Books that Lived Up to the Hype | 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. All books I’ve written a review of is linked.


All of the Harry Potter series. I was given one of the books as a gift as a child, because I was reading a lot already. What they didn’t realize was that it was the last book of the series, so this massive book with brown cartoonish cover was just sitting there on my shelf for a while before I managed to get the first one. I was blown away, of course.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.  I read this book a short time ago, on a plane. The worst idea, as I started crying immediately. A neurosurgeon gets cancer, I’ve written an extensive review of it, but it’s simply a must read. 


Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. To be honest I wanted to get into Murakami’s fiction and started with this because it had “norwegian” in the name. It’s a bit like the secret history, but in japan and less murder.

The Secret History by Donna Tarttis fantastic, one of my favorite books. The characters are all awful people, there’s murder, learning latin, it’s great.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalliis a great gay young adult book that exceeded my expectation and the hype it had gotten.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green hands down just brilliant.


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi was a young adult fantasy series that I really connected with as a younger teenager. Wonder how I would like it now, a few years later.

The Final Empire of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson was the first fantasy book I read by Brandon Sanderson and he’s one of the best, especially when it comes to world-building of magical systems and politics.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. The series quickly went downhill for me until I’ve stopped after Empire of Storms, book five. But I love fighting female main characters, especially a few years ago when I picked it up.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I picked up the first book, The Name of the Wind, almost by accident before hearing of its popularity. It had just been translated into norwegian for my kid self and I had such expectations for the second book, as did everyone else. It’s one of my favourite books as well, definitely would recommend it for someone who’s already into fantasy.





I’m Excited for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Even if I have to google how to spell the name and still is convinced I get it wrong. Have you seen the endpages of Hank Green’s debut novel “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing”? There’s a blogpost by the artist Tekst which shows the endpages and the process, which I found interesting and thought you might as well:


The book is out September 25th 2018 and I can’t wait. I haven’t gone out of my way to look for information of what it’s about on purpose, but I think there’s a girl who goes viral or becomes famous on Youtube and that the book among other things deal with the idea of being Internet famous, which Hank Green has some experience with.

I just finished “Radio Silence” by Alice Oseman which also features a lot of internet fandom and success through a podcast getting a fanbase, and when it’s done right, books with internet culture can make me question as well as relate.




Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | Review

Pages: 340

Genre: Science fiction, thriller



“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.


My thoughts

Rating out of five: four stars


This is a thriller, playing on a scenario that has always haunted me of trying to find your way back home. Still it’s difficult to recommend or talk about this book without spoiling it. So I’m just going to say reading this book is like watching a movie in the way it’s written and even if the book is called “dark matter” the physics parts of it isn’t something you need to know or be interested in to enjoy it. If the synopsis sounds interesting and you are in to read about some kidnapping and weird and absurd, out of the ordinary things, this is a good book. If you are in the mood to question your existence and life, this book didn’t really feel that deep.



So we have our main character Jason Dessen being kidnapped by famous scientist Jason Dessen who have managed to find a way to send him to his alternative universe, so that they can switch lives and places. Multiple universes exist btw. It’s a really shitty plan, first of all, especially for one who’s supposed to be a genius. It was also obvious pretty early on what had happened, that he was kidnapped by himself.

The visuals I got from this book, of a person running down corridors trying to find his home world and getting nowhere was so satisfying and creepy. The “uncanny valley” feeling of meeting a world that’s similiar to your own, but small details doesn’t match up until you realize it’s not yours is horrifying. My own nightmare would be trying to escape and find that your surroundings are endless and not-changing, you’re stuck in a pattern or world. This book reflects that very well. Another thing that’s taken straight out of my nightmares is the part where Jason Dessen slowly comes to terms with being in another universe in the first place and others trying to get him commited to an psychiatric ward by force. With all the worlds and scenarios Jason meets, like his family dying in front of him in this apocalyptic world of illness, I had to like this book. Even if it’s a bit of every cliche movie thrown in a pot and crossing fingers that it will be fast-paced enough for the reader not to question it.

Still, this book also feels like a smart stupid TV show, that tries to appear brilliant until you dig deeper. To be fair, I am interested in physics, but have never looked deeply into the multiple universe theory. This book is not reality bending, question inducing, it does not make me think deeply about my existence or life like it tries to market itself as. But it’s still fun & horrifying, it’s absurd and action-filled. 

Especially towards the end it becomes apparent that not every question is going to be asked or answered, that the action has taken priority over pondering about what this means about the universe and worlds, even though most of the versions of Jason Dessen are scientists. As Jason Dessen the main character meets the other versions of Jason Dessen, a few moral questions are brought up in who should be able to get back to the wife and if it’s unmoral to kill each other. They have varying views on that. But the time-limit created by the action and the versions hunting each other doesn’t give possiblities to dive into things like who the “real Jason Dessen” is and what that means. Or really the fact that the famous real physics scientist version of him chose to kidnap “our” Jason and why. All the other versions of Jason doesn’t seem as alive and three-dimensional, when at least some of them shouldn’t really be that much different.

I really wanted to know what happened to the nurse after she left. I was happy for her when she found out Jason’s mission wouldn’t get her anywhere safe. So I felt some connection to the characters, even though I found myself liking Jason less and less throughout the book. I felt that all the alternative world-hopping could’ve changed him more and been a good way for character development, but in the end I don’t get what changed and how he found the right universe. The sole focus of getting back to his family is understandable, but also boring after a while.

What I was feeling reading this book: excited about the action and absurd parts, sometimes seeing my own nightmares played out

Quote of the Week #6

This week let’s make it two quotes, from the same book “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. This week’s quotes is brought to you by me travelling, to my childhood city this summer and I do not agree with the first quote. Once I did, but your surroundings has a lot to say, and your ability to influence them. In my old city I was unhappy, for reasons outside of my ability of control. I brought some of these reasons to the new city, I also gathered a few new ones, but the worst ones were left behind. Was it right to move? Who the fuck knows, but that’s something you could say about most decisions in life. So I included the second quote to balance it out a bit, “leave no path untaken” sounds lovely, but doesn’t really exist either does it? With every choice you make there’s A LOT of paths untaken, but you know- sometimes you got to try different paths just to see where they lead you. 

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A Mage’s Power by Casey Wolfe | Review

Pages: 270

Genre: urban fantasy, lgbt (m/m)



Rowan is a prodigy of magic, he’s taken two out of five masters in the Schools of Magic and set up an enchantment shop – named “Charmed to Meet You”! His only friend (outside of school) is a werewolf named Caleb, who consider him part of his pack. They’re both gay.

Shaw works for the Inquisition, the organization charged with policing the magical races collectively known as magicae. Recently, it has come under scrutiny as magicae begin to disappear and reports of violence increase. With secrets of his own on the line, Shaw is willing to risk everything to find out just what is going on behind all the locked doors.

When Rowan and Shaw are entangled in each other’s worlds, it becomes evident that their hearts are as much at risk as their lives. They must find the truth and stop a conspiracy before it’s too late.

My thoughts

Rating out of five: four stars


It was a fun and easy read, I picked up the book and then almost didn’t put it down as I read the story in a couple hours. A couple times I stopped just wondering why I was still intrigued, because nothing much was going on. Rowan comes out of his shell a bit as Caleb and Shaw forces him to look up from his textbooks and work long enough to go out with them. It hit a bit too close to home as he lists his interests and I’m noting down that I need to go out more myself. Still it takes skill to write so good characters, this book had a cozy atmosphere and I enjoyed reading their banter. Shaw and Rowans relationship moved quickly, which left me wondering where the author would go from there. But they let Shaw and Rowan keep just enough secrets for themselves, for reasons that seemed natural like building up trust, and it worked out and fit with the plot. Caleb was definitely my favourite character as he’s a bit snarky and wilder, but also protective and just cool. I think I liked this book because of the same reason as I liked “The Raven Cycle” by Maggie Stiefvater – it’s more the characters than the story.

A trio of one mage, one werewolf and a newcomer witch, all gay, walks into a bar ... and they become bestfriends and have a good time for the most part. That’s how I view this book. There was spent a lot of time early on in the book to set up the world and Shaw and Rowans groups and daily life, towards the end it’s more action in a very satisfying way. I like how Rowan is a prodigy in magic because of talent and that he works hard, but he’s still has flaws and more to learn.

While I was reading this book I found the lack of action in the beginning somewhat boring along with a few predictable twists, like I knew who the dark witch they were looking for was going to be. But afterwards, thinking back, this book just gives me this warm cozy feeling that even I can’t explain. It has grown on me? I think and hope this book needed time to set up and that I’ll get to read more plot unfold in the second book.


some favourite quotes (SPOILERS)

“Why do you think I live out here?” Rowan asked after a while. “I assume because you like nature.” “I do, but it’s more than that.” Rowan turned around. “If I’m out here, I can’t hurt anybody else. I trained hard at the Guild so that I could control this.”

“Drink,” he ordered, working at the bindings. Rowan popped the cork, a little smoke rising from the potion. “Not inspiring,” he muttered, tossing it back before he could think better of it.

“He was grinning from ear to ear. Shaw figured had his tail been out, Caleb would have been wagging it furiously.”

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas | Review

Pages: 229

Genre: new adult, fantasy


Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Honest summary? Friends giving each other gifts, celebrating Christmas – no wait Winter Solice – and talking about a war somewhere, but Tamlin being unhappy is the only piece of action as everyone (Feyre) is fucking or going to the store or painting.   

My thoughts

Rating out of five:


I’ve read a lot of reviews of this book, before actually reading I saw a lot of varied ratings given and afterwards to get the answers to “why are people liking this?”.

Here’s a rapid fire round of things I disliked: males and gentlemales everywhere, smutty sex scenes from a bad fanfic, all for girlpower in theory but not in action? even Amren isn’t seen fighting here. More is coming, just wait.

Let’s get my favourite moments over with, to balance it out a bit: Feyre interacting with Ressina and other artist or people who also have been affected by the war, Cassian & Feyre decorating for Solstice (basically Christmas), they all getting drunk, Amren moments in general.

I don’t care for the sex scenes. When I read them in earlier books I wondered why I hated them so much, and they’re just bad and cringy. Also I hate it if I have to pause the action of a book to read detailed cringy description of how sex works and the word “thrust” over and over. In this book there were no action that needed to be paused, like the last one, but I felt like I needed to read this book to not miss out on the bigger storyline. There’s a lot of rebuilding of Velaris in this book along with healing for all the people there, including all the characters we know and love. I didn’t want to miss that.

I’ve never read so many pages about friends giving each other gifts. It was cute, the first two, but IT NEVER ENDS. I feel like this about many of the fluffier moments of the book. That along with the sex is why people are comparing it to fanfiction I think, the book is written with the focus to include the characters in different settings and scenes to get these heartwarming moments. I definitely appreciated reading them, but they were very transparent and felt artificial or false, which is a weird thought to have about something that’s in a book, but I couldn’t help but notice it. Perhaps it’s made worse by how the rest of the series doesn’t really match the tone of this novella.

In case someone hasn’t realized it (I didn’t when I first heard about this book): IT’S A NOVELLA. But it doesn’t feel detached from the rest of the series? It’s a bridge between what happened in book three and four, and that’s why it’s difficult to advice if people need to read this. At the high price I first saw of this book (it’s become some lower since I think), I wondered if the publisher agreed to sell anything Maas was willing to write, and after reading this I still feel the same way. Maybe it’s something a part of the fans wanted, but my opinion is that that’s a slippery slope down to making a worse book and product in general. This novella reads like fanfic. Unfortunately it made me more nervous and less excited for the next full book in the series, and the series overall as I have loved it until now. 

Quote of the Week #5

It’s time for the quote of the week (as it hasn’t been happening the last few weeks)! If I remember correctly, these got darker and darker as my physical health declined, so this week were starting up light again.

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Okay, this is true. But I’m a student and when I have to study for a test, especially in a subject I don’t like such as geography (ugh), I will carry the textbook with me. Closed, as if I could gain the information by osmosis. It will end up in my bed next to my pillow, eat dinner with me, watch tv with me. I am carrying the damn book just because I am anxious. This has blown up in my face once or twice as I feel like I’ve read more than I really have, as I had the book on me this whole time, but didn’t actually study. More often than not though it will remind me to revise and remember information.

A couple days ago I was also at the library I grew up with, the first time in a year. And I had such a good time, reading books about anxiety as well as herbs. I ended up struggling to carry these six thick books through the whole city, with a ripped plastic bag draped over them to seem a bit more casual. Met my chilhood friend on the way and she was like “have you been shopping?”, I was like “the library” and she seemed very pleased of this proof that I had not changed much. I was too.


The Future by Neil Hilborn | Review

Genre: poetry

Pages: 100

Rating out of five stars:


I’ve long wanted to read Neil Hilborn’s first collection of poems “Our Numbered Days” after first watching his slam poems or spoken word pieces a few years ago. I was taken with how honest and passionate he seemed like, often talking about mental illness, being diagnosed with OCD and bipolar disorder. This second collection of poems contains much of the same subjects, as Neil draws from his everyday life.

From the first poem “How do you sleep with an IV in?” I was completely here for it. I started reading this book while I was in the hospital with a lot of pain, perhaps not on accident as I knew Neil would talk about his own struggles and I needed something to connect with. I’ve read this book again afterwards, to be sure I liked it and was surprised by how much I marked and highlighted passages. Here’s the first sentences of “How do you sleep with an IV in?”:

It’s just for dehydration, the nurse

says. She hangs up this alien bladder

full of fluid so clear that it couldn’t

possibly be from anywhere but space.

The poems are often looking forward, as the title “The Future” might give away. But it looks forward by talking about the past. It wonders what would happen if this one thing was different. It’s about people, about journeys, about love (of course), about being on the road. Overall I find myself really liking Neil’s voice, how he thinks and his phrasing and that’s overall what holds on to me more than the subject of the poems.

Now I tried to pick out a part of a poem, to give examples of how good they are. But my favourites are a couple pages long and you need to read the whole thing to fully get it, so just trust me and get the book, thanks. 

Favourite poems (for now): “How do you sleep with an IV in?”, “LAKE”, “I’m back, not for good”, “Blood in my sock”, “As much wind as possible”, “psalm 12, in which the author alienate his audience”, “The Future” – this one deserves an extra note as I was highlighting whole pages, Neil talks about his brain and suicide, about why he haven’t killed himself yet. He describes killing himself as a “glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave”. There’s lots of reasons and ways people are suicidal, so many I don’t yet know and of course poems like this doesn’t give you that complete understanding, but they’re an important step in seeing other’s experiences. It feels good to see thoughts like these expressed so well on a page.

Did I forgot to mention I love the poem titles? For those who feel like poems are difficult or lack self-irony, Neil Hilborn’s poems are the oposite of that. I would completely recommend this collection and I wish him all the best. I’m going to read “Our Numbered Days” soon.


Thanks for receiving this copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Long Summer Days & Chronic Illness Trying to Ruin Them

I’ve just spent almost two weeks in a cabin on an island, without internet for the most part. Here’s what I learned: I miss the internet only when it’s cloudy and I am bored and need to occupy myself. Which was like two days, because it was thirthy degrees celcius outside and I am not used to this heat. There was only blue sky and blue calm water, nothing I had to remember or worry about. Lots of bathing, catching and then releasing butterflies with my cousin, seeing family I hadn’t in a long time and nostalgia of being reunited with my older brothers. They also lured me up on some mountain in just slippers before they also managed to get lost, but that gave me nostalgia too so I can’t really complain much.

A couple days ago I also got my head back enough for the first time in over a month to start reading Oatbringer by Brandon Sanderson. When I read a hundred pages in one sitting the first time, at 2 am, I was ecstatic.  I’m sure it sounds obvious, but I didn’t realize just how much morphine pain killers fucks with my head until I stopped them. I almost forgot baking lemon cake, fishing, driving boats at high speed and relaxing. It was a dream.

Here’s the recipe to the best glutenfree lemon cake I have ever made, before this post takes a darker turn. 

I hope this all sounds as lovely as it was, but then there’s the part where I just spent almost two weeks in a cabin on an island because one night three days into my stay I could not breathe. *brief pause as I notice a spider on my leg and kill it with my hands, I want credit for that* Anyway, I woke up and noticed something was wrong, an hour later I could not breathe, the tightness in my chest didn’t stop. I was just hospitalized for a lung infection and gallbladder surgery, not to forget I had misplaced my glasses, so I took a weird choice – woke up no one and wandered out of the cabin to get some fresh air. With the phone camera in front of me I then saw the shrubs move and a badger walk out, a distance away from me. I’ve met these badgers before, they are very cute and will also bite your leg until it hears a crack, so I ran for my life. Which looks more like walking slowly, hunched over, when you already can’t breathe.

So the day after I spent eight hours in emergency rooms and then three awful days in the third hospital of the month. The first hospital visit had been a ten days stay on the other side of the country, where I live, the second one for my minor gallbladder surgery I had just days before. This third hospital I had been to before, but I was nowhere near prepared for how awful it would be. I was in less pain than before. The people I shared room with however were very sick, and looking back there’s no way they got enough pain treatment.

One old lady barely stopped crying the twentyfour hours I was with her, both in pain and because she didn’t know where she was. She kept asking me to help her, confusing me with a nurse because of my young age and I couldn’t get up from my bed. That was the first time I lost it completely and broke down crying. Another lady was just bones, she got worse until the final morning she was swatting the nurses hands away, begging and yelling for them to let her just die, why couldn’t they let her just die. The nurses were nice to me, but acted like this was okay. Maybe it was normal to them, but in no way was that okay. Having been stuck unmoving in another hospital bed weeks earlier, waking up crying from pain that lasted hours, even with morphine, something in me could relate too much. I felt so bad for them, and there was nothing I could do. And also at this point, my situation wasn’t getting better either. So I broke down for a second time. I did not stop crying for hours until I had gotten out of that hospital, feeling mentally much worse than when I arrived. They hopefully got rid of my infection though. Don’t think it was worth it.

I also had to go back for a colonoscopy  (google it), where you have to take laxatives which was a minor nightmare as they didn’t work properly. No inflammation in my intestines this time, which means my ulcerative colitis isn’t flaring on top of everything else so that’s some good luck.

I don’t know if one should focus on the good or the bad. On the fact that I still barely can’t walk some evenings because the hospitals never had time or resources to figure out why my joints are swelling, or that I cannot laugh without wheezing in pain. At least I notice very much how often I have laughed these days. But last week I could finally be in the ocean without my body hurting, two days later I could submerge myself in water completely without lungs burning, a day later I could swim! It sucks to be in pain, to so much need a break from illness and having to fight to only halfway get there. This last year, I could probably sit down and count the times I’ve cried. Until now, because I don’t seem to be done no matter how many lovely days I fight to put between me and those hospital stays.

I’ll be back with book reviews soon, I’m so excited to be reading again.

Also I can’t leave my books at my dad’s house, they won’t survive long without rain damage –