Shadow and Bone: Bad Boys- Like, EVIL Bad Boys

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Shadow and Bone is the first in a series by Leigh Bardugo. While the book as a whole was pretty underwhelming, one thing took me by surprise: the attractive, brooding ‘bad boy’ love interest was actually evil. And portrayed as evil. And the main character thought he was evil. And he had nothing explaining away his evilness. He was the bad guy. Crazy, right?

(Spoilers ahead)

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5 AWESOME Anti-villains (And What Those Are)

Writers are fascinated by anti-heroes- people who fight for the good guys without being a great person themselves. If they’re intrigued by a sliding scale of heroes’ morality, it only follows that they should be just as interested in many shades of villain.

And that’s what anti-villains are for.

Anti-villains are like anti-heroes, but come from the other side. The website TV Tropes defines them as “a villain with heroic goals, personality traits, and/or virtues.” Here are five anti-villains, and what make them so great.

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Six of Crows Duology: Incorporating Culture

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There’s tons of buzz about diversity in today’s books. Whether you think this is needed or not, you would probably agree that characters should be different from each other. After all, no one wants a cast that’s exactly alike.

The Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo is pretty diverse, in the popular sense of the word (including disabilities!), but something that really stood out to me was the diversity in culture.

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Six of Crows: Multiple Points of View (Pt. 2)

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Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo, is a super fun YA fantasy heist book. It’s about six teenagers and their attempt to infiltrate the most secure prison in the known world: the Ice Court. If they succeed, they’ll be rich for life. If they fail, they die.

Let’s be clear here: I loved this book. There’s lots of great things about it, including the surprisingly fresh characters and the multiple cultures and settings. However, it definitely falls short in some areas, including handling multiple points of view.

(Spoilers ahead)

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Salt to the Sea: Multiple Points of View (Pt. 1)

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Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys, is a phenomenal YA historical fiction book. It follows four young adults from different countries during World War II as their paths converge to the fated MV Wilhelm Gustloff.

In 1945 the German military transport ship Wilhelm Gustloff sank in the Baltic Sea (the sea between Sweden and Latvia/Lithuania/Poland/etc.) while carrying around 10,600 passengers and crew. The majority of these were civilian refugees fleeing the approaching Red Army. Up to 9,400 people died, making it the largest loss of life of a single sunk ship, even greater than the Titanic, which is far better known (thanks, Wikipedia!).

Salt to the Sea‘s four main characters end up on this doomed boat as they flee from their past. (Spoilers ahead)

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