Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor I have to thank YA SYNC summer listening program for this one. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was on my TBR for a while. The hype, bad luck with previous angel stories and a series of bad run-ins with YA books left me reluctant to pick it up right away. The audio was free though, so I took a listen to it while on a long drive and well…simply put I fell in love.

I hate writing reviews for books I love because it’s hard for me to express all the gushy things that my little heart feels without going into a rabid girly fit. Words always fail me and I end up screaming incoherently at some poor GR friend “I LOVE THIS! READ THIS!” while thrusting the book at them. So to prevent that from happening I’m going to try to keep this simple.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, let me list the ways I loved thee:

• I loved the writing. It was smooth, lyrical and at times even poetic without being overdone.

• I loved the world building. Yes, the basics of this story has already been done with its Romeo and Juliet story line and angels vs demons theme, but I thought Taylor offered something different in her telling. I thought her world building was solid. Some of the story takes place in Prague, which has a magical quality to it through Karou’s eyes. There is also quite a bit of traveling to various places including Brimstone’s Lair. What I really enjoyed is that the world is slowly revealed as the story unfolds and that we learn about the world through the other characters’ eyes, like the chimera.

• Speaking of which, I liked that Taylor told the story from multiple perspectives. It kept the book fresh. The multiple points of view helped this story remain interesting and helped set the book apart for me from other YA books. I like Karou, but if the story was all told from her perspective this book could have become like the hundreds of other dull teenage girl angst-ridden melodramas out there.

• I LOVED the characters. Karou on her own is an interesting character, but add Brimstone, some chimera and Akiva and his gang of angels and you have a nice stew of dynamic characters. Taylor manages to bring her characters to life by giving them flaws and making them behave in a realistic manner. Even Karou who is physically perfect makes bad decisions sometimes. I loved that the characters are so multidimensional. This story was more than I thought it was going to be because it wasn’t just about an angel and demon falling in love. There’s war, betrayal, coming of age, self discovery and most importantly there is love. Not just love of the romantic kind, but love in all its different forms. That is what really set this book apart for me because Taylor managed to make this book much more than it said it was going to be. She tackles many themes flawlessly.

Now that I’m done waxing poetic about the things I love I should mention that if you get a chance to listen to the audio do so. The narrator did a wonderful job of bringing this story to life. Also, be warned that this story does end on a cliff hanger, but unlike other stories (ahem, [b:Fallen|6487308|Fallen (Fallen, #1)|Lauren Kate|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1268869615s/6487308.jpg|6678670]) many events are revealed in this first book and you will definitely be excited for the sequel. I know I am :)