WELCOME TO THE FIRST POST FOR “ON THE SAME PAGE”!
ON THE SAME PAGE is a new feature that Amy from Tripping Over Books, Alyssa from Books Take You Places and I have put together! It started out as the three of us forming an informal book club and reading the same book together but several months ago, we decided to make this a full-on feature and we’ve finally got everything ready for our first very official post! We actually had a sneak peek when we all reviewed Rose Under Fire back in September (at the time calling the feature “Three’s Company”) but we wanted the feature to be perfect so we held off until January to give us plenty of time to make it exactly the way we wanted it!
So what do we do? Besides reading a book together, we’re bringing you different aspects about the book that we feel are important. Whether we were inspired to create a playlist, digging a little deeper into the history of that particular setting, or pulling our favorite quotes, each of us will be bringing a different side of the book to share!
We actually have a few other important changes and merges regarding On the Same Page so be sure to check out the official page for it for more details!
Phew, now that we’ve got all the details out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff and the feature! For January, Alyssa, Amy and I read DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor. It was quite the emotional read (review coming soon!) and we each had specific ideas for what we wanted to talk about with this book. For me? It was all about branching out into fantasy.
BRANCHING OUT INTO FANTASY
How Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series helped me fall in love with fantasy
I’m not usually a fantasy girl. The extent of my fantasy reads up until last year ranged from Harry Potter to the occasional high fantasy like Graceling and Prophecy and after enjoying those, the promise that I’d start A Song of Ice and Fire because that was high fantasy too and I believed I would enjoy the series! I enjoyed magic, the paranormal and the supernatural, but there was always one thing standing in my way of fantasy and that was… how fantastical it was. Silly, right? I could believe in magic. I could get on board with vampires. But for some reason fantasy was always overwhelming for me. Paranormal and books like Harry Potter always appealed to me because they had roots that tied back to the world as we know it. The wizards of Britain separate their magic from the Muggle world, the vampires can’t let humans know they exist and so on. Too many fantasy books I had tried were too much of the unknown. Magical powers, new beings, AND a new world? It was just too much for me to latch onto.
My opinions have much since changed, but before I started blogging, I basically wrote off any book that had a map. *GASP* I know, right!? How much do I love maps now? (Tons.) At the time, I wasn’t reading the right books and was trying to dive headfirst into a genre that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with yet and for me, that just wasn’t the way to do it. All of the “new” concepts, characters, ideas, and lands just made it difficult for me to follow the plot and I quickly became disinterested or just couldn’t allow my brain to feel like this world could ever exist.
I also had an issue with what I like to call “creature fantasy”. This was the reason I didn’t enjoy the Lord of the Rings series (another gasp! I know.) and what made me so hesitant to pick up new fantasy reads. Hobbits? Dwarves? Elves? Then I had to learn these new creatures AND their interesting names AND the lands AND the villains? It was a lot for me to try to take in when it just wasn’t what I was used to. I also just couldn’t wrap my head around what these new creatures where supposed to be and humanlike creatures just didn’t feel believable.
I was extremely hesitant to pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone last year. I was incredibly concerned with how big a part of the book the chimaera were and I was afraid this would turn out not to be a Brittany book. I had nothing to fear!
From starting Daughter of Smoke and Bone to finishing Days of Blood and Starlight, I’m starting to believe that I can really fall into fantasy if I read the right kind and really what I consider “right” for me is constantly changing for me as my reading tastes expand. I never thought I would care so much for chimera and seraphim but Laini Taylor’s writing is so beautiful and her plots are so delicately interwoven that every character becomes vital to the story and the reader really finds themselves wholly invested. These books made me really come to care for the characters and I was able to so easily lose myself in this story.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone really opened up the doors to fantasy for me. It made me confident to try new fantasy reads, more so than just high fantasy. It opened the doors I had closed off in my head to new ideas and different reads. It just goes to show you that the more you open yourself up to new genres and ideas, the more opportunities you have to discover new things. I’m so thankful for my fellow bloggers who had encouraged me to read this series and pushed me to step a bit out of my comfort zone to try a different kind of fantasy than I was used to!
Don’t forget to check out Alyssa’s and Amy’s posts for Days of Blood and Starlight today too!