Other · Personal

Where Have I Been? An Update

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Greetings, nerds.

The photograph above has absolutely nothing to do with this post. At all. I snapped that over a year ago while I was still living in the UK but I wanted something visual for this lengthy life update post. I hope you’ll stick around.

If anyone’s even consistently following my blog, you might have noticed that I have been kind of MIA recently. I have several posts planned including one about the book blogger event I went to earlier this month, a review of Far From You by Tess Sharpe which I finished and loved, a currently reading post, and others but a combination of things have prevented me from doing so one of them being laziness.

When summer comes around, I get particularly lazy. Since I don’t have anywhere I need to be every day, I hardly ever have the energy to do anything, let alone take pictures and update my blog. That laziness combined with my continuing struggles with depression and anxiety, can make just getting out of bed as exhausting as running a marathon (I imagine. You’ll never see me run voluntarily). Another reason is school related stress regarding reapplying to Uni (I did not get in) and looking into what my options are now because I would be very miserable if I had to keep studying Comparative Literature – even thinking about it makes me want to cry.

My life and struggles are complicated and perhaps hard to understand but I promise, I’m trying my very best to get some book related posts written and published. I update my bookstagram more frequently than my blog so if you still want to follow my bookish adventures, please check it out. If you have any questions regarding anything I’ve said/written in this post, please don’t hesitate to ask – I’m more than happy to answer whether your question is book related or personal.

Thank you.

Other

Quiet Morning

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I woke up at around 7:30 this morning after a night of tossing and turning. Grey storm clouds were looming outside so I stayed in bed another half hour before I got up to prepare breakfast. Usually I eat oats with milk and honey but I decided to try something different today. I mixed some greek yogurt with plenty of honey as a sweetener, added some fresh chopped orange and a little dark chocolate as an extra treat – I enjoyed it in bed with a cup of coffee and the June issue of Eurowoman. It got me in the mood for summer and dreaming about tropical islands even in this gloomy weather.

I know this is not strictly book-related but I wanted to share anyway because sometimes we have to enjoy those quiet moments when we’re at peace, and for just one heartbeat everything seems to okay in the world.

Currently Reading

Currently Reading: Far From You

farfromyouGoodreads description
Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?

Thoughts so far
This is the first book I’ve read for pleasure in a long time. I decided to pick up Far From You by Tess Sharpe, and I’m really glad I did. The book fits into some of my favorite genres and deal with some important themes: YA, murder mystery, disability, LGBTQ+ and so on. I’m just over a hundred pages in but I have a distinct sense that this book will go on my list of favorites of 2017. I relate to the main character and her struggles in many ways: Sophie, the MC, struggles with addiction which I also do, albeit not drugs, but also how Sophie has to deal with the aftermath of her mistakes and how to mend the relationship with her parents in particular – something I found myself having to do after I got clean (3.5 years now!).

I really enjoy the book so far, and hope it won’t let me down and that the ending won’t be too predictable but so far, I have no clue who the killer is.

New Books

Book Mail

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Book mail is the best kind of mail. Nothing quite tops the feeling of pulling a new book out of its packaging, flipping through it, and if you’re like me, sniff it. The smell of new books is one of my favorite, and its one I don’t get to experience often these days – since I moved out of my parents house and into my own flat, most of my money is spent on rent and food.

When I realized Pride and Prejudice was on the reading list for one of my classes, I was over the moon. Not only is it my favorite classic of all time but it gave me the opportunity to buy another edition of it because I don’t want to carry my big and heavy Barnes and Noble leatherbound hardback to University every time I need it. So onto Saxo.com I went to order a smaller edition, and when I found one I liked and realized it was only 7£ (59,95 kr.), I decided to browse a little to treat myself. I found Gathering Darkness, the third book in Morgan Rhodes’ Falling Kingdoms series, to just under 9£ (74,95 kr.), I acted.

I don’t know why I just detailed my thought process while purchasing the books but anyway, they arrived and they were exactly as I imagined, well, almost. Gathering Darkness is actually a bit bigger than the two first books in the series and yes, it’s a bit annoying but I’m just intrigued to find out what happens next. I’m also excited to dive back into Pride and Prejudice, it’s been ages since I’ve read the book.

What are your most recent book purchases? Do you have a website you prefer when buying books online? Let me know!

Lists

Books with Great Romances

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Obviously I meant to post this on Valentine’s Day but better late than never.
I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t understand what makes the day so special when we can go that extra mile literally every other day of the year, too – I’d feel more special if someone gave me flowers on a random day just because instead of the ‘obligation’ of the day dedicated to love. So while I am a cynic and do not believe in the vomit-inducing sweetness of Valentine’s Day, I still thought I would compile a list of some of my favorite book romances.

In no particular order

  • Ari and Dante, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Saenz
    This is one for the history books in my eyes. This sweet story is set in Texas during the 80’s where Ari and Dante, both named after great philosophers, meet and become friends. This romance is slow but it’s more about learning to accept who you are and who you love and not hating yourself for it. The writing style is very simplistic while tackling some really big issues so it’s easy to read. Highly recommend!
  • Cinder and Kai, The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer
    Not only one of my all time favorite couples, they also exist within one of my favorite fictional universes. This is a story spun from the kind of magic fairytales are made of because shocker, these books are all fairytale retellings. Cinder and Kai’s love is impossible and unlikely in so many ways, he’s a prince, she’s a cyborg mechanic, but they defy the odds and just seem to perfectly fit together. I don’t want to give anything away because their story is a four book kind of romance but it is beautiful and I dare you not to be completely invested in them.
  • Elizabeth and Darcy, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    The love of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet has gone down in history as one of the greatest romances ever written. Set in the early 1800’s this story explores not only romance but the role that wealth plays in deciding who to marry – the fact that Elizabeth wants to marry for love and not because it would be beneficial sets this romance apart. Another reason I love this romance is because Darcy is literally the human embodiment of awkwardness, I mean, have you seen Matthew Macfadyen’s portrayal in the 2005 movie? If you want to laugh at Darcy even more, I recommend this series of gifsets about Fitzwilliam Darcy’s inner struggles.
  • Simon and Baz, Carry On, Rainbow Rowell
    Bisexual erasure aside, this is one of my favorite romances because it’s basically every fanfiction trope I’ve ever wanted and it was brilliantly done. Enemies to lovers my absolute favorite trope and this romance does that so well. Simon and Baz are wildly different but somehow they still work as a couple, they are a perfect example of opposites attract and I was completely engrossed in their story and how they moved past their differences and stand together against a common enemy. The dialogue throughout this book is incredible and I highly recommend it especially to fanfiction lovers.
  • Kestrel and Arin, The Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski
    The first 200 pages of the first book, The Winner’s Curse, did not impress me and at first, Kestrel and Arin’s relationship felt forced and unnecessary but as I read on I started to see it more. I came to appreciate their differences, their ability to challenge each other, and the fact that they think of each other’s safety above all else. I don’t want to give anything away because this is not a one book romance but their love survives war, betrayal, crime and indifference. If you are willing to get past the slow beginning of not only the book but the romance, you’ll find yourself completely invested in both Kestrel and Arin and you’ll find yourself rooting for them.
Book to Movie

Everything, Everything / Trailer Talk

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WATCH TRAILER HERE

I read Nicola Yoon’s beautiful book Everything, Everything a few weeks after its release in 2015. It captivated me, and I could not put it down nor did I because, well, I walked into a door and hit my head because I had my nose stuck in the book and didn’t look where I was going. I finished it in a day rating it five stars on Goodreads where you can also find my incoherent review. It was a heartwarming and gut-wrenching book all at the same time so when I heard it was going to be made into a movie, I was ecstatic.

The trailer for the movie dropped on Tuesday. I was in class when I saw it in my twitter feed and I think I made a little yelp because my friends gave me a bit of a weird look. I put off watching it until I got home, and then I put it off some more because I was terrified that I would be disappointed but when I finally stopped that nonsense line of thought and watched it, I was blown away. The movies stars Amandla Stenberg whom we all know and love as Rue from The Hunger Games, as Maddy. Maddy is literally allergic to the world and has never left her house but then a new family moves in next door, and Maddy is instantly drawn towards the son, Olly, played by Nick Robinson who was in Jurassic World. It’s a story of love and family and heartbreak and everything that comes with living.

The trailer was beautiful. It showed scenes and interactions I loved from the book but it never gave away too much. The colors were vibrant and beautiful, and Amandla is perfect in the role as Maddy – intelligent, fierce, strong but still so unsure about everything because she’s never experienced anything. I am so excited to see one of my favorite love- and coming-of-age stories come alive on the big screen. I can’t wait for May 25th which is when it’ll premiere in Denmark.

Fun anecdote: The night after I watched the trailer, I dreamt that the movie was actually terrible and that I was so incredibly disappointed that I cried. Then characters from other books got involved and the whole dream went off the rails. It was insane.

 

 

Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter

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I recently went to the Warner Bros. Studios to see their Harry Potter exhibit with my sister. After my exams were over, I had about a week’s worth of free time so my sister and I jetted off to London for an extended weekend which included the trip to the Warner Bros. Studios. It was incredible!

Walking into the lobby was like entering an entirely different world. It was fantastic and magical and I was in awe. It felt like coming home somehow and yes, nostalgia ate away at me but it wasn’t a bad thing. The Christmas decorations were still up, the costumes from Fantastic Beasts were displayed in the lobby, the Great Hall was dangling with lights and decorations and the uniforms of all four houses were displayed.
Walking through the sets, I was discovering new things and was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of effort that was put into every single detail. Things that move on its own, creatures that look so real on screen seem less dangerous and frightening when you see the models without the CGI. We tried Butterbeer (it was disgusting), got our picture taken on the Knight Bus, hopped on the Hogwarts Express, saw several Hogwarts models (what? how?), we discovered things we never noticed in the films, we saw how small the cupboard under the stairs set actually was.
Seeing all those things, learning the movie secrets, understanding just how hard everyone worked makes me appreciate the films so much more. I cherished every single moment, and the whole experience made me want to watch the movies from start to end with only food and bathroom breaks.

The gift shop was overwhelming in more than one way. 1. There were so many different things and 2. School kids everywhere! While navigating our way around in there, we saw everything from sweets to apparel to wands to keychains to mugs to everything you would ever want in your house colors to books to Funko Pops and everything in between. I bought three things, a Hufflepuff Quidditch keychain because house pride (where my fellow Hufflepuffs at?), a chocolate frog with the Godric Gryffindor card inside (my sister got Helga Hufflepuff), and of course The Tales of Beedle the Bard because there’s no way I was leaving without a book. We left happy and tired and excited to hopefully return some day because you can definitely go there more than once.

This was a lot longer than I expected but if you’re still here, I urge you to go if the opportunity ever presents itself. It won’t feel like a waste of money and if you’re a hardcore Potter fan like yours truly, this is the place for you.