New to Me – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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I knew going into this feature there may be books that weren’t for me. I was hopeful it wouldn’t happen, but not delusional. If we all loved the same things and didn’t have different tastes the world would be a dull place.

That being said I was really disappointed when it was almost 2 weeks in and I had only gotten through 83 pages of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Honestly you guys, I tried. I gave it my all, but we just didn’t click. From what I read the imagery was stunning and the characters were there but I just wasn’t invested enough to want to read more and jump into that world. And you know what? That’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad book nerd, it just means I have 678 books on my TBR and I don’t need to waste my reading time on something that isn’t bringing me happiness at that point in time. It’s okay to put it aside and maybe pick it up again, or maybe not.

In my years of keeping track of my reading, I have quit 22 books, all for varying reasons and at varying points in the story. Some of those books have 4 plus star ratings on Goodreads. Just because a book isn’t for me doesn’t mean it isn’t for everyone else. As a reader, we have to remember that and know it is okay to let go and move on. Daughter of Smoke and Bone wasn’t for me, but it was for others, and here is why they loved it:

There are countless of other reviews out there on Goodreads so make sure you check them all out.

New to Me – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Published: September 27, 2011
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Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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And there you have it, March’s book selection for New to Me. Sorry I couldn’t do better, but I can only be me.

 

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Book Love: Perfect Holiday Book

It’s that time of year. The first day of winter is upon us (today actually) and that usually means ones thing, especially here in Massachusetts, reading inside with tea/coffee.hot chocolate while the snow falls outside. Although I’m hoping this year is nothing like last year…I’m looking at you 100+ inches of snow within like a month…I do like my reading time.  And if you are like me you love a good winter romance to snuggle up with and that is exactly what I’m telling you about today.

Book Love: Perfect Holiday BookMy True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published: October 14th 2014
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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you're going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

I read this book last year and it just made me smile. It brought a lot of my favorite authors together with 12 short winter/holiday themed stories and gave me a taste of some other authors that were knew to me. It is the perfect gift to get someone for the holidays or to buy for your self when you are sitting at home snuggled under a blanket.

What is even better? Well the fabulous editor of My True Love Gave to Me, Ms. Stephanie Perkins, will be back in just in time for a summer version with another fabulous 12 authors in Summer Days and Summer Nights ( St. Martin’s Griffin, June 2016) available for pre-order now!

Book Love: Perfect Holiday BookSummer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
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Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

 

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Review: My True Love Gave to Me – Various Authors

Review: My True Love Gave to Me – Various AuthorsMy True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published: October 14th 2014
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four-stars

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

Review

Rating an anthology is hard. That was my first thought when I finished reading all the stories. I mean I really loved some, hated a couple and thought a few were just okay. All together it was a great gathering of different holiday stories, but some hit the mark more than others. So in the long run I thought it would be best for me to rate each individually and then average those stars together at the end. Each review is brief as to not give anything away, but more my initial thoughts on the story.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – 5 stars
Loved this one! It had such a great Rainbow Rowell vibe to it. It was truthful and had heart and made me feel like I felt reading Fangirl. It had the perfect amount of holiday Magic and was the perfect start to the anthology.

The Lady & the Fox by Kelly Link – 2 stars
I’m still not sure exactly what this story was about. When I was done I thought I was stupid for not understanding what I just read. I was really confused. Basically this story wasn’t for me.

Angels in the Snow by Matt de La Peña – 4.5 stars
This story was one that I wanted a whole book of. I loved first that it was from a guy’s point of view and second that the characters were so different yet similar in some ways. They had amazing chemistry and formed a fast bond. Seriously would not have been opposed to a longer story.

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – 4 stars
This story had the magical whimsy you expect from holiday stories and the awesome real ness of a Jenny Han book. I loved the fantasy aspect that is so often attached to Christmas but done in a way that you don’t really think of it as not being real. It was simply an adorable addiction to this book.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – 5 stars
I was scared reading a Perkins story that did not involve an Anna, Lola or Isla in it. I mean really scared. But guys…this was pure Stephanie Perkins! The writing, the characters, the setting. It was EVERYTHING that is perfect about Stephanie and everything I love about her. I’m now convinced girl would write the phone book and I would read it 9000 times! One of my faves in the book.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – 3 stars
I wasn’t crazy about this one. I thought it was okay and I really liked the characters, but I felt like it was too short to get anything done it in. It felt really muddled where it tried to get all the things in to a few short pages. I wasn’t really sure what it was trying to say. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.

Krampusluaf by Holly Black – 3 stars
This story was plain weird. It was a mix of contemporary and fantasy and I don’t think I liked the blending of the two. I mean I really enjoyed the contemporary part (why it got 3 stars). That part really worked for me. But then it just got strange and I was really confused on what to think. I think stiking to one or the other would have been a better choice for me. It just wasn’t my kind of story.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – 5 stars
Gayle Forman at her finest. I just loved this. I loved how it dealt with stereotypes and assumptions. I loved how two people that were different found a random connection and went with it. I love that it all happened in one night. Like I said, Gayle Forman at her finest.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – 4 stars
I liked this one. I had a little more religion in it than some of the others which was fine because it wasn’t preachy. I liked that it was from the town “bad boy” POV. And I loved what he learned just by someone taking a chance on him. It was a cute story that was silly at times, but all in all really enjoyable and well written.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – 5 stars
My fave in the whole anthology. I loved EVERYTHING about this story. The characters, the plot, the setting. It is seriously everything it is so true about Christmas that we all sometimes forget. Sometimes you just need to make people smile. Sometimes you just need to give up on something to see something better. Sometimes you just need to believe in that holiday magic. Another one I wished was longer.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – 3.5 stars
This was cute. Not 100% memorable as I had to read other reviews to jog my memory as to what it was about, but it was definitely cute. I’m not sure it was long enough for it to make the best of an impact, but I know I didn’t hate it and I felt bad for the main character and thought the boy in it was adorable.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – 2 stars
I struggled with this one. Like really, really struggled. It was so not my kind of story at all and I was sad it was the last one. The only reason I finished it was because it was the last one. I was just not interested and it was plain weird for my taste. Not the best ender in my opinion, but some may like it if they are into more fantasy than I am.

In totally I enjoyed this anthology and never struggled reading it until the end. It was fun and a great way to ease into the holiday season which is quickly approaching. I would definitely recommend picking it up just for some of the stories I loved. And even for the ones I didn’t. Just because those ones weren’t for me doesn’t mean they may not be for you.

 

 

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