Review: Eeny Meeny

Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace, #1)Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.


It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.


Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense….
 


I like the idea of this one, and while I didn’t hate it I think there are lots of things that could’ve been done better. It sort of feels like this books was mainly to introduce the main character, but you didn’t really get the chance to actually feel anything for her. Sure there were moments where you felt like you got a piece of her backstory, and the ending was a bit interesting and could maybe make me interested enough to read more, if it hadn’t been for how rushed the whole thing felt.

Several people manages to get kidnapped through the story, but you never got time to get to know them. You didn’t really feel like there was one you wanted to live over the other, and you didn’t feel much when one of them eventually died. Even if the story wasn’t about them, I feel like the author could’ve done a lot more to make us actually feel for them.

The so called plot twist in the end didn’t really do much for me, either. It was a tad surprising, but not in a way that me think “what the fuck did just happen” but rather shrug and say “okay that makes sense” which, in my opinion, isn’t really how a book like this should turn out. Also I can’t believe the so called brilliant detective didn’t figure it out herself. To her, it should’ve been obvious, even if it wasn’t for us, because well… we hadn’t gotten to know her backstory so we didn’t really have anything to go on. Good job, detective. A career change might be worth considering.

It was worth reading, but it didn’t do much for me and unlike many other books I don’t think I will read it again. The idea is brilliant, the plot twist could’ve been absolutely amazing, but unfortunately, it wasn’t. It was simply ok.

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Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.


*Includes Spoilers* 

I just realised I never actually reviewed this, and now when I’ve finally gotten started (and almost finished) the second book I thought – maybe I should get this thing done.

I have some problems deciding what I really thought about this book. At first thought I loved it. I fell in love with the story and the mystery and the whole world with the maze and secrets and a puzzle that’s gotta be solved in order for them to escape. I loved following the clues and see the characters figure them out, and I felt the excitement when we got closer and closer to the end and a hopeful escape from the place they’d been sent to.

So when I first finished it, I was absolutely amazed. Now I’m reading the second book, and I’m starting to think back at the first one and wondering, did I really love it as much as I first thought?

Looking through other peoples reviews I remember things that actually did bug me while I was reading, but that I sort of forgot about when I got lost in the excitement.

First off, one of the things I find most important in a story ever is really poorly written, and that’s something I didn’t realise until I was half way through the second book and started to think, and then I went back to skim through the first one and I figured… hell this is so crappy written, I’m not even sure why I didn’t see it the first time. This thing is feelings. What I find the most important when I read a story, no matter if it’s a book, a short novella or a fanfic online, feelings is what I focus on the most. I don’t want the writer to constantly tell me what’s going through in their characters minds. I don’t want to read that someone is scared, happy, confused, sad or angry. I want to understand it anyway. I want it to be shown in the way the character moves or talks. I want it to be written in a way that I feel it myself, so I can put myself in the mind of the character I read about and feel what they feel.

In these books, so far, I don’t.

I’ve been completely blinded by all the mystery and need to find out what the hell is going on to focus on the one thing I always find the most important, and sure, creds to the writer for that, because it’s something that usually makes me stop reading very fast, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s something the writer should’ve put some more focus on, instead of repeatedly tell us what he wanted us to know.

Thomas is pretty annoying, and so are many others. I got so sick of them giving him a “stop asking questions” kind of replies instead of just explaining what the hell was going on. Yes, I know it’s a part of keeping the suspense, but come on it’s not realistic. A whole place of young men and no one cares enough to take the time to explain some shit to the newbie? Nah, I’m not buying it.

And with that we move on to all the damn secrets and Thomas oh so conveniently remembering things from his past, just to not bore us to death. As it is right now, I’m starting to feel like I’m only still reading to find out what the hell is going on, but I have no connection to the characters anymore. That’s also a big ass warning to the writer doing something wrong, main characters dies and I barely even raise a brow. Then we have other writers that makes me cry, yell and scream at my book when a character I barely even knew I cared about dies… So that’s clearly something this writer needs to work on a bit more – to wake the emotions of the reader.

I feel like I’m not saying anything positive at all, and yet I actually claim to like the first book… let’s see. Positive things about The Maze Runner:

The whole idea – Even though I at many times feel like this could’ve been done a lot better, I do love the whole universe this writer has built up for us. The flare, The Maze, the world outside they don’t remember, Thomas being a part of WICKED (even though we don’t really know much about that yet), Theresa and Thomas having a special connection, The way the gladers have built up their life and have their own important roles, what happens if you get stung, the creatures only coming out at night, the different clues bringing us closer to a way out – all this I love. I just wish the writer had handled it better. I wish the characters felt more alive and that I actually felt something when bad things happened to them. I wish I had been afraid when they got stuck in the Maze over the night, I simply wish I had some connection to them at all.

The idea is great and the book isn’t bad. It’s really a page turned and when you’ve started it’s difficult to put down, and I do really recommend it, but I still wish it would’ve been… well… more.
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The time is now – Happy New Year

I can’t believe another year has already passed by, wasn’t it Halloween like a week ago? It’s gone so fast and even though it’s been one of the worst years of my life I’ve still gotten to experience some amazing things I never thought would happen.

For starters. I went to Germany. Now this might not sound like a big deal, but for me it is. I’m having a lot of problems with travelling, nothing triggers my anxiety more than travelling, and doing it alone was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had. Not only did I have to take two planes to get to München (I’m terrified of flying) but I also had to take a train from there to a small town I barely even knew existed, and I swear, trains are my worst nightmare. I was so scared and I was worrying so much about the travelling itself that I didn’t even have time to be wondering what would happen when I got there, and I was on my way to live with someone I had never even met before, in a town I hadn’t even known about before we started talking.

Luckily for me, neither Heidi or her family turned out to be some crazy serial killers, and I had the best week of my life. I got to meet the woman I had spent months emailing with and also go to München and see Tokio Hotel live, for the first time in my life. It was amazing. There’s not other way to describe it. I could never even imagine how amazing they would be on stage, and after eight long years of being a fan it was so, so worth the pain of having to travel so far on my own.

At the concert I met so many amazing people, and I hope I can meet most of them again in the future. It’s a whole other thing to talk online and to actually meet Aliens in real, and it was such a great experience!

I also had so much fun in Germany. Meeting Heidi and her family was so amazing and even though I felt a bit out of place when I didn’t understand the language Heidi did her best to translate everything. She’s amazing, and I’m so happy to have met her.

Then in the summer, 2, 3 and 4th July it was time for something I had been looking forward to for 3 years. I’m talking about Törebodafestivalen 2015! A Festival here in Sweden, in the town where I grew up, that is working its way to becoming one of the biggest ones in Sweden. It’s every third year and every time it’s even more amazing than last time. I spent three wonderful days with my friends and I’m already excited to go back there in 2018!

In the end of Summer Jon came to visit me, and for three weeks I was completely happy. There are people who say online friends can never be as important as real life one, but I disagree. Jon is the bet thing that’s ever happened to me, and I know that we’re gonna stay friends forever.

So yes, even though the year was crappy in general I still had some really good moments, and it’s those moments I’m gonna hang on to. The rest it’s in the past, now I’m gonna focus on the future.

New Year Resolutions!

I’m not gonna make some resolutions I know I can never keep, instead I’m gonna focus on doing more of what I enjoy.

Read more books – I love reading, but lately I haven’t let myself sit down and enjoy a good book very often. I always feel like I have to do other things, things that will make me improve something, like write or work with the guild or something else that I don’t really feel like but force myself to do anyway. This year I’m gonna allow myself to enjoy those books I’ve been wanting to read for ages and simply take a break from doing all the things I feel like I have to do.

Only write when I feel like it – I write a lot, and I often I enjoy it, but not as often as I should. Writing fanfic went from being something I did to enjoy myself to something I do to please others, and that’s not how it should be. From now on it’s not gonna be “I should write” but “I want to write”, and if I don’t want to, then I won’t do it. My readers will have to wait, me enjoying it is a lot more important than giving people a chapter I’m not happy with myself.

Actually use this blog – I love blogging, but for some reason I never really used this as much as I was supposed to. Now when I feel like sharing something I’m gonna do it, instead of thinking “Nah it’s not interesting enough to share anyway”. If people don’t want to read it, they don’t have to, simple as that.

Spend more time taking care of myself – It’s ok to not feel like doing anything sometimes, and I’m worth thinking about my mental health first. If I don’t feel like talking to someone I’m fully allowed to turn off my phone and be alone. No one’s gonna die because I don’t answer in a day, and the world won’t fall apart because I don’t do anything “useful” for a day or two.

That’s about it. Let’s hope 2016 will be better than 2015 was.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Törebodafestivalen 2015

I decided ages ago that I was going to write about the three days me and my friends spent at my favourite festival, but for some reason I never got it done. Today I’m writing it, it’s time to stop being lazy.

Törebodafestivalen is a music and family festival that happens every third year in a small town in Sweden called Töreboda. It has a bit over 4000 inhabitants and is in general not a place many people know a lot about. However, every third year, when it’s time for the festival, the amount of people living there increases a lot, and people come from everywhere in the country to join the party. This year there were in total 45.000 people visiting the festival, only 5.000 less than the most popular festival we have in Sweden, and that, my friends is something really amazing.

I’ve been at every festival from the very first one back in 2000. My dad usually volunteer there together with his folkrace club and it’s been natural for me and my sister to be there as well. We haven’t missed a single one, and we haven’t planned on ever missing out on one either. This festival is very special to us, we grew up in the town it’s arranged in, we went to school there and to me it’s always going to be like coming home. Not the town itself, because I didn’t have the best years living there, but the festival is very special to me, and I couldn’t imagine missing out on one.

This year was a bit different to me, though. This year my dad wasn’t working there, and it sort of felt a bit weird to know that this time he wasn’t close by if something would happen. Not that I was ever worried, this festival is a very calm one and the security is absolutely amazing. They do such a great job and very few people get hurt during these days, and so far nothing major has ever happened. Still, it felt a bit odd that he wasn’t there.

It was also a bit different because this time I was going to live on the Festival area. Yes, you read that right, right in the middle of everything. One of my best friends, Frida, or Fai as we call her, lives in the middle of the town, and we had since long decided that I would live with her during the festival. It was perfect, you just stepped outside the door and then you were there, on the festival. We didn’t have to go through the main entrance with security digging through your purse, we could just go straight to our favourite spot without trouble, and to me that was absolutely perfect. Also, having your own bathroom and shower was like heaven. No lines, no disgusting toilets that thousands of people had been using, just go to Fai’s apartment and do your business in peace. Big plus, in my opinion.

Day one was by far the best one. We were there from the inauguration with Otto speaking, something that many thinks is boring but is to me a part of the whole thing. Then we listened to Elisas, who I’m not a big fan of, but since Elisa herself is a local celebrity you still feel somewhat proud when you see her on stage, because she’s truly lovely up there, it’s just the music that isn’t really my cup of tea. She once started out on the small stage on the festival, back in year 2000, and she’s been on stage every year since then. The difference now is that she’s not on the small stage anymore, she’s on the main one, and man is she amazing. She’s one of those artists that sort of has to be there. She’s always been and it would be extremely weird if she wasn’t. She’s truly a part of Törebodafestivalen, and I couldn’t imagine one without her.

That day we also saw Loreen, Stiftelsen and Twisted Sister, and man, it was the best festival start I have ever experienced. Loreen was so amazing on stage, she kept talking sweetly to the crowd, joking with them and all that comes with a great performance. She’s really something Sweden can be proud of, and her voice is absolutely stunning.

Stiftelsen wasn’t really something I liked to listen to. To be fully honest, we were mostly laughing at their lyrics. It was… well… interesting, to say the least.

Twisted Sister. Now we’re talking good music, and extremely amazing performance on stage. I’m gonna be fully honest and tell you I don’t normally listen to them. The only reason I wanted to see them live was because this might very well be the last time they play in Sweden. They’re retiring and well, of course you have to see them at least once in your life. It was therefore absolutely perfect that they would come to the festival, because it’s not like I would actually buy tickets to see them.

Or well, now I would. If I had the chance.

I can honestly say that I have never, never seen a better band live. Never. I’ve seen lots of bands and artists on stage, since I’ve been to bunch of festivals and a few concerts in my life, but never before have I seen a band so amazing as Twisted Sister. Let’s just begin with the part how they, like every other big artist, had no idea what to expect from small Töreboda, and how they had thought they wouldn’t have anyone listening to them. “We expected six motherfuckers here, not this!” and yeah, I can’t blame them. Töreboda is not a famous town, why would anyone think people would go there for a festival that isn’t even happening every year? People don’t get it. People don’t even believe it until they’re there.

They kept on communicating with the crowd in a way I have never experienced before. They joked with people, pointed out a fan who apparently have been following them to different places for years, always in the front row, they kept repeating how they could see the ones in the back, how they saw everyone, how important every person there was. There wasn’t a boring moment while listening to them, and me, who don’t even listen to their music normally, fell in love with the sound. They were amazing, simply amazing, and they were so right when they said they were going to rock so hard that no other band could beat them during these three days.

They were clearly the best part of the festival, and to be honest, it made the other three days feel like they just went downwards. I still loved every single day, but nothing could beat day one.

On day two Fai and I went down to grab our spot on the grass around six or so. We weren’t very interested in the early bands, and it was too hot to walk around on the area. We were mostly sitting in the shadows in the park, which was a perfect spot for us who aren’t interested in standing in the crowd. You hear everything perfectly, and you don’t have to worry about the hot sun. In total we were six friends being there together, so there was always someone to watch the blankets for us, meaning we always had our spot.

On day two we watched Rydell & Quick, Jill Johnson, Tomas Ledin and Queen Tribute. I wasn’t very interested in either of these, but we were there for the social part of hanging out together, and some music doesn’t hurt.

Rydell & Quick is another band that’s been there every single festival, if I remember correctly. They do covers and are in general pretty ok. I don’t think either of us were interested enough to listen properly to them, but I know they have quite a lot of fans and people are always happy to see them back at the festival.

Jill Johnson I didn’t really listen to at all. We were busy talking and eating and having a good time, so can’t really say anything about her.

Tomas Ledin was… well, here’s the thing with Ledin. He does summer music. Everyone in Sweden knows that when Ledin is playing, it’s summer. It was the typical Swedish summer evening, people were sitting in the park, enjoying good company, nice food and cold drinks, and Ledin was playing in the background. People sing along, because that’s what you do when his songs are playing, and everyone knows the lyrics to pretty much every single song, even if they never really listen to his music. We use to joke and say that you’re no real Swede unless you can sing along to Ledin.

After a while he got extremely annoying though, and for every new song he started singing people went “oh come oooooon!” He stayed on stage for longer than he should have, and in the end people just tried to block it out.

Because of him staying on stage for longer than he should, Queen Tribute, the last band of the day, was on stage later than they should, and since they could only play until 1:30am for people to not miss the last bus home, they could only be on stage for 45 minutes, which sucked. They even had to skip the whole “one more time” thing, because they simply didn’t have time. So they told us “we don’t have time for the whole one more time deal, so we’ll just play our last songs now and then that’s it, okay?” and well, we didn’t have much to say about that. The festival had to close at 1:30 or people wouldn’t be able to stay for it all. So yeah, second day was a it ruined by Ledin being on stage for way too long.

Last day Fai and I started with meeting Sanna and Lena for Doughnut breakfast! Yes, it’s as unhealthy as it sounds. We bought doughnuts, went down to the canal, and enjoyed some time together. We don’t meet Lena often, and now she’s going away to China soon, so of course we had to spend some time with her.

The rest of that day we spent with Boud and Niwy, as all the other days. We met up for lunch and then we went to our normal spot in the park. This day we listened to Eric Saade, Ola Salo and Europe. Fai and I also went to watch H.E.A.T at the other stage, together with one of Niwy’s friends, but the rest of the time we spent on our blankets in the park.

I’m not really gonna talk much about the bands we saw this day, because neither of them were something I was really interested in, except for Europe, who I had been looking forward to to see for months.

Unfortunately, they were a huge disappointment. They were pretty boring on stage, the music wasn’t that good live, and well, the only song that really got us going was, of course, The Final Countdown, which was amazing. But except for that… well, I’m a bit sad they ended they festival. It would’ve been soooo much better if Twisted Sister had been the last band, because in my opinion the festival should end with the very best. However, Europe did end it with one of the most amazing songs in the world, so therefore it was still a quite good ending.

So yeah, three absolutely amazing days with great people. We had a wonderful time, and as always, we’re already looking forward to the next one. If there will be a 7th round of Törebodafestivalen, we’ll all be there!

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Review: Marked

Marked
Marked by P.C. Cast

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

The first time I read this book I got bored after just a few chapters and I pretty much gave up before I had even read half of it. I read it in Swedish that time though, and I don’t think Swedish made it fair. When I got older and started to read more and more in English I gave it another chance, and it quickly became one of my favourite series. The first few books are a bit boring, so this one I’m still not a huge fan of, but it gets much better later on and when I had managed to get through the first few ones I started to really love the whole story.

I like the idea of modern vampires, and something as cool as a vampire school was what made me keep reading, also I’m a bit in love with some of the side characters, even though the main character, Zoey, mostly just piss me off.

I think this first one is a nice way to introduce us to this universe, we get to learn some about the school, we get the first glimpse of things that will make a huge difference later and we get to meet some of the most important characters. The characters are all different, realistic and most important, they’re not perfect. They all have flaws which makes them more real, something I feel like we don’t get enough in books nowadays, and while Zoey might be powerful and special she’s for sure just another teenager who makes a lot of mistakes and needs her friends to get her back on track.

A good start to a great series, if you’re into vampire stuff you should really give this a try. It’s different, modern and have lots of interesting features we normally don’t see in vampire stories.

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Review: Tithe

Tithe
Tithe by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.

This is one of those books you’ll probably either love or hate. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to someone who’s said “it’s ok” or “it wasn’t bad”, it’s either “I loved it!” or “I hate it”.

I’m one of those who absolutely love it. The characters are amazing and from the first time we met Roiben I fell in love with him, however I think some parts are too rushed and there are many things that are so confusing that I had to reread them more than once to understand. There are also some parts I still don’t really get, and I’ve read this book three times now, two times in Swedish and once in English, and I’m still a bit confused.

I really like this book though, it’s one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read and I’m so happy I finally found it in English, it made it ten times better.

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