Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Favorite Books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Night Circus

Daughter of Smoke and Bone 
by Laini Taylor

“Love is a luxury." 
"No. Love in an element."

An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.

I hadn’t read any of Laini Taylor’s books before, but after this one, I wanted them all. I surprised myself since I had grown tired of the contemporary paranormal/fantasy/andsoforth that has taken over the shelves of YA. This stemmed from reading a few books that I didn’t enjoy as much as I had hoped, but also learning more about my own preferences. I am now taking more caution in more reading samples before I buy or borrow them.  

I will admit that the beginning of the book wasn't the strongest part, but the thing is, that is the weakest that we see the character. There is so much ahead of her that she doesn’t even know. Curiosity of Karou is what drew me in—blue hair that grew straight out of head, sketches of “creatures” in her notebooks, and living a double life among the human in Prague and her sketches are portraits of her real family.

In this double life, we learn the answers to all the secrets kept from Karou. How there is a battle between seraphim and chimera, portals to other places, and a love story fighting against all odds.  All of this is written in poignant prose and sprawling imagination that makes reading the novel worth every moment.

The Night Circus 
by Erin Morgenstern

“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” 

This book is like a black and white dream. There is a change of point of view throughout the story, but it is effective. It starts in second person where you take in the view of everything in front of you, and it transitions to the characters within. The way the characters resembles those stuck in a play, with each having their cue to come in and perform their part. What we see is behind the scenes, looking into their lives.

When I heard that this was going to be a challenge between the two main characters, I assumed that it would be more like the Hunger Games. They would show their abilities in the rings and their challenge would be hurting the other. The challenge was more than that--- intricate, long-lived, and a deeper part of the circus. Celia and Marcus are trained from a young age for something that they don’t even know the rules. The mysterious game touches the circus audience and the performers. The circus invokes desires that cause them to dream, to inspire, and to live. 

Those are the two books that I plan to read again and again that premiered in 2011. Are there any books that you discovered 



  1. Angels and demons falling in love? Nothing new about that. The settings were unique, I'll give the author that, but after a while the description started to really bog down the plot. And then there was the ending. The author built up the whole story around these two creatures and right when it was about to get REALLY good, she throws in this huge, 60+ page flashback that I felt completely unconnected to--and then the book was over.

  2. Out of the angels and demons books, this is the one that I found enjoying the most. The setting and storyline was quite unique otherwise, and I found the ending (the big reveal) to be quite interesting and hopefully a good set-up for what is to come. Taylor's writing is very strong throughout all her books. I love her Dreamdark series!


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