Sunday, July 3, 2016

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // Striped Floral Maxi

This is my first post of summer sixteen. I had the strongest feeling ever that this summer would be exactly as I wanted to be, and it has been, largely due to the lovely people I've been surrounding myself with. I've been reading tons (I've got a whole school year's worth of books to catch up on, not to mention Harry Potter to reread before The Cursed Child) and I'm so flipping stoked about it. I'm going to start writing more soon, my flowers are looking beautiful, and Ramadan (the Muslims' holy month of fasting) has been marvelous, even though I've been slacking way too much and it ends in just a day. About sixteen days ago I finished Leigh Bardugo's masterpiece of Six of Crows. I cannot wait to meet her when she goes on tour for the sequel, Crooked Kingdom. All the stars. All the stars for this book. With all the rave and how this book looked and just the sort of sense I got about it, I had a really good feeling about it. Nine months after its publication date I read it. Give. Me. More. A spoiler FILLED review, my full outfit and a chance for you to (please!) leave YOUR thoughts in the comments lie ahead. 


Book: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, fantasy, action, mystery
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Pages: 462
Rating: 5/5 stars

It took me maybe over a week to finish it. 462 pages and large, Six of Crows could rival Maas's A Court of Thrones and Roses series in size. But at 11:18 PM on a June 18th Saturday night when I did, I couldn't talk. I never shut up so that's a joke, a true miracle for me to be quiet when nothing is wrong. I noticed it when I just wouldn't open my mouth when people spoke to me at a party and when I felt irritated for no reason. I was just so wrapped up in Ketterdam. I didn't want to talk. My mind kept going back to it. I just wanted to revisit and relive the world I'd barely left. My mind was whirring.
Squinting 'cause the sun, not plotting revenge.
The black stained pages was wicked sick, not to mention wholly unique, but not the crow on front. Even in the chapters it looked more like a black blob than a wing to me because it was completely straight, not even slightly lifted. I don't really care but if you thought so, you weren't alone :P 

From the start I loved Kaz and Inej. And then I really loved them. There was a part when she got the wound and Kaz said he'd been trying to find a reason to talk to her for two days where I got worried that how their relationship to each other would unfold wouldn't be realistic, but no: even in his kindest state, Kaz stays true to his character, which was so brilliantly executed by Leigh Bardugo. He acts and reacts in ways that show how tough he is. I loved the second scene in the book, after Joost and Anaya, where we're first introduced to the crew and Big B is shot. It was so interesting and completely established the people we were dealing with. Leigh Bardugo is a fantastic writer. Holy crap, she's so good. It's beautiful and poetic and precise, not one or the other. I never read her first series, and now I, like every other reader in the world, am wondering if I made a huge mistake in not doing so.
Her storytelling and her writing skills are equal. There is just not a flaw to be found, even if you look. I'm not sure if this is because you love the characters so much in how they're each so complex and completely different from each other (not an easy feat considering there are six of them) or because the heist is so interesting, fun, and fast paced. I probably never will read her first series, either, because I'm drowning in books to read as is. (Aren't we all?) The pile is never ending, but with summer I'm making my way through. FINALLY. If I get a chance I'll try my best to. It's probably just as good.
This book is dark and evil and their world is gritty. I've NEVER appreciated fantasy before this book. Not in Harry Potter or anything. I love Harry Potter more than life, but I never appreciated the fantasy of it. Not in Cassandra Clare's books, either. I don't think I ever fully understood what fantasy was until recently, and now I can finally apply "creating a whole new world" to the definition of the word. Six of Crows is a brilliant fantasy. Jeez, I'm running out of positive adjectives to state here, it's used up so many. At first I was confused as hay because there were a thousand weird words thrown at me and I didn't know what was happening and I was already a mean, grouchy hag towards this book because I think at this point I'm so desperate to read all my TBR's that I'm making myself rush through, and those big ol' pages and gripping world were slowing down the process. Alas, 'tis not the fault of the innocent book but of me. The hundreds of character names mentioned, the world and how it was laid out on the map...thank you, distinctions between those parts of the world, for making life easy. It was so well done. Leigh Bardugo really thought those out, and I was never lost between them. She made it clear by giving us very distinctive distinctions (can you describe a noun with the adjective form of it?), like Fjerdans being big and having long hair and the Suli's with their wisdom and proverbs.
And that's necessary. In a world that's completely new to us, we need to be able to grasp onto even the tiniest things to help us make sense of it. Nevertheless, the beginning was a bit slow until the first sixty pages or so not because it was boring or uninteresting, but because once you had this taste of the characters you so badly wanted to know everything about them and how the book would unfold. I'm an honest girl. I'm not saying this to be nice. You will not find a second of this book you won't enjoy.
  It took a lot of patience, getting their background stories and sitting through it all; it's like with the TV show Lost, where you're so tempted to spoil everything but you painfully make your way through a million episodes to finally understand the meaning of the dang numbers. Or letter. Or whatever. But you get the point. The process of finding out is what makes an author an author: how they do that, how they deliver this to us. From the start there are twists and turns. I was already getting attached to Joost and Anaya. Ha! Little did I know.
 I wasn't really expecting to get anyone's history and learn what made them so big, bad, and tough. They were all just so evil and dark that you couldn't help but be attracted to them (like flies to a light) but also so, so horrified. Inej's story hurt me the most, because her life is an actual reality, not some made-up aspect of the book. She's such a sweet, sweet girl, but she's a fighter. We'll probably get more on Jesper's back story in Crooked Kingdom, as well as Wylan's, who was mostly elevated by Jesper but came around to prove unique on his own, too. I like that Nina is plus sized and so beautiful. I like that Inej and Jesper are described as dark. I like that Matthias is also big. I like that Kaz has a disability. That everyone, in their own way, is intelligent and heroic. I like that Jesper has an addiction. I like that somehow, these characters are all so full of heart. They're rough and they've done bad, but they're not bigots. They are smart, they are conscientious, they are always alert. They know what they're doing. They know the consequences. But they decide to do it, anyways. And they don't make excuses for themselves. They know they're monsters. Well, they're not, they're perfect *gushes*, but you know. They don't try to act like they're good people. Even though we know that truly, they're more good than a lot of others who haven't done half as much bad.
Maxi Dress: Target // Undershirt: Charlotte Russe // Gladiators: Maurices // Hijab: Target (?)

This is one of those books that is good. Simply, purely, unanimously agreed on by everyone. I could and will talk about this book forever, so leave me a comment with allllll your thoughts on anything and everything Six of Crows. Leigh Bardugo is stellar. This book is, too.

I finished my arc of Tahereh Mafi's Furthermore and just received Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven in the mail yesterday from a fellow reader who got extras at Bookcon in Chicago this past May and sent me one! Eeeeee! Snail mail is always happy mail. I also won two more Instagram giveaways for two books and ordered some things online that I can't wait to get. Mail is too fun. The going can get so rough...but keep going on. Keep doing things. Keep moving. Don't get stuck. Life is yours for the taking.

Life is spontaneously splendid.
Aiman x

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Hi guys! I make sure to read each and every comment I receive- thank you for your love. x Aiman