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Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor This was my first time reading Laini Taylor and I have to say I really enjoyed her writing. Her style is witty, yet descriptive and beautiful. One of my favorite passages from the book:

"Yearning for love made her feel like a cat that was always twining around ankles, meowing Pet me, pet me, look at me, love me. Better to be the cat gazing coolly down from a high wall, its expression inscrutable. The cat that shunned petting, that needed no one. Why couldn't she be that cat? Be that cat!!!"

I saw that so many people raved about the book with five star reviews, and I really wanted to like the book that much.. but it just didn't quite get there for me.

The main issue I had was that for the first half of the book you are in Prague, Czechoslovakia with Karou the main character, Zuzana her best friend, Kaz her annoying ex-boyfriend and of course her Chimaera family. By the second half of the book, I felt like I was reading an entirely different book. A very good book, but an entirely different one. And yes I know the second half was explaining details from the past, but I was so engrossed in this other world that I found myself thinking Karou who? Zuzana who? So by the time the story switched back to present tense it felt awkward to me... And it didn't feel like these two halves were talking about the same person. It felt like two separate characters and it was hard to put them together in the end.

So ultimately, I really enjoyed the writing and the story. It was an original, engrossing plot and I did enjoy the characters. I just felt that in the end it could have been told a little more smoothly or tied together a little better. But I will definitely be checking out the second book in the series.