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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 02:50
The Diviners
The Diviners - Libba Bray

I think it's time for a real review because that old one was just embarrassing (especially given that I just re-read this book).

I finally got around to reading this again like I've been meaning to do for some time now but lots of things happened and here we are several years later. I have the other books in a series which I'm also just getting around to now but anyways, moving on.

I don't know how young I was when I read this but like I get why I got scared reading it at night ya know. Maybe it's just because I've grown and not as easily scared anymore but thankfully it didn't scare me this time around.

I know that a lot of people had problems with Evie and they didn't like her. I was not one of those people. I mean yes, I get why people disliked her but it didn't bother me. I thought it gave her personality, made her seem real. I think I even have a few friends who are like her, maybe that was why she didn't bother me as much. There was a lot of 20s slang present in the book as well but it didn't make it any harder to understand or take away from the story, it's pretty easy to figure out what they're talking about.

I loved the diverse cast of characters that were present and the backstory on each of them. I think it really made them seem more realistic and also made you feel for them in a way. For example, what Blind Bill did to Isaiah, it was a terrible thing that he did but at the same time, when you learn more about him, you kind of understand where he was coming from and why he did it, it doesn't make it excusable, but you understand.

I love how everyone is connected to each other and watching those connections unfold. It honestly made me excited because I knew how the characters were connected but they didn't and it just kept you flipping the pages.

There's a hint of a love triangle present in the story, but it doesn't take away from the story or overshadow the plot ya know, it's mostly in the background. I hate love triangles just as much as the next person but it didn't bother me. And honestly, I could see Evie ending up with either Sam or Jericho like I support both of them. I'm leaning towards Jericho just a L I T T L E bit more, but I can see her ending up with either and I'd fully support the end product either way.

The romance was not the point, however.

I think the supernatural stuff was written really well, the murders were gruesome and maybe it makes me a sociopath but I honestly loved reading those bits. It was so great watching the mystery unfold as Evie and the rest of them put everything together.

And I think my favourite part of the book was the way that it showed how people can get carried away and fanatic with what they believe and how this blurs the line between good and bad. How anything is excusable if you believe that you're doing it in the name of God. I don't know, but I thought it was probably the most interesting aspect of the book, seeing the level of devotion that people had to the Brethren and how far they were willing to go in order to see through what they believed to be the word of God.

TL;DR please read this it's an amazing book and well worth your money.

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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 2018-07-13 18:08
4.7 Out Of 5 "skin-shifting" STARS
Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf) - Ryan Graudin

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~BOOK BLURB~

Blood for Blood

Ryan Graudin

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There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.

 

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Non-spoiler-y review for both books.

 

The narration for this series is fantastic, she does German words and accents with ease, all while staying completely comprehensible.  Yes, even for me.  I highly recommend the Audio version for this series.  Although, the novella Iron to Iron is only available in book format, but well worth the read anyway.

 

An alluring, atmospheric, alternative historical where the Germans and Japanese win WWII.  In the first book Wolf by Wolf, the resistance recruits Yael a skin-shifter (Sounds a bit paranormal-ish…but it's really more like Science Fiction with the way it's done.) to impersonate Adele Wolfe, a racer in the Axis Tour, to assassinate Hitler.  Things end on a cliffhanger and Blood for Blood picks up where the first book leaves off.  From there it's a race of a different kind.  To not only live but follow through on killing the real Hitler.  The writing is captivating and the characters are inspiring.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 4.2/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ No, not at all.

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Book Cover~ Awesome

Narration~ ☆5☆ for Christa Lewis...so good!

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ Japan & Germany

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-06-26 16:34
A Twist and Two Balls (With a Kick, #1) by Clare London 3.5 Stars Review!
A Twist and Two Balls (With A Kick Book 1) - Clare London

Eduardo Mancini is going to be a star of the London stage and screen. Or that was the plan. His alter ego Eddy March hasn't got further than the chorus and a bit part in a TV series. His parents aren't supportive, his agent can’t place his particular skills, and he's finding it hard to hang onto his young dreams. Things go from bad to worse when he's late for an important audition, hasn't got enough money to pay the taxi fare, and is chased across the streets of Soho by the irate driver.

Eddy reaches what he believes is sanctuary - With A Kick, a store where ice creams are blended with alcohol and imagination, and where his friends can help him. But Nuri the taxi driver is persistent in his steady pursuit, above and beyond the money he’s owed. Despite their very different characters and background, Eddy and Nuri’s relationship goes from a complete unknown to a wary balancing act. There are still mistakes to be made, and hurdles to clear. And both of them have to admit that their life so far hasn’t gone the way they planned.

But maybe being caught by Nuri was just what Eddy’s career needed – both for his job and his heart.

 

Review

 

This is a sweet and yet realistically tart interracial romance yet around the boozey ice cream shop at the center of this series.

Nuri and Eddy get off to a very rough start. Eddy does not have the money to pay the Taxi fare.

Eddy and Nuri are very different men but they like and admire each other as Eddy finds himself again as a performer and Nuri shares more and more of his family and life with him.

There is a madcap feel to parts of this romance and in other parts its lush. Compelling love story.
 
 

 

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