Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

My video review of this book is at the bottom of this post.
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Shadow and bone is about a girl called Alina and you could also say about the boy she grew up with who is called Mal. Alina is an assistant of a mapmaker and Mal is a tracker.
In this book there are people called grisha, which are people that have special powers. And at one point of the story Alina finds out that she has a power no one else has, and maybe she could save Ravka (the country she lives in). This story is set in Ravka, which has something of Russia.
At the beginning of the story they are heading for the Shadow Fold, which is a place that is fully dark, and where volcra lie waiting for people to eat.

I won’t tell you more about this book, because you’ll have to find out what’s going on yourself, otherwise I’d be giving you spoilers (and I know I hate them). But what I have to say is: you need to read this.
Okay, it wasn’t a book with great prose that I wanted to take with me and put on goodreads as my favorite quotes. No, it was not that. But it was the fact that this story is so intriguing! I needed to know what would happen. It’s such an original idea I think, especially because of the shadow fold.

So, now about the characters:
The Darkling was a weird one. It was the guy I knew was a bad guy, but still he had his sweet moments. There were a lot of moments I wanted to kill him, and the one kiss he has? Aaaaahh! It’s so frustrating, and you can probably tell me with whom he’ll kiss. I laughed when I read it, it was totally not sudden, but in that moment, it just wasn’t the right time.
Alina was an unknowing girl who found out she had great powers. And she doesn’t know what to do. I think Bardugo did pretty good on her, but not perfect, even though I don’t even know who a perfect female protagonist is…
And then Mal… I don’t have a lot to say about him. He’s sweet I guess? And he’s a really good tracker, haha!

I did really like this book, but as I said: it wasn’t written with beautiful prose, and I kind of had higher expectations. I didn’t expect this book to be so small and have such a big font. When I thought of a book set in Russia, or something like it, I thought that it would be… more difficult to read I guess. But that’s okay. I still loved this book, just not as much as I’d hoped to.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads, but my actual rating is 3,5 stars. I will definitely read the next book and the novellas (I really loved the witch of Duva, which is the first novella in this series).

The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making by Catherynne M. Valente

September wants to have grand adventures, so when the Green Wind and his Leopard ask her to come to Fairyland with them, she doesn’t hesitate to say yes. She meets all kinds of creatures and wants to have a great time, but then the Green Wind can’t come with her and she has to go further on her own.

Catherynne created a beautiful world with a lot of creatures that I wouldn’t have thought of, and I think that that was the nicest thing of all. And it wasn’t black and white either. Everything had more than two sides to it.
September wants to help all the people she meets, and that is what makes this adventure dangerous for her. She trusts practically everybody and even though most creatures mean well; some don’t. She goes on a quest like the knights always do, but nothing is as it seems.

About the characters: September was a typical character to play the mainrole in this book. She wanted to go away without saying goodbye to her parents, but on some points she feels sorry for that. She’s just a little girl who gets a lot of possibilities and doesn’t know how to handle all that.
A-through-L, the wyvern of the story (a kind of dragon without the front feet), was the nicest creature I could’ve thought to accompany her on her journey. He was so sweet and caring, and I laughed at his name, because he only knows the things that are A-through-L in dictionaries. And he thinks his dad is a library, haha!
There are many more characters, but I won’t tell you about it: it’s a secret until you read this book for yourself.

I really liked that every chapter had an illustration and a little summary of a few sentences about what’s going to happen. It really made the book stand out and the illustrations were really cute!

If I have children (and they speak English) “when I grow up”, I will definitely let them read this. It’s such a fun book, and I think kids will enjoy it even more than me. I also think that I would’ve enjoyed it more if I’d read it in a longer period of time. I read it in 2 days…

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fairytales, this is a kind of fairytale, so I think this counts.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and am very curious to read the next book in the series… 🙂

Delia’s Secret – Jaime Lee Moyer

Delia's Shadow Delia has run away from the city where she was born, just so she can be alone. Her problems are the ghosts that she sees there. But when a ghost appears next to her after some time and becomes her “shadow”, she wants to know what’s going on. This is why she leaves her new town to visit her old. What she finds there is not what she expected, but she grabs the opportunity and helps the police in an investigation of some murders.
Gabe however, is struggling with the fact that this murderer is just like the one his dad wanted to catch years before. And just like his father, he gets some distressing letters from this person, which makes it more personal than he thought or
hoped it would be.

This book was what I expected and more, it was nice, I really liked it and think you should all read it when this book comes out. So why did I like this book so much? The writing style was not the kind that blows your mind with metaphors and magical sentences. It was to the point. And for this book it was okay. There is a plot twist somewhere on 4/5 of the book or so that I really didn’t expect, even though I couldn’t even have known it either.

The main character, Delia, is an overall normal woman, she doesn’t really know how to react to the things that are happening, so she goes to her home, where she knows everyone in town. And it gives her hope of finding out why this girl is “stalking” her. I liked her but didn’t love her, but I don’t know why.

About the rest of the characters, Gabe is a different story, he is a sweet guy but I think he doesn’t really know how to show it. This is because he also wants to be this great cop that solves cases and protects people by being harsh, I think? I don’t know… He was… different.

The love story in this book? I feel there was not that much talk about it, which I was grateful for. No instalove or anything, which I normally don’t even believe, so that’s something Jaime Lee Moyer did good.

It was set in the Victorian times, which (I found out) I love, and it’s just the whole feeling that it gave me. Everything that I saw in my head was a bit dark, just like some directors would film their movies if it was set in the Victorian times. Or you could say just like Tim Burton does, even though his movies are mostly not set in that time period. But they’re mostly dark ;-).

Overall, I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I finished this book on july 16th, so the only reason I can give you for not giving it 5 stars is that it wasn’t perfect. It’s not the kind of story that blew me away and it also won’t be on my favorites list. BUT I really really did enjoy it, a lot.

This book was an e-ARC from netgalley, and I got it from Tor books. This book will be published on Sep 17 2013

A monster calls – Patrick Ness

Conor is thirteen https://thebookatlas.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/2460b-monster2bcalls.jpgyears old and his mom has cancer. That’s why a monster shows up at his window when it’s 12.07 at night. This monster wants to tell three stories and get one in return when he has told these stories. The monster is a tree that has been standing in his garden for a long time, and has known many people.

Conor is such a sweet character, well, most of the characters are. He doesn’t want to accept everything that’s happening, but he has nightmares that show him his biggest fear. He wants his mom to be better, to live! But he can’t give her that and it makes him sad. I could really feel his fear, and even though it started out slow for me, I thought it was a great story.

I really liked the fact that the monster told stories to Conor, they teached him something that he didn’t want to know; everything has more than one side. There are people that he thinks are bad, but might not be in the stories.

The illustrations in this book were beautiful and they were a great addition to this story. It made the reading experience so much better! They fitted perfectly in the story and I loved that you could still see parts of it on the few pages after and before every illustration.

There were definitely a few tears at the end of this book for me. It was sad, but also so beautiful!

You should definitely read this if you like short, but emotional reads. And of course if you like stories with a kid as main character, or if you like some kind of “fairytale”-ish stories.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

https://thebookatlas.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/b12fe-unfortunate.jpgWhen the three baudelaire kids (Violet, Klaus and Sunny) find out that their parents have died in a fire, they have to move in with Count Olaf. This man isn’t what they’ve hoped, he’s evil and will do anything to get the Baudelaire fortune, which Violet will be able to spend when she comes of age.

This was a really fun read. A short one, as I read it in a few hours, but I absolutely loved it. There were so many nice characters, but also very evil ones, and the way that the kids got out of trouble was really fun to read. These kids are really smart and I would’ve definitely wanted to be their friends if I still were a kid.

I was asking myself if I would let my kids read it (if I had kids), and as it’s a very dark story/series, I think that I would let them read it after they’ve become ten, or even later (and after they learn to speak and read English next to Dutch). But I think that my future kids will like it as much as I do.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a sad story, but still a very light read (especially if you’re no kid anymore) and a lot of fun. If I can find the rest of the books for a low price I will definitely get them.

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Mila 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)Mila is a normal high school girl who wants the same as everyone else: to have good friends and get high school over with. She moved to a new town a few weeks before the start of the book, because her dad died during a fire. She and her mom came here to get on with a new life. But when she has to sit in the back of her friend’s truck and gets thrown out of it during a turn, she finds out she’s something else than she knew. She’s an android. And now she has to run.

This book was great, normally I don’t read books like these, because I tend to love them the first time I read it, but when I reread them, they’re mostly horrible. And I liked it, so I should probably reread it. But yeah… so many books, so little time!

I liked the boy called Hunter and was sad to read so little about him. Mila had to run from a lot of people before we could learn more about him, so sad to say: you won’t see a very lot of him. Her mom was another character altogether. Did she do something right or wrong? You don’t know until the real action begins. And Mila? She’s just a teenager who doesn’t know what to do with herself now she knows what she really is.

The pace was good, not always, but I especially liked it towards the end. There was so much action in that part of the book! I was almost unable to stop reading if I had to do something else (like a chore in the house, or write a blog). All in all, an excellent YA sci-fi book and I’m curious to the sequel of this one.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, because it’s a great book, but not one of my ultimate favorites…
If you’re curious for this book, you can read about it and buy it on the bookdepository.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The giver is thttp://carrieslager.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/the-giver-by-lois-lowry.jpghe dystopian tale of eleven year old Jonas, who lives in a really different, more futuristic, world than us. His society is based on what the leaders or elders think is the perfect one. Parents can’t have more than 2 kids (one girl and one boy), and they don’t conceive those kids themselves either.

Every year, everyone “ages” in December. The kids who’ve been born the year before, become Ones in this month, during a ceremony of two days where every kid (until twelve years old) celebrate their aging, all together.

When it’s december, Jonas will become a Twelve and be assigned his “task”, and he’s very nervous. The job he gets is one that no one expects, and it changes his life forever.

I really liked this book, it was really nicely written and not too long (which I like) or slow. The pacing was perfect, every event was exciting to know about, and there are many things going on in this world. I didn’t like it when he became a Twelve though, I was scared that it might get boring, reading all about him becoming who he HAS to become…

Lowry thought his world through thoroughly. I couldn’t think of a question that I would like to ask about this world, he told perfectly enough for me to know what I had to know.

This book is part of a series, and there are three more of these. I would love to read these when I have spare time (next to the weekly books I want to review), but I won’t be reviewing those. The ending had a cliffhanger though, so I’m excited for the next book!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, because it was a really good read, but not one of those reads that will stay in my head for weeks. Next to that: the transition between Jonas getting to be a Twelve, and the next exciting event was a bit slow.

You can buy this book on bookdepository