Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley Review

Lucinda Riley, you have blown me away again. I really had to fight to NOT sit up all night to finish this. So I read it within two days - and this one was 600 pages!

The main reason that I loved this was that it takes place in familiar places for me; Bergen (and Oslo), and even Leipzig. It was really fun to know exactly where the characters were while I was reading.

So, this book is about the second eldest sister; Alcyone, AKA Ally. I realize now that each book does work as a standalone novel, cause it repeats a little of what happened in the first book - Which will happen in the next books, describing each sister's point of view from the same situation; their adoptive father's death.

Ally has just met her soulmate when she learns of Pa Salt's death. What she does afterwards, I'd rather not spoil, but it definitely got me emotional. A little while later she decides to follow her rather weird clues to her identity to Norway.

We read about young Anna Landvik, a farmer girl in Telemark in 1875, who is brought to the capital (then called Christiania) to become a famous singer. She sings the role of Solveig in the very first production of Peer Gynt, with the famous music of Edvarg Grieg. Anna meets the young musician Jens, who is willing to risk everything for his love for music. I really loved the story about Anna.

Ally travels to Norway to discover more about this supposed connection. First to Oslo, then to Bergen, my own city. Amongst others, she meets Thom, great-great-grandson of Anna and Jens. He fills her out more on their story, and we also get to read about Jens Jr., AKA Pip, Anna and Jens' grandson, and his own experience in Leipzig as a musician, before he returns to Norway during the second world war.

After all of this, Ally has gone through so much, and she really is a strong woman who can handle all the shocks she's gotten. She has found her love for music again, which I am really happy about. This book is incredibly beautiful, and is definitely impossible to put down. Despite its size, it's a very light read. I have to admit I might be a little biased because I know a lot of the locations so well, but I know this is a popular series, so I'm sure people who aren't will love it as well.

Link to buy: Paperback Hardback

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley Review

After reading The Love Letter, I had to check out more from Lucinda Riley! I suspected that it wouldn't be just as good, and at first I wasn't sure if I liked this, but by the time I finished it, I had really warmed up to it.

This book is about Maia, the eldest sister, who is on a vacation in London when she gets a call with the news that her adoptive father has died. She and her sisters realize that they didn't really know much about their father, other than that he was rich, was mostly away sailing and brought them all from all the corners of the world. He leaves them clues to where they came from, and Maia decides to explore her past.

The clues Maia's father left her takes her to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We are then told the story of Maia's biological great grandmother in the 1920's, which takes up most of the book. This was a little off-putting to me at first, as I wanted to learn about Maia herself. But I guess her learning about her family makes her learn more about herself - And I felt really sympathetic to the characters involved at the end. It's a pretty tragic and romantic story, but not too much for me who isn't used to reading these type of novels.

So now that I've finished it, I'm definitely wanting to read the next book. I wasn't quite sure at first! But like I said, I really felt for the characters after a while. I definitely want to hear more about Maia, so I hope the next books at least tell us how she is and what she's up to. Assuming from the last chapter, the next book will be about Ally. I'll get started on that tomorrow!

Links to buy:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley Review

Pardon my french, but OH MY FUCKING GOD!
This is the first Lucinda Riley book I've read, I got an advance reader copy in norwegian, and didn't expect much. BOY, if I only knew. Most of the time I just couldn't put this book down, and it took me on the craziest emotional rollercoaster ride ever. I did NOT expect it to be thrilling at all!

How do I even start with explaining the story? Ok, so it's the end of 1995, and a famous actor called Sir James Harrison dies. Before he dies, we get a hint about a letter... The next day, the ravens from the Tower of London are gone. This can't be good.

Journalist Joanna Haslam has to drag herself out of bed despite being sick to cover the funeral of the late actor. She sits next to a frail old lady, who suddenly seems to get an astma attack, and ends up helping her home. Later the woman sends her a package that contains an old love letter, and it indicates that this could be something big - She has to get to the bottom of this.
This puts Joanna in great danger, but she is determined to find out the truth. It seems like she can't trust anyone. Not even the handsome Marcus Harrison, grandson of the deceased film star.

I think that's as far as I can go without spoiling it. It kind of sounds dull the way I described it, but I promise you, this book is PACKED with characters that helps turn the story into something really extraordinary. You will definitely be shocked many times throughout, and be happy, sad, angry and scared for the characters as you get to know them.

This is definitely no dull soggy love story for old ladies, like I initially thought. Lucinda Riley, I'm really impressed! I'm definitely jumping straight to reading the 7 Sisters series right away.

Fun fact about this book: It was launched first in Norway. It's a re-written version of Riley's (then known as Edmonds) 2000-novel Seeing Double, which was so controversial at the time that it ruined her career. She didn't publish another book until 2010, with her now married name Riley. And now she's back in the game! As far as I know the book is only released in a couple of languages so far, but it will be available in english soon. So I highly suggest you go to your favorite bookstore and pre-order it!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Cartes Postales From Greece by Victoria Hislop Review

I read an advance reader copy of the norwegian version, which was really good quality. Shame that all the photos were in black and white, though!

This is one first times I've read a book of this genre, and I really liked it! I'm a little surprised.

Ellie receives tons of postcards from Greece, but they suddenly stop coming. Though they were never meant for her, they still inspire her to take a break from her grey life in London, and run away to Greece to see the wonderful places she's seen and heard about from the postcards.
As she is about to leave, a notebook arrives in the mail - From the same person who sent the postcards.

Most of the book consists of what is written in that notebook. We get to know the man who has sent the postcards, and through his own grecian journey of self discovery, we get to know the people of Greece through stories.

The stories in the book are touching, and a great insight into greek culture.
The book is not confusing at all, the notebook part is shown as if you're reading it, and the stories are regular pages. Ellie isn't mentioned much throughout, but I was happy to see her back at the end, and it all was tied together nicely.

So yes, I really liked this! I don't know if you would call this chick-lit or a romance novel. But maybe if you are unfamiliar with that type of stuff like I am, maybe this could be a stepping stone for you too? I definitely recommend giving this a shot. I'll give Hislop's other books a chance if I come across them!

Click to buy: Paperback Hardback

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I Was On Cemetery Confessions!

When my blog was pretty fresh off the press, I wrote a post about TheBelfry.RIP - Talking about (amongst others) my favorite podcast, Cemetery Confessions. I have been a big fan for almost 2 years now. That's why I'm excited to announce that I'm a guest on the new episode! I was extremely honored to be on the show. Click below to listen, or follow the links underneath!

Did I get them all now? xD

Daydrinking cause nervous.

I have to say it went pretty well! I was pretty nervous, but alcohol helped. And I have to admit that hearing a voice I've been so used to listening to for a good while now actually talking to ME was really weird! But it was lots of fun, as you can tell from the amount of laughing I do. I've already listened to a few days ago, and like it is for most people, listening to your own voice is kind of torture. The Count, I salute you! At first I just wanted to hide, but it did make me laugh! My dad used to tell me that ''the height of foolishness is to laugh at your own foolishness'' - I laugh at myself all the time. But I enjoy it! I think self-irony is very important - Especially as a goth and black metal fan. I am currently wearing fluffy kitty socks, that's an example of how cool I am.

Anyway, I should leave you to listen to the podcast in peace. If you like the show, please subscribe wherever you prefer listening, and consider supporting them on Patreon!
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