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Countdown to ATATN: 5 Reasons We Love Laia

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A few days ago, one of our favorite book bloggers, Danielle, reached out to me (this is Allie talking. Libby doesn’t know anything about this. Libby, if you’re reading this, hi. Also, text me back) on Twitter about rereading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir before the sequel drops on August 30th. And I was like, YES OF COURSE AND ALSO PLEASE BECOME MY BEST FRIEND IMMEDIATELY (the second part might not have actually happened, but it was definitely conveyed through the disproportionate amount of exclamation points and all caps I used.)

What does this mean? Over the next five days, Danielle and I will be counting down to the release of ATATN on both of our blogs (contingent upon me actually remembering to blog every day) with a series of posts about AEITA, creatively called “Countdown to A Torch Against the Night,” because I decided my working title of “An Unofficial Dissertation of Why Sabaa Tahir is an Actual Goddess” was a little too much. Technically, Danielle actually started the series off yesterday (because she actually has her life together and I do not) with a fantastic line-by-line commentary on the first page, so today, I’m taking over the countdown. Please lower your expectations for this blog post accordingly.

So I’m starting with a short list of why we love Sabaa Taher’s Laia, one of the main characters of AEITA. I can’t promise that at least half of the entries on this list won’t be some form of “BECAUSE I LOVE SABAA TAHIR AND EVERYTHING SHE DOES IS MAGICAL,” but hopefully I’ll refresh your memory a little bit on why AEITA is amazing, or maybe convince you to pick it up before ATATN comes out!

Here we go: 5 Reasons We Love Laia.

  1. BECAUSE I LOVE SABAA TAHER AND EVERYTHING SHE DOES IS MAGICAL AND THIS INCLUDES CREATING LAIA. I literally warned you guys, right up there. I’m not even sorry.
  2. Okay, okay, here’s a real one: Laia’s not your typical YA dystopian heroine. Trust me, I read an excessive amount of YA dystopias, and a lot of them fall into the mold: bold (haha! I rhymed! Poetry!), daring, and fearless (I just thesaurus.com’d those adjectives). Laia is a character that doesn’t fit any patterns, and I love that: she’s badass but sort of quiet, she’s courageous but kind, and I love that about her.
  3. This one’s from Danielle, but I totally agree: Her name is pretty amazing. Sabaa, where did this name come from? (Also, I will be calling upon you sometime in the future to name my first-born child). But beyond being just a great name, it also helps set the tone for her character. Danielle also pointed out that she loves the consistency with the Scholars having less extravagant names, which I have to agree with!
  4. This one’s also from Danielle, because she is definitely the brains in this book blogging friendship: Laia experiences a lot of growth throughout the book. And I’M GARBAGE FOR CHARACTER GROWTH (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I should’ve been an English major). In AEITA, we witness Laia develop from someone afraid to confront her brother on page 1 to a selfless character willing to risk herself to save him by the end of Part 1.
  5. She’s an incredibly likable and remarkable character. She’s caring and brave and strong and loyal, and I was immediately drawn to her character.

That’s a wrap! Obviously, there are approximately five thousand two hundred and twenty two other reasons that we didn’t mention here, but ain’t nobody got time for that (including me. It’s 9 o’clock and past my bedtime, you guys. I am elderly). So, stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post on Danielle’s blog about why we’re excited to read Helene’s narrative in ATATN. And get STOKED for A Torch Against the Night.

[Note: I edited this post for clarity/brevity after posting. AKA, I took out an unrelated shpiel about Hamilton because I said “sups obsessed” in it and I decided that I did not want the entire world to know that those words are an integral part of my vocabulary. But now you know anyway.]

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