My Rating: 4 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Although the ending felt a bit rushed, I found Huntley Fitzpatrick's My Life Next Door to be a fun read featuring a very cute romance and a family that's easy to fall in love with. The YA novels I read tend to have dysfunctional families or absent parents so it was really nice to see how close-knit the Garretts were. There were eight Garrett children, and Fitzpatrick made each one of them seem like individuals. Jace may be the one I was supposed to swoon over (and I did), but George and Patsy quickly became my favourite Garretts.
From Goodreads: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When one of the strangers - beautiful, haunted Akiva - fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
My Rating: 4.5 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: After seeing so much praise for Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, I finally decided to give it a try. Despite a tiny bit of predictability and a romance that had a touch of insta-love, I ended up loving Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it! The story was absorbing and beautifully written, and the description of Prague and all the places Karou traveled to were incredibly vivid. Taylor’s own fantasy world of Eretz seemed as real a place as her earthly settings because of how well developed it was. I also loved how Taylor managed to make each character important in their own right since none of the secondary characters felt like they were there simply for convenience.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in 2011.