My two best friends and I are extreme book nerds. Especially for YA books. Since we are viewed as weird in the real world, we decided to go to the Internet, where everyone is weird. It has been going pretty well. Our original blog is Crazy for YA
"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well."
Karou is an artist. Her extraordinary sketchbooks are filled with glorious drawings of angels, demons, and everything in between. Each day, students flock to her to hear the latest story of her creatures. Karou tells them of her creatures, the chimaera. She spins tales of the serpent lady with her pet snakes, the parrot-beaked cook who makes the best sweets, and the beast who has an affinity for teeth.
What the students do not know is that everything she draws and says is real.
Brimstone, the beast Karou knows as her father, makes her run errands for him, which are always collecting teeth. Karou does not know why she sees her creatures, or why they picked her to do these macabre tasks. But she does not ask questions -- until now.
Black handprints have been mysteriously appearing around the world. Bystanders in every country are claiming to have seen winged strangers place the marks there.
An unearthly war is coming to Karou's world and she might have the power to change it.
This is the best book I have read in a long time. I know, the blurb is all over the place and does not really say much. I did my best to explain the book without giving anything away, which was extremely difficult considering how many twists are in this book. The best way to go into this book is by knowing as little as possible about it. Believe me.
This book is definitely not going to be for everyone. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is far from the standard YA contemporary. If you are looking for something outside of your comfort zone, this is the best book to start that transition.
To start, the plot was extremely complicated, but not confusing. There is a fine line between suspense and disorganization. Taylor walked that line perfectly and brought out a few surprises along the way. She ventured into the depths of fiction and brought a brilliant and completely unique story that revolutionized the young adult genre.
The story mainly takes place in Prague. Not many YA books take place in Europe, or at least this is the first one I have read. I am currently trying to persuade my family to move there, that is how amazing Taylor's description is.
The characters were amazing. I felt Karou's emotions and I could relate to her constant feelings of self doubt and loneliness. Personally, I think it is hard to relate to most characters in fantasy because they are so different from me, but I can really identify with Karou.
I cannot say much about Akiva without giving anything away. All I will say is that he is amazing and reminds me of Patch from Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Enough said, right?
I love how even the secondary characters, like Zuzana, Brimstone, and Kaz, all have their equal spotlight in the plot. There are not many mention-once-then-forget-about characters. Every character has a three-dimensional personality that contributes to the overall amazingness of the book.
One of the few problems I had with Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the insta-love. There could be an argument that no, it is not instant, but this is just my opinion. Insta-love is one of my biggest pet peeves in YA, or any book for that matter. It is acceptable here though, considering the brilliance of the book.
The other problem I had was the transition between flashbacks. For me, there has to be a solid transition between flashback and the current timeline or else I will get horribly confused. I would have liked a definite start and stop to the flashbacks.
As a whole, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was an insightful and exciting read that I would recommend to everyone. Taylor has set high expectations for angel and demon books in the future of YA.
This review and many others are posted on my blog, Crazy for YA.