Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Series Review

Monday, 25 June 2018

Books: The Daughter of Smoke a Bone Series
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, Dreams of Gods and Monsters)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted to me!

Links to Purchase:  Amazon CABook Depository, Chapters Indigo

From master storyteller and National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor comes a sweeping and gorgeously written modern fantasy series about a forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope for a world remade.

It has taken me a long time to finish this series. I read books one and two for the first time in 2015, and then never made it into the final book. Why, I don't know, because I loved the first two. There was something about the magic, and the fantastical element, but also Prague, that I loved. Combine that with super beautiful and lush prose? I don't know why I didn't finish this earlier. (I actually do know. School. Because school sucks the fun out of everything). I picked this series back up in summer of 2017, when I knew that I would be in Prague for a few days over my birthday in August. And while I didn't finish it, or even make a dent, I picked it up again over Christmas break, and finally went on to finish the series this year!

A few things to get out of the way: If you're debating reading this series, just do it. It's a time investment, yes, but it's worth it. My favourite was Daughter of Smoke and Bone, followed very closely by Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I still loved Days of Blood and Starlight, but it was my least favourite of the series. What can I say, the romance in books one and three push them over the top.

First let me say something about the pacing of this series. It's super fast paced, things move very quickly, but you're never rushed. And while things move quickly, don't for one second think that Laini Taylor isn't playing the long game. Every moment is perfectly timed out, and while there were moments where I didn't totally get the point of them in the moment, everything comes around and makes sense. Everything comes to fruition and when you look back, those moments are some of the best.

Can I also mention how much I love Karou? Her character was the life blood of this world, and all the shit that she has to deal with in this series made me just be her best friend and take care of her. Not that I would, because I would hate to step on Zuzana's toes. The friendship between Zuze and Karou is now my favourite female friendship in all of YA. They're best friends, who support each other no matter what, and whose friendship is never questioned. There are so many stories where girls are supposedly best friends, but their stories are about fighting, but none of that nonsense can be found here. Karou needed her friend, and Zuze needed to make sure Karou was safe. I love them so dearly.

And Akiva and his siblings! While I kind of loved Akiva from the moment we met him (do you blame me??), his family dynamic is what really strikes me. We get to met Hazael and Liraz in book one, but we learn more about them and get to know them more in the following books. They were the dark horse surprise for me. I didn't think that I would like them, or enjoy reading about them, as much as I did.

Moving on from the characters, I want to talk plot and writing style. Mainly, how I don't think you could have one without the other. The plot revolved around Seraph and Chimera, or angels and demons in more basic terms. But it also deals with souls, reincarnation, resurrection. All of this stuff is pretty out there, and not often seen in a lot of YA. There are  themes and plot points and elements to this series that I've never seen elsewhere. But these come together to not just make a cohesive story, but a beautiful one. And I chalk that up to Laini Taylor's stunning prose. It's very lush writing, but when I was reading her descriptions of certain things everything made perfect sense. In fact, the atmosphere and emotion was amplified by the prose, just enough to seem magical and fantastical, yet still be grounded in reality.

But my favourite part of this series? It's fun. Even though it deals with heavier topics, it's so much fun to read about Karou and Akiva, and Mik and Zuzana, and all the other characters. They all have such an incredible light behind them that reading this absolute monster of a series is an joy. I never found myself bored, and I was immediately swept up in this fantastical world. 

It's hard to write a series review without spoilers, but if you take one thing away from this review, let it be this: This is a fun series, that will have you laughing, gasping, and crying in every chapter. The writing, the world, and the characters are so unique, and are so special. I'm so glad that I read this series, and I cannot wait to talk to more people about it.

Each book gets 5/5 stars, and this series is elevated to one of my favourites now. Thanks for reading!

Cheers my dears!

Waiting on Wednesday | Uncharted by Erin Cashman

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine

I'll be honest, the cover snagged my attention, but the summary is what's keeping it. For all the reviews I keep seeing, I hear people talking about how it's a great mystery thriller, with fantasy elements, but still a bit contemporary? And it's got a super high rating on Goodreads, so why would I not be adding this to my TBR?

Uncharted by Erin Cashman
Release Date: September 4th 2018 | 416 Pages | Published by Page Street YA | Goodreads Link
Preorder on:

Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and paintings to reality—because in reality, her mom is dead, and it was all her fault. When she accompanies her father to the funeral of some family friends who drowned, she’s surprised to find her grief reflected in the face of Griffin Bradford, the son of the couple who died. Griffin is nothing like the carefree boy she once knew. Now he’s irritable, removed, and he’s under police investigation for his parents’ deaths.

One night following the memorial service, Annabeth’s dad goes missing in the woods, and she suspects Griffin knows more about the disappearance than he’s letting on. He refuses to answer her questions, particularly those related to the mysterious “expedition” his parents took to Ireland, where they went missing for seven months.

Annabeth fears her father isn’t lost, but rather a victim of something sinister. She launches her own investigation, tracing clues that whisper of myth and legend and death, until she stumbles upon a secret. One that some would die to protect, others would kill to expose—and which twists Annabeth’s fantasy and reality together in deadly new ways.

What titles are you waiting on? Let me know, and happy reading!

Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi | Book Review

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Book: Restore Me (Shatter Me #4)

Authors: Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 435 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased from ChaptersIndigo

Juliette Ferrars thought she'd won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she's still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she's got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?

Let me just start with the fact that I loved Shatter Me. Shatter Me has been one of my favourite books since I first read it, and the series has only gotten better and better. And while Ignite Me kind of gave me everything I hoped for, I still had so many questions; What would happen next? What was going to happen to Sector 45? Juliette and Warner? What about the entire Reestablishment? I had so many questions, and I sort of resigned myself to feeling like I would never get those answers, and that was fine. But then Restore Me was announced, and I lost. My. Shit. I was so excited, and while I didn't read it the day it came out, I was staying away from all spoilers, and keeping my sights set on the day when I'd buy it and finally read it. I was nervous, going in to this. Was it going to be a worthy continuation? Was this going to be half assed? Was I going to like it as much?

In short: This book was everything I could have ever asked for.

Restore Me is a book that gave me everything I wanted. I wanted more plot, and for the stakes to be higher. But I also wanted a bit of fanservice. I wanted to see Kenji, and Warnette, and for there to be some gratuitous kisses. And I got everything there. Kenji was still himself -- his annoying but absolutely loveable self. Juliette was an interesting character to jump into again, because I always forget how young she is for how much she's grown over the series. And Warner -- sweet Warner. Reading the book partially from his perspective did take some getting used to, but that's mostly on my part. But I never even thought about how much we don't know about him. How much Juliette doesn't know about him. Seeing all the characters interact, especially the mixing of new faces and old ones, was so interesting to read about.

But what got me was the plot. Tahereh Mafi's plot is unassuming at first; it lulls you into a false sense of security, so that by the time, almost half way through the novel, we hit the ground running, you think of course. It had to be this way. Of course, this is the only way the story can progress. I can't go into detail without giving spoilers, but I'll say this: Juliette is challenged in the most intense way, and this time, she has to be the one to pick herself up and get shit done. Whether or not she's very good at this, I won't say, but she is in charge in this one.

I feel like I'm rambling without saying much here, but I'll finish this off with one thing. I once heard an author talk about Second Book Syndrome, and she said that the most important thing in a series is that the stakes keep getting higher. It's boring if the stakes aren't raised. And what Restore Me does is attach the stakes onto a rocket and send it into the atmosphere. And then it takes the plot and sends it right up along side it. The stakes begin to heighten in the last 3rd of the book -- creating what I thought was a great balance between fluffy fan-service and real plot -- and by the last page, the stakes are through the roof. The shift from one to the other, from a more subdued writing to the lush poetic prose that the original trilogy was famous for, from fluff to hard plot, is smooth. Everything flows in a way that might not be smooth, but is inevitable. It's not an understatement when I say that I am anxiously waiting for the next book because I can't wait to find out what happens next.

If you're a fan of the Shatter Me series, read this. I was a skeptic, but I'm in love with this book. I cannot wait until the next book comes out, because I am just as in love with this story, and with Tahereh Mafi's writing, as I was when I read the series for the first time.

5/5 Stars, because I can't give it anything but.


Top Ten Tuesday | Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

I'm back with more Top Ten Tuesdays! These will be done sporadically, but when I saw this topic, I knew I couldn't pass it up. I love atmospheric books, and I love when a book's setting is so vivid it makes me want to travel

Just One Day
Gayle Forman | Dutton Books | Goodreads

Just One Year
Gayle Forman | Dutton Books | Goodreads

Going Bovine
Libba Bray| Delacorte Press | Goodreads

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald | Penguin Classics| Goodreads

Angels in America
Tony Kushner | Nick Horn Books | Goodreads

The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Sarah Addison Allen | Bantam Books | Goodreads

Summer of Salt
Katrina Leno | HarperTeen | Goodreads

Anna and the French Kiss
Stephanie Perkins | Dutton Books | Goodreads

Call Me By Your Name
Andre Aciman| Atlantic Books | Goodreads

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor | Little Brown Books | Goodreads

Link me to your TTT so I can get some book recommendations! I love it when books are atmospheric, so let me know your favourites!

Happy Reading!