Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn't make her life even remotely easy. Whe...moreDusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn't make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school's jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty's as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that's easier asked than done. Eli's dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies. To make matters worse, Dusty's ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty's heart. As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they're connected to something bigger. And there's something very wrong with Eli's dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.
The Nightmare Dilemma is dark and dangerous. Here we have the return of an unlikely detective and her friends investigating the curious and the deadly at their magical boarding school. Unfortunately for me, I felt something was missing from the first book.
This time around, after revealing some secrets and getting tossed around in more ways than one, Dusty is torn between a lot of things. Between getting on with her life post-Marrow, getting back to school, and doing what's asked of her. Between Eli, the other half of her Dream Team, and Paul, her ex-boyfriend who was part of the plot that changed everyone and their magic. Between worrying and not worrying over her mother, whose morals are questionable.
There were times where it felt like the love triangle/romance situation was taking over the mystery. Dusty and Eli are teens with normal teen angst and hormones and emotions, yes, but it just seemed like the romance was taking over, that Dusty was worrying more about how she felt for both Eli and Paul instead of worrying about her classmate's assault, what might happen next, and her nightmares. If she didn't want to deal with Paul, as she sort of doesn't, she could've said no when asked to spy on him.
I sort of miss Dusty from the first book. This Dusty has a huge weight on her shoulders. She's tired, stretched thin, she can't move beyond the image in her nightmares or her feelings for Eli (who avoids her) and Paul (who doesn't want her to avoid him). There's still some spunk, some snark, but not as much, and I'm wondering if that's because things have changed. I didn't necessarily like this one as much as the first, but I'm still curious as to what the next book will bring.(less)
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more...moreNow that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after... Ronan, for one, has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself. One secret is he can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things. He's one of the raven boys, a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead Welsh king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface, changing everything in its wake.
The Dream Thieves is just as mystical and enchanting as its predecessor and even more dangerous than I expected. The search for the long dead Welsh king hidden somewhere along the ley lines continues, but new and more deadly figures are coming out of the shadows, searching for something impossible and coveted. Things have changed for the raven boys, and things are coming together, ready to collide in a mix of fire and dreams.
This book takes readers back to Henrietta, back to Blue and her raven boys, her complicated and battered boys. If The Raven Boys was curiosity, if it was magic, if it was the unveiling of something, The Dream Thieves is the aftermath, the effects of what happened at and after Cabeswater. It's the nightmares and the monsters. There are new dangerous things they must face, new faces and new forces are coming into play with their own motives. The pieces of a larger story or event are falling into place with this book. Not completely, but a picture is slowly forming.
First they were a curious group of four raven boys, a group bolstered by the sensible addition of Blue. Now, they have problems they need to face on their own. Ronan's secrets and dreams. Gansey's continuing search for Glendower. Adam's coming to terms with who he is now after Cabeswater. Blue's future and what it will bring. Even Noah's existence. As much as they're forced apart, they'll have to come together in order to fix what's gone wrong.
There's a tone running through this book that differs from the first. Here, everything feels infinitely more dangerous than previously expected. It feels rougher, harder, heavier, deadlier. Everyone's place in the world feels slightly more precarious than previously thought.
Looking at the series so far, Stiefvater knows how to craft a story that will keep readers reading, how to create flawed and impossibly complicated characters for readers to cheer on, how to build worlds filled with magic for readers to lose themselves in, and how to write and ending that both satisfies the reader while leaving them wanting more. Wondering what's to come, wondering what will happen next to Blue and the raven boys, is just as exciting as reading what's already happened to them.(less)
When she was six, she was found alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven, the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven....moreWhen she was six, she was found alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven, the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute and scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill along with his son, Nico. Now Camille is turning sixteen. No longer mute, she keeps her scars hidden under her school uniform and only opens up to her friends Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered heiress, she knows she's not really Family. Unlike them, she's a mortal with a past buried in trauma. It's not until she meets Tor, who has scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth, to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.
Nameless is an enthralling and captivating tale, dark and dripping with magic and decadence. In an intricate world so powerful, so unique, so dangerous, a girl struggles to discover where she belongs, if she belongs, who she belongs to. What her name is.
Cami is a curious creature, caught between the family that took her in and the unknown mysteries of her past. Where did she come from before they found her, shaking and bleeding in the snow? What is creeping out from the darkness that causes her nightmares? It can be difficult, having the meek quiet girl as the heroine, but sometimes it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for. It's the quiet ones who get inquisitive, who get tired of not knowing, who follow and grab hold when a hidden truth is revealed. It's the quiet ones who have to figure out their place in the world.
For those looking for a romance in this magical world, they'll find it muted, but I didn't seem to miss it. Cami's connections to each of the battered boys is different. Nico's anger and fury hide the pain and scars on the inside and Cami's hands flutter with the urge to soothe and comfort. Tor's scars on the outside that mark him reminds Cami of her own, of a past she can't remember, and she knows that somehow, in some way, they are similar. In different ways, she cares about them both.
The world the author has crafted here is wonderfully complex. New Haven is not part of the normal human world, it doesn't even have the same history as our own. Everything sounds and tastes familiar, but woven in are the magics and the creatures and a different history that crafted this place. Potential, Twists, jacks, fausts, charmers, the Families. Not everything is fully explained which adds a wariness to it all, a hidden danger lurking in the darkness, in the shadows. An exciting world crackling with power at the edges.
It doesn't take long to see who the fairy tale counterparts are in Cami, Ruby, Ellie, or other characters. What makes this retelling work is the unique world, the darker and dangerous magic, the secrets and nightmares. Everything the author brought and added to the story of Snow White, every twist and turn, makes this a refreshing and exciting retelling while still staying faithful to the original.
As with the author's previous series, I found myself devouring it, sinking down as deep as I could into the story, feeling the icy bite of the falling snow, hearing the mad thump of someone's heartbeat. And, as with the author's previous series, I found myself craving more the second it was over.(less)
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Being the only N...moreSixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder. Then Eli’s dream comes true. Now Dusty has to follow the clues, both within Eli’s dreams and out of them, to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
The Nightmare Affair is dark, filled with secrets, spells, and hidden agendas. Dusty is the unlikeliest detective, searching the shadows for clues to a murder at her boarding school for magical teens, but she must be careful. Someone has plans rather sinister plans, and would hate for Dusty to ruin them.
Dusty is stuck in her mother's shadow, looked down on because of both her mother's less than savoury exploits and her own Nightmare abilities. Because she is feared, looked down on, avoided, shunned, her personality has its rough edges. She's very much her own person, there's little to no filter between her thoughts and her brain so she certainly has a way of cutting the tension in the room with a bit of snark. And she frequently denies that she's like her mother, when there certainly are some similarities between the two of them.
Her relationship, for lack of a better work, with Eli is intriguing. The connection between the two of them came about by circumstances neither of them had any control over. I liked that their relationship was often rocky, often filled with conflict, both between the two and between Dusty and her thoughts. They weren't forced to become friends, they weren't even told to become friends, and I liked that. It meant they had to work towards discovering the truth and stopping the killer while working through some apathy and animosity. It didn't feel easy, and it shouldn't have. If it wasn't difficult for them to search and solve the mystery, I would've been disappointed.
In a school like Arkwell, a boarding school for witches, wizards, and other magical beings, there are bound to be more than a few secrets circling the grounds. There was such a variety of paranormal creatures, plus there was the keeping them all in one place boarding school aspect, which meant there was a fair amount of teenage hormones and attitude roaming the halls. Having both sides, the dark murder mystery side and the teen angst side, brought on that hint of realism.
At times Dusty reminded me of a paranormal Nancy Drew with an extra trick or two up her sleeve. She was willing to search and get a bit dirty, willing to ask questions in order to get answers, but she had no idea what she'd stumbled into, how dangerous it would get. What kept me reading was Dusty, the self-acknowledged smartass, and the ways her curious and snarky personality got all mixed up and in all the secrets going around, the mystery behind the sudden murders. An entertaining start to a mysterious paranormal trilogy, I just hope the second book will be more of the same.(less)
Every night at 4:33AM, London Lane's memory resets and she forgets what happened that day. All that's left behind is a note, written by London herself...moreEvery night at 4:33AM, London Lane's memory resets and she forgets what happened that day. All that's left behind is a note, written by London herself, reminding her of the big things that happened and the stuff she has to watch out for. It doesn't make high school any easier, or dating, but she's trying. Even when a new guy shows up. But London starts seeing some strange things and wants to learn more about the past she keeps forgetting, before it ruins her future.
Such an interesting concept. London's memory resets at 4:33 in the morning every morning, but she remembers little bits of the future. It's such a mind-blowing idea, reading this book was exciting. Something would happen that the reader knows all about, but London wouldn't and had to figure it all out again.
This book has a unique psychological aspect to it. To be unable to remember your past while discovering moments of your future is different, to say the least. I was waiting for London to be a very 'living in the present with no cares' character, but she wasn't. She was concerned about what she'd forgotten and what was going to happen, like her memory loss was so much more of a curse than it might've been to a different character. London was strong after learning how to cope with this curious part of her life, but she still needed support, needed more than just her mother or her friend.
Luke showing up surprises her. She's drawn to him, wants to talk to him, but he's not in her memories of the future. Why isn't he there? Does something happen to him? It made their relationship interesting, not remembering a guy you have a crush on but seeing him at school every day and finding him attractive.
And there are some things both London and the reader doesn't know, so some of the mystery is still there, still weaved into the prose and the pages to be discovered.
Mysterious and romantic, Cat Patrick's debut novel was an evenly-paced glimpse into a young girl's life, a girl who can't remember her past but somehow knows parts of her future. Unique and different, this book will grab hold of readers and show them a different side of life, show them how important memory is and what can happen when you have none.(less)
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. Civilization has crumbled and only the landfills are...moreSaba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. Civilization has crumbled and only the landfills are left to scavenge through. That's fine by Saba, as long as she has her twin brother Lugh is with her. But when a massive sandstorm appears and brings four cloaked horsemen who kidnap Lugh, Saba's world is shattered and her epic quest to get him back starts.
She's suddenly thrown into a lawless world, the ugly side of reality, and has no Lugh to guide her through it. The most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And, surprisingly enough, she has the ability to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a daredevil named Jack and a group of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of civilization.
This book has no chapters, just sections and glimpses into Saba's life. I'd love to go section by section, but that would lead to spoilers. Also, the book is written in dialect. No quotations, some phonetic word spellings. It takes a little getting used to, but reading this book in that dialect fashion just pulls you right smack into Saba's head, right into her situation, right into her dry and abandoned world.
The bleakness in this book is so palpable, almost overwhelming. The world is dry, nothing can grow, there's barely enough food. I can't imagine living in such a place where rain never comes. Never ever. But there's still life, even when the world is at its least hospitable and dry and cracked and ruined. There's still people living, struggling, raising families and trying as hard as they can to survive. The on-going struggle that Saba and her family went through before the start of the book is shocking when you think about it.
And there's Saba and the connection she has with her brother, Lugh. The closeness they have transcends the dust and the dirt and the dried up lake. Even after Lugh is taken away from Saba, she still needs him, still needs to rescue him.
The devotion is powerful, but Saba has to learn to live without her twin. She needs a life of her own, not a shared one with Lugh, especially when he starts to pull away. This is her chance to live without him and see if she can survive.
It takes a strong spirit to keep on going after everything Saba's been through. Her world sucks, and it continues to suck page after page after page, but you need those little bright spots in order to keep going.
Bleak and hopeless is the world in Moira Young's Blood Red Road, but it's also powerful and thought-provoking. What are the limits of the human spirit? How far will you go? What will it take? Who will you meet? How will you survive? Saba joins a cast of rough, stubborn, prickly YA heroines and stands her ground, willing to do whatever it takes to find her brother. Whatever it takes to find a home.(less)
At times mythical, thoughtful, and sweetly romantic, Aimée Carter's debut novel The Goddess Test is the story of selfless 18-year-old Kate Winters, wh...moreAt times mythical, thoughtful, and sweetly romantic, Aimée Carter's debut novel The Goddess Test is the story of selfless 18-year-old Kate Winters, who would give anything to keep her mother from dying. After meeting a dark and handsome stranger, she soon learns that anything means anything, like six months of the year every year. Like her life.
Kate, who hasn't had the easiest life so far, travels to Eden, Michigan so her mother, frail and weak from fighting a losing battle with cancer, can die in her hometown. Not wanting to leave New York, Kate complies in order to make her mother happy, and possibly to steal more time with her, even though she enters the town with no friends and no other family members to speak of. Through a series of odd and jealous teenage girl circumstances, she meets Henry, the young, dark, and handsome resident of Eden Manor, and claims if she'll live with him from the start of fall to the beginning of spring, he'll keep her mother alive.
Soon finding herself in the situation Persephone once found herself in, Kate learns Henry is Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld, and to ensure her mother's continued survival, she mast pass seven different tests. If she passes them all, she'll become an immortal. A goddess. Henry's wife.
If she fails... well, failure might mean death for Kate herself.
I'll admit, I love Greek mythology, so I knew I would at least like this book before reading it. Aimée Carter brings a fresh twist to this mythical tale, reworking and re-imagining Greek gods and goddesses to make them, if possible, more human in their encounters with Kate.
The character of Kate is so strong, she's willing to face these tests, willing to do whatever it takes to keep her mother alive. Her dedication, her honest affection, her lack of guile and duplicity, was wonderful. I understand why she rarely questioned Henry on what was required of her in terms of the seven tests. It wasn't that she didn't care, but more that she wanted to help Henry by being his new queen while keeping her mother alive long enough for her to accept her passing. Sure, wanting her mother to stay alive sounds selfish, but who wants to lose a parent to cancer at 18?
All of the characters, human and immortal alike, were creatively and interestingly described. Even the Greek gods and goddesses came to life, in a manner of speaking, even if I couldn't quite determine who all of them were in terms of their classical Greek names.
The twists and tweaks of the classic tale were intriguing. I feel this book would have been different if it were a straight modern retelling of Persephone and Hades with Henry and some girl whose name starts with a P. Instead, it is more like Henry moving on to a new relationship, a different relationship, searching for a new queen in Kate. One that might love him. His failed relationship with Persephone ruined him in terms of finding love and friendship with his co-ruler, and Kate's willing to be friends and show him how it could be, even if at the beginning she doesn't totally want to fall for him. Even if there's something drawing her to him. Even if he's gorgeous.
Everything about the book was amazing. Kate and Henry. The various secondary characters like James and Ava. The grand and glorious but slightly creepy Eden Manor. The outdoor settings and the nearby river.
This book surprised me. It took me on a journey through a mythology I've long been fascinated with, and introduced me to characters I'm longing to read more about. The wait for Aimée Carter's next book will feel unending, but knowing how enchanted I was after reading The Goddess Test, I'm sure it'll all be worth it.
(I received this e-galley by request through NetGalley from HarlequinTeen for the sole purposes of reading it and reviewing it.)(less)
Reading this was like reading a whodunit YA psycho thriller in a race against time to figure out who the villain is before the heroine dies a gruesome...moreReading this was like reading a whodunit YA psycho thriller in a race against time to figure out who the villain is before the heroine dies a gruesome and revenge-filled death. A bit dark, but still attention-grabbing.
Jane is one of the popular girls. She's got awesome friends, a sweet boyfriend. Life is great, with the possible exception of her distant mother and possibly mobster boyfriend/fiancé, but other than that everything's working out for her.
Then she's found, half alive, in a rosebush after being hit by a car.
Jane's story was very interesting, and rather emotional. She comes to in a hospital after being at a party with her friends, discovers she can't move, can't talk, can't remember anything. She's left to piece together her lost hours in snatches of conversation with friends and snippits of vague memories that come to her as someone continues to call her and threaten her. Someone wants her dead, wants her to suffer, and Jane's freaking out.
I liked the path the book took as it told Jane's story from the party to the hospital and her struggle to work out how her life changed in a few late-night hours. It sort of reminded me of an Agatha Christie story, or maybe a TV movie version of one of her stories. You see the beginning, you see the end, and you're left to figure out with Poirot or Miss Marple, or Jane, who did it and why.
I'm unsure on the flashback chapters. I understand that the author included them as insights into Jane's character and to draw similarities to her current situation, but I felt they drew me away from Jane in the hospital a bit.
Other than that, I found the book to be pretty good. It's an interesting YA contemporary mystery. I didn't figure out who'd done it until Jane did, which might say something about me. ;)(less)
To Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there, like Southern Belles and jazz trios that vanish in an instant. Plagued by these apparitions si...moreTo Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there, like Southern Belles and jazz trios that vanish in an instant. Plagued by these apparitions since the death of her parents, Emerson just wants them to stop. She wants to be normal again. So when her brother brings her a consultant from a secret group called the Hourglass, Emerson is willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael might change her past as well as her future. Who is he? Why does her believe every word she says? Why does electricity fill the air whenever he's in the same room? And why does he need her help to prevent a death that never should have occurred?
An intriguing debut, a surprising mix of certain parts of paranormal, science fiction, and romance. Emerson herself is an interesting character. She complains about rules and consequences like any other teenage girl, but she also sees ghosts and attempts to live her life around them. Even when it doesn't work and she can't help but stare at someone no one else can see. She wants answers, she wants to be better, but that doesn't mean she'll believe everything Michael tells her. That's not how it works, which is good. She shouldn't just blindly believe the new super cute guy just because he understands what's happening to her. The skepticism still belongs.
There was a familiar taste in my head as I read this book. Memories of Kirsten Miller's The Eternal Ones sprang forth in terms of memories and the past. It's not past lives we're talking about in Hourglass, but the past and the future, time travel, how time works and the science behind it. It had the same rather vague 'something about things that happened in the past that somehow we know about but no one else does' feeling.
What makes this book stand out is the time travel/timeslip aspect, as well as some of the characters. I like wounded, ragged robins like Emerson, ones who defend themselves against cute guys and close friends and domineering brothers with sarcasm and avoidance. She's ballsy and so imperfect and takes things the wrong way and it works.
And I love the sci-fi time travel bits. It's not overwhelming enough to put of readers that don't like science fiction. It's not so futuristic that everything's different. The world as we know it is tweaked just enough to be different. It's just time travel, back and forth, saving lives, changing destinies, attempting to right wrongs. What's so wrong with that? With any luck, readers will appreciate the vague similarity to X-Men and the Doctor Who one-liner. It's almost like a book for readers of YA who are also pop culture geeks. ;)
There's something about this book that felt magical, that felt a little stuck in the past but still modern. It also felt rather lush, snippits of romance here and there that had to wait for time to pass. I look forward to the next book in this exciting series. (less)
It's my first time reviewing a book I got through the S&S Galley Grab. Whoa. And it's the first time I read a book about a month before the releas...moreIt's my first time reviewing a book I got through the S&S Galley Grab. Whoa. And it's the first time I read a book about a month before the release date. It was a bit weird at first. (If you haven't read White Cat yet, don't read this review because there are spoilers. I don't think there are any Red Glove spoilers.)
The second in Holly Black's Curse Workers series, Red Glove provides just as much intrigue, teen angst/confusion, and film noir mobster feel as its predecessor White Cat. Cassel Sharpe is attempting to get his life back on the normal track it was before his mother got out of jail, before he saved his brothers from mobster retribution, and before he realized he hadn't killed his best friend Lila Zacharov (a mobster's daughter) and had turned her into a cat instead. As a transformation worker, his life's a bit sticky, and it's about to get even stickier when he tries to mix being a worker with a normal life. Unfortunately for Cassel, the normal track soon veers off in the wrong direction when he's approached by not one but two sides of the law and both want his unique abilities. A choice has to be made, and if he wants to get out alive, he'll have to pull off the biggest con of his life.
This book was awesome. It had a way of sucking me in, bringing me straight back to Cassel's world after his mom worked Lila at the end of White Cat. Everything is still messed up, sort of, but he's trying to get back to the as-close-to-normal he had before his memories came back to him. And now Lila's back, drawing him to her, pulling him in, pushing him away. Then Zacharov wants him to take part in the less-than-legal mobster lifestyle while the FBI are trying to draw him in with some pretty strong leverage.
Cassel's caught again between right and wrong, good and bad, life and death, or maybe life and prison. Little chunks of good times are all he's allowed before he's pulled back in by both sides, before both arms get tugged on from different directions.
The fantasy magical element of the workers and their different abilities is wicked cool. It's almost how I wish life could be, without the possible evil. ;) And Holly Black does an excellent job of revealing the consequences of such an ability. Not just the blowback Cassel experiences, but the whole legal side of the novel. Magic doesn't make the world right, you still need to make certain choices. It's up to you to figure out which choices you make and to decide which side you want to be on.
I haven't been exposed to much film noir and 1920's gangster-style books or movies, but this novel had a way of getting my attention. The sense of class and style mixed with cynicism and morality is interesting, and when Holly Black introduces it to the world she's created, it's almost hypnotic.
While reading Red Glove I was continually overwhelmed and thoroughly creeped out by the film noir style, the dangerous gangsters who very rarely take no for an answer, and the intriguing twists and spirals Cassel falls into. His world, his family, and his life are far from perfect, and he's got to work his way through it all. It's the only way he'll survive.(less)
Jill Jekel's dad was murdered, which really sucks. And the money for her college education has disappeared, which al...moreAnother recent library pick-up. :)
Jill Jekel's dad was murdered, which really sucks. And the money for her college education has disappeared, which also really sucks. And she wants to open this box in her dad's office, even though she promised over and over again she wouldn't, but when it might help her win a chemistry scholarship she can't help but be tempted to break the rules. Then there's Tristen Hyde, who also has some secrets, but agrees to partner up with Jill in a sort of 'Jekyll and Hyde' team to split the money.
I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 2008 when I was studying for my B.A., so I know what the novel is based on. Clearly, there are some differences, like the fact that Jekel and Hyde are separate people and Jekel's a girl. ;)
I really liked this book. It was mysterious enough to keep me reading, the plot moved along at a good pace. The point of view shifts back and forth between Jill and Tristen, but not one after the other. There might be a few in Jill's view, then one in Tristen's, then one in Jill, and so on. I liked it like this. Sometimes a chapter in one character's point of view ends in a mini cliffhanger, but the next chapter in someone else's point of view doesn't continue or takes place in a totally different place. Not that this book doesn't do that, but it flowed a bit better this way.
The dark and mysterious gothic vibe was wonderful. I don't think I've read a book where the darkness was solved through possibly logical chemistry. As a semi-possible nerd (not in science, I was terrible at science), I found it a bit funny and rather interesting.
This book was a mix of different ideas and points. A winding path through dark mists and thick fog, a hunt through papers and compartments to discover hidden secrets, an unending desire to change who we are at the most basic elemental level because there's something lurking in the shadows of our minds just waiting for the opportunity to break free.
Looking for a YA version of Jekyll and Hyde that also has a healthy dose of teenage hormones and almost kisses and actual kisses mixed in? Give Fantaskey's Jekel Loves Hyde a read. ;)(less)
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring hometown and shipped off to the busy streets of New York, and she couldn't be more thrilled. New York is...moreEvie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring hometown and shipped off to the busy streets of New York, and she couldn't be more thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces. Soon enough, she's rubbing elbows with Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her uncle, the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, otherwise known as the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. When a rash of occult-based murders starts up, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of things, and through it all, Evie displays a mysterious ability, one that could help catch the killer... if he doesn't catch her first.
The Diviners is like an epic mystery highlighting an important and wondrous period in New York's rich history. Copious amounts of glitter, glamour, and 1920's female sass fill the pages and mix together with a supernatural murder mystery that spans decades to create something huge. And it is huge, judging by its page length. The length provides extensive detail, backstory, and mystery for the reader, but the reader will have to stick with it, stick with the snippits of secrets and the shifts between different main and supporting characters to reach the end.
A compliment I can give to Libba Bray is that the entire book, not just certain characters or locations or events, read like it came out of New York in the 1920's. The voices of the characters and the tone of the book both sound so authentic, down to the little mannerisms and the slang words. And there are lots of characters with their own little authentic mannerisms. The summary is a little misleading, the book isn't all about Evie and her experience with the mysterious killings, but it possible that it comes with the third person point of view and the length of the book, objectively being shown multiple sides of the story but not revealing everything. It moves moment by moment, only showing the readers as much as they need until the end.
I was surprised at how dark and dangerous the paranormal side turned out to be, how evil the shadows could be. Taking Evie and her happy-go-lucky life's a party attitude into account, the book was far darker than I expected. It was an exciting surprise for me, but I'm not sure how other readers will feel.
Evie and her adventures do take up a fair amount of the book, but there's also Memphis and his less than legal dealings and his less than happy home life. Then there's the greater side characters, Evie's friends and her uncle. Then there's the dark shadowed side committing gruesome murders. Then there's the lesser side characters, the few who appear only half a dozen times who have their moments which either continue the story, filling a small gap, or set up a slew of questions that might be answered in a future book.
The length of the book and the weaving in of the paranormal and the intrigue make me curious about the author's outlining process. It's such a complicated and heavily-plotted out book, I can only imagine the amount of outlining and world-building, the background research that had to be looked up. There are hints of connections with everything and everyone. Evie, Sam, Theta, Memphis, Jericho. Almost everyone that's mentioned has a connection to someone else, to the murders, to what's happened and what's to come.
Enough was given and and enough was held back to set up what's to come in the series, but there's a lot to remember. So many characters are important, main and side characters, and they all have secrets of their own so there's no way of knowing which will shape the rest of the series and which won't. Before the next book comes out, a re-read of this first book might be in order.(less)
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger that waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there's more...moreMara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger that waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there's more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends but left her unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a mysterious and compelling debut with question after question arising in the reader's mind. Unreliable, Mara Dyer attempts to navigate her life after a brutal accident, attempts to put together the fractured pieces of herself. The reader is left floundering, head barely above the water, but Mara herself is in the same boat. How can we trust her when even she doesn't know what happened? When anything could be a lie, crafted by Mara's own mind to hide the most fragile part of her psyche from the absolute and honest truth?
Attempting to understand this book defies logic and reason. I felt the plot was more revealed than explained, more discovered than understood. There are things, little moments, people, places, that cropped up over and over, that made me wonder, made me question Mara and what was happening to her, where it was happening to her.
And Noah. Such a contradiction. Rumours of him being easier than a two-piece puzzle roam and wander through the school hallways and yet his eyes are full of Mara, he's all about Mara. What totally gorgeous and supposedly self-absorbed guy does that? Nothing is as it seems in this book.
As I write this, it's after midnight on September 17th. I honestly want to re-read this book in a week and see what I think of it then. So I'm going to.
September 25: I've read it again. It's still mysterious, still thrilling, and still fills my mind with questions. We are given one side of a story, the story of a girl suffering after a tragedy and with gaps in her memory, but is it the truth? How are we supposed to trust her? Mara Dyer isn't even her real name.
Every event that occurs, every word that's spoken, every seemingly insignificant detail is suspicious. Everything is suspect until the truth is discovered, until we learn who Mara Dyer is, and what happened that night her friends were killed. Memory, perception, truth and lies. This book will make you question it long after you turn the last page. You might even question the world around you, wonder if what you're experiencing is reality and not fiction.(less)