Mini Review Time For 2 Super Popular Books

Shadow & Bone by Leigh BardugoShadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads | Amazon
I never reviewed this book after I read it earlier this summer because I freaking loved it and just didn’t even know how to explain it. You know I don’t read barely any fantasy novels (in fact, it’s part of my Courting Genres project) so I was totally surprised by this one and how wholly absorbed I became in this story.  I fell in love with the world building and the characters and it made me think perhaps fantasy is a genre I’m going to love. It was just so magical. Sometimes I eyeroll with the whole “normal girl finds out she is special” storyline but this was done FABULOUSLY and I loved watching Alina come into her newfound power. The Darkling terrifies me yet intrigues me SO MUCH and I love Mal but also want to smack him a lot. If this is what YA fantasy is, I WANT MORE. I cannot wait to read Siege & Storm!! Highly recommend this series if you love fantasy and if you are timid about trying YA fantasy I still would say give this a try because the storytelling is to die for.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Goodreads | Amazon

I was so scared to read this because of the HYPE and all of the extremely charged opinions on both sides. Some people passionately love this series and some people venomously HATE this series. Where did I stand? Somewhere in the middle honestly. I was definitely entertained and couldn’t put it down once I get past the beginning. I enjoyed myself while reading and was so intrigued by the world Clare created — seriously it was so FASCINATING and intricate with all sorts of creatures and such and the action was intense. I wasn’t blown away by a lot of the characters or the writing. The thing I hated so much? How are all the characters so witty and sarcastic and funny ALL OF THE TIME? And like, even during really intense, life threatening times. HATE. But overall, I don’t regret reading it because I LIKED it. I’ll get to the next book at some point but unfortunately I didn’t fall in love like everyone else. Could have been the hype? SIDENOTE: I didn’t notice HP similarities because ughh I’ve only just started reading the HP series, so there’s that.

So have you read either of these? What did you think?? I’m so curious where my readers fall for both of these super popular series!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Loved Shadow & Bone so much. Got Siege and Storm this past week from Amazon and am hoping to be able to read it soonish. Absolutely HATED City of Bones though.The similarities to HP were really aggravating. I happen to be a diehard Potter fan so I was annoyed.

  2. I thought SHADOW AND BONE was good, but it was missing something for me. As for SIEGE AND STORM…I’m one of the few people who didn’t like it a whole lot (though I didn’t dislike it). I started CITY OF BONES a while ago but put it on hold at around halfway through (they’re about to go to Magnus’s party) because I was just stuck and bored and lost interest. Nice reviews!

  3. I read Shadow & Bone this summer too and really liked it! I need to get Siege & Storm and yes! I’m trying to get into YA fantasy. In theory, it the best thing ever but I’ve barely read any fantasy so I’ve a list ready of YA fantasy books I need to read. As for City of Bones, I really enjoyed the first three books , but The Infernal Devices series is what went above and beyond everything for me. Hopefully TMI gets even better for you and you love TID as much as us fans (because you have to read it ;D).

  4. I have yet to read Shadow & Bone but I’ve heard so much and I’m dying of curiosity here! I’m definitely grab a copy as soon as I find one! I’m a fan of the TMI series as well as the HP series too and I don’t understand why people are trying to find fault in the former by comparing it to the latter. Lots of books have commonalities with other books too. Why not focus on what makes each of them unique instead? Oh well.. it’s not like anyone cares about my opinion anyway… *laughs it off*

  5. I’m not a huge fantasy reader because, for a novice like me, the storylines often come across as really repetitive. I’ve heard so many great things about Shadow & Bone, though, that I think I’m going to give it a try! Even if I don’t end up liking it, at least I’ll be able to understand what everyone’s talking about 🙂

    I was super nerdy once upon a time and used to read Harry Potter fanfiction at a time when Cassandra Clare was very active in that fandom. She had a terrible reputation and so I can’t bring myself to read her Mortal Instruments series on principle, even though I’m sure she’s a changed person now and I’m probably missing out on something great.

  6. The Mortal Instruments gets a lot better as you read on. You get addicted haha. Infernal Devices is wonderful too. Siege and Storm is fabulous as well. 🙂

  7. City of Bones is probably the worst book in the series, which I grew to love. The fact that it was her first book (aside from fanfiction) is obvious as her writing gets much much better with each book. Also, The Infernal Devices were my favorite.

  8. I’m still at the beginning of City of Bones and am waiting for the moment that will really reel me in and make it a page turner but I am enjoying it so far. Even early on, I see how the characters are witty all the time…I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case the entire book but it is what it is so…as far as similarities go, so far I don’t see any HP ones but the world does remind me of Charmed which is my favorite TV show ever. So, naturally, City of Bones is kind of filling a void which is why I’ll be so crushed if I don’t end up liking this. But I have a strong feeling I will. 🙂 Great review!

  9. Nadia Coradin says:

    The Infernal Devices series is so much better ! I recommend you try it 🙂
    GOSH, THE GRISHA’S WORLD IS SO AMAZING. I hope you get to read Siege and Storm soon, it was sososo good, I need the third one now.

  10. I’m a bit of a black sheep and didn’t enjoy Shadow & Bone at all. I feel so bad about it but I suppose you can’t be expected to enjoy every book. Maybe all of the hype did it for me. I’m not sure!

    City of Bones is an all time favourite of mine so it’s interesting to hear somebody elses thoughts. I’m sorry you didn’t love it, but I can see why it might not be everyones cup of tea, especially if it’s a genre you don’t read much of.

    Great reviews, Jamie!

  11. Ah so Jamie I love both books so much!!! I freaking loved Siege and Storm of course and City of Bones is definitely one of my favourite.. Now that you mentioned it, you are so right – they all always know what to say even in the trickiest situation… hehe, it never bothered me 🙂

  12. Shadow and Bone was SO AMAZING, wasn’t it?! I absolutely LOVED all of the Russian influences and the characters. They were what really kept me going. Just you wait until Book #2 (and the introduction of, one, Sturmhond). It just keeps getting better and better!

    Also, like you, I wasn’t totally blown away by TMI. Did I like it? Sure. Did I love it? Not really . The world-building is what kept me there. I think the story had a lot of potential, but there was something a little bit too juvenile about the characters. Plus, I’m a total Simon fan all the way so there’s that… Have you seen the movie yet? I’m interested to know how that compares to your book experience? And yeah, I see NO comparision to HP at all.

  13. I LOVE Shadow and Bone!! I met Bardugo she was awesome!

  14. I was in the middle group with City of Bones as well. I enjoyed the world and the action, but couldn’t get on board with the characters. I read City of Ashes as well, but felt the same way about it. So I never got around to reading City of Glass, although I’ve heard it’s the best in the series. I do plan on reading The Infernal Devices trilogy by Clare, which I’ve been told I will love even if I didn’t love The Mortal Instruments.

  15. People compare TMI to HP? Blasphemy!

    And I even like both series!

  16. I actually just read both of these books this summer, too, and pretty much felt the same way as you did on both of them. I wasn’t in any big rush to read City of Ashes after finishing City of Bones, but after seeing the movie, I decided to jump back into the series. Parts of the movie confused me, but overall, I thought it was really good and actually got me more excited for the series than the first book alone did. (FTR, I’ve actually reviewed both of these books and Siege and Storm on my blog, if you feel like checking them out.)

  17. Leticia (@osoordinary) says:

    Laini Taylor just told me I’d love Shadow and Bone so I’ll more than likely be picking that up VERY SOON! : ) As for City of Bones, it took me SO LONG to get through that book. Overall, I guess I could say I liked it, but it was NOT an easy read for me. I saw the movie, and I can’t believe I’m admitting this: I preferred it over the book. THAT has NEVER happened to me. EVER. The movie did make me want to pick up the rest of the books, though I’m in no hurry to do so. I’m hopeful that Sarah Reads Too Much is right about the writing getting better with each book… and DeAnna @ Mommy’s Reading Break, totally feel you about the movie.

  18. I haven’t read Shadow and Bone yet but I’m planning on it. If you want more great YA fantasy then you should definitely go with Throne of Glass by S J Maas.

  19. Huh. I’ve read (and re-read and watched and re-watched) all of the Harry Potters, but *I* didn’t clue into any HP similarities? Sometimes it’s better not to know that a book is heralded as “just like book X” because then you end up comparing them in your head. I, too, enjoyed City of Bones (as well as the subsequent four novels), but I have heard that the Infernal Devices is even BETTER (and the final book has created many a bookish hangover) so I’m excited to jump into those.

    And Shadow of Bone is definitely on my TBR — I’m just waiting for all three books to be out, and then I’m going to binge them all! I thought I wasn’t much of a fantasy reader either, until Girl of Fire & Thorns sucked me into its world … you read and loved that one too, didn’t you?

  20. So glad you loved Shadow & Bone! I’m super anti-Mal, but I love the Darkling in book one and omg Sturmhond is the best book in the entire world.

    Basically, that is how I felt about City of Bones. Like, I read five of her books, and they weren’t good, but they were highly entertaining. I think of them as the bookish equivalent of eating a whole bag of candy that you don’t love but can’t stop eating, you know? Like the candy’s been laced with crack.

  21. Oh my goodness! I’m so happy to see you loved Shadow & Bone. I’m not a huge fantasy lover, but I finally bought it this weekend because so many bloggers I trust have said it’s awesome. So happy to hear that you concur, particularly since it’s not your favorite type of book either!