The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared (Jonas Jonasson) Review

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I read this book as my “morning book”. The “morning book” is the book I read for about ten minutes every morning over my shreddies and coffee, so that I can avoid talking to my brother. Nothing against my brother – I love the little guy to bits, but I’m grumpy in the mornings. Anyway, the books I choose to be “morning books” are usually classics. My shreddies have seen The Great Gatsby, The Prisoner of Zenda, Du Picq’s Battle Studies and many others; I choose these books for the morning because they are usually quite hard on the eyes. Enjoyable, yes, but not exactly easy reading for a sleepy teenager.

I’m not quite sure how the Hundred Year Old Man ended up as a “morning book”, but I’m very glad that it did. For the weeks that I read it (morning books take a while) it was a little ray of sunshine in my life. This book is funny, it’s chock full of historical references and the main character, Allan Karlsson is a loveable dude.

Half of the book follows Allan’s story from the moment he breaks out of the Old People’s Home. He gets into all sorts of mischeif, makes lots of new, unlikely friends and at one point is hunted by the police for three counts of murder!

The other half of the book is about Allan’s life leading up to his hundreth birthday. Allan is a Swede who is 100% politically blind – which is why he ends up designing the atom bomb and giving it to both the West AND the Soviets…

I really recommend this book. It is an international road trip through the 20th century and it made me laugh at every twist and turn. The pages were sunny, the characters were fresh and reading it has made me realise that Sweden is actually quite a cool place to be. Long live Allan Karlsson, the vodka drinking Swede!

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A Game of Thrones (George RR Martin) Review

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This book is the first in the series “A Song of Ice and Fire”, and I enjoyed every sentence. Where to begin? This book is colossal. It is also colossally AMAZING. It is 760 pages of power games, witty comments, high tension, sad moments and fantastic description that practically explodes off the page. It is too big to cover in the normal review format, so I’m going to break it down:

Favourite character: My favourite character is Littlefinger, without a doubt. His real name is Petyr Baelish (I STILL have no idea how to pronounce that!) and he is the master of coin in the council of King Robert Baratheon. I like Littlefinger because he is, quite frankly, a legend. He is strikingly similar to Lord Sugar’s aides in the Apprentice: he sits in the corner, watches the action and makes comments about it. But unlike Lord Sugar’s aides, Littlefinger’s comments are actually funny. This guy quips ALL the time. He lives to make witty remarks. My favourite Littlefinger scene is where he is leading the King’s Hand, Ned Stark, to his “chambers”. After 30 minutes of walking, Ned finally asks, “Where are we going? This isn’t the way to my chambers.” To which Littlefinger replies; “I know. We’re going to a brothel.”
“Good heavens, man, why?”
“To see your wife.”

Favourite direwolf: This may seem like an odd heading, but the main family in the book, the Starks, all have pet wolves. This is insanely cute when reading, but I imagine that it wouldn’t be so cute in real life. Even the three year old, baby Rickon Stark, got a direwolf, with the strict instructions that he must raise it all by himself. (Why…?) It’s no surprise that “Shaggydog” is a bit of a savage beast…
My favourite wolf is probably Ghost. He is the wolf of Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard son, and, like Jon, Ghost is a bit of an outcast. He has white fur instead of black, but he is also incredibly well trained and intelligent.

Favourite name: Everybody in the fantastic, almost-3D-world that George RR Martin has created has an exciting name. There’s Bran, Sansa and Arya Stark, Eddard, Daenerys and Jory. Viserys, Joffrey and Theon, Stannis, Sandor and Gregor… The list goes on. My friend said that her mother wanted to rename her three year old son Jorah, after Ser Jorah of Mormont. But the best name, in my opinion, is Shagga son of Dolf. He goes around threatening to cut off certain body parts and feed them to the goats.

A Game of Thrones is a rich tapestry woven by a master storyteller. It turns dusty power struggles and politics into action and excitement. It has dozens of well rounded characters that are so real that I, the reader, feel like I know every single one of them. Everybody who reads Game of Thrones falls in love with it. And everybody reads Game of Thrones. Just the other week I was doing a maths test when the following question came up: “Bran got 5/12 in a maths test, Arya got 45% and Sansa got 4/7. Who did the best?” I nearly fell out of my chair. Game of Thrones characters in a maths test?! This book has seeped into the fabric of our very WORLD and I really recommend that you read it.

Light by Michael Grant

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Light is the last installment in the series of 6 books by Michael Grant. I love these books. I’ve been reading them for years. They have plagued my thoughts, given me nightmares, kept me up all night reading and sparked countless conversations with friends as well as strangers. As far as chilling yound adult fiction goes, these books are the bees knees.
But let’s talk about Light. Light has black pages and a black cover, so I always felt like I was holding an obdurate black brick rather than a hardback. This thing looked more like a gothic book of spells than a thriller, but don’t let that fool you. Light is the ultimate climax to a brilliant series. It is fast paced and ingenious. It has hot blooded characters and blood soaked scenes of gore. It has death and destruction – but also sporadic happy scenes and deep, philosophical insights.
The story is mostly focused around Gaia, the strange daughter of mutant teens Caine and Diana. She was possessed and completely swamped by the monstrous creature known as the gaiaphage at birth, and now she is hell bent on killing everyone within the FAYZ. You know, just your typical little girl. Our heroes, School Bus Sam and his evil twin Caine, as well as Astrid the Genius, her autistic, god-like brother Pete, the gay Mexican Edilio and other assorted, mutant children must fight and kill her before she destroys the FAYZ then moves onto the world itself. It’s the endgame.
This book is a dark, action packed roller coaster that left me breathless. It discusses the arrogance of humanity, the insignificance of race and sexuality in a whole new society and explores the connotations of a world without rules or adults. I loved it. It made me cry. It made me laugh. It made me think.