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review 2018-08-25 05:51
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware

I had some really high hopes for this book because I heard so many things about it and it was hyped up to my knowledge,,,,and I was kind of let down. I expected something that was a lot more suspenseful and had a different tone than the one that was in the book. I don't know how to describe but what I expected wasn't exactly what I got.

My biggest problem with this book is that it's really slow and really boring. I got to the 160 page mark,,,,and nothing of note had happened except for Mrs Warrens being a right pain in the ass. Nothing really picked up until the last 68 pages or so.

I get that the purpose of the slow build was for the big reveal and to real shock us, and believe me, shock me it did. But I think it missed that mark of being just the right pace. I had to keep making myself read this because it was a library book and it has to go back soon. And you really have to make yourself keep reading because this book is just exhausting to get through.

By the time I hit the 280 something page mark of the copy I had, I said fuck it and just skimmed most of what I had remaining and I don't think I missed much. Obviously the juicy stuff I slowed down and read properly but the rest of it, I just didn't care. I spent the entire book hearing about Hal's worries and concerns that by the end I just didn't care about what her next concern was going to be.

And I feel like the bit in the summary made it sound like the entire family was bonkers or serial killers or something when it was really only two people, everyone else was just kind of,,,,,a normal dysfunctional family.

I will say this though, the plot twist at the end, it was wild. My heart started beating so fast I went into fight or flight mode, I'm in the middle of an adrenaline crash as we speak. It was good. It was the only reason I gave this 3 stars.

Pacing aside, the writing was fine, I'm not great with punctuation so if there were any mistakes with it, it completely escaped me. And because of that plot twist ending, I'm gonna go ahead and say that the characters were pretty dang good too. I liked the tarot card reading element of the story since it essentially is the ticket to solving the entire mystery and you don't even notice you've been given the hints the entire time until you get to the end.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-31 05:32
Before the Devil Breaks You
Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray

I'M LITERALLY SCREAMING. HOLLERING. I JUST FINISHED THIS BOOK NOT TEN MINUTES AGO AND I'M A RIGHT MESS.

 

 

There's so much to discuss I don't even know where to start or how to put it into coherent sentences. First of all, the writing was phenomenal as always, you really feel as if you're right there in New York with everyone as you read the books, you can feel the hatred leap right off of the pages for the characters.

The book was always scary, the scenes in the asylum were truly frightening, I had to stop reading at night because every time I read spooky things I always go to bed with the distinct feeling of being watched. This series just gets progressively spookier and scarier with each book and I absolutely love it, just when you think things couldn't get any worse they really do.

The characters were as always phenomenal (I'll probably be using that word a lot in this review). With every page that you spend with them they grow even more complex, you become even more attached to them and you truly feel for them and their struggles. I would say that the Sam/Evie/Jericho love triangle has a pretty clear and predictable ending to it but I've come to expect the unexpected from Libba Bray so I won't say it because she could very well pull the rug out from under me and hit me with another Kartik turning into a fucking tree situation.

Towards the last hundred or so pages of the book the plot picks up considerably, you're literally like sprinting to such a climactic ending which is why I'm in such literal shock and my adrenaline is pumping.

Honestly if the conclusion isn't something like 1000 pages long, I don't know how this story is going to end, there's literally so much going on with each character that it's hard for me to imagine the book being anything less. I get why Libba Bray has been taking so long with the fourth book, it'll truly be a monster of a book.

From this point onwards, it's pretty much spoilers because I HAVE THOUGHTS. AND THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO HEAR.

Let's start with Theta. The only non-spoiler thing I have to say is that I forget people in the 1920s didn't have eyebrows because it was the fashion and coloured their lips in the shape of Cupids bows. And why is this important, because I was picturing Theta with eyebrows and she had to draw them on and I had a mini-stroke. And also like I get her fear and why she didn't tell anyone about her whole flaming hands thing but all of the Diviners were literally so supportive and they all had their own problems and self-destructive tendencies so like she would've fit right in. And they did exactly what I knew they were going to do the entire time.

I was literally ready to start throwing hands when Roy came into the picture because fuck this man and fuck what he did to Theta, burn in hell bitch. Literally if this bastard doesn't die and someone, say Same, does die there will be no justice in this world. I was so rooting for Theta to light that bitch on fire and like I get why she didn't, character growth on all, but I also like ... don't care, light him on fire. Do what you gotta do. The scene where she and Memphis get back together was so touching and lovely I literally wanna cry I hope things end well for them. 

Moving onto Memphis, I just hope things end well for him and Theta and my heart was really hurting in my chest when he thought Theta didn't love him because he didn't deserve that, the two of them are so wholesome, so pure.

Moving onto Jericho, while I was fully supportive of Evie going after either Sam or Jericho, Jericho has kind of worn off of me to be honest. Like I still love him and want the best for him, but he just has this inferiority complex that was just like amped up to the max in this book and while I still feel sorry for him and want the best for him and my heart aches for him, I kind of think Evie should pick Sam. 

Will kind of disappears after the first book and doesn't make many more prolonged appearances throughout the story so the ending to this book was bittersweet in regards to him. He dies and he never got to reconcile with Evie, the two of them just left things off really badly and it hurts me to think how she's going to react when she hears about what happened to him. 

Mabel ... oh boy. This is all going to be spoilers. She dies. She gets involved with Arthur Brown, the two of them fall in love and she realizes that anarchy is not the way and tries to stop Arthur but before they can stop the bomb, Mable gets shot and is paralyzed, Arthur gets shot and it hits an artery. And then the bomb goes and the two of them die in each others arms. Also Sarah Snow dies so there's that. 

Evie and Same ... oh my God. I have to talk about these two together because there's no way I can sum them up separately. That fake-dating sting really got these two deep in each other's feelings so I'm not surprised that they ended up sleeping together and falling in love. I was literally like a pile of wet napkin during their love dovey stuff near the end right before Sam is kidnapped. But at least Evie knows he was taken and that he didn't just scram.

Evie's world essentially comes crumbling down and boy when things go wrong in this universe they go out with a bang. I felt so bad for her, especially because of the many discoveries she made about James, who is, by the way, gay.

And this is what I was talking about when I said that the Sam and Evie ship is basically confirmed but because I've read Libba Bray's books before, I feel like she's going to just snap our necks and leave us for dead by killing off Sam. I'm not joking when I say I'm going to lock myself in my room for like a solid week in mourning because I literally won't be able to handle it. She already did this with Kartik, she can't do it again I need a break.

If he does die, I'm literally just gonna act like it didn't happen and find fanfiction. That's the tea on that.


All I have to say about Ling is, WE LOVE AN ASEXUAL KWEEN. Nothing all that bad happens to Henry and her in this book so I won't go on about them, life goes pretty well for them.

And um, I think that's it. I'm basically beating at a dead horse at this point but if inclusivity is really really important to you, I'm telling you this book is meant for you. And I think it serves as a good example to other authors to have a more diverse cast of characters and that it doesn't hinder the story in anyway at all but in fact contributes to it.

 

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review 2018-07-15 02:43
Lair of Dreams
Lair of Dreams - Libba Bray

I honestly just can't put into words how much I absolutely love this series and it kills me that it's not as popular as some of the other stuff out there. I can't believe everyone went crazy for Divergent but is completely ignoring this gem.

The second book in the series was just as brilliant as the first. It had the same mystery and spookiness to it and I love how all of the clues that we get from each book on Project Buffalo is slowly building up to give us a picture of what's really going on. Seriously the suspense is killing me. I don't even mind that I have to wait this long for the fourth book to come out because honestly, this series is well worth the wait.

If you're looking for a story that has a diverse cast of characters well then sister this is it. You are here, you've found it. There are people of different races, ethnicities, religions, sexuality, and physical disability etc etc. And what's great is that the struggles that these characters have to put up with because they're black, or Chinese, or disabled, or gay, isn't lost to the story, it's really well incorporated into explaining their actions and their thoughts and how they see the world. The culture and mentality and racism that was present in the 1920s is very much present in this book and I seriously believe that this series would not have been the same if it had all been ignored.

I will say that if you didn't like Evie in the first book, you're probably not gonna like her any better in this book. But no matter how angry you may get with Evie and the way that she's behaving, you ultimately feel bad for her in the end when you see how she's dealing with her situation.

Blind Bill Johnson hasn't really been all that important so far, but I will say that as much as the way that he's manipulating Isaiah disgusts me, I get it. I understand where he's coming from, I get why he's doing what he's doing. I think he's a pretty complex character for someone who hasn't played as big of a role in the story so far.

The sleeping sickness was truly spooky, especially near the end where everything comes to a close and we figure out what's going on and who's responsible for what. I honestly had to stop reading quite a few times just because I was freaking out, I didn't see the plot twist coming, maybe it's because I wasn't paying attention. Everything was all there for me to put together, I just didn't bother stopping to think about how each piece fits together.

Normally I hate pretty much any and all love triangles but not in this book. I'm honestly amazed at how well-written the romance is. Usually, you can tell who the protagonist is going to end up picking, but not in this series. And honestly, I don't even have a preference myself, I would be just as happy for Evie to end up with either prospect, I just want the angst and the suffering to end for my boys Jericho and Sam/Sergei.

Although if Jericho resorts to the "nice guys finish last" type of mentality I'm going to be angry for the rest of my life.

Each relationship in the love triangle works well, the characters all have something or need something from the other that would make the relationship work ya know. And most importantly, it doesn't distract from the plot, like in most cases where it ends up more romance and what was supposed to be actual plot kind of just becomes a side thought. I can't believe I'm saying this, but if anything, the romance actually adds to the story and helps move it along.

The writing was fantastic, it flowed so well, the pacing was great, it keeps you engaged and it's honestly really easy to spend your entire day reading all 613 pages of this. 

And the cliffhanger at the end honestly has me #deadt.

In conclusion, I've been screaming about this series from the rooftops for literally years on end now but no one will listen to me about how good it is. And lastly, I am forever a fan of Libba Bray honestly bless up, this was the supernatural, paranormal story that I didn't even know I needed.

 

(Also, I saw that lil nod towards Felicity and Gemma in the book, I saw it. I just wanna know if they're gonna end up making a bigger appearance later on or if it's just a lil something for the Gemma Doyle fans out there? WHO DOES GEMMA MARRY? WHO IS THIS RAO CHARACTER? FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED LIBBA!)
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review 2018-06-25 03:51
Obsidio
Obsidio - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman

I don't even know where to start. I literally just finished this book five minutes ago. I'm in shock.

 

To be honest this entire series is just one long screaming fest because hOlY ShIt.

 

 

There's so many plot twists and the authors constantly push you to the brink of despair and make you think that everyone's going to die.

 

AND THEN THEY SNATCH YOU BACK FROM THE EDGE AND THEY'RE LIKE SIKE.

 

I think I've said this before, but I know some people had trouble with the way that the story was told as it was told through dossiers and stuff and I'll admit that it's out of the ordinary but I think it really fits the story.

 

I think this entire trilogy does a really good job of showing that there isn't always just black and white, good and evil, there's so many gray areas and showing how people fit into those grey areas. There are so many characters in this book, not all of them important, but you get a little snippet into almost all of their lives that gives you some understanding of them. It does a really good job of showing that good people are capable of doing bad things. And that it's a lot harder to simply cut someone off when you know that person.

 

There were so many characters in the book who had committed some really terrible atrocities and while it made me absolutely livid, seeing them through the eyes of some of the characters and hearing them talk, you begin to hate them a little less.

 

Except for Leanne Frobisher, that bitch can rot to be honest.

 

I really liked the dialogue among the characters, they all had their own distinctive way of talking. I think even without the name labels, you'd probably be able to figure who was speaking when. I also really liked the characterization. Obviously not everyone is likeable, but they feel real, like someone that you might encounter at some point throughout your life ya know.

 

It goes without saying that the plot was absolutely incredible and blew my damn mind.

 

I know that this probably is coming across as very scatter-brained and unorganized but I'm still reeling from the book and trying to get my brain working properly again. 10/10 would recommend and I'm 100% planning on reading this series again in the future.

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review 2016-03-31 22:31
At the Edge of Empire
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire - Daniel Kraus

This is the type of book where it's either your cup of tea, or it isn't. I personally enjoyed this book very much, from the writing, to the characters, I thought it was really interesting.

The main complaint with this book is that it dragged on and didn't go anywhere, and I can understand why. The purpose of this story is to tell the life of Zebulon Finch, as narrated by Zebulon himself. It takes you from his childhood, to when he ran away from home, to him becoming a gangster and so on.

I enjoyed the writing of the novel, as well as the pace. With the exception of Zebulon getting extremely horny every once in a while at the sight of an attractive girl, there wasn't any purple prose, there was enough to paint a picture and keep things interesting. Zebulon's narration of his life was witty and honest, he didn't sugarcoat anything, even if it meant showing him in a bad light.

Every person that Zebulon meets serves a purpose in shaping in his character, and all of these people come back to him throughout his life and change it again. Every character in the story is different, has different personalities and stands out, I was actually able to remember them throughout the story. Sometimes these characters turned out to be exactly how you thought they would be, and sometimes they were a surprise and turned out to be someone completely different.

I liked the fact that the story actually acknowledges that Zebulon breaks every law of science and actually makes an attempt to discover as to how Zebulon is still functioning even though he is dead. The story doesn't ignore the fact that Zebulon's body is decaying because he is dead, how the sun and hot lights affect him, how he looks compared to everyone else.

Not every character that is introduced in the story is meant to be liked, in fact, most of them are terrible people, and yet, I didn't find myself hating them the same way that I have a burning hatred for two dimensional characters in other novels. You could understand them, for example, the Barker, he was a terrible man, but it was hard to hate him. He was struggling to survive, just like everyone else was, he did what he had to in order to survive. Zebulon himself isn't a very likeable person to begin with, and yet throughout the story, I didn't find myself necessarily liking him, but I could understand him as well as why he did the things that he did. He tried to right his wrongs throughout the novel, he tried to become a better person despite the fact that he failed continually. Every character in this book changed in some way, whether it was for the better or for the worse, they changed, and personally, I felt the character arcs were perfect.

The situations that Zebulon found himself in were especially interesting, so interesting that I had to plan time to read this book because once I started I couldn't stop reading. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I would recommend giving it a shot just to see if you're interested.

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