Legend Book Review

Legend.jpgNumber of pages: 336

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

I’ve never been a fan of dystopian books. In fact, I pretended to like Divergent and The Hunger Games so I could actually have a conversation with another human because I had no friends back when they were popular. I wasn’t even going to ever read Legend, but Marie Lu came to Canada last year, and I thought I might as well give it a chance if I was going to get it signed.

If you like dystopian books, you’ve probably already read Legend under another tittle by another author. If you don’t like dystopian books, you should also skip Legend, because it has all the dystopian clichés you could want. This includes, but is not limited to: the corrupt government, the government leading to the death of a loved one of the main character, main character(s) are super different from everyone else, and the US is the only country that could be involved in a dystopian government conspiracy. There’s nothing new here.

It is also terribly predictable. It took me two chapters to guess all of the “ground-breaking” truths Metias leaves behind for June, and the whole thing with Day is painfully obvious. There is nothing to keep you reading when you already know what’s going to happen.

The most interesting thing for me was contemplating whether or not Marie Lu called it the Republic because according to my history teacher the US is the only functioning Republic.

Overall, Legend is not worth a read, but is not “bad” enough not to not finish, earning it 3 stars out of 5. I do however recommend Marie Lu’s Young Elites trilogy. If you like anti-heroes, you’ll enjoy The Young Elites.

The Impostor Queen Book Review

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Number of pages: 432

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3.5

The Impostor Queen was enjoyable, but it didn’t blow me away by any means. I’m probably not going to continue the series, despite there not being anything glaringly “wrong” with it.

The world building was well done. When you can convince me that fire and ice magic comes from copper, you know the world building was done well. The magic and political system made sense, and it was easy enough to picture the setting, so I count that as a win.

I also liked the characters, and I think they were well done. I especially liked Oskar and Elli. They were flawed and strong characters. I really liked that despite living a pampered life, Elli is determined to learn how to help Oskar’s family while she stays with them.

I also really liked the premise. It’s about a girl who thinks she is the “chosen one”, only to have everything she has ever known ripped out from under her. It’s about her learning to find new strength. It’s about her finding a new purpose and adjusting to what life has thrown at her. The Imposter Queen makes me wish there were more YA fantasy books with themes like those.

Overall, The Impostor Queen was fast paced at points with well written characters and solid world building, earning it 3.5 stars out of five.

Patchwork ARC Review

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Number of pages: 308

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

Release date: February 28th 2017

*Thank you to Netgalley for providing a copy for review. As always my opinions are honest and my own.

I feel very “meh” about this book. There were some things I personally didn’t like about it, but the main problem I has with it is that the premise was a little too out there for me. I downloaded it (it was in the read now section of Netgalley) because I liked the author’s Wildefire series, but I went into it without reading the synopsis, which could have clued me in to how weird of a book I was getting into.

This is a personal thing more than anything, but I am a huge mythology lover. Myths from ancient cultures have always fascinated me, so I was not a fan of the villain being named Osiris. Anyone who knows about Egyptian mythology knows that Osiris was not an “evil” god, but it’s not those people I’m worried about. I’m more worried about people who have very little understanding of Egyptian mythology thinking Osiris went out of his way to randomly murder innocent people.

Speaking of myths and legends, I also didn’t like the whole “phoenix” thing. The author could have easily made up a name for what Renata is, because calling them phoenixes feels really lazy to me. I guess powers transferring after one dies can count as rebirth, but the term phoenix feels wrong here.

Speaking of Renata, I don’t really like her as a character. There were some who complained about how Karsten Knight wrote Ashline in his Wildefire trilogy, saying she was too much like how a male author thinks a female character should be written. I didn’t see anything wrong with Ashline, so I cannot speak to if Renata was written well (despite being female myself), but I can say that she wasn’t very interesting. She’s pretty much your average teenager, except for the fact that she can travel through time. She also did a complete 180 halfway through the book. She spend the entire first half of Patchwork simply trying to escape Osiris, and then, after nearly being murdered approximately 3 times, she finally decides that maybe she should try to catch and kill the person who keeps murdering her friends. She’s almost a completely different character after that. You could say that seeing everyone you care about die 3 times may change you as a person, but I still think I should have happened more gradually.

On that note, her dad’s death was way over-played. At first, it tugged at my heart-strings to hear about her dad, but as the novel wore on it felt more like the author was trying too hard to be emotionally manipulative. I mean, it was mentioned at least once every chapter. I haven’t experienced the death of a parent, but I don’t think “I’m running for my life, but let me stop to tell you about my dad” was really the right direction to go.

This book feels a lot like a contemporary book with some “Oh my God all my friends are dead for the fifth time” mixed in. This didn’t make it boring per say, but it didn’t make it interesting, and it certainly wasn’t very thrilling. It was kind of like watching a Disney movie. You know as soon as the cruise ship blows up that she and her friends are going to make it out alive.

Overall, Patchwork was more of a miss for me than it was a hit, earning 3 out of 5 stars.

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault ARC Review

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Number of pages: 242

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

Rating (out of five stars): 2.5

Release Date: May 16th 2017

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

In the beginning, there was a sadist. I am not kidding, the prologue tells of a sadist demon-like creature who wants to rule the world under the name Quinsey Wolfe. It’s not exactly the name I would go for to instill fear into the human race, but okay. Quinsey Wolfe doesn’t matter, though because we won’t see him again until the end. It seems cliché to introduce the villain in the prologue, and it didn’t really work for me personally, but that didn’t mean the rest of the book had to be bad, right?

The first issue I had with Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is the writing. It favours telling rather than showing, which disconnects the read from the story. There were paragraphs in the vein of “I contemplated blank in the afternoon”. It was very this happened, then this happened, then this happened. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Horror books require a specific writing style. The writing has to suck the reader in in such a way that they suspend disbelief and don’t have time to contemplate where this whole this is going.

Speaking of horror, it was very tropey in the beginning. “Where did that mysterious building come from?” “Those missing people couldn’t possibly have gone into the building only certain people can see and never come out of.” (These are not quotes from the book). It’s frustrating to read stuff like this. There’s even a point when Perrie is looking for someone who has gone missing, but who entered Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault the night before, and it takes her a while to consider that something is up with the building half the town can’t see.

The characters also felt underdeveloped. Perrie plays the cello, August also plays the cello, and Maisie is supposedly quirky, but other than wearing eye-patches, it’s never really shown. Frankly, I can’t tell you much more about their personalities. This is mostly the fault of the writing, and also the fault of the length. The book is just too short for the character development needed.

On the bright side, the scenes inside the vault I thought were well done. Watching Perrie and August work together to survive was exciting, and I didn’t want to stop reading. I also liked that the displays weren’t just twisted fairy tales, but historical events as well.

Unfortunately, the ending felt off for me. It just came out of left field.  It also felt really forced. While I can see where the author is going ending it like that, I’m questioning what on earth could possibly happen in the sequel.

Overall, while the scenes inside the vault were gripping, but the beginning and ending were lacking, earning Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault 2.5 stars out of 5.

Favourite Book of the Month: May 2017

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

I came very close to not being able to do this for May, and I actually don’t have any books I rated 5 stars, but there is a wonderfully cute contemporary book I rated 4 stars. My favourite book for the month of May is therefore When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. If you are looking to learn more about being an Indian American from two very different perspectives, or are just looking for a cute romance to start the summer with, When Dimple Met Rishi is the book for you. You can read my review here.

When Dimple Met Rishi

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

Mask of Shadows ARC Review

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Number of pages: 384

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

Rating (out of five stars): 2

Release date: August 29th 2017

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher (Sourcebooks Fire) for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own, and are honest as always.

Mask of Shadows is the first ARC I have been approved for. Receiving the email saying I had been approved to read it through Netgalley kept a smile on my face for the rest of the week. I obviously really wanted to love Mask of Shadows, but I had too many issues with it to give it a high rating.

Let’s start with the positives. It was really interesting seeing a gender fluid main character. I don’t know that much about being gender fluid, and I cannot say anything about the accuracy of the representation, but it was interesting to see it represented in YA. I was a little confused when I didn’t quite catch how Sal was dressed (they dress how they wish to be addressed), but you quickly learn Sal’s gender doesn’t matter from a plot standpoint.

On a more negative note, I spent the novel in a state of confusion. Maybe I accidently skipped over some words, but I would be reading, and there would be something that didn’t quite add up. People I thought were in the room, weren’t there in the next paragraph, the characters were in a completely different room than I thought they were, etc. Again, this might have been my fault entirely, but what wasn’t potentially my fault were the “info dumps” that were throughout the novel. There would be long stretches of time where Sal would be explaining multiple years’ worth of history, and then the plot would continue as if an entire war hadn’t just been explained.

The characters were also lacking in the development department. This happens all too often with revenge driven characters. The author knows that the characters actions should be driven by revenge, but they forget that the character needs to have other characteristics. If you asked me to describe Sal, the only thing I would be able to say about them is that they want revenge for the destruction of their country.

The comparison of Mask of Shadows to Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J Maas are half right in my opinion. While it frustrates me to no end that every thief book is compared to Six of Crows, I think the comparison to Throne of Glass is pretty dead on. Let me preface this by saying that I have only given 2 Sarah J Maas books 5 stars (Queen of Shadows and A Court of Mist and Furry), but I have read all of her released novels. As a Sarah J Maas reader, here are some of the reasons Mask of Shadows is similar to Throne of Glass:

  1. Celaena and Sal are both revenge driven characters. Both characters want to avenge their fallen homelands by becoming assassins in order to murder those who brought about their countries’ destruction.
  2. The whole book revolves around a competition to be the ruler’s next assassin. Sketchy politics are involved.
  3. The main characters are supposedly very skilled, but it is hardly shown.
  4. The love interests are obvious from chapter one.
  5. Magic is gone/ illegal.

I’m sure there are more similarities I can’t think of at the moment, but it’s pretty much your typical YA fantasy book.

Overall, the only new thing Mask of Shadows brings to the table is a gender fluid main character, earning it 2 stars out of 5.

When Dimple Met Rishi Book Review

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Number of pages: 378

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4

When Dimple Met Rishi is unbelievably cute, and it was exactly what I needed after a string of disappointing fantasy books. I’m still not a contemporary book fan, and I do have some complaints, but other than that, When Dimple Met Rishi was a really solid debut novel.

I love all the characters, especially Celia, Dimple and her parents. I strongly relate to Dimple; just replace coding with books (though I did go to a one day program called Girls Rock I.T. No knowledge was retained), and cultural heritage with a distinct lack of cultural heritage. I loved seeing Dimple realize that her parents genuinely cared about her happiness. I also loved seeing Rishi realize that he should do what makes him happy, rather than what makes his parents happy. I am also officially dubbing the rich, popular kids aberzombies from now on.

I appreciate seeing phases in what I believe is Hindu (don’t take my word for it. I can barely form a sentence in my country’s second language). I used to be bothered when books include phrases in other languages without translating them, but then I remember how I feel whenever I can understand when people in books speak French. It makes me feel like the book is written for me.

One of my issues with When Dimple Met Rishi was that it would switch perspectives halfway through a chapter. There was fair warning for the perspective change, but it didn’t really work for me. I am okay with novels that change perspectives, but I prefer chapters to be dedicated to a specific character.

It was also really nice to see characters going into college/ university. It’s probably because I don’t normally read contemporary, but it was nice to read about characters in the same situation I’m in (I will be done with High School in a month).

Overall, When Dimple Met Rishi was a sweet contemporary that taught me about a culture that I previously had very little knowledge about. It has therefore earned 4 out of 5 stars.