Written by Laini Taylor, illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo

Published by Little Brown, September 12, 2017

My star rating: 5 stars


Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him. Find it on Goodreads

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My first 5 star read of 2018 and, really, it came as no surprise! What was a surprise, was just how stinking cute and adorable this book was!! I picked it up to read the first chapter and just kept going until it was done – I just couldn’t stop!

If you’ve read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor, then you will know who this quirky pint sized power house is. She’s tiny, smart, talented, and totally bad ass. Within the first few pages of being introduced to her in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone, i’m pretty sure that I updated my Goodreads page ranting about how much I loved Zusana and Karou! Their friendship and personalities were larger than life, and something that I wish I had in a friendship in real life. They had such a connection – hilarious, supportive, non judgemental, and quirky. They each had their passions in life and shared a lot of their personal lives with each other while sitting in this strange restaurant called Poison, which in a weird way, matched their personalities.

But what we didn’t see a lot of in The Daughter of Smoke and Bone was Zusana! She is a side character and when Karou went on her adventures we didn’t see much of her anymore. We were updated on Zusana’s life, but we didn’t get a first hand perspective. This satisfied all of my cravings and more!

The story of how Zusana and Mik got together was so unique. She had obsessed over him for the longest time, but had never taken the step to even talk to him. Then one day, she sends him on a scavenger hunt across town, following clues that would eventually lead to the prize – her! But it didn’t end there. The way that this all played out (with a little help from some of Karou’s magic) was like something out of a storybook (…… ok this actually is a story book, but you know what I mean!!). Each clue was more and more adorable and, by the end, your heart has melted into a puddle on the floor. I didn’t think that I could love a set of characters more – this book proved me wrong!

And then there’s the illustrations! First of all, the dust jacket and actual hardback cover are glorious! And the pictures and comics throughout couldn’t have fit these characters and their personalities any better. It was everything that I imagined it would be from Laini Taylor’s descriptions. This was originally released as an ebook, but I think that the illustrations elevated this short story to a whole new level!

So basically, what I’m saying is, if you loved Zusana in The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, this book is an absolute MUST!! It will melt your heart and make you smile!

Until next time, happy reading!