onsdag 25 februari 2015

Review: The One

The One (The Selection, #3)The One by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sooo, I'm gonna go ahead and say that most things in this book could be predicted before you even read it. Like, you know where it's going and you can predict most of the mayor plot points that's gonna happen, although you might not be able to figure out how. But, that's not entirely a bad thing: what if it hadn't ended happily? That would have been a shock, and a bad one.

But tbf, when shit hit the fan by the end of the book, the way it happened, had me looking like this:

I mean, I just did not see it coming the way it did. It's kinda ... yeah, idk, with her as the only confirmed kill until basically the last few pages it seemed a bit weird. Having America locked away for the ending, not even witnessing let alone handling the situaton, was not the smartest move. She is the center of the story and therefore we kinda want her at the center of the action, don't we? Oh well, I guess it made sense in the story for her to be there, but dramatically? Maybe not.

It kept up the good work of portraying relationships between girl characters, almost to the point where they can't not get along. But I really appreciated how it spoke about the fact that just because two girls are arguing or fighting, doesn't mean they won't support each other and be friends later on. None of that "oh girls are so bitchy they fight all the time and that means they hate it each other"-shit. Well done for sticking with it.

(Not so well done with literally just writing a female character out by the end of the book. She literally just disappears and no one knows what's happened to her? Couldn't it at least have been phrased like "her body hadn't been found" or something?)

A triogy that was easy to read and entertaining enough to stick with, despite it being pretty obvious from book one how it was going to turn out.

Also America rules Aspen drools.

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True story.

söndag 22 februari 2015

Review: The Elite

The Elite
The Elite by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Still not over "Swendway". Like, I'm not wrong, am I, that's Sweden Denmark Finland Norway combined, right? I mean, I know some country names are formed that way sometimes, like how Tanganyika united with Zanzibar and became Tanzania, but I'm just not buying it in this case. We'd go with something about Scandinavia or the Nordic, I'm sure.

And why is every country in the world suddenly a monarchy? Not constitutional monarchies (I had to look up that term despite living in one, great going Ell, great going), but full-fledged monarchies where political alliances are based on how well the royals do at parties. Just jfc, it feels so incredibly American to romanticize monarchies like that, and while I see why Illea ended up the way it did (at least it's somewhat explained in the books), how come the rest of the world decided to go down that route as well? I just don't get it.

But oh well, I can't delve too deep into this world or I'd ruin the book completely. It's still sort of a guilty pleasure, but it is at least a pleasure. America (the person, not the non-existent country) doesn't always make the greatest decisions, but most of the time I understand why she's doing them and that's good enough for me. Though I was sure her presentation would be about the importance of history rather than abolishing the castes: it seemed so obvious for her to do what she did. Also, she could probably have done it in a better way, but whatever.

When Maxon called her out on being untrustworthy in the end I was all "first of all, how dare you" but to my great shock he made an excellent point? So many times when I read speeches like that I'll be fuming because the guy is being a dick and blaming the girl for reasonable reactions, but for once I found myself seeing his point. I'm sure America will find a way to make some bad decisions due to it in the next book, but at least I am agreeing with him so far.

Though making out with Celeste like that? Idk dude, that was low.

Anyway, I can't even blame America for not immediately jumping at the chance to be princess so she can make the world a better place, because shit that is a big responsibility even for a seventeen year old. But I'm sure she'll grow into it by the end of next book. She better.

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lördag 21 februari 2015

Review: The Selection

The Selection
The Selection by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What genre even is this? The sequels were at the YA fantasy section at the library, but this is not fantasy, is it??? YA dystopia seems more like it.

And wow, is it like every other YA dystopia we've ever seen. Four pages in it was exactly like the Hunger Games, except with castes instead of districts and The Bachlor instead of Battle Royale. I mean gods, a mom the herione doesn't get along with, some kind of draft/selection, a dad who is distant but better than the mom, younger sibligs that need protection, a boyfriend with an even poorer family that she sneaks out to meet blah blah blah.

Honestly, it is kinda trash, but it's trash like if you went dumpster diving and found a newly thrown out full tub of Ben & Jerry's or something. You know it isn't exactly good for you, but you'll still eat it and enjoy it while it lasts.

While America (I can't get over that that is her name) annoyed me at first with her "other girls are soooo stupid" and lame-ass boyfriend, we actually fucking saw her grown out of that!?!??!?! By the end of the book she and almost every other girl in the Selection acknowledges that they are all awesome, that they would all make good princesses and that competing is sad when they should all just be friends. It's like ... I love it!?!?! I can't remember the last time I saw this EXPLICITLY SPELLED OUT in a YA book and no matter of the rest of my critique I'm gonna recommend it to people for that reason.

Another thing I liked was the way America was picked for the Selection: that her picture was taken just after she got what she assumed was the best news of her life and couldn't stop smiling and looked totally happy and in love and shit. Idk, it seemed like a pretty good reason that her photo would stand out a little.

I'm also gonna assume that America will eventually end up with the Prince (rather than her lame-ass misogynist boyfriend - gods I hate that guy so much) and that's another score for this book, because we actually see them become FRIENDS first. Yes, I thought the whole "I'm not interested in winning but I can be your confidant"-speech was kinda dumb, but then they went on to actually become friends?? Like, they laugh together, they discuss serious stuff together, confide their feelings and shit. I love it, I really do. Because what we're getting here is (hopefully) a romance based on friendship, liking each other and mutual respect (though they've got some ways to go), rather than "we immediately fell in love and we're super-attracted to each other but all we ever do is stare longingly into each other's eyes and sacrifice our lives for each other". Kinda like Four and Tris in Divergent (not so much in the sequels).

Ofc, at the end America made some stupid decisions and we do get some kind of love triangle, but she's still very much in control of her own life and that's good enough for me. "I'm not choosing him or you, I'm choosing me!" You tell him, grrrrllll.

Still, I don't fucking know how they're gonna drag this shit on for two more books and we'll see how this series progressess. You can see most of it coming and it is, as I said, basically just The Bachelor Games.

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onsdag 18 februari 2015

Review: Pegasus

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

No. Just no.

It had such a good premise: humans and pegasi co-existing, humans and pegasi being magically bonded, a fantasy story that didn't seem to be extremely sexist (though very heterosexual), no love story ... we could have had it aaaaaaaaaaaall.

But no. The first 50 pages is just back-story, smacked over your head. You thought Tolkien's prologue to LotR was bad? I ain't got nothing on this, I'm telling you that. It takes even longer than that before the plot starts, well, whatever plot there is, which isn't much.

Basically, Sylvi (human princess) is bonded to Ebon (pegasus prince) and they are special because they can actually speak telepathically to each other which no one else can. Instead they rely on schamans (pegasi) or magicians/speakers (humans) to translate between pegasus and human.

People are immediately pissed that they can speak to each other, because that's obviously bad. Why is it obviously bad? Because the plot demands it to be. The evil magician Fthoom (HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE THAT!?) spends four years researching why it is bad, but what he finds and delivers as a game-changing speak in the last chapters is not something he could have possibly known when he first said it was bad. He just did because the story needed a bad guy.

THe same way it needed rules on how pegasi and humans could interact. They can't fly together, touch each other, speak to each other, blah blah blah for no reason. Ofc our heroine does this all the time and literally nothing bad happens. There just rules for the sake of rules.

The first part of the book is mostly told in flashbacks, even when we're dealing with events happening RIGHT NOW. You'll have situation A presented to you, skip to situation C and then have the character look back at situation B that just happened. WHY NOT JUST GIVE US ABC IN THAT ORDER!? WHY USE THIS NARRATIVE GRIP ALL THROUGHOUT THE FIRST 200 PAGES.

Ugh, it's just ... it doesn't feel edited, at all. Things pop up in the later half of the book that hasn't been introduced before but then they become a normal part of the plot, such as the telepathic link having trouble translating pegasi phrases to Sylvii. It should've been there the whole time.

Plus, there's no plot. It's bascially that Sylvii gets bonded and then goes on vacation to the pegasi land and then she comes home and Fthoom makes his speech. End of book. And oh, the ending wasn't even good, just a lame cliffhanger to force you to read the next book, which I can assure you I won't do because fuck no.

I can't remember the last time it took me this long to finish a book. I've read books twice this long in shorter time than this took me, 'cause I just couldn't be bothered with it. It had a great premise and could've been good, but whoever edited this seriously dropped the ball on this one.

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True story.

söndag 15 februari 2015

You look like my next mistake

Som om det inte var illa nog med att jag spenderar all min tid med att göra Sasuke-gifsets så har jag och Chriss nu tagit vår besatthet till nya höjder och startat en Sasuke-blogg. Med ett amazing namn:

Klicka på bilden så kommer ni till vår nya asnice blogg som ska handla om all things Sasuke och förstås lite om Ninja Warrior Sverige som vi tänker inte kommer att få så mycket uppmärksamhet annars.

True story.

torsdag 12 februari 2015

Hur man hanterar refuseringar

Refusering nummer åtta (nio, om man räknar med det förlag som aldrig svarar) landade nyss i inkorgen. Woooooh. Ärligt talat blev jag mest irriterad för att jag haft en pissdålig morgon och refusering kom just som jag skulle på ett viktigt möte och kändes som ett väldigt dåligt omen.

Jag tänker använda den här gifen TILL ALLT.
Anyway, jag tänkte ge er mitt bästa tips för att inte låta refuseringarna get you down: skaffa större problem.

I somras, när jag väntade på svar från det första utskicket, jobbade jag som målare i trettio graders värme. Det var utmattande fysiskt, men rent psykiskt hade jag väldigt mycket tid att tänka och, tja, ni kan ju gissa vart dagdrömmarna gled. Mot att bli utgiven. Vilket, som ni kanske räknat ut, inte hänt ännu. Det fanns tid att bli besviken, även om det på den tiden var coolt bara att få ett mail från ett förlag, även om det var negativa besked.

De senaste tre refuseringarna har trillat in de senaste veckorna och de senaste veckorna har jag, in case jag inte nämnt det, stressat över mitt exjobb. Typ det faktum att jag har ett exjobb, men jag har inte kommit igång med det och jag har inte fått någon handledare vilket gör att jag inte är registrerad på kursen vilket gör att jag inte får något CSN vilket är AMAZING förstås. Det blev ännu roligare idag när jag fick ett mail om att jag har ett meddelande från CSN. Vad står i meddelandet? Jag vet inte, för bankID vägrar fungera så jag kan inte logga in och läsa det.

Så när jag har tusen andra grejer att stressa över och det dyker upp något så abstrakt som en refusering för något skit jag skrivit och försökt få utgivet (lol) då har jag knappt ens tid att bli besviken. 

Inser att det här inlägget låter fett bittert, men det är ärligt talat mitt råd. Skaffa andra saker att oroa er för. Det löser inte problemen men det känns bättre.

True story.

P.S. Till sist lyckades jag logga in med hjälp av personlig kod (visste ni att den kan skickas via SMS?) och fick tre rader som upplyste mig om att CSN inte kan betala ut pengar för jag är inte registrerad på mitt universitet. NO FUCKING SHIT!? D.S.

Review: Tithe: A Modern Fairy Tale

Tithe: A Modern Fairy Tale
Tithe: A Modern Fairy Tale by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book some ten plus years ago and remember loving it ... so I've been both wanting and not wanting to reread it since. Wanting, because, well, I loved it, didn't I? Not wanting because I've grown up, and since Holly Black is BFFing with a certain author I do not like I wasn't sure I'd still enjoy it.

Thank the gods I did! I realize I didn't remember much at all from my first read of the book, except the whole "kiss my ass"-thing which is ofc very memorable. So I basically had to discover the entire plot and world all over again - which was nice. It is a pretty good world, though I personally don't really like those gritty, dirty fantasy worlds as much as sparkly ones. Heh.

Kaye isn't the smartest protagonist at all times, but you can't really blame her for that given her age. Her little speech in the last chapter is a bit too "omg I figure it all out!" for me, I think it could probably have been ... idk, more subtle or something. But at least she got to have her shining moment of clarity.

Will probably pick up the other books later this year. Those I've never read though, so I have no idea what to expect.

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True story.

tisdag 10 februari 2015

Review: Drakmåne

Drakmåne by Carole Wilkinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Books continues to be cute. It was nice to see people actually like the dragon and treat him well in this book, even though they sometimes didn't really know how to do it. We saw a bit more magic, which is almost never foreshadowed well, but on the other hand it is a book for children and it wasn't terribly done either so I'm not complaining.

I kinda liked the ending, thought it was more bitter than sweet. I mean, I want dragons in the world, even if it's just a fictional world, I really do. And thinking that Ping is gonna spend the rest of her life without dragons is sad, because we've known her for like ... two years or so? Two years that were full of adventures and dragons and then she'll spend the rest of her life without them. It's kinda sad.

But a good series, that I'm happy that I read. Would probably have adored them as a child, but they were enjoyable as an adult as well. ^^

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måndag 9 februari 2015

Four things

Chriss utmanade mig på att svara på lite frågor, och det är ju alltid kul så here goes:

Åh nej, mustascher...

Four names that people call me (other than my real name):

Du där
En gång i tiden kallades jag också Barberlius, men inte längre

Four jobs I have had:


Four movies I would/have watched more than once:

Star Wars
Supersize Me
Man in the Iron Mask
Muppet Treasure Island

Four books I would recommend:

Lord of the Rings
Fly By Night
Harry Potter

Four places I have lived:

Hägersten, Täby, London ... oj vad jag är spännande.

Four places I have been:

Kreta, London, Nikkaloukta, Danmark

Four places I´d rather be right now:

Machu Picchu
???? Jag vet inte

Four of my favourite foods:

mvh ~*sofistikerad smak*~

Four TV-shows that I watch:

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Game of Thrones
Parks and rec

Four things I am looking forward this year:

Avengers 2
Att ta min mastersexamen
Förhoppningvis få ett jobb????
Multicon 2015

Four things I am always saying:

Men vadfaaaan
Men eller hur!
Fuck yooouuu
Inte okej

Jag utmanar Hanna, because why the fuck not?

True story.

söndag 8 februari 2015

Review: Purpurdraken

Purpurdraken by Carole Wilkinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book series continues to be incredibly cute. Thought I missed Danzi in this book, Kai is also a pretty good dragon ... although the fact that it'll be several hundred, if not thousand, years before he can be a proper dragon and fly and stuff is a bit sad. Oh well.

Good twists in this one, they weren't super-obvious but were still set up in a way so that you could kinda see them coming. Ping's life really isn't easy though, is it? I kept waiting for her to run away with the princess and let's just say I was't too disappointed on that part.

Though do I believe Hua is gone forever after this book? I sure hope not, because that is one crafty rat. I also thought that Ping and Jun might go off on adventures together, but it turns out he was just a fake geek boy so she dropped him like a potato. Good going, Ping.

Based on the description of book three it sounds freaking awesome, so I hope it delivers!

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True story.

fredag 6 februari 2015

Review: Drakväktaren

Drakväktaren by Carole Wilkinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was just adorable. A former slave girl, her dragon and her rat going off on adventures in ancient China. It's just all I could ever ask for in a book.

I loved the dragon. Talking dragons are the beest, and even better when they are cute and friendly like this one. I also liked Ping a lot: her resourcefulness reminded me of Mosca Mye, another fave children's book heroine of mine.

The ending was sad, but I guess in a good way, and I can't hardly wait to read the next book. Reading this was the perfet way to spend a Friday night.

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True story.

Review: Cress

Cress by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People said these books were gonna get better as the series progressed, and I was pretty skeptical about that ... well, turns out I was wrong. They are getting better! The more characters the merrier, although my least fave parts are still anything where Kai has to deal with his royal duties. Mostly because I don't really buy the way the political situations seem to work in this world.

But hey, Cress was a nice addition, and interacted well with the others. I'm not loving the fact that all the girls get a love interest as soon as they are introduced, but it could probably have been done worse. The Cinder/Kai thing has so far been the worst offender in this regard, and I'm hoping they'll now have time to develope proper feelings for each other.

Though the lunars seem to be pretty horrible in general so I'm starting to think they should just blow up the freaking moon and be done with it.

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True story.

onsdag 4 februari 2015

Ninja please

Chriss och jag har en ny obsession: Sasuke, också känt som Ninja Warrior. Det började med att jag såg första avsnittet av den svenska varianten (finns på Kanal5Play) och sedan berättade jag om hur awesome det var för Chriss och visade henne följande klipp som jag hittade på YouTube från ett specialavsnitt av den amerikanska varianten (American Ninja Warrior):

Efter det bara råkade vi spendera måndagen med att se det senaste avsnittet av den japanska varianten, som alltså heter Sasuke. Det var tre timmar långt, allting var på japanska, meeen trots det typ det mest amazing vi sett. Vi kände snabbt igen Ryo Matachi, från klippet ovan, som vi numera kallar "den snygga killen". Han är vår favorit, obv, och vi är mycket ledsna över att han aldrig vunnit hela tävlingen. Men vi har hopp inför framtiden!

Sedan såg vi Sasuke 27 igår, ett annat tre timmar långt avsnitt på japanska, och vid det laget hade vi redan börjat känna igen flera av deltagarna. Tyvärr vet vi inte vad någon heter pga läser inte japanska, så det är bara sånt som "den arga tränaren", "han med kepsen" och liknande epitet som vi kan särskila dem åt med. Och förstås, "den snygga killen".

Idag fick vi inte tag på någon japanska sändning, utan fick nöja oss med de amerikanska sändningarna av de japanska avsnitten. Det är inte lika bra, för trots att man får subtitles (och inser att kommentatorn säger exakt samma sak som vi), så är avsnitten förkortade till bara en timme, och dessutom är det inte samma flow som i det japanska originalet eftersom amerikanerna måste hypa saker som fan och visa massa previews på vad som komma skall. Men det är bättre än inget, förstås.

Vi har redan planer på hur jag ska ställa upp i svenska Ninja Warrior nästa år och våra förberedelser går mest ut på hur vi ska vara så hipster som möjligt och referera till det japanska originalet hela tiden. "Ninja Warrior? Jaså, du menar Sasuke ...", "vi föredrar ju det japanska originalet där de kör hela tävlingen under en dag", "vi har inspirerats av Makoto Nagano i vårt träningsupplägg ...". Förhoppningen är att om jag gör bra ifrån mig där så kan vi vara med i Sasuke och få träffa den snygga killen ...

Hur som helst är det ett amazing program. Ska bli kul att se vad jag tycker om nästa svenska avsnitt efter att ha sett så mycket av originalet ...

True story.

måndag 2 februari 2015

Review: Fermat's Last Theorem

Fermat's Last Theorem
Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this a few years ago, and remember commenting that I thought it was so awesome that you can find absolute proof in math, but not in any other sciences. My more philophical friend said "math fans" were naïve to believe in something like absolute proof, but I still stand by that statement: it's nice to know that some things are true forever once you find proof of them.

I enjoyed it as much as the first time around, though I'm pretty sure I was a lot quicker to finish this time around. I'm not gonna say I understood half of the math in the book, but I understood enough to keep up with the story. Mostly.

Even the things I don't understand are pretty cool to learn about. Shit like imaginary numbers and prime numbers (I like prime numbers: I once wrote a story titled Indiana Jones and the Exotic Prime Numbers) are pretty out there, but the different ways you can categorize numbers (friendly numbers! Perfect numbers! Vampire something numbers!) makes me like them even more. I kept telling Chriss about the things I was learning, but I don't think she found it as fascinating as me, but politely listened to what I had to say anyway.

Fermat sounded like he would've been a very annoying person to hang out with though.

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True story.

söndag 1 februari 2015

Review: Scarlet

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book better than the first one, even though most of my complaints still stand. The world building is still very poor, although the world EXPANDING that we see in this one was better. Though a bit more history of this world couldn't hurt.

Other things that annoyed me: the description of how wolf packs work, with the alpha, beta and omega stuff. THEY DON'T!? Wolves live in family groups, with the mom and the dad and all their cubs. The cubs don't leave home until they are three years old so the groups can become quite big. I don't mind that the alpha, beta, omega system is used for fictional wolf-inspired groups, but it is presented as fact that wolf packs work this way and they just don't...

But the book definitely benefited from having more characters, and I think, if the third book deals with the Rapunzel girl from the first book, it'll get even better. Their stories were woven together in a nice way, even though what the blurb on the back said was gonna happen didn't really come to pass until the last 50 pages.

It also wasn't as obvious as the first book: I couldn't figure out the entire plot after just a few chapters. The things that could be guessed (like who Wolf was) was not hinted at in such an obvious way, like Cinder's true identity in the first book. I guess it was better because the author had time to set up things in the first book and take her time.

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True story.