Hey internet! How’s it going? 😀
So I know what you might be thinking… “Erm, it’s not Valentine’s yet? What is she on about?” I’m aware of this. I’M AWARE. But the thing is, I wanted to dedicate the month of February to romance and love and all that jazz… (But mostly to all the delicious chocolate going around, shhh) Thus the thematic reviews are back!
In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of one unique and fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.
How to explain how this novella made me feel? Filled with love? Immersed in joy? Exploding with happiness? I don’t know. Possibly all three.
It’s no secret that I love Laini Taylor. She is an amazingly talented writer who not only has a magical style but also creates the most intricate and unbelievable worlds and characters.
So it was a no-brainer that I had to get my hands on this incredible snippet, which takes place right in between the second and third books of her Daughter and Smoke and Bone trilogy (which were emotional roller-coasters, by the way) and features one of the loveliest couples of all time. I adored them from the very first moment and yet was still blown away by this.
I was always intrigued about how these two really became a couple, because it is only mentioned in passing in the books. We get access to their relationship after it has developed, which is lovely in itself, but I was really curious about its early beginnings. This novella explores that period and it’s just so sweet and adorable, it melted my heart.
Remember the exact moment you fell in love with someone for the first time and the world just transformed into rainbows and sunshine and glory? No matter how dull it had appeared just a few hours before? Well, reading this novella was kind of like that. Like I was falling in love for the first time and being enamored with every single thing there was about this person… Book.
The two characters in this are honestly so interesting and I loved reading their inner monologues. One can really appreciate their knowledge of art, and how much it means to them – how it shapes them as people and ultimately how it brings them together. What they do is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. And such a cool one, at that. They are such creative individuals with this joie de vivre that instantly makes you want to go see a ballet, a museum, a play, or just take two minutes to stop and listen to a street musician.
The fact that Laini Taylor’s husband, Jim Di Bartolo, is the person behind this book’s illustrations is just so cute. I mean, a couple working on a book about another couple’s story just screams goals to me and I think it turned out quite wonderful. It took me a while to get used to Bartolo’s style and it’s not how I imagined the characters to actually look like, but they were still very nice additions to the story and made it come to life in the loveliest of ways.
Don’t think this is just about romance, though. There’s also a different (though just as strong) type of love present: friendship. It was really sweet to witness these two besties fangirling with each and sharing so many adorable moments together, even if they were physically apart. They always had each other’s backs and supported one another like sisters and it was just so heartwarming. More than a love story, this was very much an ode to best friends also!
There’s not much else to say other than: go read this! It can probably be read as a standalone but are you really going to pass on Daughter of Smoke and Bone? No. So go read that one first and then come back. You won’t regret it.
Five nauseatingly sweet cupcakes!
Thank you so much for reading and until next time!