Daughter of the Burning City Book Review

Daughter of the Burning City.JPG

Number of pages: 384

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4

I buddy-read this with Lynn from From Oceans Away back in January, and I never got around to reviewing it. Luckily I have all of my thoughts written out by chapter, so I’m still able to review it.

I have a very weird gripe with chapter 3 specifically. I had to reread it multiple times, and I still didn’t really understand what happened in the end. It was so strange to me, because I was starting to get into the story with the first 2 chapters, but then there was this really choppy and information filled chapter that took me out of the story. And it threw me off for a couple of chapters.

Other than chapter 3, I really didn’t have any major issues with the writing. It did keep sucking me in and then throwing me back out, which was a bit frustrating, but I think it found its groove eventually.

I really hated the love interest for the majority of the book. He was the biggest jerk to Sorina for no reason. However, as I became more suspicious of him, the more he grew on me. I like that he became a more complex and interesting character along the way. Also, according to my messages to Lynn, chapter 17 really sold me on him, but I have no memory of what happened and I didn’t ever explain why.

I thought Sorina was a bit insufferable at points. She’s a person who has lived with this sketchy traveling carnival for most of her life, but she just immediately trusts people. She shares sensitive information with people she barely knows who are already acting suspiciously, and from what I remember she isn’t too concerned about interacting with people that multiple people close to her have warned her about. I also think the fact that she has no eyes, but can see perfectly was kind of lazy. And the only explanation for why this might be is essentially ‘I dunno. Magic.’

Venera was my favourite character by far, and she was a really minor part of the story. Not only was it nice to see her and Sorina’s friendship, but it’s also mentioned that she really likes working with numbers. Can we please just have more math-loving heroines in YA? I’m so sick of seeing every contemporary character groan about Calculus and worship their English teachers. And characters in other genres all just wonder how numbers work.

I think a lot of the twists were generally done really well. There were a couple I completely didn’t see coming at all. There were a few reveals that felt really anti-climactic, such as the true role of the proprietor of Gamorrah, but I was genuinely surprised by most of them.

I did end up predicting the villain early on, but what I appreciate the most about Daughter of the Burning City is that it made me constantly doubt my prediction. I ended up being suspicious of so many characters, with so many theories for why they could have done it, that my earlier theory being correct surprised me.

Overall, I enjoyed my time reading Daughter of the Burning City, though it wasn’t perfect. It has therefore earned 4 out of 5 stars.

Advertisements

Isle of Blood and Stone Mini Review

Isle of Blood and Stone

Number of pages: 400

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

Rating (out of five stars): 4

I’m not really sure what I expected from this book, but I was really pleasantly surprised by it. Isle of Blood and Stone was this really quite book that almost immediately made me smile in spite of myself.

I thought the world was really interesting. There aren’t many books that feature cartographers, and it was so interesting to hear about the different islands. I really think the author did a fantastic job with the world-building.

I also loved the writing. I had barely started trying to write my first book when I started reading this, and all I could think while reading was how I wanted my writing to look like the writing in this book.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters. Their characterization was well done, but I just didn’t connect to most of them (although I did really like Reyna). I actually think I was more connected to and interested in the world than the characters, which is maybe why I’ve been finding it difficult to really cohesively collect my thoughts on this book.

I did predict the big reveal, but I found learning about the reasoning behind it really interesting. It was also interesting to see how the characters dealt with the person being someone close to them.

Overall, I really recommend Isle of Blood and Stone, earning it 4 out of 5 stars.

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?

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.

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.