Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review: Shadow & Bone

"Shadow and Bone"
Written by: Leigh Bardugo

This is a pretty unique contribution to the YA/Fantasy genre. I wouldn't say the writing is amazing, but it's certainly not terrible. I enjoyed reading it. The world created by Bardugo is pretty complex (complete with LOTR style maps and categories of beings that are new and hard to keep up with at first). It seems to have very heavy Russian influences---geography, clothing style, language, etc. It's almost like an alternate history for Russia/Eastern Europe---one that takes place in a time that must have been long ago, yet has an added magical element that takes it into the fantasy realm. 

I'm interested to see where the trilogy goes from here. The story of book one was interesting and I can see what the overarching conflict of the series will be, but as a stand alone it was a bit anti-climactic and obvious to me. I am also wondering if it will get optioned for a movie and become the next big thing in YA entertainment. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

"The Fault In Our Stars"
Written by: John Green

Honestly, this review sums up my thoughts perfectly so there's no need to even write my own. The book has been on my radar basically since it was published. I heard they were turning it into a movie and thought maybe I should read it before then. A couple weeks ago my 12 year old niece finished it and insisted I read it immediately so that we could discuss it. So I picked it up and found that it caught my attention in the first couple of pages. Many good books take awhile to warm up, but it's a pleasant surprise and experience when you find one that you get sucked into right away. It's a quick read. Even just reading in my spare time it took under a week to finish. YA literature appeals to me and I often wonder if what I enjoy reading is actually any good. I think this one is. It's thoughtful and funny. It asks all the existential questions that I struggle with daily, had a witty humor and that was just my taste, and though often described as sad---I found it surprisingly hopeful.

It's possibly one of my all time favorites and I plan to read it again. I am looking forward to the movie adaption in June and have picked up a few other John Green titles to see if his other books are just as good. I hope so!