Review || The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Publishing
Published:  September 20th 2011
Format: Hardback (borrowed from library)
Genre: Adult, Historical
Rating: ★★★★★
Find on: Goodreads
Where to buy: Amazon (UK), Book Depository

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

Before I started this book I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book. I hadn’t actually read the summary, and all I know about the book was, that it was about Achilles and Patroclus. That was enough for me to pick this book up, to be honest. And I’m so glad I decided to read this, because I absolutely loved it. One thing about this book is, that a lot of people already know the ending. I've been taught the Iliad before, and read it, and parts of it before. However, even with knowing the inevitable ending to this book, I completely adored this book.
“We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.” 
I really liked the way the settings were described. I thought them to be very vivid, and I could clearly see the world in my head. I felt like I was a part of this old Greek world, that I could take a stroll through the corridors of the great homes of the kings. The writing was beautiful and it flowed through the pages, both in the dialogues and the descriptions of places and people.

I’m used to Achilles being a brat, highly annoying, and kind of a jerk. However, in this book we see such a gentle side to him. We see him as a compassionate person, who in the beginning, even though he is aware of his destiny (most of it), doesn’t actually want to kill. This book gives another view on Achilles. He was not only a great warrior, but also a skillful musician, and again, a very compassionate person. 
“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.” 
The love between Achilles and Patroclus was so believable, and I really felt their love thought the entire book. The way their friendship developed, bringing the two closer and closer was absolutely breathtaking. From it started as a simple adoration, and slight jealousy, from Patroclus side, to such a tender relationship. I couldn't get enough, and in the end, my heart was breaking for the two of them.

The thing is, there are so many different stories wrapped into one on this book. Not only is it the story of two boys, and their journey into becoming men. It is also the story of how Achilles came to claim his greatness, it's about the relationship between the humans and the Gods, and so much more. With all of these different stories being put into one book, the pacing was a little slow at times. Because we had to get around so many stories, it took time to get to the 'main' story of the book. However, I didn't actually mind the slowness of the story. It gave time to explore the characters more, which I loved.

The Song of Achilles is truly a beautiful book, and I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody. If you haven't yet read this book, you really should.

Have you read The Song of Achilles? What did you think of it? Does it sound like a book you might want to read?


Top Ten Tuesday || Graphic Novels I Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week is a Freebie. I've thought a lot about what I wanted to talk about, and I finally decided that Graphic Novels would be a nice topic. So, here are the top ten graphic novels I would like to read, or series of graphic novels I would love to start (it's a long title, so it's been shortened a bit)

These are just some of the graphic novels that I would love to start reading, and I'm sure I could list ten more. However, since this is a 'top ten tuesday', these are just the ones that are on the top of my 'graphic novel TBR'. I do have some graphic novel series that I've already started (not listed on here of course), which includes Y: The Last Man, and Saga.

Have you read any of these? Are there some graphic novels you would recommend?


Tag || I Mustache You Some Questions

I was tagged to do this by the lovely Cynthia over at Afterwritten. I'm always happy to do tags, and I didn't have any planned posts ready for today, so I thought this would be a nice little thing for a Monday night.

Four names that people call me (other than my real name):
  1. Sia (My granddad calls me this. It's what I used to call myself when I was a kid, because I couldn't say Lisa)
  2. Elajsha (an old nickname from high school that has stuck around)
  3. Leo (it's what my cousin calls me. I told her, that it's what I'll prefer she calls me, so she does)
  4. Lukas (My best friend calls me that.)

Four jobs I have had:
  1. Babysitter
  2. Dance instructor
  3. Assistant dance instructor (yes, I'm counting that as a separate one)
  4. Cashier at a supermarket

Four movies I would/have watched more than once:
  1. Rocky Horror Picture Show. (I watched this at least once a day, for about a month. It was a though month, and this movie made everything better)
  2. Seven
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy (I might have watched this 6 times this year already.. whoops)
  4. Broderskab (A Danish movie, that is so darn amazing!)

Four books I’d recommend:
  1. Crane by Stacey Rourke
  2. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
  3. The Before Now and After Then by Peter Monn
  4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Four places I have lived:
  1. Denmark
  2. Denmark
  3. Denmark
  4. Denmark (I've basically lived the same place since I was one, and the other place I've lived, I'm pretty sure was in the same city as I live in now, so...)

Four places I have been:
  1. Berlin
  2. Barcelona
  3. Norway (I can't specifically remember where)
  4. Sweden (Southern Sweden)

Four places I’d rather be right now:
  1. At the Library
  2. In my bed
  3. At the movie theatre
  4. Hanging out with my best friend

Four things I don’t eat: 
  1. Kiwifruit
  2. Leeks
  3. Pearl onions
  4. Brazil nuts

Four of my favorite foods:
  1. Watermelon
  2. Chicken
  3. Vanilla Yogurt
  4. Chocolate

Four TV shows that I watch:
  1. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  2. Criminal Minds
  3. Bones
  4. Stalker (It’s not like I watch a lot of crime shows)

Four things I am looking forward to this year:
  1. Going to London with my mom and brother (hopefully)
  2. Spending time with my best friends
  3. Teaching practice – I miss teaching so much, and I can’t wait to get back in the game!
  4. I don’t know.. Everything!

Four things I am always saying:
  1. Fuck!
  2. I’ll moonwalk (and then I’ll just walk away normally.. It makes no sense what so ever)
  3. I'm so tired... I went to bed late… I had to finish this book – I mean, there were only like 100 pages left.
  4. Basically just any song lyric – I burst into song a lot!


Let's talk about || Percy Jackson and the Olympians

(warnings: as this is a talk about the entire series, it will contain spoilers. So if you haven’t read the series, and don’t want to be spoiled – you might want to click out of this post)

I started reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series back in 2014. It had been on my TBR list for such a long time, and in September I finally put the first book on hold at my library, and within long, I had it in my hands, and I started reading. 

I immediately got sucked into a wonderful world, full of Greek Gods and mythical being, with New York as its primary setting. Rick Riordan has managed to create a world you can’t help but love, and characters to match. They are such fun reads - despite the sometime sinister tone the book can take. There's a ton of humor, and I found myself laughing several places throughout the books - I even snorted out loud in public a couple of times. People looked at me weird for that.

There are an array of different characters to connect with. Of course there's Percy, the main character, and the son of Poseidon. We experience this world through his eyes, which is beautiful, because we get all these different emotions and impressions of this world. This world is new to us, and Percy as well, so we get to experience it at the same level as him.

I do have my problems with Percy. He really can be quite clueless sometime. Yes, I realize that he is only like 12 in the first book, so he can get a pass there– but damn when he’s 15 he’s still quite clueless. There are things that should be quite obvious for him, but for one reason or another he just doesn’t get it. Sometimes this can be quite frustrating, and I did have an urge to shake him once in a while. However, in the end, I still ended up adoring him more than not. 

My favorite character in the whole series is without a doubt Tyson. I think he is completely adorable. He is such a strong character – and is also incredibly loyal. This might be why Titan’s curse was my least favorite book of them all – there was a lack of Tyson. He was such a lovely character, and I don't understand why people don't talk about him more.
Another character that I fell absolutely in love with, isn't a big one, It's not even a human character. I'm talking about the amazing Pegasus that is Blackjack. I think Blackjack is a hilarious character and, as Tyson, he is extremely loyal. Basically Blackjack is just a fun character, who adds something fresh to the books whenever he turns up. 

One of the things I loved about the book, was the constant repetition of what had happened in the former books. I think the fact that this is a middle grade series plays a great deal in that. It could get a little annoying for me at times, but for someone way younger than me, I think it’s a great tool. It makes sure that you wont forget some of the most important details of the book – even if it’s been a while since you’ve read the book before.

The language is very easy to understand, which I love. As this is a middle grade book, I think it's important to have an easy and understandable language, especially if you have younger children who are to read this series on their own. This may be the teacher in me talking, but I do think it's important either way.

The thing is, I've always been interested in Greek Mythology, and mythology in general. I had classical studies in school, and it was my absolute favorite subject - sadly I was only able to take one year of the subject, but it was absolutely awesome while it lasted. I hadn't really touched mythology in any way for some time, but these books made me want to get right back into it.

The Sea of Monsters, and Battle of the Labyrinth were my absolute favorites, while I didn't like Titan's Curse as much as the others. It wasn't that Titan's Curse was bad per say, I just didn't feel the same about it, that I did the others. The Last Olympian definitely had the most action. That final battle was pretty amazing, but it did get a little mixed up at the end. I mean, so many things were happening at the same time, and I found it a little hard to follow at times. However, it was still easy to catch up if you felt like you missed something.

I really adored the ending of the series. I thought it was a great way to end the whole series, but it still left a small window open for more. I felt like all the loose ends got tied up, and I wasn't missing anything at the end. I definitely can't wait to continue reading about this world in the 'Heroes of Olympus' series. I know it's got new perspectives and new characters, but I'm still very excited about it. All of the books are in the four & five stars category for me, and this has definitely gone on to be one of my favorite, if not my favorite, series I've read.

All in all, this is such an amazing series, and I would definitely recommend this, especially to those who like middle grade books, and mythology. I'm sure I could probably talk more about this series, but the post would be way to long if I continued. 

What are your thoughts on this series? Have you read it? Do you want to read it, or is this just not the thing for you?


Top Ten Tuesday || 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week is all about those 2014 releases that I really wanted to read, but for some reason or another didn't get to. These are all books that I don't actually own yet, but have picked up and then put down so many time. So more or less, this is a list of my 2014 wants - and need to reads.

I'm not going to explain why I want to read them, because that would get a little too repetitive in the end. So I'm going to leave you with a "list", and I might explain further at some other point in time. Who knows!?

What are some of the 2014 releases you really wanted to read, but didn't get to?


Review || Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan

Title: Love Lessons
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Published: October 1st 2013
Format: Ebook
Genre: New Adult, LGBTQ,
Series: Love Lessons #1
Rating: ★★★
Find on: Goodreads
Where to buy: Amazon (UK), Book Depository

Love doesn’t come with a syllabus.

Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.

Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.

Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.

As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.

Warning: This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds.

I picked this book up on a whim. I was just browsing around Goodreads, I saw this, and I bought it immediately. And I'm glad I did, because I enjoyed the story.

The story takes place at a smaller college named Hope, located somewhere in the outskirts of Chicago (I'm pretty sure, it's somewhere near Chicago). We also see the hometowns of both the main characters. The places we see aren't really one of the main focus points, but there is a special kind of atmosphere at the college. We do get a feeling of what it's like to be at hope, but the place does not become a character in it self, which is quite okay with me.
“Sometimes the ones we love are like butterflies, flitting all over, and we have to sit and wait patiently for them to land. Sometimes they never do, and that’s a risk we take. But sometimes what they need most is to see us sitting still, patient, waiting. To understand that we’re going to be there no matter what, that we’re the ones who are always sitting there waiting, loyal, loving. Sometimes that’s more powerful than any words.” 
In the story we meet Walter Lucas - the Campus Casanova. He is the typical romance novel bad boy, who doesn't answer to anyone but himself. I didn't exactly love Walter. He wasn't a bad character, I just didn't fall in love with him. Some of his actions annoyed me from time to time, and there were a couple of times where I felt like punching him. He's charming, sure, but sometimes the charming crosses the line over to cocky, and that's just not attractive.

Then we have Kelly Davidson - the sweet, innocent, freshman. He is allergic to a ton of things, hence him having to live in a single dorm - It's the only place he can hook up an AC, and thereby getting clean air. Kelly is a good guy, and I really adored him. He believes in the Disney romances, and he wants to find his own prince on the white horse. Kelly wants to fall in love, and live the happily ever after - However, after a few weeks at college, he begins to doubt that it's possible. 

I really liked the relationship between Walter and Kelly. It was kind of the typical opposites attract type of relationship, but I thought it worked out pretty well in this book. Kelly and Walter somehow just click, even with the different goals in life, they somehow fit together like peas in a pod, and I enjoyed reading about their adventures together.

Even though we get a lot of information about the two main characters, and we see the story from both points of views, I still didn't feel like I got to know them. There were times where I wasn't actually sure who's POV was the present one, because at some points they do melt together just a bit. Their personalities, to some extend, and some of their personal stand points changes throughout the story, but they did that a little too quickly for my taste.
“There’s no magic ruler by which we’re all judged and weighed, not in this life. If you wait for someone to tell you it’s time to grow up, you’ll wait forever. Some people, quite happily, do just that. They don’t do anything until they’re forced to by circumstance” 
I really liked the plot and the premise of the story, however, the pacing of the book was way too slow for my taste. About half way through the story, the pacing seemed to just slow down so much, and nothing seemed to happen. I was missing a proper climax (well, there were climaxes, just not the one I was looking for), and that again made the story drag a bit. Something else is, that I would liked to have seen a little more conflicts in the story - not to say that there weren't any, but I'm the kind of person who loves reading about big conflicts, and I was missing those a little bit. However, despite all that, it was still a sweet story, and it certainly did have it's sweet moments.

All in all, this was a enjoyable read, even though it was a little slow. I would recommend this for people who like new adult and the whole opposites attract type of relationships.


Top Ten Tuesday || Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we are talking about our most anticipated debut novels for 2015. There are so many books I'm excited for in 2015, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. I had a bit of trouble choosing the book, but in the end, these are the ones I chose.

I don't really want to go into detail about why I'm anticipating these books. It would be a little too repetitive, I think, with me just saying that I'm excited, and that would get old after 3 books. Just, all these books sound really exciting in their own ways, and I really hate that I have to wait to get my hands on them, but that's life.. The books listed aren't in any order, neither on release dates nor which I'm most excited for. 

Also, can we just appreciate the beauty of all these covers? I'm especially loving the cover for Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and the cover for Unspeakable.

What are your most anticipated 2015 debut novels? Are any of these on your lists?

Tag || Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

The lovely Cynthia over at Afterwritten tagged me in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Thank you very much!
(I'm aware that I'm technically supposed to tag more people. However, I'm not sure who's done this and who hasn't, and I don't feel all comfortable in the book blogging community yet to just sling out tags)

1. What is one book/series that you really wish were a movie, and who should play the main character?
I would absolutely love for Crane by Stacey Rourke to be turned into a movie. I'm completely in love with that book, and I think it would be awesome as a movie. As for who should be the main character, that's a little more tough. I'm not sure really, Ksenia Solo maybe - Just with cherry cola red hair of course. It's been a little while since I've read the book, so I can't see the main character as clearly as I could when I read it.

2. A moment from 2014 etched forever on your mind, go!
This is going to sound really strange, but bear with me. I went to Berlin back in July with my best friend, and we went to the zoo. There was a dude there, he worked there, not just some random dude, and he was giving the water buffaloes, at least I think they were water buffaloes, back massages. It was pretty cool! We just stood there looking at the dude, and I really wanted to jump over the fence and do the same. (If they aren’t water buffaloes, please do inform me of the correct species – that would be greatly appreciated)

3. Do you cook? What do you like to cook?
I don’t really cook, as much as I bake. I really like to cook, but my skills are incredibly limited, so I don’t do it that often. If I do cook, it usually involves chicken and noodles, and throwing that in a stir-fry of some sort.

4. Describe your ideal date with your current book boyfriend/girlfriend (appropriate to the book setting, of course).
I would love to go on a date with Calypso from Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth. Considering she can’t leave her island, I would love to just walk around the island, and talk, maybe have a picnic somewhere in her gardens.  

5. Which book character is your best friend most like?
I’m not really sure who she would be exactly. However, I would say that her and I could be a little bit like younger versions of Beth and Jennifer from Attachments (she would be Jennifer and I would be Beth.
I don’t really know who else I could relate her to– maybe Kelsey from Losing it – just a little more mellow.

6. Favourite item of clothing that you own?
At the moment, I really love this new jacket I got at Christmas. It’s soft and it keeps me relatively warm – at least when it’s a bit chilly inside.
(this one)

7. What’s the first book you have a clear memory of reading by yourself?
I don’t really know. I remember reading Stephen King back in fourth grade, and I’m sure I read something before, but that’s the one I remember most. So 'Cycle of the Werewolf' by Stephen King is the first I remember reading all by myself.

8. In 2025, you hop onto a time machine and go back to 2015 to visit yourself. What one question would your current, 2015-self ask your 2025-self?
“Is the school system still the same? Are we still on that damn reform?”  Pretty much anything that can shed a light on how my work life in the future may have been affected.

9. Proudest achievement of your life so far?
Graduating High School – or the Danish equivalent to high school. (at least I think that would be the equivalent). At the end of my last year, I just felt done. My anxiety was on it’s highest back then, and I wasn't in school all that much. At one point I was ready to just quit all together, even though there weren't many months left. So in the end, graduating seemed like a monumental achievement.

10. If you could eat books, which book do you think would be the most delicious and what would it taste like?
Would the obvious choice be a cook book? I feel like it would be the most delicious for obvious reasons. However, I think I'm gonna go with Anna and the French Kiss. The reason being that it makes me feel all warm and gooey on the inside, and that's my reasoning for it tasting like hot fudge brownies. (actually I've been craving hot fudge brownies all day, so that may have something to do with it!)