Hi there! My name is Ani and this is Reader’s Report, where I review a book that I’ve read recently and explain exactly how I feel about it to you lovely people. I was inspired to continue these book reviews from the previous articles featured on the Hoot called “BookTok: Worth it or Not?” and since the author Victoria Morrongiello ’23 has now graduated, I am taking on the honor of continuing these reviews in some way, shape or form.
This week’s review is on a book called “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo. For people who know me, this choice of me reviewing this book comes as no surprise considering the fact that I can never shut up about it. It’s one of the only books I enjoy rereading and at this point, it might be the only book I will continue to reread. There’s probably seven million reviews on this novel already, but what actually makes it so good? Let me write another article to tell you!
The basic plot of “Six of Crows” (SOC) centers around these six teenagers, each more traumatized than the next. It takes place in a fantasy world where some people are born with magical powers and others with the power of robbery and homicide. These teens essentially take part in a high-stakes heist with each other where they: a) attempt to break their friend out of prison b) climb very high walls and c) gouge people’s eyes out—and more! If that doesn’t sound appealing, I’m not sure what does! Right guys! Right?!
The reason why “Six of Crows” is such a moment in young adult (YA) literature is because of the dynamics between the characters. Leigh Bardugo is extremely skilled in creating characters that not only have depth, but also complexity. There are reasons behind their actions and you can see those reasons within their interactions with other characters. This is super impressive because usually with a cast of six characters, these personalities can get messy and confusing, but with “Six of Crows,” the author is very meticulous with the way that each of the characters are presented. Even if you have a different point of view, you can learn so much about the characters in the scene based on what they’re doing, who they’re looking at or even their reactions to information.
This leads me into the “found family” trope that is extremely prevalent in this novel. These characters fit together. As in their personalities mimic that of siblings and friends and lovers and it feels real. Too often do you see character dynamics in books where they could quite literally get the same reaction by talking to brick walls. Especially in YA books! Like did you know that teenagers actually have reactions to things?! Because YA authors didn’t!
I’ve heard a lot of people complain that the plot of this book is too complex, and here’s the thing: They’re not wrong. There have been a few times in the last five rereads where I’ve been like, “Wow! I didn’t realize this happened in this chapter!” and it ends up being a really important plot point that I’ve just been reading over for the last five years. But honestly, the development in the characters makes up for it tenfold and maybe it’s just a personal problem where I can’t seem to relax enough to read every word in this book. I’ll get back to you on that.
There are so many other wonderful things I could talk about for this book. Like how Kaz is one of my favorite characters to ever live and breathe and how Inej has the most incredible storylines ever (like ever). Those two have such an amazing story and I can’t even explain how cool it was to read about them, especially for the first time. Not to get too detailed, but it was one of the first YA relationships where I really think that the girl knew her boundaries and was willing to defend them with her life. Again, super rare for YA love-interest tropes.
Also, Jesper! And Wylan! And Matthias and Nina! They’re all characters that were written so well and their stories make you so emotional. Halfway through you start wondering when these kids are going to get a break. Like wow. You’ve been doing this since the age of five?
Oh and the show! It’s a great show! Fantastic casting! I actually cried the first time I saw Kaz, Jesper and Inej because it was like they took them out of the Tumblr fan art and slapped them on the screen, which is so rare to see. I personally think the second season is better than the first (Freddy Carter’s performance reorganized my brain cells), but I won’t discuss the whole thing now, this is supposed to be about books, whoops.
So do I think you should read it? YES. Go order it on Amazon or something and wait four weeks until after it’s delivered for the mailroom to send you an email, I don’t care. And once you finish it (and the second one, please read the second one before you spoil everything for yourself and while you’re at it, watch the show too), look up SOC edits to Taylor Swift songs on TikTok. Too good. I wish I could link some onto this article.
Well anyway, I’ll see you next time.