Sunday, June 11, 2017

After the Fall by Kate Hart (Review)

Release date: January 24th, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Pages: 336

Description (from Goodreads):

A YA debut about a teen girl who wrestles with rumors, reputation, and her relationships with two brothers.

Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn't want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.

After the Fall has been on my radar for what feels like forever, which made it one of my most expected 2017 releases. The synopsis instantly caught my attention when I first read it, because it kind of reminded of something I have read before, for example by Courtney Summers.

Raychel is seventeen and living in a college town she cannot wait to leave behind her. She lives with her mother, is no stranger to financial problems, and feels like her plans for the future are increasingly becoming just a distant dream than something that could actually happen to her. 

There are two guys on Raychel's life -- her best friend Matt and his brother Andrew. While Matt seems like the "obvious" choice for her, she navigates towards Andrew. Matt is safe and more than eager to protect her, but maybe that is not what she is really looking for. 

In addition to Matt and Andrew, there is a classmate who sexually assaults Raychel, which understandably complicates her relationships with men. Who can she trust? Does she need someone to save her, or can she save herself? Does she need to be saved in the first place? 

After the Fall is written in dual narration format and switches between the points of view of Raychel and Matt. I really liked Raychel as a narrator but found myself annoyed by a large portion of Matt's parts, but I think that was something Hart tried to do in the first place. At first, Matt is introduced as this "ideal" guy, but the more we hear of his thoughts, it becomes clear that he is one of those guys who thinks that being "good" excuses him from the shit he says. 

Andrew is much less responsible in comparison to Matt, but not trying too hard to be "good" actually makes him so much more likable, and it is clear to see why Raychel finds herself wanting to get closer to him.

In addition to being dually narrated, the novel is also divided into two parts, with the first part being much stronger. 

After the Fall deals with feminism and rape culture, both important topics and ones everyone should be aware of. As Raychel gets assaulted by a classmate, questions of what actually constitutes sexual assault, what consent means, etc. are ones Raychel tries to find an answer to, and in connection the assault the novel quite brilliantly brings up the things schools should teach students about sexual assault -- maybe rather than paying attention to what girls wear, educators should focus on telling about, for example, consent. 

After the Fall is definitely not a happy, breezy, easy to read young adult contemporary novel. The struggle Raychel goes through broke my heart, and the parts focused on her assault and its aftermath made me hate this world and the way it treats its young girls/women. 

I desperately wanted to give this novel four stars, but unfortunately,  I found myself losing interest towards the end of the second part. The first part is written exceptionally well, and the second part just cannot follow that. If the synopsis catches your attention, I definitely recommend you give this a try, though -- just be prepared to be annoyed with Matt. 


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Girl Out Of Water by Laura Silverman (Review)

Release date: May 2nd, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

(Review copy from NetGalley)

Description (from Goodreads):

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves.

This book caught my attention when the author Laura Silverman was being bombarded with absolutely hateful comments on Twitter. I love vocal people who are not afraid to express their opinions, so I instantly added this to my TBR. When I noticed it was auto approved for it on NetGalley, I didn't hesitate and instantly downloaded to my iPad.

Anise Sawyer loves her life on the beach. School is over for the year and her plans for the summer include surfing as much as possible and spending time with a group of friends she has been close with since she can remember. 

All of a sudden, her plans for the summer come crashing down when her father tells her that they are set to fly to Nebraska on the next day. Very quickly, summer of surfing and bonfires on the beach turns into summer of babysitting for her aunt's children in the soaring heat of a Nebraska summer.

I absolutely loved Anise as a character, mostly because she felt so real to me. While reading about Anise, I felt like I was reading about a real teenager, about someone who is intelligent and kind, but also occasionally selfish and a bit melodramatic. She is flawed, but hey, aren't we all. 

The relationship she has with her father was one of my favorite things about this novel. My father passed away when I was 12 years old, so the teenage me never had a relationship with my father, and I think that is one of the reasons I love reading about loving and caring father-daughter relationships.

The relationship Anise has with her mother is also a big part of the novel and I loved how Silverman was able to make the mother's presence tangible even touch she isn't really there for Anise in a way her father is. 

Anise's familiar relationships are also focused on via her connection with her young cousins and it is in these interactions between Anise and the kids she has been told to take care of that Silverman's prose gets to really shine. I loved how in many ways Girl Out of Water is all about different kind of families and proves that not all families look the same. It also shows that while family life might not always be perfect, being surrounded by people you love makes it worth it.

Related to the question of the family is the concept of home. For Anise, Santa Cruz has always been home. Her house on the beach, her garage filled with surfing equipment, the hangouts she spends time at with her friends. Santa Cruz, in many ways, is who she really is and she has never felt a need to leave. When the trip to Nebraska forces her out of her comfort zone, Anise starts to think about what home really means to her and how to come to terms with the fact that life in Santa Cruz is going to keep going even when she is not there. 

If you are a fan of contemporary romance, you won't be disappointed with Girl Out of Water. There's a guy she leaves behind -- someone she has known for a long time, someone who pretty much defines home for her -- as well as someone completely new and surprising, someone who makes her question a lot of things and someone who challenges her in a way she not been challenged in before. Fear not, there is no love triangle here, though

I love romance and I think Silverman writes the romantic scenes very well. But I think as a whole, this novel is about much more than the possible new romantic interest that Anise meets during the summer. As mentioned, it is about family, about home, and perhaps most importantly, about a young girl making new discoveries about her life once she is removed from the setting she has always thought to be the only place in the world 100% made for her. 

Silverman writes exceptionally well and as a whole, Girl Out of Water was an incredibly pleasant reading experience for me. I also want to give Silverman two thumbs up for the way she writes about disability.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Double Review: Beauty and the Beast Novelization by Elizabeth Rudnick & Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Release date: January 31st, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Website
Publisher: Disney Press
Pages: 275

Description (from Goodreads):

Belle has dreamt of adventures like the ones she reads in her books, of traveling the world outside her small town. When Belle's father is captured, she takes his place as a prisoner of a fearsome Beast. But life in the enchanted castle isn't as terrible as Belle imagines, and she ultimately finds friendship and love. Enjoy this tale as old as time about adventure and love, about looking past first appearances, and about the inner Beauty and Beast in all of us in this beautiful novelization of the upcoming star-studded film!

Release date: January 31st, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Disney Press
Pages: 352

Description (from Goodreads):

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.
This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios' film, Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies, so obviously I have been eagerly waiting for the premiere of the new movie. It hit theaters a few weeks ago, but, unfortunately, I haven't had time to see it yet (thesis has been keeping me busy!), but I did have time to read these two Disney releases released as sort of promotion material for the movie.

Elizabeth Rudnick's book is a straight-up novelization of the movie script. I guess one could question why I decided to read it before seeing the movie, but honestly, can you really be spoiled for this movie this the story is so well-known? I don't think so. There are a few things here that are not in the animation, but I imagine they are things that have made it into the new movie.

Obviously something that is missing from the novelization are the songs, but I think including the lyrics to the different musical pieces would have interrupted the flow of the story. This novelization is nothing mindblowing, but I did enjoy reading more about these characters, and the final few chapters managed to make me very emotional! 

Also, after reading this I really cannot wait to see the movie!

The book by Jennifer Donnelly is an original addition to the story of Belle and the Beast and its events take place after the Beast introduces the library to Belle. Lonely and missing home, Belle finds a book called Nevermore and finds herself transported into a kind of world she has only been dreaming about. But as she becomes more familiar with this new fantasy world, she realizes that life at the castle might not be as bad as she imagined it to be. 

I have not read anything by Jennifer Donnelly before, but I know she is quite well known for her historical YA novels. While I wasn't super into this story in general, I did think Donnelly writes well and I definitely would not mind giving one of her earlier novels a change. I think Donnelly excels in giving a voice to characters that are not her own, which makes me excited about the prospect of reading about characters that she has actually created herself. 

If you are a Beauty and the Beast fan, I think these novels could be a beautiful addition to your collection, and as a Beauty and the Beast fan I definitely enjoyed my time with them. Both are quick to read, and whether you are looking to extending the story of Belle and Beast or living through it again in a different format, your wishes will be sorted with these two. 

Rating (for both books):

Friday, April 7, 2017

Shelter by Jung Yun (Review)

Release date: March 15th, 2016
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Picador

Description (from Goodreads):

Why should a man care for his parents when they failed to take care of him as a child?

Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future.

A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantage—private tutors, expensive hobbies—but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he’s compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung’s proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child?

As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one's family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.

While Shelter, Jung Yun's debut novel, is not the kind of book I would usually pick up, seeing it mentioned on multiple "best of 2016 reads" list both on the blogsphere and BookTube made me excited about the concept of reading it when a spotted a copy at my local library. 

Much like Yun herself, the main character of Shelter - Kyung - moved from South Korea to North America when he was a child. While the novel focuses mostly on Kyung as an adult, little glimpses of his childhood are provided to the reader, which makes it easier to understand the feelings he has towards his parents. 
"Thirty-six years old, and he's still behaving like a child, trying so hard to please someone whose standards have always been too high."
Shelter is an interesting blend of a mystery story and a family drama. It is also a story about cultural differences and expectations, and about the things we learn from our parents -- often things we might want to forget about, but just can't find a way to do so. The mystery aspect of the story, the process of figuring out what exactly happened to Kyung's parents, is well paced and executed in a way that made me want to keep turning the pages. 

One of the most interesting aspects that I found myself thinking about while reading this novel is how the characters are described and how Yun writes about the things they think about and the things they do. I found almost all of the principal characters of the novel extremely unlikable. Yet, they are written about in a way that makes them seem so damn real that it was difficult for me not to feel something for them. 
"It's hard to be happy when you don't know what it's supposed to look like."
The idea of whether it is possible for us to really ever escape our roots is brought up on Shelter mainly through the relationships Kyung has with his parents. The influence of the Korean culture mixed up with the kind of upbringing he has had within the American society has created certain kind of expectations he has always felt like he hasn't been able to fulfill. Thus, he has always felt like he hasn't been respected by his parents. As his distant relationship between his parents forcibly becomes closer, Kyung is made to question both his upbringing and his current state in life.
"You know what it's like spending your entire life trying to make up for something you can't take back?"
The novel also interestingly touches upon ideas about living behind a facade, whether that is by pretending to have the kind of life you are expected to have, or by living in a way that you cannot really afford in reality. I feel like during this day and age especially the financial aspects introduced in the novel are something a lot of people can relate with, and I find the way Yun discusses such problems well executed.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Shelter and will definitely be looking forward to checking out what Jung Yun writes next.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

Release date: March 7, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 224

Description (from Goodreads):

Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.

In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

Wow, what a story! Sometimes reality really can be stranger than fiction.

Have you ever dreamed of just leaving everything behind, of disappearing? I imagine we all have feelings like that sometimes, but the urge to do so is balanced by other things. For example,  I could never imagine leaving my family behind. And to be completely honest, I don't think I could live without a computer for long. And since I burn in the sun very easily and hate mosquitoes, outdoor living probably would not make me very happy in the long run.  

I had never heard about Christopher Knight before, which is kind of surprising since it seems like his name dominated at least the US headlines for a while after his arrest. When I first heard about this book, I instantly became interested and tried to resist the urge of doing research on him because I felt like as a reader, the best thing for me would be going into this book without reading too much about its subject matter beforehand. Please note, though, that I still recommend you read this book even if you feel like you already know there is everything to know about this guy.

In late 1980s, Christopher Knight, 20 years old at the time, left his job and home in Maine and took to the woods without telling his family or friends were he was going. His family didn't hear of his for the next 27 years. Throughout the years, he became a sort of urban legend, a hermit living in the woods and a menace of the local cabin owners who constantly found that their properties have been robbed. Knight rarely stole anything of large value, but the fact that people were not able to protect their properties from a thief obviously caused anxiety. 

I had not read anything by Michael Finkel before picking this one up, but I definitely want to check out his previous work now. The way he writes about Knight is done brilliantly, in my opinion, and the way he is able to not only introduce Knight's ideas about what happened, but also of those someway influenced by Knight's actions is done gracefully and in a way that really made me think. 

Why did Knight leave everything he had behind and decide to live in the woods? What kind of punishment is fit to a man who committed over 1,000 burglaries to survive? What does Knight's decisions tell about the society and about the nature of solitude? 

Finkel paints Knight as a complicated figure. On the one hand, he is extremely intelligent and crafty, and a kind of smart that might seem indimidating; he is philosophical and probably possesses thoughts only those who have lived in solitude can possess. He also seems somewhat pure, because like he says, the opinions of others have not really affected his life since he went to the woods; he has not have had to pretend to be someone else, to play a role. He has been able to completely and fully himself. On the other hand, he seems extremely arrogant and inconsiderate, traits that probably connect to the fact that he has not interacted with other people for almost three decades. 

His actions are also complicated. The decision to leave everything behind and to willingly live in the woods of Maine is something probably not a lot of people can understand. And as we know, something that we don't understand often tends to scare us. I definitely would be intimidated around a person like Knight. I found the fact that his family did not report him missing very strange, but believe that really the only people he hurt by leaving were his family members. Obviously, others became hurt too in different ways as they became victims of robberies.

I appreciated the fact that Finkel does not attempt to represent Knight either as some sort of hermit hero or as a criminal. Rather, by using statements by Knight himself, he paints a picture of a man of multitudes. Knight was never violent and only attempted to burglarize homes that were empty. He did not steal anything of value and only stole money in very small amounts. But nevertheless, he did walk into the homes of other people and thus created feelings of unease and paranoia. Understandbly, opinions about the ways in which Knights should be punished varied, and my thoughts about it changed constantly. On one hand, I felt sympathy for Knight, one the other I had a hard time understanding his decisions. 

While I think Knight's story in itself is extremely interesting, I think the process I personally went through while making my decision about what to think about Knight was the aspect I enjoyed most as I read this book. Finkel clearly shows respect for Knight, and maybe even a degree of admiration, but never tells the reader of what to think. As mentioned, by offering multiple points of view to the situation, Finkel makes sure that the reader has the choice to make her own judgments. While in the law robbery includes "bad", when it comes to Knight I think the situation is not as black and white.

All in all, The Stranger in the Woods was an extremely interesting, thought provoking read and one that I will definitely recommend to everyone. Even if you are not usually a fan of non-fiction, I think the way this one has been written might catch your interest. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Geekerella by Ashley Poston (Review)

Release date: April 4th, 2017
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 320

Description (from Goodreads):

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

I can already say Geekerella by Ashley Poston is going to be among my top 5 books of 2017! It made me laugh, it made me cry, and most importantly, it reminded me why I love being a fangirl so damn much.

For me, and I imagine for a lot of readers out there, Geekerella will read like 320-page long love letter to fandom. It is a story about two fans, and more generally about being a fan and what fandom can bring to your life. It is incredibly romantic and relatable, it has a diverse set of characters and a lot of heart, and I think all and all, it is everything (and much more) I could ever want from a contemporary young adult novel.

Elle is the "Cinderella" of this story. Her father died when she was younger, and she is now living with her stepmother and two stepsisters. This family she has been forced to become a part of has not made her life easy, but she knows that things could be much worse -- at least she has her anonymous friends on the Starfleet forums.

The television show and the fandom at the heart of Geekerella is called Starfleet. It's a sort of Firefly-esque science fiction drama Elle was introduced to by her father, and I think the memory of watching the show with him makes it even more important for her. Starfleet was their "thing", and now that he is gone she feels responsible for keeping said "thing" alive. 

Darien has been a Starfleet fan too for years, and when the opportunity to star in a reboot movie of the show shows up, Darien is not quite sure how to react. Sure, he is really excited, but at the same time he wonders whether he can ever do justice to the fictional world and characters loved by so many. 

When Elle hears about the casting of Darien she feels furious. How can a teenage heartthrob like that be selected to such an iconic role? Sure, he is nice to look at, but that is not enough. To voice her concerns, Elle writes about the casting to her blog, thinking no one will read it anyway. Little does she know that among her numerous readers is Darien, the new star of Starfleet.

As a result of her blog post, Darien and Elle start to exchange messages. Elle, of course, has no idea who she is messaging with. I absolutely loved the messages they send for each other (it kind of reminded me of You've Got Mail, since for half of that Tom Hanks knows he is messaging with Meg Ryan) and it is an absolutely joy to read how they gradually get to know each other just through the messages they send. since this is obviously a Cinderella retelling of sorts, you kind of know what is going to happen towards the end, but that does not really matter since Poston makes the process of reaching that end so much fun to read about.

I found it extremely easy to relate to Elle and simply loved reading about her. Especially the way she gets comfort from fandom is something I find myself feeling every single day. Darien seems like such a good guy, and I would honestly pay big money to read more about him and Elle.

While the story of Elle and Darien is to die for, I want to go back to discussions about fandom, because those discussions are really the aspect that made me fall in love with this novel. The convention scenes, the discussions about the role of fandom in people's lives, and the realization that something fictional can teach you about real life are all resonated with me so much. 

I am a fan of a lot of things, and sometimes people ask me why I take something fictional so seriously. The realization Elle reaches -- that these fictional stories have taught her about love, science, etc -- is something I have realized too. And while the stories and characters are fictional, they can sometimes feel more real than the people around us.

If you are a fan of anything I think you are going to love this one! 

Geekerella is one of those books I would want to wipe from my memory JUST so I could read it again for the first time!


Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Little Update: Where I Have Been & What's To Come Next

Long time no see! I hope you are all doing great. Spring is slowly coming to Finland and I think it's time for me to update you a little bit about what has been going on and why this blog has been fairly inactive for the last few months.

So, as mentioned, maybe some of you have noticed that my blog has been fairly inactive for the first few months of this year. I love this blog and writing for it, but sometimes life just happens and there is not enough time for everything. While I hate the fact that I have neglected to update this blog, my reason for it is pretty good (at least I think it is)...

I am doing my final semester of my postgraduate education and soon I can add "Master of Arts" to my resume. My course load has been super light this semester, as it has mostly been dedicated to actually finishing up with my MA thesis, but the only course that I have had to take has been the most challenging course of my almost six years of higher education.

So what course is that you might ask? MY SWEDISH COURSE. Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, which means that in order for me to graduate I need to have at least some sort of knowledge of Swedish. Usually, people study Swedish in both middle school and high school, but since I went to an international high school, I was able to avoid taking compulsory Swedish. So it has taken me a lot of work to catch up with everything I missed in high school. 

The good thing is that the course is now over! I already passed the oral portion of the exam (the part that I was more nervous about!) and the written exam will take place next Thursday. I am feeling fairly okay about it at the moment. Usually. I always shoot for the highest grade, but with this one, I am honestly just happy as long as I pass. Anyway, you are graded either as having "a good knowledge of the language" or "a satisfying knowledge of the language", and as I judge my own capabilities of using Swedish I know my grasp of it is definitely more on the satisfactory than on the good side.

If I pass that exam during the first attempt (and I am determined to do it!) it means that the only thing I have left is to make edits to my thesis. I returned a full draft to my supervisor earlier this week and I will most likely get comments on it within the next couple of weeks. I am feeling very good about my thesis and I am happy I have scheduled it in a way that I have a lot of time to make those edits (I need to return it by the end of April). 

But enough about my studies.... 

While this blog has been inactive, I have actually been reading quite a bit! The reason why I haven't updated anything has to do with the fact that I have been too lazy/busy to write reviews for what I've read. 

While going back and reviewing stuff that you have read weeks or months before can be difficult, the fact that I have taken into writing a sort of reading journal will help me! I have caught up with a portion of the reviews I need to write, but there is still several titles that I need to cover. 

So... once I am done with that Swedish course, I am determined to get those reviews written so I can end the inactivity of this blog.

This means that there is a possibility that I will post something as early at the end of next week! You have no idea how much I am looking forward working on this blog again! 

So, I think that's it for now! If you want to have a look at what I have been reading, I have been active on Goodreads. Also, I am super active on Twitter and if you want to follow me there, you can find me from @milkamilka