The Best Moments In Reading Are When You Come Across Something- A Thought, A Feeling, A Way At Looking At Things- Which You Had Thought Special And Particular To You. And Now, Here It Is, Set Down By Someone Else, A Person You Have Never Met, Someone Who Is Even Long Dead. And It Is As If A Hand Has Come Out, And Taken Yours.

Alan Bennett

The History Boys

Thursday, April 30, 2015

And the first pick of the month is....

Not only did this book make me feel warm and fuzzy, it was overall a great and fun read. It was fast-paced and filled with adventure, happy parts I wanted to re-live again, as well as sad parts in the book which I would rather forget. It was amazing, and I definitely recommend it!

What is'' My Pick of the Month"?

At the end of each month, I will make a post about a book that I enjoyed the most during the month, which can either already be reviewed on my book blog but doesn't have to be. However I will try to review it as well. 
Be sure to leave in the comments a book you really liked this month, and tell me if you agree with me. Who knows, I might review your picks someday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sally Lockhart: The Shadow in the North

Title: Sally Lockhart: The Shadow in the North
Author: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Ember
Publication Date: 1986
Genre: Mystery, Historical fiction, YA
Length:  361 pages
where I bought mine: I received mine as a wonderful gift, however you can get yours from Bookdepository or Amazon.
Back cover:
Will the sea give up its dead?
The year is 1876, and the spirited Sally Lockhart, once again defying Victorian sensibilities, has gone into business for herself. When one of her clients loses a large sum of money in the unexpected collapse of a British shipping firm, Sally sets out to investigate. But as she delves deeper into the identity of the wealthy and elusive industrialist who owns the doomed company, she uncovers a plot so diabolical that it could eventually subvert the entire civilized world-and if Sally’s enemies have their way, she won’t live long enough to see it happen.   

Once again I was pleasantly surprised with another delightful Sally Lockhart mystery. Usually I like the first book in a series most, since it is most original and we also find out the entire point of the series, however this sequel was definitely even better than the first book. The characters got realer, and their emotions and feelings were expressed more clearly. Sally herself changed a lot, not only because she is six years older than in the first book, but also more sophisticated and wise. She isn’t perfect, but she doesn’t play at someone who she isn’t. She also falls in love with Frederick, and it isn’t a perfect love, like in other book and movies. It is deeper, and even though they have arguments and sometimes dont talk to each other, there was no way I could have ever imagined them apart. They still love each other, no matter what and that was truly what I loved; it was simply not shallow. The book got mildly slow-paced in the middle, but after that every chapter brought changes. Good and bad ones, sadly enough. The book gets really sad after that until the very end, and I am still not completely over it. That is another great thing about this series; it really gets you thinking about the plot days after you read it, The characters never really leave. I must say, that so far it is definitely one of my favorite series, and it just feels super special every time I delve into Sally’s world. What I also really enjoy in Pullman’s books, is that he doesn’t make his books ‘’childish’’ or does not alter them or mold the plot, to especially appeal to a certain age group. He makes his writing packed with action, and a little scariness. Every author has his/her own writing style, but Pullman’s along with Neil Gaiman’s is very unique.

The story itself is set about six years after the Ruby in the Smoke, but this time Sally investigates the loss of money of one of her clients. Her client lost her money by investing it in a company called North Star Holdings. There would be nothing strange about this except, that it seems to be set up to purposefully to make investors lose their money. She finds out that the whole plot seems to be revolving around the owner of this company and his diabolical plan. He intends to use a weapon he made that is not intended to fight against enemies, but is designed for rulers to fight their own people...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sally Lockhart: Ruby in the smoke

Title: Sally Lockhart: The Ruby in the Smoke
Author: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Ember
Publication Date: 1985
Genre: Mystery, Historical fiction, YA
Length: 230 pages
where I bought mine: I received mine as a wonderful gift, however you can get yours from Bookdepository or Amazon.
Back cover:
“Beware The Seven Blessings...”
When she first utters these words, sixteen-year-old Sally Lockhart doesn't know their meaning. But when an employee of her late father hears them, he dies of fear. Thus begins Sallys terrifying journey into the seamy underworld of Victorian London, in search of clues that will solve the puzzle of her fathers death. Pursued by villains and cutthroats at every turn, she at last uncovers two dark mysteries. One involves the opium trade; the other, a stolen ruby of enormous value.  Sally soon learns that she is the key to both- and that its worth her very life to find out why.

Wow… This book had some serious impact, and a tremendous plot. From the very beginning, (the first sentence) the book is descriptive and very clear. What I love in a historical book, is dedication to the setting in the plot. This means that the book sounds as if it has been written back then, and features only things that people would have, and feelings they would express about certain ideas due to the time. (For example, the book would not include computers or phones as a prop if they have not been invented yet.) This book was very dedicated to the Victorian times, and even the main character Sally was a very strong heroine talking about how people believed that women should not be detectives, since it was “obviously” a man’s job, which was really believed back then. She was very independant, clever and yet not proud or selfish. She stood up for herself, however she was also kind to good people. The truth is, she was also (rarely) a bit frustrated, and sounded a bit mean (unintentionally). Sally was also a strong feminist (like me) that believed in equal gender roles. I don’t think I would like the story half as much if she wasn't the main character. There are 4 books in the series, and I hope to review them as soon as possible. Overall a very enjoyable read, and I recommend it to readers who like historical fiction as me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paper Towns

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: September 22, 2009
Genre: romance, YA, adventure.
Length: 305 pages
Where I bought mine: Book depository

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life- dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an igneous campaign of revenge- he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now became a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues- and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew… 

One of the reasons, why I think teens and adults alike like reading this book, is due to the characters. Sure, there are many books with special characters, but this was different. The characters in Paper Towns pulled you into the story so fast, that halfway through I thought that Margo Roth Spiegelman was indeed a real alive person living in my neighbourhood. Margo is a very strong and memorable heroine, and it is very hard not to quote her all the time. What I however, did not like was that after reading through about half-way, nothing seemed to be happening for a few chapters. This really annoyed me, since the mystery and plot was great and I really wanted to know what would happen next ASAP. After those slow-moving chapters I stopped reading the book for a day or two but had to know what it would end like, so I picked it up again and finished in about a day. The plot finally sped up and the end was very unexpected, but honest and memorable like the characters.

Another thing I liked, was that the book was divided into three parts, each explaining a certain philosophy which was a very important to the characters in the book. To be honest, everyone kept talking about how great John Green’s writing was, but I never really thought I would like it. It might have been because it just seemed like some pointless book… until I read the first chapter.

After finishing Paper Towns, I decided to buy all the John Green books I could find in nearby bookstores.The story is about Quentin, who loves the very adventurous and popular Margo Roth Spiegelman. They used to be childhood friends, while now they don't even talk to each other, since they (after years and years) grow apart. The story also shows that there is a very thin line, between bravery and stupidity and it is not meant to be crossed (like it was often by Margo). Margo seems like a very decent heroine, and I wasn't disappointed with her at the start of the book at all. (SPOILER! I hate her at the end of the book of reasons obvious to anyone who read Paper Towns…) Another problem, was that Margo was supposed to dramatically change throughout the book, after Q finds clues about what she really is like. The problem was, (maybe it is just me) she did not change at all. From the start of the book we know she is quirky, and adventurous, sometimes doing regretful things. To me it seems like, the author is basically highlighting something already obvious in big bold letters. It was however gripping, and I didn’t get tired of the plot at all.
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