Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone number 1

Release Date: 5th August 2012

Pages: 420

Publisher: Hodder

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

 Star Rating: 5

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."

I remember when this book first came out, I saw the book in work and read the synopsis and I thought it sounded okay but I just wasn't tempted enough to pay for it in hardback and boy was I wrong. The daughter of smoke and bone lives up to its hype and more. From start to finish I was completely transfixed, this book has it all, amazing best friends, hot guys, heart ache inducing forbidden love, paranormal creatures (that are seriously freaky but so cool at the same time) and a lot of angst, seriously this story is brimming with angst but that's one of the reasons its so captivating.

In my opinion Laini Taylor has crafted a beautiful and endearing masterpiece with her story of Karou, this book will emotionally drain you and in the end will leave you speechless, from start to finish Taylor takes you on a journey with Karou, discovering her life and who she really is. It's majestic and its magical.

Karou is a seventeen year old art student in Peru, she had bright blue hair, hangs out in a wonderfully gothic cafe with her best friend and tries her best to avoid her ex-boyfriend who can't take the hint. At first glance Karou appears to be a normal seventeen year old, but alas she is hiding a secret, for Karou has no normal family, she has been bought up by the Chimera, specifically those who grant wishes and she must frequently run errands for them collecting teeth from all over the world. Karou has spent her life in between worlds and she feels like she doesn't fit in either, until one day when she runs into beautiful Akiva and everything she knows shatters.

As you've probably already guessed I adored this book, in particularly the wonderful mix of characters, Karou is feisty and funny and makes mistakes in her life. She regretted loosing her virginity to her ex-boyfriend after he turned out to be nothing but a nightmare, she is inquisitive and is both fearless and vulnerable. Karou appears lost in the world, not knowing who she is or where she belongs.

And Akiva, Madrigal Brimstone, Kaz, Issa, I could go on, every character in this book has a purpose, they are wonderful and charming and I can't wait to learn more about their back stories.

I think one of my favourite aspects of this book was Taylors writing, its is beautiful, emotional and poetic and completely swept me away. It is a wonderful mix of fantasy and seraphim/chimaera  mythology and whirlwind romance. I've read a lot of Angel and forbidden love stories in the past but this one by far surpassed them all. The mystery and suspense throughout this book is crafted amazingly, I never would have guessed the true reason behind Brimstone needing all those teeth or who Karou really is and for that Taylor I thank you, I loved being able to be surprised by a book as that very rarely happens.

This is a must read book, Taylor has created a world that will stretch the limits of your imagination she paints a picture with her words. This story left me speechless and stayed with me long after I had finished reading.

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.” 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Monday Nights

Okay, so I have a confession to make, I'm a 24 year old woman who still loves Disney movies, they are always my go to option when I'm feeling a little low. You can't go wrong, the singing and dancing makes me smile and I end up singing the songs for days afterwards.

So today Frozen came out on DVD in the UK, it feels like I've been waiting ages for it to come out, I only saw it for the first time when I was on the way home from America and I fell in love with it, apart from Tangled (which I love dearly), Frozen has to be one of my favourite Disney movies of the modern age. The relationship between Anna and Elsa is beautiful as is the soundtrack, I swear I've not stopped singing 'let it go' since I saw it. Plus its funny, I love how Disney are now making adult jokes in these films, things children wouldn't necessarily get.

And well this is my Monday night, a can of my favourite lemonade and a DVD. What are you up to?

Book Recommends: Dystopian YA

'A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterised in books like Brave New World and 1984. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems and various forms of active and passive coercion, often imagined as police states, with unlimited power over the citizens. Dystopias are often set in the future and involve technological innovations not accessible in actual present reality.'

I was first introduced to the dystopian genre a few years ago when I read the Hunger Games and I fell in love. I loved the idea of a society that was under some sort of control and a group of characters that rebelled against the social norm, plus dystopians often have strong characters who find an inner strength to overcome some tough obstacles, be it overthrowing a corrupt government or trying to survive in this bizarre world they've been thrust in to. Dystopian books are intelligent and fast paced stories with many twists and turns, they are dark and thrilling and often surprisingly emotional.

And so with that in mind these are my favourite dystopian YA books and ones I would recommend you read as well.

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

Have you read any of these? What would you recommend?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Four Simple Goals: April

Whilst I was browsing the Internet looking for some helpful posts on how to improve my blog, I stumbled across a blog 'FiveSixteethsblog' who has a monthly post in which she sets herself four simple goals to accomplish each month and I thought that this was a great idea and something I would like to do on my own blog, Now I don't know about you but I know I'm awful at fulfilling the goals I set for myself, I think I always go too big and then when I don't complete them I get a little disheartened and kind of give up.

But I think this will be good for me, a way to set little things for me to achieve each month, simple things that I know I can accomplish and go from there. Don't get me wrong I still have big goals and dreams I want to achieve but I think if I'm feeling good about completing the simpler goals I wont get so disheartened if the bigger ones aren't happening when I want them too.

So as its nearly April here are my Four Simple Goals for April:

Spring Clean my Bedroom
I'm getting ready to redecorate my bedroom but first I need to have a clear out, I have so much junk in my room. Clothes I am never going to wear again and books that I've been sent or have read and will probably never pick up again. I can have a slight issue with hoarding things sometimes. So April is time to clear all that junk out!

Apply for ten jobs
I know this may seem like a strange one. I do in fact have a job but I'm currently looking for something else, don't get me wrong I love my job but its not exactly going anywhere and I'm not getting any younger, I want to have a career. So I've set myself a long term gaol of finding a new job but for April I just want to apply for at least 10 jobs.

Keep up with blogging
I love blogging but it is an effort sometimes to put a post together, taking the pictures, editing pictures and writing my book reviews. One of the reasons I like having this new blog is because I don't have to focus on just one particular type of post (my previous blog was all about books) and its put the enjoyment back into blogging. Now I just need to keep up with it.

Be happy, try one new thing
I've recently had a bad couple of weeks, I've gone through a big change in my life and it wasn't something I wanted and so now I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation. So in taking everything one day at a time, I am trying to find the little things in life that makes me happy and bearing that in mind I want to try something new, just one little thing I've never done before. I don't know what I'm going to try but watch this space.