(Extra)ordinarily in Love (Me Before You – a Book Review)

Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

Me Before You

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

9/25

 

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living and exceedingly ordinary life…

Everything in Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark’s life is routine and normal and nothing more than normal. That’s okay with her. More than okay. She doesn’t need an exciting life. But when she’s laid off of her job at the café, which she’s had for six years, she must quickly jump back into the job force. With little skills, she doesn’t have many choices. When a high paying temporary position opens up for taking care of wheelchair-bound Will Traynor. He’s moody and bossy and sarcastic, but Lou isn’t having it. Unexpectedly, her feelings for him change. Before she knows it, she’s fighting the clock to make him happy. She’s determined to show him that life is worth living.

What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking you heart?

 

This book marks 8 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve heard that Jojo Moyes is such a subtle and tender heartbreaker with her books and I’m glad to have gotten a chance to read on. I must confess though, I watched the movie first.

 

Lou and Will came together to create a love that not only lasts forever, but is also so short-lived in this book. These two clashed and yet, the saying ‘opposites attract’ came to me when I read this. It wasn’t a major bickering fest between them where tension was already obvious. This was one that sprouted from a seed. It grew and developed into something treasurable.

Me Before You

This wasn’t only my favorite scene in the movie, but in the book as well. The excitement is so sky high. Don’t tell me that you’ve never felt this excited about something. Life is indeed too short not to feel this way and more than once.

I felt many different things as I read this book. But most prominently, I’m not entirely feeling it. It is sweet and tender and raw and awkward. It’s so many things, and everything that makes it feel real. Lou leads an incredibly ordinary life. Like seriously. Following her every move, it is just that. Since I do the basics of everything she does: house chores, go to work, hobby around, bicker with the family and then repeat the same thing over and over and over and oh my god this is my life. I don’t have a particular interest in my own life on such a small scale, so I don’t enjoy reading about it. BUT! The story has great depth and meaningfulness that I can’t begin to describe. It’s the little parts, the parts of humor and love between Lou and Will that had me staying. We humans live for those bits in real life. They’re warming and fulfilling.

And as this book also points out, they also end. On top of feeling slightly bored, I felt heartbroken. Lou is fighting, for the first time it seems, for something she desperately wanted and that was Will. Her job became the excitement she needed. She hopes that Will will decide against going to Dignitas, a place that a person can go to die legally. I blanched at hearing about that place.

There were a few characters that really rubbed me wrong. The major one was Patrick. I was gritting teeth with that man every time he opened his mouth! I felt incredibly confused as to how Lou came to date him. He’s so self-absorbed. I couldn’t stand him, and Lou’s been with him for years!

Me Before You

Slow-going and bit by bit, Lou’s life became less ordinary and more extraordinary. Patience is greatly needed. If you can break through then definitely read this. It’s not bad, but it just wasn’t for me. The pull wasn’t strong to garner my attention, which upsets me because I’d heard so many wonderful things about this book.

 

Quotables:

“You probably wouldn’t look at me twice. An ordinary girl, leading an ordinary life. It actually suited me fine.” (Lou, p. 18)

“I couldn’t tell anyone. That was almost the worst bit. I was now complicit in the Traynors’ secrets.” (Lou, p. 113)

“I just…want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.” (Will to Lou, p. 166)

 

Side Note: I am SUPER sorry for the wait. I know I usually try to get something up every other day, but this week has been ridiculously busy. I’ve been getting swamped at work. I do have reviews coming still.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Beautiful by Ben Rector

 

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Forever’s an Awfully Long Time…(Forever… – A Book Review)

Forever…
Author: Judy Blume
Published: 1975

On Goodreads

Forever

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

8/25

 

There’s a first time for everything…

Katherine and Michael can’t get enough of each other. They’re pretty sure it’s true love. After meeting at a small New Year’s get-together, they are inseparable. A second apart and it’s like the end of the world even though they haven’t been together for very long.

While it’s their senior year in high school, their relationship is tested in many ways. While there are many firsts for both of them, life-changing firsts, they will find out if this love is forever or just fleeting.

 

This book marks 8 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Even though this is the first time I’ve read Judy Blume, I can see why she’s such an icon. She’s got a way of approaching topics head on.

 

Though the story came as pretty straight forward, somehow managing to both wear and not wear those rose-colored glasses, this story held something quite special. I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it when I started, but by the end I really liked it. While realistic in its actions, it was also romantic for its characters’ feelings.

The story was raw and intense. I imagine all first loves are like that. You only see the person in front of you and it doesn’t matter who tells you to be careful because you are pretty sure it’s forever. That’s how it is for Katherine. From her POV, she’s more than head-over-heels for Michael. She dead sure he’s the one. They understand and have a deep hunger for each other. It’s something I’ve seen happen before and it’s like seeing and alien take over a person. While sweet and interesting, also gross and weird. Don’t tell my friends I said that…

When you build up something in your mind-really imagine is, wish for it, sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn’t live up to your expectations.

I really like how real this story came across. The situations and results weren’t fluffed up or exaggerated at all. From understanding the importance of protected sex to understanding one’s feelings, it’s all relatable for people who have experienced their time of firsts. It’s clumsy, and half the time, awkward. It’s not like in the movies, and I really like that Blume addressed that. That’s really what kept me attached to the story. Otherwise, I might not have stuck with it. The tone had been a bit bland at some parts and I had to push through because I wasn’t getting a full grasp on it. There was a lack in emotional understanding, but I guess that’s teenagers. They’re like bipolar jumping beans. Uncontrollable.

I honestly think everyone should read this as a part of a health class curriculum. Before you start on me,

  • No, I’m not a teacher.
  • No, I’m not a parent.
  • Yes, I am curious about experience and find this to be extremely beneficial.
  • There are many subjects addressed in a way that I think teens will understand without feeling berated.

It’s not some sugarcoated book made for a fantasy that young humans will get a rise out of and then toss away. While the story is enjoyable, it gives you life lessons that you can carry with you and keep in mind as your own sexuality begins to bloom. From understanding your limits to understanding your feelings and more, I found this book to be enlightening, yet not pushy. The relationship between Katherine and Michael was realistic in that way. A true high school romance.

 

While this book didn’t reach out to me on a level of enjoyment, it did reach out to my need for knowledge on humans. You can easily sit down and read this in a few hours. I did. I’m glad, too. It may not have been the most exciting book, but it was sweet, and tender, and certainly a must-read.

 

Quotables:

“Oh wow…your generation is so hung up on sex.” (Jamie to Katherine, p. 39)

“You probably never took a chance in your life.” (Michael to Katherine, p. 87)

“So they’ll find out that separating us won’t change anything…and then maybe they’ll leave us alone.” (Michael to Katherine, p. 146)

“I think forever’s one hell of a long time for a kid like you.” (Theo to Katherine, p. 172)

“Have you thought about how the relationship will end?” (p. 189)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? That’s What You Get by Paramore.

 

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Is A Life Worth More Than a Book? (Smoke and Iron – A book Review)

Smoke and Iron (The Great Library #4)
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: July, 2018 (ARC)

On Goodreads

Smoke and Iron

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Knowledge is all!

Jess Brightwell and his friends are spread out across land and sea and must play a deadly game of spies and espionage. Shaky allies and betrayal threaten their rebellion against The Great Library. Each will have to be strong and take care not to take a step in the wrong direction or it could cost them their life.

The resistance continues to grow as Archivist of The Great Library begins to lose his grip. In his panic, he unleashes a weapon that can destroy cities. Something that Jess has seen before. With his friends, they will fight to take it down and finally save The Great Library.

 

I won this ARC on Goodreads. I received is a proofread copy, so the quotes that I supply could change. My feelings on the book, not at all. Onward, booknerd.

You can find the reviews for the previous books in the series here:

 

Ink and Bone

Ink and Bonehere

 

Paper and Fire

Paper and Ashhere

 

Ash and Quill - Goodreads

Ash and Quillhere

 

This series just gets better with each book. I’m serious! I’ve said it more than once and I’ll say it again. This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s smart, strategic, and fantastically worded. Every bit is so thought out and you don’t find that very often. It’s not unheard, but this take is to new lengths.

The rebellion is on! I’ve been WAITING for this! Wooo! This whole journey has led up to this and I was on the edge. When I read, most of the time I’ll pace. People ask me how I do it, but it’s just about the only way I get some serious focus. This time around, I was burning a trail into the floor from pacing so much. Haven’t done that since February when I read The Dark Calling (Book 5 of The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole. This was amazing!

There was a return of many incredible characters. The ballsy soldier, Troll, fearless smuggler Anit, and the tender-hearted assistant Neksa. Seeing these characters again is one of the most exciting things, especially since this war for The Library has officially begun. Everybody is picking their sides and all hell breaks loose.

Smoke and Iron

Emotions were bouncing everywhere. With the characters apart for a while during the book I was really nervous. Everything was balancing on a pin and one slip and it could all fall apart. Now, more than ever, you’re taken deep into their thoughts and emotions. I was crumbling apart right along with them. Pretty powerful writing and overwhelmingly captivating.

As far as surprises and heart wrenching shockers, this book surpassed all of them. There were losses and revelations that I wasn’t expecting. Some regarding the relationships of these characters I’ve grown WAY too attached to and am not willing to give up. Dario and Khalila’s relationship takes a sharp turn as does Jess and Morgan’s relationship. For one, I squeeed with complete joy, but for the other I whimpered. To find out more definitely read the book because that’s all your getting from that. LOL.

So, I weeped and squealed and gasped. A lot of noises.

Buffy - Once More with Extreme Prejudice

One of the biggest differences form the previous books was that this one split up into parts, following the characters while they were on their separate journeys. It was actually pretty great. This wasn’t just from Jess’s POV, but from Khalila’s, Wolfe’s, and Morgan’s. Each of their perspectives was incredible.

If you’ve kept up with my previous reviews, you know that there hasn’t been much I could say about each. The insight to how they saw this rebellion and their feelings toward their friends was just phenomenal because I’ve always wondered. Khalila is strong and brave, never letting anyone challenge her beliefs or ability to fight for them. Wolfe comes across as cold and unfeeling, but that’s not the case at all. It’s just about the opposite. Morgan’s precisely as Jess views her. Determined and will sacrifice everything for those she cares about. This was one of my favorite things about the book. I loved the insight. It was powerful and truly made the story that much better.

 

So, I’ve gabbed on longer than I planned. My bad, but not really, I could talk forever, though eventually I’d be spoilery. Don’t want that.

 

Now, as you noticed the book doesn’t get released until July. I’m so grateful to be able to read this advanced copy. As you know—well at this point I’d hope you’d know after the last few reviews—Rachel is one one my favorite series authors. She can really create a world beyond belief. I am always sucked into her books. This series hasn’t disappointed me once.

 

Quotables:

“We are in this to the end now.” (Khalila, p. 68)

“We’ve opened the gates of hell, you know. And what comes out now is our fault.” (Glain to Khalila, p. 195)

“There is a rot at the heart of what we love. It is not the knowledge or the preservation of it. It is the notion that only we can decide what is worthy, what is not, what is progress, and whether or not it should proceed.” (Khalila, p. 203)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World

 

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I See Green Fire (Ash and Quill – A Book Review)

Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3)
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Ash and Quill - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Words can kill.

Officially exiles of The Great Library and of Alexandria, Jess Brightwell and his friends are in the burner capital of the world, America. Philadelphia to be specific. With walls all around them and more enemies that would rather see books burn rather than save them, the group has to find a way to freedom before being burned with them. But once free, what then?

They have one move they can make. One bargaining chip. The special machine that resulted in Thomas’s imprisonment.

The Great Library is moving in to take out all that stand against it, especially Jess and his friends. Before it can, Jess realizes that he’ll have to turn to unlikely allies. In turn, he and his friends will have to work together as one if they hope to do what nobody has ever done. Take The Great Library.

 

Everything has shifted! The game hasn’t changed, but the board has shifted!

Out of The Library and right into burner central. Land of the free *cough* book burner *cough*.

Now, if you’ve been reading this series then you know where we’re at. If not, here are the previous reviews. They’re not utterly spoilery, so don’t worry.

 

Ink and Bone

Ink and Bonehere

 

Paper and Fire

Paper and Firehere

 

After getting free of The Library, Jess and crew land in a new pot of boiling water-Philadelphia, burner central. Basically from the pot to the kettle and I was wondering which was worse. Though to be honest they were both really bad!

After everything, the despair and agony of what each character’s been through it at its peak. I keep thinking, it can’t get any worse. They’ve all been through so much. Rachel doesn’t protect her characters though. There’s no special shell that shields them from pain. She just makes it hurt so good and my faith in Jess, Thomas, Glain, Khalila and yes, even Dario, Wolfe and Santi just grows. The strength of each of these characters took my breath away! They protect one another without hesitation. Now, more than before, unsure of who to trust, their lives are at risk and so are the lives of those they care about.

Ash and Quill

The new antagonist, Beck, leader of the burners is one man you don’t want to mess with. While Philadelphia is, by all appearances, a fallen city, he defends it and has no regard for outsiders aka Jess and crew. The rebellion he runs, Jess figures out, isn’t a rebellion at all. My bones shook. More than anything I really just wanted my precious babies to be okay.

One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve read this series is that its slow build-up, and I’ve never been more enthralled by it. It’s not boring and dragging at all. It’s enticing! Seriously nail-biting. I was anxious, and could barely breathe as I read. I couldn’t put the book down! Rachel really pulls you along with her magnificent attention to detail. From the beginning, this is a series that makes you think. There’s action, but it’s balance so well with strategy and to see that so well thought out really blew me away. These characters, even the bad guys, are wickedly smart.

Ash and Quill

(And, I’m not going to lie. I picture Tom Ellis as Beck. He so wicked, yet you could almost trust him.)

Just like the last book really had a focus on the automata, this one had a mild focus on quintessence—what gives and Obscurist power/energy–and the POV of the burners. (I could give a super long explanation on what an Obscurist is, but this is a review. To find out, definitely read the books.) It was fascinating, especially because I wanted to know more about what helped keep the Library spinning on its metaphorical axis. It’s like science and magic slammed together creating stunning results. Learning about tidbits like these, in this world, has been so subtle. You learn things as you go, when it’s important. No info overload! But seriously, freaking gorgeous work. You just get sucked in more and more. This has taken me from being shin deep to waist deep.

The shocking twists and turns still railed me. Just when I did think there’d be anything else to surprise me, Dario came out with a shocking twist about his family! He and Jess really came together and I was barely handling it. And the ending! I can’t tell you what happened because that would make me a spoiler, but it knocked the breath out of me. I do have one word though. I’m pretty sure I can give that. Maybe even two or three.

Betrayal

Secrets

Family

Rebellion

Okay, four words. But…just wow.

 

Since starting this series I’ve only become more and more invested. The chapters are nice and long. There’s a special Ephimera at the end of them that’ll connect you even more with this world, make you a part of it. It’s beautiful and dark. This was such a great addition to the series. I need more!

 

Quotables:

“When all the world is a lock, boy, you don’t make a key. You become a key.” (Callum to Jess, p. 25)

“It was the start of something. And the end of something else. And in that moment, he couldn’t find the thread of what was right, or wrong, in any of it.” (Jess, p. 147)

“Some battles you have to fight face-to-face. Not in a back alley.” (Santi, p. 263)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Talking Bout A Revolution by Tracy Chapman.

 

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Words Burning Your Soul (Paper and Fire – A Book Review)

Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2)
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

Paper and Fire

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Let the world burn.

Jess Brightwell survived training that allowed him to join the sinister, yet seductive world of the Great Library. Still, the lives of him and his friends have been changed forever after losing a few of their friends along the way. Now serving in the Library’s army, the life Jess envisioned isn’t what he thought. Exhausting and still dangerous.

After discovering that one of their friends may not actually be dead, Jess gathers his friends together for a rescue mission. It’s not long before the group is being hunted by the Library’s automata and flee Alexandria to London.

London isn’t safe anymore either as it is on the verge of being taken over by the Welsh. As it burns, Jess will have to choose between family and friends. His mission or his duty. After so much sacrifice already, this may be one of the hardest decisions of his life while the Library will sacrifice anything to keep its secrets…

Ink and Bone

Ink and Bonehere

Let’s queue up the excited rambling and uncontainable squeeeing about this book! The danger and adventure has only gotten more intense, amazing, and stunning! I’m in awe of this non-stop action. These characters just keep punching me in the heart.

Where to start…AH! I really loved seeing how far these characters have come. Jess, Thomas, Glain. Khalila, Dario, and Morgan have just sprouted into phenomenal people. While time has passed they show such strong teamwork and faith in one another. I’m completely swept away. There’s no doubt or second guessing. It’s all for one and one for all!

Everything has changed! School is out and they’re officially in the Library’s hands. After everything that’s already happened: the losses and tribulations, I was a bouncing ball of distress.The shocking twists spun me and shook me, especially the ending! Gotta love when a book can do that to you. The group only delves deeper into trouble, but I love it because they’re doing it for their friend, Thomas. By the way, I’m beyond ecstatic that he’s alive. I had a panic attack there for a second.

I'm fine

And there’s a bonus! More Brendan! Jess’s twin. Which I was totally hoping for. There was nothing more than a glimpse of him in Ink and Bone. I was so intrigued by his character and yearning to really how different the two were. And it was great to get to know Jess more through him. More so—and secretly—I really ship him with Glain, the bombastic Welsh girl that takes no crap. They’re both incredibly spunky and rough.

shipping it

Like I said, amazing development. All the way around from people to places to events. It’s all skyrocketed, proving that the first book is all jus the tip of the iceberg. These guys aren’t the same as they were at the start of all this. They hold no regrets as they’re plunging into dangers unknown for each other. The Library seeking to destroy them before they complete their mission to save Thomas truly makes their bonds unbreakable. Even for Jess and Dario who ‘hate’ each other are tight. It’s that faith in humanity that can really pull me into a book.

The emotions of these characters whiplashed me. Blood rushing and breath holding, I was a bit of a wreck because Jess was a wreck! Jess needs to stop being a wreck! Seriously. Ow, my heart!

I didn’t mention it before, I’m also incredibly in love with how diverse Rachel has made these characters. Their cultures and faiths. They all come from somewhere far away, yet come together as family. It’s left me in utter awe of how what makes them different doesn’t cause any rifts. If only the real world was like this! Working together and finding friendship.

While there is so much danger and I’m left constantly thinking somebody is going to die, which let me tell you, could be anyone because Rachel does not hold back on that. Nobody is safe. ANYWAY, while there is danger, there’s a deeper look at automata. They’re super cool machines, though completely deadly. So sleek and life-like that you could barely tell that they’re machines that want to rip your throat out. They act as weapons and supposedly protectors, but their inner workings are explored more and it was so exciting.

Well, I warned you. Excitable, excessive rambling.

I can’t find a single part of this book that left me disappointed. Not a one. Each page was full and spectacular and vividly detailed. There was so much and I couldn’t get enough. Such a success. Smart and engaging and ON FIRE! Definitely recommended by moi.

Quotables:

“They tell me suffering builds character.” (Jess to Khalila, p. 74)

“We’re just paper on a shelf, in the end.” (Jess, p. 82)

“You’ve gone soft here in the heart of luxury. You’ve forgotten that everything has a cost.” (Brendan to Jess, p. 124)

“I’ve never been through what you have, but I’ve been in the dark a few times. Sometimes the light’s just too bright.” (Jess to Thomas, p. 238)

“Taking someone’s will, someone’s freedom…it kills the heart and then the soul.” (Thomas to Jess, p. 285)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

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Mom’s May Day – A Book List

Happy Mother’s Day to moms everywhere.

Mothers Day

It’s going to be a bit of a short post. Here, I have a list of books that make me think of moms and how special they truly are. Well, sort of. LOL.

Moms help us grow and become who we’re meant to be. Never should they be taken for granted.

I know I love my mom to pieces. She’s sacrificed so much for me. Time. Sanity. And so much more. I’m eternally grateful. I wouldn’t be the loud, obnoxious, overly exciteable, neurotic, crazy, loving, geeky, booknerd if not for her. Our lives have never been easy and with her I learned to tackle hurdles I never thought I could. She’s made me stronger, though sometimes I don’t feel strong at all. I love my mom.

 

Probabilities of Miracles
Author: Wendy Wunder

Probability of Miracles

A last chance for a mother to save her daughter from illness. This mother/daughter is sweet, tender, and yet, bittersweet.

On Goodreads

 

Love + Gelato
Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Love and Gelato

After losing her mother, a daughter is moved to Italy to get to know her father of whom she’s never met. Her mother’s journal falls into her hands and she gets a chance to see how she met her father. For the summer, she follows in her mother’s footsteps and unexpectedly falls in love

On Goodreads

 

Practical Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

Owens sisters confront challenge in love, life and magic. Together they break a curse that’s hung over their family destroying the love of their lives. Sally and Gillian have experienced this just as every woman of their family has. Can they break this curse?

On Goodreads

 

Everything Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything

With a rare disease, a young girl has lived in doors all her life, always cared for by her mother. After meeting the boy next door and spending time with him, she begins to question whether she’s truly sick or not.

On Goodreads

 

Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green

Turtles

Aza is trying to be a good daughter, friend, and student, and with a fugitive billionaire missing suddenly and $100,000 reward at stake, she tries to be a good detective. With her best friend also intrigued enough to join the investigation, they go on the hunt.

On Goodreads

 

White Oleander
Author: Janet Fitch

white oleander

Ingrid is in prison for murder. Her daughter Astrid moves from foster home to foster, each more different than the last, with rules and dangers and lessons all of their own. This difficult journey becomes a journey of self-discovery for both mother and daughter.

On Goodreads

 

Flowers in the Attic
Author: V.C. Andrews

FITA

Corrine Dollanganger and her four children move in with her mother so that she can get back into her father’s good graces and inherit his money. Empty promises are made and soon the children are locked up like prisoners in the attic where only a fake garden comforts them.

On Goodreads

 

Shower your mom with love and smiles and hugs. Know that Mother’s Day is more than just gifts. It’s a feeling and a time that we get to remind moms that they did, and are stilling doing, a great job. That we love them deeply and we would be nowhere without their effect on our lives. They are superheroes.

Side Note: My mum, my mimsy-whimsy, my momo, the woman who shoved me out of the birth canal-actually is was a C-section-is really bummed about Lucifer getting suddenly cancelled as am I. I’ve been taking to Twitter and you should too!  It’s a fantastic show with phenomenal actors and crew and a splendid storyline. It’s TOO SOON TO SAY GOODBYE! So, I say #SaveLucifer and you should too.

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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It’s In Your Bones…(Ink and Bone – A Book Review)

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Ink and Bone

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Knowledge is power.

Imagine the Great Library of Alexandria never having crumbled. Still standing, the library has spread to every corner of the world in major cities, using its knowledge as a source of power. Using it to govern what people are and aren’t allowed to know. Owning real books is forbidden. The consequences are dire.

Jess Brightwell, son of an infamous book smuggler, is sent to the Library to train in the Library’s services, but more importantly to spy and steal valuable books for the family business. His loyalties to his family and beliefs in the Library are tested greatly as he comes to discover that the Library isn’t what he imagined. When his friend, Thomas, creates a machine that does the unthinkable, does something that could change everything they know about the Library, that could change the future, everyone is thrust into danger. The way of The Great Library—books above life—begins to tremble. It’s only the beginning…

I am so EXCITED to finally get to this series!!!! To be fair, I’ve got a super long queue of books and it took longer than expected to get to The Great Library, but still. EXCITEMENT!!! LOADS OF IT! I love LOVE Rachel Caine’s work. At some point, I plan to get the Weather Warden series and to reread Morganville Vampires (again).

Onward and upward now.

Imagine how different the world would be if one of its greatest structures and base of knowledge survived? The Great Library of Alexandria did just that in this series. Much more twisted than I ever imagined, this series is bringing to life something I’ve always wondered about. What if books were truly seen for the power they have? The knowledge in them holds keys to not only the past but to help push the world into the future. It’s crazy. Ink and Bone is only the beginning of approaching the dark side of knowledge. Who can have it and who can’t. How dangerous it is and how it can take your life. Obviously, I’m mesmerized.

Ink and Bone

It was a slow start because I was getting used to this world that felt like so much like one I already livein, yet not at all. Books are illegal. LIKE WHAT!? If that’s the case I’d be just like Jess, smuggling them, loving them, having that ink tattooed into my bones, metaphorically of course. My love for books runs so deep so really I related to his character. He’s strong, smart, and more than that, he cares. He cares about people, about books, about his beliefs. That alone makes him magnificent because as a smuggler in a smuggler family it’s out of the ordinary and unexpected.

Ink and Bone

There is so much in this world that captured me in a bubble of wonder. The combination of modernism and ancientism (I made that word up, so what?) for one. Technology blends with beautiful stone architecture from Egypt, Greece, Alexandria. That same architecture grew in other parts of the world. It’s as if history wasn’t forgotten or preserved, but kept in working order, unchanging. I’m not doing justice by this, but truly, it’s splendid and breathtaking. But then again, I also have a very strong love for the ancient architecture of such times. Stone masonry like this has been long dead and preserved as nothing more than worldly museum pieces since metal became the staple architecture. *queue sad face*

As for the technology, it’s crazy. From books to bracelets. Statues meld with robotics, but they still hold the grace and fluidity that they appear to be alive. Be careful though. They could kill you if you’re carrying a book.

Ink and Bone

The story moved at a great pace and there wasn’t a bit left out that I felt compelled to question. Details I never imagined or thought about were explored with great depth. There was no rush. And the biggest element in this book is secrets. Secrets of the Library. Jess’s family secret. Thomas’s secret. Morgan’s secret. EVERYBODY HAS SECRETS! And they only dragged me in deeper because I want to know them. Just amazing writing.

The tone and imagery completely engulfed me. It was all so incredible. It was vivid and real in my mind, but not over the top to the point that it seemed incredibly fake. I felt like I could recognize a lot the places mentioned, even Alexandria, and yet, they were all different, askew. The world we know is tilted into a different world of ‘what if’. Fantastical and complete wonder. I know, I’ve said that more than once already.

When it comes to expectations, all of mine were dashed-in a good way. Sometimes you can predict what’s coming when you read, but I couldn’t. Things of which I cannot say happened, and that left me gaping and stunned in complete disbelief. My emotions were rocked and more than once. There were twists that I didn’t see coming at all. The life-threatening dangers chasing Jess and his friends: Thomas, Morgan, Khalila, Danton, Portero, Glain, and Dario, were unrelenting and the crazy thing? This is only the start! They are only scraping the surface of something much bigger.

So I did that rambling thing. I told you my geeking excitement was uncontrollable. I just can’t help myself.

I don’t say all of this just because Caine is one of my utmost favorite series authors. I mean, she’s right up there with Lemony Snicket and Kresley Cole for me and that’s pretty high. I get all Squeeeee and everything. My mum thinks I’m a spasm when I read her books. I have so much to say because she is phenomenal. She’s encompassed a world that I’ve only dreamt of before and I have thought about what it would be like if libraries had a stronger presence in the world. Granted, this is a dark direction and the ending was pretty shocking. I was in denial until I started the next book. Also, let me add that I wasn’t so sure about this series when I started it, but as I read and sunk deeper into it, I couldn’t put it down. This is a subject is so special and it really touched an important part of me. This is definitely a series I recommend, especially if you’re as much of a booklover as me and you love libraries and if you’d do anything to protect books.

READ THIS!

Quotables:

“You’re clever, Jess, but Da’s wrong about one thing; you don’t just have ink in your blood. It’s in your bones. Your skeleton’s black with it.” (Brendan to Jess, p. 32)

“Don’t play to your strengths. Strengthen your weaknesses.” (Jess to Khalila, p. 85)

“Not all knowledge is books.” (Jess to Portero, p. 95)

“The books come first, sir. Isn’t that how is should be? Books before men?” (Portero to Scholar Wolfe, p. 204)

“Kisses could lie as well as words.” (Jess, p. 259)

“The Library isn’t a person. It doesn’t have a conscience, or a heart or a soul. It does what it has to do to survive!” (Morgan to Jess. p. 294)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S Song today? Just Hold On by Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson.

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