Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, Book 2
Pages: 513
Published: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This is a hard book for me to rate. Once upon a time, I could remember everything about every single book I read. I never had to reread anything--it could be years before I pick up a sequel, and immediately I'd remember exactly what happened in the first. In current times that is not the case, though. I don't know what the reason is, if the book didn't explain things enough or if I'm just going senile in my old age of 18, but I had a very difficult time remembering enough about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone to enjoy much of Days of Blood and Starlight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights the upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Title: Fiendish
By: Brenna Yovanoff
Publication Date: August 14, 2014

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why. 

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

Okay, so I'll admit: the most intriguing aspect of this book is the cover. It's one of the most gorgeous books I've ever seen. (I have a thing for trees and Victorian houses.) The story sounds like it will match  (if not surpass) the standards of its cover. I've read Yovanoff's work before, so I'm definitely expecting another strange and beautiful ride that speaks to me on a spiritual level. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Top Ten Book Cover Trends I Like/Dislike

This was the hardest post to make. Everyone one knows and ignores the "Don't judge a book by its cover" rule. Sometimes, we can put our distaste aside and we're able to find our next favorite book. Sometimes a cover can be the prettiest thing you've ever seen, and yet the book makes you want to drive off a cliff. So I mean no offense or compliments to the stories beneath the following covers--my message is directed solely at the people who designed them.

Five Trends I Hate

1. Faces. I cannot stand seeing faces on books that I'm reading. So much so that I'll take the jacket off if it's a hardcover, and I'll make a book cover out of paper if it's a paperback. Ugh.

2. Dresses. I love pretty dresses as much as any other girl. Actually, I probably love dresses more than any other girl. I'm a little obsessed with pretty dresses. But these dresses on these sad looking supermodels have no business on my kickass YA books. It just makes the book feel significantly more pathetic and fragile. 

3. Scratchy-ness. I'm not entirely sure why I don't like this style, but it's a really big turn off as a reader. 

4. The CW. It may be strange, but I don't like it when teen books are advertised as if they're teen shows. There are no actors--just characters IN THE BOOK--so who the hell are these people on the cover? And why do they look like they're about to eat me a la Vampire Diaries?

5. Get a Room. I don't like PDA. I don't like it with that couple sitting next to me on the bus, I don't like it with the book I'm trying to read to escape that couple sitting next to me on the bus.

Five Trends I Love

1. Painted. Why don't we have more book covers that look like they were illustrated the good, old fashioned way? I mean, just look at those brushstrokes.
2. The symbolic item. I love it when books feature an object on the cover, inspiring all sorts of mystery around the theme and mood of the story.

3. Minimalistic design. What can I say? I love swirly things. 

4. Simple. One delicately placed image does wonders for conveying an immediate tone. One glimpse and I'm hooked, no need for further inspection.

5. The Modern Masterpiece. I love these book covers because the subject matter is very old and fantastical feeling, yet the sharp, metallic silver text gives it just the right amount of modern intrigue. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Salt and Storm

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Title: Salt and Storm
By: Kendall Kulper
Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

Witches? History? Island? HARPOON BOY?? I'm not entirely sure what a harpoon* is, but damn does it sound enthralling. This looks like the kind of book that I need to be reading right now. I'm in a salty-stormy mood. And just look at that cover. If only September weren't, well, in September. D;

*I Googled it: it's a big pointy stick, usually used for fishing (but it can also be used as a weapon**, according to Wikipedia. *wiggly eyebrows*)

**Really anything can be used as a weapon if you put your mind to it, though. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Getting in the Mood (Something Blue)

Lately, I've been thinking of blue things.
The sky, flowers, my favorite coffee mug. But mostly water.
This is because the novel I'm working on is about the sea--or rather, what's beneath it. I've got a very clear feeling that I want to embody in this story. So, I've been doing some passion-related research.
 -Going to the beach. Frequently. (Still not tan, though.)

-Watching the same three movies over and over and over again. 
Best. Disney. Movie. Ever. Am I right or am I right