Have you checked out our various Features pages lately? Julie and I are all about Features posts. (Who doesn’t need an occasional break from reviews?) In this new feature post, we will be discussing What Books Taught Us. And no, we don’t mean cooking, crafting, or organizing. We are talking about serious, useful skills. We want to make sure all of our readers are prepared!
We are changing it up this month, and focusing on one of my favorite authors, Laini Taylor. I’m reading her most recent book, Strange the Dreamer. While you wait for my review (next week!), let’s enjoy some of my favorite life lessons.
Good friends will be there for you, no matter what:
Zouzana and Karou are the best of friends. The kind of friend who trek through the desert to find you. The kind of friend who is totally cool with the fact that you are a resurrectionist. And that you are pulling off a massive con while leading a rebellion.
“You are a conniving, deceitful hussy. I stand in awe.” <Zouzana>
“You’re sitting.” <Karou>
“I sit in awe.” <Zouzana> (Dreams of Gods and Monsters)
“We’re playing Three Wishes,” she <Zouzana> told her friend. “Cake, hot bath, soft bed. How about you?”
“World peace,” said Karou.
Zuzana rolled her eyes. “Yes, Saint Karou.”
“Cure for cancer,” Karou went on. “And unicorns for all.”
“Bluh. Nothing ruins Three Wishes like altruism. It has to be something for yourself, and if it doesn’t include food, it’s a lie.”
“I did include food. I said unicorns, didn’t I?”
“Mmm. You’re craving unicorn, are you?” Zuzana’s brow furrowed. “Wait. Do they have those here?”
“They did,” said Mik. “But Karou ate them all.”
“I am a voracious unicorn predator.” (Dreams of Gods and Monsters)
In regards to Kaz, Karou’s first boyfriend, Zouzana labels him as “Nemesis First Class”. Isn’t that the type of best friend we all deserve?
“I love vengeance like normal people love sunsets and long walks on the beach. I eat vengeance with a spoon like it’s honey. In fact, I may not even be a real person, but just a vow of vengeance made flesh.” (Night of Cake & Puppets)
The best visual imagery quotes of all time:
A fellow book club member recently remarked that Ms. Taylor’s writing is lush. And for me, that is so true. Lush. And very visual. I read the words and the mental pictures form so easily.
“Like mold on books, grow myths on history.” (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
“Better to be the cat gazing coolly down from a high wall, its expression inscrutable. The cat that shunned petting, that needed no one. Why couldn’t she be that cat?” (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
“She tastes like nectar and salt. Nectar and salt and apples. Pollen and stars and hinges. She tastes like fairy tales. Swan maiden at midnight. Cream on the tip of a fox’s tongue. She tastes like hope.” (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
“I’m starting to question our choice of life skills,” she whispered to him.
“I know. Why aren’t we samurai?”
“Let’s be samurai,” she said.” (Dreams of Gods and Monsters)
I guess if you can’t be the cat, you could at least be a samurai!
The world isn’t always black or white, good or evil:
The core premise of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy is the fight between chimera and angels. But here, the chimera are the good guys; the angels are the bad guys. I adore this whole premise. The flip in normal convention makes the story relatable and, more importantly, interesting. The once upon a time that we all love is still there. Just in a different order.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Once upon a time, an angel lay dying in the mist.
And a devil knelt over him and smiled. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters.
But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky. (Days of Blood and Starlight)
The most essential rule to live by:
I don’t know many rules to live by,’ he’d <Brimstone> said. ‘But here’s one. It’s simple. Don’t put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles–drug or tattoo–and…no inessential penises either.’
‘Inessential penises?’ Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. ‘Is there any such thing as an essential one?’
‘When an essential one comes along, you’ll know,’ he’d replied. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
I don’t think that needs any more explanation!
I could go on, figuratively, forever. Sharing all the quotes. But what are you waiting for? Why haven’t you read these books yet?