March 2017 Monthly Wrap Up – What I Read This Month

My Month: This month has been so good. My energy levels has been a lot higher than it has been before. I’m really starting to believe that I will get 100% healthy in the future.

My Blog Month: It has been a really good blogging month. I have been posting a lot, and my views are the best they have ever been. I’m also almost at 300 wordpress subscribers, yay! Thank you for following, reading and commenting on my blog.

This month I have started posting a new weekly post called Sunday Weekly Update. In this post I will update you on what I’m reading and what I have been doing that week. This post is also like a diary for me to go back and read later.

My Reading Month: My reading month has been good. I have finished a total of 6 books, plus some books that I’m in the middle of reading. 1 of the books on my list fits the Beat The Backlist Challenge. And 1 of the books on the list fits the 2017 Dystopian Reading Challenge.

I read a total of 2510 pages this month.

I rated:

1 Book 4-5stjerner

4 Books 3stjerner

3 Books 2-5stjerner

what I read.png

The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket

Book 8 in A Series of Unfortunate Events

This is the 5th book I’m reading from this series in just a few months (I read the first 3 last year). Even though I love the writing and find the narrator really funny, I’m starting to get bored of it. This series is really dragged out, and the books are starting to get very repetitive. This book was unnecessary, and to be honest I just want the series to end. 2.5 stars.


The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket

Book 9 in A Series of Unfortunate Events

I’m still really bored of this series and I have to take a break from it. I liked this book a bit better than the previous one, but still not my favorite. 3 stars


Starflight by Melissa Landers

Book 1 in Starflight

I liked this book. The plot was fast paced and fun to read, but not anything really special or/and exciting. I got a really strong Firefly (the tv show) association from the setting, since the majority of the story is set on a trading spaceship. The romance was just ok, again nothing special, but it was cute at times. One thing that really bugged me was how fast Solara (the main character) forgave Doran (the love interest/other MC) after years of bullying. 3 stars


One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

This book is so good. It is fast past and interesting, and I just could not put it down. The book was told from the perspective of the 4 teenagers who are linked to the death of Simon, a fellow classmate. The 4 points of view was executed really good, and we got to know the characters well and see them grow. The mystery part was really interesting and exciting. I was hooked from the first page. Brilliant debut from the author Karen M. McManus, and I highly recommend this book. 4.5 stars


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Book 1 in Shatter Me

My biggest problem with this book was the writing. This made it hard for me to get into the story, but I pushed on and halfway through it started to grow on me. The book was fast paced with a lot of action. I found the main character’s abilities interesting, it is always fun when characters have supernatural powers. Even though it was just an ok book, I want to continue with the series to see where it goes. 3 stars


The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Book 1 in The Magicians

I’m not sure if I like this book or not. I found the story and the setting interesting, but there is something about it that I didn’t like. It can be that it was too fast paced for me, 4-5 years (I’m not sure) are packed into 400 pages. I also found the main character Quentin to be very unlikable. It really bugged me how mad he was at Alice for sleeping with another person, when he was the one who cheated first. He didn’t see his own fault, and justified it because he was drunk and she was not. This is not ok. 3 stars


Books I didn’t manage to finish in March: The Snow Child 43% read – The Book of Strange New Things 49% read – Grave Peril 34% read – #Famous 33% read

Goodreads Challenge March 2017

❤ -Rakel

-Have You Read Any Of The Books On My List? What Did You Read This Month? And What Was Your Favorite Read? 


Review: Red Seas Under Red Skies – The Gentleman Bastards #2 by Scott Lynch | Fantasy |

887877Series: Book 2 in the Gentleman Bastards

Published: June 20th 2007

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 558

Language read: English

Format read: Audiobook

Rating: 4 stars 4stjerner


Red Seas Under Red Skies Synopsis: After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long — and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele — and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior… and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.

Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors… straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb — until they are closer to the spoils than ever.

But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough… –Goodreads

My Thoughts

As you might know by now The Lies of Locke Lamora, book 1 in The Gentleman Bastards, is my favorite book of all time. MY REVIEW HERE! I’m always talking about it, and constantly recommend it to people.

Because I loved book 1 so much, I had really high hopes for this one. I was eager to continue reading about these characters that I love so much, and yet again get captivated by the beautiful writing and the incredible world Scott Lynch has made.

Even though this book had a lot of the things I loved about book 1, it didn’t grab me in the same way. To be 100% honest, I’m a little disappointed by this read.

It still had some great parts and the characters and the writing was still really great. It was the story that fell a bit flat for me. Don’t get me wrong, the story wasn’t horrible, it just wasn’t at the same level as the previous book.

The beginning of the story was interesting, it started off great with a premise of pirates and the open sea. I was eager to continue another epic journey with Locke and Jean in a new place and with new characters. The middle of the story didn’t grab me, it was kind of slow and not engaging. At the end of the book it grew on me, and I found the story not to be that bad. The ending really had the feeling of book 1, all the crazy things that happened and Locke and Jean’s brilliant brains when it comes to schemes and plans.

So over to the biggest let down for me. In the previous book we got a lot of flashbacks to the Bastard’s childhood. That storyline was my favorite part, and a big part of why book 1 was so great. In this book we didn’t get to know anything from their past. I just really missed it in this book. I don’t see why the author didn’t include it, especially since it was in the third book.

I also have to mention how funny these books are. The humor and snarky comments are on point. The characters are just so witty and says a lot of funny things.


Now I want to talk about some details:

Something that I missed in book 1 was more female characters. In this book there is 2 new kickass women, Zamira and Ezri. They both are members of the pirate ship The Orchid. Zamira is the captain of the ship and a mother, and her two small kids are living on board with her. I have never seen or read about a pirate captain with kids before. I just LOVE it. 

I also LOVE Locke and Jean’s relationship/friendship. I love their bond and that they care so much for each other. It is also funny how much they bicker and fight too. One minute they are really mad, fighting and yelling, the other they are willing to die for each other.


The romance in this book was also really cute. I love that it didn’t take over the plot, but it added a little spice to the story.

One thing I found hilarious and cute, was the part about the cats, haha.

And at last, why Scott Lynch, why are you breaking my heart all the time? How can you do this to me and all the other people who read your books? Lol ok, I know they are just fictional characters, but I get invested in them and their lives.


Even though I liked this book, I was a bit disappointed with it. I still really love Locke and Jean, and Scott Lynch’s beautiful writing. The thing I missed the most about this book was the flashbacks to their childhood, because that was one of my favorite parts of book 1. The story was all in all good, but it wasn’t as engaging as the first book. When it comes to the characters I really loved Zamira and Ezri, and of course the main characters, they will forever be my favorites.

I’m definitely going to re-read this book series, because I love them and I want to re-live the story again. I also want to get all the details that I might have missed the first time.


❤ -Rakel

-Have You Read This Book?


Tome Topple Readathon – To Be Read

I’m going to participate in the Tome Topple Readathon next month. This is my second time participating in this readathon, and I’m really looking forward to read some huge books. This readathon is all about the big books, where the main focus is to read or start a book(s) with over 500 pages. You can get more information from the Creator of this readathon Thoughts on Tomes HERE or the Goodreadspage HERE. The readathon runs from April 7th to 11:59pm in your timezone on April 20th

1. Read more than 1 tome
2. Read a graphic novel
3. Read a tome that’s part of a series
4. Buddy read a tome (use goodreads and twitter to find buddies!)
5. Read an adult novel

My TBR.png

As always I want to have one or more written book(s)/ebook(s) and one audiobook on my TBR list. I also choose to read a graphic novel this time since it is one of the challenges, even though I normally don’t read them.


1. Read more than 1 tome

Finally, FINALLY! I’m going to pick up the first book in the Mistborn trilogy, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. Everybody raves about this book, and I have heard so many great things about this series. Can’t wait to start it.

I’m also planning to listen to the audiobook of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This is also a book that I have heard great things about.

2.Read a graphic novel

I never or rarely pick up graphic novels, but for this readathon I will try it out. I will be reading Blankets by Craig Thompson.

3.Read a tome that’s part of a series

The Final Empire is the first book in the Mistborn series.

4.Buddy read a tome (use goodreads and twitter to find buddies!)

I really want to buddy read with someone. If you want to buddy read with me, please leave a comment on this post or send me a message on Twitter!!!

5.Read an adult novel

And for the last challenge I’m going to read Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

❤ -Rakel

-Are you going to participate in the Tome Topple Readathon?


Sunday Weekly Update #2 | Makeup – Reading Slump – Party

week in books

Currently Reading:

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – On page 246 of 500.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – On page 167 of 385.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi – On page 224 of 338.

The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) by Lev Grossman – 11h30m of 14h.


❤ -Rakel

-How has your week been?

Discussion: Book Reviews & Why I Suck At Writing Them

• Do you review every book you read? •

I don’t review every book I read. Last year I only published 10 reviews. 10 reviews in 8 months isn’t something to brag about in the book blogging community. So far this year I have published 6 reviews and that is an improvement. I’m getting better at writing them, but I still have a long way to go.

I’m going to explain why I don’t review every book I read. The short answer to this is; I find them hard to write, and it takes me a lot of time and energy to finish a review.

Here is the long answer:

-English is not my first language. This naturally makes it harder to write in English.

-I have always had a mental block/barrier when it comes to writing (like some people have when it comes to math), even in Norwegian. I used to hate writing, especially in school. When I had a writing assignment for class, I could sit for hours and just stare at the sheet or the screen without writing anything down. My brain was just empty. So I associate writing with something difficult and hard.

-I struggle with thoughts that my reviews aren’t good enough, that my writing isn’t good enough, that my thoughts and points about the books aren’t good enough and that my English suck.

-Reviews often takes many hours for me to write. I’m talking 2-5 hours, depending on if it’s a mini review or a full review. Knowing that it will be difficult for me, take a lot of energy and a lot of time to write, I often push them aside or procrastinate finishing the reviews.

-It takes a lot more energy and mental preparation for me to write a review, than it takes to write other posts. It is more exhausting.

I don’t think I’m alone when it comes to these points. Do you struggle with the same?

I know I just have to do them, and for every review I write it will be easier. I just have to push myself. After only 16 reviews they are starting to get easier to write, and my English vocabulary is getting stronger. Some of my goals when I started this blog was to push myself and do something that is way out of my comfort zone. I have to continue doing that.

I hope that one day I will crack the code, and it will be easy and fast for me to write reviews. But until then I just have to force myself, practice and tell myself I will get better.

When I choose which book to write a review for, I choose the ones that I have more to say about. They are always easier to write. Sometimes I have a lot to say about a book, and sometimes I don’t find anything.

One thing that push me to write a book review, besides obviously wanting to, is when I have gotten a book as an arc to read and review from a publisher or author. Because then I have an obligation to write the review. Maybe I work better under pressure? Haha.  

I would love to review every book I read in the future, but for now I will try to write at least a couple a month. Or maybe once a week, that would be awesome!

I hope that I don’t come across as a whiny person, haha, but I think it is important to know what the problems are before you can do anything about them. And I promise you that I work on these things every day.

So over to my question for you. Do you review every book you read? Does it come easily for you? Or do you struggle like me? And what is your tips on writing them?


❤ -Rakel

Top 5 Wedneday March 22: Favorite Angsty Romances

118368Top 5 Wednesday is created by Gingerreadslainey. Each week there is a new bookish topic, where everyone can join and create their top 5 list. You can find more information on the Top 5 Wednesday goodreads group. This week’s topic is:

favorite angsty


-This topic has been much requested! Talk about your favorite ships that have a healthy side of angst. (definition: adj.: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.)

I don’t typically like and read angsty romances, but I found some that I like. I don’t even know if I’m doing this right haha.


The Gentleman Bastards – Locke and Sabetha

Locke and Sabetha have one of the most complicated relationship I know. Their relationship was angsty when they were kids/teenagers, and still is over a decade later. They are one of my favorite ships ever.

Carry On – Simon and Baz

I love this book, it was so much fun to read. The romance was angsty because in the beginning of the book Simon and Baz don’t get along very well and they hate each other. It also doesn’t help that they share a room at the magical school they are attending.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Simon and Blue

The angst Simon is feeling of not knowing who Blue is, because they have only been chatting anonymously online. Blue can literally be almost any guy at his school. This book is angsty, but also really cute.

The Infernal Devices – Tessa, Will & Jem

This love triangle is full of angst and heartache. It is actually one book series where I actually like how the love triangle is written. Do you ship Tessa with Will or Jem? I always liked Jem a bit more, but I like Will too, so I’m not 100% sure.


❤ -Rakel

-Did You Participate In This Weeks T5W? I Would Love To Read Your Post.

Sunday Weekly Update #1

I’m trying out something new. A weekly update of all the things book/blog/life related that have happened this week. This will be a weekly thing, that will be posted every Sunday on my blog. The update will contain: The books I’m currently reading, recently finished and what I’m reading next, all the posts I have posted on my blog this week, and a weekly diary of my personal life. Hope you enjoy 🙂 !

week in books

Currently reading:

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – On page 211 of 500.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – On page 167 of 385.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi – On page 76 of 338.

The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) by Lev Grossman – 03h28m of 14h.

Recently finished:

The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9) by Lemony Snicket – 3.5 out of 5 stars.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus – 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reading next:

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

week in blog posts

MondayMini Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

WednesdayTop 5 Wednesday March 15: BOOKS I FELT BETRAYED BY

Friday100+ Blog Posts & You Can Now Follow Me On Bloglovin



It has been an relaxing day, I haven’t done anything special. I have finished up and posted a review of The Final Girls by Riley Sager. Earlier in the day I went for a short walk, I can’t walk too far before getting exhausted, but it is slowly getting better. It is still a bit cold outside here in Norway, especially the wind. In the evening I played Dishonored, it has been a couple of week since I played it last. It is so much fun!

I have continued reading The Book Of Strange New Things. I really like the book so far, I find it interesting and fascinating, but also a bit strange. I also tried to continue reading The Snow Child, but I find the book really boring. Because I finished One of Us Is Lying yesterday (I really loved it). I started a new Kindle book, and I choose to read Shatter Me. Shatter Me was very popular a couple of years ago, so it will be fun to see if I like it. Before going to sleep I listened to and finished The Carnivorous Carnival. I did a lot of reading today.


Since I finished The Carnivorous Carnival yesterday, I needed a new audiobook to listen to. I’m a bit tired of A Series of Unfortunate Events, since I have been listening to the series non stop the last months. I choose to start the first book in the The Magicians. I have high hopes for this series. I didn’t read in a physical book today, because I wanted to spend time with my boyfriend. We were watching Parks And Recreation before bed. I haven’t watched the show before, but I have seen funny pictures and memes from the show going around the internet.


I was very tired earlier today, but it got better throughout the day. I cleaned my closet, and more specific all the shoes and shoe boxes that was stuck at the bottom. There was a lot of shoes that I had forgotten that I owned, and a lot of dust. It badly needed some dusting and cleaning. I found some shoes that I want to use with high heels. I’m terrible at walking in high heels, so I definitely need to practice my walk before using them, haha. My mother and I went for a short walk today too, for only 15 minutes, but that is a huge improvement. I hope that I will be able to walk to my favorite place this summer, that I used to hike to all the time before I got sick. I have also posted a Top 5 Wednesday post today since it is Wednesday. It was fun to write and not the hardest question. Sometimes the T5W questions are a bit hard to answer. In the evening I have been playing Dishonored. It is so much fun, and I think I’m halfway through the game now. Before bed I read some chapters in A Book of Strange New Things. I’m starting to love this book. It is indeed strange, but so very interesting.


Today, like most of the days, I checked on the seeds I planted a while back. One of them has grown, and it is my first plant ever, yay! I’m 100% new to growing plants (in this case herbs), so it is going to be some trials and errors and a lot to learn. I planted the one that has grown in some soil and in a bigger pot. I also planted some new seeds, it will be fun to see if I succeed. I’m growing: parsley, basil and watercress.

I didn’t read a lot today, just a few pages in Shatter Me, and The Magician.


I forgot to mention yesterday that we are dog sitting a Labrador. Her name is Camino, and she is the cutest and nicest dog. Today I had a doctors appointment, nothing bad just had to get a note from him (or what it is called in English? Medical certificate?). After the appointment I have just been home writing a blog post that took me hours to do (like always, blogging takes a lot of time). After that I went for a short walk with Camino. Oh how much I have missed to have a dog. Our dog Amy passed away in February last year. I didn’t read much today either, hope I’m not getting into a reading slump.


Today I was out on a restaurant celebrating my BF’s brothers birthday. It was really fun because I don’t get out of the house that often. I was wearing a printed red dress, my hair was out and wearing red lipstick. I love wearing red lipstick, it makes me feel cuter. I want to buy and wear some more makeup like foundation, highlighter, eyeshadow and mascara.



I haven’t been feeling so good today, a mix of my illness and stomachache. It’s the end of the day now, and I’m trying to finish this post in time. Thank you for reading, and I hope you like it.


❤ -Rakel

-How has your week been?