December 2016 Monthly Wrap Up

December has been a very hectic month, because of Christmas preparation, Christmas parties and of course Christmas. You can read about my Christmas HERE. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and I want to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

I was planning on reading more books in December, but I’m really satisfied that I was able to finish 5 books. I have read some highly anticipated books for me this month. I was so hyped for these books, but they all let me down. I’m so disappointed by every book I read. I’m going to write reviews on all of these books that goes deeper into details.

I read a total of 2083 pages this month. 

I rated:

1 book  4stjerner

1 book 3stjerner

1 book  2-5stjerner

1 book  2stjerner

1 book  1stjerner


What I Read


Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Book 2 in The Gentleman Bastards series

I really loved book one in this series, The Lies of Locke Lamora. I was really eager to read book 2, and continue reading about Locke and Jean. I didn’t like this book as much as I liked book one, but it is still a good book. 4 stars

4stjerner


The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Book 1 in His Dark Materials series

This book is a popular children’s fantasy book, that has won awards. I know a lot of people love this and I was really interested in reading it. Even though I liked some parts of it, this book wasn’t for me. 3 stars

3stjerner

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan 

Book 2 in Dash & Lily duology

I loved book one in this duology when I read it last Christmas, but this book was kind of meh. Not great, but it didn’t suck either. 2.5 stars

2-5stjerner

 


Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff 

Book 2 in The Illuminae Files series

I was highly looking forward to this book and it is one of my most anticipated books, because I love Illuminae. I love the mixed media and the story of book 1. I’m really sad that I didn’t like Gemina, and I’m very disappointed by it. I gave it 2 stars.

2stjerner

 


What Light by Jay Asher 

This was the only book on this list that I didn’t plan to read this month. I didn’t know anything about it before I started it. I only knew it was a Christmas themed book, and that the cover is beautiful. This book wasn’t for me at all, and I had to give it 1 stars.

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❤ -Rakel
-What Did You Read This Month?

 

 

My Book Year 2016 – All The Books I Read In 2016

It is the end of the year, and time for a recap of all the books I read in 2016. I read a total of 53 books. I can’t believe I read over 50 books this year, that is a lot for me. In the beginning of the year I put 40 books on my Goodreads challenge, but halfway through the year I was so much ahead of my goal that I changed it to 50 books. I read some long books, and some short books. I read some really great books, and some not so great books. I’m really happy and satisfied with my reading year.

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 Star Ratings


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All The Books I Read In 2016


1.Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – 5 stars

2.Never Never (Never Never #1) by Colleen Hoover – 3 stars

3.Never Never: Part Two (Never Never #2) by Colleen Hoover – 3 stars

4.Never Never: Part Three (Never Never #3) by Colleen Hoover – 3 stars

5.I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – 4 stars

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6.The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden #1) by A.R. Torre – 3 stars

7.Psycho (Psycho #1) by Robert Bloch – 4 stars

8.Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer – 5 stars

9.The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – 2 stars

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10.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling – 5 stars

11.Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson – 3 stars

12.Trollbundet (Sagaen om Isfolket #1) by Margit Sandemo – 3.5 stars

13.Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – 5 stars

14.The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh – 2.5 stars

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15.The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket – 4 stars

16.The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2) by Lemony Snicket – 4 stars

17.Vicious (Vicious #1) by V.E. Schwab – 4 stars

18.Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – 4 stars

19.Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes – 3 stars

20.City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare – 3 stars

21.Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – 4 stars

22.The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – 1 star

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23.Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown – 4 stars

24.We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – 4 stars

25.Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – 5 stars

26.The Moorigad Dragon (Age of the Hybrid #1) by Debra Kristi – 1 star

27.The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) by Lemony Snicket – 4 stars

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28.More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera – 5 stars

29.Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings – 1.5 stars

30.The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski – 4 stars

31.Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice – 2 stars

32.Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – 5 stars

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33.Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown – 4 stars

34.The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski – 4.5 stars

35.Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8) by John Tiffan & Jack Thorne & J.K. Rowling – 3 stars

36.The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski – 4 stars

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37.Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon – 3 stars

38.The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan – 4 stars

39.Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar – 4 stars

40.The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch – 5 stars

41.The Butterfly GardenThe Butterfly Garden (The Collector Trilogy #1) by Dot Hutchison –  2 stars

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42.You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes – 4 stars

43.A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – 3 stars

44.Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs – 3 stars

45.Digital Idols by Jon Frater – 1 star

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46.The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan – 4 stars

47.Heksejakten (Sagaen om Isfolket #2) by Margit Sandemo – 2 stars

48.Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman #2) by Paullina Simons – 4 stars

49.Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2) by Scott Lynch – 4 stars

50.The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman – 3 stars

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51.The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (Dash & Lily #2) by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – 3 stars

52.Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – 2.5 stars

53.What Light by Jay Asher – 2 stars

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Pictures are from Goodreads

❤ -Rakel

-How Many Books Did You Read This Year? And What was Your Favorite Book?

My Christmas 2016 – Norwegian Christmas

I have had an amazing Christmas, the best one in many years. In Norway we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, the 24. 

The day started with me and my brother ate breakfast and candy in bed whilst watching Tre Nøtter Til Askepott (Cinderella) on the TV like we do every year. Yeah we both are over 20 years old haha, Askepott is not just for kids. 

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We started eating Christmas dinner 6 o’clock. This year it was only me, my brother, mom, dad and my cousin. We ate the traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner Pinnekjøtt, Pinnekjøtt is salted lamb ribs. We ate it with: Kålrotstappe (mashed Rutabaga), Surkål (sauerkraut), Tyttebærsyltetøy (lingonberry jam), Carrots in a white sauce and Potatoes.

Other Norwegian traditional Christmas food is Ribbe (meat from pig) or Cod or Lutefisk (Lye fish).

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Pinnekjøtt and Kålrotstappe. Kålrotstappe is one of my favorite food in the entire world.

I don’t eat meat or milk so I ate a vegan Nut Steak with all the other side food that dad made dairy free for me. The food was so good.

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Our Christmas three.

Later after the dinner we opened all the gifts under the three, and ate dessert. We always open one gift at the time, because it is fun to see what everyone gets.

I got a lot of thing, all the things I wished for and more. I am so blessed and happy. I got 11 books from mom and dad. I can’t believe they bought me all the books I wished for. I also got 2 sweaters, socks, hair clips, Bluetooth speakers, adult coloring book, and more +++. From my boyfriend I got one of the best Christmas gifts. He had written me a letter, and inside it was a key to his apartment. We have lived together before, but I had to move home to my parents because of health problems. So living together isn’t something new, but it is nice to know that he wants me to move in with him again. His biggest present to me was the blue bookcase I wanted, I can’t wait to fill it with my books. Thank you so much everyone for all the great presents.

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My brother handing out the presents. 


Second Christmas Day (26 December)


Every 2 Christmas day (December 26) we have a family party at our house. I have a big family (my mom has 9 siblings) and even though everyone couldn’t come, the house was full. I had so much fun, I love seeing my family. We are only gathered like this a few times a year.

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We ate the Norwegian dish Lapskaus, because it is easy to make. I ate a vegan version with soy sausages and Flatbrød (flat bread). We also had a lot of Christmas cakes, they all tasted really good. I think I have gained 10000 kg this Christmas.

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Me, my brother, my boyfriend and my cousins that is around my age played cards.

❤ -Rakel

-This was my Christmas. How was yours?

Merry Christmas And A Happy Holiday To You!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday. Here in Norway we celebrate Christmas today the 24. Me and my brother are watching Tre Nøtter Til Askepott (Askepott=Cinderella), you can read more about this Christmas tradition HERE! We are also eating Christmas candy and joking around with the new Snapchat update, it is so funny! Later today my family and I are going to eat Christmas dinner and open the presents together, this usually takes the whole evening.

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❤ -Rakel

Books I Really Want To Read & Series I want To Start in 2017!

A lot of book lovers are also book hoarders, we simply buy too many books because we love them so much. I have a goal for 2017 to read as many of the books that is on my TBR shelves as possible. I really need to cut down on my TBR books and read the books that I have procrastinated picking up, some of them I have even owned for years. This is the books I really want to read in 2017, this list will not contain any new releases or 2017 releases as I don’t own them yet. I want to make a challenge for myself to get through as many of these books as possible in 2017.


First Book In The Series I Want To Read:


The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks

OdinsbarnOdinsbarn (Ravneringene #1) by Siri Pettersen

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

Wool Omnibus (Silo #1) by Hugh Howey

Nexus (Nexus #1) by Ramez Naam

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare


Series I Want To Read:


The Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

The Lord Of The Rings J.R.R. Tolkien

Ravneringene by Siri Pettersen

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


Books I Want To Re-Read:


The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J.K. Rowling


Stand Alones I Want To Read:


Room by Emma Donoghue

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


❤ -Rakel

-Which Books Do You Want To Read In 2017?

Dashing Through The Snow Book TAG

Christmas is right around the corner. To make my blog a little more festive and to get into the Christmas spirit here is a Christmas themed TAG.

1NAME A BOOK YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

All the Books On My Christmas Wish List post.

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2NAME A BOOK YOU’LL BE READING DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.

I planning to finish reading 12 Days of Dash And Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

3NAME YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE.

I don’t really like Christmas movies. Is that weird? I watched The Rise of the Guardians one night when I couldn’t sleep, it was pretty good.

But there is one movie i watch every year, and that is Tre Nøtter Til Askepott. I’m going to talk more about this movie later in the TAG.

4DO YOU LIKE SNOW?

I love snow around Christmas and I think it is beautiful to look at, but I don’t like the cold and slippery roads that comes with it. Snow isn’t something really special when you live in Norway.

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5NAME A CHARACTER YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEND YOUR CHRISTMAS DAY WITH.

I want The Doctor to take me out on an amazing Christmas themed adventure, like in the Dr Who Christmas special episodes.

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6TO GIVE OR RECEIVE.

Not going to lie, I love getting gifts. But I also love giving gifts, so I have to answer both.

7WHAT FICTIONAL PLACE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPEND CHRISTMAS AT?

It has to be somewhere magical like Hogwarts or the Weasley’s house.

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8FONDEST CHRISTMAS MEMORY?

My fondest Christmas memory is watching Tre Nøtter Til Askepott With my brother every Christmas morning. Watching Tre Nøtter Til Askepott is something a lot of Norwegians has as a tradition. It is kind of weird because Tre Nøtter Til Askepott is a Czech retelling of Cinderella from 1973. It is also badly dubbed by a man and it is always funny to listen to (we don’t dub movies is Norway, we only use subtitles). This tradition is kind of weird, but there is no Christmas without this movie.

You can actually watch the whole movie here:

9. CAN YOU SAY CHRISTMAS TREE TEN TIMES FAST IN A ROW (PRONOUNCING IT CORRECTLY)?

No I failed

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❤ -Rakel

-What Is Your Favorite Christmas Memory?

 

Review: Tatiana And Alexander by Paullina Simons – The Bronze Horseman #2 |Historical Fiction-Romance-World War 2-Russia|

7180853Series: Book 2 in the The Bronze Horseman series

Published: Published 2008 by HarperCollins

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, World War 2, Russia

Pages: 559

Language read: English

Format read: Paperback

Rating: 4.5 stars 4-5stjerner

The Bronze Horseman Synopsis: During the summer of 1941 the Metanov family are living a hard life in Leningrad. As the German armies advance their future looks bleak. For Tatiana, love arrives in the guise of Alexander, who harbours a deadly and extraordinary secret. –Goodreads

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Warning: This review spoils book 1, so if you haven’t read it, don’t read on.

The first book is about 16 year old Tatiana and her life living in Leningrad with her family, the first brutal years of world war 2. The first day of war she meets the handsome Alexander, and throughout the book they slowly fall in love with each other.

Book 2 starts where book 1 ends, Tatiana alone in another country, pregnant and devastated by the loss of the only person she has left in the world, the love of her life Alexander.

I found Tatiana And Alexander, the second book in the series to be even better than the first, and I loved the first book when I read it 2 years ago. It is hard to remember everything I thought about the first book when I was reading it, because it is not fresh in my mind. I also read it before I had my blog, so I don’t have a review on it. I remember really liking the story of the first book, and that it made me cry. There was only a portion in the middle of the book that I didn’t like. When they were staying at the cabin in the woods/lake, there was a lot of sex and I found it to be boring and repetitive. I didn’t have the same problem with book 2. I gave book 1, The Bronze Horseman 4 stars.

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I really love this book. It is beautifully written, and the story that is full of hope, love, longing and loss is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking stories I have ever read. The mix of the story and the writing made a rollercoaster ride of feelings and emotions. Not many other books has played with my emotions as much as this, I got anxious, happy, hopeful, nervous and sad for the characters and it was breaking my heart several times.

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I got highly invested in Tatiana and Alexander’s relationship and life. I could really feel the love, sorrow and longing they had for each other. We get to see a love story that blossoms in the devastating hardships of war.

We got to read a lot about Tatiana and her life in book one, and in this book it was Alexander’s turn. I’m not sure about this, but it felt like the majority of the book was from Alexander’s point of view. I really liked that we got to know him better. He has a very interesting past, with his parents being political immigrants from the US and all.

Even though I love the characters Tatiana and Alexander, I don’t always love the action and choices they do. SPOILER STRIKETHROUGH: Sometimes I get annoyed, especially with Tatiana. My biggest problem was at the end of the book when Tatiana left her good life in USA to find Alexander. She left her kid knowing it was a good chance he would lose his mother too. I felt it was very naive of her to do.

All the death, suffering and destruction that comes with war is devastating to read about. It is horrible, I can’t believe all the evil things that happened in world war 2, and I can’t believe it still happens on earth today. All the people that froze and starved to death, and all the soldiers who was fighting for their country. All of them has a story, a family and a life, that is something we should never forget. I know this is a book review and not a political post, but this was my thoughts and feeling while I was reading the book.

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This book is long and printed with a small font, but it kept me interested throughout the whole book. It was very intense from the beginning to the end. My emotions was up and down and I actually cried several times. I really loved this book! I gave this book 4.5 stars.

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❤ -Rakel