2014 Reading Challenge: Young Adult - The Verdict

Well we're done with our latest reading challenge, where RT Web Team's DJ dared Elissa and Elisa to read Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, a title a bit outside their comfort zone. (Here's part one and two.) Today, we weigh in with the results. What is DJ's fate? Will we mock him forever? Or high five him (more than usual)? 

The cover of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Elissa says: All right, DJ, here's my one-word review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Wowza. I thought I was going to get lost in the weeds in the second half, as we learned of Karou's former life, and flashback after flashback started to give me whiplash. But nope, Karou, Brimstone and Co. had already won me over, and I was in it til the end. An end that, by the way, was totally satisfying while setting up book two in a satisfactory manner. No easy feat! (I say that as someone who has been burned by trilogies in the past.) I am going to award DJ a GOLD STAR (the web team's highest honor) for picking such a great, fantastical read. 

Elisa says: This was a fun, beautifully written story, but was a little too slow for my taste. We know something is up with Karou pretty much from the beginning, but it takes a while for her story to play out. What can I say, I'm use to drama-laden adult romances and SF/F and urban fantasy that doesn't let up. Instead of being eager to get through the book, I ended up feeling slightly frustrated and was tempted to flip to the end. But I didn't! I kept my patience under control and can say that, as a whole, this was a fantastic book, I just may have not been the best audience for it.

DJ says: Phew! I am so glad you both ended up enjoying the book! And I will cherish this gold star forever. I'm not usually a fan of flashbacks - on page or on screen - but Laini successfully pulls them off, and learning about Karou and Akiva's past was definitely one of my favorite aspects. I will agree that the story unfolds at a slower pace than others, which can be frustrating, but I enjoyed the slower nature and how it was languid in the most beautiful sense. Kind of like Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know what you think of the sequels when you get around to them!

Are you a fan of Taylor's trilogy or did you give it a pass? Sound off in the comments! And join us soon for another reading resolution! In the meantime, be sure to visit our Everything YA page for more amazing reads.