Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone


Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
September 2011

Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher: 

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. 


     I'm not sure how to write this review without giving away the best part of the book which is its uniqueness. From the beginning, it captures your attention with a blue-haired art student who can make wishes on a string of beads and gets sent on mysterious errands to collect teeth. Even it's main location, Prague, is refreshing (having been there myself, I can say it is absolutely the gem that Taylor paints it to be). 
    You are quickly drawn into a world like no other with angels and monsters, magic and portals, and love as true and aching as it gets. 
    The writing was sharp without being pretentious. Reminiscent of e. e. cummings, with chapter titles like "Ache and Salt and Allness," and "Battle Not With Monsters," at times I felt like I was reading poetry instead of a novel.
    The only negative thing I have to say is that there are times where the voice of the writing isn't clear. In a few sections the time goes from present to past and back without a header to let you know where you are in the story. I figured it out within a few lines, but felt distracted from the story while I did. 

I received a copy of this book at the BEA in May and wish I had read it sooner! Excellent! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop!

From October 8-14th, we are participating in the Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop hosted by Reading Romances! For our contest, you have two chances to win THREE great romance novels! All three have been reviewed recently on our site. The Jaci Burton books will be mailed to the winner, and Call Me Irresistible will be ordered and shipped directly to the winner (sorry, US only). Simply fill out the form below and choose whether you want to be entered in the Play by Play drawing, or the Call Me Irresistible drawing, or both! Good luck to everyone and be sure to check out the other blogs on this great hop!

we're # 13 on the hop, the next blog is: Alexa Loves Books

Click here to go to: Link to full list of blogs in the hop!

Review: Call Me Irrestistible

From the Publisher: 
R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year!
Lucy Jorik’s the daughter of a former U.S. president.
Meg Koranda’s the offspring of legends.
One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. 
The other is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.
Meg knows breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, but no one else agrees. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg’s the most hated woman in town—and stuck there with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, without her famous parents watching her back, Meg believes she can survive by her own wits. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? She’ll lose her heart to Mr. Irresistible?
Not likely. Not likely at all.

I am a fan of romance novels, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorite authors. She does not disappoint here. It started out a little odd, and I was not sure if I was going to really like it, but soon found myself not only liking it, but wanting to re-read it over and over again. The story is unique and funny, to the point that it should be unbelievable, but for some reason isn't. Fans of hers will love that she brings back many of the characters from her previous novels, but still manages to keep the focus on the love story between the main characters. The romance between them is fresh and exciting, as well as heartbreaking and endearing at times. Even though it is a romance novel, so you know how it will end, I found myself riveted right until the last page. If you like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, you will love this book!