1 Year Anniversary of For the Lover of Books

I started For the Lover of Books in late June 2015 because I was embarrassed of the first blog I had created, but I still wanted to practice writing and share my opinions on the thing that brings me great happiness: books. I was determined to leave Bookteardown (my previous blog) behind me and work even harder on For the Lover of Books (Fun fact: I originally wanted to name my blog For the Love of Books (like the saying “for the love of God”), but it was already taken). I created a Twitter, a now deleted Facebook page (The only likes were my mom and aunt) and a Goodreads (which remains friendless because I’m too socially anxious to actually friend anyone). I posted a few reviews before I got my first follower, and if I remember correctly I nearly cried because the only person who had read Bookteardown’s posts was my dad. My early reviews may not be very good, and even my recent reviews need work, but I like knowing that I have improved a lot in a year. Even after a year, I’m still trying to get better and find a nicer and less cynical way to get my opinions across.

Thank you to everyone who has ever even skimmed a post from For the Lover of Books! Thank you to every single person who has ever left a comment or a like, it means the world to me when you do! And lastly, thank you to all 33 current followers of For the Lover of Books! It means so much to me that you all saw something in For the Lover of Books at one point or another and I am so grateful for the wonderful blogging community. Some people may think 33 people isn’t a lot compared to people who are followed by hundreds or thousands, but just know that 33 is unbelievable to the girl who didn’t think she’d get 1 follower.

Now that my gratitude has been expressed, for my one year anniversary, I thought that I would tell you some book related things about me. I have seen this done before with 25 facts, but I’m just going to list as many as I can.

  1. I live in a small house and share a room with my sister, so I only have one shelf to put my books on (the rest are in cupboards, drawers, and boxes)
  2. I have never fallen in love with a book character (no book boyfriends for me). Normally I just hope that the protagonist ends up with the guy if I think he is a good person.
  3. I don’t eat while reading.
  4. I don’t bring my books out in public anymore (I don’t want them getting dirty)
  5. I learned to read in grade 1 (at age 6 or 7, so 11 or 10 years ago) using a Sandra Boynton book
  6. My dad read all 7 of the Harry Potter books to me and my brother when we were fairly young (I was in grade two when we started the first one I believe). I ended up reading the last book after my dad had finished reading us the series for a book talk for school in grade 5, making Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the only Harry Potter book I have personally read.
  7. Speaking of Harry Potter, my dad would not let us watch the movies until we finished the books, so when the time came to watch Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I was very disappointed when the characters did not look exactly as I had imagined them.
  8. While most people like having maps in books, I prefer having family trees and/or glossaries.
  9. I cannot stand it when authors have characters talk in Yorkshire accents in books (probably because I’m too lazy to try and figure out what they’re saying)
  10. I organize my books from favorite book to least favorite book, so I don’t put books away before they have been read.
  11. I prefer hardcovers to paperbacks, but I despise dust jackets (I used to throw out the dust jackets).
  12. The smell of a new book is one of the best smells.
  13. E. K. Johnston is the first and only author I have ever met.
  14. My Hogwarts house is Hufflepuff according to Pottermore, but I feel like I’m a mix of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.

Do you have any of the same/similar bookish facts about you?

The Happiness Tag

I was tagged by Mandy from Book Princess Reviews. If you are not already following her blog, you should rectify that immediately. You can read her answers here.

LIST FIVE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY

  1. Books: I figured I’d start with the obvious. Books are one of the most important things in my life. Without book, I wouldn’t have this blog. Without books, I don’t think I would still be alive.
  2. Music: Another things that is deeply important to me. Music keeps me sane and above suicidal when my depression is particularly awful.
  3. Gilmore Girls: I just started watching it recently, but I’m hooked (I’m currently watching it as we speak).
  4. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries : I heard about this series last year, and it makes my heart feel full whenever I watch it. I’ve already been through the series twice.
  5. Hamilton: The musical, not the city in Ontario. I’m obsessed with this musical. So many good lyrics, paired with amazing music.

LIST FIVE SONGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY

These aren’t exactly happy songs, but they are songs I like, so that’s something. These are in no particular order.

  1.  Fall Out Boy – Just One Yesterday ft. Foxes
  2.  Dropkick Murphys – Rose Tattoo
  3. Hercules – Go the Distance (Michael Bolton version, not from an official Vevo/ channel)
  4. Green Day – Still Breathing
  5. Imagine Dragons – Demons

I hope you enjoyed that look into my soul. These are not necessarily my favorite songs (because picking your favourite songs is picking your favourite book levels of impossible), but I think I’ve hit all of the “emo” (my sister’s term, not mine), Celtic punk, Disney, and depressing points of my taste in music. Now all I need is to throw in some random country songs, and a significant amount of Kelly Clarkson, and we’ve got a general overview of my music tastes.

I Tag:

Marie from Marie’s Library

Abbie from The Fuzzy Bookworm

Aditi from Readers Rule

If you wish to be tagged and haven’t been, let me know in the comments, and I will add you and your blog to this list.

Flame in the Mist Book Review

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Number of pages: 393

Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1

Rating (out of five stars): 1.5

I wanted to love Flame in the Mist. Maybe A Court of Wings and Ruin was disappointing, but Flame in the Mist was sure to be my five star read for May, right? I’m just tired of being disappointed.

The first thing that didn’t really work was the writing. While flowery, metaphor filled writing works really well for a romance novel, it does not work for an action book. The writing slows the progression of the plot. Frankly, the first 250 pages were really boring. There was a point in time where I didn’t even notice I had been staring out my window at a tree for ten minutes instead of reading. It’s just the wrong writing style for this type of story.

Mariko is really similar to Shazi. In fact, the whole romance plot is really similar to The Wrath and the Dawn. Boy is dark and mysterious, the “villains” are really the good guys, and then there is the heroine. Maybe it’s frustration with Feyre, but I’m becoming really sick of these heroines who are perfect in every way. Raised well, incredibly “intelligent”, and strong in every sense of the word. All these perfect, strong women are fine in principle, but they are starting to grate on me. I want my legitimately flawed heroines back. I want to see quiet, weaker heroines more often, because we exist.

There are so many other things I had problems with in Flame in the Mist. The magic didn’t really make sense, there was hardly any action, and this really wasn’t a Mulan retelling. In fact, I’m really sick of publishers pushing books as something they are not. A Mulan retelling is not the same thing as a girl cutting her hair and carrying logs for a secret society. A Mulan retelling is not the same thing as including a play on the whole “swift as a coursing river…” line from I’ll Make a Man Out of You.

The ending also didn’t really work. It would have been better if it had ended at the second last chapter, rather than where it did. The final chapter feels so out of place. I get that the information had to be conveyed, but it made me even less eager to read the sequel.

Overall, Flame in the Mist was disappointing, ultimately earning 1.5 stars out of 5. I do urge you to give it a try, however, because maybe I’ve gone insane at this point.

The Music Genre Book Tag: Volume 2

I was about to go to sleep one night when I thought “I wonder if someone has created a music genre book tag”, and then proceeded to come up with questions. Turns out someone has (hence the volume 2), but I came up with completely different questions, and I still wanted to share my version. Books and music are my two loves; I like combining them. I included examples, which you do not need to do. I in no way own any of the linked videos. They are there to provide examples of music from the genres, and are not necessarily videos I approve of. I tried to find the official videos put out by the artists.

There are no “rules”, I would just appreciate the regular tag “things” (tag the creator (me), tag other people). If you don’t tag me or others, I really won’t get too worked up about it.

Celtic punk: Favourite Obscure Book/ A Book with a Non-Western Setting

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

With just over 2000 ratings on Goodreads, I’m counting Under Rose-Tainted Skies as obscure. It features fantastic mental illness representation, and you should definitely go read it and add to the number of people who have.

Classical: Favourite Classic/ Book that Should Become a Classic

The Hate U Give

My current favourite classic is Pride and Prejudice, but The Hate U Give deserves to become a classic way more than the internet needs me to gush about Pride and Prejudice. If you haven’t read The Hate U Give, drop whatever you are reading/ were going to read next and pick it up.

Soul/ RnB: A Powerful Book

Exit, Pursued By a Bear

As someone who lives a fairly sheltered life, this book about rape was shocking to me. It is such a powerful showcase of what society could be like.

Cover Songs (Original) : Favourite Retelling

Stitching Snow

Maybe not my favourite retelling, but Stitching Snow is an amazing Snow White retelling that isn’t talked about enough.

Soundtrack: Favourite Book to Movie Adaptation/ Adapted Book 

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If I Stay is one of the few movies that has made me cry.

Rock and Roll: An Action Packed Book

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How can you not pick one of the Six of Crows book for this question. Unless of course you haven’t read the Six of Crows duology. If that’s the case, you should rectify that immediately.

Pop: A Book with a Pretty Cover that You Lost Interest In

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I was all set to order this book, but then a reviewer whose opinion I trust gave it a bad review. I still love the cover, though.

Reggae: Favourite Seasonal Book 

My True Love Gave to Me

This is the only seasonal book I could think of, since I don’t associate genres with the seasons.

Country: A Historical Fiction Book That Wasn’t For You/ You Loved

And I Darken

One of the most fantastic historical fiction books I have ever read. I eagerly await the sequel.

I Tag:

Lynn from Castle on the Sea 

Jasmine from How Useful It Is

Mandy From Book Princess Reviews

Books Are All You Need

Tiana from The Book Raven

Please don’t feel obligated to do this tag. Also, if you would like to be tagged, feel free to leave a comment and I will add you and your blog to this list.

Side note: I just turned 18, so I just joined Netgalley. If anyone has any tips, they are much appreciated.

The Call Book Review

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Number of pages: 312

Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1

Rating (out of five stars): 1

I went into The Call looking for a creepy horror book set in Ireland. What I got was a boring, forgettable book that could have been set anywhere if they hadn’t have mentioned where they were as often as they did.

I’m not normally a fan of horror books (I value whatever good sleep my depression allows me), but the last book that gave me nightmares (Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge) was so enjoyable that I wanted to give another creepy book a try. Maybe I’ve been desensitized, but The Call wasn’t scary, it was boring. I guess humans being twisted into monsters is supposed to be terror inducing, but it was more strange than creepy.

The writing doesn’t exactly help here. It keeps the reader at a distance. It’s very cold and emotionless, not the flowing suspenseful writing necessary for a horror book. The writing needed to suck the reader in, not push them further away from the story with every page.

Being distantly Irish, I was incredibly excited to read a book set in Ireland. However, there were no real descriptions that distinguished The Call as being set in Ireland, other than the mention of Dublin. You could have told me that The Call was set in my small tourist village, and I would have next to no evidence to prove you wrong.

Nessa is a very forgettable character. There was one point where I went to sleep having made significant progress in The Call, only to wake up and completely forget who she was. I appreciated her as a disabled character in YA, but other than that, there wasn’t much to her. She is just as cold and emotionless as the writing, which didn’t exactly make me want to root for her.

Overall, The Call was disappointingly bland, earning 1 star out of 5.

A Court of Wings and Ruin Book Review

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Number of pages: 699

Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1

Rating (out of five stars): 2

This was incredibly disappointing. I didn’t exactly have high expectations for A Court of Wings and Ruin, despite thoroughly enjoying A Court of Mist and Furry. I was more curious to see how Maas was going to end a series. This was supposed to convince me that purchasing two more Throne of Glass books is going to be worth it, not give me more doubts about Maas as a writer. I know in my heart that both Maas and A Court of Wings and Ruin had potential to be great, but I think the business of publishing has failed them both here.

A Court of Wings and Ruin feels very rushed. The pacing is all over the place, and the plot is nowhere near as intriguing as it thinks it is. The fact that my brain had enough time to frequently question for long stretches of time why I was still reading this monster of a book, tells me enough about my thoughts on the plot. It was very slow moving. If I’m going to read a book, I’d really like to be engaged while reading. I feel badly that Maas has to pump out two books a year to sate her ever growing fan base, but I can only judge what words she has written into sentences, not her situation.

The whole revenge plot was really terrible. It was the part that had me second guessing purchasing A Court of Wings and Ruin the most. Luckily, it reminded me just how dense Feyre is, since book two had me fooled according to my review. She takes credit for a thousand things that are pure luck, trying desperately to force the reader to believe she is the conniving puppet master we expected her to be. Three quarters of the people who regularly surrounded her when she was staying at the Spring Court, were on to her, but she was too busy telling us how masterful her plan was to notice.

Speaking of Feyre, she and Rhysand where the most disappointing characters in this book. Feyre nearly completely reversed all the growth her character went through in book two, and Rhysand seemed to only be there for moral support, with their relationship losing the spark it had in A Court of Mist and Furry. It really sucks when you would rather be following anyone but the two main characters. In fact, the only reason A Court of Wings and Ruin has earned two stars instead of one is the side characters, which makes me feel cheated, since special attention was probably paid to them because of the three book spinoff series coming our way (plus novellas I believe).

I don’t normally talk about diversity in my reviews, since it is my belief that congratulating authors on being diverse is the same as commending a historian or journalist for being factually accurate, but I like that Maas took the criticism from fans about the lack of diversity, and added some. She didn’t have to add diversity (we are not talking morally here), since as one of the biggest YA authors right now, her books would sell just fine without it. I commend her for doing better and not becoming defensive.

My one issue with the added diversity, however, is Mor’s confession to Feyre. It felt really forced and out of place, almost as if Maas realized she had written herself into a corner, and couldn’t use Deus ex Machina to fix the problem. I don’t have any problems with Mor being who she is, but I do take issue when diversity is used as what feels like a plot device.

I wasn’t a fan of the stereotypical fantastical battle scene that is so common in the final book in fantasy series to begin with, but the last hundred pages of so were the biggest example of an author using Deus ex Machina I have ever read. We’re talking bigger than when Hamlet is miraculously saved and returned to Denmark unscathed by pirates who know he has money on his persons. I would like to know, firstly, how on earth Feyre’s father knew what was going on and who to trust and get help from, secondly, how Miriam and Drakon knew what was happening, and thirdly, how on earth the thing with Rhysand (and Amren) at the end worked. Reading this ending was worse for me than finding out that the battle in Twilight didn’t actually happen and everyone was okay (to clarify, I was incredibly upset and angry that nobody died in that scene in Twilight).

Overall, A Court of Wings and Ruin was pretty mediocre, leaving me with doubts, and with only my love of the side characters having kept me entertained. A Court of Wings and Ruin has therefore earned 2 stars out of 5.

The Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated by Aditi from Readers Rule, so thank you to her for nominating me. You should go check out her blog (apologies for being really terrible at these introductions and in advanced for my boring facts).

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THE RULES:

  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person you’ve been nominated by.
  3.  Share 7 different facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate a couple of blogs of your choice.
  5. Link your nominees and let them know of the nomination

7 Facts about me

  • My favorite musical is Hamilton. I hope I can get tickets for when it comes to Toronto.
  • I will be attending the University of Western Ontario in September to study English (I am hoping to double major in English and Math), and I am unbelievably excited.
  • I am a proud Hufflepuff.
  • I have depression.
  • My favourite flower is a Hibiscus (I have two; one is what I would describe as sunset colours, and one is light orange).
  • It is incredibly difficult for me to not sing along when listening to the music. I often opt for mouthing the lyrics when in public, instead of belting whatever I’m listening to.
  • As of May 17th I will be 18 years old.

I don’t know who has already been tagged for this, so if you have not been tagged, and would like to do this, comment down below and I will add you and a link to your blog to this post.

Favourite Book of the Month: April 2017

I’ve always wanted to do a TBR and wrap-up, but between school and my strange method for picking what to read next, the format isn’t a good fit for me personally. Enter this new series I’m trying out where I’ll be saying the best book I read that month. I’m a fairly hard reviewer to impress, so hopefully I will rate a book high enough each month to continue making these. Plus, it’s nice to be positive on For the Lover of Books once and a while.

I had 3 five star reads in the month of April, so it was harder to choose my favourite than I expected it to be. After some thinking, I have decided that my favourite read of April was Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (you can read my review here). It is full of dry humour and features incredible mental illness representation.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

What was the best book you read in the month of April?