Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)

TITLE: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)

AUTHOR: Laini Taylor

GENRE: YA Fantasy

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): 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?


REVIEW: 4 stars

‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ was recommended to me by a good friend who also reads a ton of YA and fantasy.  She pre-warned me by saying that this series was great, but the first book was her least favorite…which of course made me pretty skeptical.  BUT, I have to say that I enjoyed it (it took some while to get into though)!  This was definitely a different type of YA than I was used to…full of angels, seraphim, chimaera, etc.  I’ve gotten tired of the ridiculous amount of vampire YA out there so this was a nice change (I think I say this any time I read anything non-vamp).

When I was first introduced to Karou, I didn’t really care for her all that much.  She was kind of whiny and I was completely confused at her double life…Taylor did a terrible job at explaining things in the beginning.  It did all start to make sense, but being left so in the dark made the book hard to get into.  I think knowing who Karou is makes her character and the rest of the story into something more believable and makes the story work.

My biggest problem with this book was the romance between Karou and Akiva – it was just too far fetched at first.  They literally fall in love within 2 days…what?  That is utterly absurd.  I was thinking to myself…oh geez, another ridiculous YA love story.  But then once we figure out who Karou is, the romance gets some substance and makes perfect sense.

Oh and by the way – I think I am in love with Akiva…he sounds dreamy and amazing 🙂

It is obvious that the understanding of this book centers around finding out who Karou is and without it, I would have given this book a 2 or 3.  Although I get why Taylor wrote the book this way, it was harder to get into when everything hinged on that one point.  Either way, I’m definitely intrigued to read the rest of the series especially since I was told that they just get better and better!

 

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

TITLE: The Light Between Oceans

AUTHOR: M.L. Stedman

GENRE: Adult Contemporary Fiction

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.


 

REVIEW: 5 stars

OK, so let me start out by saying that I finished this book on my flight back to New Orleans from Seattle and was that crazy crying because of a book lady.  I was pretty embarrassed, but I couldn’t do anything to help it – the tears just kept coming even after I read the last page.  (Some happy and some sad tears)  But either way, at least the story really pulled at my heart…if a book makes me cry, it is usually a winner!

Now for the actual review…

I have to say that I am completely in love with ‘The Light Between Oceans.’  I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it due to my recent fascination with YA, but the change in pace was welcomed…definitely a breath of fresh air in a world of vamps, dystopia, etc.  Anyways, the synopsis basically gives you the first half of the book and then the last half is as suggested, a struggle between what is right and wrong when either decision will deeply hurt someone.  The writing allowed me to really connect with the characters and I felt the turmoil that Tom and Isabel’s decisions created for everyone on Janus and on the mainland.  I deeply understood Tom and felt a clear connection with his character – he was just a regular guy trying to do the right thing throughout the entire story.  I felt myself rooting for him and hoping that things would work out in a positive way for his family.  I had the most trouble with Isabel – maybe the fact that I am not a mother and have not lost a child is one reason why I didn’t get her.  I just found it hard to believe that any woman would just take someone else’s child without knowing if the mother was still alive.  I know that her decision was motivated by the fact that she had just lost her third child, but it is still hard for me to wrap my head around doing that to anyone regardless of your situation.  Towards the end, I hated Isabel and I hated her decision when Hannah showed up at her doorstep, but she made up for it after reading Tom’s letter even though it cost her dearly. That was obviously when my crying began and just continued on and on.  The very end was heart-wrenching and made me so happy at the same time…man, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a book.  This is clearly a great read and I am so happy that I decided to pick it up at B&N!

Covet (Fallen Angels, #1)

Covet (Fallen Angels, #1)

 

TITLE: Covet (Fallen Angels, #1)
AUTHOR: J.R. Ward
GENRE: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
NUMBER OF PAGES: 474

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): Seven deadly sins. Seven souls to save. This is the first battle between a savior who doesn’t believe and a demon with nothing to lose!

Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about-his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charged with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option.

Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that-until fate intervenes in the form of a tough-talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. And then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart-and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

REVIEW: 3 stars 
If you didn’t know this by now, I am a lover of all things J.R. Ward and this book was no exception!  Now don’t get me wrong, it didn’t hook me like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but it was quite enjoyable.Let me start off by saying that this book took some work…which is the main reason it has a 3 rating.  It was very hard to get into at first, but about halfway through, things really started to take off.  I know that may seem like a long time to get into a book, but there were interesting things happening…it was just that the characters that were falling flat for me.  I didn’t feel like I connected with any of them and their stories were so disjointed that I couldn’t tell how they would all fit in together.  My biggest issue had to be Marie-Therese’s story line…that was the one that kept throwing me for a loop.  Once their stories started to intertwine, everything started to make sense and get much better.

I have to say, this Fallen Angels group reminds me a lot of the brotherhood which is probably why I really enjoyed it.  I am in love with Jim and I think the whole premise (saving seven souls from hell) is really interesting.  It is a different kind of paranormal than the usual vampire/werewolf trend that is really big right now.  A book with something different is what makes me get excited…and this book definitely had the ‘different’ going on.

The best part of ‘Covet’ had to be the ending – that was some paranormal craziness!  It got a little out there for me, but I think that is what made it work also.  It lets your imagination run wild, which is always fun when you read.  Ward also made the demon (won’t spoil who it is on here) pretty crazy and eccentric – very believable and scary at the same time.  Loved it!

Overall, I really enjoyed the story line and this new series of characters in Caldwell.  If you love Ward’s writing style, it is definitely present in this series and won’t disappoint.  If the beginning had been a little more cohesive, I definitely would have given ‘Covet’ 4 stars.  I am intrigued so far and will be reading the second one soon.  It is always nice to find a new series that has a lot more books for you to catch up on 🙂