Why I chose this book:
I love Rosamund Hodge. I generally love everything about her. Cruel Beauty was wonderful and Crimson Bound was something that shredded my heart in my chest and had me begging for more, so I expected nothing less from Bright Smoke, Cold Fire.

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara. Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it.

Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:
I am currently taking a Teaching Shakespeare class in graduate school, and I immediately thought what a great book to read while working in this class. I had just finished Romeo & Juliet, and was ready to pick out all the Shakespearean lines and have fun with Hodge’s work.

I was so ready, guys! SO READY!

But then, nothing. I couldn’t do it. I made it through 43% of the book, hoping, wishing, and praying desperately that I would be able to make it through this book. I love Hodge. I loved her other two books and devoured them as if I were starving. But this book was grinding away at me.

I’m used to her being overly descriptive and her overly complex world building. Honestly, I was ready for that, but what I wasn’t prepared for was how much I just didn’t give a shit. None of her characters were all that attractive to me. They weren’t MCs that I could get behind and identify with and it just too the tale of Romeo & Juliet and stretched it as far as it would go without meeting the goal of originality.

Unfortunately, this one is a DNF for me. I hope you all have a tone more luck than I did.