Review of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

9ad31-daughterofsmokeandboneA girl, Karou, is an artist who draws imaginary creatures. The imaginary creatures that she draws are real but she pretends they are fake because she knew no one would believe her. Karou lives with one of the creatures who asks her to get teeth, human or animal, not knowing what they were for. As she slowly discovers out why, she meets a boy named Akiva who is an angel who hunts down her kind, chimera. Akiva spares her and they work together to survive and figure out more about Karou’s past and her past life.

I would recommend this book to any eighth and ninth graders. The vocabulary is not too big but some scenes can be disturbing to some younger grades. Some scenes may also be inappropriate. This book is not useful when it comes to learning new words, but older grades can read this book and still enjoy the fast paced and suspenseful plot. This book is like many other books for teenagers but still has it’s own unique feel and interpretation.

The reader rated this book 3/5

Tags: modern fantasy, adventure, romance


Cynthia’s Review of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

30116958Genie Lo is a tall Chinese girl with a temper and will out-study you any day. Quentin Sun is the weird new kid who has incredible muscles and is Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Demons are showing up in the Bay Area and the gods want the pair to hunt them down. Genie’s got her grades to worry about— who cares about the magical powers she’s manifesting?

EVERYONE READ THIS IMMEDIATELY. It’s a Xiyouji / Journey to the West retelling. It’s the first retelling of these stories I’ve ever read. It’s incredibly funny, Genie’s voice is amazing, Quentin is quippy about everything and I love him because I am impressively weak when it comes to trickster characters. Genie struggles with fighting demons and homework, her parents are separated, the book talks about classism. She gets invited to watch a violin competition and if that isn’t realism I’m eating a piano (and the book being set in the Bay Area with an angry Asian girl who’s starting to go through the college admissions process just hits so close to home. Literally. Oops). She punches demons. The demons are crushed with great sass. Basically everyone is Asian. Genie hates boba. Erleng Shen and Guanyin are characters and this is VALIDATION. I cried three times while reading/thinking about this book for reasons completely unrelated to the plot, thought that might be because I’m a wreck today — white people, you have no idea what this book means to me. Even I didn’t know what this book meant to me until I saw it on display. These were the stories I grew up on. I love it.

Cynthia gives this book a rating of several dozen supernovas.