Daughter of Smoke and Bone | A re-read journal

Hello guys!
For the third time, I re-read my favourite book. But this time, I took notes, I highlighted stuff and I kept track of my re-read in my journal. Since a lot of you asked me what kind of notes I take or what kind of stuff I track, I decided to share with you this reading journal, as I wrote it on paper. I won’t translate in French this time, because it will take me too much time, but here we go for my re-read journal of Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

Warning: this article contains spoilers. I’d advice not read it if you haven’t read the book.

“I don’t know many rules to live by,’ he’d said. ‘But here’s one. It’s simple. Don’t put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles–drug or tattoo–and…no inessential penises either.’

‘Inessential penises?’ Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. ‘Is there any such thing as an essential one?’ P.22

This is something I noticed at my second read, the way Laini Taylor has to talk about something that many authors would use other words to say. That’s so great, because yes, sex can be a funny and light thing to talk about. And the fact it makes her laugh even if she is in grief is excellent.

The whole Paris situation is too funny, honestly. I can’t even carry a suitcase in the Paris metro, and here is Karou carrying huge ass teeth down the stairs and into the trains. I always picture myself witnessing something like that in the metro, and I can’t know how in hell nobody asked questions about that. Maybe there are too many weird people taking the Paris metro, but damn. p.40

« What do you think I love on? Rainwater and daydream? » p.63

My sweet child being her sarcastic-self is the best thing ever. I love how she keeps things light when it comes to lying, always trying to keep people’s focus on her humour and sarcasm instead of what she is saying itself.

THE START of the whole Papillio Stomachus thing. I want to get a tattoo inspired by this one day, because it is so meaningful, even more now that I know how it feels. Because when I think about the person I love, something feels indeed like something is flying in my stomach and carrying all my feelings. This is powerful and strong and lovely, and I love those Papillio Stomachus so much. p.69

There is a very interesting way of using the word butterfly. Just after Karou talks about it like it is something holding her down, something making her feel different and hollow, Brimstone uses it to express the freedom. He makes a comparison between her and a butterfly, flying away. I love it, because it shows how a simple thing can serve many senses and purposes. p.74

Wait, is this the first time we take a glimpse of the second meeting between Akiva and Madrigal? When Karou feels like the dance is off and should have happened a whole different way. And Kaz is then something that keeps her away from who she is, this is brilliant. p.82

« He has the living face of a dead soul » p.96

I can’t explain how this rings something amazing in my head. Makes me want to cry and hide under a blanket for hours, because Akiva is this way since he lost her. And she sees how destroyed he is. And it hurts her. Even though she doesn’t know why.

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.” P.121

I- WOW. This summarize the whole story, when you think about it. Because the whole theme of the story could be that monsters aren’t always who they seem, that the real ones know ow to hide under the faces of heroes. And with the big catholic inspiration when it comes to the angels, it is even more powerful to me. I grew up in a catholic family, and I’ve read the texts, and the myths, and a lot of things around it, and I think it is important to always show two faces of a same story.

It might not be intended, but I feel like there is a criticism of the military here, which is beautifully done. Angels are soulless people sent to the battlefront. They don’t really loose their souls while fighting, but they fight this well because they lost it. It is twisty and very interesting, and even if I am not sure it is something the author wanted to say, there is something there that rings a bell.

I love my re-read so far! I still discover things about the story that I did not notice sooner, and that’s amazing. The way this book is still surprising me years after my first read, even thought I’d read it twice already.

 »There are things bigger than any wish.’

‘Like what?’

‘Most things that matter » p.142

I adore the way Zuzana is in the story to bring some light, some humour, something other than drama and endless action. Laini Taylor knows how to balance what is going on on her stories, between action and friendship and love and drama and happiness and tears. And this balance is makeable because of Karou and Zuzana’s friendship. p.165

I feel like this whole paragraph can describe what happens in the mind of someone with depression. Karou is the hollow girl, the one who feels empty, the one who is not at ease at her place when she is not at ease in her own mind. p.175

“Beauty,’ Brimstone had scoffed once. ‘Humans are fools for it. As helpless as moths who hurl themselves at fire.” p.196

The whole book also carries something on beauty and how the society and culture can influence it. The first time you read about the chimaera and try to imagine them, you can’t help but think that they might be ugly. Or weird. And of course, the angels will be the pretty ones in your mind. That is normal. That is our culture. This is society. And the way the good and the bad echoes the beautiful and the non-beautiful (as they see it in the lore, of course) is very well made.

« Long life is a burden when it’s spent in misery » p. 206

I am one of those people who would not mind living forever, but this quote is the first thing that almost made me change my mind. I could feel the whole sadness of it.

« My life is blood because my world is beasts » p.210

I still can’t believe it’s my 3rd read and I am very impatient to know what is going on and what is going to happen. Like… I know what is going to happen?? Why am I so impatient??

CHAPTER 34. Nobody talks to me. I am in owe. p.250

« Piece is more than the absence of war. » p.261

Karou is expecting her shadow to have horns. Of course, when you know the whole story, it refers to Madrigal. But when you read this paragraph alone, it means she expects to be some kind of a demon. And this situation is genius.

« A chimaera saved my life. And I fell in love with her. » p.268

Oh gods, I love Akira so much. He is the absolute cutest when it comes to Madrigal, and he is adorable and he deserved so much better. More then the fact he is a very romantic character, he is also the representation of the fact you can be something else than what you were meant to be. What people raised you to be. What was expected of you. All it takes is one right person.

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” p.288

Randomly thinking of Ziri, don’t ask why, I don’t know.

I love the way Laini Taylor has to talk about love without ever using the word. She does it by metaphors and by a hundred other ways, and it is perfect. Because love is something you feel, and to describe something you feel, you need something stronger than words. Here, the way she talks about it, about the bright and beautiful love between Akiva and Madrigal, it is magical.

The scene of the celebration is the one I know the best, because it always plays like a movie in my head when I read it. But each time, I read it a different way, I notice something new, I interpret stuff differently. Every read echoes to something different in my mind and memories. This time, I read it with love. And it was amazing. p.352

« Love is an element » p. 363

This. This is how I feel since I’ve met the person I am in love with. Thank you Laini Taylor for putting such a strong thing into words. p.397

Laini Taylor’s works will always find a way to echo through me, one way of another. Because she speaks a hundred different truths, most of them I hold in my heart. Love, pain, lost, grief, regrets. She uses a lot of different shapes and ideas and I adore it. To re-read this book was the best decision I’ve made to start my year. Now I want to travel to Pragues, like every time I read this book. But I also want to enjoy my life at it is, my love as it is. Because as the one in the story, it is made of stolen moments, wonderful moments, each a brick to the wall of something deeply amazing and beautiful. And who knows what might happen? The best thing is not to care and enjoy what you have while it lasts.

I can’t believe I shared it here. Of course, I took away some very personal stuff, because it belongs to me only. My reading journal looks like this mostly, and I wanted to share this instead of a review.

Discussion:

  • Do you re-read books?
  • Have you read this one?
  • Do you keep a reading journal?

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As always, thank you so much for your support and for reading me! I wish you all fantastic reads, and amazing discoveries !

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