Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | ReviewDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Published by Brown for Young Readers on September 27th 2011
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 418
Goodreads
five-stars

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

What I thoughtI started reading Daughter of Smoke and Bones in the car on my way to Sweden. And I HATE myself for not reading this book sooner, because this book is absolutely phenomenal. Flawless writing, beautiful storytelling, and so incredibly original. I am in love.

The prose was beyond a doubt one of the strongest features of this book. Beautiful imagery and descriptions, absolutely gorgeous! The words were just strung together, seemingly effortless. I was immediately hooked. I have been in Prague, a long time ago, but this story has me wishing I could go back, and maybe (hopefully) soon I will.

Incredible world building. Beautiful descriptions of the city and the political tension just seeps through the pages. The idea of the wishes and how everything revolved around teeth had something magical, albeit a bit horrific, to it. I love how we learn more about Karou’s ‘other world’ through her artwork. It was just beautiful. There’s really no other word to describe the world Laini Taylor has created in this book. Absolutely beautiful.

The characters were fantastic. They are flawed and full of depth, which makes it so easy to connect with them. I love how complex, but relatable, Karou is. She has so much wit and a great sense of humour. And the romance. Ah, the romance. So damn addictive.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

Great plot. Great heroine. Great love interest. Great and addictive romance. Great EVERYTHING. The originality of this story about knocked my socks off. An absolute new favorite fantasy read! I can hardly wait to read the other books!

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | Book Review

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | Book ReviewThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Brown for Young Readers on April 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

What I thought NEW

This book! I read this book while I was on a snowboarding trip. It was a perfect read. There was just something so sweet, somewhat simple, but very adorable about this book. About getting stuck in an elevator with someone you don’t know, and how these few seconds, or minutes really, can make such a big difference in life.

It’s really slightly magical, the thought of meeting somebody in an elevator, being stuck with someone else and share that moment. That slight moment resulting in a night, in the middle of a blackout in New York, of connecting with somebody. A friendship is born in the middle of a powerless city, complete with free (melting) ice cream and a clear starry night on top of a huge building. Yep, it really is just a touch magical.

In The Geography of You and Me Jennifer E. Smith explores the idea that home is not a place, but a person. A person makes a home. This idea is something that has always been true to me, something I’ve always believed in. Because home would not be home without my family. I love how Smith portrayed this and she truly does a beautiful job of showing that it’s not where you are that matters, but who you are with.

This book was just so sweet. I couldn’t put it down. It covered so many aspects that we find hard, but all get to deal with. The growing up, growing away from people and meeting new people. Family, being near them, but also being far away from them, and losing them. Those are all very hard subjects to deal with, and while they are covered in this book, it still manages to come across as a light, and sweet love story.

Owen and Lucy grew a lot throughout the story. In the journey they took over nine months, they grow into the person they want to be. They do stupid things, make wrong decisions, but learn from all of their choices and mistakes. And their meeting at the beginning of those nine months results into countless postcards, confused feelings, and ultimately in seeing each other again. *sigh*

This story, in a way, was just honest and perfect. It was sweet, and while I doubt this can ever happen in real life (though please prove me wrong!) it was just a perfect story. Traveling brings Owen and Lucy the finding that home isn’t a place, but a person, and a connection to that person. Loved it!