The Dark Beneath the Ice ARC Review

The Dark Beneath the Ice.jpg

Number of pages: 336

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

Rating (out of five stars): 2

Release Date: August 7th, 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 was recommended this book on Twitter recently, so I figured I would see if it was on Netgalley. Low and behold, it was, so I figured I’d request it. The synopsis sounded interesting enough, and I really want to find a YA horror or thriller that scares me (and I’m huge scaredy cat, so it shouldn’t be this difficult). The Dark Beneath the Ice was also written by a Canadian and is set in Canada, so that’s always a plus.

I will give The Dark Beneath the Ice credit for being a really fast read. I read it so quickly I figured it must be like 250 pages, but it’s actually over 300, so props to the author for that.

The thing is that I just didn’t connect with this book. I think horror/ thrillers really need to suck you in so you feel that same prickle of fear the MC is feeling. When thrillers don’t suck me in I just feel very ‘meh’ while reading them, and that’s exactly how I felt for the majority of this book. I became so disinterested at one point that I started thinking about how Marianne’s school’s exam schedule seemed inefficient (which is a thing I thought I would never say considering my local school board wasn’t exactly the best at stuff like planning).

I didn’t really notice this while reading it, but looking back Marianne was written a bit strangely in my opinion. There were times where she was written to sound like she was on the older end of YA, and there were times where she was written very young. Her sounding very young can be excused to some extent considering she spent most of the book in fear, but it got to the point where I cannot tell you how old she is. I’m sure it’s mentioned, but I got so confused along the way that I completely forgot her age.

I did really like the romance. It was a really well done slow-burn. It wasn’t a huge part of the book, but it was there enough for me to get excited for Marianne when Ron mentioned she was interested in girls.

My normal ‘meh’ rating is 3 stars, so you may be wondering why I knocked it down a star. Well, I really didn’t like that it took until about 95% of the way through the book for the things to start to get resolved. I’m also not sure I even understand what happened. By the end of The Dark Beneath the Ice I was so confused as to if everything actually happened?! I don’t understand, and I’m pretty sure I read it carefully this time. It could have always been my fault, but Marianne’s “explanation” of what happened and how it was resolved just didn’t make sense to me. I still can’t wrap my brain around it.

Overall, The Dark Beneath the Ice left me feeling confused and disappointed, earning it 2 stars out of 5.

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FIFA World Cup Book Tag

Before anyone says anything, I know I’m late doing this (but early if we’re taking about the 2019 Women’s World Cup). Things got crazy for a while, and then this suddenly became my only blog post idea. I’ve also been both mentally and physically ill this week, so that’s been fun (depression and a cold don’t mix well when you’re trying to be productive). Anyway, I’m a soccer fan (though I only actively watch it during the World Cup), and I used to play soccer when I was younger (I played house league, and I was the world’s most out of shape midfielder), so this tag feels perfect for me. Thank you to Mandy from Book Princess Reviews for tagging me. If you haven’t visited her blog before, I suggest you rectify that immediately and maybe give her a follow. You can read her answers here.

Rules!

  • Link back to this post so I can read all your wonderful answers!
  • Answer the questions the best that you can!
  • Tag a few friends at the end to keep this tag going!
  •  Have fun!

Let the Flags Fly

Wave them high and proudly!!! Look at all the fun colors!!!
A Book from your World Cup  Competing Country/ the Country that You Want to Win!

Born a Crime

Canada is awful at men’s soccer, so when I was 11 (during the 2010 World Cup) I picked 4 teams to cheer for. I know 4 teams is ridiculous, but I clearly didn’t understand that at 11, and I still go for them all in the World Cup (if they make it). My teams are Brazil, Germany, Greece, and South Africa, and while only Brazil and Germany were in it this year, I’m still saying a book from South Africa counts for this question.

It’s The Beautiful Game

Football! Soccer! Beautiful! Whatever you call it!
A book with a pretty cover / A book that features soccer.

Brave Enough

Just look at this cover and try to tell me you don’t want it on your shelves. I’m not a person who buys books because of the cover (I’m more intrigued by titles than covers), so luckily I’ve already read and enjoyed this one.

Ferocious Fans

Face paint! Big signs! Lots of noise!
Name a fandom you love being a part of!

I’m not really a person who is actively a part of any fandoms, but I always enjoy seeing Grishaverse stuff float around the internet.

Teamwork! Teamwork! Teamwork!

There is no way one person can win the game!
Name your Favorite Bookish Crew / A Book that has Co-Authors!

Beneath the Citadel

I’m going to pretend I’m not aloud to say Six of Crows for this, and I’m going to go with the group in Beneath the Citadel. They all worked so well together.

Ref Blows the Whistle

You either love him or you hate him.
Name a book/character that you mixed feelings towards!

Shadow and Bone

Genya (I hope I spelled that right) from Shadow and Bone. I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, but I liked her throughout most of the book, and then she did a bad thing at the end. I don’t know how to feel about her now.

GGGGOOOAAAALLLL!!!!

Everyone loses their heads and starts yelling at the top of their lungs!
Name your last 5 star read!

Bright We Burn

The Gold Cup

It’s what we play for.
The Most Coveted/Loved Book On Your Shelf

Ruling Passion

I’m going to take most loved to mean most destroyed and go with Ruling Passion. While it isn’t a favourite anymore, it was a favourite years ago. That means I’ve read the 3 books contained in this bind-up 6+ times, and the spine is completely destroyed.


I’m never sure who to tag, so if you’re reading this and interested in doing it, consider yourself tagged.

Beneath the Citadel ARC Review

Beneath the Citadel.jpg

Number of pages: 480

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4

Release Date: October 9th, 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 made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t request books on a whim on Netgalley anymore. I was only going to request stuff I was really interested in because I had bad luck with books I requested solely because I was curious. And that strategy has been working out really well for me. My ARC ratings have been much higher this year than they were last year. The thing is that I requested Beneath the Citadel on a whim, and it actually worked out really well for me.

The world in this book is really interesting, and I think the author did a really good job with the world-building. The powers people can possess in this world and where those powers came from was explained well, and the government system made sense. I also think the religion in the book was well explained. The religion played a role in the story, so it was nice to see everything make sense.

I really liked our main cast of characters. They will never be my favourite cast of morally gray characters, but they all had really distinct voices. The characters having distinct voices is super important to me as a person who tends to skip chapter titles, so I was really pleased I was able to tell who’s POV I was reading from without having to go back and check.

I also think the character development was done really well. You could really see how our main cast grew over the course of the story. They all became such complex characters, and it was really interesting to watch them learn and change.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the writing. I was really invested at the beginning, but I feel like the writing lost its charm along the way. It might have been because of I sort of forgot I was reading it for a while, but I just found the writing very blunt in a way the writing in fantasy books typically isn’t.

Speaking of the writing, I found when the characters used terms that fantasy worlds don’t normally have words for that it took me out of the story. On the one had it was helpful because I can definitively say that Evander is bisexual and Alys is asexual, plus-sized, and has anxiety/panic attacks. On the other hand it was a bit jarring considering all the fantasy books I’ve read are more subtle about it because the world they’re set in doesn’t have the same terms we have.

I also feel like the last couple chapters were unnecessary. The story had ended by that point, and they just showcased where the characters were in the aftermath. I think standalones need to end having wrapped up the story, but I don’t find I need to be able to figure out how the rest of the character’s lives are going to play out.

Overall, I enjoyed Beneath the Citadel, earning it 4 stars out of 5.

A Reaper at the Gates Mini Book Review

A Reaper at the Gates.jpg

Number of pages: 420

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

I’ve been stalling from writing this review for 2 days. Maybe I’m sick of writing 3 star reviews. Maybe my brain has been weird this week. Maybe I wish I were giving this book a better rating. Maybe it’s all three. Whatever the reason is, this review is happening, so prepare for what may be my least insightful review in recent history (which is saying something).

This book isn’t a bad book. If you’re a really big fan of this series you will probably love A Reaper at the Gates. The problem for me is that I read book 2 the day it came out in August 2016, and my interest has waned since then. I just have so many series I care so much more about, and I haven’t really thought about this one for 2 years.

My one actual complaint I have is that there is so much Helene in this book. I have never liked her. Like I’m not interested in watching an adult outsmart a teenager who refuses to listen to any and all advice. The politics of this world just don’t interest me at all, and that’s basically what Helene’s chapters are filled with.

I’m also very upset about something that happens near the end, and I’m not upset about it in the good “this book destroyed me” kind of way. Why on earth would you put all of your faith in 3 random teenagers? How was that your master plan? Your champions in the race to save the world were seriously a guy who hates everything he is, a bland and horrible girl, and a quiet girl who wants no part of this. I’m trying to be super vague so I don’t spoil anyone, but I was so mad when I read that part.

I don’t really know what else to say. This is definitely an “it’s not you, it’s me” situation because my rating has nothing to do with the quality of the book (though I also didn’t pay that much attention to the technical aspects because I just didn’t care anymore). I’m giving A Reaper at the Gates 3 out of 5 stars, but I’m not sure you should put too much weight on how I feel here.

Underrated Female Hero Tag

Thank you to Mandy from Book Princess Reviews for tagging me. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you should definitely rectify that and go give her a follow. You can check out her answers here.

Rules:

  • Please PINGBACK to me at Kate @ Melting Pots and Other Calamities. Or just Kate. And PINGBACK TO A SPECIFIC POST OF MINE.  I won’t see the post otherwise, and I’d like to see it.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Choose female characters from books, movies, TV, anime, Webtoons, etc.
  • Tag as many people as you want, but at least one person.
  • Have fun!

1. Name a heroine you like, but whom you feel is always overshadowed by the male characters in the story.

I don’t really have one for this. The only books I can think of is where the protagonist is male, but that doesn’t seem fair since the book is supposed to be about them.

2. For that matter, name a heroine whom you feel is always overshadowed by the other female characters in the story.

Daughter of the Burning City

Venera from Daughter of the Burning City. I loved her despite how little she was actually in the book.

3. Name a character who had potential but was greatly underutilized in her story.

Reign of the Fallen

I went into Reign of the Fallen looking for necromancers going on adventures, and what I got was not much of anything. Odessa had so much potential, but she doesn’t end up doing much.

4. Name a female character who you either find better in her book than her movie, find better in her movie than her book, or whose portrayals you find equal.

I don’t really have one for this question either. All of the book to movie adaptations I’ve actually read the book for I either watched years ago, or I don’t really remember the book.

5. Name a character who you want more backstory on.

six-of-crowsI really want a book where Inej sails around killing sex traffickers.

6. Name a character with traits you feel are sadly overlooked by everyone.

101_2754

I feel like Nazira’s resilience is totally overlooked. She goes through so much throughout the series, and I feel like she’s underappreciated .

7. Name a morally grey character. (Villain or anti hero!)

The Young ElitesI couldn’t not pick Adelina.

8. A character you’re stunned isn’t more famous.

Sky in the Deep

Eelyn from Sky in the Deep. This book was (deservedly) so hyped before it came out, and now I never see it anywhere.

9. A character from a piece of fiction you’re amazed isn’t more famous.

I don’t really have an answer for this at the moment.


I’m never sure who to tag, so if this tag interests you consider yourself tagged.

Daughter of the Pirate King Book Review

Daughter of the Pirate King

Number of pages: 311

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

So this was fun I guess. That seems to also be the general consensus online from what I’ve seen, so at least it isn’t just me this time.

One thing I really enjoyed in this book was how we would see Alosa do something completely out of character, and then she would turn around in the next and explain it was all an act. I think it was really well done because I would have this moment of confusion, and then we’d get to see how she vastly outsmarted everyone around her. It’s what made the book fun for me.

Now let’s talk about what did not make this book fun for me, and that would mainly be the romance. Yikes. And I liked the love interest enough, but the romance really ruined the book for. In the beginning I was hoping the fact that Alosa kept calling him attractive would lead nowhere, but of course I knew it wouldn’t go the way I wanted it to. The main problem with the romance is that Alosa goes from this character who only cares about herself and maybe her crew to risking her life for this dude and this dude’s horrible brother because said brother means a lot to the dude she’s suddenly in love with.

I also felt like they didn’t have any chemistry. Like her antagonizing him was great and all, but it never felt like organic banter among characters that hate each other now, but will sacrifice themselves for each other later. She messed with his head, and he outsmarted her a handful of times. That should have been the end of it, but this random romance had to come all the way out of left field for no reason.

I wish we had gotten to see more of this all-girl (but not really all-girl) crew of Alosa’s. She talks about them so fondly and tells us of their skill so often that it had me wishing we had gotten a story with them instead. I have a feeling that’s what the sequel is for, but I don’t have enough interest in the story to read the next book.

Overall, Daughter of the Pirate King was fun, but I did have some issues with it, earning it 3 out of 5 stars.

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?