Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Paranormal

Number of Pages: 624

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Discussion: When I finished this book I closed it and stared at the cover for a solid ten seconds.

Be prepared for a sucky review. I can’t even.

The only way to share my thoughts is through GIFs.

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WAIT…It’s over?

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OMG BEST SERIES EVER MUST BLOG ABOUT IT!!!

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Did it really satisfy me? But–but–I can’t even. This is so unfair.

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Can’t deny my love for this series.

That’s the gist of it. I mean, it’s amazing. No more explanations.

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Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 372

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Discussion: beauty and the beast animated GIF

Oh my god I’ve found true love in a book. That’s it. Ship me off to Paris. Point me in the direction of cute American-English-French boys. Or Étienne. That would work too. This book is too adorable and lovely for words. I. CAN’T. EVEN. It’s too perfect!

So what makes this book so amazingly perfect in every way? Let me list my feels the ways:

Anna

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She was love struck, obsessed, and absolutely cute. At first, she seemed like every girl out there, but as I learned more about her, I liked her more and more. Her complicated writer father was another interesting part. He’s an &**%#@!. I loved her hair; it sounded awesome, despite what Amanda Spitgirl thought.

The side characters: Mer, Rashmi, Josh, Bridgette, Toph, and, of course, Seany!

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Okay, so, to be honest, Mer annoyed me a little. At the beginning, I thought she was going to be really mean, but I was happily surprised. But the jealousy factor? Just, nuh-uh. STEP AWAY FROM THE BOY. Mer ended up being a really sweet and loyal friend, despite the incident.

Rashmi was kind of strange in my opinion, but she did have a heart of gold. Or silver. XD She was pretty awesome, though, and I can totally see myself in her when she badgers Josh to be a good student. Because I would totally do that to my [imaginary] boyfriend.

I have to say, Josh exceeded my expectations. At first, he seemed like a totally cool comic relief/best friend/artist person. And that was it. But once he got a bigger part, I was kind of surprised. THEN. HE DOES BAD THINGS. Yet I still liked him. Josh seemed like a sweetie to me, even with THE ISSUES.

Bridgette and Toph…

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I CANNOT BELIEVE THEM. THOSE IDIOTS I WANT TO CHOP OFF THEIR HEADS SO BADLY.

I can be very scary at times. Sorry.*

Despite being horrid friends, they did do some good. They added more conflict to the story!** And more reasons for Anna to be angry and angsty and give us more background. Plus,*** what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! :D

SEANY! He is just your stereotypical innocent, adorable little kid. He makes me want to hug somebody. *hugs you*

*Not sorry. >:)
**Yes, I am that evil.
***I really hate saying “plus” because I know someone who says it way too much.

The setting

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Okay, pop quiz time! What country am I absolutely obsessed with?

If you said “France,” you are correct! I love Parisian and French things and have a mini Eiffel Tower, a PARIS block-thingy, a painting of a street in France, and a French-girl hat. [Think Madeline’s hat.] And many more.*

So, having Anna and the French Kiss set in France was just—amazing. I loved reading about the touristy places, not to mention the food and baked goods, which all sound fabulous, and the little shops and the weather and EVERYTHING.

*It is kind of an unhealthy obsession. I haven’t even been there! What if I hate it?

Étienne

He is now on my [growing] list of fictional boyfriends.* His hair, his eyes, his voice—everything. HE IS PERFECTION.

There are no more words.

*This list includes Leo Valdez, Percy Jackson, Simon Lewis, Will Herondale, Levi, and Augustus Waters.

Stephanie Perkins’s writing is quite beautiful and simple at the same time. I felt like Anna was talking to her best friend.

Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Number of Pages: 552

Genre: YA Historical fiction

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: [This is actually the summary from Goodreads, and it’s not on the cover.]

It’s just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids – as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Discussion: First the end. Then the beginning. [If you caught the reference, points to you!]

I finished this book today in science class. I read the last sentence, those last words, those last letters, and basically stared. I cried. [You know (or should know) that I do not cry when I read. So this is rare. But it wasn’t full-out weeping, just some tears.] When one of my friends tried to ask me a question, I yelled at him. And my friends were like, What the heck?

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Before I read The Book Thief, I read reviews about it. Mostly everyone said it was terribly sad. So when I started the book, I expected it to be absolutely devastating and heartbreaking and blah. But it wasn’t! It was funny, and mysterious, and intriguing. Still, halfway through, I didn’t understand how it was sad. I mean, come on. TFIOS is sad. But this? Psh. I basically rolled my eyes and mocked people’s sensitivity.

Ha, Chloe. Ha! Listen to the reviews next time. Don’t mock. Don’t roll your eyes. They’re right.

So if you go into this book thinking it’s not sad, the please reread this and every other review, because: IT IS SAD. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Besides being sad, this book is beautiful. I had my doubts at the beginning, but, OMG.

The characters. Liesel is the past equivalent of a book blogger. She needs words. And she will do anything to get them. They feed her soul, and although she starts as an illiterate ten-year-old girl, traumatized and confused, she turns into a fourteen-year-old young woman who relishes words and writes like nobody’s business.

Hans, Liesel’s adoptive father. I love the descriptions of his silver eyes. Not only does he too love words and teaches Liesel how to read, but he loves music. He plays the accordion magnificently [or so I’m told]. Hans seems like a wonderful father with such a kind heart.

Rosa, Liesel’s adoptive mother. She’s a witch most of the time. Yet she loves Liesel and Hans. The scene with her holding the accordion is so human and shows Rosa’s true colors.

The narrator. The narrator is an interesting choice by the author. It is, quite obviously, Death. It is appropriate, in my opinion, to have Death as the narrator, because what happened a lot in WWII? Death. But I still don’t fully understand why Death chose to focus on Liesel’s story, out of the billions of stories of people in the world.

The setting. Yes, there are a bajillion books and stories about WWII. But many of them are set in the US, or some other country in Europe, or somewhere close to Hitler. But this book is set on a street in Germany, a poor, ordinary street, with ordinary residents who play soccer in the street, steal, and just are pretty ordinary. There aren’t spies, or tons of Jews, or anything really special. Just a street.

I loved this book to pieces, but even awesome books have problemos. This book’s? Read…

  • A LOT of parts were slow, and I found myself thinking, Oh, I should read…but it’s so boooring. I had to force myself to read it a lot!
  • I wasn’t so psyched about the narrator.
  • The ending. It’s just, GOD.

Have you read The Book Thief? Did you cry? Tell me in the comments below.

BTW, just got 51 followers! Thanks so much. :) Love y’all.

I am posting for the third time today [Sorry!], and it is the TCWT blog chain, about book beginnings and endings.

Bye now.

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Book Reviews

I’m a big believer in writing a book review right after I read the book. I know lots of bloggers spend days perfecting their reviews, but for me, it’s all about the raw emotion and my thoughts right after. I don’t take notes when I read, so I’m bound to forget [important] things if I take a few days.

Why am I telling you this right now? I already posted today. I’m telling you this because although I just finished Eleanor and Park, I’m not reviewing it today. Maybe tomorrow. I don’t know.

That book was kind of like…a slap in the face. It kind of woke me up, in a way. The book spoke to me on a very personal level, and in the space of time I read this book, I realized a few things. So I’m still processing. I’m having a bit of book hangover, if you’ve ever seen that image floating around the web.

I promise I’ll review it soon. But today I just want to listen to Pandora on my phone until the battery dies. [I might be dragged out to go shopping, too. And not of the bookish kind.] Feel free to send me warm thoughts, as I am in need of them now. I can’t explain my actual condition, but…well, you get the point.

P.S. I’m also not dying.

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