Since I have two books to reviews, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Beautiful Creatures, I thought I would tackle them the way I did in so many high school essays: the good, old-fashioned comparison. I'm sure you'll forgive me for breaking essay form. (I mean when was the last time you heard anyone say, "I just can't get enough of comparison essays"?)
Hot, mysterious girl with magical powers- Karou, from Daughter of Smoke and Bone has wish-beads, strange tattoos, blue hair that she swears comes out of her scalp that way, the ability to speak fifty languages and unusual strength. Her best friend complains she is always doing mysterious things like disappearing, often for days at a time, and frequently returning back to school injured. Lena, from Beautiful Creatures, is a darkly beautiful new girl at school who can break windows with her mind, control the weather and read the thoughts of others. She too is shrouded in mystery. Why does the strange black dog always follow her? Why does her uncle never leave his mansion? Why are their number inked all over her hands?
Hot, mysterious girl with magical powers doesn't know truth about her parentage: Karou was raised by creatures called chimera who live in another world only accessible by secret portals, but her foster- alligator-dad won't tell her who her parents are. She uncovers the truth over the course of the novel. Lena was raised by random relatives, particularly her uncle. She is told her parents died in a car accident when she was a toddler, but she learns the truth of her parents' fates by the end of book.
Love conquers all- Karou falls for an enemy of her people, and she and her magical boyfriend are set on the course of bringing about peace. Lena's cursed, doomed to become evil, probably. But her mortal boyfriend is determined to free her from the inevitable, and you know he will. At least until the sequel.
Stern male figure- Karou has her grouchy, half-animal foster father, Brimstone who shields truths about her own origins from her, withholds affection from her and even scratches her, in order to keep her from great danger. Lena has her non-mortal uncle, Macon, who keeps the truth about her origins from her, has his dog follow her, discourages her relationship with her boyfriend and doing normal social activities like attending prom.
Wacky, Happy-Go-Lucky Friend who is in on the secret- Zusann is the tiny and protective friend of Karou's who makes goofy puppets and sends funny emails to Karou. Link is one of Lena's few allies at school, a jokester who plays bad music in his band aand is a sucker for hot girls. He downplays all the hatred directed at Lena to make her feel better.
But, wait! There's more! I shan't divulge every likeness between these novels, but I shall tell you that the greatest similarity is that these books are both beyond incredible and a joy to read.