Started: December 29, 2017
Finished: December 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

There is something out there, he’d said. Something cunning.

Yeva is the youngest of three sisters, daughters of a merchant and doing what women their age should do; look for suitable husbands. Yeva is known for being beautiful – even her father calls her Beauty – but that is not what she wants her future husband to marry her for. She wants to marry someone who values her skills. Who loves her because she is a hunter like her father.

When her father loses all his money, the family is forced to move to his old hunting cabin at the edge of the great woods. Yeva’s father goes into the woods to hunt. Soon, it becomes apparent that he is obsessed with hunting something unusual. When that obsession ends in him not coming back home, Yeva makes up her mind and goes after him. And meets the Beast.

This is a very captivating retelling of Beauty and the Beast, inspired by Russian folklore. Yeva is a wonderful character and the short snippets from the Beast’s point of view are written in a way that is incredibly intriguing. You can see when he starts to go from Beast to something more human… and back again.
I could, however, not give this a full five star rating as I felt pieces of the story line could actually have been extended. The ending could have been a bit more complex – in fact that felt like the better option and, perhaps, it was the original intent. I seem to remember this at first being planned as the first installment of a series, only to then be turned into a stand-alone novel (might be recalling this wrong, though). But it’s still a really good novel and one I truly recommend people give a shot at reading.


Ali-A Adventures: Game On!

Started: November 20, 2017
Finished: November 20, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

“But that’s all impossible, right?”
“Ali, you’re having a conversation with a super-powered talking dog…”
“Oh, yeah. Right. Good point.”

I started watching Ali-A mainly for his Pokémon Go vlogs last year, but then I got caught up in a lot of the other games he played as well. So I kind of knew that I would probably read this book even if graphic novels aren’t my thing. I actually bought it at Gatwick Airport after a weekend in London – and read the whole thing on the flight back to Sweden. Which takes about 2 hours – and I only needed to use half of that time to read.

The story is fast paced and structured like a video game, where Ali’s character looses a life whenever he fails a mission, but is also able to find upgrades after saving a certain number of aliens. It has a few unexpected twists and turns, which was entertaining, and the dialogue was spot on. My favourite character was Eevee – seriously, you’re going to have to look long and hard for a more sarcastic dog!

But even though I liked the overall feel of the story, I do still have trouble with the graphic novel format. I just feel like there’s so much more that could be added by writing it as a non-graphic – but maybe that’s just me.
Still, it was an enjoyable read!

Check out Ali-A’s YouTube channels here and here, as well as his girlfriend Clare Siobhan’s here!

12 Doctors, 12 Stories

Started: October 22, 2017
Finished: October 28, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

“I’m very clever,” said the Doctor. It was a good line, and he was determined to use it as much as possible.

One cannot have too many Doctor Who short stories! Loved reading all these little pieces and meeting all these Doctors once again – along with several companions whom I’ve missed dearly. Some stories affected me more than others, so those I might actually read again. I especially enjoyed the 8th Doctor’s story Spore – and you honestly can’t go wrong with a story like Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman. The Nameless City (2nd Doctor) wasn’t my cup of tea, though. Sadly.

Individual ratings

  • A Big Hand for the Doctor by Eoin Colfer (4 out of 5 stars)
  • The Nameless City by Michael Scott (2 out of 5 stars)
  • The Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgwick (4 out of 5 stars)
  • The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve (3 out of 5 stars)
  • Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead (4 out of 5 stars)
  • The Ripple Effect by Malorie Blackman (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Spore by Alex Scarrow (5 out of 5 stars)
  • The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson (4 out of 5 stars)
  • The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage by Derek Landy (4 out of 5 stars)
  • Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Lights Out by Holly Black (3 out of 5 stars)

Turtles All the Way Down

Started: October 14, 2017
Finished: October 15, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice in the matter.

Have I ever told you guys that when I finished The Fault in Our Stars I actually threw it into a wall?
If this had not been an audio book… I probably would have done the same here. JESUS BLOODY CHRIST MY FEELS!

In this book, we follow Aza Holmes, a teenager who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. Her best friend, Daisy, urges her to help solve the mystery of a missing billionaire – as there is a hundred-thousand dollar reward at stake – and suggests that the best way to solve the mystery is to get close to the billionaire’s son, Davis, whom Aza once met at summer camp as a kid. As Aza and Davis grow closer while no solution to the mystery is in sight, Aza’s compulsive thoughts get worse. And worse. And worse. In an ever tightening spiral.

As John Green suffers from OCD himself, this is certainly a topic he is well-equipped to write about. Getting into Aza’s thoughts, following her thought spiral down, feels just as real as if it was my own thought spiral. And thanks to this, the story is, in a way, split into two separate story lines. One follows Aza’s internal struggle and, as the novel progresses, this becomes the main story line. The other story line follows the mystery of the missing billionaire and Aza and Davies’ slight romance – which, in turn, diminishes and does not become as important as Aza’s internal story. As you near the end, you’ve almost forgotten the external issues and focus only on the internal, which is the way with many mental health problems. You get stuck inside your head and everything around you becomes less and less important. From car accidents to missing billionaires.

Turtles All the Way Down is another amazing John Green novel – and perhaps it’s his best one, as it deals with such a different topic than his previous ones. And because it feels very, very personal.

The Creakers

Started: October 14, 2017
Finished: October 14, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

Now it’s not very nice to use little girls as live bait to catch monsters, but, if you do ever have to, then it’s always best to use an annoying little sprog like Ella, just in case they do actually end up getting snatched.

One morning, Lucy wakes up to find that all the grown-ups in the world have gone missing.
Terrific! is what all the other kids in town seem to think.
But Lucy wonders why. And how. And when. Soon, she discovers that there are creatures appearing in her room at night – and wonders if they are perhaps responsible for taking the grown-ups. These creatures? They are the Creakers.

Just like The Christmasaurus, this novel is a fun and entertaining children’s novel that is sure to make many kids all over the world peek under their beds in search for the Creakers themselves. Lucy reminds me a lot of myself when I was that age, although I do believe she’s a tad bit braver than me, and the side characters that also show up are equally entertaining. I did laugh out loud when two kids named Buzz and Buddy had taken their dad’s car out for a drive (if you didn’t know, Buzz and Buddy are Tom Fletcher’s kids… and now you know what he suspects they would do if him and his wife ever disappeared) – and you’ll also, briefly, meet the kids from The Christmasaurus, so the stories seem to be set in the same universe. Sort of.

I did feel that it was a bit odd that only Lucy and her friend Norman seemed to be responsible kids. I’m quite sure there would be others as well – and it would have been interesting to see their take on how to solve the problem. I also would have liked a bit more mystery regarding Lucy’s father. I felt like I solved that way too soon – but that might be because I’m an adult and, well, this is a children’s story.

I do highly recommend you guys listen to the audio book for this, as Tom reads bits and pieces himself, adding warnings before scary chapters and such, which is really fun!

Dragon Age Omnibus

Started: August 6, 2017
Finished: August 6, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

I’m Alistair Theirin, and I’m King of Ferelden. Son of Maric the Savior? You’re… really not convinced, are you?

So my sister introduced me to Dragon Age last autumn – and, slowly, I fell into this fandom. I am by now totally hooked, but this was, unfortunately, not quite my cup of tea. It might have to do with it being a graphic novel and I’m not that into graphic novels, since I tend to feel like they move forward too quickly. What I did like about this, however, was that the characters were true to who they are in the games. And it felt good to get back to laughing at Alistair – aka “Prince Butt” (ask my sister) – and his lame jokes.

The Sleeper and the Spindle

Started: July 30, 2017
Finished: July 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

It would be the end of her life, she decided, if life was a time of choices. In a week from now, she would have no choices.

In this short book, Neil Gaiman combines the tales of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Snow White is about to marry her Prince when three of the dwarves come to her castle and tell her of a curse in the kingdom beyond the mountains; everyone there is falling asleep. In order to keep the curse from reaching her kingdom, Snow White sets out together with the dwarves to break the curse – by waking the sleeping princess.

The base of this story is interesting and Neil Gaiman’s writing is, as always, a delight. However, the story could have been a lot more captivating if it had been longer. As it is now, it lacks in the character and world development – and even though the ending is a twist and a half, it could have been more.

All in all, an average book.

I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #7: Read seven books)