Sunday, April 2, 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I had such high hopes for this book. Because everyone have seemed to love it for months now. And also it looks and sounds gorgeous. But oh. I was a little disappointed. I enjoyed it, but I never once loved it. And don't really see how others could have loved it either. This was my first book read by this author, so far.

I'm trying to figure out my thoughts about this book. I'm giving it three stars. I wish it had been more. But I also felt it could have been less at times, which is just so depressing. I really thought I would love this book. Ugh. It simply wasn't meant to be loved by me, not at all. There were so many things that I had trouble with.

I will start with the writing. While I found it to be beautiful most of the time, and good to read, I also thought it was a bit too much sometimes. I found myself losing focus and simply not caring for the writing. Which was annoying. The writing was good, just not perfect. Also, all the time while I was reading this very long book, I felt like it was only a prologue. I kept waiting for the real story to begin. Kept waiting for it to become interesting. And it did. And the very end of the book. So, like I said, very much like a prologue. Which made me so much more upset with this book. I wished it had been much more. It could have been so much more. Because that ending was all kinds of exciting and interesting. Except for one thing that happened, which I hate with a passion.

But this book wasn't all negative. So before I describe even more things that I didn't like, I will mention the things that I did like. Because I did enjoy this book. I just didn't love it. This book is mostly from the point of view of Lazlo and Sarai. A few other small point of views were also included, but nothing that special. Still, I did enjoy those too. For the most part I liked Sarai a whole bunch. She was interesting to get to know. She is the child of a god. And she's blue. And she has powers. Which I liked so much. So exciting.

I did like reading about Sarai. Didn't fully love her, but she was interesting. And I really enjoyed getting to know about where she lived. In a forgotten city. Far above it. Almost all alone, with four others the same age as she. And ghosts too. There is a lot of stuff in this book. I liked the ghosts a lot and wanted to know more about them. And there is magic. Which I always love. There wasn't much, sadly, but still liked what I got to read about. Oh, and there are gods. Well, they are dead, but their children aren't. That's the story.

But oh, the four other people that Sarai lived with. I can't. I'm not sure how to talk about them. There was this little girl who looks like she's six, but she's older than that. She has the most awful power and she's full of hate and murder. At times I felt like maybe I could have loved her, in a different time. But not in this book. Didn't like her much. Then there was this other girl, Sparrow. And I felt like I could have loved her a whole bunch. I liked her a lot. But there was way too little about her. And I need more of her in book two.

And then the other two characters. Sigh. I don't know how to talk about them. Ruby and Feral both have such interesting powers. And I liked that. But I didn't like who they were as people. I guess others would love them lots, as they didn't really do anything wrong at all, but it hurts my heart too much. Sparrow is in love with Feral. But he and Ruby doesn't know. And they start sleeping together. And uuugh. It bothered me more than I can say. I didn't like it at all. Yes, they didn't do anything wrong, but still. So wrong to me.

Okay. I really need to talk about Lazlo now. He is the main character of this book. It starts with him. And I did like him a whole bunch. But, well, I didn't love him. Probably because he was so boring. Sobs. I liked parts of him. I liked him at the ending. But lots of times I just thought he was boring. Aw. I couldn't help but feel this way. He was interesting at times, and I did like that he loved books and fairy tales so much. But, yeah. I didn't love him. And that was just so depressing. I really wanted to love him lots. But I didn't.

There are so many characters in this book. Not going to talk about them all. And not going to talk about the plot too much more either. I just. Well. There was this one boy that I hated so much. In the beginning of the book, Lazlo helps a boy. This boy then steals his ideas and his books. And it was not okay. Not at all. I'm still angry about it. Yet he seems to almost be better by the end of the book. Still. I didn't like him. There were other people that I did like, however, and curious to know more about all of them in book two.

The story in this book about the gods is pretty heartbreaking most of the time. Like how lots of children were taken and abused. But that also reminded me so, so much about Bitterblue, yet not written as well as that one. Ack. Anyway. I did like the plot in this book. Just wish it had moved faster. I wanted to know more about the gods. I wanted more magic. And I wanted more action. And oh, more romance. There is some romance. In dreams. And I didn't feel anything for it. Sobs. I wish I had loved it, but I did not. Aw.

I can't write more about this one. I'm out of words. I didn't describe it nearly well enough. But don't know what else to say. The plot was interesting at times. The city of Weep was pretty exciting. But I didn't feel that much about any of it. Strange the Dreamer was good, but not spectacular. I'm still a little confused about why so many love it so. Oh, well. I will read book two. But I'm unsure how I will like it, because of this ending. This ending was awful. And I'm not okay with at all. It will bother me for such a long time.


  1. Don't feel bad about not loving this. I met Laini at a book signing when her first book came out and was excited for her book. Everyone loved it too, but it wasn't completely for me. Maybe the same reaction you are having to this one. Reading is subjective, and there's nothing wrong with how you feel about this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

  2. Sorry this book didn't live up to expectations! I hope the sequel will be more enjoyable for you :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  3. Hmm yeah...that's the thing about Laini's writing, it can be really hit-or-miss. I love that kind of flowery writing, but it even gets to be a bit too much for me sometimes. I would still recommend giving Daughter of Smoke and Bone a try sometime though: I think you would like the characters more and the ending.

  4. You know, I remember liking Laini's first book, but I never finished the series, and have no motivation to do so. So I guess that says something, eh? :)

    I'll probably read this one, but I'm with you on writing that gets to be too descriptive, too flowery, and it becomes too much. I guess I'll see! :)

  5. Awww, I'm sorry you didn't totally enjoy this book, though I'm glad you didn't hate it! I feel like any of Taylor's books are hit-or-miss. This book really was INCREDIBLY heartbreaking, and I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much despite all of the heartbreak (because usually I dislike books that are so sad and cruel and full of hurt and angst). In any case, I hope you enjoy book two!

    Great review, Carina! Have a lovely weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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