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.

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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).

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Verdict: Keep

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

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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

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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?

Favourite Book of the Month: July 2018

I’ve always wanted to do a TBR and wrap-up, but between life and my strange method for picking what to read next, the format isn’t a good fit for me personally. Enter this new series 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.

Look at me being sort of on time for once. I know I’m technically a week late, but I’m not doing this in mid-late August, so I’m still counting it as a win. July was a generally positive reading month, so I had a couple of options this month. However, most of them were 4 star reads, meaning my one 5 star read is the clear winner this month.

My pick for July will surprise no one who has been here for a while, as the author is basically my only auto-buy author. It’s also the third book in a trilogy for which the second book was actually my favourite of the month at some point last year. Without further ado, my favourite book for the month of July 2018 is Bright We Burn by Kiersten White. You can read my review here.

Bright We Burn

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

Books That Mean Something to Me

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the books that mean something to me. They aren’t exactly all books I’d recommend to people, but they’re books that got me into YA, or were the first book I reviewed. These books all hold sentimental value to me, whether I enjoyed them or not.

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Haunting Violet

This is the book that really got me into YA. I read it for the Red Maple Awards in grade 7, and I loved it so much my mom bought me the author’s other books. And I didn’t stop there. It wasn’t even really a conscious choice to read specifically YA until I started For the Lover of Books because I didn’t know it was really a thing, but if I had to find the source of my YA centric reading habits I would have to say Haunting Violet.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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I talk about it a fair bit, but for those who don’t know Grave Mercy was the first book I reviewed on For the Lover of Books. That review is so awful it physically pains me to read it, but I keep it readily accessible on the reviews tab for transparency’s sake. I may not have loved Grave Mercy, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnson

Exit, Pursued By a Bear

Exit, Pursued by a Bear is the first book I got signed. I had signed books before that from an Uppercase box and finding signed copies at Chapters, but Exit, Pursued by a Bear was the first book I took to a signing, met the author, and got it signed. It was a relatively local signing too, which was odd since most authors just go to Toronto.

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Mask of Shadows

Mask of Shadow was the first ARC I ever read. I remember being near tears when I got the email from Netgalley that I had been accepted for it. While I don’t exactly recommend Mask of Shadows (which is unfortunate because I was looking forward to buying a physical copy), I’ll always remember how much it meant to me.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey was the first book I really saw myself in. It was so weird to find a character that I could see a piece of myself in. Since reading Finding Audrey almost 3 years ago I have found much better books that focus on mental health, but Finding Audrey really helped me figure out some major stuff about myself.

There are a ton of other books like Six of Crows that helped me through really dark times, but if I had to list all of them we would be here for an eternity. What are some books that mean something to you?

 

Books and Music: Vol. 3 (Panic! At the Disco Edition)

If you missed when I did this the first time, I was tagged to pick 5 songs I never skip and match them with books, but I had so much fun with it that I decided to make it a thing on my blog. However, instead of picking the songs myself, I shuffled my YouTube playlist of music and my iTunes to pick the songs for me. It was really hard, but I still had a lot of fun doing it, hence why I’m doing it again. Since I’m going to a Panic! At the Disco concert the day this is being posted, I decided to do this with only Panic! At the Disco songs I listen to. There are some I’ve already used before, so those are still not eligible for this one.

Miss Jackson

I am so angry with myself for having used The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue already. I’ve been going through the books I’ve read trying to think of books where someone sort of sleeps around, but nothing is really fitting. Maybe Furyborn by Claire Legrand. There are a couple other lyrics that kind of go with Furyborn, so I guess that’s what I’m going with.

The Calendar

I’m quickly learning that these are all going to be stretches. Anyway, I’m going with Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo for this one. I feel like the lyric “They said, “If you don’t let it out/ You’re gonna let it eat you away”” kind of fits with what happens when a Grisha doesn’t use their magic. It fits alright.

C’Mon (with Fun)

I’m going with A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir for this one, mainly because “with everything falling down around [them]” Laia and Elias “like to believe in all the possibilities” and have hope that everything will turn out right in the end.

Collar Full

I chose When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon for this one. Shockingly, it’s another stretch. I kind of feel like the general theme of this song of chasing a girl kind of fits with Rishi chasing after Dimple. I don’t know. I really wish this song hadn’t come up.

The Overpass

I wanted to find a book that fit with the lyric “Sketchy girls and lipstick boys”, and the closest thing I found that I’ve read is Daughter of the Burning City. I feel like that lyric fits with the atmosphere of the down-hill.

Old Fashioned

Hey look. It’s another song Gentleman’s Guide would have fit well with. *sigh* I’m going to stretch some lyrics again (specifically “We were borderline kids with a book of disorders/ Medicatin’ every day to keep the straightness in order”), and try to say that those lyrics are about coping with mental illness so that I can connect it with This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. That’s not what the song is about really, but I’m struggling here.

Stall Me (Bonus Track)

I was looking for a book for this one where the relationship was the thing keeping the characters afloat and I immediately thought of Laia and Elias in A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. This might not be the most accurate take on the book, but I read this in August 2016, so feel free to correct me.

 

I had 10 songs picked, but this is getting to be so hard it isn’t enjoyable anymore, so I’m going to leave it here. Do you like any of these songs? I know a lot of these were stretches, so do you disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments.

Favourite Book of the Month: June 2018

I’ve always wanted to do a TBR and wrap-up, but between life 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 am very late in doing this. 19 days late specifically. *cue shame* Life just got in the way of blogging and stuff, but I figured this was better late than never.

I actually had 2 books I rated 4 stars this month. One of them is an older book with some older ideas, so I decided to go with the more recent release. This book was by no means perfect, but I did thoroughly enjoy reading from one of the 2 perspectives in this book.

Without further ado, I present my favourite book for the month of June, Furyborn by Claire Legrand. You can read my review of it here.

Furyborn

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

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?