life.

“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”


Alt som ikke har blitt tjoret fast, Eirin Gundersen | Review

Sider: 80

Sjanger: Diktsamling


For et nydelig cover. Føler det passer innholdet og følelsen det gir veldig godt. 

Boken handler om en kvinne som drar tilbake til øya familien og forfedrene hennes kommer fra. Hun samler sammen og gjenforteller historier om stedet, i tillegg til hennes egne opplevelser fra besøk i barndommen.

Diktsamlingen er fordelt på tre deler, fra hva jeg kan forstå er formen på grensen til hva man kan kalle en diktsamling. Tekstene er ganske lange, ikke at dette er noe negativt. Jeg likte skrivemåten, beskrivelsene var korte, men vakre og livaktige.

Boken var forskjellig fra noe jeg har lest før, men samtidig var temaet veldig gjenkjennelig og følelsen av hjem og tilhørighet er godt formidlet. I alt ble det kanskje litt for likt hverdagen min, familien min kommer også fra en gård veldig utilgjengelig uten båt. Rett uti fjorden kan jeg skimte den der jeg kjører forbi daglig. Historiene som er inkludert i boken, med båtforlis i 1883 og ulykker, er gitt en veldig dramatisk tone. Disse delene var ikke like interessante for meg som forfatterens egne tiknytning til stedet. Dette kan ha noe med at jeg selv har familiehistorier om ulykker, helt fram til noen jeg kjente omkom på fjorden rett utenfor vår gård. Forfatteren kan snakke med en viss distanse, for meg er det noe som treffer meg hver gang jeg legger i kai.

Derfor er det kanskje ikke så rart at disse to delen var spesielt uhyggelige, men definitivt treffende:




Og en av delene jeg likte godt:


Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson | Review

Pages: 420

Genre: young adult, mystery


Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

My thoughts

Rating out of five:


I really hoped this would be a fantastic book, because Maureen Johnson seems like a brilliant person and I already know she’s a good author, so I’ll say upfront I went into this with all the expectations. This book is the most perfect young adult murder mystery I’ve ever read, and I read a lot as a child. Possibly not as many as the main character Stevie, but I’m not planning on going to a boarding school to solve a murder either.

the characters

The characters are very different and all supposedly gifted, though the book could’ve showed more of their abilities. But they seem like complex people, and their different personalities is shown well. Everyone from Stevie’s parents who are supporting a much hated politician (senator?), to the teachers and classmates like Janelle who build awesome machines and wear lemon baby-blue dresses. Or Ellie who lies there clothed in bathtubs, talking about Paris and art, instantly accepting Stevie’s interest. Stevie also has her distinct voice, and the social insecurities (especially in friendships) were relatable. Almost forgot to mention the author Nate among all the cool ladies. He comes with quotes like this:

“It’s two thousand pages and nothing happens. It’s all terrible. I wrote the first book and then I forgot how to write. It used to be that I would sit and write and I would go into some other world—I could see it all. I was totally in another place. But the second it became something I had to do, something in me broke. It’s like I used to know the way to some magical land and I lost the map. I hate myself.”

Nate was unable to bring himself to lie. “I feel kind of better,” he said to Stevie. “I think you’re even more screwed than I am.”

the plot and story

It amazed me how overall relatable to the current time and teenagers this book felt. Let’s just say I’ve highlighted a lot of quotes, amazed at the accuracy. Another thing I loved was the plot, which I can’t say much about without spoiling the book. The murder mystery and boarding school parts are really good, and I love seeing Stevie trying to figure out the pieces of the puzzle. As well as the teachers treating them like teenagers, like not allowing access when the police is involved, which other books seem to get wrong.

some negative opinions

Here’s the things I’ve had a problem with in past similiar books and didn’t disappear in this one: past police interviews. They’re so dry, they need to be that to seem semi-realistic. I don’t want to read more than two pages of them, and only if someone turns into a dragon midways.

Also there’s paralell stories with Stevie in one and another girl at Ellingham Acadamy from the past, who was murdered early on. The stories didn’t overlap enough to really be interesting, it was a lot of tension between the characters in the past, but I didn’t know enough of them to care. They simply slowed down the plotline of Stevie. I realized more towards the ending that they surely will or already have presented some crucial clue to the murder mysteries, but I couldn’t bring myself to care in the moment.

Which leads me to my final negative point, that it ends in the middle of it all. I think that was better than making it one very long book, for marketing reasons and because it’s young adult. But this one just came out, I’ll have to wait at least a year for any kind of resolution, perhaps even longer as I now realize it’s a trilogy. Well, I’m already captured by this story.

all in all

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good murder mystery, especially if young adult and at a boarding school sounds good to you. I grew up on mysteries like Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars, and this book really brought me back there.  

more favourite quotes

“She felt like someone walking out onto the branch of a tree, feeling it bounce and give under each step. And she loved the feeling.”

“I have no idea. The guy looks like he came out of a 3-D printer.”

“Stevie distinctly felt part of her soul die. She hoped it wasn’t an important part.”

“reading books in class because there was nothing new to be learned, so the time might as well be spent doing something useful.”

“Hayes said sorry. Hayes always said sorry. He said it was a joke, but . . . you don’t get to say that, you know? You don’t get to frighten people and threaten them and say you’re only kidding. Because you’re not.”

Long Book Titles | Top Ten Tueday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week. It’s time for a freebie tuesday, where you get to choose your own list (or at least I hope that was the purpose). So I chose the top ten long book titles I’ve read or want to read. Some are spot on, other hilarious. 

What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami

Part running diary, part everything else including writing, I completely recommend it.

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

A lovely and gay summer romance story, with the best and most exhausting title to write. I can’t count how many times I’ve looked up the spelling of Aristotle, even after having read about the philosopher for so many years in school

Good Omens: the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman

An okay book with spot-on title

Three books on my TBR:

Do androids dream of electric sheep? by Philip K. Dick

The girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making by Catherynne M. Valente

Everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by Jomny Sun

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams

A classic that I took way too long to read, with a nice long title.

Fantastic beasts and where to find them by J. K. Rowling

I remember loving this title, then the movies over-used it

I’d tell you I love you, but then I’d have to kill you by Ally Carter

I love the book titles of this young adult spy series, the books themselves are nearly able to live up to them, which deserves a slow applause.

Simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda by Becky Albertalli

I put off reading this book for too long, mostly because of hearing it was a “coming out” story and the weird title. I still don’t think the title was a good choice, even if I understand it now, but the story was so amazing with characters you can relate to. A really good young adult book, in every way. And so gay.