The Storm Crow ARC Review

the storm crow

Number of pages:  352

Rating (out of five stars): 5

Release Date: July 9th, 2019

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

This is the book I’ve been searching for my whole life. This book is everything I wanted from a book as a teen and barely missed having. Like I both have so many words and not enough words for how much this book means to me and how much I loved it.

I never thought I would actually get a YA fantasy book with a MC who struggles with depression. I love mental health fiction because it’s relatable to me as someone who struggles with depression, but contemporary has never been my genre. So having the same level of rep in a fantasy about magical crows brings tears to my eyes.

That’s the thing. I related to Thia so hard. Not just because of her depression. She has trouble controlling her emotions. She cares so much that despite being smart, she sometimes thinks with her heart before thinking with her head. She’s loyal and determined. It’s kind of weird to say the usual stuff I say when I love a character, like that I’ll protect them and that they are my new children because she felt so similar to me. And I got to see her, a girl with depression, be a bad*** and fight for what she believes in.

Her depression also doesn’t magically go away. It’s there throughout the whole book. She doesn’t start getting stuff done and is cured; she recognizes that this is a battle she’s going to have to fight for the rest of her life.

I’ve had the complaint in the past that using terms like anxiety and depression in fantasy books takes me out of the story, but I genuinely burst into tears when Thia told her sister that she was depressed in plain terms. I take back what I said about those other books. Having the rep on the page in words, rather than just descriptions means so much.

The romance was interesting. I liked the love interest as a person, but I was kind of hoping the love interest would be not him so hard that I wasn’t okay with it until I skipped ahead to the last few pages and accepted my fate. He’s a nice guy and is probably better for Thia in the long run (plus he has a kitten), but like the banter with the other guy was so good, and you could tell he was really trying. I know Thia doesn’t like  him in that way, but I can’t help it. Like I actively celebrated at the slightest suggestion that the love interest was not being entirely truthful with her.

I loved seeing Thia’s friendship with Kiva. It was nice to know Thia had a strong support network. It was also nice to see how their friendship ultimately came before some of the other relationships they formed throughout the book. Strong female friendships always get a yes from me.

When I was a kid, every book I read was like watching a movie in my head. As I got older, it didn’t really work like that for me anymore. Well, it worked like that with The Storm Crow. I could picture everything, and it was amazing. I was already so hooked while reading, but there was the added bonus of needing to see more of this world. In particular, I can still see the thing I pictured at the end of the prologue in my head about a week after finishing the book.

Speaking of the world-building, it was absolutely incredible. There was everything from myths, to a coherent magic system, to the politics and histories of nations, and it just came together so beautifully. I haven’t had a chance to go through it yet, but the back of the e-ARC has even more information about the different nations, and I can’t wait to nerd out over it.

I am practically bursting with theories from both while I was reading and afterwards. I was wrong about a lot, but I think that says more about my investment in the story than anything. I’m normally pretty good at predictions because I’ve read so much YA fantasy, so I always love when a books get me invested enough to confuse me.

Overall, The Storm Crow was everything I wanted it to be (and I went in with way too high expectations). It has therefore earned 5 out of 5 stars and a place on my bookshelf as my current all-time favourite book.

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Disney Princess Hair Tag

So I was tagged in this way back in August 2018, and I’m finally getting to it now. I feel ashamed. Thank you to Mandy from Book Princess Reviews, co-creator of this tag for tagging me! I swear one day I will be caught up on all the tags I have to do.

The Rules:

  • Link back to Kyera’s original post on Kyera‘s Library and Mandy’s post on Book Princess Reviews so we can see all your answers! (Be sure to do this via pingback, we don’t get notified if you just tag our URLs)
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your own wonderful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

BPR1.pngImage result for mulan flower comb The Devouring Gray

Hair: This might be a weird one since she isn’t really known for it, but I always loved the flower comb Mulan wore.

Book: Orpheus from The Devouring Gray is such a good kitty sidekick.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Change

Image result for rapunzel tangled hair  King of Fools

Hair: Going from all that (gestures towards picture of Rapunzel) to short brown hair is a pretty big change.

Book: I’m still not over the end of King of Fools. Nobody touch me.

Image result for meg hercules  A Crown of Wishes

Hair: Before Mandy kills me, I know Meg isn’t a princess, but Hercules is one of my favourite Disney movies (I have always been a mythology nerd) so I’m breaking the rules. Also, just look at her hair! How can you not think it’s cool?

Book: Roshani Chokshi’s writing is absolutely gorgeous. It’s on a level I aspire to, but will never be able to reach.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Bounce 2.png

Image result for ariel disney   Furyborn

Hair: I’m not entirely sure I understand what this means, so I’m stealing Mandy’s answer. Also, didn’t Ariel twirl her hair around a fork and have it bounce back, or am I imagining things?

Book: The two POVs in Furyborn are set 1000 years apart (which raises some logistical issues the further you get into the book).

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Braid

Image result for elsa disney  Wicked Saints_Cover FINAL

Hair: Realistically, I would probably say Rapunzel for this one too, but I’m trying to not repeat princesses and books. I do really want to know how Elsa got her hair to do whatever is happening on top of her head, and how she gets her braid to stay with no hair elastic.

Book: Maybe Wicked Saints? Nadya and Serefin do start in very different places, but come together in the end.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Short.png

Image result for cinderella disney  43822994

Hair: I kind of like Cinderella’s hair when it’s down.

Book: Using a novella feels like cheating, but As Kismet Would Have It was really cute.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Half

Image result for belle disney    Slayer

Hair: I was so incredibly jealous of Belle’s hair when I was younger. I tried so hard to figure out how to replicate the hair she has in the picture.

Book: Artemis in Slayer was such a complex character, but for me that meant half the time I wanted to strangle her, and half the time I wanted to give her a hug.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Medium.png

Image result for anna frozen 2 hair  42249721

Hair: I didn’t even like Frozen (it was okay, and then Let It Go played everywhere for an eternity), but I  still watched the Frozen 2 trailer anyway and I love Anna’s hair down.

Book: The last book I gave 3 stars was Girls of Paper and Fire, but that’s mostly because I don’t think the audiobook worked well for this particular story.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Bangs.png

Crown of Feathers

Hair: I don’t have an answer for this one.

Book: Look at the Crown of Feathers cover, then look me in the eye and tell me that it doesn’t catch your eye.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Long.png

Image result for moana

Hair: I love how realistic Moana’s hair looks.

Book: I’m so upset I have to repeat books, but King of Fools is the longest book I’ve read this year at 602 pages.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Pony.png

Image result for jasmine  crooked-kingdom

Hair: Jasmine was my favourite Disney princess growing up, and her hair is so pretty.

Book: Crooked Kingdom has POV chapters from all 6 main characters.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Straight.png

Image result for pocahontas disney  the gilded wolves

Hair: I never watched Pocahontas as a kid, but her hair is certainly very straight.

Book: I miss my nerds trying their best so much.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Curls.png

Image result for merida brave  City of Brass

Hair: Merida!

Book: I remember The City of Brass having a bunch of twists and turns. I need to get to the sequel ASAP.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Close

IMG_7021Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Hair: I’m torn between saying Merida (I can get my hair to look pretty close to her’s if I mess mine up a little) and Moana (I relate to the frizzy, wavy/curly-ness)

Book: I relate to a lot of mental health books, but Under Rose-Tainted Skies is one I remember really strongly relating to. I’d also say one of the books I’m currently reading, The Storm Crow, but I’m not very far in yet.


I’m going to break another rule and not really tag anyone. If you like being tagged in tags, please let me know so I can tag you in thing in the future. If you’re reading this and liked this tag, consider yourself tagged.

 

4 Year Blogiversary

IMG_7250.jpg
This looked way better in person than it does in this picture.

Hello! I forgot what day my blogiversary was (I thought it was on the 26th), so I’m rush writing this the night before. What else is new.

The posts I normally do for my blogiversary are normally focused on me, but I wanted to give back to this wonderful community that has given me so much by hosting a GIVEAWAY!

So here are the rules, disclaimers, etc.:

  1. The prize is a YA book of your choosing (as long as it’s roughly average hardcover price. Please don’t have me buy you a $50 CDN YA book (if those exist). I am a poor university student)
  2. This is open internationally (as long as Book Depository ships to you)
  3. Speaking of Book Depository, I’ll be purchasing your prize using Book Princess Review‘s referral link. Mandy and Sha are wonderful and have been some of my biggest supporters, and I really wanted to give back to them by using their link.
  4. The only requirement is that you comment on this post. That means all other ways to gain entries are optional. If you follow me for the giveaway and then unfollow me right after the giveaway is over, you will be barred from future giveaways run by me. As a note: I post about mental illness a lot on all my platforms. If that is triggering to you in any way, please don’t follow me. Your mental well-being is more important than extra giveaway entries.
  5. There is an extra entry specifically for international (as in non-US) people. As an international reader, I know how frustrating online giveaways can be, but I didn’t want to stop any people from the US from entering. This is just to give some people who might not normally be able to enter giveaways a leg up and is in no way meant as a slight towards people who live in the US.
  6. This giveaway is not affiliated with anyone. I am running it using my own money of my own volition.
  7. I will never share any of the information you give me as a part of this giveaway with anyone. That being said, if you win I will need to know your mailing address in order to get you your prize. Please make sure it is okay for me to know your address for the purpose of this giveaway before entering.
  8. I will update this post once the giveaway has ended with the name of the winner. If that is you, you have 48 to contact me (can be by DM on Twitter (@LoverofBooksblg) or Instagram (@loverofbooksblog), or by email (fortheloverofbooks@gmail.com) to claim your prize.
  9. This giveaway ends on June 30th, 2019 at 12:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Now you can just click this link to enter. Good Luck!

And thank you to everyone reading this! I never expected too love blogging and this community as much as I do when I started For the Lover of Books at 16 after exams were over. I’ve grown a lot over the last few years, and this blog has grown with me. I’ve met some amazing people,  written countless posts, and gotten to share the books I love with the internet. Thank you for being there with me! Here’s to 4 years of doing whatever I’m doing here.

Edit: Congratulations Rendz, you are the winner of the giveaway! You have 48 hours to claim your prize.

Try A Chapter Tag

My TBR has been overwhelming me lately. I didn’t physically read anything while in school, but I was still ordering books so I’ve been trying to catch up this summer. The problem is that I don’t read fast enough, and there are books I want to pre-order that I’m more interested in. So I thought I’d try reading the first chapter of some books I’m not sure I’m interested anymore. I wasn’t tagged by anyone. I just need to get this TBR pile down so it stops causing me stress.

Catching Stars.jpg

Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan

Verdict: Donate

Initial thoughts: I got this in an Owlcrate box last year, so I figured I might as well give it a shot. Well, I didn’t even manage to finish the first chapter (the prologue). The writing is not for me. It’s very initially info-dumpy (so much so that I was confused after the first paragraph). It’s also super repetitive (and I only read 4 pages).

Damsel.jpg

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Verdict: Donate

Initial thoughts: The writing is clearly going for a very fairy tale-esq feel, but it’s not doing a very god job at actually accomplishing that. I also haven’t heard anything but bad things about it since buying it last year (including the many content warnings it comes with).

To Kill a Kingdom.jpg

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Verdict: Keep

Initial thoughts: The first chapter was very info-dumpy, but I’m still interested in this one.

Not Even Bones.jpg

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer

Verdict: Keep

Initial thoughts: I’m always up for morally grey characters, and this one is super interesting so far.

Echo North.jpg

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Verdict: Donate

Initial thoughts: I got this in a Beacon Book Box, and while there’s nothing explicitly worng with it, it just didn’t grab me/ intrigue me.

Sherwood.jpg

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Verdict: Keep

Initial thoughts: I wasn’t sure I’d like this one, but that prologue was so interesting that I need to know what happens next.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass.jpg

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Verdict: Donate

Initial thoughts: Again, there’s nothing I concretely didn’t like about it. It just didn’t grip me.

Bloodleaf.jpg

Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith

Verdict: Donate

Initial thoughts: I was really excited for this one earlier this year, but the first chapter (and a little bit of the second chapter) are telling me this one might not be for me.

The Astonishing Colour of After.jpg

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

Verdict: Keep

Initial thoughts: I really liked the voice in this one.

The Devouring Gray Book Review

The Devouring Gray.jpg

Number of pages:  368

Rating (out of five stars): 5

When I first finished this book, I decided it wasn’t a full 5 star read, but that it was really close to one. However, I haven’t been able to get this book out of my head since, and considering the only issue I had with it is one I’ve been having with every book I’ve read since May, I’m going to blame it on depression and call it a day (you may have noticed I’ve been saying this in most of reviews lately).

Firstly, I need to make in known I’m offended that this book has not gotten more love. Like I know there were a lot of other hyped books that came out on the same day as The Devouring Gray, but way more people need to read this.

This book is so atmospheric. I think it would make the perfect fall/Halloween read because it’s so magically creepy. The creepy alternate world monster, looming forest, cult, resurrected cat, and more will do that I guess. There’s also the added bonus that this book is gorgeously designed to perfectly fit the words inside.

Back on the resurrected cat, content warning for gruesome animal death. The cat comes back to life, but it’s a bit sickening to read the descriptions of it’s broken body, and that’s compared to the gruesome human deaths in this book.

I could not stop thinking about this book while reading, and I still can’t stop thinking about it. It’s one of those quietly addicting books and I love those. You know the ones that worm their way into your heads and stick around. The Devouring Gray was one of those books for me.

It also had my heart racing the whole time. The atmosphere and the fact that the characters don’t really know what’s happening/ what to do and are trying to figure it out made for the perfect suspenseful read.

I loved all the characters. Violet, Harper, Isaac, Justin, and May are my new babies and I will protect them at all costs. I’m especially a fan of Violet and Isaac, but that doesn’t mean I liked the others any less. (Someone explain to me why everyone hates Justin) They all have their issue to work through, but the main thing is that they care about their town (and each other). I have a feeling Christine Lynn Herman is going to put them through more pain in the sequel, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.

I loved the messy relationship dynamics in this. It’s not even just romantic relationships that are messy. The-who-should-I-trust/be-friends-with dynamics are equally messy and complex. I would also like it known that I probably ship Violet and Justin’s moms the hardest out of all the potential relationships.

Overall, I loved The Devouring Gray, earning it 5 out of 5 stars

We Hunt the Flame Book Review

We Hunt the Flame.jpg

Number of pages:  480

Rating (out of five stars): 4.25

This book is the first physical book I’ve read since October, so yay for that. It also happens to be a magical book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Time flew by whenever I picked up We Hunt the Flame. I would sit down to read and then look up 2 hours later having felt like only 5 minutes had past. I was hooked and it was magical.

I think the characters were really well done. They felt very human and flawed and I feel like equal attention was paid to all the characters. I especially liked seeing the dynamics that developed between the members of the Zumra.

The only issue I had with the characters was that I liked, but didn’t absolutely love them. I think this is a me (and my depression) issue because I’ve been feeling like this with every book I’ve read in the past couple months. I also got really upset when certain things happened, so I really think it’s a me issue.

One thing that I has to do with the characters that I absolutely loved (and am about to nerd out about) was how Hafsah Faizal wrote the perspectives of Zafira and Nasir. I’m not sure how well I’m going to be able to explain this (so bear with me), but their chapters were written in such a way that you got to see their similarities and differences perfectly. This is in everything from the first lines of their chapters to finding out their names both mean victorious to other moments that I can’t really share. I remember there was one point where it was super obvious and I just started geeking out about it at like 12 am. It’s times like these when I remember why I’m an English major.

This is an ancient Arabia inspired fantasy book, so it does contain Arabic. As a person who doesn’t speak Arabic, I think everything was well defined in-text or you could figure it out within the context of the text. However, if you’re nervous about not being able to figure it out, the author has put a glossary and pronunciation guide up on her website.

The one tiny (and non-mental health related) gripe I do have is that the dialogue felt awkward at times. There were a bunch of sentences that I read over 4 times and still could not convince myself a real person would say what that character had said. It took me out of the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed We Hunt the Flame and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel, earning it 4.25 stars out of 5.

Books I Want More Merch For

I love Six of Crows as much as the next person, but there are so many books I feel need more love in the merch department. This isn’t to say merch for these series/ books/ authors doesn’t exist. It just means that as far as I’ve found there isn’t much of it.

Roshani Chokshi Books

the gilded wolvesA Crown of Wishes

The fact that there isn’t more merch for her books is a crime against humanity. There are so many gorgeous and hilarious quotes to choose from and so many gorgeous descriptions that could be illustrated. I am not talented enough to create any of it, which is why I wish someone else would.

Kiersten White Books

Kiersten White has so many books and practically the only things you can find have that one quote from The Chaos of Stars. She’s one of my all-time favourite authors and I desperately want to see more stuff that has to do with her books.

Sandhya Menon Books

I would love some art prints that were all pastel with quotes and stuff from her books (again, not talented enough to actually do it myself). Her books are what convinced me I didn’t have to avoid contemporary books because I was clearly reading the wrong ones.

Sky in the Deep

Sky in the Deep

All the merch I see for this one just says “Breathe Fire”, which is the translation of what the characters actually say. That’s great and everything and I’m glad this surprise of a book got some love, but there are so many other good quotes from it to pick from that show they’re from something.

The Shadow Game Series

Ace of ShadesKing of Fools

Maybe I’m biased after being on the street team, but I want all the art for this series. Book 1 might not have been a perfect read for me, but book 2 more than made up for it and I want it to get so much more love.

The Devouring Gray

The Devouring Gray.jpg

I finished this one recently (review to come when I figure out my life), but imagine all the creepy, spooky art that could come out of this book. I don’t know if there already is merch out there for it, but even if there is there needs to be more. I have so many ideas (and one thing I’m going to attempt despite my better judgement (for me, not to sell)) and there have to be more talented humans that feel the same.

The Young Elites Series

The Young Elites

I remember searching Redbubble for merch for this series years ago and finding one (stunning) art piece of a White Wolf and it deserves so much more love than that. There are so many pretty quotes to choose from.

 

What are some books/ series you want to see more merch for?