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Hello everyone!! Two posts in one day, must be a record for me. But another month is over, and the year is back in full swing. With that also comes school and other commitments, so I’ve had very little time to fit in some reading time. For the first half of February, I was very slack, and it took me forever to read The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. So, that’s going to bring down the book count for the month. Other than that, I read a bit, did more than a bit of school work, and of course, started up my Book Goddess Instagram account.

  • The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson
  • A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’engle
  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  • Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

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Now, compared to January, this haul will look like nothing, but we can’t keep our expectations too high. I think, if I remember correctly we bought only two books. I was so close to also getting Caravel, but was dissuaded finally, only because I already have too many books to read at home.

  • Crooked Kingdom
  • Norse Mythology

I also have started the collection of pop-vinyl figures that I’ve wanted for a while now. In total, we bought:

  • Queenie Goldstein – Fantastic Beasts
  • Lumiere – Beauty and the Beast
  • Ming – Flash Gordon
  • Hermione Granger – Harry Potter
  • 4th Doctor – Doctor Who
  • Weeping Angel – Doctor Who
  • Newt Scamander Keyring – Fantastic Beasts
  • Dementor Keyring – Harry Potter

I’m pretty sure we’ll slow down on the collection next month, because they cost a lot of money!! But they are pretty awesome, and I love the ones I now have.


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Not too many new releases in February – at least the ones that I know of and am excited for. King’s Cage is the 3rd instalment of the Red Queen series, and while I haven’t read it, I’ve heard good things about it. Then there was also To Catch a Killer which sounds pretty nice and exciting too. I’ve got a huge list of things to read already, but these ones might find their way to the top eventually.

  • King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) – Victoria Aveyard
  • To Catch a Killer – Sheryl Scarborough

 So, not much on the Book Goddess news this month. Next month, I’ll promise to at least try to read more. The Six of Crows Duology has taken over my mind, and gotten me right back into reading so there is hope. But no promises, Year 11 is a big work load… Keep your eyes out for more posts, the Crooked Kingdom review will come soon. In any case, keep reading bookworms!!

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Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugosix-of-crows

Pages: 465

Genre: young adult, adventure, fantasy,

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.


Thoughts: I’ve wanted to read this book for so long, but when I finally got around to opening it to the first page, I did get a little afraid. There are so many good reviews and recommendations around this duology that I started to get swept up in its awesomeness before I’d even read it. And when I did start reading it, I finally started to wonder if it was that great… But I needn’t have worried!! It was amazing! I loved every second of it.

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”

Brekker’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”

“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

So, I haven’t read a young adult fantasy series in a while, at least not an amazing one. I’ve been trying to read different types of genres, and have read a few contemporary types recently. But this duology has hooked me right back in again. As I said before – so good, and so addictive!!! I think I’d forgotten how well a story can hook me in, and force me to read it every second of every day, which is basically what I did. Forget about study and exams –pffft, let’s figure out how Kaz Brekker pulled off his impossible heist.

From just about the first page, I was in love with the characters, and this was one of the few books where I didn’t mind the multiple points of view. I found every single character was exciting and interesting, and couldn’t wait for the next chapter of theirs once it was over. Leigh Bardugo described each of them so well, and gave them each a little unique metaphorical trait, and so she could introduce them without even having to say their name. The world she created was just so real that I almost felt as if I went on the adventure with them. And it’s been a while since that’s happened to me, so I’m more than a little obsessed right now.

“Always hit where the mark isn’t looking”

“Who’s Mark?” asked Wylan.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

Then there’s the humour – buckets of it streaming from the pages. While most of the book had quite a scary, serious outlook (remember they are planning and initiating an impossible heist), the easy-going banter and chat from each of the characters was hilarious. I laughed and snorted at the ridiculous, or sarcastic jokes they made about each other, and with each other. Even now, scenes are replaying in my head, and I can remember most of what all of them say. It’s definitely as if I travelled with them, because it’s like I know them all personally.

“No Mourners.
No Funerals.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

One thing I did note while reading was how the author backfilled in for the characters when we weren’t expecting it, and transitioned between the now and the past so smoothly that a lot of the time it wasn’t until I was right in the middle that I noticed. We are left quite in the dark at the beginning of the book, and it’s written so we can understand what’s happening, but are still curious why certain things are happening. For example, the group’s leader, Kaz Brekker, always wears gloves, and never takes them off until he is alone. This was one of the many mysteries that were revealed as the book went on, in the backfilling. Leigh Bardugo has found parts in her story, and matched up parallels of a point in that character’s past, and then has made the connection there, meaning it flows smoothly. And after a while, I began to realise she did this almost every chapter. And by the end of the book, we knew a whole lot more about each of the crew, sometimes without even remembering that we’d learnt it.

To finish, I’m just going to say that if you want to find yourself a good, fast-paced read, then this is most definitely the series for you. I feel sorry for the people who read Six of Crows before Crooked Kingdom was released, because I needed that next book when I finished. After finishing Crooked Kingdom as well now, while it resolved and everything, I find myself wishing for another one, just so I can hear from the characters again. *Sigh* Oh well, I’ll just have to find another book. Shouldn’t be too hard…

Rating: star_rating_4-5_of_5

Follow Me!!

Hey everyone, how are you all?? First part of the week is over, lets look forward to the weekend!! 🙂 So, around two weeks ago now, I started up an Instagram account for The Book Goddess, and yesterday I realised that I haven’t really told anyone. So, here we are, I’m making it known, if you’d like to follow me on my new account, the name is below.

I usually post every day, and its basically pictures of what’s been happening that day. I take them all myself, and have been having a lot of fun playing around with different props, set-ups, and filters. I’ve already got 32 followers, and hopefully this will go up soon!! When I post on my site, I’ll link to it on Instagram, and I also usually link on Facebook as well. I really hope more people will be able to see what I’m doing and reading, and anything else bookish, so I’m just trying to open up different methods of publicity.

Really appreciate when people like and comment on posts and reviews, and of course when I get a follow. So don’t forget:

Instagram: @the.book.goddesss

Facebook: The Book Goddess (username: @the.book.goddesss)

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1)

Author: Madeleine L’EngleA Wrinkle in Time

Pages: 211

Genre: fiction, sci-fi, children, classic, fantasy, young adult

It was a dark and stormy night;

Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. 

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?


Thoughts: Ever since I read this book years and years ago, I remembered it as one of my favourites, until the other day, when I realised that I couldn’t actually remember why I loved it. I’d forgotten everything about it, except that I had enjoyed reading it. So, after I finished my last book, I straight away picked this one up, and finished it overnight. And, it is just as good as I remember. The strange storyline, and the peculiar, though lovable characters soon all came back to me, and I can still say that A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favourite classic books.

“It was a dark and stormy night.”
― Madeleine L’EngleA Wrinkle in Time

I actually love the fact that the first line is the often mocked, “It was a dark and stormy night” phrase. This was not the first novel to use the line, that award goes to Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 book, Paul Clifford. But, it does not diminish the quality of book at all. In any case, I’d say it enhances it, because as you read that first line, and then the first page, and amazing writing really hits you with impact. The first paragraph features such wonderful descriptions, that I had to read it out loud a couple of times, to myself and members of my family. It’s just amazing.  And then the story starts.

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. – Mrs. Whatsit”
― Madeleine L’EngleA Wrinkle in Time

The plot is a very well thought out plot, and you would have to really know what you’re talking about to be able to write it. It’s not a usual fantasy novel, that if you’re creative enough, you can write; it involves quite a bit of science, and of course travelling in time (that is what creates a sci-fi novel), and it’s all mixed together marvellously to create an interesting plot. You would have no idea how it would resolve after reading the first half of the story. It keeps you hidden in the dark all the way through, until the end, which I think is a part of being a well-written novel. If it’s too predictable, then what’s the point in reading it?

“A straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.”
― Madeleine L’EngleA Wrinkle in Time: With Related Readings

I also absolutely adore the characters in A Wrinkle in Time. First off, it features a female lead, which I always enjoy. And it’s not as though Meg (the lead) didn’t have faults; she had quite a few, but there was soooooo much development for her, and this strengthens her even more. I also loved Charles Wallace, Meg’s younger brother, and the voice and input he gave the story. And then who couldn’t love the three Mrs W’s. Mrs Whatsit, the loveable and kind, brings these values to the book. Mrs Who, who was a little stranger, I also liked. She speaks mainly in quotes, which I grew to like from her, and then there was the even stranger Mrs Which. She is the more philosophical guardian of Meg and her brother. I feel like all the characters involved all had a purpose in the book. They weren’t just for show, or were meaningless. They were all there for a reason, so there was no rambling on about things we didn’t need to know. This also means that I loved all of them, because there isn’t too many of them.

“Have you ever tried to get to your feet with a sprained dignity?”
― Madeleine L’EngleA Wrinkle in Time

In general, I think everyone should have the chance to read A Wrinkle in Time. It’s written well, it has amazing descriptions, is fast-paced if you don’t like slow books, and it has a lovely feel to it. It is written so children can read it, so older people could find it a little young, or not for them, but I loved it. It’s also only the first book in the Time Quintet, which I did not realise until about three days ago, so I must get around to reading the other four. I don’t think you need to though, as it does finish alright. There is a bit of a cliff-hanger, but I think the complication of this book is resolved nicely.

Rating: 5-start

The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden

Author: Jonas Jonassonthe-girl-who-saved-the-king-of-sweded

Pages: 419

Genre: fiction, humour, comedy, contemporary

Just because the world ignores you doesn’t mean you can’t save it.

Nombeko Mayeki is on the run from the world’s most ruthless secret service – with three Chinese sisters, twins who are officially one person, and an elderly potato farmer. Oh, and the fate of the King of Sweden – and the world – rests on her shoulders.

Born in a Soweto shack in 1961, Nombeko was destined for a short, hard life. When she was run over by a drunken engineer her luck changed. Alive, but blamed for the accident, she is sent to work for the driver – the brandy-soaked head of a project vital to South Africa’s security. Nombeko may be good at cleaning, but she’s amazing with numbers. The drunken engineer isn’t – and has made a big mistake. And only Nombeko knows about it…

http://www.harpercollins.com.au/9780007557882/#sm.0009iwzhk17asdgsu9110f8ys9fap


Thoughts: I finally finished it, after about 2 weeks on the one book, which is pretty terrible for me. So here we are, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

“Life, here I come!’ he said. And was immediately and fatally run over by a bus.”
― Jonas JonassonThe Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

I found this book hilariously funny, and would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a laugh. Right from the get-go I loved the main character – who later becomes the girl who saves the King of Sweden. But you have to read the whole book to find out how she gets into that situation. Throughout the entire thing, tension built up, as disaster after disaster happened.

“If you don’t think you have enough problems, you should acquire a mammal in Sweden just hours before you’re about to fly home to the other side of the world, and then insist that the animal must come along in your luggage.”
― Jonas JonassonThe Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

I’m likening the sort of story to a Douglas Adams book, because of each of the weird and strange coincidences that seemed to keep happening. I actually couldn’t finish The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because it was just too confusing and I didn’t get it, so this one wasn’t to as much of an extent. But still, there were more than a few moments when it seemed nothing else could go wrong, and then another character they met 100 pages before, suddenly pops up and tries to take control. It was like, “Ohhhhhh, I forgot about you…”

The novel itself was written well, if a little confusing in parts. The one piece of advice is to take note of character’s names, and where they feature in the story, because sometimes you won’t understand the jokes made later in the book. I absolutely loved the humour of it all, which is probably why I loved it so much.

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. – An unknown thinker ” ― Jonas JonassonThe Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

It was a little slow to begin with, to a minor extent, but it very quickly warmed up. But then, by the second half, I did find that it was starting to drag on a bit. There were things happening every chapter, but I couldn’t read more than 3 at a time, because nothing big happened, no cliff-hanger, that made me want to read on. What also added to this was that there was no climax. Yes, there was a point in the story that was more important than the rest of it, but the tension just didn’t get any higher than the rest of the book. It was like as if the author tried to cram too many different parts into the book, and tried to connect characters in some way, too many times, that when the big ending came, it actually wasn’t a big ending.

In saying that, I loved the variety of different characters that existed in the story. There’s a South African woman, two Swedish twins, three Chinese sisters, two Israeli agents, then the president of China, and of course, the King of Sweden. I enjoyed all the crazy coincidences that continued throughout the entire story, and how unpredictable they were.

“Books simply had something sympathetic, their mere existence was pleasing.” ― Jonas JonassonThe Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Now, I know that I’ve said that it’s slow, and seems to drag on, but I still liked it. I would recommend it to people, not for an easy read, but for a funny, humorous one. If you’ve had enough of the tear-jerkers… And I say not an easy read, because you do have to concentrate on it, as it all gets very confusing near the end if you don’t remember some of the characters. Just a tip…

Rating: star_rating_4_of_5

New Philip Pullman Series!!!!

One of my clearest memories of reading in Primary School, is me being the first person to go and sit down in the middle of the floor, pull out my three-in-one, otherwise known as massive, His Dark Materials book, and start reading. It was so big that I didn’t have to hold the pages down at all, they sort of just fell. I loved Lyra Belacqua, and each of the character’s respective daemons. My favourite story from His Dark Materials was The Subtle Knife, which is actually when I learnt what the word ‘subtle’ meant – as well as how to say it…

So, when I get a message with a link about Philip Pullman, and a new series, naturally I got excited, and had to read it straight away. And it’s goooooood… An entire new epic fantasy trilogy, by the name of The Book of Dust. First book is released on 19 October, and I’m very glad he’s continuing the story with Lyra, because I liked her. Pretty sure I’ll have to re-read his other trilogy though, because to be honest, I don’t remember much at all.

All I know is this: titles are unknown as of yet, and the plot is a heavily guarded secret. Apparently, Pullman has already finished the first two novels, and is working hard on the third, but we don’t get to read it until October. 😦 Lyra returns to the series, first as a baby, and then again when she’s older, at 20 years old. The series also revolves around Dust, which fans of the original trilogy will know all about.

For more information, go to this link, which is where I found out all information myself:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/15/philip-pullman-unveils-epic-fantasy-trilogy-the-book-of-dust

 

 

 

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

elegance of a hedgehog.jpgAuthor: Muriel Barbery (Translated into English by Alison Anderson)

Pages: 325

Genre: Realism, fiction, contemporary, french

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building’s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.

Then there’s Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.

Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma’s trust and to see through Renée’s timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2967752-the-elegance-of-the-hedgehog


Thoughts: I’m pretty sure that was one of the only blurbs that almost exactly describes this book as it is. And I’m just going to start by saying, if you are put off by it, and think that it sounds a little too philosophical to your liking, then you are correct. It is very wordy, and complex, but that’s sort of why I liked it.

First off we are introduced to Renée Michel, who turns out to be lovely, if a bit on the shy side, 54 year old concierge. She is more than she seems, and is very good at hiding all her emotions behind the stereotypical, old, concierge mask that she’s had years of mastering.

“Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain beauty.”
― Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog

Our other main character is Paloma Josse, a 12-year old, super-intelligent girl, who hides her intelligence to fit in. She lives on the 5th floor of the apartment Renée is the concierge of, and thinks the rest of her family are snobs. Paloma, on her thirteenth birthday, unless she can find something worth living for, beyond the “vacuousness of bourgeois existence” is going to set fire to the apartment, and in the process, commit suicide.

“We think we can make honey without sharing in the fate of bees, but we are in truth nothing but poor bees, destined to accomplish our task and then die.”
― Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog

Now, it sounds a bit morbid, but right from the start, you get the typical French novel feel, with all of its little quirky aspects. The version I read was translated into English, from French, so there were a couple of things that seemed a little confusing, as you get when reading translated copies. But the language used in almost every sentence, was amazing. It reminded me of the way Markus Zusak writes, in both The Book Thief, and The Messenger, almost like every sentence has a double meaning. Literally every sentence seemed like it had taken a week to be crafted into a beautiful quote, and while this did get a bit tiring after a while, it absolutely matched the feel of the rest of the story.

Just as teardrops, when they are large and round and compassionate, can leave a long strand washed clean of discord, the summer rain as it washes away the motionless dust can bring to a person’s soul something like endless breathing.”
― Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog

My favourite part of the book is when the third main character is introduced, which isn’t until about a third of the way through. Up until then, it was actually a bit hard to read the book in large chunks because nothing was really happening. We were gaining insights into the background of Renée and Paloma, and it wasn’t too exciting. The arrival of Kakuro Ozu really set the motion going. Ozu is a wealthy Japanese businessman, who moves into 7 Rue de Grenelle, the apartment both Paloma and Renée live in. He is the only person to connect with Paloma, and see through Renée’s clever mask, and in this way brings all three characters together.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog also discusses some really major themes and messages. For starters there’s the philosophy mentioned pretty regularly, and then all the other cultural aspects that both Renée and Paloma share an interest in. The author, Muriel Barbery, crafted and added these characters because they like, enjoy and represent the things that she liked and enjoyed. She expressed herself in this book, through her characters. The novel also mentions and involves social class, especially between the rich families that live in the apartment, and the not-so privileged concierge, Madame Michel (Renée). This also appears again regarding Manuela, who is a Portuguese cleaner. She is also Renée’s only real friend for a lot of the book.

“Madame Michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside she is covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary–and terrible elegant. ”
― Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog

So, as you can see, even if it isn’t the typical intro-climax-resolution style book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog still incorporates important issues and themes which I think is what makes the story special. It could be about a normal French concierge, and how her life revolves around all the rich families who live above her in the apartment, but there’s nothing special about that. Nothing that makes me want to read it.

I’m not going to comment on the ending, only going to warn you that it is a sad book, but at the same time beautiful (isn’t it always the way?). The addition of Ozu makes everything better in the story, and makes it more enjoyable to read. I think, because of the language used, it feels like a very powerful book, right up until the last page.

“For the first time in my life I understood the meaning of the word ‘never’. And it’s really awful. You say the word a hundred times a day but you don’t really know what you’re saying until you’re faced with a real ‘never again’.”
― Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog

Why you should read it: Because it is a fantastically well written story, that features great themes. If you like literature, philosophy, or anything French, then I reckon you’ll like this book. I think it fits perfectly into the same category of the movie Amelié for whoever has seen that.

Rating: star_rating_4-5_of_5