Book Reviews · Mini Review · The Reading

Mini Review #4: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Psychology of Success, Until the Beginning

Mini Review #1

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Published: September 27th, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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The Review:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is my first ‘re-read’ of the year, and I decided it would be a great opportunity to try out audiobooks which turned out to be a great decision 🙂

I thought Laini Taylor is such a wonderful storyteller the first time I read this book, and I still feel the same way now. The creativity and the uniqueness of the story (I certainly never thought much about teeth of all things) just pulled me in and didn’t let go. The characters are so full of life and different personalities, I enjoyed reading about every single one of them. And if this reread did one thing, it reminded me of how awesome Zuzana is and how much I want her to be my friend.

At first, I was a little unsure about listening to the audiobook, especially because my thoughts tend to drift the second I lose focus, but everything ended up fine. I did have to rewind a few times in the beginning because something I heard triggered a different train of thought, but after listening for a while and getting the hang of it, I actually enjoyed the audiobook a lot. In fact, I actually ended up appreciating Laini Taylor’s writing style even more in audiobook form. The way the sentences sounded when said out loud is really enjoyable to listen to, which gives it a different experience from just reading the words on the pages.

In the end, I still really love this book. I think it’s wonderful and I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel once I can get my hands on the audiobook 🙂


Mini Review #2

Title: Psychology of Success: Your A-Z Map to Achieving Your Goals & Enjoying the Journey
Author: Alison & David Price
Published: September 13th, 2016 by Icon Books

Summary:
Struggle to stick to your goals, making new resolutions that always end up broken? This time, make them stick.

You’ll start by identifying what success means to you, building goals around what you really want and what you have the potential to achieve. With the benefit of expert insights, real-life case studies, and powerful techniques, you’ll build day-to-day strategies to help define and reach your goals, overcome obstacles and succeed in the face of adversity.

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The Review:

Psychology of Success is my first non-fiction read of the year and I think it was a very interesting read. The chapters are divided nicely and none of them were too long or too dense. The tips and advice in the book are accompanied by anecdotes that make it easier to understand the idea the authors are trying to explain. While I didn’t think that any of the tips were terribly inspiring or enlightening, I do think that sometimes you need to read something that you already know because maybe someone can put it in a better way. And plus, it could be the reminder you need to finally take action because that’s what happened to me with this book.

It didn’t take me long to read Psychology of Success, it was a very fast read, though some of the questions do require some time to think about. I really like the exercises they give at the end of each chapter, I think it would make you put more thought into what you’ve just read. I can definitely see myself rereading this book whenever I need some motivation.


Mini Review #3

Title: Until the Beginning
Author: Amy Plum
Published: May 5th, 2015 by HarperTeen

Summary:
When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people’s gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles’ cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau’s people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people – and herself – Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of. 

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The Review:

I read Until the Beginning a few months after finishing the first book, and while I didn’t remember every detail from After the Beginning, this book jogs my memory when I need it to and I didn’t have any trouble following the flow of the story. Having said that, I think I might have either forgotten a very important thing, or I didn’t notice it when I read the first book, because I remember the entire book one happened within a week or so. But Until the Beginning tells me that it’s been many more weeks than that. Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention the first time.

Honestly, my main issue with this book is that it failed to make me care. I didn’t really care about the adventure, the characters or their relationship. The story isn’t very exciting for me and I easily got bored while reading. I don’t think that the flow of the story feels natural, a lot of things would pop up and I’d go “oh wait, is this that kind of story?”

Long story short, Until the Beginning isn’t a very engaging story for me. It’s easy to breeze through, but it’s also easy to let go of. Do I regret reading it? No. But I wouldn’t be re-reading this series again in the future.

6 thoughts on “Mini Review #4: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Psychology of Success, Until the Beginning

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