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A mass shooting has taken place at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest suburb. Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg is charged for her involvement in the massacre that left her boyfriend and her best friend dead. She has spent nine months in jail awaiting trial. Now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. How did Maja—popular, privileged, and a top student—become aA mass shooting has taken place at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest suburb. Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg is charged for her involvement in the massacre that left her boyfriend and her best friend dead. She has spent nine months in jail awaiting trial. Now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. How did Maja—popular, privileged, and a top student—become a cold-blooded killer in the eyes of the public? What did Maja do? Or is it what she failed to do that brought her here?...

Title : Störst av allt
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789146232421
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 367 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Störst av allt Reviews

  • Navidad Thelamour
    2019-04-08 13:11

    “No one asked if I wanted to save Sebastian, but you all blame me for failing…”I was truly excited to read and review this novel, Quicksand, by Swedish author Malin Persson Giolito. I first heard about it when it was just a deal to be translated—just another deal that happens every week in the publishing world. Yet, already I was intrigued by the premise and kept an eye out for it. So, you can imagine that when it happened across my path as an advance-read copy, wrapped in an unobtrusive (and probably at the time, incomplete) front cover, I leapt at it.Maja Norberg is an eighteen-year-old last-year student at an expensive prep school in the center of a wealthy Swedish suburb. When she meets Sebastian, the son of billionaire Claes Fagerman, she’s immediately swept up in the ultra-cool image he’s always exuded, the weeks spent on his father’s luxurious boats and in all of the perks and toys, drugs and sex, emotional angst and obsession that their relationship evolves into. During this last year in school, the unthinkable happens, and Maja is left holding the smoking gun, literally, tearing her away from her comfy existence in the ‘burbs and placing her right in the middle of the media sensation court case of the century. This novel started slowly, and in a tone that irritated me at first. Rather, Maja irritated me at first. But I pressed on, and I was very soon rewarded for it. For, all of the pieces of this narrative (this novel is told in interchanging sections) that seemed scattered at first, all moved together to complete the picture as a whole at a brilliant pace, pulling me in with it. This was a superb modern-day characterization of rich teens. Not a single character came off as a caricature or stereotype; they all filled the page, as if they were real people—flaws and all. Imagine Steig Larsson meets The Most Dangerous Place on Earth, and you’ve got a great idea of the sharp insight and cunningly skilled writing that you’re in for here, for this novel was everything that Dangerous Place was trying to be.One of my favorite goodie takeaways from this novel was those thoughtful yet significant nuggets of truth and awareness here, which I so welcomed and respected. I love a sharp narrator, one who can pick apart the people around them. And that’s who Giolito gave her reader in Maja Norberg. Because, what you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find within these pages is that Quicksand features class tensions, the privilege of wealth and what happens when those taut lines cross one time too many.“…you are wrong if you think a good story isn’t necessary. All you have to do is watch Idol or X Factor…to understand that the backstory is half the point. You all want to be surprised when the fatty sings like a star, you want to feel gratified when he made it ‘despite the odds,’ and you want to believe that it’s just bad luck that my parents don’t also live in Djursholm and work as doctors and lawyers, that it’s an injustice you are definitely not complicit in, but you can say it’s wrong and feel bad that we don’t take better care of our immigrants, if they would only be a little more Swedish, learn their new language faster, study a little harder, then the American dream would be just within reach. You love the American dream…”In Quicksand, Malin Persson Giolito not only weaves an incredibly incisive and pulsating story, but she also manages to tackle serious social and economic issues with stunning clarity that made me sit up and re-read her passages. And, her socioeconomic commentary was presented in all of the best ways, so integrated into the actual story line that the latter would have seemed incomplete without the former, so dramatically illustrated by the sharp angles and trajectories at which these teenage lives crossed that it becomes a major undertone of the novel—a foundation of the plot rather than an accessory. Lines like, “Our problem isn’t immigrants, it’s this one percent with too much money,” cut deeply within the narrative and provoke thought all the more, because their brilliant placement within the narrative makes the reader feel that they’ve stumbled across a rare, half-hidden jewel, so that they long to find and pick up another.I became so fully engrossed in Maja’s story, that I, too, gasped at turns of events in the courtroom and I, too, along with the judge and jury, weighed the evidence against her, trying to decide if I felt that she was guilty or not. Giolito was very skilled with the way that she handled this novel, because all parts of it—the courtroom, the jail/solitary confinement, and the backstory leading up to it—were all truly gripping, once the novel fully took off. Even the small annoyances at the beginning came together and re-presented themselves in a new light in the end, which I could only stand back and appreciate. Giolito made me question my own instincts as to whether Maja was guilty or innocent, and I loved every minute of it. I was compelled to turn each and every page, to live these characters’ lives out with them until the very end, and for that I award the rarely given and always coveted 5 stars. ******To see more reviews, follow The Navi Review Book Reviews at www.thenavireview.com, on Twitter @thenavireview, and on Goodreads at @Navidad Thelamour

  • Miriam Smith
    2019-04-18 13:14

    I was quite excited to have won this in the Goodreads Giveaways as it looked very intriguing since it was dubbed as Sweden's best crime novel of 2016. However, I've decided (disappointingly) not to finish it as I just can't get into it even though I've made it to page 122. I could quite possibly be in the minority looking at reviews of this book, but I found it to be very slow and repetitive and just didn't go anywhere. The premise of the book sounds great, and I was hooked at the prologue but that's about all I can say good about it. Of course this is just my opinion - if you like courtroom dramas with lots of very descriptive first person narrative then you should love this - I may or may not return to it one day, but there's too many more books to be read to continue with a book I'm struggling with.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-04-03 15:03

    Ever sine Columbine, school shootings have seemed endemic to the United States, happening way to often, always devastating and difficult to understand. When I saw this was set in Sweden I was intrigued. Maja is a senior in high school when this novel takes place but will soon find herself in prison and on trial. What did she do? What did she know, and when did she know it? Management is our narrator and she takes us into her time before the shootings, her time in jail, her talks with her lawyers and her trial. It is an intense and extensive Character portrayal of how she felt, before, during and after. It is very well done, albeit lengthy, and often intense. All the things that went wrong, things that should have and could have gone differently, people who should have interceded, authority figures who should have had more sense, but didn't. Although I realize that this is fiction, and would not hold true in all cases, this book provided more insight into why these things happen, and the conditions that lead up to them, than any other book I have read, or any of the mental health talking heads I have watched and listened to on television. A very well done and thought out novel.ARC from Other Press publishers.

  • Laura
    2019-04-20 07:10

    “One percent of the people on earth own fifty percent of all the assets on earth. The poorest half of humanity owns less than five percent of the assets on earth. We don’t talk about that. I mean...” Quicksand was good, but less of a thriller than I had been expecting. It lacks the suspense or tension often found in thrillers. Quicksand is, however, a thought-provoking psychological study on an eighteen year old woman on trial for her involvement in the mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of both her boyfriend and best friend. It sheds a light on several social and economic issues such as the unfair tax system where the wealthy pay less and the poor pay more, capitalism, prejudice against immigrants, the criminal justice system, classism, substance abuse, sexism, etc.There is a piece of paper taped to the outside of the door; it reads THE DEFENDANT. As if anyone here believes that I am going to be able to defend myself. It’s strange that a court, where the truth is supposed to come out, has such a difficult time saying what they mean in plain language, daring to call things by their true names.Maja is an eighteen year old senior at a prep school in a wealthy suburb. When Sebastian sets his sights on her, Maja's entire world changes. He is the son of Sweden’s richest man, Claes Fagerman. He is a whole other world of wealth and Maja's parents are thrilled at the thought of their daughter with the Claes's son. Maja is thrown into this exciting life with legendary parties seeming to love it all until she notices something darker lurking underneath in the oh so charismatic Sebastian.The story is a very slow developing one. It takes a while to flesh out the characters while also setting the stage for the shooting and the courtroom proceedings. The chapters jump around between the courtroom, Maja's life in jail awaiting trial, and the events leading up to the shooting. I enjoyed getting the full picture, but that wasn't worth letting the narrative feel so disjointed. It didn't particularly flow well. I would've preferred the timeline to be a bit more clear.“I hear you, Maja, I hear you. But I’m having a hard time understanding why you would write that if you didn’t mean it. Do you often say things you don’t mean?” Quicksand is told in first person. The portrayal of the media's impact on the trial was fascinating, as well as the look at the criminal justice system. I appreciate the sharp social commentary. I just think the opportunity to fuel the pages with suspense, twists and a final explosive "wtf" moment were missed. I kept waiting for the story to shock me for reasons tied to the crime rather than only shocking me with societal issues. If I had gone into the story with the correct expectations, my rating would be higher. If you are looking for aDangerous Girls, this isn't that book. If you are looking for a taut, insightful drama that tackles major social and economic issues, this is an excellent one to read.

  • Jill
    2019-04-18 13:13

    Right from the first two pages, we know the premise of this extraordinary book: an attractive, popular teenager named Maja Norberg and her troubled, incredibly wealthy boyfriend Sebastian opened fire in a classroom in a tony Stockholm prep school. Maja’s best friend and Sebastian die in the shooting and there’s little doubt that Maja did it.But does that make her guilty?Quicksand, dubbed a literary thriller, is more “literary” than “thriller”. Those who love suspenseful “whodunnits and why did they do it” should likely look elsewhere. That being said, for those who enjoy page-turning and perceptive literary books could do a lot worse than to read Quicksand.The chapters alternate between Maja’s current life, languishing in jail and participating in a highly publicized trial, and the events that led up to the tragic event. One thing becomes clear: Maja’s parents and best friend are thrilled with her relationship with the very wealthy Sebastian, and as a result, turn a blind eye to her struggles with his dark side. It becomes increasingly obvious that at barely eighteen, she does not have the emotional resources to cope and is inadvertently left high and dry by those who can support her.Malin Persson Giolito goes beyond Maja’s story to depict a Swedish society that – contrary to popular perceptions – is surprisingly similar to ours, with class distinctions, worship of the most affluent, disdain for immigrants, failure of parenting. Eventually, readers will need to draw their own conclusions: who is truly guilty of this crime? Is it the perpetrator herself or is it the society that failed her? Is Maja the creature that the tabloids created or is the situation far more nuanced?This may not be a “thriller” in the classic sense of the word, but it is provocative, insightful, and definitely page-turning.

  • Trish
    2019-03-30 06:57

    There is a reason this Swedish novel rocketed to the top of Europe’s bestseller lists. It has everything—enormous wealth, inequality, immigration, teenage angst, drugs, sex, and death—but it also has whip-smart writing, the constraints of law, the quiet and unbreakable bonds of family. Entirely suitable for teens, this is a YA title worthy of the designation.Told from the point of view of a young woman just out of high school, this story recounts how Maja awaited her trial on school shooting and multiple murder charges. Maja herself is silent. We only hear the voice inside her head. It is a legal thriller easily as good as America’s Scott Turow, John Grisham, Marcia Clark at the height of their powers.Headlines scream MASSACRE AT DJURSHOLM UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL - GIRL IN CUSTODYandCLAES FAGERMAN MURDERED - SON’S GIRLFRIEND DEMAND: “HE MUST DIE!” We are inside the jail, inside Maja’s confused thoughts as she contemplates her imprisonment, and remembers moments in her past which illuminate her present. Readers are skeptical of any reason which seeks absolution for such a heinous crime. Maja’s lawyer is one of the most famous in Sweden, taking unpopular, unwinnable cases. Our emotions seesaw between a kind of sympathy for an ordinary teen and the extraordinary circumstances of her imprisonment.We wrestle with big issues like the statement that “the truth is whatever we choose to believe,” and “innocence until prove guilty.” And the voice of Maja is piquant and high-school observant: “…not a single person has ever believed that Mom is the person she pretends to be. But she keeps pretending anyway. And for the most part, people are polite about it and leave her alone…Dad’s money is hardly even fifteen minutes old. And he doesn’t have enough of it to compensate…he thinks boarding school taught him what it takes to fit in, what he has to do for high-class people to think he's one of them. He’s wrong, of course.”We are talking about the rich and the ultra rich. That in itself is an interesting perspective on high school life in Sweden: yacht trips in the Mediterranean, weekend jaunts to southern islands, parties that bring in musicians and YouTube specialists from America, multiple homes, corporate planes…you get the picture. But there is also an immigrant community in the town and the wealth discrepancy is radical. We have so many dichotomies examined in this novel between parents & youth, wealth & the lack of it, white & dark skins to name a few.But what is best about this drama are the legal arguments. First we hear the prosecutor do her best to lay out the case against the defendant. That, and the newspapers give the court of public opinion plenty to work with until the defense can present a few counter-arguments in the weeks that follow. In the defense, we get a careful step-by-step unpicking of the prosecutor’s almost airtight case for murder. It is masterful.Maja is uniquely well-off and privileged, but is she uniquely evil? Statistically, one could argue it is unlikely. But so much more is uncovered in the course of the trial that we cannot break away. What would cause a well-educated woman of privilege to behave in this way? Giolito places an articulate corporate American PhD and editor-in-chief of a prestigious business publication in the position of giving a talk before the high school Maja attends, and she explicates the argument America is undergoing right now, played out by our political parties wrangling over tax policy.“We must be cautious about the social contract. Both parties must uphold their side of the agreement. We must have comprehensible equity. It is not fair if the welfare system is bankrolled by low- and middle-income earners. If large corporations pay less in taxes than their small- and medium-size colleagues, that is not what the social contract looks like…”I don’t want to take the fun out of this spectacular book for you. Academics, teachers, high school students, lawyers, ordinary citizens will all find this beautifully-written and -translated novel a page-turner. This is Malin Persson Giolito’s English language debut. Let’s show her American gratitude and support so we can get all her novels published here. Giolito has worked as a lawyer and for the European Commission in Brussels, where she lives with her husband and three daughters. She has entered the ranks of the best legal thriller writers working today. The translation by Rachel Willson-Broyles is exceptional. Published by Other Press.

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-03-26 14:10

    This was really excellent. Atmospheric, beautifully written and the main character Maja is extraordinarily compelling.It is described as a courtroom drama but actually the courtroom scenes are sparse, this is mostly Maja's story of how she came to be sat in said courtroom accused of murder and incitement to murder. Brilliantly drawn and intriguing - Full review will follow a bit nearer publication.

  • Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
    2019-04-20 09:14

    For more of my reviews, visit my blog at https://theblondelikesbooks.wordpress...Quicksand was my first Buddy Read of many to come withSam from Clues and Reviews! so be sure to check out her review of the book, too. Quicksand is a courtroom thriller about an eighteen year old girl named Maja who is on trial for a shooting at her high school that was completed by her boyfriend. Throughout the book, we'll learn what Maja's role in the shooting was. Did she know about it? Was she part of it? Guilty to innocent, you'll find out before the end of the book!I was immediately intrigued by this book because of how similar it sounded toDangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, which if you've been following my blog or my goodreads, you may recall, I LOVED. The link will take you to my review, so you can see me rave about it if you'd like. Unfortunately, Quicksand fell flat for me.I will start out by saying that I loved the premise. Given how much I loved Dangerous Girls, I was really excited about the plot. What I found was that hardly any of the book actually took place in the courtroom. Most of it was spent doing flashbacks of times that were before the shooting. While I can appreciate the author's attempt at giving us some insight into the characters who are eventually wrapped up in this major crime, it often felt unnecessary to me. It felt like it wasn't adding anything to what I already knew about the characters, and I found myself wanting to skim those flashbacks because they weren't holding my attention. There are some flashbacks to the time of the shooting, or right before, which I did really enjoy. I think those were perfect for the story, and I loved being able to see the shooting in the past and then fast forward to the future and hear about it again during the trial. That said, there was a ton of talk about the trial but hardly any actual trial happening. I kept waiting for it to happen, but what I kept getting were flashbacks to long before the shooting took place. It left me wanting, but not in a good way.The other thing I really struggled with was the writing. The sentences felt very choppy, and it felt like the author was trying TOO hard to write the way people talk, using lots of sarcastic words in quotations and run on sentences, but to me it was distracting. I'm trying to be lenient because this book has been translated from its original Swedish, so I'm not sure what was lost in translation and what was the author's writing style.Last, Quicksand was marketed as a thriller, however I felt like the suspense was lacking for me. Almost all of the characters were really unlikeable, which is okay in some circumstances, but honestly I wasn't on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened.I really went back and forth on the rating, because the first 70-75% of the book was 2 stars for me, but the last 25-30% I'd say was 3.5 or 4 stars, because the trial finally happened and we were actually getting somewhere. Because I struggled through 3/4 of the book, I'm going to land at 2.5 stars and round down for Goodreads because I had so many issues with it. I'm sorry to say that this wasn't a winner for me. I can't say I'd recommend this book, but if the premise intrigued you, as mentioned above, I'd recommend checking out Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.Thank you to Netgalley, Malin Persson Giolito, and Other Press for an ARC of Quicksand in exchange for an honest review. Quicksand will be published on March 7th, 2017.

  • Sam (Clues and Reviews)
    2019-04-15 10:23

    Quicksand, the upcoming courtroom thriller, by Malin Persson Giolito follows Maja Norberg; eighteen years old and on trial for her involvement in a mass shooting at a prep school where her best friend and boyfriend were killed. I, for one, am a fan of any courtroom style thriller. I also really loved Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and the synopsis of this title seemed similar. Needless to say, I was very eager to read this one and was thrilled when my friend, Danielle from The Blonde Likes Books, decided to buddy read this title with me! The novel opens with Maja entering the courtroom after spending nine months in jail awaiting her trial. The story develops slowly and, through flashbacks and testimonies during the trial, the reader puts together the story of what happened the day of the massacre. By the time Maja takes the stand, the plot was laced with tension and I was on the edge of my seat to hear her versions of events. As mentioned, the novel unfolds in pieces from present day (Maja in jail) backward to the day of the massacre; bits from the past come together as Maja remembers, reflects on her time spent in prison and the prosecution and defense teams lay out the evidence. Although his narrative style was different, I also found it to be a very disjointing. The novel didn’t feel like it flowed as the flashbacks were not sequential and didn’t follow any particular timeline. Also, some of the flashbacks seemed irrelevant and didn’t really align with the story of the school shooting, instead, they set the stage to develop Maja’s character. I didn’t mind this; I just felt like the shooting became a secondary plot and the main events circled around the development of Maja and her teenage angst/love triangle. My main complaint with this title was the fact that it read like a YA novel. As far as I know, this one was not YA. Maybe it should have been expected since an eighteen-year-old girl did narrate the plot; I just felt like it wasn’t nearly as developed, as I wanted it to be. Nonetheless, I did enjoy this novel overall and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a YA courtroom thriller or something a little lighter; although the subject matter seems very dark, it is actually a much lighter read than expected.

  • Nigel
    2019-03-23 11:00

    In brief - Hum - didn't work as well for me as it obviously does for some. 2nd half was much better than the first though.In fullThe opening chapter of this book caught the scene well for me. Maja is there in the classroom, the only uninjured person, with her boyfriend and best friend lying dead after a mass shooting. The main part of the book starts when Maja, having been in prison for 9 months, appears in the courtroom charged with murder and inciting murder. The story deals with the time before the shooting and the time after as well as the court case.The question is what really happened in that classroom. Various aspects about the case and issues surrounding it are gradually revealed. Initially I found Maja's voice (and it is all told in her voice) rather "matter of fact" story telling which I initially liked. It was somewhat understated and equally had a feel of being uninvolved. A combination of that and the rather disjointed nature of the chapter content did make the book feel it lacked pace in the first half.For me the story became more interesting/compelling around half way through. The courtroom drama once it got going was good. Around this time the peripheral narrative dealing with Maja's life leading up to the shooting seemed far more alive and relevant than earlier on.This is certainly not a book I would have given up on. Other than the lack of pace early on sadly none of the characters really appealed to me in any way and some really didn't get me interested at all with the exception really of Samir.Note - I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttp://viewson.org.uk/fiction/quicksa...

  • Charlotte May
    2019-04-18 12:14

    A high octane crime thriller. It starts with a school shooting - 4 students and a teacher are shot. Only Maja remains. Did she do it and why?The novel switches between the intense courtroom scenes and flashbacks of events that led Maja to be in that classroom in the end. It is a fantastic portrayal of the teenage mind, and how unsettling it can become. The characters felt real, I chose pretty early on which side I was on and so waiting for the jury verdict was as pulse pumping as if I was sat in the audience. A great read, highly recommend to anyone interested in getting into the minds of characters affected by an issue that is unfortunately becoming more common in the present day.

  • Jano
    2019-03-27 14:20

    Reseña completa en: http://elcaosliterario.blogspot.com.e...El libro juega a despistar al lector. Al estar narrado por Maja, la sospechosa de asesinato, hace que tengamos una visión parcial de todo lo que está ocurriendo. El lector conoce todo lo que pasa por la cabeza de la protagonista pero ¿hasta qué punto es cierto? ¿Está alterando la realidad? Estas dos preguntas están muy presentes entre sus páginas.La primera página logró captar mi atención. Sí, con solo una logró convencerme para querer seguir leyendo y saber qué había pasado. Creo que su forma de escribir tan intrigante y a la vez concisa, fue lo que me cautivó en el primer momento.El problema de esta historia llegó en los siguientes capítulos. Al avanzar se hace un poco pesado por la poca cantidad de diálogos que aparecen. Además, la protagonista le da demasiadas vueltas a todo sin centrarse en el tema central del thriller cuando ella misma sabe la verdad y es la que lo está narrando.Toca bastantes temas pero no profundiza en ellos. Creo que conocer de antemano a la sospechosa y a los fallecidos ha pesado demasiado en la historia y la escritora no ha trazado un desarrollo demasiado claro de lo que sucede, dando la sensación de que ni ella misma sabe hasta dónde quiere llegar.Respecto al final, lo que me parece interesante es la crítica que esconde y la conclusión que podemos sacar de este caso. ¿Algo negativo de ello? Sobran algunas páginas para contarlo.

  • Randee
    2019-03-31 07:26

    This is not exactly what I would call a murder mystery. There are murders, to be sure, and there is mystery as to what one character is actually guilty. But, I would call it a novel of suspense. It is well written and I like how it gradually reveals more pieces of the puzzle. I was never lacking interest so I will say it is actually 3.75 if we rated a bit more specifically overall. The first 85% of the book is definitely 4 stars, but it was so exceptionally good that the ending is actually anticlimactic. I would go as far as saying the ending was both lackluster and unimaginative. Pedestrian. Trite. I am always so disappointed when I am 100% engaged with a story and one that seems like there is going to big swerve only to find myself having a big yawn at the end. I watched an English movie called 'The Bird with the Crystal Plumage." An American watches an attack on the Italian wife in the art gallery she and her husband own. The American is stuck between two glass doors and can only watch as the villain escapes. The gallery owner's wife survives and the American stays in the country to try and help the police capture this villain whom they believe to be responsible for 3 previous killings. Because something is nagging the American about what he witnessed; we, the audience get to see this attack several times over again as the American tries to figure out what bothers him that he can't remember. The movie has one of the biggest bang endings I've ever witnessed or read and for the longest time it felt like Quicksand was going to have the same kind of bomb go off for an ending. Far from a bomb, I wouldn't even say it was a sparkler........

  • Thomas Strömquist
    2019-04-18 13:19

    Maja Norberg is on trial for her involvement in a school shooting, but what did she really do? And what did or didn't she do leading up to the horrible event? We are thrust into the story after months in custody, when the court hearings start and only gradually we learn what happened. Too gradually, I felt, and a large part of the book had me wondering if I really had to go through all of it to learn anything more from the glimpses of memory fragments and descriptions of a longs row of happenings that often felt like examples of the same thing. The narrative - first-person present-tense - is not always easily handled and I think contributes to this drawn-out feeling. But, at about the half-way mark something happened and the story took off. Giolito manages to draw the characters extremely well and one part of the pay-off in the second half of the book, I think, is that by now we're invested enough in them to be very keen to find out we're the story is going. Add to that the sense of unraveling starting and it became quite hard to put the book down. A great ending too. Recommended - but don't despair if you think that you're treading water a bit starting out.

  • Imi
    2019-04-10 09:22

    Maja Norberg, an attractive and popular teenager, is a survivor of a mass school shooting. I don't want to give any more away about the premise of this up and coming YA thriller (despite the fact the blurb already gives much of it away...), because the opening chapter does such a good job of throwing the reader into the story with a bang, in a way that means you never feel fully comfortable again. I've read quite a few books similar to this in concept over the past few years (Cartwheel, With Malice etc...), books that explore murders involving teenagers, the consequences and attempts to discover the reasons behind the crimes, and honestly most of them have been highly disappointing. I'm happy to say this completely bucked that trend and I can strongly recommend it for YA and crime thriller readers! I was concerned at the start that it would just be the same old, Maja would turn out to be overly one dimensional, the twists unbelievable and ridiculous, but I was just more and more impressed with this thriller as it went on, racing through it in a matter of days. Not only is this a great page-turner, I also loved that it explored how teenagers manage to cope with various issues (or sometimes cannot manage to on their own). It's a story about failure, of many of the characters, but does failure make someone guilty? One of my favourite reads of the year so far!

  • Athena
    2019-04-18 06:56

    Αυτό το βιβλίο το ευχαριστήθηκα πάρα πολύ! Για να πω, όμως, την αλήθεια στην αρχή πήγα να το αδικήσω. Γιατί; Επειδή στο στο εξώφυλλο έγραφε "δικαστικό θρίλερ" και εγώ περίμενα ένα βιβλίο σαν την "Υπόθεση Jacob" που μέχρις στιγμής δεν έχω βρει ανάλογο. Πρέπει, όμως, ένα βιβλίο να μοιάζει μ' ένα άλλο; Και φυσικά όχι. Και το βιβλίο τη Giolito είναι τόσο καλό για αυτόν ακριβώς το λόγο! Φαίνεται η συγγραφέας να έχει τρομερό ταλέντο, καθώς ξέρει πως να κρατάει τον αναγνώστη σε αγωνία, οι χαρακτήρες της είναι αρκετά καλά δομημένοι, τόσο που είχα την αίσθηση πως είναι υπαρκτά πρόσωπα. Κατά τη διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης του άλλαζα διαρκώς άποψη για τους ήρωες, αλλά και στο τέλος ένιωσα πως τους συμπαθώ αλλά και τους αντιπαθώ ταυτόχρονα. Αρκετά ωραία μηνύματα θέλει να περάσει η συγγραφέας, με έναν διακριτικό τρόπο και με μια ιδιαίτερη ιστορία. Ένα μειονέκτημα αυτού του βιβλίου είναι ότι μετά από τη 200η σελίδα πηγαίνει η δράση πιο γρήγορα. Ίσως, βέβαια, να το αισθάνθηκα αυτό, επειδή περίμενα να διαβάσω κάτι διαφορετικό. Εξαιρετική η Giolito, θα διάβαζα ευχαρίστως τα επόμενα βιβλία της.

  • Bonnie Brody
    2019-04-10 15:03

    Quicksand is a thoughtful and in-depth psychological study of a young woman on trial for the mass murder of her classmates. Maja is a student in Djursholm, Sweden, a very posh upper class area. Not all of the students are privileged, however, as some are in the high school because of their intellectual gifts that fit in with the school's special economics program or because of pure luck.Maja is 18 years old and sitting in jail awaiting trial. Her defense attorney is the best trial lawyer in Sweden. The prosecution states that she is responsible for the murder of her best friend, Amanda, and conspired with her boyfriend Sebastian to commit the other murders. All-told, 4 students and one teacher have been shot in the high school. Maja's relationship with each of the victims is explored from her perspective.As the trial progresses, the reader is privy to Maja's internal dialogue and psyche. We see how she fell in love and under the spell of Sebastian, son of the richest man in Sweden. He is repeating his senior year of high school and is renowned for his apparent charisma, wealth and parties. Initially, Maja is enthralled with Sebastian and he is everything to her. As time progresses, she sees that he takes too many drugs and is very troubled. She is fraught with conflict as she realizes that she feels compelled to save him from himself and the abusive father he worships.At first, Maja's parents are delighted that she is dating Sebastian as they think it will somehow improve their status in the world. After all, his father Claes Fagerman, is the richest man in their country. Claes wines and dines Maja's family and entertains them on his yacht. Soon, however, Maja's parents realize that something is amiss with their daughter and they begins to see a darker side to her relationship with Sebastian.This novel examines several issues that Sweden is currently facing such as unfair taxing of the poor, prejudice against immigrants,substance abuse, and the providing of a safe tax haven for the extraordinary wealthy.

  • Essi | morrisongrl
    2019-04-20 09:25

    So this one is kind of hard to rate for me. I kinda want to give it more stars for the writing,and the story telling. But I have to rate it by my own experience&feelings about it. The author used to be a lawyer,which really shows in the courtroom scenes. They feel beliveable and are very realistic. Yet,not boring. The reason why I gave only three stars,and why,in the end,I didn't love this book,is that I feel I wasn't the target audience. The characters are teenagers and the story is about their friendships,relationships and problems. I just couldn't relate. The main character's boyfriend comes from a rich family,and they just take of and fly abroad somewhere whenever they feel like it. Or spend weeks on daddy's yacht. Again,not reletable. But! That's not what the book is about. It's about how things go horribly wrong. It's about mental issues. Loneliness. What happens when your parents have all the money in the world,but no love for you. Big part of the story takes place in the court after a school shooting. It's told by the pov of Maja,the shooter's girlfriend. The author really takes you into her head. Slowly you learn what led to that horrible day. I feel like this is an important book. It's not YA,although I think much younger audience would get more out of it. It's very well written. It just wasn't for me. I can still appreciate the writing,the way the author gets into Maja's head&feelings,the importance of a story like this. And the very difficult subject matter. The book won a best crime novel award,so there's also that. Although I wouldn't say this is a crime novel as much as it's a courtroom thriller and,well,YA. Is there such a genre as YA drama? So yeah. As you can probably tell,I had a hard time reviewing this. It's one of those books you know someone would love,that someone just isn't you. I couldn't relate to any of it. And because of that,all the characters were left distant. I liked parts of the court scenes,but other than that nope. Not for me. Thanks for the publisher Johnny Kniga for sending me a copy.

  • Sumaiyya
    2019-03-30 14:58

    This was such an interesting court room drama + crime fiction mystery. It carries a subtle but effective message on class, society and race. The book frequently picks up in pace and intrigue, but also tends to slow down occasionally to give you a not so much of a breather because it's all so uncertain. I loved the final quarter and portrayal of Maja as a modern, rich teenager who is facing mass murder charges. Can't wait to do my full review ❤️

  • switterbug (Betsey)
    2019-04-19 08:17

    Raised in a prestigious area of Stockholm, Maja Norberg is an unusual teen. Not because of her wealth, or her dysfunctional family, or her desperate sounding love life. No, she is a standout because she is charged in the murder of her teacher, her boyfriend and her best friend in a high school shooting. “I killed them. I killed Amanda. I killed Sebastian. And it wasn’t out of love. We can say whatever we want about it—I still did it.”But is Maja really the guilty party, or is the culprit the curse of a virulent society and parents who worship wealth and class distinction? Her parents, once learning that Maja was dating the son of one of the wealthiest men in Sweden, practically foisted Sebastian on her themselves, even when she was trying to let him go. Despite the fact that Sebastian’s father was a monster, nobody—not her parents, his business associates, or the media wanted to look behind the curtain at his true and reprehensible nature.As Maja narrates her story, she gradually fills in the background and preceding events leading up to these three weeks of the trial. Instead of merely focusing on courtroom drama, the novel zeroes in on the media effect, the criminal justice system, society’s perceptions of morality, the attitude towards immigrants, teen culture, drug culture, mental illness, friendships, family, loyalty, and loneliness, among other subjects. Giolito paints an exquisitely nuanced portrait of a girl overwhelmed by the forces that surround her. Is she an unreliable narrator? I asked myself, how reliable can anyone be if she doesn’t know the answers that could uncover the truth? There is madness everywhere, and you will find yourself, from the opening pages, asking whether the defendant is also the persecuted, or is she a cold and calculating sociopath, or an impulsive, unraveled teenager.This is a measured and penetrating portrait, but towards the latter half, I think it could have been culled, as it stuttered a bit and reproduced the same information in a cumbersome and winding manner. However, this is a small complaint against a generally weighty and absorbing novel that kept me fascinating up until the inevitable conclusion. Kudos to translator Rachel Willson-Broyles for her translation from the Swedish as if English were the author’s native language. A must-read for literature lovers and readersof socio-legal thrillers. 4.5 stars

  • Tess
    2019-04-05 12:12

    This novel, Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito, continues the trend of shocking and highly readable Swedish novels translated into English, readied to be a sensation stateside. The first chapter catapults the reader directly into the story, throwing you off balance and it takes the rest of the novel to feel like you are back on solid ground. Without giving too much away, the story at the surface is about a school shooting. When I realized this, I was of course a bit shocked but also worried it would be a morality tale, or something has already (very depressingly) been well trodden. This is not the case at all, and is actually about so much more. Told from the perspective of a girl who survived the shooting, and is also accused of murder, the story takes huge twists and turns, reaching into the past and moving quickly through a trial. I loved how well Giolito was able to reveal huge nuggets of information throughout the story, keeping you surprised until the end. They are often so subtle you may think wait, did I already know this? Or is this new information? I can imagine it must be hard to have a first person narrative as the voice of a novel, who knows the whole story, but is only telling the reader just what they need to know about the truth to keep it interesting and surprising. The English translation of Quicksand comes out in March of next year and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a hugely talked about book, and for all the right reasons. ARC curtesy of NetGalley.

  • Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
    2019-04-04 12:03

    I “5 star adored” this Swedish “courtroom thriller” and am amazed it hasn’t gotten more buzz in the U.S. since its March release! In a nutshell, Quicksand is the movie Cruel Intentions (elite prep school, lots of money, partying, drugs, neglected high schoolers, and an intense love affair), if Sebastian (PS – Quicksand‘s main character is also named Sebastian…it’s almost too perfect!) had shot up his school and Annette had gone to trial for helping him. The story shifts back and forth between Maja’s (Sebastian’s girlfriend and the “Annette” character in Quicksand) trial and time in jail and the lead-up to the shooting, including Maja and Sebastian’s love affair and Sebastian’s tumultuous relationship with his billionaire father. This story is about far more than just a school shooting…it’s about friendship, family, a wealthy community, the complicated entanglement of young love, the law, and a slight bit of politics. I couldn’t put it down. If you like dark, twisty high school books, this is one of the best I’ve ever read! It’s also going on my 2017 Summer Reading Guide!For more reviews, visit my blog: https://www.sarahsbookshelves.com/

  • Kajsa
    2019-04-20 11:58

    För långsamt för min smak..Lär mer om vad jag tyckte på Kajsas Bokblogg: https://kajsasbokblogg.wordpress.com/...

  • Paul
    2019-04-21 12:09

    Quicksand – Highly Addictive Scandi NoirQuicksand was the winner of Sweden’s Best Crime Novel 2016, and has been given a billing in the English language of being a cross between The Secret History meets We Need to Talk about Kevin, and that fans of Serial and Making a Murderer will enjoy this book. I would like to add that any love of Scandi Noir will find Quicksilver highly addictive and completely engrossing.Maja Norberg is 18 years old and is standing trial for murder, or correctly put for a number of murders and incitement of others, at her school and the death of her boyfriend’s father in his home. She has spent the last nine months in prison awaiting trial and has been found guilty in the court of public opinion and the newspapers before a word has been spoken in court.There are two very clear narratives in this thriller both from the point of view of Maja, one of the ongoing court case and her incarceration awaiting trial, and the other is the relationship to her family, boyfriend and her best friend Amanda. All she can remember from the day is being carried out of the classroom with only a bruise surrounded by blood and death. Both narratives give Maja a voice for both good and evil while being provocative at the same time.We see Maja’s relationships with all the other characters, and at times she can be both annoying while being child-like while explaining what happened. Typical of all dark Sandi thrillers there is some lighter moments to make Maja seem stronger than she comes across in court. You are alone with her cell as she thinks back to her interpersonal relationships, could she or should she have done things differently. She knows she killed her boyfriend and her best friend but did she mean it, she cannot remember or does not want to remember.As the prosecution sets out its case, Maja sits silently as she listens to the evidence and her thoughts run wild as she does so. Is the prosecutor correct or is her defence lawyer, she questions both in her mind as the case continues, she certainly does not want to turn around and see her parents or anyone else that has packed in to the court room.As you read Quicksand you will want to know more you will want to get ahead and find out what the verdict of the court is. This is a mystery suspense thriller that is totally seductive, in that you want Maja to be found not guilty but you cannot guarantee that would be the right verdict. This is a wonderful narrative between good and evil, and you will be provoked by the subject matter, a classroom full of dead teenagers and teachers. There is a tension throughout the novel and you do not get any release until the very last sentence, Quicksand is utterly brilliant, and one of the finest thrillers I have read in a while.

  • Kasa Cotugno
    2019-04-14 10:23

    Praised as the Swedish thriller of the year, Quicksand arrives with a great deal of advance trumpeting, but unlike its predecessors, is not a descent into voyeuristic mayhem and sadism. Quicksand is told exclusively by Maja Norberg from her prison cell following a horrific attack on her closest schoolmates. That is set out in the first two pages. How she came to wind up on the classroom floor with her charismatic, troubled boyfriend dying in her arms fills the next 492 without a dull moment. Malin Persson Giolito gives Maja amazing powers of discernment and observation, emotional depth and honesty. The writing here is is compelling, engrossing, not surprising since Giolito's father, Leif Persson, a respected criminologist as well as novelist. This is truly a gene that has been passed triumphantly. I admit that the early descriptions of this book turned me off. I'd decided to take a break from violence against children, mass murders, Swedish thrillers, and this book appeared to fit all three categories. However, swayed by a few advance reviewers by people I find perceptive and discerning, I took a chance and am so glad I did. Need I say highly recommended?

  • Roy
    2019-03-28 12:58

    A slow burn literary thriller. The last 1/3 was where most of the plot unfolds. Alot of personal reflection from the main character. Just never connected with this one. Dont expect a crime novel.

  • Susana
    2019-03-25 11:07

    Una de las mejores novelas negras que he leído recientemente. El crimen y las razones para cometerlo, la culpabilidad o inocencia de Maja, la protagonista, pasan a un segundo plano, para ofrecer un retrato crítico de la sociedad sueca con sus adolescentes superficiales, inmersos en las redes sociales, la banalidad, las drogas y la presión social de sus pares, pero también por el anhelo de ascenso de sus padres, pero no por méritos propios, si no por frecuentar a la gente correcta; el disimulado racismo contra los inmigrantes, en especial de origen "árabe", pero también el sutil aislamiento de esa misma población que no pareciera interesada en integrarse a la cultura del país que los acoge. Un sistema judicial muy marcado por la "opinión pública" recogida y manipulada por los medios de comunicación:"I have the right to the best lawyer in Sweden. But I don’t have the right to win." Una situación extrema, una culpa demasiado pesada para una mujer joven, una adolescente, casi niña, de quien se espera una madurez imposible:"No one asked if I wanted to save Sebastian, but you all blame me for failing."En una sociedad cada vez más anónima y banalizada:"People are pathetic to the very end. Not unique."Altamente recomendable.

  • Clara Axner
    2019-04-06 11:24

    Den här är verkligen överraskande bra, på det sättet att den var helt berättad utifrån ett oväntat perspektiv och på ett så träffsäkert sätt. Blev förvånad över mig själv för vågade inte läsa den på kvällen för jag tyckte den var så obehaglig och verklighetstrogen. Det har inte hänt sen jag sträckläste night film av Marisha pessl (länge sen).

  • Karen
    2019-04-07 14:14

    If ever there was a book that shows that the Best Swedish Crime Novel award needs to be closely followed, QUICKSAND is it. Scandinoir remains one of the big things in worldwide crime fiction, but, as you'd expect, there can sometimes be a little sameness to the sub genre. Which is not intended as criticism, there's only so many subject matters, styles and approaches available when you're writing psychological thrillers or crime fiction. QUICKSAND, on the other hand, has taken an unusual and different approach to a very difficult subject, handling that undertaking with considerable aplomb.The novel is narrated by teenager Maja Norberg, who is standing trial for a high school shooting in which her best friend, several other students, a teacher and her boyfriend and fellow shooter, Sebastian, were killed. She's been in jail for nine months and seems surprisingly calm and sanguine about the possible outcome. Maja is a most unlikely killer, not because she comes from a privileged and wealthy background, but as she seems to be searching for answers herself.The storyline switches between past and present seamlessly, always within Maja's viewpoint, going back to when she first met Sebastian, their growing romantic and sexual connection, and simultaneous relationships with her family, his father and her friends. Author Malin Persson Giolito hasn't flinched from making this character a difficult girl to connect with. She's a teenager with attitude and adolescent angst aplenty, contemptuous, judgemental, more often than not frustratingly annoying. Which makes this a discomfortingly realistic portrayal. A young girl beset with doubts and complex emotions, looking down on her parents, her teachers, her surroundings and society in general, reserving any real emotion and affection - not for the boyfriend she can't break away from - but for her baby sister and grandparents. As the story progresses much about Sebastian and his own background becomes clearer, as does Maja's own involvement. Both of these teenagers have had unexpected difficulties to cope with - subtle and perhaps more "first world" than any problems associated normally with poverty and disadvantage, but nonetheless, there's something bubbling away under the surface of these seemingly perfect lives that isn't right and not good. There's much being said here about that idea of wealth and privilege compensating for bad parenting, unreasonable expectation and disaffection. As you'd expect, as more is revealed, the mental state of, and relationship between, Sebastian and Maja becomes more erratic, controlling and toxic.But was it toxic enough for her to join him in his murderous plan? Did she know what Sebastian did on that final morning, was she an active participant? Did she incite or did she somehow get caught up in the madness herself? There's plenty of proof to say who shot who in that final scene in the classroom, but not necessarily why or even how. Even Maja is struggling for understanding, whilst in solitary confinement, in consultations with her lawyers and in a courtroom. QUICKSAND is very clever in the way that it pulls readers in and repulses at the same time. It gives you licence to really dislike the central character, and the freedom to empathise, sympathise and change your mind all at the same time. Everyone is incredibly real - from parents right to the teenagers themselves. And because of that everyone is flawed, and the things that people do allowed to stun, confront, bemuse and annoy. It's finally a lesson in what you see is not always what you get, and right up until the judgement is read in court you'll be unsure how the rest of Maja's life is going to pan out. https://www.austcrimefiction.org/revi...

  • Lily S.
    2019-04-08 11:21

    If you are only going to read one courtroom novel this year let it be this one!Also perfect for people who are just beginning to dip their toes into the genre because the courtoom scenes don't overwhelm the book at all, the focus is entrirely on the events that led there. Maria 'Maja' Norberg, an upper class Norwegian teenager is accused of committing a mass murder in their upper secondary school with her boyfriend, Sebastian who died during the shooting. People are outraged, some demand answers but most people just want someone who is responsible for the terrible things that happened. But nothing ever is that simple, that is one thing this book teaches everyone. The narrating voice is Maja's; it seamlessly alternates between the present and the past starting from the first day of trial and the beginning of their relationship with Sebastian and the circle of their friends. As the events unfold we get a multilayered,realistic and very alive portrait of everyone who had part in how things turned out. There are many people, good student Samir, drug dealing Dennis, the parents of the couple, the best friend Amanda, her boyfriend Sebastian and Maja herself and of course their complex motivations and the dynamics between them. This book is about what people do and more importantly didn't do and how it ultimately leads to catastrophe. From the very first page it grips the attention and doesn't let go till the very end.Though it's more of a courtroom drama than thriller with its 400+ pages, well crafted character development and insightful criticism of society. Giolito is a wonderful new voice, I can recommend Quicksand to everyone who is truly interested in a complex, psychologically accurate and compelling story. *I'd like to thank Netgally for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest rewiew.*