Quick Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer This book is surprisingly dark despite having a protagonist that is such a pure soul.  I shouldn’t have been surprised since Laini Taylor’s previous series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone wasn’t filled sunshine and rainbows either but the when the backstory of Weep is revealed and you see the toll it has on the city is palpable.  I’m not sure where to begin with this book.  I feel that anything I say will not do it justice and I also don’t want give anything away either.  Lazlo Strange is an orphan and a dreamer.  He was raised by Monks and then reared by Librarians.  He is fascinated by stories and in particularly the story of the lost city of Weep.  A city that had so many treasures but 200 years ago was lost to the world and forgotten. Even it’s name has been lost.  It’s now just a myth and a story to everyone but Lazlo.  It’s his dream to find it.  So he takes every opportunity to find out more about the city.  He scours the library books for any scrap of information about Weep.  One day out of nowhere, warriors from Weep lead by the Godslayer, show up in his town and he is appeals to them to take him with them.  They need help and even though he doesn’t know how he can help he knows he just has to go.  In Weep, Sarai is a Godspawn who lives in the Citadel above Weep without the City knowing.  Fifteen years ago, the Godslayer and the people of Weep killed the Gods and Goddesses that had enslaved them, not knowing that five children still lived.  Each of her siblings have special powers but only Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, can truly see the City.  Every night she releases her moths and visits the people of Weep’s dreams.  Sarai may have skin the color blue and see people’s dreams but she is still a teenage girl.  She is still has the same hopes and dreams as others her age but she also lives in fear of the people down below.  She knows what they did to the other Gods and Goddesses and what they did to the other children who were not saved.  She fears that if they ever found out about her and her siblings, that they too will kill them too.  Things really start to pick up when Lazlo, warriors and the other foreigners come to Weeo.  We see the true hurt and pain of both the people of Weep and the Godspawn.  They both are justified in their anger and hurt.  They both have reasons to fear the other.  When it comes to fear, rational thought is not always easy as any of us can attest too.  Lazlo is different though.  He is truly a dreamer. He helps people because he sees they need help. He sees possibilities is things that most of us would overlook.  He is Strange.  When Sarai first visits his dreams she is taken in at how vivid it is but also that he can see her.  She is not just a spectator or a manipulator, she is a participant in her dreams.  An invited guest.  They soon grow a connection and of course fall in love even though they had never actually met.  Despite the uplifting and positive protagonists that lead this story the darkness is always seething around the corner of every page.  You really can’t get around the sins of both the people of Weep and the Gods themselves and that’s the genius of the story.  The beauty of it.  It’s like an old Grimm’s fairy tale that underneath the glow and polish there is an undercurrent of darkness.  A modern day fairy tale where the true villains are already dead but there are no one is truly innocent.  Except for maybe Lazlo but even he will probably not stay innocent for long.

Quick Review: Legion by Julie Kagawa


**I was granted a digital ARC of this book and read it a month ago.  Thank you Harlequin Teen for the advance**

Four books in and we finally learn what makes Ember so darn special and it’s creepy.  I won’t spoil it but let’s just say I look forward to seeing the leader of Talon being taken down.  She’s a real piece of work.  I also think she’s another argument as to why immortality or really Really long life spans are not a good idea.  It makes people do some really crazy insane things.  Anyways, fans of this series will be happy with this installment.  It picks up right where the cliffhanger ending of Soldier ended.  The stakes are higher now that the truth of the Order of St. George and Talon have been exposed.  The Order is complete disarray but Talon has a secret that we as readers know about but the characters don’t. So while, it was a good idea at the time to expose the leader of the Order, it also played right into Talon’s hands.  Talon has become the real big bad of the series.  The Order, while not at all innocent, has been played just as much as everyone else.  Their own prejudices and inability or willingness to try to think differently was their ultimate undoing.  As for our heroes.  They all do some growing up.  Constant near death experiences will do that to you.  The biggest lesson they have learned is if they are going to defeat Talon, they are going to have to work together and reach out to new allies, even if that means reaching out to old enemies too.  I believe there is only one more book left which is good because the ending really seems to have set up a potentially epic final battle between our heroes and Talon.  It’s been a fun ride.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

It runs in the family 

Kate and I named our blog Stacks Exceed Life Expectancy because our to-read list so many books that we know we will never be able to read them all.  Literacy has always been important in our family.  It was our mother who taught us to never leave the house without a book.  She once came to visit me for a weekend and brought 8 books with her, you know so she had options.  I believe she read through half of them while she was here. I thing about our parents is that when ever they aren’t doing something, they are reading.  When they get up in the morning and before they go to bed.  They even bring a book with them to the bar.  So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that our house is filled with books.  They are literally everywhere.  When I was home last month to visit, I did a snapchat tour of my Mom’s books.  Her books monopolize our family room, with some in the kitchen and on the stairs.  Now these are not all of her books.  Only a taste. Maybe next time I go home, I’ll do a tour of our dad’s.









What I’m Reading Now: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

the sun is also a star

I bought this book as part of our Diverse Narrators Reading Challenge.  Reading the synopsis and some of the reviews, I think this book is going to be relevant to what’s going on in our country.  I’m really excited about jumping in.

Update: I have found my Nook

The long national nightmare is over!  Haha, just kidding.  He’s still our President but I did find my Nook.  It was in one of my many tote bags.  Not sure why it was in a tote bag? I’m sure I thought I did it one of the many times I started to organize my apartment and got distracted and never finished it.  Sigh.  I found it and it’s now charging so it’ll be ready to go for tomorrow’s commute. And all is right with the world.  Well, not really but at least I will be able to read my book and escape for a while.

Book Reader Problems: I can’t find my Nook

I can’t find my Nook.  This is a problem since the book I was hoping to read next is on it.  I know I can read it on my iPad in the Nook app but it’s not the same.  I actually don’t like reading on my iPad as much.  It’s 3rd Generation so it’s big and kinda heavy.  In a crowded train (where I do most of my reading) it’s hard to hold up to read.  My Nook, an old Nook tablet is smaller and lighter and more convenient in a crowded train car.  The thing is I can’t remember the last time I had it.  I order most of my ebooks on my nook itself and the last time I purchased an ebook was on January 1st.  All the books I have read this year have been physical books or a few digital readers copies, which is just easier to download to my iPad, then downloading to my computer and then downloading to my Nook.  I know that realistically that my Nook is somewhere in my apartment.  I’ve looked in all the usual places.  My living room and my bedroom.  My apartment only has three rooms so there isn’t that many places it could be.  It’s not like someone would come into my apartment and only take my outdated Nook and leave my laptop, iPad and TV.  It’s here, it’s just finding it.  I may have to clean my apartment to find it.  Ugh


all the crooked saints So this news is a couple days old but I’ve been vacation but LOOK AT THE COVER FOR MAGGIE STIEVFATER’S NEW BOOK!  I would read anything that Maggie writes so I’m very looking forward to October for this one comes out.  It’s sounds like it’s going to be a very Maggie type book.

The book, titled All the Crooked Saints, takes place in the 1960s in Bicho Raro, Colorado and follows the lives of three members of the Soria family—each of whom is searching for their own miracle. There’s Beatriz, who appears to lack feelings but wants to study her mind; Daniel, the “Saint” of Bicho Raro, a miracle worker for everyone but himself; and Joaquin (a.k.a. Diablo Diablo), who runs a pirate radio station at night

Squee!  With the end of the The Raven Cycle last year, I need some more Maggie in my life and if you are like me then you do too.  It’s only a standalone which I appreciate.  I really don’t need another series in my life and we know that Maggie is working on a new Ronan Trilogy so I can live with only one book. In the meantime,  here’s a little interview with her from Entertainment Weekly to tie us over until October..