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Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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“She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of the devil’s lair. She wasn’t innocent now, but she didn’t know what to do about it. This was her life: magic and shame and secrets and teeth and a deep, nagging hollow at the centre of herself where something was most certainly missing.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Oh hey jaw, have you met the floor? You have? Oh good.

High Points.
Epic love (and not a single eye-roll in sight). Prague/Marrakesh. Breath-taking prose- Ms Taylor has such an intricate way of twisting humour, history, magic and mythology together to produce some of the spectacular prose I’ve ever read. Myths and legends. Karou. Madrigal. Akiva. Brimstone. Smoke. Teeth. Masquerades balls. Sister moons. Betrayal. Secret trysts. Sun blood. Moon tears. Heartbreak. Zuzana. Marionettes. Breakfast at the cathedral. Ghost tours (I know we’re not supposed to like Kaz, but I would definitely go on one of his tours). Inessential penises. Life drawing. Scuppies. Hamsas. Elsewhere. Battles. Wishes. Infinite Patience. Papilos Stomachus. Rainwater and daydreams. Pre-order. Pre-order. Pre-order.

Low Points.
I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for so long now but I have been being good and resisting because I have no money… yeah, this book didn’t help at all.
To be continued?! You have got to be kidding me. GAH.
This final low point is all for me: The one thing that I was dreading the most in the beginning of this book happened and it became my favourite part.
The moral of this story: Trust Laini Taylor. She knows what she’s doing.

Dear Karou,
                   You will not believe the astronomical cost I had to pay the Royal Mail to get this letter to you. Get it? Astronomical? Because you... at the end… you are…Never mind.
Please consider this letter as an official invitation to join the elite group of ladies known as The League of Soul Sisters. You have been chosen for one of these coveted positions because you are strong, brave, hilarious, resilient, do very well at describing sexy angel abs loyal, would be useful where ex-boyfriends are concerned, determined, would bring me presents from Paris and, above all, you have amazing hair that I wouldn’t suit… DAMN YOU SKIN TONE you are something else entirely.
Please await further instructions.

Yours Faithfully,
- J

ps. You should probably go ahead and bring some of those beaded necklaces with you… we could have fun with those.

Love Interest.

“….and some butterflies react to other people’s on a chemical level, like pheromones, so that they’re nearby, your butterflies start to dance. They can’t help it- it’s chemical.”

I… I just can’t even think never mind write a sentence, because my heart is breaking so much.

ps. You’re totally smokin’.

Best Friend.
I want a bohemian puppeteer as my best friend.
And I’m going to whinge until I have one.
Zuzanna was possibly my favourite character in this book and she wasn’t even in it that much! I loved the flawlessly realistic dialogue between her and Karou. Their conversations are so similar to the ones I have with my friends (“Nice fiddling, handsome man!”/ Guinea pig s’mores/ “I met an angel in Morocco and all I got were these lousy scars”) and I couldn’t help but laugh. Their friendship provided a lot of comic relief that saved this book from being too heavy going.

“Oh, hell. Must. Mate. Immediately.”
HAHA. My thoughts exactly, Zuzana.

Theme Tune.
In my mind there are two stories told in this book… so I’m allowed two songs.
The first song is for the first story, the one that features in the second half of the book. I realise that makes no sense… but I promise you, it’s not nearly as confusing as I make it out to be.

Harvest Moon- Neil Young.

“When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.”

And the second song, pairing with the tale that starts and finishes our book, the one that tore my heart into little pieces so much so I wanted to use a whole handful of scuppies so I could wish myself a basket full of kittens to cuddle in vain hope that my grief would be alleviated.
Or… you know… something like that. Whatever.

Roads- Portishead.
That’s right. Portishead. I’m bringing the big guns out for this book.
This is for you, Karou.

Angst Level.
10/10. Even if I ignore the ANGST that Ms Taylor just inflicted on me in those final chapters, this book still gets a solid 10. Whether it is the beautiful prose, the heart-wrenching story or the characters that I fell in love with (Literally in some cases… HI AKIVA), this book hit me hard.
To explain more will breach the barricade topped with spoilery barbed wire and I’m not going to do that.
Just trust me on this one, yeah?

Recommended For.
Everyone. People who believe in hope. People who like prose that will take your breath away. People who wish they would have gone to Prague when they had a friend who was doing a TEFL course there *grumble*. People who wish they had gone to Marrakesh when their uncle lived there *double grumble*. People who believe that it isn’t breakfast without chocolate (Honestly, it’s like Zuzana can see into my soul.) People who have always wondered what the tooth fairy does with those teeth. People who think fingerless gloves are not just for homeless people. People who are willing to rummage around in a chicken carcass for a wishbone… just in case. People who are going to take their Shreddies to their nearest cathedral tomorrow morning and trespass and sit on the roof and wait patiently…. just in case.

You can read this review and other exciting things on my blog here.
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Quotes Jo Liked

Laini Taylor
“Oh, Hell. Must. Mate. Immediately.”
Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Reading Progress

June 2, 2011 – Shelved
August 1, 2011 – Started Reading
August 2, 2011 –
page 51
12.2% "Nice fiddling, handsome man."
August 2, 2011 –
page 236
56.46% ""In her belly: a flutter of winged things shaking themselves fervently to life." I wish I had a handful of scuppies so I could wish for time to stop so I didn't have to go to sleep.... but alas..."
August 3, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-21)

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message 21: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo *Salivates*

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I am officially jealous!

message 19: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo And I got delicious sweet snacks with it!
I didn't think I could love Catie more.... but that's what M&Ms will do for you.


message 18: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Aug 01, 2011 12:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) O, so true. M&Ms are a strong weapon. She is very sweet. :) It's weird around here without her.

Catie BOO!

I have officially made it to the Constitution State. The smell of cow manure is drifting slowly through my window...lovely.

I am so glad that everything made it Jo! So...what's the verdict? PB m&ms or pretzel?

message 16: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Oh Catie, you lovely lovely woman. I actually squealed when I opened the parcel!
Thank you so much, it's so beautiful.
I do love both flavours BUT... I think peanut butter just about wins.

I haven't tried the cider yet. I showed my friend and he turned his nose up stating that 'Alcohol shouldn't come in a packet'.
I don't think he understood that it wasn't actually alcholic. But I do :-D which means I'm an honorary American, RIGHT?

But anyway, thank you soooooo much. I'm going to start this tomorrow and savour every single word :)

Catie Yay!

BTW, I just reviewed my earlier comment, and I think that I should clarify that I meant "Boo" in the ghost appearing suddenly out of nowhere sense, and not the "I am not a fan of that" sense. Just to be clear. X)

I am glad that the m&ms seem to have made it intact. I was a bit worried that they were going to melt. I guess that's the beauty of the candy shell.

Yes, that fake cider is a magical brew, that will grant dual American citizenship to all who drink it. Your friend will rue the day that he turned his nose up at it!

I hope that you love that book, Jo. Hopefully I will be able to catch a few of your updates or whatnot before we leave for a no internet zone.

Wendy Darling Hm, if you got a tattoo, what would it be?

Flannery Scuppies. You. Me. Troublemaking.

message 12: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo I've wanted 'Let me forget about today until tomorrow' on my ribcage since I was eighteen!

Huge Bob fan
I want about a million others but that's the one that is consistent.


Limonessa Can't wait to read this book. Great review Jo!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) This is a perfect review, Jo. NOW I want to read this! :)

message 9: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Thanks guys. :)

You need to read this book! It's fantastic.

Catie Wonderful review, Jo!

I don't know how anyone could dislike this book. I haven't seen one negative review yet.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I just pre ordered this guh hurry up life be here now!

message 6: by Reynje (new)

Reynje Love it, Jo! Brilliant first line :) Also - Portishead. This officially makes you a rad person.

(Yes, I said rad.)

message 5: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Hahaha, well... I am a rad person..

Thanks, Reynje. Have you read this one yet?

And yes... J'adore Portishead. I'm still looking for an excuse to use Glory Box. Favourite :)

Crowinator Great review! This book made me want to get another tattoo, too. My partner talked me out of getting the "true story" tattoo on my hands (she was like, "Whaaaaa!? NOOOO!"), but maybe I can put it somewhere else. (c;

Also, I give you props for Portishead. I just listened to that song this week on a road trip playlist I made.

Catie When I was getting my tattoo, the artist told me that tattoos placed on the palms of the hands or anywhere on the feet tend to fade more quickly because the skin there gets replaced more frequently. Totally thought of that when I was reading this book!

(view spoiler)

Kelly That Portishead song is perfect. Great review.

Crowinator It might be cool on the back of the neck, in a nice font. Oooh, planning.

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