I’m A Part of the Ace of Shades Street Team

I said this in my most anticipated releases of 2018, but I am a part of the street team for Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody. Those who are a part of the street team were placed into 3 different gangs from the book (The Doves, The Scarhands, and The Irons), and we are competing for prizes each month by posting with #AceOfShades and the hashtag for our gang. I am a part of the Irons, so I will be spamming my social media with Ace of Shades posts with #Irons for the next 3 months. Where do you come in? Well you can’t help the Irons win, but you can follow our Twitter @ironsAOS, our Instagram @gangofcheats, and our blog ironsofaceofshades.wordpress.com where we will be posting Ace Of Shades news, interacting with the other gangs via Twitter, and more. The blog has a post by yours truly detailing everything you need to know about Ace of Shades, which you can read here.

Also, with school and the street team, I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post here. I still have an unhaul to write and post, and many other ideas for things to post, but with advanced Calculus, Linear Algebra, and 2 English essays due this semester, For the Lover of Books might have to be neglected for a few months. I’m going to try, but I can’t make any promises.

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Eliza and Her Monsters Mini Review

Eliza and Her Monsters

Number of pages: 385

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

Contemporary books have to be either relatable or incredibly powerful for me to really enjoy them. Unfortunately, Eliza and Her Monsters checked neither box for me.

Being a person with social anxiety, a few lines struck a chord with me, but in a 385 page book, a few lines are nothing. That’s not me saying this was a bad representation of anxiety, it just didn’t match my experience perfectly, which is 100% okay.

I also couldn’t relate to Eliza’s parents not understanding being a part of an online community. I’m very fortunate to have parents who understand that friends made online are still friends.

What I really enjoyed about Eliza and Her Monsters were the drawing included throughout. They helped make it seem like Eliza and Monstrous Sea actually exist. I also enjoyed the profile pages, forum messages, etc. included. They too helped make the story come to life.

Overall, Eliza and Her Monsters was well done, but it unfortunately wasn’t for me. I still encourage you to give it a try if it sounds interesting to you. It has therefore earned 3 stars out of 5.

 

Blood Will Out ARC Review

Blood Will Out.jpg

Number of pages: 256

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

Rating (out of five stars): 1

Release Date: June 5th 2018

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.

I’ve been trying to branch out of my usual genre of YA fantasy lately, but my attempts have been largely unsuccessful. Enter an ARC I thought would make an interesting horror novel, but turned out to be a rather boring venture into an unhealthy mind and a barely developed character.

Blood Will Out had some issues with tone. Near the beginning it went from a chapter where a nine year old kills a trusting piglet and enjoys it, and then it switched to two characters dress shopping. I was expecting a fast-paced horror novel, but I ended up with a book that was just unnecessarily messed up, and generally boring.

The characters were very one dimensional. All I can tell you about Ari is what is said about her in the book itself, and it’s not even accurate if you look at what she does/ says. Even the killer felt like someone researched common traits in serial killers, gave them to the killer, and called it a day. Granted, I didn’t guess who she was, but that was largely in part to her having no defining characteristics that would allow even a horror fan to guess correctly. Additionally, the killer’s chapters were made extra flowery in an attempt to show her intelligence, but I just found it bogged down an already boring book.

I read the majority of Blood Will Out on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but it felt like it took me a month to read. There was no suspense or anything else to keep me invested in the story. I would have DNFed it had it not been an ARC.

There are also some problematic aspects to Blood Will Out. A homophobic slur (which I will not use here) is used quite frequently, and it mostly goes unchallenged. Not only does it go mostly unchallenged, but it felt very unrealistic to have it used so often. The only time I ever heard the word used in my entire high school career was when people were talking about a teacher who had it as a last name. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the term used the way it is used here.

Overall, Blood Will Out is really not worth your time, whether you are a horror fan or not, earning it 1 star out of 5.

 

City of Brass Book Review

City of Brass.jpg

Number of pages: 533

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4.75

I normally don’t have much success with books recommended by authors whose books I’ve liked, but am I ever glad I gave City of Brass a try. If all adult fantasy books are like this, sign me up!

I started City of Brass in November while at university, and while reading time was scarce, whenever I had a chance to pick it up, time seemed to melt away. Hours passed in what seemed like minutes, and I longed to be able to not put it down. I think this was due to the writing. It was lyrical, but it wasn’t bogged down by unnecessary metaphors. Once it entranced you, no words were wasted.

City of Brass also featured the perfect balance between the serious and the dry humour I love. It’s genuinely hard to not burst into laughter while reading, but it understood when it was the wrong time to laugh.

I loved the characters. Even the ones like Ali, whose chapters were fairly boring in the beginning, grew on me. Nahri was definitely my favourite character, though. She was so smart and resourceful, and she wasn’t going to take anyone’s crap.

The world-building was really solid. The world described in City of Brass is complex, yet it was easy to understand. Even if you were confused, a lot of the terminology was explained in the back of the book.

The last hundred pages or so had my mouth hanging open in shock. Though the plot was starting to lag near the end, the epilogue left me needing the second book.

I think City of Brass is the perfect bridge between YA and Adult Fantasy. It was more complex, yet it had the familiar feel of a YA fantasy, and it definitely got me interested in trying out more adult books.

Overall, City of Brass, though slow at times, was a fantastic debut fantasy perfect for YA readers looking to give adult books a try. It has therefore earned 4.75 stars out of 5.

 

Favourite Books of 2017

I know I’m late on all of the end of the year posts, but I was sick yesterday, so I ended up losing the day I was going to use to catch up. While were on the topic of catching up, coming to For the Lover of Books in the near future are 3 reviews (City of Brass, Blood Will Out (ARC), Eliza and Her Monsters), an unhaul, and possibly another books and music post (I only have 2 days left until I have to go back to school, so we’ll see if I can even get the other 4 posts done).

For this list, I decided to use the same format I use for my favourite book of the month posts, where I just show the cover of the book and link my review (here the reviews will be linked to the covers). Also, despite adding 11 books to my favourites shelf on Goodreads in 2017, I’ve chosen to only list the ones I gave a full 5 stars here. Without further ado, here are the 7 books I gave 5 stars in 2017.

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crooked-kingdomThe Hate U GiveA Crown of WishesStrange the DreamerUnder Rose-Tainted SkiesNow I Rise

What were some of the best books you read in 2017?

 

Most Anticipated Releases of 2018

I don’t normally do a post about my most anticipated releases, but I decided to do one this year because there are a lot of releases I’m interested in/ excited for. This doesn’t mean I will do this every year from here on out, and just because a book is on this list, it does not mean I will read it for sure. One review can often get me to not want to read a book. Also, just because a book is not on this list, it doesn’t mean I will not read it. These are my most anticipated releases, not every book I am interested in that is releasing in 2018. Now that that’s out of the way, here are my most anticipated releases of 2018.

The Pre-Orders

Ace of Shades.jpgReign of the Fallen.jpgEverless.jpgFuryborn.jpg

I pre-order roughly 5 books at the beginning of the year every year to make sure I will be able to read them. I buy 90% of my books with gift cards from my birthday and Christmas, so it helps make sure spontaneous purchases/pre-orders don’t stop me from reading the books I really want to read. The first big batch of pre-orders is normally books that come out in the first half of the year, since my birthday is in May and I can restock on gift cards then. For transparency, I did buy Everless in store, since its release day was yesterday, but I was going to pre-order it, which is why it’s here. Also part of this group is Bright We Burn by Kiersten White, but it doesn’t have a cover yet. It comes out in July, but I’m a Kiersten White fan, so I couldn’t not pre-order it. I’m also a part of the Ace of Shades Street Team, which I never in a million years thought I would actually get chosen for, considering the amount of people that entered to be a part of it. It made my day when I found out. I don’t really have a whole lot else to say about these 5 since I haven’t actually read any of them.

The Ones I Haven’t Pre-order, but Probably Will In the Future

Children of Blood and Bone.jpgA Thousand Beginnings and Endings.jpgA Reaper at the Gates

Pretend Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie Mclemore and The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty are here as well (they also doesn’t have a covers yet). I’m a bit more hesitant to go into these than I am the 5 above, but I am still really excited to read them. Also, I wasn’t going to pre-order books that comes out in October (Blanca & Roja) (at the the time of writing this), and an unknown date (The Kingdom of Copper) in January.

Those are my most anticipated releases of 2018. What are your most anticipated releases of 2018?

2017: A Year in Review

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I’m late on this (because of course I am), so apologies because you’re about to be bombarded by all of the end of the year posts in the next couple of days. I was going to format this like a review (star rating and all), but it felt strange to give a year a star rating. I was also going to start with some negative stuff, but I think I want to keep this as positive as I can. But this rambling is getting us nowhere, so without further ado, here is a look into my 2017.

2017 was a strange year. It wasn’t horrible by any means, just strange. I guess that how it goes when you start the year still a little sick from the flu you got on Boxing Day (2016). January wasn’t great. Between experiencing my depression at the worst it’s ever been and stressing out over my first exams of grade 12, 2017 really didn’t start the way I’d hoped. On the more positive side, I had been accepted into 2 of the 3 universities I had applied to by January, and I had re-discovered Fall Out Boy during my long period of extreme depression, so it wasn’t all bad.

February began with me still being depressed, but it also held my mom’s birthday and the Super Bowl. Other than finishing Crooked Kingdom, I don’t remember much else from February.

In March I believe I was accepted to the last of the universities I applied to. I also read The Hate U Give in March, a book I really didn’t expect to love as much I did. March was also the month I got to see Green Day in concert, and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, though I haven’t been to many.

April was a great reading month for me, as I rated 3 books 5 stars (not counting the Hamiltome). April was also the month I started doing Favourite Book of the Month posts (a series I haven’t been able to keep up with because I haven’t rated anything high enough). My little sister also turned 15 in April, which still seems crazy to me.

May is my birthday month, so I turned 18. I don’t think turning 18 was as magical as little kid me had hoped, but it happened all the same. Reading wise, May was generally disappointing, though I did enjoy one book I read.

My dad and brother celebrate their birthdays in June. While my brother being 17 isn’t as shocking as my sister being 15, it’s still weird to think how quickly the time has gone by. June also brought prom and my last exams of high school. June was an okay reading month, but it wasn’t the best.

July was strange, because I was reading as much as I possible so I could schedule posts for August. Other than that, it was fairly uneventful.

August was when I got to travel to South Africa with my grandmother. This was the first time I had ever been outside of North America. It was so nice to be able to spend time with my relatives. It’s strange when a large part of your family lives on a completely different continent. I was sad to leave, but I had to go home to pack for university. Looking at my Goodreads, I read a whole lot more than I thought I did in August.

September brought university, which really isn’t as great as I thought it would be. I had a lot of problems with my roommate from the start, which caused me to have a few problems with my depression, but ended up causing me more problems with my social anxiety than anything. I also didn’t get to do a whole lot of blogging in September, which didn’t exactly help. Despite the lack of blogging, For the Lover of Books reached 100 followers, a milestone I seriously never thought I would reach.

I officially graduated from high school in October and came home from university for the first time. I also participated in my first blog tour, though I don’t think I did a very good job. I also got to see Fall Out Boy in concert. It was nice to finally see them live.

In November both my roommate and one of my suitemates left. My roommate had barely treated me like a human, but it still hit me really hard. I felt extremely guilty, even though she didn’t have the decency to tell me she was leaving until an hour before she switched rooms. My anxiety was the worst it has even been after that. What had she told the rest of the floor about me? For the first time, my anxiety was causing my depression, and not the other way round. I couldn’t blog because of school, I could barely read, I couldn’t really go home because I had so much school work, and I had nobody. I really don’t have anything positive to say about November.

December was strange. I couldn’t listen to Christmas music (something I wait all year to do) because it just wasn’t the same with no one to share it with. I was stressed and lonely for most of it. Then I got to come home. I could finally read and blog again. I was the happiest and healthiest I had been all year. Christmas came, and it was just nice to spend time with family. I figured I’d tack this on to this post to make it easier, but my favourite book for the month of December was City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. I haven’t written my review yet, so you’ll know my thoughts when I get a chance to write it.

That’s my 2017 in a nutshell. I think despite the plentiful mental health issues, 2017 was not a bad year. It just wasn’t the best. Here’s to a great 2018.

Also, you can see my year in books here. (I hope the link works)

Edit: I don’t normally edit my posts after they’ve been posted unless I find a glaring spelling error, but I completely forgot to mention that I also read my first ARC in 2017. I remember getting the email from Netgalley and nearly bursting into tears.