Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Goodreads summary:
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

             First of all, I was quite excited to read this soley based on the time period. Not exactly because of the twenties, but for the fact that the story was taking place somewhere other than the future. I liked the change in tempo and it was interesting to get a different perspective. 
I have never read anything by Libba Bray, but I had kind of high expectations because I had heard good things about her writing. Thankfully, she did not let me down! I did end up liking this book. The only thing that kept me from absolutely loving it, was the nightmares it gave me. I guess I didn't think about the fact that I really despise scary things. And this book is slightly scary. Like serial killer ghosts and creepy whistling scary. Despite this, I did really enjoy this book. In the daytime. 
One thing that did make me happy was the fact that romance was not the main focus of this book. There were hints of it towards the end, but nothing completely overtaking. The book's main importance was the mystery. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice happy romance as much as the next person, but it was nice to get away from that for a little. There are too many stories about love triangles out there right now. I absolutely hate love triangles. With a passion. Though there is probably going to be some love triangle tendencies in the next book, Lair of Dreams. That comes out in August.
Back to the story, I liked pretty much all of the characters, though they all had their flaws. I can appreciate their flaws, as long as their not too overwhelming. And annoying. The one character I loved was Sam Loyd. He is a pickpocket who has some other special powers. He is witty and charming and cheesy and I couldn't help but smile when he talked. He was full of clever lines. I absolutely loved the banter between him and the main character Evie. 
Overall I liked the style of writing, though it did annoy me at times that the stories switched back and forth between characters. Right when you would get into one, the story line would switch to a different character. And then you just spent that whole chapter wanting to get back to the other story. Slightly frustrating.
All in all, I really liked this book. It wasn't really like anything that I have read lately. 
I'd give it four out of five stars. The only thing weighing it down, was the fact that things could get a tad confusing at moments, and I got a little too scared to turn the lights out behind me at night. I would definitely recommend it. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Stack


So this is my "soon to be read pile".
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Death at Seaworld by David Kirby
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Legend by Marie Lu
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Any suggestions on where I should start? Let me know if you've read any of them!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


              Two twins, Cath and Wren, are embarking on the adventure that is starting college. Throughout their childhood, they both nourished an almost unhealthy obsession for the popular book and movie franchise, Simon Snow, essentially our Harry Potter. As the years have passed, Wren's interest has waned, but Cath's has not. At all. She writes as a very popular fanfiction author with over tens of thousands of readers. When they both enter their first year at college Wren flourishes and Cath flounders. She has a case of social anxiety and only seems to find comfort in the made up world of Simon Snow. With the help of some wonderfully weird characters, Cath navigates through reality. This is a whimsical story of love in all of it's different forms.

                  This book was absolutely extraordinary in every way. The characters were beautiful and wonderfully developed and real. Like the other thousands of readers who adored this book, I could see parts of myself in the main character. I haven't ever fully connected with a character as much as I did with Cath. I start college next year and, of course, I'm nervous. Really nervous. I'm not exactly a social butterfly. This story served to ease my nerves a little bit and it gave me a glimpse of the future. Even if it's fictional. I so wish it wasn't. Oh man.
                 The romance in this story gave me all sorts of warm and fuzzies. There was lovey dovey stuff without being too cheesy. The one thing that I cannot stand is flimsy, cheesy, overdone love development. It makes me cringe so hard that I start to hate the book. And that's very difficult to do. I love most books. Fangirl made me set the book down at moments for how completely sweet and heart wrenching the interactions between the love interests were. I had to lay back and inwardly squeal from all the giddiness. All in all, this was the best love story I have read in a while. Quite a long while.
                 The supporting characters in this were phenomenal. They weren't cliche at all and I fell in love with them quickly. Cath's roommate, Reagan, was just what Cath needed in her life. She is snarky and stand-offish, but also loyal and caring. Basically the best side-kick a girl could ask for. She played a great role in Cath's opening up. Wren was the perfect contrast to her sister. She is just like every other teenager out there trying to fit in, though I'm sure we don't always want to admit it. Despite their differences, they never lose their connection. I loved the family dynamic in this story. It wasn't perfect, but it was very real. Instead of just focusing on the romance, Rainbow Rowell conquered the bond between family. She executed it flawlessly. 
                  All in all, this book was absolutely awesome. The plot was unique and totally believable. The romance made me smile so wide my cheeks hurt. I fell in love with the characters quickly and they never failed me. Basically, you need to read this book. Right now. Don't wait. It will be totally worth it.
Five stars for you, Rainbow Rowell!

P.S. I read Eleanor and Park before I read this and I loved it too. Though Fangirl definitely beat it. Make sure to check both of these books out.