Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: A Breath of Eyre

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we talk about books we are eager to read.

My pick this week is A Breath of Eyre by Eva Marie Mont (April 2012)
Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…

This just sounds like something right up my alley. It is about a girl who apparently lovedsto read and then gets to spend time in a story from a book. And not every book but Jane Eyre (I love that novel).

The trailer is really good too, take a look:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop 09.02 - 11.02

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison. 
For more information, visit this post. 

This week's question: 
What would you prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

I would rather read 100 mediocre books. I seldom read the same book twice, since there are so many other good books out there. But there are exceptions of course.

I also participate in the February Book Blogger Hop over at Crazy for Books. More information on that meme here.
Book Blogger Hop



This week on The Norwegian Book Girl:
In My Mailbox
Review of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Return of Music Monday
Review of Heaven by Christoph Marzi
Waiting on Wednesday: The Whispering House

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Whispering House

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we talk about the books we are eagerly awaiting for to be published.

My pick this week is The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade (22th of May 2012):
 When the Price family moves into Cowleigh Lodge while their home is being repaired, fourteen-year-old Hannah discovers that the ghost of a girl who died there at age eleven wants help unraveling the mystery of her 1877 death.


I love stories about ghosts and there is just something about this book that peaks my interest. I do not normally read a lot of middle grade titles, but this one is on my reading list for sure.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: Heaven by Christoph Marzi

Publisher:Mangschou (Norwegian publisher)
Pages: 360
Release: September 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought
Challenge: None this year, read it in 2011
Good to know: This book was first published in Germany in 2009 and last year it came out in Norwegian. The book was published in English February 2nd this year.
The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood... David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London's brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she's still alive... And so begins David and Heaven's wild, exciting and mysterious adventure - to find Heaven's heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins. Part thriller, part love story and part fairy tale, this brilliantly original novel from a bestselling German author will take your breath away...

A Great Fantasy

Heaven has one of the best storylines I have encountered in a YA - novel. Nothing in this book is predictable, the surprises are many and the suspense is high.

Parts of London is covered with a nightsky without stars. It has been like this a long time and for David Pettyfer, who works in the bookstore The Owl and the Pussycat, this is normal. David's work consists of delivering books, often rare books, to customers in London. He likes to take a shortcut over the rooftops of London's brooding houses whilst on his way with a book. David has had a troubled past, but the job in the bookstore is a new beginning for him. One night, David runs into Heaven on a rooftop ...

Heaven, or Freema Mirrlees as she also is called, is an orphan. She tells David that some bad men have stolen her heart. David does not know what to believe, but he soons finds out that someone is after Heaven. He have to help keep Heaven hidden and at the same time figure out why the men are chasing her.

I have read a lot of YA - novels in the past years, a lot of them have a similar storyline. You know what's going to happen, who will fall in love with whom etc. In Heaven you cannot predict anything. Marzi have created a fantastic and thrilling story with a mystery that is slowly unveiled as you flip the pages. There are a lot of paranormal elements in the story too, like zombies and ghosts.

It is not hard to guess that Marzi loves the victorian era and the writers that lived in this time. Heaven is kind of like a love poem to the city of London and a lot of the characters in the story have been given names from characters in Dickens' stories. The book made me want to read a story by Dickens again.

Marzi is a musiclover and there is a lot of references to songlyrics in the novel. He also got the idea for the novel itself from a song, Chim Chim Cher-ee, as sung by Dick van Duke and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.

The language in the book is not that consistent. Marzi knows how to write poetically and the book is full of beautiful quotes and observartions. But, at the same time, there are a lot of repetitions and clichees here.

Heaven was an interesting character. It takes some time for the reader to get under her skin, but I liked that. Jeg was constantly wondering what had happened to her in the past, why her parents had died and why the men where out for her heart. Marzi kept me guessing until the final pages in the book.

This book is not a part of a series. Keep in mind that Heaven is not a book for the younger readers. There is a lot of swearing in the book, the characters are thinking abous sex and have dealt with alcohol and drugs.

If you love London, Dickens and Urban Fantasy you should pick up this book. It is great! And if you do not love London and Dickens, pick up the book anyway and read it.

(I do not have any quotes this time since I read this book in Norwegian)



Other reviews:
Lost Among the Shelves
Bloggers Heart Books
A Cupcake and a Latte

The English cover for the book:

Return of Music Monday

Music Monday is a meme where I talk about some of the great new songs, or old songs, released by Scandinavian artists. I may also talk about other songs that are stuck in my mind at the moment.

This monday I will share a new, Norwegian song with you. It is a song from the artist Tone Damli Aaberge. Tone is one of Norways hottest stars, a position she has risen to over the years. She is also the girlfriend of a famous Norwegian actor, Axel Hennie, and the two are called Norway's supercouple by the media.

Tone's new song, Look Back, easily gets stuck in your head. The musicvideo for it have caused a lot of controversy in Norway, and some have called it too sexy. Tone herself has said that her targetlisteners also listen to music from artists such as Lagy Gaga, so she has to make sure people notice her. Beside, she wanted to stretch her own boundaries a little. The world must think Norway is a truly conservative country since a musicvideo like this can cause so much controversy. Anyways, here is the video, judge for yourself:



And if you like this song, I suggest you check out some of Tone's other tunes. They are worth listening too:

Butterflies:


Stuck in my head:



And last one of my favories by her, I Love You:


Have a great reading week everyone.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

In My Mailbox #47

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Story Siren, where we talk about the books we got the past week.


I have started this year with some bookbuying restrictions. I am only allowed to buy 4 books each month. In January I bought 5, one more than originally intended, but still not as many as I have used to buy. The preordered books does not count. I have only bought one book this week:


Bought:

Kristen Callihan: Firelight



What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 338
Release: November 2011
Source: Review copy from BEA
Challenge:
None this year, read it in 2011
Good to Know: This is Mafi's debutnovel and the first book in a new series.


The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

A Great Debut

Shatter Me received a lot of buzz before it was released, and Harper Collins put a lot of effort and marketing behind the novel. This off course creates expectations.

Juliette have been locket up in an asylum for 264 days. She has no direct contact with any human being; her food (the days when she is lucky enough to get something to eat) is served through a hole in the door. Everything she does, she does alone. She have not been able to change clothes or freshen up. The reason she is locked up is because she have special powers, powers that may have caused the death of a little boy. One day Juliette gets a cellmate, Adam, and her whole world changes.

The world outside Juliette's cell is also changed. Wars have been raging and a lot of people are dead due to starvation and misery. A lot of the trees and plants are gone. The people with the power, The Reestablishment, have to fight to keep their power because there are rebels and they want power too.


The world is flat. I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I've been trying to hold on for seventeen years. I've been trying to climb back up for seventeen years but it's nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand.

Shatter Me is not a book that screams out loud to you. Nothing happens in fast pace, and the book is not a pageturner as in a lot of things is happening. But it is a pageturner nevertheless: it is the writing and the way the author makes us sympathise with Juliette that makes this such a great read.

I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. (...)My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of lettrs, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.

I have never read anything like this, the writingstyle is unique. Most of the book is narrated by Juliette and her thoughts are very well described. I felt like I was in her head the whole time. There are a lot of good metaphores and descriptions in the novel, I found myself constantly marking pages that had beautiful quotations.  Mafi writes like a poet. Some will perhaps say that it is too much, but it worked for me. Once I got used to Mafi's style of writing I devoured the book.

"You're getting a cellmate roommate", they said to me.
"We hope you rot to death in this place For good behavior", they said to me.
"Another psycho just like you No more isolation", they said to me.
Every inch of my skin is taut with tension, fraught with feeling and the pressure is building in my chest, pounding louder and faster and harder, overcompensating for my stillness. I do not tremble when I'm frozen in time. I train my breaths to come slower, I count things that do not exist, I make up numbers I do not have, I pretend time is a broken hourglass bleeding seconds through sand. I dare to believe.

The book is a dystopian novel, and as such it does not work so well. I miss more information about the new world order: What really happened before, what triggered the events etc. I hope I will get some answers in the sequel, bit if you are reading this book hoping for a fastpaced dystiopian read you will be dissappointed.


His face is 10,000 possibilities staring straight through me.

My eyes are two windows cracked open by the chaos in this world. 


Shatter Me  was a refresing read in a genre where it is not easy to stand out. This book stands out and I am looking forward to the next one. 


Other reviews:
Tynga's Reviews
The Readiacs 
The Book Smugglers 





Thursday, February 2, 2012

A new series from Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater, the author of the trilogy the Wolves of Mercy Falls and the book the Scorpio Races, and her publisher Scholastic announced today that they soon will be publishing a completely new series for the young adult audience written by Stiefvater.

The Raven Cycle will consist of four books, and the first one, The Raven Boys, will be published September 18th this year. Stiefvater have called this series "magical" and you will find elements of the paranormal, suspense and romance in the books. Here is what the publisher writes about the first book in this series:

The Raven Boys introduces readers to Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III and Blue Sargent. Gansey has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on the hunt to find Glendower, a vanished Welsh king. Legend has it that the first person to find him will be granted a wish—either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart. Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there—known as Raven Boys—can only mean trouble. When Gansey and his Raven Boy friends come into her life, Blue realizes how true this is. She never thought her fortune would be a problem. But now she’s not so sure.

- It feels like such a different sort of project for me, Stiefvater writes on her blog.

I am thrilled that Stiefvater will be publishing a new series. I have still to read the last book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls - trilogy and the Scorpio Races, but I love her writing style. This is so exciting news.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: The Name of the Star, Mauren Johnson

Publisher:Putnam Juvenile
Pages:370 (Hardback)
Genre: YA, paranormal
Release:September 2011
Source: Review copy from BEA
Challenge: None this year, read in 2011
Nice to know:The first book in Johnson's new series Shades of London.

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

A Great Storyteller

Maureen Johnson has her own way of telling a story. She writes with humour and entusiasm, and her personality shines through the pages of the book.

In the Name of the Star we get to meet Rory Deveraux. She arrives in London to go to a boarding school, men her stay in this city will be a lot more thrilling than she could ever have imagined. Soon a series of murders takes place, every murder a copy of one of Jack the Ripper's murders. Rory finds herself a witness to one of them, but what has she actually seen?

I had huge expectations for this book. I am deeply fascinated by the myths surrounding Jack the Ripper, and I have read a lot of books about this infamous murderer. I also happen to love London and I love stories that takes place here.
The English will play hockey in any weather. Thunder, lightning, plague of locusts... nothing can stop the hockey. Do not fight the hockey, for the hockey will win.

Johnson's book is off to a good start, and I like her way of writing a story. As I mentioned earlier, I think she is a great storyteller. She does not take herself too seriously, and neither does the characters in her book. She writes with so much humour and spunk, and avoids the big clich├ęs. She also have a lot of funny observations when it comes to the English people and their culture.


Rory is an interesting and great character who seems to embody a lot of Johnson's spirit. She also has a natural and believable development throughout the book.

There is not a lot of romance and love in this book, this aspect takes second place to the big mystery surrounding the murders. I do not mind that. Sometimes the love story takes up to much space in YA - fiction, in the Name of the Star this have been given a natural place. Not too much and not too little.


Kissing is something that makes up for a lot of the other crap you have to put up with in school and as a teenager in general.

No guy had ever asked me if I wanted to talk, not like that. Not like a talk, talk kind of talk - if this was, in fact, a talk, talk "can we talk?" Or whatever.
The book has a thrilling beginning, but the suspense is not sustained throughout the book. There is, though, some interesting twists to the mystery, the problem is it takes too long for anything to really happen. I sat and wanted more as I read and flipped the pages. But for those of you who love paranormal YA, there is a lot of things in the book you would enjoy. The ending came as a complete surprise to me, nothing is what it seems.

I will pick up the next installment in this story because I loved Johnson's writing. The book does not have a cliffhanger, so you can pick it up if you do not normally buy a book in a series.



Other reviews:
The Book Smugglers (OBS: spoilers)
Sam Downing
YA Bibliophile


 
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