Blogging with Social Anxiety for 3 Years

 

FLB 3 Year AnniversaryThis is a post that terrifies me to write, so I’m just letting whatever comes out come out. No writing this in Word and deciding not to post it. No going back. I’m just editing it on here and posting it.

Hi. If you’re new here I have social anxiety and depression. As a short disclaimer, while I have discussed the depression with multiple medical professionals, whenever I have said “I think I have social anxiety and depression”, everyone seems to ignore the one that makes it terrify to order food in a restaurant and actually talk to other humans, so that’s fun. I did research of my own years ago when I first figured it out, and everything seemed to pretty much to fit me to a T, so if you’re not here for my self-diagnosis that is 100% okay. I just wanted to put all the information out there. If you’re wondering to what extent it affects me, I am currently sweating and nauseous writing this.

Today is the 3 year anniversary of me starting For the Lover of Books, so I decided what better way to thank you than to make myself sick and depress everyone with emotional baggage. Jokes aside, I do want to talk about how my social anxiety has affected my blogging.

The first thing is how when I first started my blog I couldn’t comment on other blogs or my own. It was terrifying. If you’ve seen me around the internet you’ll know that this has changed, but I do still have the occasional issue with comments. I’ll write out a comment, overthink it for 2 hours, feel nauseous and the familiar prickle of anxiety, and decide not to add my voice to the discussion. If you’ve ever written me a long comment and I’ve done to it is liked it or replied with a simple “thank you” this is probably what happened.

I’m super weird with compliments. You aren’t causing me any trouble if you compliment me, but my brain just kind of short-circuits when I give/ receive them. This is something I really want to get better at, but I’m constantly terrified I will say the wrong thing.

I never blog hop. Another thing I want to get better at (I think I’m going to start with the thread of Canadian bloggers I’ve had saved on Twitter forever but haven’t gotten to yet). I rarely ever follow a person before they follow me, and if I do follow a person before they follow me they either liked or commented on one of my posts first. I’m also terrified of sending friend requests on Goodreads (and everywhere else, but I’m trying to keep this book blogging related). It comes from being afraid people will react negatively to it/ think I’m weird (I’m kind of proving those hypothetical people right with this post, but that’s fine). Yes, the rational part of my brain is well aware this is insane, but I really don’t have good control over my anxiety as of right now.

I think that’s all it affects on here. Now on to the profuse showing of gratitude.

Thank you to everyone who has ever read/liked/commented on a post on For the Lover of Books. Thank you to the 131 people who follow For the Lover of Books at the time of writing this. Thank you for being kind to me and patient with me for 3 years. You welcomed a lonely 16 year old girl from small town Ontario onto your screens 3 years ago, and it meant and means the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know where I would be without this blog and this community. I love this community so much.

And I would love to be friends. Email me (fortheloverofbooks@gmail.com). Friend me on Goodreads. Message me on social media (Twitter:@LoverofBooksblg Instagram:@loverofbooksblog). Do what you have to do to get my attention (with the exclusion of stalking me and finding where I live/ doing anything that will put others in danger, though I’m sure none of you would do that). 1/2 my life is online if you need me.

One last thank you to the people that read all that and made it to the end. Feel free to let me know if this post was TMI (to much information, not The Mortal Instruments)/crossed a line. I’m always open to feedback of any kind.

Advertisements

Beyond a Darkened Shore Book Review

Beyond A Darkened Shore.jpg

Number of pages: 448

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

Rating (out of five stars): 2

I was really excited for this one despite less positive reviews because it featured Celtic mythology, and I’ve been looking for something to push me to start reading Celtic mythology. Unfortunately, my main sentiment during and after reading Beyond a Darkened Shore was “yikes”.

Let’s start with the writing, because that’s what caused most of the issues I had with Beyond a Darkened Shore. You know when your teacher hands you back your essay and it has a section circled with “awkward” in red pen beside it. Well, this book is the section of your essay, and I’m the one doing the circling. Beyond a Darkened Shore feels almost unedited. I was shocked to learn it’s not a debut novel.

Along with the awkward writing comes awkward dialogue. I got the feeling that Ciara and Leif were supposed to have this witty enemies-to-lovers banter, but all I could think about every time they opened their mouths was how nobody would actually talk like they do. I‘m sure I missed some of the story because I was so fixated on how bad the dialogue was.

Speaking of Ciara and Leif, we have a lovely example of insta-love here. They knew each other for like 2 days before Leif was struggling to keep it in his pants. And the book tries really hard to convince the reader that it isn’t insta-love because while they spent what felt like hours in some other realm, a week/ month passed by in the mortal realm. That’s not how it works. It’s the amount of time the characters spend together, not the amount of time that passed somewhere the characters weren’t. The conflict between them also felt really contrived and was resolved too quickly. Ciara really needed to stop reminding herself she was supposed to hate him like as if her hatred was an afterthought after considering what it would be like to make out with him.

I felt like the author did an okay job of incorporating both Celtic and Norse mythology into the story. I feel like the Norse mythology was a bit poorly explained if you have no background knowledge, but I happen to know a little bit about Norse mythology, and I understood the Celtic stuff well enough. However, the one thing with the mythology that irritated me was how for roughly the first half of the book they referred to The Morrigan by all of her names. She’d show up and it would be like “Oh my god, it’s The Morrigan, goddess of blah and blah, blah, and blah” (this is obviously not an actual quote, and a clear example of how shockingly little I know about Celtic mythology). It soon got frustrating because I wished they would just call her The Morrigan or by one of her other titles, rather than by all of them.

The characters were very underdeveloped. Leif had no substance beyond obviously being someone’s idea of the ideal boyfriend, and Ciara was basically angry about the most nonsensical things, such as Leif telling an injured Ciara to stay away from his drunken men for her safety. While the Irish being angry all the time is a lovely Irish stereotype, a stereotype does not a good character make.

Overall, the idea behind Beyond a Darkened Shore was interesting, but the execution left much to be desired. It has therefore earned 2 stars out of 5.

Growing Out of Harry Potter: A Discussion

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Harry Potter is one of those series beloved by all. In fact, you often hear it said that you can’t grow out of Harry Potter. If that’s true, I’m here to tell you I have done the impossible.

My dad started reading Harry Potter to me and my brother when I was about 8 years old. My mom loved the series, and my parents figured we would too. When we eventually finished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone we were allowed to watch the first movie. I was hooked. It took us a few years, but we eventually got through all 7 books and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. We also got through all of the movies, seeing the last 4 in theaters.

Since I was introduced to it fairly young, I have fond memories of standing alone on the playground pretending I had magic and was controlling the wind and begging the universe to send me my Hogwarts letter (I also hoped I was somehow a demi-god because of Percy Jackson, but that’s a tale for another time).

I had Harry Potter 20Q, I have Sirius Black’s wand, I dressed up as Ginny for Halloween one year (my sister was a blond Hermione), and I took the Pottermore quiz a million times. I really loved this series as much as everyone else loves it.

But I don’t anymore, and it’s really hard to be a part of a very much Harry Potter obsessed book community. Everyone still asks authors what their/ their character’s Hogwarts house is/are, and list type posts have to actively tell people not to use Harry Potter as an example.

Don’t get me wrong, I will still proudly proclaim that I am a Ravenpuff (mix of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw), and I can still beat my family soundly in Harry Potter Scene It. I just know I don’t love it anymore by how sick I am of seeing it around. Also, I have absolutely no desire to re-read it.

So what are you you’re thoughts on Harry Potter? Have you lost a bit of your love for it, have you not read it, or do you still love it as much as you did when you first read it? I would love to discuss with you in the comments.

Furyborn Book Review

Furyborn.jpg

Number of pages: 512

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4

So this book unexpectedly involved angels and I didn’t hate it!?! Like this was one of my 4 beginning of the year pre-orders, but turns out I knew nothing about it. Thinking back on it now, I’m not even really sure why I pre-ordered it. Turns out Furyborn is the highest rated of my most anticipated reads of the year so far, so at least it worked out.

Furyborn is a very character-driven story. If you hate Eliana and Rielle, you are probably not going to like this one, and they’re hard characters to like. It took me about 100 pages to like Rielle, and it took me until about 50 pages to the end to care about Eliana. They’re both super brash and reactionary, but I understood Rielle’s motivations a lot more than I understood Eliana’s. While Rielle wanted to protect those she loved and be loved, Eliana’s motivations felt hollow. Like she actually puts the people she cares for in danger to pursue the more dangerous and worse option for absolutely no reason.

I also liked the characters around Rielle far more interesting than I liked those around Eliana. Ludvine was the one person who felt a little off to me in Rielle’s time, but that’s actually explained. In Eliana’s time I liked the princess (whose name escapes me, but starts with an N), and I liked her and Eliana’s friendship, but I thought Remy was super annoying, and I didn’t care about Simon.

I thought the fact that the chapters just went back and forth between Eliana and Rielle was a bit annoying. In most two POV books there will be multiple chapters in a row from the same POV, but with this one it just alternated throughout the whole book, and I don’t think it worked. There were moments where there definitely should have been two Rielle chapters in a row, and there were moments were there should have been two Eliana chapters in a row.

I would like to thank this book for showing me what a non-Sarah J. Maas sex scene looks like. Don’t get me wrong, the scene went on for far too long (younger readers be warned), but it didn’t make me nearly as uncomfortable, so there’s that.

I think the world-building was pretty solid. The 7 elements and the fact that regular people needed objects to channel their powers made sense and was well explained. The only thing I found to be poorly explained was why people kept calling Eliana the furyborn. What does that even mean? Does it give her special powers? Does it have to do with her mother specifically? Is there another prophecy involving the furyborn specifically on top the existing prophecy about the two queens? They called Eliana the furyborn like 3 time right near the end, and it’s the title of the book, so it has to mean something, but the term is never explained.

I have other questions that I’m omitting because of spoilers, but for once my questions are convincing me to read book two instead of being the cause of more criticism.

Overall, I enjoyed Furyborn, but it wasn’t perfect. It has therefore earned 4 out of 5 stars.

My Weird Bookish Pet Peeves

I have a lot of weird and unimportant stuff that annoys me. It mostly stems from me being a big stickler for the rules, but I am also the annoying person that constantly wants to correct people because I don’t want false information being spread. Anyway, this is just going just be about the little book-related stuff that bothers me. If you do any of the things mentioned this is not an attack on you. I just find this stuff mildly irritating at most.

Book Acronyms

So when I was in grade 7 or 8 we were learning about the government and someone in my class asked my teacher why members of parliament were MPs and not MOPs. This is when my teacher taught us that certain words were not included in acronyms. The only words I remember that are for sure not included in acronyms are “of” and “and”, but every time I see a book title acronym that includes them, I die a little inside. The one that bothers me the most is A Court of Wings and Ruin, because Sarah J Maas titled it that so the acronym would be ACOWAR, when the acronym should at the very least by ACWR. Now some authors seem to have learned the same thing I did because Tomi Adeyemi shortened Children of Blood and Bone to CBB (though other bookish people call it COBAB). I have no idea why this bothers me as much as it does, but there you have it.

Harry Potter is Not YA

I worked in a library, and I can tell you two things from that experience. 1. Libraries are absolutely disgusting. 2. Harry Potter is Juvenile Fiction (more commonly known as Middle Grade). I had never even heard of Harry Potter being considered YA until I joined the online book community at 16. Now I have a lot of conflicting feelings about Harry Potter, and I plan on doing a discussion post on it, but it constantly frustrated me when YA subscription boxes often include Harry Potter items, and that other YA centric things have to tell people not to use Harry Potter as an example.

People Who Call People Who Dog-Ear Pages Monsters

Hi. My name is Moira, and I would rather dog-ear the pages of my book than stick a random piece of garbage in it if I am in need of a bookmark. We don’t call people who have a book where the cover is falling apart from being read so many times a monster. We call those people book lovers. So what’s the big deal with dog-earing pages? It only possibly damages a very small portion of the book. As long as people don’t start dog-earing library books and other people’s books, we should let people do whatever they want with their books.

Fantasy Characters Never Getting Sunburned

I’m super fair skinned, so I burn after like 20 minutes outside. Let’s be real. Even in 2018, the majority of YA fantasy main characters are white. The fact that they don’t ever get sunburned isn’t the only issue with that, and it obviously isn’t the biggest issue with that. Also, I know that people of colour can get sunburned, but it is more easily visible on white people. A lot of fantasy novels have the main characters outside in the open for long periods of time, and yet they return to whatever shelter they are inhabiting with their skin in the same condition it was hours ago. A white fantasy main character could wander the desert for 2 years straight and come back either “white as the driven snow” or “attractively tan”, and I’m not buying it.

That’s all I can think of for now. If I can think of more of my weird bookish pet peeves I might do a part 2. Do you have any weird bookish pet peeves? Do you think any of mine are ridiculous? Let me know in the comments.

Brave Enough ARC Review

Brave Enough.jpg

Number of pages: 280

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4.25

Release Date: August 21st, 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 requested this solely because one of the characters is a dancer, and it was right around when Dance Force (the dance team people of any skill level can join at my university) ended for me. I ended up getting a book that was both sweet and heartbreaking. Something to note: this is probably going to be a fairly short review because the synopsis is super vague and I don’t want to spoil anyone, especially since the book isn’t out yet.

I read most of Brave Enough in one day when I was trying to do school work because I could not stop reading. I needed to know what happened to Carson. I needed to know that Davis was going to be okay. Brave Enough sucked me in and didn’t let go.

It was super heartbreaking to watch Davis struggle with addiction. He had to watch his ex-girlfriend struggle with addiction while he was in recovery, and he also had to face his old dealer. From what I could tell, Davis’ addiction looked well-researched, as did the dance aspects of the novel.

I thought Carson and Davis’ relationship was really sweet. They both helped each other through a lot, and they were super cute together.

I appear to have run out of notes. It’s a super short book, and while there is some stuff I still kind of want to talk about, I’m trying not to mention anything that isn’t really mentioned in the synopsis.

Overall, Brave Enough was both cute and heartbreaking, earning it 4.25 stars out of 5.

Favourite Book of the Month: December 2017-May 2018

I’ve always wanted to do a TBR and wrap-up, but between summer 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.

As you can see, I am very late to doing this. If you’re first thought was “didn’t you last do this in August 2017”, you would be correct. I didn’t rate anything high enough from September-November 2017, and I got so busy that I haven’t had the time to do this when I was rating books high enough. I’ll be back to doing individual posts for June, but in the meantime, here are my favourite books for the past 5 months*.

December 2017: City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

January 2018: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

February 2018: Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

April 2018: From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

May 2018: Circe by Madeline Miller

*No books were rated high enough in March

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