Heir of Illaria ARC Review

Heir of Illaria.jpg

Number of pages: 265

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

Rating (out of five stars): 1

Release date: January 23rd 2017

*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 become incredibly sceptical of ARCs, especially fantasy ones. With Heir of Illaria, the synopsis is so incredibly vague that I had no idea what to expect, but I knew by the end of chapter 1 it wasn’t going to be good.

The author really didn’t leave enough time for things to happen. One chapter would end with Wilona incredibly angry with the love interest (whose name escapes me), and the next would start with them making out. Another chapter would end with them deciding they need a plan, and the next would start with the plan being put into action. It also wasn’t as if weeks went by off the page. The next chapter would often be set on the same/ following day.

The characters were all one dimensional. I feel like the author built Wilona’s character around the line “I don’t want to rule”, but didn’t go much further than that. The other characters weren’t very distinct either, as evident by the fact that I can no longer remember any of their names.

The plot is your basic YA fantasy plot: girl living in poverty learns she’s the super special heir to the throne/ saviour of the world. There’s absolutely nothing new here. The Necromancer King aspect could have been interesting, but he really wasn’t a big part of the book.

The dialogue was so stilted and strange it felt like the author had never had a conversation with another person. The book had an extraordinary amount of dialogue as well, so it was a rather important aspect of the book.

Overall, Heir of Illaria wasn’t anything new or near good enough to make me forget it wasn’t anything new, earning it 1 star out of 5.

 

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100 Followers Appreciation Post

I hit 100 followers in late September, but like many things concerning For the Lover of Books, I’m way behind. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed For the Lover of Books, or even simply read one of my posts! It really does mean the world to me. I never thought I would find an audience, or a place in this wonderful community, but I’m so grateful I never gave up on blogging now that I have.

So I came up with a fun (and embarrassing) way to celebrate reaching 100 followers. I’m going to react to my old reviews. The first one is the first review I posted on For the Lover of Books (I had another blog that was pretty terrible before I started For the Lover of Books), and the second one is my review of Heir of Fire, which I remember being not very nice. You can check out those reviews here and here, but I’m really not encouraging you to.

Review 1: Grave Mercy

Number of pages: 549

Time it took me to read: Approximately 1 week

Rating (out of five stars): 3.5

I’m so glad I replaced “time it took me to read” with “number of times read”. No one cares how long it took me to read it.

My first impression of Grave Mercy was skeptical.

What a terrible sentence.

After skimming the blurb on the back of the book, this book did not really seem like something that I would enjoy, but having received it as a gift, I decided to give it a shot. The cover, for me, wasn’t spectacular; a friend had to point out the crossbow in the girl’s hand for me to notice it.

No one care what you thought of the cover, past me. They’re hoping you’ll review the actual book.

The romantic aspects of Grave Mercy were entirely predictable. The very minute you’re introduced to Ismae’s (the main character) love interest you could tell that this book was going to be exactly like multiple other YA (Young Adult) romances

1. Past me mostly read paranormal fantasy, so I’m not sure where this extensive knowledge of YA romances is coming from. 2. I’m pretty sure my readers would have been able to figure out who the main character was without the brackets. 3. If you mention YA, people know what it means without having brackets explain it to them. This isn’t an English essay.

Even though they were entirely predictable, the romantic aspects of Grave Mercy were written exactly to my tastes (I like for there to be something going on (For example: War) while there are sweet hints of romance in the background).

I’m cringing so hard. Why on earth did I think I should put this on the internet? Also, what on earth does “sweet hints of romance” even mean? Why did I like my war with a side on romance? The grammatical aspects of this sentence are also a mess, but I’m more upset about the other stuff.

Grave Mercy also had almost no description.  I honestly appreciate that there is a fine line between too much description *cough, cough A song of Ice and Fire* and so little description that the reader can never fully immerse themselves in the world of the author’s creation, but telling the reader the hair colour of approximately three characters and the eye colour of approximately one character is definitely not going to cut it description wise.

This bit is actually okay. I still write parts of my reviews like this. I still bash other books in my reviews as well.

Overall, I thought that Grave Mercy was okay. While there are many cons to reading it, something about this book made me go and purchase the other two books in the series with the remaining Chapters cards that I had to ration until Christmas. Because of this, I give Grave Mercy 3.5 stars out of 5.

I mentioned almost nothing actually wrong with Grave Mercy, yet apparently there are “many cons to reading it”. Also, no one cares about your rationing of Chapters cards.

Review 2: Heir of Fire

Number of pages: 562

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3.5

Warning: If you have not read the first two books do not continue reading.

Same rating, but a much harsher review. If you haven’t read the first 2 Throne of Glass books, apparently there are spoilers ahead.

“Forget Morgan Rhodes’ awful series, I give you a review of A Game of Fire by George R. J. Maas. It has everything you could want in a book: unnecessary P.O. V’s, unnecessary details, and it’s even dreadfully boring. Sarah J. Maas has truly made a Y.A. A Game of Thrones.” (Me, halfway through Heir of Fire)

Not only did I feel the need to bash 3 books in one paragraph, I also felt it was necessary to quote myself in my own review.

The above quote may seem harsh, but it’s something I actually said aloud while reading this book.

No duh.

I’m just so frustrated with this series because I can see the potential and I know that Sarah J. Maas will write a fantastic book one day, but there are some times that this book fall so short of its potential that I wanted to throw it.

Did I even proofread this?

Part of me wanted this book to earn 4 stars, and it was really close to doing so, but there are too many things that need to be fixed.

Did the other part of past me go into Heir of Fire hoping to hate it? Also, I’m fairly certain this was a lie, since I most definitely did not like Heir of Fire, but I wanted to justify reading Queen of Shadows, which I had already purchased.

The first issue I had was with the cousin thing, specifically the discussion about Celaena marrying Aedion and the inevitable addition of Rowan to the triangle of love (I’m just predicting here). I don’t care how distantly related you are, if you are cousins you should not marry or go out with each other (again, I’m just making a prediction).

I think the use of “the cousin thing” as a descriptor was a result of me trying to keep this review spoiler free, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a really bad descriptor. The poor grammar returns.

The plot twists in this series are so predictable. I predicted the whole long lost, part Fae queen thing from book one, and as soon as the really rare bond between Fae was mentioned, I put two and two together and figured out who (because she wasn’t special enough) had this rare bond with someone who, for spoiler purposes, will  remain nameless.

So far, past me hasn’t spoiled the first 2 books, but she has spoiled the one she’s reviewing.

I have grown attached to this series, and though I have many criticisms, I have enjoyed reading this series so far. This was the first book to make me emotional, although not as emotional as I normally get, and I appreciate that in a book.

Please tell me my grammar is better now. Also, “though I have many criticisms” makes almost no sense.

I think that the characters are growing into better characters and I’m even starting to like Celaena. However much I started to like Celaena, there is one thing that still bothers me that is perfectly stated by Rowan (I’m not saying that I am a fan of his) on page 102 “…I don’t know what the hell you’ve been doing for ten years, other than flouncing around and calling yourself an assassin”. Also, as much as the addition of new characters irritated me, I found their perspectives and plot lines interesting.

I feel like a broken record, but the grammar in this paragraph is just as terrible as it was in the last ones. Also, this isn’t an English essay, past me. You don’t have to set up quotes like that.

Overall, I enjoyed, yet was frustrated by Heir of Fire and it has therefore earned 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a review of lies. I really didn’t enjoy it. I ranted to my friends about it for months.


I hope you enjoyed that pile of humiliation, and thank you again for making me a part of this community. I don’t know where I would be without it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Number of pages: 422

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

Rating (out of five stars): 2

I avoided this book for a long time. The moment I saw angels and demons in the synopsis, I knew I wasn’t going to like it. I had been scarred by reading Fallen years ago (it really is that bad), so I tend to avoid angel books at all costs, but after loving Strange the Dreamer, I really wanted to give it a try. After all, it was supposed to be amazing.

This book isn’t overwhelmingly bad. I’m not mad at it like I would be at a 1 star read, and I’ve even forgotten most of what I was going to complain about, but it wasn’t fantastic either.

If you read Strange the Dreamer before Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you’ll be able to tell almost immediately which book came out first. Daughter of Smoke and Bone features a very obviously early version of Laini Taylor’s writing, which would have been fine had I not stopped reading every few chapters to consider some of the odd metaphors at length.

The characters really fell flat for me. I didn’t hate how they were done, but again, you can tell this is an older book. There was nothing particularly interesting about them. So she has blue hair; so what? So he’s an angel; why should I care? I felt no attachment to any of them.

I also feel like nothing really happened. If you aren’t attached to Karou, you’re basically in for a book of backstory and Karou wondering why she feels incomplete. That’s it. In fact, the whole thing reminded me of Fallen. Controlling, angry angel falls for strange girl with no memory of her past life. I’ve already read 4 books of this (I used to have a thing where I had to finish series even if I hated them); I’m not up for reading it again.

Overall, Daughter of Smoke and Bone really wasn’t for me, earning it 2 stars out of 5.

The Disney Princess Sidekicks Book Tag

I was tagged to do this in August *hangs head in shame*. Thank you to Mandy from Book Princess Reviews  for tagging me. She’s also the creator of this tag, so you can check out her answers here. If for some reason you don’t already follow her, you should definitely go check out her blog. She does some great reviews, and she has this great series where she answers the question “what YA books would Disney princesses read” called The Princesses Read. Without further ado, on with the tag!

 

 

 

 

MUSHU FROM MULAN/OLAF + SVEN FROM FROZEN

THE COMIC RELIEF – NAME YOUR FAVORITE HILARIOUS CHARACTER OR YOUR FAVORITE COMEDY/FUNNY BOOK

Nicolae from And I Darken and Now I Rise by Kiersten White. He’s such a great comic relief character who gives some sage advice on occasion, and I will be more upset if he dies than I will be over most of the main characters.

the seven dwarfs

THE SEVEN DWARFS FROM SNOW WHITE

FAVORITE GROUP/ENSEMBLE

six-of-crows

*desperately looks through read shelf on Goodreads in the hope of finding a crew other than the gang from Six of Crows* Who am I kidding? No other ensemble can beat the Six of Crows cast.

pascal

PASCAL FROM TANGLED

THE LOYAL CHEERLEADER CHAMELEON (NOT A FROG, FLYNN RIDER) – NAME A BOOK THAT STARTED OUT ONE WAY BUT CHANGED FOR YOU

Out of the Easy

I loved the first chunk of Out of the Easy, but the last third dragged a bit too much for me.

meeko

MEEKO FROM POCAHONTAS

POCAHONTAS’S SLY AND SNEAKY RACCOON FRIEND – NAME A PLOT TWIST THAT YOU DID NOT SEE COMING

I have a habit of seeing through a lot of plot twists, so I’m struggling to answer this one. I’m more concerned with if an author can make me forget that I know what’s going to happen in the moment than anything.

RAJAH FROM ALADDIN / FLOUNDER FROM THE LITTLE MERMAID

GENTLE WITH THEIR PRINCESS BUT PROTECTIVE WITH EVERYONE ELSE – NAME YOUR FAVORITE BEST FRIEND IN A NOVEL

Geekerella

I don’t know if Sage and Elle actually count as best friends, but Sage is such a good friend nonetheless.

LOUIS FROM THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG / SEBASTIAN FROM THE LITTLE MERMAID / COGSWORTH, LUMIERE, MRS. POTTS, & CHIP FROM BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

THE MUSICAL BUNCH – NAME A NOVEL WHERE MUSIC PLAYED A BIG PART OR MADE YOU WANT TO SING ITS PRAISES

101_2945

This Song Will Save Your Life is about a girl learning to be a DJ to cope with bullying at school.

maximus

MAXIMUS FROM TANGLED

THE OBSTACLE IN FLYNN RIDER’S WAY – NAME A CHARACTER THAT FACES A LOT OF OBSTACLES

Words on Bathroom Walls

Adam from Words on Bathroom Walls has Schizophrenia, and he also has to deal with navigating a new school.

meridas bros

HAMISH, HUBERT, & HARRIS FROM BRAVE

FAVORITE FAMILY DYNAMICS IN A NOVEL

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give features one of the best family dynamics I have read about.

RAY FROM THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG / 3 FAIRIES FROM SLEEPING BEAUTY

THE ADVICE GIVERS – BOOK THAT MOST IMPACTED YOUR LIFE

Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey was the first contemporary book I read that I strongly related to. Relating to it so much was how I realized I should seek help with my depression (and get it diagnosed).

hei hei

HEI HEI FROM MOANA

NAME A CHARACTER THAT STEALS THE SHOW

When the Moon was Ours

I know they’re both main characters, but Sam really stole all the spotlight from Miel in my opinion.

gus and jaq

GUS & JAQ FROM CINDERELLA

OPPOSITES ATTRACT – NAME YOUR FAVORITE OR WORST OPPOSITE ATTRACTS PAIRING

A Crown of Wishes

I think Guari and Vikram are different enough to count for this. The banter between these two is seriously amazing.

I tag:

Michaela form Journey into Books

Thoughts of a YA Fangirl (This is my cousin. She just started blogging recently, so she’s only posted a few things, but you should go say hi.)

Mackenzie form The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Library

and anyone else who wants to do this tag.

Words on Bathroom Walls Book Review

Words on Bathroom Walls

Number of pages: 304

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4.5

There’s something about reading mental illness books when you have a mental illness that’s strangely comforting. For me, it’s like snuggling up in a warm blanket. I don’t even have schizophrenia like Adam does. Depression is a completely different mental illness, but there just always seems to be something for me to relate to with characters with mental illnesses.

Words on Bathroom Walls is told in a unique format; it’s told in journal entries written by Adam to his therapist. Despite this meaning Adam could easily be an unreliable narrator, the account appears to be fairly unchanged, since Adam doesn’t always appear in the best light.

Adam as a character was well done. He has the same self-aware, dry humour that I have and love, and he has so many human moments. Sometimes he comes off as a jerk, and sometimes he comes off as a genuinely caring character. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the portrayal of Adam’s schizophrenia, but from what I could tell it seemed well researched.

Since everything is told through journal entries that focus heavily on Adam, the side characters aren’t as present or well developed as they normally would be. Because of the format, this wasn’t as big of a deal it would have been if Words on Bathroom Walls had been written differently.

Like many other mental illness books I’ve read, Words on Bathroom Walls perfectly balances humour and the hardship that comes with living with a mental illness. It has you laughing out loud one moment, and near tears the next.

With all the good, there is some bad. I was really bothered by how Adam often referred to himself as crazy. I really don’t like applying the term ‘crazy’ to anyone, but I especially don’t like applying it to people with mental illnesses. I refer to my brain as “stupid” often as way of dealing with my depression, but for me, crazy is different. I’m especially bothered since Words on Bathroom Walls does not appear to be own voices (please don’t quote me on this). I would love to know how others feel about this.

Overall, Words on Bathroom Walls was a really solid and enjoyable read with a few minor issues, earning it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Update: University Readings are Long

So, I’ve been MIA since classes started, and I wanted to do an update post before I actually got back into doing reviews.

Until 5 minutes ago, I have been behind on readings. On my first day of Classics, we were informed by the professor that we were supposed to have 40 pages of reading done for the first class, which made it very difficult to catch up on all of the reading for the next class. I’ve been doing readings every moment I’m not in class or preforming basic functions (eating, sleeping, etc.), so it’s been really hard to justify blogging when there was so much reading to get done.

I also haven’t done much reading for fun. I just finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone last night, and I’ve been reading it since the 3rd of September. I’m kind of upset I haven’t been able to read more books for fun, since my copy of Invictus by Ryan Graudin came 2 weeks early.

As far as posts go, I have to write my Words on Bathroom Walls review, complete a book tag, and review all of the books I’m trying to finish this weekend. I’m in the middle of writing the Words on Bathroom Walls review, so that should be up later today. As for the rest, they should be up by the 15th of October at the latest (reading week starts for me after my graduation on the 5th of October).

There you have it. I’m alive and still very much active on here. I was just drowning in a pile of readings until now.

When I Cast Your Shadow Book Review

When I Cast Your Shadow.jpg

Number of pages: 384

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

Rating (out of five stars): 1

Release date: September 12th 2017

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher (Macmillan-Tor/Forge) for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.

I really wanted to love this book, but try as I might I didn’t. In the beginning, I even forced myself to laugh and tear up where I knew I should be laughing and tearing up. In the end, too many things went wrong for me to enjoy it.

Firstly, the characters are written very young. If Ruby and Everett’s age hadn’t been explicitly stated, I would have pegged them for 12 years old at the maximum, and 6 years old at the minimum. I think Ruby and Everett were supposed to come off as super innocent, but they ended up sounding far too young for their age instead. I was a really innocent 16 year old surrounded by other innocent 16 year olds, so I know what an innocent 16 year old sounds like. Dashiell’s voice also reads more like a 17 year old than a 22 year old. It didn’t help that the Bohnacker siblings called each other Dash Dot Dot, Ruby Slippers/ Ruby Ru, and Never Ever far more than they used their actual names.

This book tends to ramble. The characters will be having a conversation, and the conversation will go another direction. Then, they will return to the previous topic for no reason. This made it difficult to follow. The chapters also seemed to share every thought that went through that character’s head. There are some thoughts that are just unnecessary to include. I’m not sharing every thought I had while reading When I Cast Your Shadow, because some of my thoughts are not necessary to indicate to someone whether or not they should read it.

There also isn’t much of a plot. Dashiell basically just poses Ruby for no reason. We find out later that there was technically a reason, but the book itself makes a case for why it is a terrible one.

The villain is not only basically non-existent for the majority of the book, but he also isn’t very well done. We are told that they can feel how evil he is, but there is nothing in this book that actually proves it. “I feel his badness” (not an actual quote) is not a good enough reason.

Ruby and Dashiell have a weird relationship. Ruby is infatuated with Dashiell in a really un-sibling like way. It’s actually kind of disturbing to read from her POV because she is so infatuated with her brother.

The romance on Everett’s side wasn’t much better. It’s one of those “she would never notice me, since she’s amazing and I’m a geek”, “I’ve always noticed you, Everett” deals. That’s not even the best part; this ridiculous romance is crucial to the “plot”. It dictates not only Everett’s decisions throughout the novel, but the love interest’s as well.

Overall, I wanted to love When I Cast Your Shadow, but it had too many issues I could not ignore, earning it 1 star out of 5.