my brother chose my book: episode two

Okay, so it’s been a while since episode one of this series.

I know.

But – AND LISTEN – the book my brother chose for me the month after my last post where he chose my book, he chose Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, and that was already on my TBR for classicathon (do not ask me how this is going, thank you very much).

And then I kind of forgot about it…whoopsies.

But, I quickly asked him if he could choose a book for me to read from the bookshelf two weeks ago AND HE CAME THROUGH IMMEDIATELY.

I think he liked the comments from the last post haha.

My brother, Adrian, chose Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor for me to read. And when I asked him why he chose this book, this was his response:


I was going to ‘vlog’ me reading this book with an actual camera (read: my phone), but I filmed this clip and then I couldn’t stop laughing at myself so I low-key stopped:


You can laugh, it’s totally fine.

(also the thumbnail of me is hilarious hahah)

So what the rest of this post is going to be is a mini-review of Strange the Dreamer where I tell you my concluding thoughts and rating (obviously), similar to ‘episode one‘ of this series. First and foremost, I really enjoyed this book. Can I have Lazlo Strange for myself? Actually, you know what, can I also have Sarai? I adored them; their personalities, their development, their romance. My heart just kept somersaulting in my chest, because they were so cute together but they were also individually super badass in their own way.

Here is the synopsis of the book which can also be found on Goodreads:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

I definitely understand what people have said about Laini Taylor’s writing; you either love it or you hate it. It is an incredibly lyrical and descriptive way of writing and luckily enough, I really enjoy reading books like that. I think the strength of this novel is the attention and depth that is taken to ensure that the characters become three-dimensional figures with their own unique personalities. Lazlo Strange would have to be one of my favourite male characters in YA because I found his personality to be one that is not all that common in YA. I found the journey to his character development was wonderfully crafted to the point that it felt natural, even though the context of his development was more fantastical than anything.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (UK/AUS cover)

He was just wonderful to read. I enjoyed reading from his perspective more than I did reading from Sarai’s which I am extremely surprised about, not going to lie. Though I really enjoyed Sarai’s character and how unique she was, I also found her slightly boring towards the end of the book. Personally (and this is my opinion, it does not invalidate your own) this book could have been at least 100 pages smaller – the last 100 to 150 pages, I found, were the most boring for me. I had lost interest. Nothing really happens throughout this book – I wouldn’t consider it high action or really, any sort of action. There are a few action scenes but it is heavily character-based; to the point that I slightly forgot what the actual plot of the book was about.

Which is when I knew that I was getting slightly bored of the story.

The last 100 pages should have happened earlier – it felt like a huge build up that resulted in a lackluster climax.

And can Minya die already?

Let’s talk about Minya for a second. So, you are telling me, that Lazlo who is Minya’s older brother (sorry, SPOILER) and who is, from what I can tell, extremely powerful that he was able to slightly break Minya’s control over the ghosts – YOU ARE TELLING ME THAT LAZLO CAN’T EVEN STOP HIS OWN SISTER? I still don’t understand why he didn’t just kill Minya??????????????????????????????? But then, Sarai’s spirit would be lost – but did Sarai and Lazlo not think that that is what would have happened? Pretty dumb.

Towards the end, I just wanted to shake everyone because I was so frustrated with their actions. I was interested in the mythology of the world itself, though still slightly confused as to why the gods only habited the one city and didn’t venture anywhere else. Was that question answered in the story and I completely missed it? Let me know please if that is the case!

So, I ended up rating it a 4 out of 5 stars only because of the last 100-150 pages of the book. That’s where I felt everywhere was the weakest and where I lost interest, unfortunately. I do want to continue the series, only because it did end on a slight cliffhangar, but I am in no rush to do so. I don’t know if I will eventually purchase it or just borrow it from the library. We shall see and I will keep you all updated.

That is the end of today’s post! I hope you enjoyed the second installment of ‘my brother chose my book’! I had a lot of fun with this and I know Adrian did too (even if he refuses to claim it haha).

Until next time, happy reading!

All the love and take care,

allie

xx


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