Monday, January 20, 2014

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Read-A-Long - 1st Discussion Post

Hi guys! Welcome to the 1st discussion post for our January Read-a-Long: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor! Huge thank you to everyone who joined us and read the first 30 chapters on time to meet up with us and discuss them (or rather swoon over them) together! 

Before we move on to the fun stuff, I'd like to apologize to everyone who signed up and waited for the discussion post to go live - starting January 13th I was completely cut off from the internet and I only just got back! I'm so sorry about that. We get our internet and cable via the apartment complex where we currently live and, as it later turned out, our managed accidentally blocked our internet modem (someone else was moving out and they gave Werizon the wrong modem number!). It took THIS LONG to straighten things out and trust me when I say, it was a torture to wait! I am so so SO sorry for the delay, but it was something completely beyond my control. I promise to schedule things more in advance next time, so something like that doesn't happen. Please forgive me?? *_*

About the book:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Hardcover, US, 418 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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 hairactually 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

Here's what Stephanie had to say about the first half of the book:

So, I just have to say that this is probably the best choice for our January Read-A-Long because it takes place in January, at least in the beginning of the book it does. It talks about the snow and the cold. It was very easy to get lost in that since at the time I started reading it, here in Chicago it was close to -50 degrees out! So, it was nice cuddling up in my blanket and reading about the cold, rather than being in the cold :]

The names in this book are so interesting! Karou, Kazimir, Zuzana, Brimstone, etc. Since the names are so unique and so different, does it irk you while reading? Like, for me when I first read the name Karou, I just kept saying it over and over again, I got a little distracted. Trying to figure out what was the meaning behind the name. But now it just rolls off of my tongue.

What is your favorite thing within this novel so far? Least favorite? For me, my favorite thing in this novel is how relatable and likable Karou is. A lot of people have abandonment issues, I know I do, so it's nice to see her struggle with be and "orphan". It's also really nice to hear about all of her drawings. The way Laini Taylor describes Karou's artwork, I can easily picture it all in my head and it makes me want to get back into drawing. My least favorite part is Kaz. He just drives me up the wall as of this moment.
And here's our lovely Jessica (Indie Enthusiast) with the brilliant Laini Taylor at one of her book signings!

Discussion Questions:

1) What is the significance of the title "The Daughter of Smoke and Bone" Do you feel it relates to the plot well or would you change the title given the chance?

2) Who is the character in this novel you love the most? Hate?

3) What is your favorite thing within this novel so far? Least favorite?

4) The names in this book are so interesting! Karou, Kazimir, Zuzana, Brimstone, etc. Since the names are so unique and so different, does it irk you while reading?

5) Do you feel that the short chapters that are told from Akiva's are important to the story as a whole?

6) Scuppy, Shing, Lucknow, Graviel & Bruxis all grant wishes... What level would you need to grant your deepest desire?

7) Along those lines, what are some day-to-day (non deepest desires) things you would wish for?

8) If you were to direct the movie adaptation of "Daughter of Smoke and Bone", who would you cast as Karou and Akiva?

9) Why do you think Karou collects different languages? Which language (or two) would you collect if you could speak any language in the world?

10) At one point, Akiva says "war is all there is." What are your thoughts on this?

Please leave your answers in the comment section below! You can put them all in one comment or break them up into one question per comment! :)

Our favorite quotes:

"She craved a presence beside her,solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming." Pg 71
"Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?" Page 122
"An artist's portfolio was slung over her shoulder, and her hair--loose, long, and peacock blue--was gathering a lace of snowflakes."
"That was Kaz: carnal and elegant. And deceitful. And narcissistic. And, honestly, kind of dumb."
"Karou had been new to Prague and had known no one. Her Czech was freshly acquired (by wish, not study; Karou collected languages, and that's what Brimstone always gave her for her birthday) and it had still tasted strange on her tongue, like a new spice."
"I don't know many rules to live by," he 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 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?"
She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of a devil's lair. She wasn't innocent now, but she didn't know what to do about it. This was her life: magic and shame and secrets and teeth and a deep, nagging hollow at the center of herself where something was most certainly missing.
Who are you? she asked herself, remembering the angel's question, and the wolf's. But it was Kaz's that reverberated through her, an echo that wouldn't die.
What are you?

Never too late to join!

The second discussion post for chapters 31-60 will be posted here, on Bookish, on January 30th, followed by a Wrap-up post on January 31st! Don't miss it! :)  

And remember, it's never to late to sign up for 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge and/or join our monthly read-a-longs, so spread the word and invite your friends to join the fun!


Everyone who takes part in our January TBR Pile Read-a-long is going to get 10 extra entries into our January Wrap-up giveaway for the TBR Pile Reading Challenge! The Wrap up is scheduled to post on January 31st and the giveaway widget will be posted then. Be sure to check back and enter for extra entries!

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