Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I think 2011 (are we in 2011? Sometimes I forget what year it is when my children wake me up at FIVE AM KILL ME NOW.), anyway, 2011 or whenever the blazes year it is now will go down as the year that I grew disillusioned with young adult fiction because so much of it was just so truly uninspired this year.  I thought maybe I was over the Wanna Be The Hunger Games Thing or over the Wanna Be Twilight Thing but it turns out that actually I don’t care what it’s about as long as it’s well written and interesting, so I guess what I am tired of is crappy writing, but regardless, I am having a hard time finding books that don’t make me want to throw them at someone’s head four pages in.

Anyway, long story short, (sort of ish) I had a flight to get on and nothing I wanted to read and as you do, I emailed Janssen* and asked her what she’s been reading that she liked, and she told me to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  Which I actually already had sitting on a library pile on my nightstand, but I’d read the first two chapters and it hadn’t done it for me so I hadn’t picked it back up, but I really do trust Janssen and so I gave it another go and you know, I really really liked it.

In fact I only managed to read half of it before I left for Austin and so rather than wait to finish it when I got home, I bought it on my Kindle in the Sacramento airport on Wednesday morning, and if that’s not a thumbs up I don’t know what is.

Anyway, recommend.  It’s fantasy, but a nice blend of real world fantasy and magic and our world mixed with another world, and it was a super fast read and very romantical, which I like.  It reminded me a lot of the Mortal Instruments series, so if you liked those books, I bet you’ll like this, and if you hated those books, maybe this isn’t for you.  Also, the first two chapters sucked, so keep going past that before you make up your mind.

Actually, speaking of the Mortal Instruments, one of my favorite things about Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that while the author does go on a bit about  how GORGEOUS PANTS the main male character is, she hasn’t made the female lead a clumsy clutzy dud (I AM LOOKING AT YOU BELLA SWAN) and gosh goodness who knows why anyone loves pathetic ugly her.  Karou is pretty smoking hot in her own right and also kicks some serious ass, so that was a nice change for someone who gets really tired of hearing how the women in these books are homely losers but the hot dudes just love them anyway, so nice of them. Barf.

*Anyway, speaking of Janssen, we finally met up at the Texas Book Festival this weekend because even though we have been friends online for ages, we are tragically separated by many many states, and we sat next to each other during Sarah Dessen’s talk and snickered inappropriately about all the books other people liked that we didn’t.  It was only an hour or so (too short!) and we didn’t take a picture, but it was so fantastic to talk to someone who speaks just my language.   Normally I’ll say things like “Oh! Kate DeCamillo!” or “Did Will Grayson, Will Grayson get nominated for a Printz award?” and then I’ll make a rude noise when I find out that Ship Breaker won it that year and NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, but Janssen speaks that language too, probably even better than I do.  It was awesome.  She is lucky she does not live in Texas because then I would make  her spend every Saturday saying rude things about How To Say Goodbye In Robot with me.

Also, Laini Taylor wrote Lips Touch, Three Times.  It was not good, do not read it.


6 Responses

  1. Let us talk again about how BAD Ship Breaker was.

    Really, the answer to all world problems is for us to be the next Printz committee.

  2. Neither my brick-and-mortar library or the e-book library they use have this book. That seems weird. They usually have pretty much everything.

  3. You had me dying of laughter. “…so that was a nice change for someone who gets really tired of hearing how the women in these books are homely losers but the hot dudes just love them anyway, so nice of them. Barf.” My sentiments exactly.

    I bought this book based on your twitter rec and can’t wait to get it in my hot little hands.

  4. How To Say Goodbye in Robot was maybe the worst book I read last year, and that is saying something.

    • Bless you for saying so. I was at ALA in Boston and the rep at the Scholastic booth went on and on about it, and it was all I could do not to be like “yeah, clearly we are on different wavelengths here. Goodbye.”

  5. […] 144.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  I enjoyed it. […]

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