Book: The Diviners

divinersBook: The Diviners

Authors: Libba Bray

Synopsis: 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.

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis (Spoiler Free) This is the first book in so long that I have felt this desire to read. I missed it so much. Magic in the twenties and a murderer around New York just makes for such a perfect and well thought out book. It’s a shame that many people opt out of it because of its size. The book is the perfect size for all that goes on and all the connections you get. Libba has outdone herself in every aspect of this book.

Characters: ⅘ These characters were so well thought out. There was great representation for diversity in this book. It was a little confusing to keep up with all these different characters, but there stories and situations were all so different that it helped differentiate. I didn’t find any character boring. I had my favorite which was Memphis and Evie’s perspectives because they just cared so much.

Motivation felt like such a big part of this story, as it does most mysteries. I found myself wondering why any of this would happen, and is anyone doing it for the sake of the greater good? There were times I really questioned everyone because it felt like everyone was just going through the motions of being good.

I liked the different perspectives which is weird because I don’t typically. With all these characters I was able to pick part of myself out of each of them really involving me in their stories.

Plot: 5/5 I was hooked from the beginning. The second it got supernatural I needed to know more. The mystery was more intriguing because of its darkness and connections to the occult. I didn’t feel rushed or like there was info dumping, it felt like we were working with them.

Writing Style: ⅘ Libba has such an ethereal and haunting writing. It really drew out and highlighted the gruesome parts of the story. Throughout the book her details enchanted these seemingly normal acts. She doesn’t get sidetracked from these details and lose the plot.

I don’t have much for these last two sections because I feel like it’s best to go in less knowledgeable. Please, please, please read this. I know so many people that would love this story, and I’m hopefully going to get them to read it.

Book: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

dreadful tale of prosper reddingBook: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Synopsis: “I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosper Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history – that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great something grandfather made- and then broke-a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose – to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts tick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

Rating:

Review (Spoilers): I really enjoyed this book.I did go to meet signing for this book, and Alex is such a sweet person. She interacts with the audience really well, and tells the funniest stories. It was filled with mysterious vibes that really took control of the plot, but there was still that innocence because Prosper is so young. It may deal with heavy topics, but it makes light of them because it is still middle grade.

Characters: ⅘ The family dynamic was perfect. Prosper seemed that he really wanted to make sure his family was safe, but it didn’t become the plot. Nell and Prosper’s relationship did seem a little fake because he ever met her, but he suddenly trusts her with putting magic on him. I doubted the legitimacy from the beginning, and I was right. I did love Nell so much though. I love how she decided to go for the part of the play even though it was a boy.

Alastor was the funniest demon I have ever read from. There were times when I wish he was a little more serious to push the story along. He seemed very humanized than a demon would be, and it’s a little scary to think of a demon having and showing these human traits like Alastor did. The ending of the book was what really shook me. Instead of this demon that’s bad, it’s this human. It was really such an eye opener that not all humans are good some are monsters. Just like humans an entire race can’t be judged on the action of some. We wouldn’t all like to be recognized as just Hitler, and the same could go for these demons. Maybe some of them are good, and we can’t judge the race as a whole because they are all different.

Plot: ⅗ It may have been the way I was reading it, in the middle of a bunch of testing, but the plot was really slow. It didn’t draw my attention span for long periods of time. There were some great moments throughout this book, just put all together it didn’t flow as nicely as it could have. I am going to be hoping for some more world building and action in this next book, especially since the ending of the last one.

Writing Style: This was perfect for test days because I could home to an easy read that gave my brain a break. It was filled with simple dialogue, not a lot of intense world building, and some very descriptive sights. I will not hold against her the lack of vocabulary, and sentence types because it is written for a younger audience.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I will be eagerly anticipating the coming books. What did you think of this book?

Spooky Reads

Spooky Reads

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken Goodreads

dreadful tale of prosper redding

This book is the definition of Halloween aesthetic. It has every factor you need to crave autumn, and the story just fits perfectly along with the whole aesthetic. I can’t wait to dive deeper into this book.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black Goodreads

coldest girl in coldtown

As this was my first experience with Holly Black I can say it won’t be my last. Vampires were the main focus of this book, and I completely feel in love with all of them. The whole book had me on edge and creeped out.

The Accident Season by Moȉra Fowley-Doyle Goodreads

accident season

There was something about this book that scared me so much. There was an actual season for accidents, and while I get hurt on a daily basis, I couldn’t handle an accident season.

The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín Goodreads

call

I drew a lot of comparisons to the Hunger Games in this book, but it was so much darker. These creatures were ruthless and they honestly gave me chills. I can’t wait for the sequel that is set to come out in 2018.

The Diviners by Libba Bray Goodreads

diviners

A magical story set in the 20’s, I’m down. Murders happening across the city, I’m down. Reading it during Halloween, I’m down. I seriously want to finish this book especially during this spooky season.

Harry Potter Movies

harry potter moviesHello! I’m here to discuss my favorite adaptation that I watch on bad days and just any day. That is the Harry Potter series. I can’t choose a singular favorite but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 2. I do love all of them though. They all symbolize a big part of my childhood. I saw the first two movies when I was very little because they weren’t as dark, so I was able to watch them when my older brother did.

I have three very distinct memories of watching the Harry Potter movies. The first memory is when I was 6 or 7 in our old house, we watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, my favorite one. We were all cuddled up in our blankets while the sun was going down. After when finished the movie we had a puzzle. I don’t know why this is such a distinct moment in my memory.

The second memory I’m much older. We were helping up the yard at my grandma’s for the day, and we all came back sweaty and tired. I suggested that we all shower and watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone because I had just gotten the craving to watch it. My mom made popcorn, and I grab a bunch of blankets off of my bed. We were all bundled up on the couches and floor. The reason I remember this one so well, I think is because my brother watched with us. He was never the type for movie nights, just because he was constantly studying. Of course, that got him pretty far in life.

The last memory was on the night after a 5k I did, so I was resting. It was one of those rare days where the temperature dipped below freezing. I was wearing a giant sweatshirt and leggings while on the couch drinking hot chocolate. I was half asleep, but my mom was in the kitchen making dinner. Moose, my dog, was against my side acting as a heater. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was a quiet murmur in the back. When I think of winter that is always the first thing to come to mind, and I love it.

I don’t know why I decided to share that. It was originally just going to be about the movies, but instead you get my memories.. So I hope you enjoyed that little trip down memory lane. What are some of your fondest memories of Harry Potter?

Book: The Murder On The Orient Express

Book: The Murder On The Orient Expressmurder on the orient express

Author: Agatha Christie

Synopsis: Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its track by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

Rating:

Review(Spoilers): Although this isn’t going to tell the big spoilers I feel that it is best to go into this book not knowing anything. I picked this up without knowing much about it because the adaptation is coming out. Typically, mysterious are not my thing. I find them boring and predictable. I was disappointed with how predictable this book was too.

Characters:⅖ There wasn’t much about the characters beside their relations to the murder. We didn’t get a look into anyone’s personality, not even Hercule, making the whole story very distant. Hercule’s thinking process was very interesting, as I have never thought like a detective. I did find that no one’s acts really surprised me.

Plot:⅗ While it was predictable, I did love it. The way that they all had relations and ties to this one man and all seemed to be on this one train did raise a lot of questions. I wish it wasn’t so predictable because that always seems to ruin my opinion. The entire time I did think it was one person until the last section, that was when I thought that everything was put together so smoothly that it had to have been planned.

Writing Style: ⅖ I understand how much effort is put into the writing when it comes to mysteries, especially murders, because it has to flow while giving evidence, but it can’t give anything away. When it came to the explanation it was well thought out, but it felt like he was explaining to us rather than he was trying to solve the problem. There was something about the dialogue that felt off. Of course, she did a flawless job of providing well thought out evidence for all the characters. I didn’t have a problem with any of that just with the dialogue.

Overall, I did really enjoy this story. It was a nice refresher from fantasy, and it really gives your mind a challenge to figure it out. I will be eagerly awaiting the adaptation set to come out in November.

 

Book: Flame In The Mist

Book: Flame In The Mist

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Synopsis: The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan. a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love-a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

Rating:

Review (Spoiler Free): Everyone talked about this book and how good it was, so I had to high hopes for this book. Sadly, it didn’t reach those expectations. There was a lot of confusing things and the world building was a little too far fetched.

Characters: ⅗ Mariko seemed like she was going to be a strong character. She didn’t seem to have her priorities straight, and she didn’t even start to put together a plan. Mariko’s motivation was strong and nor was it the best decisions. I had seen loads on how much feminism there was, but to me the feminism wasn’t put there for any gaining factor. It was forced, and didn’t impact her character at all.

Plot: ⅗ The plot was confusing. It seemed very choppy and not smoothly connected. I wish there would have been more world building to help make sense of the things that went down. It was very dull, and I wish I could have been more drawn into the story,

Writing Style: ⅖ A lot of the things mentioned didn’t have an explanation. There was a glossary, but not all of the words were there. The first time something is mentioned there should be a sentence to describe what it is. Instead we have to guess or go to the glossary. Her sentences weren’t overly flowy, preventing me from really connecting to the story and the characters.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book. I wish it had more world building, and less focus on the relationship that blumes out of nowhere.

Autumn Reads

I’m not typically a seasonal reader. I also live in Texas, so there isn’t really a Autumn season. I really want to move somewhere the leaves change colors, it snows, and there is a temperature below 80 degrees. There are quite a few books that do remind me of Autumn, or what I have seen of Autumn online. The goodreads will be linked below if you want actual summaries of these books.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

harry potter

This one is one everyone thinks of, and I started rereading them to immerse myself in some version of Autumn. The way the seasons are described are represented makes you really crave for a Hogwarts. The meals, the classes, the quidditch, and everything to do with the wizarding world gives me feelings.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

vicious

Last year, my wonderful friend gave me this book for my birthday. I started as soon as I got it, and it was mid-December. The writing was so atmospheric. It was nice to read during school because the beginning and part of the middle is set in a University. This book was perfect to read while in bed while drinking tea.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

bone gap

This book was set in a small town, and it had a lot to do with friendship, love, and an underlying creepy vibe I didn’t expect. We follow Finn, the main character, as he finds out and goes through a lot of stuff. I found the writing very emotional, and I would definitely recommend getting a cup of tea for this one.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

the raven boys

Now this wouldn’t be a Autumn recommendation post if I didn’t put my favorite read of the season. The Raven Boys is probably the best thing to read while cuddled up with tea, a candle, and the rain falling on your window. You go through the adventures with these themes of ghosts and death always hanging around the corner. This series is one I will ALWAYS associate with Autumn.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

the unbecoming of mara dyer

I love this series a lot (I am also siked for the Shaw Confessions coming out in a few months) She does a great way of tying in a very creepy element. You are able to feel scared, uncontrollable laughter, happiness, sadness because she toys with every emotion you have. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a book in which you are kept in the dark, but you don’t realize it.

September Wrap Up

This month was especially good for me because I read a lot whilst balancing my studies. I read a lot of new releases because so many good ones came out this fall, and even more new releases are coming out this fall.  I also know I haven’t been consistent with posting, and I promise to try this week.

Trails of Apollo by Rick Riordan 3.5/5 Goodreads

The_Hidden_Oracle

I really did enjoy this book. Uncle Rick is very good at connecting to my childhood and pulling its strings.

Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo 5/5 Goodreads

wonder woman

My favorite author back at it again. Even though I didn’t feel it was her strongest book, it was good. She really had a different take on Diana’s story.

Girls Made of Glass and Snow by Melissa Bashardoust 4.5/5 Goodreads

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THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! The characters were so on point. I could feel a book slump coming on and this book demolished it.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sánez ⅗ Goodreads

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This did really blow me away. I was laughing, I was in tears, and I felt on edge the entire book.

Warcross by Marie Lu 5/5 Goodreads

warcross

Marie Lu has blown me away, once again. She has this way of twisting and breaking your heart, and it’s wonderfully painful. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds.

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke ⅗ Goodreads

wink poppy midnight

It was very tough to get into, but it was very mysterious and different to what I was normally reading.

Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh 3/5 Goodreads

flame in the mist

While I am excited to see how this story unfolds, I did find it a bit slow and confusing. We didn’t have a very firm grasp on the world.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling ⅘ Goodreads

harry potter

I was really feeling down on a sick day, so I decided that I could start the Harry Potter reread over again. (It’s still going strong.)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling ⅗ Goodreads

chamber of secrets

Easily, this is my least favorite. It’s funny because growing up this was my favorite growing up. I just find Lockhart and Dobby’s characters over the top and annoying.

The Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner ⅗ Goodreads

the hush

I haven’t read a book quite like this in a while. It reminded me of Six of Crows with the whole heist idea.

Book: Girls Made Of Snow and Glass

Book: Girls Made Of Snow and Glass

Author: Melissa Bashardoust

Synopsis: At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone. Her heart has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that normal-she never guessed that her father had cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: Win the king’s heart, become queen, and finally know.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: A magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do-and who to be-to win back the only mother she’s ever known.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review (Contains Spoilers): I received this book as an arc after winning it in a giveaway. I was so excited, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. The characters were so complex, and I couldn’t help but love and hate them.

Characters: 5/5 My favorite part of the entire book was the relationships. The relationship between Mina and Lynet was so hard to understand. There wasn’t the basic stepmother trope which was refreshing. I couldn’t begin to think how much changed between them. I WILL BE SCREAMING ABOUT LYNET AND NADIA. I didn’t expect it at all, yet it seemed so fitting. Throughout the book they went through so much, and I loved them just being there for eachother all the time. Not too long ago I read a post about lack of F/F relationships, and this book represented it very well.

I didn’t like Mina as much as I liked Lynet. Obviously she had that more villainy side that came out in the way she talked. For some reason, she reminded me of Kaz Brekker. I think it was the “Can’t love” trope going for them, but also in the way they represented themselves. Mina was constantly thinking about presentation and ways to maneuver her way to the top. She was still so well written even if she wasn’t a good character.

Lynet on the other hand was amazing to read from. I don’t know why, but I found her more interesting and more human. She did feel more childish than her age. Yet Lynet sacrificed so much for her own happiness to help her dad. Lynet did almost everything her dad told her to, and even though she was scared of becoming like mother, she tried to disappoint her father as little as possible. Such a pure soul, and the ending she really had changed. After all of this, she had realized her duties and what she needed to do.

Plot: ⅘ This plot was seemed unoriginal, but it was still shocking. Every betrayal felt real even though sometimes it wasn’t. I felt that it was a little fast, but I was eager for more, and it fed that need. There was some parts that I wish was expanded on like their powers because it felt a little skimmed. Large gaps of time threw me off because so much time passed, but the scenery or seasons never changed.

Writing Style: ⅘ There wasn’t a lot of dialogue which is different from most books. My only problem with the writing was the way it skimmed over monumental parts. Big parts of the story were wrapped up in a few sentences. That was another factor that contributed to the pacing.

In the end I loved it. This was such an amazing book, and I will recommend this until the day I die.

Book: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Book: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life

Author: Benjamin Alire Sańez

Synopsis: The first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is- but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

Rating: 3.5/5

Review: (Spoiler Free) I really do love this book. Most of it hit my heart so hard, and I cried like a baby the entire time. I don’t think I liked it more than Aristotle and Dante, but I still did very much enjoy it. It did seem a little repetitive at some points.

Characters: ⅗ Salvador didn’t feel original, but I still felt a very strong connection to him. Every heartbreaking moment I was crying. Sal and Sam’s relationship didn’t feel very real to me. I couldn’t find in what way it was similar at all to my best friend. Of course, the circumstances were very different. They were the only relationship that really fit. Sal and his dad were supposed to have this great relationship, but it didn’t feel right.

Plot: ⅖ There wasn’t much of a plot. It felt more like a collection memories and moments. There was also very large gaps between these small moments. The conflict was a little too drawn out too.

Writing Style: ⅖ There wasn’t much depth, which what the author was trying to get. A lot of the dialogue seemed a little over the top in terms of the jokes. No one seemed to have basic conversations.

That was a very short review, but overall I did enjoy it. I wished I loved it as much as Ari and Dante.