Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Publisher:  (April 10, 2012)
Source: Library (Audiobook)

From Goodreads:

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

I'd been intrigued by The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman since I first saw it on NetGalley. Apparently, I'm an idiot because I never got around to reading (or, in this case, listening to) it until now. 

Boy am I glad I found this as an audiobook at the library. Lately, audiobooks are the only thing I have time for and I think I may have even enjoyed this book more in audio. Emily Janice Card was an excellent reader. Her voices for the characters, particularly Adriane and Chris, really brought them to life in a short span of time. 

I enjoyed The Book of Blood and Shadow because in some ways, it was a totally typical YA. MC and friends are involved in a mystery, must figure out said mystery, chaos ensues. However, in other ways, it was very different than a typical YA. In a lot of ways, the mystery is very personal to Nora and she is disconnected from the "main goal" the other characters have in the mystery. She's set on a more personal connection with the historical person whose letters she has been translating. She wants to find out what happens to her...not so much about the Lumen Dei and what it means for mankind. 

Also, romance is present, but it very much takes a back seat to everything else. Max, Nora's boyfriend, is a quirky and strange person to be the romantic interest. It works for the story, and for Nora. I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't say more than that I appreciated the depth and exploration into the romance and the friendships. Actually, the characters and character development is the main reason I enjoyed The Book of Blood and Shadow so much. 

Overall, The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman is an intriguing read. I'd recommend it to readers interested in mystery, fiction with historical aspects, and character development. 

Final thoughts: Borrow.

Monday, May 27, 2013

To Read or Not to Read

Lately, I'm finding that I have a hard time reading books that I've been excited for, for a long time. Crazy, right? Here I am, anticipating this great book by an awesome author, then I get it and...


Now, don't get me wrong. Once I do start reading it, I usually absolutely enjoy it. I devour the book and can't believe I had put off reading it for so long. So, what's the problem?

First, I think that lately, I have a hard time getting back into series that I haven't read in awhile. Maybe I got into a trilogy after book 2 came out, then read both books back-to-back before waiting a year for book 3. Once book 3 rolls around, I'm not in-the-moment like I was when I had read the first two. Somehow, I have a hard time getting back to that place where I was super excited to read about those characters. That may be due to the time it's been since I had read the others or the fact that I've read so many other books in between and the excitement for that particular series has ebbed in the mean time.

Second, sometimes, it's hard to read that final book in a series. A series that has been thrilling from the beginning is ending and that's sad. I want to hold onto the series a little longer, so I put off reading the ending. This is something I heard other people say in the past and I could never completely understand. How could you possibly wait to find out what happens?!


I guess I get that now.

Third, I know I've forgotten a lot about the lore, since it's been so long since I've read the earlier books, but I also know I don't have time to go back and read them. I don't want to go into the book not quite remembering what happened, but I also know I either (1) won't go back and read them because I have other books I'd rather read or (2) don't have time to go back and read them. My answer to the dilemma: put off reading the book...which really doesn't solve the problem at all. I know I'll read it eventually. Really, I'm just making the problem worse.

Does this happen to anyone else? What do you do?