Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Recap

April has been a really good blogging month for me. I've written a lot of posts, written an "about the blog" page and started two new features for my blog. Even though I was in Finland for a week and Coopenhagen for 4 days and couldn't blog during that time! During April I started scheduling posts. Not like several month in advance like other bloggers, but posts for a few days ahead.

Books I've read this month (6):
Lies - Michael Grant
Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Zombicorns - John Green
Frostbite - Richelle Mead
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephenie Perkins
13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson

Books I've reviewed this month (5): Links go to my review
Lies - Michael Grant
Anna and the French Kiss!

Currently reading and will read next:
I'm currently reading a swedish adult novel called Snabba Cash (Translates to Fast Cash, but the meaning is the same as Easy Money) It has gotten a lot of attention lately, and I believe that there's going to be an english version. I like it, but it takes a really long time to read! 

Expectations for May:
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Olivia, happy birthday to me! Yeah, that's right! It's my birthday! I'll turn 15 on May 11th. In Sweden 15 is the highest age limit for films on the cinema, so now I'll get to watch every frickin movie I want! Because of that, my month will probably be filled with movies, I'm going to see Red Riding Hood, World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles, maybe (only maybe) Scream 4, Black Swan and a lot of others! This is going to be awesome!

I hope you get the most wonderful May ever!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Trailer for the very last Harry Potter movie

This is just too epic for word. I'm dying to see the movie, but don't want everything to end.

Great trailer though!

Enclave - Trailer of the week (#1)

I'm a big fan of book trailers. They're usually much more powerful that blurbs in really capturing the mood of a book. They can in just a few seconds relive the experience you had when you read the book or leave you craving for a book you haven't read. But unfortunately, it feels like book trailers aren't spotlighted that much in the book blogging community. There's a lot of amazing book trailers out there, that not many people get to see. 

With that in mind I decided to start this feature on Magical Books. It's called the Trailer of the Week. I'll post a book trailer every Thursday. New, old, official, fan-made. Doesn't matter. But every trailer I post will have one thing in common, they're super, frickin' awesome. 

This weeks trailer is the official trailer of Enclave by Ann Aguirre. It's a dystropia / post apocalypse / zombie apocalypse young adult novel. It was released a few weeks ago, so due to my book buying ban thingie I haven't bought it yet. But I've heard a ton of great things about it and am really looking forward to reading it.

I just had to make this trailer the first I feature here on Trailer of the Week. It blew my mind.

Find Enclave on Goodreads

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Water for Elephants - movie review

I went to see Water for Elephants with my friends a couple of days ago, and I didn't have a clue about what I was going to see. I haven't read the book and didn't know anything about the plot, only that Robert Pattinson starred in it. And being the Twilight fans we are, that was the only thing that mattered. But actually, I ended up loving the movie. And not just because the actors.

The movie tells the story of a young man (named Jacob), that due to the death of his parents, are left broke and homeless. He was studying to become a vet but couldn't finish his exam because of his parents accident. While he's trying to walk the long way to the city in search for a job, a train rides past him, and he jumps onto the train. The train belongs to a circus, and Jacob gets a job there as their vet.

You get to follow the circus as they try to keep their business alive. It was a hard life for circuses and they usually ended up in bankruptcy. To keep their audience the circus buys an elephant, which Jacob gets the responsibility for. But the elephant doesn't want to follow the directors orders, which makes the cruel director frustrated and mad. At the same time a love triangle evolves between the director, his wife and Jacob.

I loved the movie. It was beautiful and told in a really beautiful way. I got really attached to all of the characters (except for the director, he was just cruel and horrible) and wanted everything to work out for them. The circus worker's reality was very dark though and sad, but they still tried to hold on to their hope and had some beautiful moments together.

There was a lot of violence and animal abuse in the movie, which all broke my heart. So if you're not able to watch those kind of things, Water for Elephants might be really hard for you to watch. But otherwise, it's a really wonderful movie that everyone should see.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Catching Up Readathon - Recap

Last weekend (thrusday - monday) was the Cathing Up Readathon, which I participated in. My goal was to read 4 books, but unfortunately I didn't fulfill my goal. A lot of unexpected stuff happened, some friends to our family visited us the whole weekend and I slept at my friend's place the night between sunday and monday. So I didn't get to read as much as I wanted to.

I finished the last 200 pages of Frostbite. You can find the review on my blog.
I read Anna and the French Kiss, and completely adored it. You can find the review here as well.
I read 13 Little Blue envelopes, I'll post the review soon.
And I read the first 200 pages of a swedish adult novel called Snabba Cash.

I hope you guys did better on the challenge! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss - review

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: 5/5

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

The night after I finished Anna and the French Kiss, I dreamt about it. I don't dream very often about books, believe it or not. But I dreamt that I was Anna, walking around in lovely Paris, together with my wonderful friends and to die for boyfriend Étienne. We just walked around the city, drank coffee, ate crepes, talked, went to the movies. It was so frickin awesome.

I wish my dream could come true.

I wish I could be friends with all those amazing characters in real life. I wish I could live in France, at some fancy boarding school. I wish I could have a boyfriend like Étienne. (Actually, I wish I could have any boyfriend at all. This book has turned me from a person who loves being single into a person who hates being single.)

This novel was perfect. Every page was fun, awesome, cute and wonderful. Perfection.

This story was really character driven. And all the characters were just as every author wants their characters to be. Alive. They had flaws, they had problems. The had something they were passionate about, something they loved. They all had these tiny details in the way they acted or in their personalities that were irrelevant to the story, but you got to know anyway. To show that these people weren't boring cardboard characters, but more like real life persons.

Stephanie Perkins, I admire you. Thanks for writing this awesome book.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Frostbite - Review

Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
by Richelle Mead

Author Website 
Book Website 

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

I think this review is one of the hardest reviews I've ever written. I'm not completely sure how I feel about the Vampire Academy books, I should like them. I want to like them. But I'm not that drawn to them.

I read the first Vampire Academy book about half a year ago. I'd read lots of great things about the series and was really eager to start reading it. I liked it, but wasn't as in love with it as everyone else were. I'd heard many people say that the series got better for every book and hoped that I would like Frostbite more than the first book. Even though I didn't have as high expectations as for the first book, it let me down.

I really should like these books. The stories are fast pased and really action filled. The characters are well developed and threedimentional. They're likeable and and suit the story. The writing is good. The vampire world is really well planned and has lots of details. There's lots of romance and complications between the characters.

The books should be really good, but I just don't enjoy reading them. I should, but don't feel any attachment to the charactes. In all the big action filled scenes, my heart doesn't race. I don't want to read every moment possible, but every time I pick up the book I feel more like "okay, I have to read a few pages. I haven't read anything in a few days" not "I want to read!!!!".

So I'm not going to rate this book. It is a really good book. But I didn't enjoy it. I know, it doesn't make any sense.

Friday, April 22, 2011

V - a tv show for sci-fi lovers

The last couple of weeks I've been hooked up on this new tv series. Well, actually it's not that new, it's a remake of a tv show that was airing in the 80s. It's called V and is a super badass sci-fi show in which aliens has come to the earth and wants to help humanity with their cool technology and medical services. Or that's what they say to the humans. Actually they are reptiles who has cloned human skin to look like us and need the humans for some big plan.

I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm not going to tell you more about the plot. Just watch the series. You'll love it.

The series has recently finished it's second season. I'm not completely sure if there'll be a third, I haven't started watching the second season yet and a third season has not been announced. You can visit the IMDb page for V for more information on the series.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beautiful Creatures - review

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1)
by Cami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Rating: 5/5

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Yeah, this was a paranormal type book about a boy and a girl who has seen each other in their dreams, meet each other, instantly fall in love and learn that their relationship is impossible. A book that I usually wouldn't like that much. But I loved Beautiful Creatues! It has so much more than "typical paranormal romances" that made this novel one of a kind. That made it magical. 

The small town Gatlin was a perfect setting for the story, a place that Stohl and Garcia described perfectly. All the residents of the town were crazy about the Civil War, and the plot had a lot of important connections to some incidents that happened during the Civil War. The setting and all the references to the war were perfect for the story and added on to the eerie and mysterious feeling this novel had.

The writing was beautiful and I loved all the poems and song text that were woven into the story. The characters were three dimensional and a lot of them had deep secrets that were revealed throughout the book. And god, all the magic! Wow!

This novel is so dark, eerie and sad. But still so beautiful, magical and amazing! I has hooked from the first page and loved every single one after that.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Catching Up Readathon

Starting tomorrow (Thursday, April 21st) the Catching Up Readathon runs until Monday, April 25th. You can start which time you want, whatever time zone you're in and read just as much as you want. The Redathon is hosted by Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century. The purpose of the readathon is to catch up with your reading goal for the year. (We've all seen the annoying text on the Goodreads reading challenge)

Fortunately, I'm not behind at all. Actually, I'm 8 books ahead. (Or, at least I think I am. There's a few books I've marked on Goodreads that I read this year, but never wrote about in my blog. And I can't remember if I really read them this year or not). But April has been a unusually sucky reading month for me. I've only read 3 books, one of them being a very short novella. I'm currently stuck on the second book in the Vampire Academy series and haven't read a single page in almost a week.

My goal for the readathon is 4 books. I'll update this post with my reading during the readathon.

I hope you participate in the readathon as well!

Books finished:
Frostbite - Richelle Mead

Armchair BEA!

Are you attending BEA? Yes?! Lucky you! As you probably understood from my jealousness, I'm not attending. But today, while stalking people on a site called twitter, I found this thing called Armchair BEA!

From the website:

So, what exactly does being a participant entail? First and foremost, you'll be able to celebrate and participate in an event that happens each year in New York City, Book Expo America, from the comfort of your very own home, hopefully a snugly armchair! Secondly, and we hope equally as important, you'll be able to meet new book bloggers and join together in a celebration of the wonderful community that comes out of book blogging. Lastly, it means participating, however you're able to. This can be by posting, tweeting, discussing, or even by simply reading and commenting on participating blogs. Your level of participation is entirely up to you, but we hope you'll find something to get you involved in this fabulous event!

Just as the real BEA in New York, Armchair BEA will run from Monday, May 23rd through Friday, May 27th.

Some of the activities are:

Daily Theme Posts

Panel Discussions
Interviews with Another Book Blogger
Vlogs Direct from the actual BEA Event in NYC
Giveaways: At the Armchair BEA site & Around the Book Blogging Community
Two Twitter Parties (#armchairBEA & @ArmchairBEA)
And More!

See more info and sign up for the event at the official Armchair BEA website.

I'm really looking forward for this event. You should participate as well!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Time For Reading? - Bookish Thoughts

I have some friends who doesn't read at all. I find it hard to believe that those people doesn't enjoy reading. (Because I don't think there are people who doesn't like books. Books are like movies, everyone likes them, you just have to find the right ones for you.) When I ask them why they don't read, (most of them) say that it's because they don't have enough time to read. I think that's bullshit.

Okay, so maybe you don't want to take several hours of your afternoon and spend it on reading. I understand that. But you can find time for reading without giving up time you would've done something else on. You just have to find those minutes of the day that you're not doing anything.

For example, what do you do when you sit on the bus or the subway on your way to and from school? That's (depending on how long it takes you to get to school) lots of great minutes that can be spent on reading. What are you doing while you're waiting for your friends to arrive at the mall or wherever you've decided to meet? Again, great reading time. What are you doing on boring lessons in school? Probably talking with your friends or something, but if you read, your teacher won't notice that you're not paying attention. What are you doing when you're waiting in the doctor's office? When there's commercial breaks on tv? When you wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep? While you're in the bathroom (you know, why not?). All of those, great reading possibilities.

It's all about finding those little moments in which you're not really doing anything. Carry a book with you all the time and pick it up when you can. Finding ten of those minutes six times a day isn't hard. And if you do it, you read an hour a day! So don't come and say to me that you don't have any time for reading. Because I know you have.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Update - I'm going to Coopenhagen!

Hello everybody!

I'm going to Coopenhagen today and won't be back until Sunday night. The Monday after my arrival our exchange students from Finland are coming to us. I probably won't have any time to blog during that time, and haven't had the time to write posts that would be uploaded while I'm gone. So, unfortunately, you won't hear much from me on this blog until Friday next week.

xoxo, Olivia

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Before I Fall - review

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
Rating: 3.5/5

Author Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

When I started Before I Fall, I was prepared for a emotional roller coaster. I had loaded up with tons of Kleenexes and didn't read on the train or in school so that I wouldn't start sobbing in public. I was waiting for the moment that I would break down. Because all the reviews I read about this book told me to do that. 

But that moment never came.

So, no. For me, Before I Fall wasn't that emotional. Like it had been to most readers. But I'm not complaining, this was a enjoyable read despite the fact that it didn't have me breaking up in tears. It was a good book, good writing, an actually really amazing concept. That was my favorite part about the book. The plot was really carefully planned and developed. I've never heard about a book like this before, in which a person gets to relive a day many times.

I had a little problem with Sam's friends. They were like the stereotypic high school mean girls. Popular, rich, super hot and just really, really mean. Sam, on the other hand, was a character who started out as a bitchy mean girl but developed throughout the book into something more realistic and humane.

Before I Fall was kind of a let down for me. I had too high expectations from tons of five star reviews and was hoping for a deep and thought provoking read. I didn't get that, but still got a nice read about a girl finding herself and trying to make the right decisions to make it up for people she had hurt in her life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Hunger Games cast rant

Okay. So if you're on Twitter you've probably heard the news about Peeta and Gale being cast. Josh Hutcherson gets to play Peeta and Liam Hemswort plays Gale. Just as Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, I don't like this at all. I don't have anything against the actors, but I just don't think they would make good characters in the Hunger Games. My biggest problem is their age. Everyone looks like they're over 20 years old! I want my Katniss, Peeta and Gale being 16-year olds, don't you? And secondly, they don't look like they were described in the books. At all.

Jennifer Lawrence is blonde, pale and old. Katniss is supposed to be dark haired, olive skinned and young. Josh Hutcherson is dark haired. Peeta is blonde. And yes, I know that they can color his hair, but I honestly don't think it would look good on his. Liam Hemswort is probably the one who looks the most as described in the book. But I just don't like him as Gale. It's not the Gale I pictured. No one of them are.

Left: Liam Hemswort (Gale) Right: Josh Hutcherson (Peeta)

See the problem?!

Some people are trying to forget their looks and arguing that they are good actors. They probably are, but there's lots of good actors out there. And many of them look more like the characters. And are younger. Why can't they just choose one of those people?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lies - Review

Lies (Gone #3)
by Michael Grant
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads | Twitter | Author website 

It's been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness—or so they thought.

As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free?

STOP! If you haven't read Lies yet, stop reading this and drag yourself out and read it instead! This review contains spoilers for the book. This is not an ordinary review, this is a timeline of my reactions while I was reading the book, even for the ending. So if you don't turn back, what you're about to read might ruin the book for you and make you really angry at yourself for not taking my warning seriously.

Okay, I hope you've read Lies if you're reading this. I decided to do this timeline thingie because I thought it would be funnier than writing a review that would sound almost like my reviews for Gone and Hunger. You know that I love the writing, the characters, the dialogue, the concept, the plot .. I love everything. And nothing of that have changed. The reactions are my reactions after I read the mentioned chapter.

Chapter 1
Such a powerful beginning! It feels good to be back in these series.

Chapter 6
Finally they've set up a money system and started having businesses and work! I've been waiting on this since I first started Gone.

Chapter 9
Oh God No. Please don't tell me that Sam and Astrid just broke up! This is not good at all ..

Chapter 11
Aargh, stupid Gaiaphage controlling Orsay's dreams! Because that can't be reality, no matter how much I wish it was.

Chapter 18
I hate Zil! And the Human Crew!!!

Chapter 29
This is what I love about the Gone series. They're so fricking fast paced! I love the action!

Chapter 36
Wohoo Astrid, you've written laws! I fricking love you.

Chapter 39
This is fucked up. Everything is really fucked up, I'm telling you.

To quote my tweet: Oh. My. God. I just finished Lies, and my mind is totally blown. These books are epic. I need Plague, like, now.

March 2011

Hello fellow book lovers! For me, March has been a really busy week. I was one week in Finland for an exchange student program, had lots of exams and been pretty tired the whole time. I've been trying to blog and read as much as I can. I've read six books this month and only have about fifty pages left of Lies.

Books I've read this month (6):
If I Stay - Gayle Forman
Där Drömmar Blir Till - Emma Andersson
Parasite Positive - Scott Westerfeld
The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff
Before I Die - Jenny Downham
Beastly - Alex Flinn

Books I've reviewed this month (2):
I know I've been lacking in reviews, which I don't feel good about at all. I've started to write reviews on a few and planned a video review. They're coming soon.
Beastly - Alex Flinn
The Awakening and The Struggle - L.J. Smith

Best book I read this month:
Beastly or Parasite Positive. Both were very short, really good reads that I enjoyed a lot. If I had to choose only one favorite it would be Beastly. It showed me that retellings could be awesome, something that I didn't believe in before.

Currently reading and will read next:
As I said I'm currently reading Lies by Michael Grant. Just as the first two books in the series, I'm loving it! And if I can get my hand on the next book in the Gone series, Plague, before I finish Lies, that's what I'll read next. But I probably won't buy it before that, so for my next read I'm currently undecided between Frostbite and Beautiful Creatures.

Expectations for April:
I have one blog related thing to tell you. The exchange students from Finland are coming to Sweden soon, so that week there won't be any blogging. But I'll try to schedule a few posts before that. Otherwise I'm hoping for a light month with a lot of reading. We're starting with new subjects in almost every class I'm taking, so hopefully there won't be any exams this month!

Have an awesome April!
I hope you didn't fall for any april fools jokes today ;) Nobody has pranked me (yet), but I've seen a few around on book blogs that I haven't fallen for. At least not what I know of.