Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dear Laini,

I’ve read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone three times. Well, technically I’ve read it once and listened to the audio book twice. But that totally counts, right? The first time I read it, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Now that I know where the plot twists and turns, I just marvel at how well it was written.

Karou is one of my favorite characters of all time. I love her personality, and all the little details that make up who she is. I love that she collects languages. I love her blue hair. I love how Karou always tells the truth with a wry smile instead of trying to keep track of lies. That might be my favorite piece of characterization ever.

The world is so complete. You seem to relish describing the objects and places that Karou treasures: her tiny apartment, the wings spread above her bed, the wishbone, the ballet costume she gives to Zuzana. Each detail is vivid and drenched in meaning.

I feel like the industry sometimes sacrifices beautiful writing and rich worldbuilding for high concept, fast-paced, sparsely written books that are easy to sell, that passion for language sometimes falls through the cracks. But this book is everything, and that gives me hope. Hope for both what I want to read and what I want to write. Thanks for that.

Love from,


Ps. I’m about 130 pages into Days of Blood and Starlight, and I’m dreading running out of story and having to wait for the rest.



Lauren Elizabeth said...

I totally second this letter. Love it! :-)

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

I think that's maybe why I haven't started Blood & Starlight yet, why it's still sitting on my shelf. Because, as much as I want to rejoin this world, I don't want it to end. When the book sits on my shelf, there's still untapped potential.

Kristan said...



You've totally captured and expressed why I love Laini and her books. (And spoiler-free, no less!)

Joelle said...

Awesome letter. It would definitely make me want to read the book if I hadn't already done so. Now I really need to go out and get the second one.

Simply_Megan said...

Haven't read any of these yet but thanks for the recommendation :)

Michelle Santiago said...

AHHH!! I seriously need to read Shadow and Bone!!!

kaye (paper reader) said...

Steph, if you love that about Karou I cannot *wait* to see what you think of her by the end of this book. The characterization took my breath away, it was so perfect.

And, yes, absolutely - spot on as to why Laini and her writing are incredible. :)

Sara (of the Page Sage) said...

You've mentioned Daughter of Smoke and Bone a few times on here, which is why I read it. So thank you! It's AMAZING and I completely agree with everything you said in this letter.

Searching for the Story said...

Books that grab you like this come few and far between, but it is so worth the search when you find one!

JessicaF said...

I completely agree with your letter. Karou is so amazing. I love characters that follow me around after I finish the book.

You must must must read her Dreamdark books, if you haven't already. The first book is called Blackbringer. Magpie Windwitch is another Taylor masterpiece, and her world is detailed and richly-woven. Loved it.

Sandie @Teen Lit Rocks said...

Completely agree, obviously! I do enjoy fast reads and think they have a place in YA lit, but I think so many people confuse "rich" and "thorough" with "slow," and it drives me crazy. I feel like I have to convince people to read Laini and Maggie, because they only want to read the fast, easy reads.

We Heart YA said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone!

At least there's still book 3! ;)

You'll love it!

Lol well SHADOW AND BONE is by Leigh Bardugo, not Laini Taylor... but it's also fabulous!

So glad you enjoyed it and that our recommendation encouraged you to read it!

We have NOT read the Dreamdark books, in fact. Thanks for the recco! We've read LIPS TOUCH, though, and recommend that back to you if you haven't!

YES. Slow is definitely out there, but what Laini (and Maggie Stiefvater and Rae Carson and Melina Marchetta...) are doing is NOT that. ;D

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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