One Lovely Blog Award

I was tagged by Michaela from Journey into Books, so thank you to her for tagging me. You can check out her post here. I did this way back in 2016, but all my facts were kind of awful and half of them are outdated, so I will not be linking that post here.  Feel free to search the internet for it, though. I’m glad to have a second chance to do it.

The Rules:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  1. Half of my top 2 front teeth are fake. I broke them in grade 6. It means I bite a lot of food from the side, so I can’t eat apples unless they have been cut.
  2. I have lived in the same house all my life. It isn’t really big enough for my family at the moment, but there’s no point in moving when the youngest of us is 16.
  3. I played clarinet in high school. The part that goes into the bell (bottom piece) on my first clarinet actually broke, so we turned it into a lamp. I think I have a picture of me in band, so if I find them I’ll put them at the bottom of this post.
  4. My dad is a huge music lover, so so are me and my siblings. The thing is that everyone hates my music. I feel only a little guilty for dragging my dad to go see Panic! At the Disco in Toronto in July because of how much they complain when I want to talk about music I like.
  5. I have seen Sheryl Crow, Fountains of Wayne, Taylor Swift, Green Day, and Fall Out Boy in concert. Those are all in order from first concert to most recent, and the last two are far more recent than the others.
  6. Since the World Cup is happening right now, my teams are South Africa, Greece, Germany, and Brazil (only Brazil is still in this year’s World Cup). I know it’s a ridiculous to have 4 teams, but I picked them during the 2010 World Cup when I was 11, and I had what 11 year old me thought was a valid reason behind it. My grandmother is from South Africa and I still have family there, I was (and still am) obsessed with Greek mythology, my mom has German friends and cheers for Germany, and I went for Brazil because I had heard they were good. If Canada ever manages to make it to the men’s World Cup I’ll go for my country over these 4, but I highly doubt that will happen.
  7. I’ve designed both of my blog logos in Microsoft Powerpoint. I know they aren’t very good, but Powerpoint is so easy to use and I have no design skills whatsoever.

I’m a rule breaker (and have trouble tagging people for anxiety reasons), so if you want to do this consider yourself tagged. And as promised, I have two pictures of me with a clarinet from grade 10 (I think?). Aren’t my high school cafeteria and gymnasium lovely?

Band 2.jpg

jazz caberet 2.jpg

Advertisements

Outrun the Wind ARC Review

Outrun the Wind.jpg

Number of pages: 320

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

Release Date: November 27th 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’m a huge mythology nerd, and I especially love Greek mythology. So when I saw this book on Netgalley featuring the Huntresses of Artemis, I had to request it.

Outrun the Wind is nice and easy read. While I feel like some stuff was a little underdeveloped, but it’s perfect for if you just want a super quick book.

I had no idea that Atlanta was an actual mythological figure until I read the author’s note and looked it up afterwards. Atlanta’s story is so interesting, and I really wish I had heard of it before now. It was also super interesting to look back and see what the author decided to include and how they decided to incorporate the elements of the myth.

I’m not sure how I feel about Apollo being the antagonist. Yes, Artemis and Apollo are very different, but they don’t tend to hate each other in Greek mythology as much as they do here. The Olympians fight with each other a ton, and Artemis and Apollo are definitely both short-tempered, but it just felt out of character.

I felt like our two main characters, Atlanta and Kahina, were a little underdeveloped. They both had POV chapters, and I tend to ignore the names at the top of chapters, so I would start reading and be unable to tell whose POV I was reading from for most of the chapter. Their voices were practically identical. They’re both very different characters, so their chapters should not have read like they’re the same person.

However, I did really like the romance between them. It’s sort of hate-to-love (one hates the other, but the other person is oblivious to said hatred), and its slow burn to the point where my brain was screaming “and now kiss” for the last half of the book. I think Atlanta and Kahina had a lot of chemistry. As a sort of side note, if I see anyone say that the Ancient Greeks weren’t gay, I will throw my Classics textbook at them and proceed to lecture them.

Overall, I had some issues with Outrun the Wind, but I think it’s a nice quick read. It has therefore earned 3 out of 5 stars.

Egyptian Mythology Book Tag

I was tagged by the wonderful Mandy from Book Princess Reviews. If you haven’t already checked out her blog you should definitely rectify that. You can see her answers here.

The Rules:

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

Amun-Ra.png

AMUN-RA – CHARACTER WHO ENTHUSIASTICALLY INVOLVES THEMSELVES IN EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS

Ra is the falcon-headed sun god, the creator and he named five of his fellow gods.

Aspen from Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. I really hated him, but he was constantly controlling everyone around him with his powers.

Sobek (1).png

OSIRIS – FAVOURITE DOWN-TO-EARTH MALE CHARACTER

Osiris is the god of death, farming, and vegetation.

I’m going to go with Xanthus from Blood and Sand for this one. Thinking about this makes me sad, so I’m going to move on to the next question

Isis.png

ISIS – FAVOURITE FEMALE CHARACTER WITH POWERS

Isis is the goddess of magic and fertility, as well as being the mother goddess.

Rielle from Furyborn. I think having every kind of power makes her the perfect answer for this question.

Anubis.png

ANUBIS – CHARACTER YOU WISH YOU COULD BRING BACK FROM THE DEAD

Anubis took over as guardian of the underworld from his father, so he is the god of the afterlife and death.

Because this is a super spoilery, I’m just going to leave the book cover here.

crooked-kingdom

Set.png

SET – A CHARACTER THAT IS MORE DEVIOUS THAN THE ACTUAL VILLAIN

Set is the god of darkness, chaos, and storms.

I don’t really have a good answer for this one. Kaz?

Hathor.png

HATHOR – QUOTE THAT BRIGHTENS YOUR DAY

Hathor is the cow goddess of motherhood, joy, happiness, music, and love.

Six of Crows pillow

This isn’t a particularly happy or inspirational quote, but I love Kaz and Inej so much that it brings a smile to my face whenever I see it. (This tag has been really Six of Crows centric, so I’m going to avoid using it for the rest of the questions)

Neith.png

NEITH – CHARACTER YOU WISH YOU COULD RECEIVE LIFE ADVICE FROM

Neith is the goddess of the hunt, wisdom, weaving, and battle.

I have no idea why, but the first character that came to mind was Lada from And I Darken. I think I’m just curious as to what she would even say.

 

Ma'at.png

MA’AT – INJUSTICE YOU WISH YOU COULD RECTIFY

Ma’at is the goddess of truth, harmony, and justice.

 

All the dragon murders in The Last Namsara.

Horus.png

HORUS – FAVORITE BRIGHT/CHEERY BOOK COVER

Horus is the god of light and the sky, as well as the god of the Pharaohs.

From Twinkle, With Love

THoth.png

THOTH – BOOK WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PROSE

Thoth is the god of wisdom, writing, magic and the moon.

All of Roshani Chokshi’s books.

Ptah.png

PTAH – BEST WORLD BUILDING

Ptah is the creator and craftsman of the gods.

 

It’s hard to chose one book for this, but I’m going with Sky in the Deep.

Khonsu.png

KHONSU – BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD READ FOR THE FIRST TIME AGAIN

Khonsu is the god of time and the moon.

 

Okay, so I’m going to talk about Six of Crows again. I was super depressed when I first read Six of Crows, so I would love to be able to read it for the first time while not super depressed.

Sobek.png

SOBEK – BOOK YOU WOULD SAVE FROM DROWNING (POSSIBLY OVER ANOTHER PERSON, NO JUDGEMENT)

Sobek is the god of the Nile and water.

Why would you make me choose? Maybe my signed copy of And I Darken. I waited for 4 years to meet Kiersten White.

Tagging people makes me super anxious, so if you like doing tags please let me know. And please do this tag if it interests you.

 

 

Shadow and Bone Book Review

Shadow and Bone.jpg

Number of pages: 416

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4

I’ve been avoiding this book like the plague since I found out about it. This was well after it came out of course because I was 13 then, and not actively searching out YA books. The amount of bad reviews right on the first page of Goodreads turned me away from it (and Six of Crows). Turns out I liked it. Maybe it was the beyond low expectations I went into it with, but Shadow and Bone was an enjoyable read. As a sort of random aside, unless there is some in-depth explanation of the magic system in books 2 and 3, reading this has solidified that you do not need to read this to read Six of Crows.

Is Shadow and Bone perfect? Absolutely not. There was some stuff in here that are very outdated YA things. There’s some girl hate stuff, a super tropey love triangle, a plain girl who couldn’t possibly be the special heroine, and a brief twilight-style romance. I think an important thing to remember is that this is a debut that was published in 2012. It’s going to read like an older YA book. Don’t expect Six of Crows level of quality from her debut, because you’re not going to get it.

Speaking of the brief twilight-style romance, I hate the Darkling and Alina together. Thinking about it makes my skin crawl. The romance between them was creepy enough from the start when he told her he was over 100, but then more is revealed. He also tortures her, threatens her, and blatantly ignores even the most insignificant of her wishes. For years I have seen people ship them together, and just…no.

I mentioned in my Six of Crows review that Six of Crows has a kind of silent addictive nature to it where you just can’t stop thinking about it, and you can definitely see the start of that with the writing in Shadow and Bone. You can tell the writing isn’t quite at that level yet, but there is a little bit of that addictive nature there.

I really liked Alina and Genya’s friendship, at least until I didn’t like Genya of course. Unless I completely missed something (please do let me know if I did), their friendship seemed healthy enough, which is always nice to see.

There isn’t a ton of world-building in Shadow and Bone. It didn’t really matter to me because I read Six of Crows first and already had to figure out the magic system for myself, but if you’re starting with this one it may be frustrating. There may not be any info-dumps, but that’s because there is hardly any information provided.

This is mildly spoilery, but won’t make sense if you haven’t read the book. The deer scene was super upsetting to me. I can’t really say more than that, but I just want to cry about this scene with someone. To clarify, I am upset about the deer itself, not what it meant for Alina.

Overall, Shadow and Bone surprised me with how much I enjoyed it, but still wasn’t perfect. It has therefore earned 4 out of 5 stars.

My Book Buying Strategy

I’m a germaphobe, so I buy 98% of books I read new (the other 2% are Netgalley ARCs). It’s probably how I normally keep my TBR under 25 books, which is fine by me. I would get overwhelmed if it held any more books. Anyway, I wanted to do a short post on how I buy books. I buy all of my books from Chapters Indigo, so this post relies heavily on their patterns, which means this post will probably only be useful to Canadians. I have no idea if it works the same for other book stores. I also buy most of my books online with gift cards because Canadian list prices are insane.

1.If you’re going to use the Indigo app, put your wishlist in your cart.

The app makes it significantly more difficult to check prices for a lot of books at a time from your wishlist. For that reason, I put all of the books I’m interested in buying in my cart. It lets you check prices in a few swipes, and it lets you see how much it would cost to buy all of the books on your wishlist. It also makes price checking faster on the computer, though you can always still check prices from your wishlist.

2. Try to wait until the books you want are on sale.

The deals of the week come out every Monday, so make sure to check those/your cart. Sometimes the deals of the week run for weird time frames, so make sure to check them after you see a book you want is on sale. From what I can tell, most of their YA sales tend to be 30% off, which get most hardcovers close to paperback price. Pre-orders through Chapters are also discounted by 11% until a certain point before release date. I need to watch it more closely, but the price of pre-orders goes to list price roughly 3 months before the book comes out, so be wary of that. 11% isn’t the best deal you can get, but it’s better than nothing.

3. Now wait until Tuesday of that week.

Once you notice a book you want on sale, wait until Tuesday or Wednesday because that’s when the free shipping no minimum or Plum Rewards deals come out. I have about $105 worth of Plum Points right now after 4 years of saving because I have taken advantage of so many Plum Rewards deals. Sometimes you don’t need to wait until later in the week for the shipping or Plum Rewards deals, like this week. These deals are a little trickier, as they will sometimes having a shipping deal until Wednesday, and then a Plum Rewards deal starting Thursday.

4. Try to have a few paperbacks on your wishlist.

Keeping a few paperbacks on your wishlist helps for when only one book you want is on sale and you want free shipping without paying too much more than the $25 minimum. Bargain books also work for this, but they tend to sell out online quickly.

5. If all else fails, ship to your closest store.

You can ship to any store for free, so you can still get the online only deals without paying for shipping if you only want one book or your order is just under $25. This option is less ideal for people like me who don’t live too close to a Chapters, but it’s better than wasting $5-7 on shipping.

That’s it for my book buying strategy. Did this actually help anyone? Does your bookstore have similar patterns?

Cinderella, Necromancer Duology Review

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

Rating (out of five stars): 1.5

*I was provided a copy of both books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own

I spent a weekend of my life reading these two books because I was supposed to write a review for the Cinderella’s Inferno blog tour, and I somehow have shockingly little to say about them. However I still feel obligated to review them, so here we go.

Let’s start with the world building. I still have no idea where this series is set. I figured it was in some fantasy world that hadn’t been named, but the second book mentions England and the French, so it’s definitely set in our world. The blurb mentions Cinderella, Necromancer is based on a 15th century German grimoire, so does that mean it’s set in Germany? As far as I know it doesn’t say so in the text, though I did skim-read book 2. And when is it set if it’s set in our world? I really can’t tell you.

I also feel like the magic wasn’t well explained. Why do whatever William and his friends are exist (I forget what they’re called)? What was William even doing out at night if they had no idea what was actually causing the unexplained and unnamed problem?

Speaking of William, I’m pretty sure the reason for him lurking around Ellison’s housea bunch is never explained, so that’s kind of creepy. Also, he and Ellison have no chemistry. She just constantly criticizes him. That’s not a healthy relationship.

In my opinion, the way to identify a good Cinderella retelling is to look at how the step-sisters are handled. Do they feel like real people that could exist like the step-sisters in Geekerella? Or do they have seemingly no motivation for being unnecessarily cruel like in this series? Sure, the reason for Ellison’s sisters being piles of awful is sort of explained, but I had already given up on Cinderella, Necromancer by that point.

Ellison provided a really frustrating perspective to read from. She was super dense, and I feel like she was written younger than her given age. She was even more frustrating in book 2, because turns out she hadn’t actually learned the lesson she was supposed to have learned at the end of the first book.

If you hated Dante’s The Divine Comedy (specifically Inferno) I do not recommend book 2. I unfortunately did not make the connection, though I for sure would not have signed up to review it if I had. Maybe I’m the dense one.

I felt like the writing was trying too hard. The writing having this forced flowery feel to it combined with the actual story did not mix well. You have what is supposed to be this dark book filled with necromancy with writing that didn’t provide the required atmosphere to make that kind of book work. It was frustrating to read.

Most importantly for me was the fact that I had to take frequent breaks while reading these books. They exhausted me to read, and I skim-read book 2. I shouldn’t have to step away from the book I’m reading after 2 chapters because I can’t stand to continue reading.

Overall, I was not a fan of this duology, earning it an average rating of 1.5 stars out of 5.

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.