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Title: Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 346
Date read: April, 2017

October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.

I've loved everything I've read by Seanan McGuire under her Mira Grant pen name, and as this book came highly recommended, I figured it was time I gave her other 'persona' a shot. It's not really my usual fare, as I generally stay away from urban fantasy and fae novels and this was both! It was very well-written though, and kept me nicely entertained. It's fast-moving and as such a really good book for a readathon.

Though the first in a series, it's completely self-contained and can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel.
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Title: Holly and her Naughty eReader
Author: Julianne Spencer
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 177
Date read: April 2017

What if all those brooding teenage vampires, hunky 19th-century aristocrats, and gorgeous dominating billionaires on your Kindle came to life as real people?

Holly Pritchett is a high school English teacher by day, and avid reader by night. Romance, erotica, sci-fi, horror, and more, Holly's Kindle is packed with thousands of titles and she reads a new novel every day.

But when she returns to her hometown for her 10-year reunion and meets up with an old friend who dabbles in witchcraft, Holly's Kindle becomes much more than an eReader. No longer a passive observer to the many stories from the Amazon store, Holly becomes an active participant in the books on her Kindle, living the experiences of the characters.

That hot billionaire with a troubled past? Now it's Holly who's donning the leather and lace so he can teach her how to live. That beautiful werewolf with the heart of gold? Now Holly is the one who will help him find his true self.

For Holly, life with a magic eReader is a dream come true, until one domineering billionaire takes too keen an interest in her, and the fantasies on her Kindle start spilling over into reality.

This turned out to be a lot sillier than I had originally expected.

A fast read - I read it in less than 2 hours - but it went from being pretty straight-forward fantasy, to just being plain silly! Not bad-silly, but it definitely took a turn I hadn't expected.

I liked the concept though - similar to Jasper Fforde's "The Eyre Affair" - who wouldn't like to go visit a favourite book? :-)
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Title: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You It Isn't Big Enough
Author: Kristine K. Stevens
Genre: Travel
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 302
Date read: April, 2017

In honor of her 40th birthday, Kristine K. Stevens sold her house, quit her job and traveled solo around the world.

Carrying a backpack and the naïve belief that the trip was nothing more than a six-month-long vacation, she hit the road. As her journey moved on and off the beaten tourist path, she braved a monsoon in Zanzibar, a safari in Kenya, trekking in Nepal, kayaking in Thailand, caves in Laos, red plaid fish and lava in Hawaii, and grizzly bears in Alaska.

Little did Kristine know that she was completing a pilgrimage that would change her life forever. She gained self-confidence with every mile and relearned how to trust her instincts.

One of the best travelogues I've read in quite awhile. Kristine's way of writing really appealed to me, and I was fascinated by her adventures all over Africa, Asia, Hawaii and Alaska. Some of the places she visited (e.g. Alaska) have been on my bucket list for ages, and she just reaffirmed my desire to go there.

There's no doubt that Kristine was a very privileged traveler, in that she could stay with friends many places, and didn't really have to worry about money until the very end, so few people would be able to follow in her footsteps, but personally I loved living vicariously through her and can't remember when I've last been this immersed in a book.

I really appreciated that the book didn't just end with her returning home, but also included her struggles with going back to "every day life" again, and how she handled those challenges.
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Title: The Potluck Club
Author: Linda Evans Shepherd
Genre: Chick-lit, Christian
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 388
Date read: April, 2017

In the small Colorado town of Summit View, a surprising multi-generational mix of women from Grace Church meet once a week to pass a hot dish and to pray. But the Potluck Club, as they call themselves, is a recipe for disaster when they send up enough misinformed prayers to bring down a church. And the funny thing: the more they pray, the more troubles seem to come their way. It isn't until they invite God to the table that they discover friendship is the spice of life, and a little dash of grace, just like salt, goes a long way.

A nice, cozy novel about a prayer group in a small-town community. In style it reminded me quite a lot of "The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society" by Beth Pattillio as the plot very clearly takes backstage to getting to know the characters.

Of course - as per usual in such books - I grew more fond of some of the characters than others, but there were none I decidedly disliked (at least, not after I learned what made them tick) and all in all I really liked getting to know them, and enjoyed my visit with the Potluck Club.
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Title: The Pearl Thief (Code Name Verity #0)
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Historical, YA
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 336
Date read: April, 2017

When fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in the hospital, she knows the lazy summer break she'd imagined won't be exactly like she anticipated. And once she returns to her grandfather's estate, a bit banged up but alive, she begins to realize that her injury might not have been an accident. One of her family's employees is missing, and he disappeared on the very same day she landed in the hospital.

Desperate to figure out what happened, she befriends Euan McEwen, the Scots Traveller boy who found her when she was injured, and his standoffish sister Ellen. As Julie grows closer to this family, she experiences some of the prejudices they've grown used to firsthand, a stark contrast to her own upbringing, and finds herself exploring thrilling new experiences that have nothing to do with a missing-person investigation.

Her memory of that day returns to her in pieces, and when a body is discovered, her new friends are caught in the crosshairs of long-held biases about Travellers. Julie must get to the bottom of the mystery in order to keep them from being framed for the crime.

While I never found it quite as engaging as neither Code Name Verity nor Rose Under Fire, I was still very pleased to get to read it.

It took me awhile to get into the story. Partly because I didn't care too much about Julie at first, partly because I really couldn't figure out what genre the book was trying to be! However, I was still intrigued enough to keep reading, and once the book decided for sure that it was going to be a mystery, I enjoyed it a lot more.

I was really, really frustrated by how people treated the tinkers, but guess that's pretty true for the time, and that describing it any other way would be "whitewashing" (for want of better word) history.

It didn't break my heart the way Elizabeth Wein's two other books did, but it's a cute story to tide people over, who want to know more about Julie/Verity.
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Title: Hul i hovedet
Author: Nicole Boyle Rødtnes
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 212
Date read: April, 2017

"Du skulle have set Susan!" Ida himler med øjnene. "Festens tema var gangsters og ludere, men alligevel...!" "Hvor kort var hendes kjole?" spørger jeg. Eller det troede jeg. Men en rynke i Idas pande fortæller mig, at det ikke var det, der kom ud. "Hvad kost var festen?" gentager jeg, og nu kan jeg godt høre, at noget er galt. "Nå, hvad det kostede at komme ind?" spørger Ida. "40 kroner – det var ingenting." Jeg ryster på hovedet. Ida tænker igen. "Hvor mange, der kom? "Jeg ryster på hovedet igen. "Lige meget," siger jeg så. Jeg kan se på hende, at det slår hende lidt ud, at jeg klokker i det. Det må også være nederen at være den, der altid skal lege gæt og grimasser med spasseren.

Til en fest slår Vega hovedet og får en hjerneblødning. Da hun vågner på hospitalet, har hun mistet sit sprog, og det føles, som hele hendes liv er forsvundet sammen med ordene. Men en dag møder hun Theo, der ligesom hende har svært ved at tale. Men kan man elske uden ord? Og hvad skete der egentlig den aften, hvor Vega kom til skade?

Meget samme stil som "XY", men afgjort bedre! Jeg havde ikke de samme problemer med troværdigheden denne gang, og var væsentlig mere tilfreds med slutningen.

Men fælles for begge bøger er at Nicole Rødtnes tager fat i seriøse emner, som man ikke umiddelbart ser i ungdomsbøger. Afgjort en bog jeg ville anbefale til alle i målgruppen, og som jeg også selv nød, selvom jeg nok er lidt over den. Jeg kunne godt lide at følge Vegas og Theos venskab, og se hvordan de fandt ud af at kommunikere selv uden ord.

En rigtig good teenage-roman.
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Title: I'm Still Here
Author: Clélie Avit
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 262 pages
Date read: April, 2017

Elsa is spending her thirtieth birthday in the hospital bed where she's lain for months after a devastating mountain accident. Unable to speak, see, or move, she appears to be in an irreversible coma, but her friends and family don't know that she's regained the power of hearing.

That day, a stranger named Thibault enters the hospital to visit his brother, who's just been injured in an accident that killed two young girls. He instead seeks refuge in the room where Elsa lies, and quickly becomes intrigued by the young woman, returning day after day to sit beside her, convinced that his words are being heard.

As their connection grows, the doctors deliver a devastating blow to her family. Is it possible that Thibault knows something no one else does, and can he reach her before it's too late?

A quick and easy read. It didn't strike me until long after that it's obviously a retelling of the Cinderella story, because of course it is. I did find the love-story slightly more believable though -- at least from Elsa's POV.

But this is one book where different POVs really work! I liked that every second chapter was told by Elsa and every second by Thibault. It helped us get inside the minds of both, and I grew to care for both of them. Probably especially Thibault actually. I loved seeing how he interacted with his friends and goddaughter - very cute!

I did think the book ended just slightly too abruptly, which brought it down to 4 stars, but all in all I found it a very enjoyable story.
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Title: Hinds Feet on High Places
Author: Hannah Hurnard
Genre: Christian
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 147
Date read: April, 2017

This book is a beautiful allegory dramatizing the yearning of God's children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. Follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey through difficult places with her two companions, Sorrow and Suffering. Learn how Much-Afraid overcomes her tormenting fears as she passes through many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and returns to her valley of service, transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd.

It took me a lot longer to read this than I had expected from such a short book (almost a month!), but I discovered I couldn't read more than a few chapters in each sitting. In style it reminded me a lot of "Pilgrim's Progress", but that may just have been because of the naming of things.

I liked it :) As you can see from the rating, it didn't blow me away, but I thought it a very sweet read.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Hamilton: The Revolution
Author: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 288
Date read: April, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation.

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages--"since before this was even a show," according to Miranda--traces its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.

Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sond­heim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by Presi­dent Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shot.

A true 5-star read. It made me laugh, it made me tear up, and it made me (even more than I did already) wish I could get to see the play with the original cast.

I know I said earlier that I didn't think it was a book I needed to own... I may have to rethink that decision, because it really was awesome! I put it down and didn't want to pick up anything afterwards... I needed to just let it percolate.

Highly recommendable to any Hamilton-fan.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: XY
Author: Nicole Boyle Rødtnes
Genre: YA
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 240
Date read: April, 2017

Da Asta som 15-årig får meldingen om, at hun er en XY-pige og derfor genetisk set en dreng, falder hendes verden sammen. Hun kæmper med vrede og selvmordstanker - men så møder hun Christoffer. Han har selv forsøgt at begå selvmord, og med ham kan hun tale om alt det, som de andre ikke forstår. Langsomt forelsker Asta sig i Christoffer. Men kan man elske uden køn?

Meget fascinerende og tankevækkende bog. Jeg havde svært ved at lægge den fra mig, og blev meget glad for både Asta og Christoffer.

Men - for selvfølgelig kommer der et men når jeg alligevel ikke gav den mere end 3 stjerner - jeg syntes ikke slutningen var troværdig.

Spoiler )

Jeg brød mig heller ikke særlig meget om Astas mor før til allersidst. Hendes opførsel var dog mere forståelig, omend stadig frustrerende.

Jeg ville ønske jeg havde læst den som teenager - så havde jeg nok været gladere for den.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Where Are the Lions?
Author: Claus Tøndering
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 220
Date read: June 2015, April 2017

Many Christian novels describe the end times leading up to the second coming of Christ. But what might happen thereafter?

This novel takes place a few centuries into eternity. A group of scientists go an expedition to explore unknown areas of the New Earth.

Will they also solve the mystery about what happened to the lions?

I absolutely loved this book! It's an interesting account of what Heaven may be like, and broached some topics that I haven't otherwise thought about - how will we live? Will we work? Will we marry? Will we have kids? What does "eternity" mean for missing people or making plans?

Really fascinating story, that only served to make me homesick :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: An Age of License
Author: Lucy Knisley
Genre: Memoir, graphic non-fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 195
Date read: April 2015, April 2017

Midnight picnics at the Eiffel Tower; wine tastings paired with blowgun lessons; and romance in cafés, cemeteries, and at the Brandenberg Gate--these are just some of New York Times best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley's experiences on her 2011 European book tour. "An Age of License" is both a graphic travelogue and a journal of her trip abroad.

Ever since reading "Relish" I've known that I wanted to read more by Lucy Knisley. I finally got the chance, and I was not disappointed! In "An Age of License", Lucy travels around Europe, which means that I knew many places she visited (and many of the quirks she talked about), so that just added to the charm.

I love how Lucy obviously uses her drawings as a form of journaling. Being a journaler myself, this adds an element of relateability for me, as do the personal anecdotes she adds to her work. I'll definitely be on the lookout for her other books as well!
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Title: Sue Barton, Senior Nurse
Author: Helen Dore Boylston
Genre: Classics, YA
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 143
Date read: February 2005, January 2008, April 2017

This book covers Sue Barton's final year in nursing school. During this time, Sue trains in the operating room, works in a maternity hospital, and serves as a student head nurse. She is devoted to learning her career, but when young Dr. Bill Barry asks her to marry him, she faces a conflict. She wants to say yes, but she also wants to work as a nurse first.

A short enough book to read in one sitting :) It's not as good as the first one, as there are fewer hospital anecdotes in this one, and some of the anecdotes are somewhat exaggerated - Sue is an angel, Sue saves the day, Sue never does anything wrong, Sue is a Mary-Sue ;)

I still like it in spite of its flaws though :)
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Title: Sue Barton, Student Nurse
Author: Helen Dore Boylston
Genre: Classics, YA
Rating: 9/10
# pages: 167
Date read: February 2005, January 2008, April 2017

This is the story of Sue Barton's first year of training as a probationer and then as a student nurse. Sue, with her red hair and eager spirit, is a very likable person - direct, outspoken, capable of mistakes, capable also of warm attachments and a courageous devotion to the service which she soon loves. With her pals, Kit and Connie, she submits to the discipline and rigorous training which are required of every good hospital nurse.

As the first book in the series, Sue Barton, Student Nurse is a quick read (took me no more than an hour or two), but a good one. It's a wonder I've never wanted to be a nurse or a doctor, as much as I love reading about their work. It's a feel-good book of the old-fashioned style and I greatly enjoyed it. I'll be looking forward to reading the rest of the series.


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