One of the best I've read in 2013. Stunning voice and the paranormal aspect played backseat to the struggle to work through grief after a tragedy. Lov...moreOne of the best I've read in 2013. Stunning voice and the paranormal aspect played backseat to the struggle to work through grief after a tragedy. Loved, loved, loved!(less)
Finished in one sitting, I absolutely loved it. The story was so intriguing and had you rooting for a happy ending for Callie from the first page. Tri...moreFinished in one sitting, I absolutely loved it. The story was so intriguing and had you rooting for a happy ending for Callie from the first page. Trish is the kind of writer I wish I could be.(less)
Hailee Christman Bray, L. (2012). The Diviners. [Audio Book Download] New York: Little, Brown. Supernatural/Modern Fantasy Format: Audiobook Selection pr...moreHailee Christman Bray, L. (2012). The Diviners. [Audio Book Download] New York: Little, Brown. Supernatural/Modern Fantasy Format: Audiobook Selection process: Booklist, starred review, July, 2012. Retrieved from Booklistonline.com
Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neil is far too much for her small Ohio town. After embarrassing a prominent man in the community with her party trick (Evie can psychically read objects to divine their owners’ secrets), her parents feel the best punishment is to send Evie to live with her Uncle Will in Manhattan until the scandal dies down. Evie is “pos-i-tute-ly” ecstatic at the prospect of living in a big city and taking the world by storm.
Evie can’t wait to sneak off with her pal Mabel to dance at hidden speakeasies, visit the grand movie palaces and hopefully spot a Ziegfeld Follies show or two. But things take a suspenseful turn when her uncle, owner of the Museum of American Folk Lore, Superstition, and the Occult, known as the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies by locals, is called in by the police to help investigate a savage murder with occult ties. A supernatural serial killer and a dark curse seem to be at work, and it is up to Evie to stop the killer from fulfilling his grand plan.
The Diviners is told in alternating points of view from a rich cast of characters including a numbers runner by day, poet by night in Harlem and a glamorous Ziegfeld dancer with a dark secret. Bray does a fantastic job of building a complete backstory for each character, who all have secrets or supernatural powers of their own, without weighing the story down or making the story daunting for the reader. Each is fully fleshed and easy to connect with.
Printz award winner Bray brings the world of 1920s Manhattan to life while weaving a mysterious and scary tale sure to stick with you long after you’ve read the last page and many are sure to eagerly anticipate the sequel. January LaVoy reads each character with distinguishing voices and her cadence and rhythm help build the suspense making this a perfect audio adaptation.
Longer review to come, but this is definitely one of my favorites of 2012. McGarry's ability to create such authentic and likable characters as well a...moreLonger review to come, but this is definitely one of my favorites of 2012. McGarry's ability to create such authentic and likable characters as well as capture their voices perfectly (so spot on!) is amazing.(less)
I just finished this and the only thing I can think to say right now is NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I haven't been this heartbroken and angry at the end of a boo...moreI just finished this and the only thing I can think to say right now is NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I haven't been this heartbroken and angry at the end of a book in a long time. But in a good way. I need the second book NOW!
Edit: After (somewhat!) getting over the initial shock and heartbreak of the ending, I feel I can now add more to this review. As a lover of most gothic fiction, I fell hard for this book! The mind connection was such an interesting premise and I loved the sort of unhealthy reliance Kami and Jared have on one another. The witty banter between Kami and her friends broke up the dreariness perfectly and the characterization behind these guys made me feel as if I were reading about friends. Which is why the ending was so aggravating! I love it when "paranormal" books surprise me, and Unspoken definitely did...and then some! (less)
Hailee Christman Doller, T. (2012). Something like normal. New York: Bloomsbury Pub. Children's Books. Contemporary Selection process: Reviewed in Kirkus...moreHailee Christman Doller, T. (2012). Something like normal. New York: Bloomsbury Pub. Children's Books. Contemporary Selection process: Reviewed in Kirkus, April 15, 2012
When Travis returns home on leave after being stationed in Afghanistan, a lot has changed. His brother has stolen his car and his girlfriend, his mother is an anxious mess, and his friends don't understand him anymore. The only thing that resembles normalcy is the fact that his dad is still just as hard on him as when he left. As Travis slowly develops feelings for Harper, a girl he hurt in middle school but has now reconnected with, he struggles with a severe bought of what he doesn't know is post-traumatic stress disorder. This is revealed gradually and readers find out more about the disorder right along with Travis. Riddled with guilt after watching the death of his best friend, Charlie, in battle, Travis is convinced that he is seeing his ghost everywhere. Harper's patience and loyalty, as well as the changes for the better in his mother and a trip to deliver last requests to Charlie's family helps Travis find something like normal. The authentic voice of Travis, told through first person narration, make him leap off the page in astounding depth. Travis sounds exactly what one would expect a teenage Marine to sound like, and his experience are neither belittled nor exaggerated. The interactions with his father and brother help to develop the background of his character, bullied by his father to play football and contending with a brother who could do no wrong. These conversations are harsh, yet mature and are in complete conflict with his interactions with both his mother and Harper, caring and sweet, yet completely realistic. Compelling and completely enthralling, this novel is perfectly timed and timely for today's teens.
**spoiler alert** Part dystopian, sci-fi, action/adventure and romance, there is a lot going on here! More of a 4.5, very tempted to rate it a 5. I wa...more**spoiler alert** Part dystopian, sci-fi, action/adventure and romance, there is a lot going on here! More of a 4.5, very tempted to rate it a 5. I was somewhat conflicted by this one. The psychological beginning was strong, the middle was somewhat weak for me and the ending seemed disjointed (even though I liked the somewhat x-men ish vibe) but Mafi's prose is absolutely breathtaking! You will read a sentence and it doesn't seem to make sense at first until you stop thinking and start feeling and then you are so connected with the words on the page you wonder if you thought them yourself. I finished the book in one setting, for once not because I needed to know what happens next but purely because I needed to inhale these words!
Juliette was interesting, neither strong nor weak particularly and her inner conflict of being so deadly dangerous on the outside and so inherently good on the inside was quit endearing. Adam, oh Adam, how lovely he was! Sweet, gentle and caring yet strong when he needed to be. I really enjoyed him. Mafi had a well developed villain in Warner. So psychologically twisted to need power that he actually thinks Juliette would love him made me think of serial killers from Criminal Minds, DEMENTED! Overall, I loved the angst, I adored the writing style and the ending was satisfying for once! No cliff hanger, yet still the anticipation for the second book. Good stuff! One last thing, and not that this matters, but I just really, REALLY hate the cover! I see no connection with the book at all! (less)
Hailee Christman Riggs, R. (2001). Miss peregrine's home for peculiar children. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books. Action/Adventure Format: e-book Selection p...moreHailee Christman Riggs, R. (2001). Miss peregrine's home for peculiar children. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books. Action/Adventure Format: e-book Selection process: Booklist, reviewed May, 2011. Retrieved from Booklistonline.com
When Jacob was a boy, his grandfather would tell him fantastic stories about peculiar children with even more peculiar talents, a levitating girl, an invisible boy and a boy filled with live bees among them. They all lived together in a beautiful house with a lovely headmistress who took care of them. Jacob reveled in these stories, but as he grew older, came to know them as just that: fantastic stories. As a teenager, what he now knows is the truth, his grandfather, a Jewish boy Poland, was rescued during World War II and sent to live in a children’s home to escape the Nazis, and Jacob can understand why his grandfather made up these stories and why he always told Jacob he was running from monsters. But then tragedy strikes, and Jacob, urged by his new psychiatrist, is sent on an adventure to his grandfather’s childhood home, finding his grandfather’s tale may be more than just stories.
Riggs debut novel is scattered with black and white photographs, borrowed from the found collections of three different photographers, each as peculiar as the next. They add both magic and a sense of realness to the story. The pacing of the novel is excellent, the action gradually becoming more and more suspenseful until you are left holding your breath and furiously turning pages to reach the end. Beginning details are closely paid attention to towards the end and the novel has a tidy conclusion, with room for a welcome, but not required, sequel. While Jacob’s parents may feel more plot device than real, Jacob is a fully-fleshed and believable teen and the focus of the novel is more on plot than character development.
I LOVED Harper's voice throughout this book! Strong and independent but struggling so much internally. Plus I love a good road trip novel. The romance...moreI LOVED Harper's voice throughout this book! Strong and independent but struggling so much internally. Plus I love a good road trip novel. The romance was strong and refreshingly not saccharine sweet. (less)
While I had anticipated to thoroughly enjoy this book, I did not expect to fall in love with it! I was left YEARNING for the sequel. While I am an avi...moreWhile I had anticipated to thoroughly enjoy this book, I did not expect to fall in love with it! I was left YEARNING for the sequel. While I am an avid reader and work in a library, I sometimes have trouble creating mental images of things like setting or character appearance when I read and often only focus on the character development, sometimes forgetting what I just read and having to go back. That was not the case for this book. Even the action scenes (which I am not usually drawn to) were wonderfully written and I could easily see this being made into a movie.
Cas was such an enjoyable character. I loved that the story was written through a guy's perspective because that is something atypical in the paranormal genre (which is a shame, I see many boys who are drawn to this genre). Cas was witty and sarcastic but had a great heart and really was unlike any typical male character I've read. His relationship with his mother was also quite interesting.
(view spoiler)[ I loved Anna from the first time she was introduced, black twisty hair and menacing stature and all. You were able to instantly feel for her, even though she had been doing such terrible things. You just knew it wasn't her fault. Even though she was absolutely no damsel in distress, you wanted Cas to help her. And their relationship was still able to be sweet and innocent despite the hardships against them. (hide spoiler)]
With a great cast of side characters, this is a quick, suspenseful read I did not expect to love as much as I did! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)