Book Review: Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor
Title: Strange the Dreamer Author: Laini Taylor Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: March 28th 2017 Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep.
That was his dream, daring and magnificent, to go there, half across the world, and solve the mysteries for himself.
It was impossible of course.
But when did that ever stop any dreamer for dreaming?
I always find it hard to think about a book as a favourite when I’m not able to read the entire series in one go. But I’m pretty sure this whole series is going to be one of my all-time favourites. I was not devouring this book, the book was devouring me. Laini Taylor writes in a poetic way that just takes you away and makes you forget everything that is going on around you. At one point when I was reading, my phone went off and it felt exactly the same as when your alarm goes off in the morning and you get pulled away, out of this amazing dream. I don’t know if it’s just because of the way she writes, but this book made me certain that dreams are my favourite topic to read about from now on.
This book contains some pretty abstract concepts but Taylor just makes reading this book feel super smooth and simple. What can be more perfect and magical than a story about a boy who’s called a dreamer and who’s nose has been broken by a book of fairy tales? Dreams can be very complex (we’ve all watched the movie Inception!) and also messy, but here it all feels wonderful, and the whole book just had this airy feel that I can’t quite explain without having you read this book first (just do it!!). Even when Taylor writes about reality and the hardness of the world, she still does that by Weaving some kind of magic into her words (I’m really not sure if that even made sense. But it feels like that for me!).
Her characters were amazing. The way she lets them remember different things that have been said in the beginning of the book and succeeded in using those lines at the end, made those characters look educated and smart. That’s one of the most important things for me in a book. Characters need to be smart!
First, Lazlo our head dreamer. I loved him from page one. There wasn’t a moment were I didn’t like him. If I could pick any character from a book I read this year spend a night talking with, I would definitely choose him. It is always a good thing if the smartest character in the entire book is the main character. Lazlo is probably one of the smartest and most open minded character you will encounter in a book. Overall he is a very lovable guy without it getting annoying or unbelievable. He is the definition of a dreamer.
The romance between Sarai and Lazlo was so incredibly adorable. I don’t think anyone could describe first love better than Taylor did. This book never got overly physical. It was always just about being loved and not being alone in the world. This made me love this book even more.
The way Taylor plays with sentences and words is beautiful. Just two examples:
If you’re afraid of your own dreams, you’re welcome here in mine.
Sometimes a moment is so remarkable that it carves out a space in time and spins there, while the world rushes on around it.
But there were so many more I liked!
The story was about so many things; hate, discrimination, justice… all encapsulated in one beautiful fairy tale. It makes you think about what is right and who is wrong. And I personally never figured it out.
“Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”
“Beautiful and full of monsters?”
“All the best stories are.”