I had high hopes for this book - a diverse cast, magic in the real world, Brujeria. It all sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I just couldn't connectI had high hopes for this book - a diverse cast, magic in the real world, Brujeria. It all sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I just couldn't connect to the characters in enough time to get me hooked. With my long reading list, I decided to put this aside instead and hope to come back to it another time. The protagonist, even 1/3 of the way through the book, is undeveloped. My pet peeve in writing is when characters act or speak because it's necessary to push the plot forward and not because the action is internally motivated by the character's natural personality and progression. Everything Alex says and does feels forced in order to move the plot. ...more
Wow. I downloaded an ARC of this book shortly after I heard the author booktalk it at the YA Author Coffee Klatch at ALA Annual 2016 and I'm so glad.Wow. I downloaded an ARC of this book shortly after I heard the author booktalk it at the YA Author Coffee Klatch at ALA Annual 2016 and I'm so glad. She described it as "Night Circus meets Sleep No More" and I think that's pretty spot on (although I haven't attended Sleep No More yet, just heard all about it from friends).
The story follows Scarlett, a young woman engaged to be married to a count she's never met, as she plays a mysterious and sometimes dangerous game.
I don't want to give too much away about the book because I want everyone to savor the mystery of it. The language and descriptions are luscious. Scarlett is definitely the most flushed out character, with others having much less depth but not so flat as to be boring or unbelievable. I was really pulled into this book in a way that I haven't been in a long time with YA. I was also impressed with the author's ability to keep me guessing until the very end. In her booktalk, she said she didn't even know how it would end until she got there - she didn't allow herself to make judgements about what was real and what was a game - and I could see that in the writing. Yes, the romance is a bit predictable, but the twists in the plot were not and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what was truth and what was fantasy.
Garber has created a gorgeous world, easy to picture in my head as I read, but not so focused on descriptions of dresses and environment that I got bored waiting for action. This book felt solid, not just a fun wild ride but actually immersive, and I enjoyed the ending. I've read enough magical realism that cops out at the end with some cheesy explanation or hand-waving that doesn't make much sense but I didn't get that feeling this time. The whole book is incredibly satisfying and I can't wait to see it made into a movie....more
A Hundred Thousand Worlds takes readers on a journey across the country via comic cons as Valerie Torrey returns to LA with the young son she left witA Hundred Thousand Worlds takes readers on a journey across the country via comic cons as Valerie Torrey returns to LA with the young son she left with 6 years prior. Told through an intimate view of the world of comic books and pop culture, this is ultimately the story of a mother, son, and their relationship. Cheeky references to comics and pop-culture will entertain fans but one need not be familiar with the genre in order to enjoy the book. This well-written novel is solid, with fleshed-out, well-rounded characters, believable dialogue, and satisfying interactions. It's easy to get sucked into this world of recognizable people grappling with realistic challenges. Must read....more