The colloquialisms are adorable (I've no idea how Libba Bray worked abs-...moreBe warned, newcomers to Libba Bray:
This is a long book. Like, 600 pages long.
The colloquialisms are adorable (I've no idea how Libba Bray worked abs-o-tute-ly, jake, heebie jeebies, and [insert word]-ski into her vocabulary, but I grin like a fool at the slang), but the plot is saturated with melodrama, and the romance is as dry as last week's toast.
Bleh. Last week's toast. That was some pretty horrible romance. It was the kind of setup where there's the triangles and the squares and the polygons, and then I'm just so excited for the chaos (yes, yes, sadism, masochism, pleasure from pain, yada yada. All's fair in love and war, you know.), and then Bray turns around and writes something like, "the thrill of his touch traveled the length of her arm, and this, too, she tried to ignore" (direct quote, by the way).
And thus, cue the rolling of the eyes. My eyes rolled so much that they got dizzy. No joke.
But before dedicated fans let their attack dogs loose, let me tell you that I liked Diviners a whole lot, sucky romance aside. Love was a minor thing, (after all, there was basically only one kissing scene), and the plot was fun and the characters were misguided and funny and stupid and awesome (except for when they were trying to kiss other characters), and Libba continued her amazing streak of hilarious author's notes and acknowledgements (seriously, read her author's notes and acknowledgements. They're the bomb dot com, and I don't use that bad slang lightly), even though she needs work on her love polygons (seriously, if you don't want to write romance, just write story. GOOD STORIES DON'T NEED ROMANTIC LOVE!! News flash: there are other kinds of love. Like family. And friends.)
You can tell that I really know when to let go of a grudge *cough*(less)
It feels like I haven't read a picture book in forever, so visual consumption from this book was wholly appreciated.
But the bare boned story, without...moreIt feels like I haven't read a picture book in forever, so visual consumption from this book was wholly appreciated.
But the bare boned story, without pictures, is overdramatic and unsubstantial. To put it bluntly, these kids instantly fall in love and there's little to no depth to any characters. It would have been a 2 star, but the pictures are so well done that I bumped it up. Read only if you need to feed your visual appetite.(less)
I have a working theory that every book can be captured with one perfect word. It's not going to be a perfect fit. Some favorite parts will be left ou...moreI have a working theory that every book can be captured with one perfect word. It's not going to be a perfect fit. Some favorite parts will be left out. There's a high level of variation, because words are different for every book, every person, every reread.But they're there. Harry Potter is magic. Sherlock Holmes is mystery. And there has to be one for Eleanor & Park.
I'm no expert on real life love, so if I'm wrong, forgive me. But how can one word capture the cute, warm, and fuzzy feeling?
The frantic, fast version of first love, and the need to slowly, carefully, meticulously examine it.
The awkwardness of needing to learn how to kiss and sometimes tripping over coffee tables and falling on the couch.
The unforgiving arguments that end in silence. The non-arguments that end in silence anyway. The problems with the outside world and with the world between two people. Picking fights without knowing why.
And more mundane things. The aversion to meeting the parents. The first date. The first kiss. The first shared mixtapes and comics. Holding hands. Driving around. Sneaking around.
The tenuous, fragile, "It's because I have to" family love.
Even the weird, arbitrary things matter.
Makeovers, eyeliner, satin pillowcases.
The weird loveliness of having a punk rock Asian kid date a tomboy redhead. Because, yeah, looks can matter in a lovely way.
Reading a book written by someone with a cool name like Rainbow Rowell.
So I didn't expect much from this book. Sue me. But I do love me a good plot twist. Then again, I'm pretty oblivious, so maybe it was a pretty obvious...moreSo I didn't expect much from this book. Sue me. But I do love me a good plot twist. Then again, I'm pretty oblivious, so maybe it was a pretty obvious twist. No matter -- I still had fun.
However, there was just no substance in the book that stuck. I didn't particularly adore any character and there was nothing especially clever. It was like drinking a cool glass of pink lemonade in the dead of winter. - pleasant but a little out of place.
Mind, though, that there are two fantasy series whose plot twists and character complexity will never be matched. Of course, I am referring to the rather obscure Thief series, written by the inscrutable Megan Whalen Turner, and the infallible Finnikin of Rock trilogy. Worth a mention. (less)