Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

THE DREAM CHOOSES THE DREAMER, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

I’m not a huge fantasy reader so there were parts of this book I struggled with. The main reason I picked it up is because I love the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and generally when I love an author’s work I’ll check out their other books too. I guess the difference between this book and DoSaB is that Strange the Dreamer is very much set within its own world, as many fantasy novels are, and personally I like that little link to reality in the books I read. But that’s just personal preference. The book itself was well written, as is standard for Laini Taylor. The beginning started off a bit slow but once Lazlo reached Weep and met Sarai things definitely picked up. The romantic themes were definitely comparable to DoSaB with the very much Romeo and Juliet relationship between Lazlo and Sarai. And I don’t think I’m spoiling it too much because you get a pretty strong sense what is going to happen as you’re reading. I’m still trying to decide whether I’m going to continue the series or not. I don’t know if this is a bit unfair but the ending suggests there is going to be a fair amount of hardship for the characters to go through in the next book, which puts me off a little I’ll be honest. I’d be really interested to see what the real fantasy fans thought though cause it could be just that this isn’t quite my genre.  

The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Enter a vanished world: Jackson Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver… There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from college, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell…

For some reason when I bought this book I didn’t think I would enjoy it that much. Maybe I thought it would just be another To Kill a Mockingbird. Been there, done that. I was wrong. There are so many amazing things about this book. As someone born a fair amount of time after 1960s America ended, this book detailed experiences of the South I knew pretty little about. I could feel the tenseness of the characters and the fear of what speaking up at the time meant. When I studied To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, my English teacher argued the somewhat unpopular opinion that the book being written by a white author with a white ‘hero’, while still talking about racism and segregation, only cemented further the white man being the one with morals. I’m sure Kathryn Stockett must have felt an element of that when she wrote The Help. I don’t believe that was the message in this book at all though. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny were all portrayed as being incredibly brave for what they achieved. And Skeeter would never have had the power to make a difference without the stories from those black maids. I definitely think this book is worth a read for everyone, if only to remind us about the things worth standing up for.

Welcome!

Welcome to my first official post! Here I’ll be talking about any interesting bookish thoughts I’ve had or book related things I’ve heard about. Basically this segment is going to be a bit of everything. I’ll also post new things I’ve added to the website here so you know to check them out. I hope you’re able to find plenty of things to satisfy your book cravings.