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: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Paranormal

Number of Pages: 418

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: 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?

Discussion:

This book is pretty freaking amazing. I guess I’ve read a lot of great books lately, but this one is funny and demon/angel-y and has romance and is written beautifully and I JUST CAN’T EVEN.

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This is going to be a boring review. It will just be me fangirling and you reading and I just can’t even. It is too perfect for words. So let the fangirling discussion begin!

Karou. Was. My. Fave. SHE IS THE BEST. And the wishbone end part thingy—okay, so I kind of saw that THING coming, but I was unsure, so I think Taylor did a good job at dropping subtle hints. Karou was sweet and sarcastic and beautiful and amazing.

In class, we had to write about the book we were reading, and I wrote this about Karou:

“I also very much enjoy the main character, Karou. She is a mystery, and enigma perhaps, who makes wishes of blue hair and itches, and is, essentially, a master of two worlds. Karou has her normal life: a best friend, art school, ex, and sketches, and she has her secret, fantastical one, of monsters and trafficking for teeth, and her complex and unknown family.”

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The side characters were my baes, too. Zuzana and Mik were wonderful additions, and I’m glad to see them again in Days of Blood and Starlight.

The setting. It is set in Prague, in the Czech Republic, and thank you Taylor for choosing this country! I am and eighth Czech and have always wanted to visit there; now I feel like I have. The city is described wonderfully, painting magnificent images of everything from the little teashop to the cathedral at sunrise.*

*Which, by the way, was one of my favorite scenes.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone reminds me of Ink by Amanda Sun. I read it a few months ago. It is about an American girl who is sent to Japan to live with her aunt. Then she meets—who else—a boy who loves to draw, and he draws these creatures—that eventually come to life, threatening to destroy him, and the girl. I actually ordered Ink and the sequel, Rain on Amazon. At least, I added them to the cart. I’m not sure my parents will let me order all the books I added…

All in all, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. If it is on your TBR, buy/order/read it ASAP. I also got an IRL friend of mine to read it—SQUEE!!!

Have you read Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Did you enjoy it? Tell me in the comments below.

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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: Four by Veronica Roth

Four by Veronica Roth

Title: Four

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: YA Dystopian

Number of Pages: 285

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis: Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling DIVERGENT series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—THE TRANSFER, THE INITIATE, THE SON, and THE TRAITOR—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the DIVERGENT trilogy.

Discussion: WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE DIVERGENT TRILOGY AHEAD.

Very. Freaking. Awesome. Four isn’t my favorite character in the Divergent trilogy, but I do have a soft spot for him. He was always kind of a mystery to me, so this cleared a lot up. We see his father, the Choosing Ceremony, and his POV on some scenes that we see originally from Tris’s POV.

The Transfer

We experience Four transferring from Abnegation to Dauntless in this story, and we see his father. I really enjoyed this story because it is two years before Tris.

Inside the unlocked trunk was a blue sculpture. It looked like falling water, but it was really glass, perfectly clear, polished, flawless.

The sculpture from his mom! The feels.

<<insert GIF of feels>>

I open my palm over the coals. I feel like they’re burning in my stomach, filling me to the brim with fire and smoke.

I am free.

This is the scene. He breaks free, away fom his father and Abnegation and the world he feels so alien in. However much I liked this, I found it quite similar to Tris. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

“I’ve got a transfer over here with only four fears.”

Toria points at me, and Amar nods.

“That’s gotta be a new record,” Tori says.

“Well done,” Amar says to me. Then he turns and walks toward Tori’s table.

O.O

The Initiate

Now, he is training to become Dauntless. The initiation process is much more different than the version two years later. You ahve to get a certain score to pass; you don’t have to go against your fellow peers. I think this is better.

I’m not going to share any more quotes, because I have a lot.

I really enjoyed this book and it was a good extra to Divergent. Roth did pretty well writing from Four’s POV, but I still think it is too close to Tris and how she thinks.

So my mouse is dying right now, and I am struggling. A lot.

So, happy new year everyone!

Book Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for AlaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 256

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Discussion: I was having a very difficult time reading Specials, so I decided to take a break from fantasy and dystopian and read a John Green ConRomCom. I finished it in about seven to eight hours. However, I was driving to my grandparents’ house, so I spent a long while in the car.

Like most of John Green’s books, Looking for Alaska features an average geeky boy who falls in love with a spectacular girl. I recognized parallels to Paper Towns. This book was very spiritual in a way, and it makes you think.

Just like what I did for The Bane Chronicles, I used sticky notes. :) So I shall look at those.

Before we get into those, let me just say that Alaska seemed to me a mixture of Margo from Paper Towns and Stargirl from Stargirl. Very spunky, rambunctious, enjoys pranking, and a knockout.

She turned to me as we made our way through the darkness and said, “When you’re walking at night, do you ever get creeped out and even though it’s silly and embarrassing you just want to run home?”

It seemed too secret and personal to admit to a virtual stranger, but I told her, “Yeah, totally.”

For a moment, she was quiet. The she grabbed my hand, whispered, “Run run run run run,” and took off, pulling me behind her.

This is really the first time we see depth to Alaska. She is not some goddess or queen or otherworldy being. She is human. And she has her flaws. Just like Margo Speigelman. ;)

“…And in my classes, I will talk most of the time and you will listen most of the time. Becuause you may be smart, but I have been smart longer…”

This teacher just cracks me up. XD

“…You know what the capital of Sierra Leone is?”

“No.”

“Me neither,” he said, “but I intend to find out.” And with that, he stuck his nose in the almanac, and the conversation was over.

This is a good introduction to Chip, aka the Coronel, who is Pudge’s [the MC] roommate and friend. He memorizes facts about cities and states in his free time.

“Anyway,” Alaska said to me. “I thought the way he treated you was just awful. I wanted to cry. I just wanted to kiss you and make it better.”

“Shame you didn’t,” I deadpanned, and they laughed.

“You’re adorable,” she said, and I felt the intensity of her eyes on me and looked away nervously. “Too bad I love my boyfriend.” I stared at the knotted roots of the trees on the creek bank, trying hard not too look like I’d just been called adorable.

I SHIP IT. JUST FROM THIS SCENE, I SHIP IT.

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“Why do you smoke so damn fast?” I asked.

…”Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”

Is this a hint of suicide? Does she actually want to die? Or is she joking? IDK. AND IT’S KILLING ME!!!

The coach screamed, “You’re bothering my players!”

“THAT’S THE POINT, SHERLOCK!” the Coronel screamed back. The ref came over and kicked him out of the game. I followed him.

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“But why Alaska?” I asked her.

She smiled with the right side of her mouth. “Well, later, I found out what it means. It’s from an Aleut word, Alyeska. It means ‘that which the sea breaks against,’ and I love that. But at that time, I just saw Alaska up there. And it was big, just like I wanted to be. And it was damn far away from Vine Station, Alabama, just like I wanted to be.”

Finding out how Alaska got her name was very fun for me. “That which the sea breaks against” is so beautiful.

This next section has pretty bad language, so I altered it.

“Oh crap did you just diss the feminine gender / I’ll pummel your butt then stick you in a blender / you think I like Tori and Ani so I can’t rhyme / but I got flow like the Ghostbusetrs got slime / objectify women and it’s freakin’ on / you’ll be dead and gone like ancient Babylon.”

So not only is Alaska spunky and unpredictable, she’s a rapping feminist!

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I have a lot more sticky notes, and maybe I’ll talk about them in another post, but for now, I’d like to have a discussion.

Near the end of the book, Dr. Hyde presents his class with a very deep question:

How will you–you personally–ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?

This labyrinth of suffering, for me, is insecurity. Whether I’m insecure about how I look or what people think of something I say or do or if I have real friends. More suffering: the past, a jumble of people and words and love. The past that creeps up on me every day. Those people I always feel stiff around, because we have a past that we can’t escape from that makes everything awkward.

How will I get out of this labyrinth? Is the only way out what Alaska said: straight and fast?

I know that sometimes the only way to escape this labyrinth, if only temporarily, is to cry or scream or vent. I will break at any given time and just cry, for no reason or too many to name. Maybe if I just ignore what people say, if I just be me without anyone’s criticism or confirmation, I can escape the labyrinth.

In reality, I think there is no end to the labyrinth. You jsut learn how to cope and suffer through it. Even when you die, there will be suffering. Whether it’s missing the living or we’re reborn into another labyrinth, there will be some form of suffering.

We can choose to live trying to escape the labyrinth, forever searching for pure, serene happiness, or we can live our lives to the maximum the labyrinth allows and be happy, even through the suffering. Life isn’t about crying for yourself, alone and secluded–you have to enjoy life and have experiences. You have to experience love and hate and happiness and melancholy.

Looking for Alaska is a good, light read on the surface. But if you look underneath the romantic and lighthearted plot, you discover a philosophical, deep layer that definitely surprised me.

After I finished the book, I sent John Green a tweet.

He still hasn’t replied. :(

Overall, I saw nothing at all wrong with this book and I loved it, even though the ending was shocking.

How will you escape the labyrinth?

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Book Review: Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Title: Pretties

Author: Scott Westerfield

Genre: YA Dytopian

Number of Pages: 370

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis: Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Discussion: I think the first book was better, to be honest. This one had a lot of unnecessary stuff in my opinion. And I didn’t enjoy Tally as much.

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That GIF basically explains my feelings about this book. I guess there were mini-climaxes, but I didn’t really want to read on sometimes. There was a part where I had to cover up the page because I was so excited to read it. But overall, it was “meh.”

I can’t wait to read Specials, though; I feel like this is the bridge between the two.

Honestly, I don’t know what to say. I do, however, like Zane. He’s pretty awesome.

Sorry that this is such a short review. I am very very very very tired. I got Twitter! I’m @revelinginwords. Follow me! :)

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Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

6442769Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 305

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

Discussion: So, I reread this book, because I didn’t review it the first time I read it. [IDK]

You start the book feeling like this:

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La-di-da-di-da, another sweet contemporary John Green book.

Then stuff goes down.

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And there is a freaking DEAD GUY and Margo and Q find him and they are nine years old.

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Okay. Okay. I’m okay. I’m fine. Great. Fine. Yeah. Cool. C-A-L-M.

Let’s talk about the book.

A lot of people have said that John Green’s books are all the same, with some nerdy guy who falls in love with a hot girl. This is my second John Green book, and the first was TFIOS, so I’m not sure what to say about that. But Paper Towns does have the same structure as abovementioned. Q, the nerdy guy, falls in love with Margo, uber-cool, mysterious, perfect popular girl. And his next door neighbor.

The basic plot of the book is trying to find Margo, because she ran away. Q thinks she left behind clues for him.

I actually really liked it.

I thought Q was adorable and headstrong, if a bit of a coward at times. [I have a thing for socially-awkward guys. Especially in books. Like Simon Lewis.] And his best friends we and were hilarious. Radar and his Omnictionary thing was a great little quirk. Ben was kind of…perverted, but still really sweet and funny.

And Margo. Mysterious, queen of school Margo. Super awesome. Super headstrong. All in all, a great character. The supporting girls, Laney and Angelica [although we don’t see much of her], were also really great. Laney was at first really “popular” but she ends up being a major character and quirky.

The one thing that bugged me about this book was how much time was spent searching for Margo. I was kind of like, an we speed this up please? But the book needed a plot.

The last scene. The feels. I was like, kiss already! That last sentence. Oh my gods.

kawaii animated GIF I quite enjoyed this book. Did you? Tell me in the comments below.

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