2017: A Year in Review


I’m late on this (because of course I am), so apologies because you’re about to be bombarded by all of the end of the year posts in the next couple of days. I was going to format this like a review (star rating and all), but it felt strange to give a year a star rating. I was also going to start with some negative stuff, but I think I want to keep this as positive as I can. But this rambling is getting us nowhere, so without further ado, here is a look into my 2017.

2017 was a strange year. It wasn’t horrible by any means, just strange. I guess that how it goes when you start the year still a little sick from the flu you got on Boxing Day (2016). January wasn’t great. Between experiencing my depression at the worst it’s ever been and stressing out over my first exams of grade 12, 2017 really didn’t start the way I’d hoped. On the more positive side, I had been accepted into 2 of the 3 universities I had applied to by January, and I had re-discovered Fall Out Boy during my long period of extreme depression, so it wasn’t all bad.

February began with me still being depressed, but it also held my mom’s birthday and the Super Bowl. Other than finishing Crooked Kingdom, I don’t remember much else from February.

In March I believe I was accepted to the last of the universities I applied to. I also read The Hate U Give in March, a book I really didn’t expect to love as much I did. March was also the month I got to see Green Day in concert, and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, though I haven’t been to many.

April was a great reading month for me, as I rated 3 books 5 stars (not counting the Hamiltome). April was also the month I started doing Favourite Book of the Month posts (a series I haven’t been able to keep up with because I haven’t rated anything high enough). My little sister also turned 15 in April, which still seems crazy to me.

May is my birthday month, so I turned 18. I don’t think turning 18 was as magical as little kid me had hoped, but it happened all the same. Reading wise, May was generally disappointing, though I did enjoy one book I read.

My dad and brother celebrate their birthdays in June. While my brother being 17 isn’t as shocking as my sister being 15, it’s still weird to think how quickly the time has gone by. June also brought prom and my last exams of high school. June was an okay reading month, but it wasn’t the best.

July was strange, because I was reading as much as I possible so I could schedule posts for August. Other than that, it was fairly uneventful.

August was when I got to travel to South Africa with my grandmother. This was the first time I had ever been outside of North America. It was so nice to be able to spend time with my relatives. It’s strange when a large part of your family lives on a completely different continent. I was sad to leave, but I had to go home to pack for university. Looking at my Goodreads, I read a whole lot more than I thought I did in August.

September brought university, which really isn’t as great as I thought it would be. I had a lot of problems with my roommate from the start, which caused me to have a few problems with my depression, but ended up causing me more problems with my social anxiety than anything. I also didn’t get to do a whole lot of blogging in September, which didn’t exactly help. Despite the lack of blogging, For the Lover of Books reached 100 followers, a milestone I seriously never thought I would reach.

I officially graduated from high school in October and came home from university for the first time. I also participated in my first blog tour, though I don’t think I did a very good job. I also got to see Fall Out Boy in concert. It was nice to finally see them live.

In November both my roommate and one of my suitemates left. My roommate had barely treated me like a human, but it still hit me really hard. I felt extremely guilty, even though she didn’t have the decency to tell me she was leaving until an hour before she switched rooms. My anxiety was the worst it has even been after that. What had she told the rest of the floor about me? For the first time, my anxiety was causing my depression, and not the other way round. I couldn’t blog because of school, I could barely read, I couldn’t really go home because I had so much school work, and I had nobody. I really don’t have anything positive to say about November.

December was strange. I couldn’t listen to Christmas music (something I wait all year to do) because it just wasn’t the same with no one to share it with. I was stressed and lonely for most of it. Then I got to come home. I could finally read and blog again. I was the happiest and healthiest I had been all year. Christmas came, and it was just nice to spend time with family. I figured I’d tack this on to this post to make it easier, but my favourite book for the month of December was City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. I haven’t written my review yet, so you’ll know my thoughts when I get a chance to write it.

That’s my 2017 in a nutshell. I think despite the plentiful mental health issues, 2017 was not a bad year. It just wasn’t the best. Here’s to a great 2018.

Also, you can see my year in books here. (I hope the link works)

Edit: I don’t normally edit my posts after they’ve been posted unless I find a glaring spelling error, but I completely forgot to mention that I also read my first ARC in 2017. I remember getting the email from Netgalley and nearly bursting into tears.


The Wicked Deep ARC Review

The Wicked Deep.jpg

Number of pages: 320

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

Rating (out of five stars): 2

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.

I have never seen, nor do I ever plan on ever seeing Hocus Pocus, so if you are looking for someone who can compare the two, I am not your girl. I am however a person who is frustrated with an ARC I expected to like, so there’s that.

I think my main criticism for The Wicked Deep is exactly what I kept commenting on through Goodreads while reading it; it was very repetitive. Within the first 21% (roughly), Penny tells us roughly 5 times how her dad was an outsider who was never really accepted by the town. It really bothers me when books do this, because it treats the reader like they are not smart enough to handle the book. I mean, this book seriously explained what moss was at one point.

There were also descriptions in strange places. At one point, I remember Penny showing Bo where he will be staying and describing it. Great. What was not great was how when she came back the next morning, she described the things she hadn’t described the first time. Why did the two descriptions have to be separated? Why couldn’t she have just described the cottage in one go?

The romance was also a perfect example of insta-love. Hot male stranger meets female protagonist. I’m sure you can guess how that goes. Nothing new there.

I found the big reveal quite easy to predict. I guessed what was going to happen very early on. I even guessed who would be possessed by the Swan sisters before it was revealed. I think this one might just be on me, but I’m still taking it as a negative, since it’s no fun to guess the big twist in chapter 5.

As for the paranormal aspects, all was going well until the big reveal. I’m not going to spoil anything, but the big twist negates the part of the world-building where the Swan sisters only steal the bodies of girls Penny’s age.

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of The Wicked Deep, but it was a quick and easy read, earning it 2 stars out of 5.

Mini Reviews: Books I Read A While Ago

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns 

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Number of pages: 363

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

I feel really guilty for not having enjoyed Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, yet I just couldn’t get into it. As with all of the other books I have reviewed recently, I read this one a while ago, so I may not have everything I say right. Please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.

I want to talk about the writing first. In the beginning, the writing came very close to sucking me into the story, but would break the spell a paragraph later. I hate to say this, but if I hadn’t known this was a debut already, I would have been able to tell based on the writing alone.

Throughout the entire book, I really didn’t understand Xifeng’s motives, which I think was my major issue with Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. I mean, “the cards said I should become empress” (not an actual quote) isn’t really enough justification to start murdering people and eating hearts. It didn’t seem like she even really wanted to be empress, yet it was all she could talk about. I think part of the reason I’m didn’t understand her motives is I also wasn’t convinced that Xifeng ever loved Wei. She just seemed possessive in general.

Overall, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns wasn’t for me, but it might be for you. It has therefore earned 3 stars out of 5.

The Book of Pearl ARC Review

The Book of Pearl.jpg

Number of pages: 368

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

Rating (out of five stars): 1

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.

Based on the praise this has received from French readers, I have a feeling something was lost in translation. I’m actually not sure the translator did the best job, since the lyrical writing attributed to The Book of Pearl was nowhere to be found.

The Book of Pearl was a mess. As my Goodreads updates will tell you, I had no idea what was going on while I was reading this. I only figured out what was happening through reviews. The book just kind of jumped around without explanation.

Speaking of jumping around, it kept switching between 3rd and 1st person, which was incredibly annoying. What made it even more frustrating was the fact that I don’t think we are ever given a name for the person whose head we’re in. They’re not even a person who is really connected to the story we are supposed to be following.

Overall, The Book of Pearl was confusing and poorly translated, earning it 1 star out of 5.

Books and Music: Again, But Not In Tag Form

I did this as a tag a while ago, but it was so much fun that I wanted to do it again. The tag said specifically songs that you have to listen to when they come on, but I wanted to do a more randomized version. For a bit of background information, I listen to music mainly through the music app on my IPhone (or ITunes on my computer), but I also listen to a lot of my music on YouTube, since I can’t buy music through ITunes for stupid reasons not worth getting into here, despite having ITunes money. What I’m going to do is make a playlist of songs I listen to through YouTude, and shuffle it, picking the first 5 songs that come up. I’m also going to shuffle my entire ITunes library and do the same thing. The ITunes songs could be more of a hit or miss since some of them are songs my dad gave me that I don’t listen to. After the 10 songs have been selected, I will match a book I have read to it and give my reasoning for why that song fits that book (just like in the tag). Also, the songs I used for the tag (Bleeding Out by Imagine Dragons, Counting Stars by One Republic, The Take Over, the Break’s Over by Fall Out Boy, Your Obedient Servant from Hamilton, and Say Goodbye by Green Day) are ineligible for this. Now that everything has been explained, let’s get into in.

YouTube Songs

Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time by Panic! At the Disco

I listened to a few Panic! At the Disco songs for the first time a few days ago, so picking a book to go along with a song I hadn’t listened to a whole lot made this more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Ultimately, I ended up going with The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead by Samantha Boyette for this one. Despite really not enjoying this book, it’s set at the prom, which fits the partying depicted in the song. There’s even a character in the book that frequently does cocaine.

Emperor’s New Clothes by Panic! At the Disco

This is an even more recent addition to my playlist than the other two Panic! At the Disco songs in this post. I actually really think this song fits with Lada’s storyline in Now I Rise by Kiersten White. I know I used this series the last time I did this, but looking back the only match I’m happy with from that post is paring The Star-Touched Queen and Counting Stars by One Republic, so let’s pretend the rest of those didn’t happen.  With lyrics like “I’m taking back the crown” and “I see what’s mine and take it”, this song feels like one Lada would appreciate.

Requiem from Dear Evan Hansen

I’m going with When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter for this one (another book I did not enjoy). I think When I Cast Your Shadow fits the song, since it shows 3 different reactions to Dashiell’s death (however poorly it was executed), just like how the song show cases the 3 family members grieving differently.

The Ballad of Mona Lisa by Panic! At the Disco

This was another hard one for me. Shuffle was not my friend in this exercise. The first book I thought of for this one was Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (review coming in the near future). I’m not really sure why (I’ve been writing this post for days at this point), but the character of Mona Lisa in the song just reminds me of Xifeng.

Death Valley by Fall Out Boy

This is actually the Fall Out Boy song that I listen to that I know the least lyrics to, so I’m glad shuffle picked it for this (she says sarcastically). Having looked up the lyrics (which I had to do for a lot of the other songs), I think Hunted by Meagan Spooner fits this one. Forgive me for the lack of explanation, but I’m not kidding when I say I started this post on the 24th (of December), and have been staring at my Goodreads read shelf and song lyrics for a large portion of the past 3 days (most of this post was written on December 29th).

ITunes Songs

Forever Now by Green Day

I needed a book with some sort of rebellion against the government for this one, because this is a Green Day song after all. I ended up going with The Young Elites by Marie Lu, since the Dagger Society is trying to change the way things are for those like them in it.

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story from Hamilton

In the context of Hamilton, this song is about Eliza, a character who really isn’t a major focus of the show compared to her husband (for obvious reasons), finally getting a chance to tell her story to the audience. Because of this, I think A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi fits with this one pretty well. Gauri is a part of The Star-Touched Queen, but she actually gets her story told in A Crown of Wishes.

Blow Us All Away from Hamilton

Out of the entire musical of 46 songs, this and Helpless are by far my least favourites, so you can imagine my displeasure when it came up. However, here was a chance to pick a character/ book I did not like on purpose. Enter Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller. Sal is brash and annoying, with a goal of avenging their homeland. I think that fits perfectly with Philip Hamilton in this song.

Sugar, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy

While at first I was excited to be able to match a book to this song, there’s a whole lot going on in the lyrics. My solution to this was to simply go off of the line “A loaded God complex, cock it and pull it”, which I thought went well with Celaena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

Hackensack by Fountains of Wayne

I was originally going to go with a book featuring small town for this one, but I looked the lyrics up (despite knowing them) and found that didn’t quite fit the song. I ended up going with Where She Went by Gayle Forman (which I don’t recommend), since it shows two people who used to know each other comparing careers years after they knew each other.

Despite the complaining, I really did enjoy doing this. I actually  think I want to do this on a more regular basis (though maybe with fewer songs per post). Do you disagree with any of my choices? Do you listen to similar music? I’d love to talk with you in the comments.

Invictus Mini Book Review


Number of pages: 458

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

Rating (out of five stars): 3

You know when you’re reading a book so “meh” that it’s hard to motivate yourself read it. That was my experience with Invictus. I actually let out a sign of relief I knew I was holding when I finished it. Note: I finished this book in October and all statements are from memory alone. Take everything with a grain of salt.

First of all, it was really boring. We find out Farway gets to assemble a team, and then we cut to them being on the ship, having had all these exciting adventures off the page that we only get to hear about in passing. I would have much rather read about these close calls than what I got. The few action scenes weren’t even that exciting for reasons that would count as spoilers.

The world building was also super confusing, not because Ryan Graudin didn’t put enough effort into it, but because she put too much thought into it. I understand that time travel books are very tricky, and need a ton of world building to make the story make sense, but there was far too much for my brain to handle. I’m all for reading books that make me think, but not ones that hurt my head.

The characters were hard for me to connect to. I think they were too serious, even when drunk and partying. No one was really trying to lighten the mood. I found 2 lines in the entire book amusing.

Sorry for the super short review, but I really don’t anything else to say. I felt nothing reading it, but it wasn’t so bad that I have an opinion on it. This review probably isn’t very helpful, but I’m posting it anyway.


The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead ARC Review

The Girl Who Wasn't DEad.jpg

Number of pages: 209

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

Rating (out of five stars): 1

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.

I’m not much of a mystery reader, but I’ve been trying to get out of my reading comfort zone lately. Unfortunately, from what I hear from reviews, YA mystery/thrillers and horror books tend to be not very good, though there are apparently some exceptions. The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead is not one of those exceptions. As a short disclaimer, I read this book in late September and I don’t take notes while I read, so this is all from memory. If I’m not sure of something, it’s not going in the review.

The thing I found most annoying about this book was not the characters or the plot,but I’ll get to those later. First a bit of spoiler free set-up is required. Basically, someone tried to kill this girl Jenny on prom night, but she survived and went to live in seclusion with some classmate whose name escapes me. Jenny and classmate call 4 people who interacted with Jenny at the prom to help Jenny figure out what happened. The most frustrating part of this was that every time a character told part of their story, everyone would turn to Jenny to have her confirm it. As if it wasn’t ridiculous enough to have the story stop to let Jenny say “yes, that’s true” (not an actual quote) to everything said, the fact that they were looking to the girl who is having trouble remembering what happened to confirm their stories was rage inducing.

Something else that was poorly done was how everyone told their stories. One person would say what happened from their perspective, and then a second person would tell their story, but they would repeat parts of what the first had already said. This was a very short book, and there was no need for it to be as long and repetitive as it was.

And then there were the characters. None of them had any redeeming qualities. They were more like what an adult who wasn’t one of the “popular kids” thinks teenagers are like. I never went to any parties, but I can tell you that the “popular kids” don’t just spend their time trying to have as much sex and get as drunk and high as possible, while being generally horrible for no good reason.

The mystery was also very predictable. You might even be able to tell who tried to kill Jenny from what little I’ve said here. If you’ve seen/read any bad teen mystery, there is really no reason to read this.

Overall, The Girl Who Wasn’t Dead isn’t worth a read, earning it 1 star out of 5.


Haven ARC Review and US Only Giveaway


Today I’m reviewing Haven by Mary Lindsey, and because this is part of a blog tour, there’s a US only giveaway near the end of this post (I feel for you fellow international readers). This is the first blog tour I’ve participated in, so I really hope I’m doing it right.


About The Book

Title: HAVEN

Author: Mary Lindsey

Pub. Date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 400

Find it: AmazonB&NTBDiBooksKoboGoogle Play Books, IndieboundGoodreads


Sometimes beauty is the beast…


“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”


Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.


Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Early Praise:


“Dangerous, dark and a definite page turner. Mary Lindsey rocks this book.”

– New York Times bestselling author C.C. Hunter


“A smoking hot hero and spine-chilling mystery = total win.”

– #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout


“This electrifying tale will take you on an unexpected journey into a secret world of witchcraft and shape shifters. Romance, adventure, and magic! Lindsey leaves you breathless and wanting more.”

– Adriana Mather, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Hang a Witch


“This is not your mama’s paranormal! Sexy, dark and intense. Unputdownable!”

– Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight


“Lindsey writes a hero with fire and gasoline. Then she lights a match with break-neck pacing, and scorches a path to readers’ hearts. Don’t blink for a moment.”

– Victoria Scott, bestselling author of Fire & Flood


“Gripping and gritty, HAVEN had me glued to the pages from beginning to end! Rain is the best kind of hero — tough, sexy, sweet, loyal. He charges through this action-packed tale that had me tearing up more than once, and I was perfectly happy to follow!”

– Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author of Forget Tomorrow.


“An utterly gritty and satisfying resurrection of the monster genre.Rain is an intense narrator and you won’t know whether to scream or swoon. Haven is an instant classic!”

– Courtney Moulton, author of Angelfire


“Darkly compelling and deliciously chilling, Haven hooks you from the first line and never lets up. Gritty, spine-tingling, and full of nail-biting tension.”

– Amalie Howard, bestselling author of Bloodspell


“Dark, different, sexy, and edge-of-your-seat intense.”

– Shawna Stringer, bookseller


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

Rating (out of five stars): 4

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a book. The last book I rated positively was Words on Bathroom Walls on August 31st, so a positive rating has been long overdue. With university sucking all my time and all the1-3 star reads lately, motivating myself to make time to read has been a struggle. Thankfully, motivation came this month in the form of an email from Rockstar Book Tours reminding me that I said I would review Haven as a part of the blog tour, and I hadn’t even started it at that point.

Let me preface this review by saying if you are heavy classics/ high quality literature reader, this is not the book for you. Haven is not going to win any literary genius awards, and it isn’t going to challenge or inspire you. Haven is for the reader that wants to escape the real world and purely enjoy what they’re reading.

I’m not a seasonal reader, but Haven fit surprisingly well with the creepiness of October. In fact, it’s a shame it comes out in November, since I would love to be able to tell you to go out and buy this paranormal fantasy to celebrate Halloween today.

I think the world- building was pretty solid. I didn’t see anything wrong with the paranormal aspects of this book. My one gripe, and the major gripe of this review, is that once the paranormal aspects are explicitly explained for the first time in the middle of the book, many “info dumps” follow. Haven features a complicated magic system and hierarchy that needs to be explained, I just think the author could have spread the information out a bit more.

I’m also happy with the character development. Frankly, it’s just refreshing to see characters who I can remember more than one thing about. The main character is also male, something fairly uncommon in modern YA.

While the characters and world-building are important, the most important aspect of Haven for me was that it was fun to read. It’s difficult to describe how much it meant to me that after nearly 2 months of not, a book was finally making me smile again.

Overall, while I did have a few gripes (like how I didn’t agree with how Calculus was defined) Haven was an entertaining read. It has therefore earned 4 stars out of 5.

About Mary:


Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.


Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest |  Goodreads
Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of HAVEN, US Only.



Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/23/2017- Twinning for Books– Review

10/23/2017- Flyleaf Chronicles– Review


10/24/2017- Blushing Bibliophile– Review

10/24/2017- Ex Libris– Review


10/25/2017- Omg Books and More Books– Review

10/25/2017- Novelties- Review


10/26/2017- Deep Dark Feminist Reviews– Review

10/26/2017- Mama Reads Blog– Review


10/27/2017- Kendra Loves Books– Review

10/27/2017- Why I Read– Review


Week Two:

10/30/2017- Bibliobakes– Review

10/30/2017- Betwixt the pages– Review


10/31/2017- For the Lover of Books– Review

10/31/2017- Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews– Review


11/1/2017- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

11/1/2017- Tea With Mermaids– Review


11/2/2017- Hauntedbybooks13– Review

11/2/2017- The Best Books Ever – Review


11/3/2017- Portrait of a Book– Review

11/3/2017- Nerdophiles– Review