Friday, February 26, 2016

REVIEW | Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor was my 13th read of 2016! I gave it a full 5 out of 5 stars!!

No spoilers ahead until I give a warning, so don't be scared to continue reading!

This book is about a girl named Karou who doesn't know much about where she comes from, but she does know that there is more to the world than just Earth and its beings.  She spends her days (when she's not at art school in Prague) running errands for her caretaker, Brimstone.  He is in the business of making wishes come true if you pay the price in teeth - any teeth will do.  The thing is, while Karou is an eccentric human with tattoos and blue hair, Brimstone can't quite pass in our world.  He has the head of a ram, with eyes like snakes and the body of a man.  As the story unfolds, Karou begins to learn how she ended up in the care of a magical creature and where he and his people come from.

(Image from Calivel)

I listened to DoSaB on audiobook and it was phenomenal! The narrator's voices and accents truly made the story come alive!

I loved how we got more and more information about the world that Liani Taylor was creating throughout the story.  It wasn't a rush of information that was hard to follow; instead she gave us little snippets that built to become one huge picture.  And the world was AWESOME! I can't wait to see more since we did spend most of our time in our own human world!


Karou. Karou is probably one of my favorite female leads I've ever read.  From the start of the story, I loved that she didn't fit the normal description of a teenage girl with her tattoos and blue hair.  Her humor was on point and I loved that her past with the "asshole" makes her even more different for a traditional YA character, because SHES HAD SEX BEFORE THE STORY STARTS. That was AWESOME.

Zuzana. I loved Karou's best friend Zuzana. She was sassy and didn't put up with Karou's disappearing acts without questioning what was up.  She's human with no tie to the other life Karou has, but she didn't feel like a filler character.  She was important to Karou, and I hope we get more from her throughout the rest of the series.

Brimstone. Brimstone feels like a loving father figure who is doing bad things for the greater good.  That's how he comes off to me.  He isn't perfect by any means but he is trying to do the right thing both for Karou and for his people.  He also is like the wise old man of the story.  He knows more than he can say.

Issa and Twiga.  Issa and Twiga are like the cool aunts who took care of Karou when she was little and still take care of her now when Brimstone is busy doing business. More characters that aren't human, I loved hearing the snake like voice the narrator gave Issa. I really hope we see more from these two in the future books.
(Image from divergent-nephilim)                  (Image from Pinterest)

Before I head into spoilers, I do want to mention that Laini Taylor did a wonderful job dealing with flashbacks and a nonlinear timeline.  We jump into a huge flash back that lasts a few chapters I believe and it was not confusing, but instead was just as riveting as the present.  I commend her for that!


Akiva. The love interest. Akiva's story was so intense from the moment we met him! I felt for him, and in the end when he's telling Karou what he's done I was shivering. I didn't know what to feel! I am so in love with Akiva and Madrigal's love story but I couldn't wrap my head around how Karou could forgive him for what he did.  Destroying the ability to reincarnate and Brimstone with it was such a shock, I sat in my car when I finished the last chapter for about 5 minutes before listening to the epilogue. I'm so distressed!!

                                  (Image from tumblr.)           (Image from blackbirdink)
Madrigal. Karou's past live. Madrigal. I think my favorite part of this entire book was all of the flashbacks and meeting Madrigal.  The first scene we meet Madrigal is from Akiva's point of view when he was dying on a battleground.  From that moment I had a feeling Madrigal was Karou but I didn't figure out how it could be until we get the scene describing Chiro's transformation and how it works.  I loved the description of Madrigal! I loved the description of almost all the Chimaera anyway but Madrigal felt even more beautiful than the rest.

                               (Image by jo-yumegari.)               (Image by halsurfer.)


Guys. I can't tell you how much I'm still thinking about this story when I finished the book days ago. I just sit and think about how broken Akiva must feel and how just numb I would be if I were Karou and just holy shit!

I loved getting to know more about Thiago and the war and reincarnation and everything that we're told in the second half of the book was just so freaking good!

I do hope we get to see more of Zuzana.  She was so integral to the first part of the story, and then she sort of just disappears but I want her to maintain a relationship with Karou because I really think she matters to Karou.

I STILL THINK AKIVA AND KAROU ARE ENDGAME.  Like I know he killed important people and basically destroyed the only way that the chimaera were keeping up with the power of the Seraphim and that's all really awful and depressing and aggravating, but he's also just perfect in his imperfections. And their love is so glorious I love it so much; I hope it doesn't destroy them.

I can't really think of any other coherent (ish) statements to make about this story. I LOVED IT. I can't wait to listen to the sequel because the audio was so amazing and I want hard copies for my bookshelf so I can see their beautiful covers every day.

Until next time,

Friday, February 12, 2016

REVIEW | Shearwater Part 1 by Derek Murphy

This is read 12 of 2016, and I gave Shearwater Part 1 by Derek Murphy a 3 out of 5 stars.  This is a story about a girl named Clara who's parents die in a car accident just before her sixteenth birthday, forcing her to move in with her new guardian, the Grandpa she didn't know existed.  As if this wasn't life changing enough, the American Clara has to move continents because her Grandpa lives in Ireland.  With so many lies surrounding her mother, Clara moves with the goal to find out why her mother never told her where she was from, never talked about her family, essentially never told her anything.

As the story unfolds, there is more than meets the eye for Clara as she realizes there might be supernatural reasons for her mother suddenly picking up her life and leaving Ireland.

This is only part one of the full novel, Shearwater which comes out later this year (2016) so it ends with a huge cliffhanger! I will definitely be picking up the finished novel when it's released because I want to know what happens with our protagonist!

That being said, I did have some issues with this story.  There are many stereotypical YA scenes and aspects of our characters used even when it read like the author was trying to stay away from them.

This book was very entertaining! The mystery of different aspects of this story, including both why Clara's mother never told her anything as well as the information regarding mermaids was all very intriguing and made me want to pick the book back up whenever I had to put it down.

I definitely recommend picking up Shearwater when the finished first book comes out later this year if you like mermaids and the supernatural YA story!

Until next time,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

REVIEW | The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray was my 10th read of 2016! I listened to the audiobook for this one and it was phenomenal! I gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

For more on what I thought about the book, make sure to check out my review on my Youtube Channel!