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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Courtesy of Smash Attack ReadsI have to brace myself for the crazy that is about to spout from these fingers. I guess you should brace yourself too...I need to first mention the narrator, Khristine Hvam, and her frakin phenomenal talent. I don't know why you people have been holding out on me about this shining star, but the cat is out of the bag now. Bazinga! I'm tempted to listen to any audio book she has ever narrated, even if it's about fossilized dinosaur poop. Her inflections, incredible accents and all-around tone and speech were sooooooooooooo fantastic. Damn, now I want to make a fan page... :PThe world-building makes me FLAILY. *flails* Jelly arms all over the place. I flailed while I was driving, which I don't suggest or condone, but I couldn't help it, yo. I was so super impressed by the imagination behind this book, and it reinforced that there is still original and unique storytelling to be had. Well, I hadz it, and I wantz more. I do not want to give away any of the incredible creativity that went into the creation of this world, so just hear me out: This world is FULL OF WIN.[Original Image from Flickr: billfromesm]Our leading lady, Karou, sports blue hair, has a serious knack for drawing, and has a fab personality, full of spunk, loyalty and bravery. She leads a double life. Her seemingly normal life is in Prague where she attends art school with her best friend, Zuzana. Zuzana! Best. Secondary. Character. EVAR. Well, close to the best. I still hold Jenks in first place, but Zuzana was such a freakin highlight in this book. I smiled every single time she got page time,and the narrator's depiction of her was so damn perfect. Experiencing her in audio made her personality jump out of the speakers. In fact, I really wish she would materialize. I want her for a friend. I demand her spunk and dedication and snark and loyalty. Gimme gimme.“So violent. You want to mug and tase enerybody these days.""I do," Zuzana agreed. "I swear I hate more poeple every day. Everyone annoys me. If I'm like this now, what am I going to be like when I'm old?""You'll be the mean old biddy who fires a BB gun at kids from her balcony.""Nah. BBs just rile 'em up. More like a crossbow. Or a bazooka.”Karou's other life is one that is full of mystery, magic and mayhem. Karou is pretty uninformed about her own personal history...until she meets Akiva. Akiva captivated me from the minute he entered the story, and with his character's introduction comes some serious information. All is revealed, and just when you think you know where the story is headed, the world unfolds and becomes much, much more. How the story is presented to us is captivating, horrendous, and above all, heartbreaking. I think a piece of me died on that bridge.This is, NO DOUBT, one of the best YA fantasy books I've ever come across. The story that takes place unfolds at a great pace, and I never felt lost or confused. It was an incredible journey, the writing was rich and vivid, the characters jumped off the pages, the world was unique with beautiful detail and imagination, and the romance was one that my heart will not soon forget. I am so nervous to see where the story takes us in Days of Blood and Starlight!Favorite Quote“I don't know many rules to live by,' he'd said. 'But here's one. It's simple. Don't put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles--drug or tattoo--and...no inessential penises either.''Inessential penises?' Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. 'Is there any such thing as an essential one?''When an essential one comes along, you'll know,' he'd replied.”