A Note:

6/2/13

I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles.

https://twitter.com/Book_Faery

And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3322973-tori-book-faery

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)

xoxo
Tori

Friday, December 2, 2011

Amanda's Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

Hardcover: 420 pages
Price: $11.31
ISBN: 9780316134026
Released: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Author's Website: Laini Taylor
Buy it: Amazon
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Book Order:
1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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 grown 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 one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored 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?




My Rating: 2 Stars

Between the raving reviews on Goodreads and the Goodreads Choice Award nominations, I had high expectations for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That said, I can’t imagine myself loving this story, expectations or not. There were a lot of things that just didn’t work for me.

I nearly gave up and put this in the DNF pile numerous times, but I somehow managed to keep trudging forward.  The story, while well written, just didn’t connect with me on any level. There were moments that caught my interest, the first of which was two hundred pages in. At this point, the romance comes into play, and it endeared me.  Momentarily. I thought there would be some development. Lord knows the first 200 pages of the story drug enough, why should the romance be immediate? Yet, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Like flipping a switch. Karou and Akiva didn’t really know one another. They were supposed to be enemies. Souls singing to each other? The yearning to touch one another? (I would probably have the yearning to touch Ryan Reynolds too, but that doesn’t make him the love of my life.) This doesn’t work for me.

The way Karou handled her ex-boyfriend made me think she was badass. Finally a female character with a backbone. Then comes the romance, and Karou dissolved into a puddle of hormones, like most of them do. So what was the point in all of this ex-boyfriend business? To make me think she was badass, only to strip her of that when the beautiful angel shows his face?

Sometime in the second half of the novel, the writing lost its appeal. It suddenly felt all over the place, and I was reading things I just didn’t care about. Whose story is this again? I thought it was Karou’s. Oh, wait, yes of course. Big spoiler--highlight if you would like to view it. I found Karou being Madrigal to be slightly predictable, but I held onto the hope that maybe my prediction was wrong. But it wasn’t, and that disappointed me to no end. Resurrected soul? Really? So that entire time, the first three fourths of the book, Karou was never really making her own decisions? Her recycled soul was calling the shots? She was never really Karou? Yeah, I realize they are the same person, but Karou doesn’t know this until she cracks that wishbone, at which point we get this huge dump from the past, with characters you only see a handful of times. I just didn’t feel a connection with any of these characters. I'm surprised I remember any of their names. Any connection I had started to form was severed when we found out the truth about Karou’s past.  So many pages are devoted to filling us (and Karou) in on who she is, and this disrupted the flow of the story. If I hadn’t come so far into the book already, I would have given up on it at that point.

The two stars go to the writing and the basic concept. I think there were some great ideas in this story, but unfortunately they’re overshadowed by all of the things I didn’t like.

The story ends in a massive cliffhanger (honestly, what YA book doesn’t anymore?), and I’m sure it’s leaving some dying for the next installment. I, however, will most likely pass.

--Amanda

Click here to see Tori's glowing review of the novel.

7 comments:

  1. I really liked the book up to the point of the romance, when it seemed to overtake everything especially because I wasn't ready to not hate Akira after the earlier events.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know-- I hate the concept of resurrected souls and what-not because it just means the girl won't know if her guy is thinking of HER or her past life! I just find it so annoying.

    I also love your comment about Ryan Reynolds-- it made me laugh because I think the same thing. <333

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh noes!! I keep hearing so many amazing things about this one and honestly that totally scares me off from wanting to read it because I'm never on the best book ever band wagon.
    IT's nice to get differing points of views though and I'll probably give it a try since I already have it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I didn't think it at the time (because I was totally obsessing over the writing and how it inspired me), but all your points are things that slowly made me lose interest in the book as time progressed--after I finished reading it.

    I gave a semi-gushing review, but there are a lot of valid points that now bother me... and they're primarily the ones you mention now lol.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tori - Ha! So now you don't like it?? I keep having that same thing happen to me when I'm reading lately. I either read a book - love it and then start hating it when I start reviewing it or barely make it through and then look back and think I was too harsh and it wasn't bad at all.
    lol

    I iz crazy and need a break from reading.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Karen, it's not that I don't like it... it's more I just don't like it as much as I initially did lmao. I would probably drop the rating to a 3 if I had to review it again.

    I think that's more because I've forgotten about all the characters, and even the story. Reading Amanda's review reminded me of all that stuff, and now that I'm not drooling over Laini's writing, I'm kind of unimpressed with how things were executed.

    I feel like, after some time passes, I always want to rate books lower lmao. There's very few that I would increase the rating for.

    We're both loonies

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bookworm--I agree, it wasn't easy for me to see what Karou saw in Akiva after their initial encounter, and I'm still not sure I understand it.

    Alice--Exactly!! He's somehow wooing Karou, and half the time he's thinking of Madrigal! Drove me nuts.

    Karen--Now I'll be waiting for you to read this because I'm curious to see what you'll think of it! Lol.

    Tori--I do see what you saw in the writing. It was the sole reason I kept reading. And I do that too! I look back on GR sometimes and see four star rated books, or even five, and I'm like...why the hell did I rate that so high?! Half the time I can't remember much at all about the story. Lol.

    ReplyDelete