Top 5 Wednesday: Books You’ve Read Because of Social Media

Hey beautiful people, welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday as hosted by the lovely Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. I always love talking about this kind of topic because 98% of what I read and buy is from seeing people haul them or recommend them on some form of social media. Here’s the topic:

September 27th: Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc. 
–Discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use.

I’m pretty sure we can all say at least five books that we’ve read because of people we watch/follow on YouTube, a blog, twitter, etc., so here are my picks for books (novels) and comics (because this is my blog and I do what I want).

Books

adsom

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Considering I just finished and reviewed this, this book is definitely on my mind. This was a hugely hyped book when it first came out, and subsequently the sequels were also super hyped, and I’ve gotta say: I get it now. It was such a great, fast-paced read, and I’m very excited to read the next two books soon. I don’t know exactly who I would’ve seen recommend this, but I know a lot of people did.

daughterofsmokeandbone

4. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I remember watch Kat @ Katytastic one day (or several days) and how in a lot of videos she would talk about this book series. Well, I read it, fell in love with it, and this trilogy is in one of the top five spots of favorite series ever. So yeah, I’m super glad that I found this series when I did through Kat.

annaandthefrenchkiss

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER WAS RECOMMENDING THIS BOOK AT ONE POINT. Actually, the whole companion trilogy was being recommended because they were such cute romance YA novels that everyone was reading and loving and so I had to jump on board. And I agree: very cute. I still haven’t read the other two, but I’ll get there eventually.

myheartandotherblackholes

2. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

I remember Jesse @ Jessethereader talking about this book in several of his videos, and when I watched his review I knew that I would really like it. The subject matter is intense (trigger warning for suicide and depression), but those are also topics that are just near to my heart. I remember enjoying the read, though it was a tough one for me to get through emotionally.

shadowandbones

1. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Okay, I’m pretty sure I saw a huge rise in this book series everywhere, but I definitely think I picked up this series finally after watching Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes recommend it all the time. It’s one of her favorite series and as I’ve read the first two books in the trilogy, I’ve gotta say that I’m hooked (and love Nikolai <3). It’s a beautiful world with lots of danger and I love it.


Comics

youjin

5. You Jin by Fujoking

I spend a lot of time on Instagram (like… way too much time lol) and this popped up in the explore section several times when I was just browsing photos. So when I read it (not on Lezhin’s website), I really enjoyed it. It’s a boy’s love (BL) story and though I can’t really remember everything that happened I do remember that I read it all and liked it and wanted a bit more.

ratqueen1

4. Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe

This was probably one of the comics I picked up when a lot of people on YouTube were reading it and recommending it. It wasn’t necessarily my cup on tea from what I remember, but it wasn’t bad either.

royalservant

3. Royal Servant by Master Gin

This was another one of those reads that popped up a lot on Instagram and so when I read it (again, not on Lezhin until later chapters when I actually discovered Lezhin), I was hooked. The content can be sensitive sometimes, but the plot is getting better the farther along it goes and I’m actually really invested in it now.

sirenslament

2. Siren’s Lament by quimchee

This one wasn’t actually recommended to me via social media (but Rayna, this T5W is about–) SHH, I KNOW! It was actually recommend to me in person by my best friend, and since reading it I’ve been reading it faithfully every week since (or when there’s a new update because sometimes authors have to take breaks, too, you know?). It’s a really cute and beautiful series. (Not all cute, some of it is funny or intense or mysterious.)

sagavol1

1. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Okay, this comic was recommended everywhere on YouTube and it’s actually one of my favorite comic series I’ve read. It’s very intense and violent and sexually explicit, but it’s still a good story. Also, I’ve owned the 7th volume for months now and haven’t read it yet. Like… what am I doing with my life?


I could go on and on about books and comics I’ve read because of social media, but these are the first five that came to mind. Honestly, would I even have read any of these books without being a blogger and being on social media as much as I am? Probably not. I’m so thankful for the ones I have read and so glad others like them as well.

Honorary Mentions

shatterme redqueen fallingkingdoms darkfever

 

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Days of Blood & Starlight Book Review

daysofbloodandstarlightTitle: Days of Blood & Starlight
Series: Book 2 in Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Publication Date: November 6, 2013
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 513
Format: Purchased Paperback

As this is the sequel, there will be spoilers in this review.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is–and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

This sequel held many aspects I wasn’t expecting, and it was just as beautiful, if not more intense, than the first.

I found this sequel to be a little slow at the beginning, but I don’t know if that was because I was in a reading slump at the time. But once I got more into the story and saw a lot more happening than what I first thought, I was hooked.

The storyline picked up right where it left off, or just a short time after, and it was interesting to see just how different the characters were for one reason or another: Karou knew the truth of her past; Akiva had his own guilts to deal with; many things had happened in the time between what happened in the last book until now and it was just mind blowing to see just what was going on.

I thought that this book was a bit more intense and serious than the last. It focused more on the war aspect, and a lot more on resurrection and plots and vengeance than I was expecting. It did have a few light-hearted moments, but this book was mostly one in which dealt with a lot of different action sequences from one to the next and the next.

This book followed a lot more perspectives than the last, too, where it included not on Karou’s and Akiva’s points of view, but also a seriph soldier, the White Wolf, a new/old friend, and several others. I thought that the way Laini Taylor placed those new voices into the story truly benefitted it rather than hindered it as it was good to see what was happening in both worlds and in completely different places in those worlds.

As for the characters, I thought that Karou was being a bit too rash when it came to some things, though I could understand where her anger was coming from. She tried to do her best with what she had to do, but I also just think that she could have tried to be stronger or acted more on certain things. Though she was broken emotionally and tried to be strong in front of others for her own safety, when she was around friends and finally had some glimmers of hope, I think that’s where she really shined.

I really enjoyed getting to see more of her knowing that she’s chimera, as well. Though she struggles in her environment, and with her memories, I think that by having her memories unlocked she was able to deal with a lot more than if she hadn’t had those memories back in the first place. And a few times I wanted to smack her because I thought she was just trying too hard to be mad at Akiva. Or maybe that was just me wishing for some more romance. Who knows?

At first I thought Akiva was just being too… emotionless? Reckless? I’m not sure what the word is that I’m looking for, but I thought that he was just kind of floating there for a while. But I did love that he was extremely brave and tried to save as many chimera as possible before the seriph slaughtered them. I think those moments really showed his character and how much he changed from before and after he met Karou/Madrigal.

As time progressed in the story, I thought that Akiva was holding a lot more secrets than he originally let on, but I also think that he, himself, doesn’t know what those secrets are. The fact that he was able to experience certain things was interesting and I really want to see it come into play in the next book.

We also got to see parts of the story from Thiago, whom I dislike greatly; Ziri, who is an awesome friend for Karou and just a gentle soul for sure; Zuzana, whom I love because of her fiery spirit and her willingness to just chill with some monsters; and others. It was definitely a treat to be able to read parts of the story from these other perspectives because it showed multiple events happening at once, but in different places and in different worlds. Plus there was some extra backstory in a few places, which is always nice to have.

I think that the next book is going to be an epic one. There’s going to be a lot more battling and war, and probably more loss occurring, but I also have hope for Karou and Akiva, and all the others, and I really am excited to see what happens next.

Overall, I thought this was a strong sequel. It didn’t falter from the original storyline, but added to it, and I think that we definitely got to know the characters better and that we got to see more of who they are and just what they’re fighting for. And as always, Laini Taylor’s writing is beautiful and strong.

I rated this book 4.5/5 stars and highly recommend it if you’ve read the first book.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book Review

daughterofsmokeandbone

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Book #1 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – an imprint of Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Genres: Young Adult – Urban Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 418
Format: Purchased Paperback

“Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor is the first book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It’s a story about a girl named Karou living in Prague, going to art school and doing just fine. Kind of. Her boyfriend cheated on her and she is just having a really rough time, but there’s something about her natural blue hair and super fantasy-esque drawings that make her stand out from the crowd.

Maybe it’s the fact that she lives a secret otherworldly life on the side. Yeah, that could be it.

Karou was raised with chimera, a type of mythical being who is forged of many different types of creatures (human head/torso but with the legs and body of a horse, like a centaur). So that world isn’t really that surprising to her given that she was raised in it. So she’s often given tasks by one of the chimaera, Brimstone, and carries out these “tasks” to get teeth – all varieties – when one day she goes to Morocco and is discovered by an angel. An angel who wants to kill her.

This story, man. This story. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I thought it was going to be a poorly written, all over the place, insta-love type of thing, when really, it wasn’t. There was so much more going on in the background that was woven in and throughout the novel that it just took my breath away.

Literally, I’m feeling ALL the feels.

Karou, herself, is a strong female character with a stubborn streak, but also a quirky attitude that seems to get her in trouble from time to time. She grew up without knowing much about herself or how she got tattoos on her hands (hamsas) and she always wondered why she’d feel lonely at times or just how she didn’t feel like she was her true self in the world she was living in. I thought she was relatable because I know a lot of teens and young adults feel “out of place” in the world and want to find who they are and where they fit in all of this. Karou is like that throughout most of the book and she doesn’t really change much in personality, which is great.

Akiva is the angel who attacks Karou in Morocco and he is described as dead-eyed in the beginning, his features too perfect to be human with short cropped dark hair, a widow’s peak, and burning angel wings that he can glamour into invisibility – but only on his back, not on his shadow. He’s at first merciless and cruel, but something in him clicks when he attacks Karou that makes him pause and he tries to figure out just what that is by following her around (yes, like a creep). Though the two do spar later on, he doesn’t want to hurt her and he later figures out why he is so drawn to her and why he can’t hurt her.

And possibly why she’d want to hurt him.

Brimstone is a chimera who is a Wishmonger that makes different types of beads that grant different levels of wishes. He’s stonefaced and not very warm to others, only showing his approval through grunts on occasion. We do learn a little bit more about him toward the end of the book and I think he’s pretty wise, though that may be due to his age.

Those were really the main characters of the book while everyone else that followed was secondary. I did enjoy Zuzana’s personality a lot (she’s human), and Issa was kind of cool (she’s a chimera).

The plot of the story definitely pulled me in. It was one in which Karou was trying to find who she was while trying to uncover secrets as to why portal doors have mysterious hand print burn marks on them and why they suddenly go up in flames, taking away any chances she had of returning to that place in between. It also is a great mystery into the chimera and seraphim (angel) world. I really enjoyed it and I can definitely see the potential for the sequels from this book.

The romance in this book, at first, I thought would be insta-love the way it was playing out. It kind of turned me off, but as it continued and it was explained further in the story I finally understood why they acted the way they did toward each other. It was hot and steamy and ooooohhh the angst, but it was great to read and definitely satisfied my romantic craving.

And I hope to God there isn’t a triangle.

My biggest “complaint,” which is really a critique is that I wish that the back stories that we find out later about Karou’s past were woven into the story more as memory snippets. It happened only once or twice before that, but I think that it could have happened a little bit more rather than it all coming in one giant chunk toward the end.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to continue on reading the trilogy. I gave this 5/5 stars.