Sunday, March 23, 2014

Book Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Sunday, March 23, 2014
Genre: Fantasy
PublisherMargaret K. McElderry
Series: Standalone
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe's deity, who will inhabit Liyana's body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious--and sure that it is Liyana's fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.
Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.
The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice--she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate--or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.
Summary from Goodreads.

I first heard about Vessel on Word for Teens and added it to my TBR list right away, though I only just got to it about a month ago. Before I actually write this review, I just want to say THANK YOU to Nicole for her glowing review because this book is incredible.

Seriously, the world-building alone is exquisite. The desert is a character unto itself, with so many features that make it wholly unique. I mean, there are sand wolves and sky serpents and other kinds of awesomeness.

My favorite part of the world-building is the mythology surrounding the gods. I found the whole concept of the Dreaming beautiful and magical while I was reading, but then I found out something really cool later: the religion depicted in Vessel is actually based on real Aborigine religions. (I'm taking a World Religions class and this was in Chapter 2. So naturally, I then fangirled about Vessel to my teacher.)

And I loved the characters. Thinking about them so many weeks after reading the book is like remembering old friends. Liyana's development and her inner struggle between tradition and survival is just so beautifully done. And each of her fellow vessels is so unique; they're not all likable, but they sure are interesting and understandable and oddly sympathetic. There's romance in Vessel, too, but it's not stereotypical in ANY WAY, nor is it the focus (Girl of Fire and Thorns fans will love it, but that's all I'm going to say).

As far as fantasies go, Vessel is the tops. I want to read it all over again!
*5 stars and then some*

What is your favorite fantasy novel?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day: YA Ladies

Saturday, March 8, 2014
Today is International Women's Day! This is one of my favorite days of the year because its purpose is to celebrate strides women are making all over the world towards equality, but to also serve as a reminder of how far we have to go.

In the year ahead, I want to continue to educate myself about women's rights around the world, so this is some of my reading list:

And just-for-fun, here are some of my favorite inspiring YA ladies.:

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Murbur14
By DeviantArt user Murbur14

There is a shameful lack of Audrey, Wait! fan art. Maybe I'll try to amend this... maybe...
Victoria from Audrey, Wait!

Hermione by kakao-bean
By DeviantArt user kakao-bean
Hermione from the Harry Potter series

Just finished reading “Game”. 
I don’t think I can wait until 2014 for the next book. 
The only way I can survive is by drawing ((and maybe re-reading the first two books)). 
Jazz, Connie, and Howie probably don’t look anything like my drawing, but i don’t really have much of a reference. GO IMAGINATION! 
By Ninja-Neko-Aru
Connie from I Hunt Killers

By Yakis
Katsa from Graceling

By Lady Graceling
Fire from Fire

I recently fell in love with the marker tool in SAI, it’s so much fun *___*
Bitterblue/Saf for gracelingshipweeks.
By Walking North
Bitterblue from Bitterblue

By Yarrow and Stone

Who are your favorite YA ladies?