There are a lot of novels about sexual assault and its aftermath. I've read a lot of them. This story is different, and valuable. This should be in evThere are a lot of novels about sexual assault and its aftermath. I've read a lot of them. This story is different, and valuable. This should be in every classroom library. gr 8+...more
So uh, what do you know about the Albigensian crusades? Go ahead, look it up on Wikipedia, I'll wait.
This book is the reason we have books. I cannot eSo uh, what do you know about the Albigensian crusades? Go ahead, look it up on Wikipedia, I'll wait.
This book is the reason we have books. I cannot express strongly enough how incredibly good this book is. It is meticulously researched (make sure to read the extensive back matter), the story is gripping, the writing is evocative. The characters have heartbeats and fingerprints that I swear you could dust for, footprints you could find in the wine cellars of old Provençal houses, if you looked hard enough. This book is complicated in exactly the way the world is, especially when it comes to its portrayal of religion: the way it strengthens us, the way it tears us apart. Perfect, perfect.
AND THE ENDING. There's this last little coda, this dream-vision thing, and I didn't understand it and it bothered me all day, hanging out in the back of my head, until I finally understood what had happened and - guh. I can't even.
Anyway, don't read any other things until you read this....more
OK, can I just be real about this? I have been waiting for Mia and Michael's wedding since I was fourteen years old. So for literally half of my life,OK, can I just be real about this? I have been waiting for Mia and Michael's wedding since I was fourteen years old. So for literally half of my life, I have been waiting for this book. And it totally lived up to fourteen years of expectations.
I grew up with Mia. Mia and I went through all the same things (well, other than being a princess and living in Manhattan and being worth 100 million dollars). When Mia was dating J.P. but in love with Michael? Been there. When Mia was freaked out about her divorced parents dating? Been there. My high school best friend was the Lilly-est human on earth (and is now also a lawyer). Mia and I love all the same TV shows...and, I am pretty sure, all of the same boys. When the last book came out I was 22 and life was stupid and hard, and - I am going to out myself here but whatever, it's Goodreads - the happy ending of that book made me believe that I would get one too. That's how I feel about these books.
I've blogged about these books since I was a freshman in high school. I am not a book-purchaser, and I have purchased every Princess Diaries book - from my babysitting money, then my Build-a-Bear money, my camp teacher money and temp money and now my real grown-up money. So, in short, I am so happy this book is a thing. There were moments when I literally clutched this book to my chest with joy. Whatever. I am not ashamed.
At various points I read parts of this out loud to my husband, who after a while was like, "Is this entire book just fanservice?" And yes! Yes, it is. Glorious, glorious fanservice. Having spent much of my adulthood in fandoms that totally hate their fans (ahem, Star Wars and BBC Robin Hood), I'll take some fanservice. Nobody is reading Princess Diaries for gritty realism.
I love these books, and I feel like they love me back. They know my life. They've always known my life. From high school to weddings and babies, from Buffy to new Star Trek, from blond boyfriends to brilliant, nerdy, and devastatingly handsome brown-haired husbands. Princess Diaries, I love you. Thanks for everything....more
These are just the best. As much as I love a lot of YA series right now, these are just the best - especially for adult readers, and double-especiallyThese are just the best. As much as I love a lot of YA series right now, these are just the best - especially for adult readers, and double-especially for adult readers who think that YA fiction is illegitimate. If you were ever inclined to dismiss Stiefvater as a writer of Twilight-esque werewolf romances, I feel bad for you son, because these are the cleverest books around. It's been years since I read a work of adult literary fiction that was as tightly plotted, well written, and actually literary as this. This book is like if The Magicians had a soul, or if the collective body of work of recent Columbia MFA grads had plots and characters. This book makes me believe that magic exists - and that, particularly, the magic in this book exists, because how could something sound so real otherwise?
These are the bomb, anyway, is the point, and this book is even better than its predecessor....more
First of all, let it be said that this book was totally satisfying in a way that few third booWELP\
I just...EVERYTHING ALL THE FEELS
edit:OK here we go.
First of all, let it be said that this book was totally satisfying in a way that few third books are. I haven't liked a third book since Mockingjay (yes, I liked Mockingjay) - although to be clear, this book is the polar opposite of that one. Where Mockingjay went really narrow for the third book - you spent the whole time trapped in Katniss's increasingly isolated perspective - this book went really broad. Maybe too broad.
(view spoiler)[That's what you lose from the first book, and even the second. Going back to Daughter of Smoke and Bone now, I'm surprised by how intimate it feels. You spend so much time in cozy cafés in the back streets of Prague that it seems impossible that we somehow got to, like, battles across the space-time continuum. And yet: here we are, and Laini Taylor does the best she can with it (which, mostly, is really good).
At the end, this book reminded me powerfully of A Wrinkle in Time. Oddly a lot of books have done that lately, which isn't a bad thing; if I had to pick one book for every other book to be like, it would be that one. It's that part, especially, where they look around and everyone in the company is glowing because apparently they are godstars or something, and it's like that time when everyone is like "Jesus! Mozart! Picasso!" about historical personages who fought the darkness or IT or whatever.
The whole godstars thing has a strong whiff of BS to it, for sure. I kind of wonder if she resolved the stuff with Jael too early and felt like she needed more. (I thought I would find that final confrontation with Jael anticlimactic, since they really did just show up and like ask him to leave, but it totally worked for me. Probably because then they made out? Let's be real.)
It just got too big, and I felt like the arc of the thing got away from her a little bit. (It doesn't help that Eliza, apparently the key to everything, was just introduced in this book.) And to be clear, the story was already PLENTY big. It was totally enough for Akiva and Karou to unite their peoples, who'd been locked in battle for millennia or whatever. That's already really big, and I'm not sure what it serves to also have Akiva be at the center of, straight-up, the battle for the entire universe. I'm not totally buying it. Yes, the Stelian stuff was set up pretty early on, and I expected them to play a role in the final battle, but not…not quite in the way they actually did.
Character deaths. There are…basically none that matter. For once I am totally okay with this. It always makes me furious when there are books with these huge battles and everyone dies except the major characters (which is why Fred, Tonks, and Lupin had to die, much as it pains me), but there were so many deaths in the first two books that I am totally fine with this resolution. These characters deserved a happy ending, and they got one, as semi-implausible as it is.
Also Razgut is just Gollum. Which is fine, but whatever.
ALSO. Ok. I have given a lot a lot of thought to this book over the past year and a half. Like more thought than I should be comfortable admitting, but I am a shameless book person, so. What I concluded during those long, dark months was that basically there was no way Karou could or should forgive Akiva for, you know, committing genocide and murdering her whole family. And like, in a rational world, I kind of stand by that. It's just too much to expect a person to forgive, and while I think Taylor did an admirable job trying to make it plausible - with that whole "the dead people don't want you to be sad" bit - there is still something about it that just doesn't quite work. (hide spoiler)]...more
Look, I don't even know. I just loved this. I loved it. I haven't felt a romance this deeply since Buffy sent Angel to hell in like 1998. HoWell then.
Look, I don't even know. I just loved this. I loved it. I haven't felt a romance this deeply since Buffy sent Angel to hell in like 1998. Honestly. And I am a girl who seeks out good romance. This is better than anything I've read or devised.
I normally hate these middle books. They are usually all set-up. Lovers are kept apart. I get bored.
Not here. This is better than the first book, even. This book, all by itself, justifies all of the horrible horrible crimes of the "paranormal romance" genre. This book is the best thing. It is the best thing.
There is a lot of set-up, but the stakes are so, so high and the tension so thick that it never feels that way. Lovers are kept apart, but every page of this book just aches. It aches. I wanted to live in this book, no matter how horrible their world is. I wanted to live in it and never leave.
And Karou. Man. I questioned the way her character developed in the first book - our big reveal at the end - but now I get it. Her character is just perfect. They are all just perfect. This book has a trillion characters and I usually hate that - again, boredom, confusion - but they are all so alive and so interesting. Instead of being like "ugh not again" everytime the perspective switched, I was like, "oooooh that guy!" What. When does that ever happen to me.
So anyway, it's December 12th, and barring anything really extraordinary happening - well, I am prepared to call this my favorite book of the year. Hands down, really, and I have read some fabulous books this year. But this one is just the best....more
I never want there to be a sequel, I am so tired of books that have sequels, but I want a sequel to this book.
YOU GUYS SEYES THIS BOOK WAS SO AWESOME.
I never want there to be a sequel, I am so tired of books that have sequels, but I want a sequel to this book.
YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY.
Okay so: the premise is obviously awesome. I was so afraid this would be another terrible Robin Hood retelling (I'm looking at YOU, Hawksmaid) but it IS NOT. It is AWESOME. Scarlet is awesome. Feminism is awesome. This reminds me mostly of the Alanna books, with an awesome fighting lady and lots of danger and kissing and angst. Yep. This book is a star....more
Finally read this! (Apparently it's been on my to-read list since January 2011. Oops?) Listened to the audiobook on Andrea's recommendation, and it isFinally read this! (Apparently it's been on my to-read list since January 2011. Oops?) Listened to the audiobook on Andrea's recommendation, and it is TERRIFIC - to the point where I honestly might wait for the audio of the sequel, if the same girl is doing it....more