Thursday, July 4, 2013

End of term exams

Hi guys.

Im right now in the middle of my end of term exams, which means that the summer break starts in just a few weeks, so I have been in Japan for over three months. That is crazy! It feels like I came here two weeks ago, but also like Japan has been my home for forever.

The exchange students that came here last autumn are all going home next week. The other exchange student in my school went home a few weeks ago. It is not fun at all to see these people go home, both because they are all amazing people and because it makes me realize that I have to go home sometime too. I know that I have almost eight months left, but thinking about how fast the time has gone since I came here, I know that eight months will go pretty quickly as well.

Right now I'm making a presentation about me and my life in Japan to show the junior high school students who are coming to the open house on Saturday. Putting together slides about what I've done here made me realize that I have had time to do so many awesome things. I'm not going to talk about them all again, since I did that in my last post, but I've made so many amazing memories. Even though eitght months will probably go very quickly, I'll have time to make it aweomse.

I'm going to make sure to use my time wisely here and not have to stand at the airport feeling that I left things undone. I miss all of you who are left back home, but I'm not ready to come home yet. Eight months left, bitches!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Life is awesome

Hello everybody!

A little update from me here in Japan. I've been here for three months and been crazily busy learning new things and hanging out with awesome people. Everything has been better that I could imagine before coming here and I've had so much fun. 

I settled into my life here pretty quickly. I go to school with an awesome class, spend time with my amazing host family at home and have gotten many super fun friends, both other exchange students and Japanese people. I've been really busy and haven't really had time to think about telling other people about my experiences, so I'll try to recap everything here. I'm sorry for a long blog post.

The last time you heard about me I had just arrived in Japan. I were at a hotel in Tokyo for one night, talking with other exchange students and trying to stay awake. The following morning we exchange students took buses to different locations to have arrival camps. My group of about 50ish went to a camp a bit outside of Nagoya, where we talked about what to expect from our exchange year and got some important information. We exchange student also just talked a lot and got to know each other, it was a lot of fun.

On the Saturday after a few days of camp we were meeting our host families. My host mom and brother came to pick me up from the camp and I was pretty nervous before meeting them. The language was my biggest concern since I had only studied Japanese for about a year and was uncomfortable speaking it. But everything went fine and even though the car ride home was the first time in my life I had to really speak Japanese I was able to communicate alright. I really love my host family, my parents are super kind and my two younger brothers are adorable and I have a lot of fun playing with them.

I got the flu after being here for a few days, but apart from that everything has been amazing. I basically just go to school everyday and live a "normal" Japanese life. I have done some more special things as well. We were at a three day camp with my class, I have also been on a camp with other exchange students, I've been at a waterpark/themepark/amusementpark thingie with my host family (also the swimming pool and the Nagoya aquarium; PENGUINS!!!), went picking strawberries, had my school sport event, saw Nagoya castle and had my 17th birthday. I have done lots of other this as well, that's just from the top of my head.

I'm going to leave you here with some pictures and not bore you too much with my writing. In all, I've had the most awesome three months and am looking forward to spending another eight months here!

Peace out.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Hello people! After many goodbyes, many hours spent in planes and airports and constantly being tired, I'm finally in Japan. We are spending one night at a hotel here in Tokyo and taking buses to our respective arrival orientations tomorrow. I have met lots of people from lots of countries and am super excited but super tired. It's really hot and humid here, a nice change to the horrible cold in Sweden!

Just wanted to throw in an update and tell you guys that I'm okay! See you later!

Monday, March 18, 2013

I'm going to Japan!

Yes. This is really happening. Tomorrow I'm leaving cozy little Stockholm and moving to Japan for a year. More specifically, Nagoya, the fourth largest city in Japan. I'm doing an exchange student program through AFS and am going live in a host family (mine seems to so kind and sweet) and study at a Japanese high school. Do I know any Japanese yet? A bit, but enough to not be screwed.

To my new readers, welcome! As you might see, this is not my first posts here on this blog. I used to have a book blog (which actually was a lot of fun.) I've left all my old posts for your enjoyment and possibly my embarrassment.

To my old readers (not meaning in age), welcome back! I've changed the layout and name of the blog, so you might be a bit confused about where you are. But it's still me, still my blog. Even though I won't write as much about books, I hope that you guys will stay around!

For both new and old readers, I'm going to write about my life in Japan and how it is to do an exchange year. I'm not promising that I'll be updating regularly, but I hope that I'll have time to throw in a few posts every now and then!

I'm really, really excited for going. Studying a year abroad has been my dream for so long and I'm finally doing it!!!

Hope you'll enjoy my blog!

さようなら!(sayonara - goodbye)

My life in three bags ..

Monday, January 16, 2012

One of the best books you'll ever read

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
Rating: 5+++/5

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

“That's the thing about demands to be felt.”

I've been waiting for this book for so long, just like a lot of other people. When I found it in my mailbox after school this wednesday, I instantly started it, and the next few hours had me on an emotional roller-coaster. I laughed, I got really happy, I got irritated and angry and I cried like crazy. I knew that the book was going to be sad, but honestly I thought that I would cry in an a-few-tears-rolling-down-the-cheek way, not loud sobbing, throat hurting, nose running, crying. No other book has had such a big impact on me. It was horrible.

But this is one of the best books I've read in my whole life.

I've read books about cancer before. I've read books about dying teenagers, teenagers who fall in love, teenagers who have a big dream. Although John writes about common topics, he does it in an extraordinary way. He has the most amazing writing, he gets you to see different perspectives on things, he makes you really care and he makes you feel all the things.

A John Green book can't be a John Green book without a great set of characters. They are always so alive, have the weirdest hobbies and passions. They (Augustus) are people I would just love to have as (boy)friends in real life. The conversations feel natural and not forced at all, and Hazel and Augustus really fits perfectly together.

The only good way I can describe John's writing is everyday-ish, but wonderfully different. He doesn't use some poetic language, it is more like "he did this and she did that". But his brilliant vocabulary, remarks on deep questions and just different comments on usual things make it something so different from other books. It has this kind of philosophical feel without getting too dry or heavy to read. It feels like every page has at least one good quote that I just want to write down somewhere.

The Fault in Our Stars is a book that is going to be in my mind for a very long time. This is one of those few books that I really want to keep in my bookshelf forever, one of the books I would keep if I in some point in my life have to life with a limited number of books. 

Just read it, you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Goals for 2012

I've read a lot of these kind of posts, but never thought I would write one myself. Why? Well, I think giving new years resolutions is just a way for people to postpone trying to improve themselves. Why not just start exercising / reading more / take care of school work etc etc in the middle of a year? You don't have to wait until new year's eve to improve. Also, everyone are expecting you to not keep up with your resolutions, so you probably won't make it. It sounds harsh, but that's the truth.

So why am I still doing this? Well .. Eh, I'm not really sure. I like keeping track of how many books I read during a year. So maybe I can throw in some goals for this year's reading?

  • Read 100 books. Yes, I'm trying to do this. It's going to be hard, I'm in my last year of secondary school and will begin upper secondary school this fall, so school will be a bigger part of my life that it has been before. But I can do this, right?
  • Read more books in Finnish. I've spoken Finnish for as long as I've spoken Swedish (so, my whole life) but don't really read anything in Finnish. I don't really know much about Finnish books (I prefer reading books in their original language) and read slower in Finnish than in Swedish and English, but I want to change that.
  • Write a review (or at least a draft of it) within a few hours of finishing a book. Otherwise I'll just not do it for many weeks, and maybe never write a review.
  • Read more classics. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Essential books for Potter nerds

Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by J.K. Rowling

Goodreads QuidditchGoodreads Beasts ⎪ Author Website

In these sort of non fiction books you get to read about all the very real beasts and quidditch related things from the Harry Potter universe. They are the same books that the characters read in school with a short foreword by no other than Albus Dumbledore, which he wrote since these books were going to be released for muggles.

I liked getting a little insight to the worlds and learn more about the things we hear about in the series. It is something you enjoy a lot when you love a series as much as I love the Harry Potter books. You just want to learn everything there is to learn and feel like a part of the world.

The books were nice and short and gave you some information. Some of it was already told in the Harry Potter books, but most of it was new things that you've never hear of. It was pretty straight forwards with the facts, which made the books pretty short. I would have enjoyed longer books with more illustrations and maybe some funnier texts.

I especially liked the Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them book, because throughout the whole book Harry and Ron had written small notes and comments to the texts. It makes it a lot more fun to read than a book which just throws a bunch of facts onto you.

These were two nice little short books, that every Potterhead probably would enjoy a lot. And let's cross our fingers and hope that J.K. Rowling soon releases a huge Hogwarts: A History. A book we hear a lot about in the Harry Potter series and I think would have Potter fan around the world excited as hell.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A lovely love story

The Gargoyle
by Andrew Davidson 
Rating: 5 / 5

“You are mine, I am yours; you may be sure of this. You've been locked inside my heart, the key has been thrown away; within it, you must always stay. ”

Before I started reading this book, I had no idea what it was about. The back of the book only gives us a vague explanation of what it is about, and after some research I only knew that it was either fantasy, contemporary or historical fiction. When I'd finished the book, I understood that it was a brilliant mix of them all.

It tells the story about a man, who hasn't had the best life. He gets really bad burn injuries in a car accident, and has to stay in the hospital for months. There he meets the mysterious Marianne Engel, who tells him that they were lovers in the 14th century, and that she has been waiting to meet him again for 700 years.

The plot was very original. We follow the unnamed main character as he recovers from his injuries, but we get to hear many fantastic stories along the way. Marianne has many tales to tell about her friends from different time periods. Including the story about her and the main character in their first life together. I really liked reading these beautiful love stories, and loved Marianne as a character. You really have to decide for yourself whether you think she really tells the truth about her long life or if she's just some psychotic woman with schizophrenia.

The Gargoyle isn't a book for everyone though. It was more of a very slow paced feel-good love story than an action filled fantasy. Some people might not like it, and will only find it weird and boring. But I loved it, and felt like the pace, the stories and the characters made it a interesting, and almost magical, read.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 best books of 2011

2011 has been an amazing year. I started bookblogging, wrote half a novel for NaNoWriMo, tied many new things, got many amazing memories and read a lot of books. I've read 69 books and only have a few pages left in the book I'm currently reading, so I'm going to accomplish my goal of reading 70 books, even though I've had many no-reading periods!

Of those 70 books, I've tried to make a list of the 10 best books. The books that were the most special, beautiful and just awesome. The ones that instantly pop to my head when I think about the books I've read this year.

10. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

I'd heard a lot of good things about this series before I decided to pick it up this summer. All of the books were amazing, with a lot of action, romance and paranormal creatures. It was a paranormal romance that had so much more than the rest of the books in this genre, which gives it a place in this list. Also, team Simon all the way!

9. Wither by Lauren DeStafano

With this amazing cover and tons of five star reviews I just had to read it, and got a beautiful story about love, sacrifice and hope. This is a special dystopian that everyone has to read.

8. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

A beautiful, heartbreaking tale that I love every single page of. I want more of these historical books about had and sad times, it shows how you never should stop hoping, things will eventually get better.

7. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

This is a book that I was really excited to read. My expectations were high, and fortunately, I just couldn't stop reading the book when I got it. It was really good. I want to see more YA science fiction!

6. Enclave by Ann Aguirre

I just loved this book. The fighting scenes were so good, the monsters scary and the world they lived in terrifying.

5. Feed by Mira Grant

An adult zombie book where bloggers are the new news-people, and big celebrities. Amazing characters, an original concept and different writing got this book a fifth place.

4. Cirkeln by Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergman Elfgren

Yes, I'm going to put a Swedish book into this list. But don't worry, it's going to be released in English next June (more about that later). This book has been really been one of the most talked about books this year here in Sweden. It's been sold to 27 countries, the movie rights have been sold, as well as the right to do an American remake! And I really can see where the hype is coming from, this book is just brilliant.

3. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

I read this book in one day, on breaks, in class and when I should be doing other important stuff. It was so good that I couldn't put it down for even a few seconds. It made me, literally, both laugh out loud and cry, sometimes at the same time. 

2. Looking for Alaska by John Green

This book is just pure awesomeness. Just read it, you'll understand.

1. The Gone series by Michael Grant

We're finally at number one, and which other books would it be, if not the Gone series by Michael Grant. Nothing can compare to the greatness of these books. The action, the writing, the characters, the scary stuff, the mysteries .. I love everything about these books.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 End of Year Book Survey


1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

Oh God. If the first question is this hard, I'm scared of doing the rest of this survey. I won't pick a book now, come back for when I do a blogpost about my top 10 favorites of the year!

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I had too many expectations and was prepared to read a really emotional book, which I didn't.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Angel by L.A. Weatherly. I'm not the biggest fan of paranormal romances, it feels like I read the same story over and over again. But this book was simply amazing.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Probably Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

I don't even have to think twice. The Gone series by Michael Grant of course!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

I have known about John Green for a while, but didn't read any of his books before this year. And isn't he just one of the best authors ever? I can't believe I've been waiting this long to read his books!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I've never read manga before, but read Sailor Moon vol 1 this year and loved it!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

All the books in the Gone series! Seriously, they're the best.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Plague  okay, I'll shut up about the Gone series. Other than Plague, I think I was the most excited for Divergent and Wither.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

Enclave looks GORGEOUS in real life. But on pictures on the Internet? Not so much .. But it's still one of the best cover I've ever seen.

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

Tiny from Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I love his personality!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
This is a hard one .. Probably the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (review coming soon!)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

Between Shades of Gray, so sad and yet so beautiful.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

All books by John Green and the Mortal Instruments.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” Looking for Alaska by John Green

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?

Oh god, now I'm going on and on about John Green. But probably Looking for Alaska or Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.)

Many, many scenes in the Gone series.

Blogging / Reading

1. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010? 

Maybe my review of Hunger by Michael Grant (there's the Gone series again) of my review of Anna and the French Kiss.

2. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I went to two singings, one with Holly Black and one with two Swedish authors, Sarah Bergman Elfgren and Mats Strandberg. Both of them were AMAZING. it was really fun meeting some of your favorite authors. A virtual event I liked a lot was Armchair BEA.

2. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My Why I Read post has almost six time more views than my second most read post!

4. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

The same post as above, it has a ton of views, but where are the comments people? ;)

5. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I can't live without Goodreads.

6. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

My goal was to read 70 books this year, and I'm going to make it! I only need to read one book to complete the challenge! Other challenges I participated in are the Debut Author Challenge (I only need to finish one more book to complete the challenge), the 20 11 challenge (which I haven't completed) and the Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge (which I completed).

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

There's a lot of them. I have many classics that I want to read (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre). Also the John Green books I haven't read.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

The Fault in Our Start by John Green! Only a few days left :D

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading In 2012?

I am going to try to read 100 books, read more classics and read books instead of buying/collecting them, haha. I have a problem with buying more books than I read ..