Marked (House of Night #2)

Marked (House of Night #2) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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4 stars

“When sixteen-year-old Zoey is marked by the Tracker, she knows her old life is over. Now she has to leave her friends and family to join the House of Night School, where there’s only one subject Zoey needs to study: Vampire 101. Of course, there’s always a catch, and this one’s nice and simple: if you fail, you die…”

”House of Night – Marked” is written by P.C. & Kristin Cast and is published in 2007. It is the first novel of a series of 12. The genre is fantasy-paranormal-vampire. I would say that is primarily written for teenagers but of course, others can enjoy the books just as much. The main character is called Zoey and in the first book of the “House of Night”-series, we get to know how she is Marked by the tracker and how she is slowly beginning to transform into a vampire. While going through this life-altering change, she also has to deal with the loss of her friends and family that she no longer can see when becoming a vampire. Zoey is basically starting a completely new life and saying goodbye to all that she knew in her human-life.

“I would spend the next four years going through bizarre and unnamable psychical changes, as well as a total and permanent life shake-up. And that’s only if the whole process didn’t kill me. But the good news was that I wouldn’t have to take the geometry test tomorrow”

“HOUSE OF NIGHT” – “HOUSE OF SELF”

Symbolically, the story is about the life-altering changes one goes through when hitting the teenage years. It’s about finding oneself, developing a unique character and of course, find a place where you truly belong. For Zoey it is also a matter of how to deal with these changes and the fact that some things are meant to fall apart, so other and better things can have their beginnings. Although, it is a paranormal fantasy novel, where the main focus is on vampires, the novel also deals with idealistic elements, such as: the developing of the individual, adapting into new settings or surroundings and basic human things, such as friendship, love and feeling safe.

I read this book a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. It is easy to read through and P.C. and Kristin Cast do a good job intriguing the reader. I like the character of Zoey and how she truly is a manifestation of the regular teenager, so everyone can identify with her. It is interesting to see her adapt and deal with all of the changes in her life after she is Marked. She goes through the worries of being a teenager; she comes from a normal family, where the new stepfather has changed everything and when letting all of this go, it suddenly gives her a new start. Ironically, it is the end of her life becoming a vampire, but for Zoey it is really a start of a new and better life.

Another thing I liked was the myths, spirituality and rituals that Zoey’s grandmother has taught her about. It is almost as if country life symbolizes the calmness and transformation into Zoey’s new life, while the city symbolizes her past.

I thought of the fact that Zoey seemed (already before her change) that she didn’t seem to belong anywhere and she felt that she was no longer needed or loved, except by her grandmother. It seems like Zoey at some extent had always known (or hoped) that something better would come along – because it had to.

“House of Night – Marked” is a great book and I am already looking forward to reading next book of the series (“Betrayed”).

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone (Harry Potter #1) by J. K. Rowling

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five stars

“Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by a beetle-eyed giant of a man, enrols at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason… Harry Potter is a wizard!”

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is written by J. K. Rowling and published on 26th of June in 1997. It is the first novel of a series of seven. The genre is fantasy and suitable for all ages. Although, it is the world of magic, wands and good versus evil, there are still descriptions of our modern world (the so-called “Muggle-world”; non-magic folk). By showing the clash between the magical world and the “regular” one, Rowling allows the reader to be a part of a secret and thus feeling welcome and secure in her literary universe.

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” 

While trying to figure out this new life at Hogwarts, Harry experiences vital things, such as friendship, insecurity about one self and bullying (Malfoy from the Slytherin House). He learns of the secrets of magic, his own history and most importantly, he is also introduced to the evil Voldemort (“he must not be named”) who killed his parents, when he was a baby. No one had ever survived him, before the “boy who lived”.

There has been debate about J. K. Rowling’s writing style. She has been criticized for showing vague insight knowledge of the characters and having a simplified language concerning descriptions. I find it subjective and that it is up to the reader to figure out what works for them. Again, any kind of art is experienced differently by whoever reads and experiences it. Many people have their favourite kind of literature, some may be bored by yet “another” fantasy book and others simply crave for more.

Personally, I was sucked into the magical world that J.K. Rowling portrays and makes so available and easy to disappear into. I grew up with Harry Potter and it was the first book I ever read and for many years I read it over and over again, without ever trying anything new. It created a space of security and a world that allowed me to forget reality. It was really all about escapism. With her books, J.K. Rowling created a world where everything was planned for a reason. Afraid of it sounding like blasphemy, but she became the God of the magical world and created the detailed and visualizing elements of Harry Potter as we know it. You can learn about the secrets of Hogwarts, learn how to play the game Quidditch and read the school books (‘Quidditch Through the Ages and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them + a collection of the fairy tales ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’). What makes J.K. Rowling one of my favourite authors is that as a reader, her descriptions and storytelling are made so visual, so you feel that you’re almost there yourself; trying a wand or seeing the sky of the Great Hall change its mood and colours.

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With her books, J.K. Rowling has created a new generation of readers and a unique literary universe. Later on, when the Harry Potter movies came, it started a new cultural spin: the Harry Potter land (recently opened north of London), the books have been published worldwide and translated into many languages. Furthermore, the objects and requiems from the movies have been manufactured and are now being sold online and in stores, where you find yourself surrounded by well-known things of the Harry Potter-movies.

The world of Harry Potter was my beginning of reading. I remember being 11 years old and my mother read it to me before going to bed. I was and am still totally obsessed about the books and the entire universe. Personally, I think that many teenagers can relate to Harry Potter and the matter of belonging and finding one’s true path. Harry Potter has no friends or family, besides the mother’s family whom he lives with, although they do not treat him well at all. He has never known his parents or the magical world, where he plays a vital part, and because of this, he can’t truly find a place in our modern world. Fortunately, the magical world is finally revealed to him and even though, there are many things he has to learn about himself when attending Hogwarts. But at Hogwarts, he feels truly home.

It was easy to identify oneself with Harry. I read the book for the first time, when I was eleven and he was eleven. Every book matched my age and every time a book was published, I figured out new things about growing up and becoming a teenager, even though my world wasn’t that magical compared to Harry’s.

Once when I have children, I will read the Harry Potter books out loud before bedtime and hopefully, they will enjoy the universe as I did, and still do.

Læst i februar 2015

LÆST I FEBRUAR 2015

Jeg læste 9 bøger i februar 2015. Listen står skrevet herunder og der medfølger links til anmeldelserne. Klik blot på titlen og den vil føre dig til anmeldelsen 🙂

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Fitzgerald, F. Scott; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Eybye, Pernille; Drømmerens datter (Drømmer #1)
Prins Henrik; I mine lykkelige nætter
Cast, P.C & Kristin; House of Night – Marked #1
Melville, Herman; Moby Dick
Green, John; The Fault in Our Stars
Giese, Karl; Screaming White Noise
Hanson, Caroline; Bewitching the Werewolf (Megan Stephens #1)
Harris, Charlaine; Død Indtil Solnedgang (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)

 

(Har du læst nogle af dem? Hvad var din oplevelse? Eller læste du en fantastisk bog i februar 2015? Kommentér endelig. Det er skønt at dele læseoplevelser!)