The Diviners Book Review

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Book: The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Paranormal, Mystery

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense-words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions-words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History”

There are books that you know everything about due to the hype surrounding it and the plethora of spoilers going around social media.  This wasn’t the case for this books.  Sure, I’d seen it around bookstagram, I agreed that it was beautiful to look at, but I knew NOTHING about the plot before picking it up.  Going into this with my eyes closed worked out for the best this time.

The Diviners is a BIG book with and equally BIG story.  We start off with Evie O’Neill, who is always chasing trouble’s tail, being shipped off to New York to live with her uncle Will after a “prank” gone wrong.  It’s 1926 and New York is where the party is at.  Evie is beyond ecstatic for the change of scenery, a place where she can finally belong.  Uncle Will is master of all things occult, owning a creepy museum and teaching courses on  everything there is to know about the supernatural.  When bodies start popping up, desecrated and missing body parts, Will becomes the man of the hour and Evie is not far behind.  Together, they’ll try to uncover the mystery of The Pentacle Killer and hopefully, live to tell the tale.

Let’s get one thing clear, I LOVE NEW YORK. I love the city, I love the ambiance, I love the craziness of it.  It’s a place where everything seems possible, like every corner is harboring it’s own adventurous opportunity.  But it’s also scary and mysterious and broad.  This book captured that. Beautifully.  People underestimate the power of a good setting.  Giving life to the buildings, the streets, the very wind that surrounds your characters can give a whole new edge to your story.  A different time period? Madness. Genius.  A busy city, right in it’s prime; it’s not hard imagining all the crazy events that happen throughout the story.

This is one of the few books that I stayed for the atmosphere, instead of the plot.  Not that the plot was lacking; it’s just as fantastic.  But the wow factor was definitely the richness of city.  In addition to this, we have the dialogue which was fluid and fun s heck.  There’s so much slang from the ‘2os, giving it that classic movie quality you expect from the era.

The plot itself is like one of those Russian dolls.  It’s a plot within a plot, within a plot… Though there is a lot to take in, the author doesn’t try to rush the action.  Everything is at low simmer; the drama, the romance. Hopefully it’ll pick up a bit more in the sequel, Lair of Dreams because I sill have A LOT of questions.

One of the things I loved most about this book is the amount of characters presented.  Each one has a secret and a different life story but in odd ways, they’re all connected.  The chapters change point of view constantly to accommodate all of the protagonists, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat to see what will happen next.  This strategy runs the risk of getting annoying because sometimes you want to read a specific POV more than the other.  Even so, I enjoyed it a lot more in this book because I loved all of the characters.  Even the villain, who was scary beyond belief, had fantastic chapters.  The only con was that with the constant switching, the story kind of dragged on.  But I appreciated the slow place.

With Evie, the first think that came to mind was spunk.  This girl is as feisty as they come; she’s definitely the life of the party.  She’s vain, she’s petty, she’s a bit too adventurous and I loved it! There’s nothing I hate more than a bland character and Evie was so full of life, so real and girly that I couldn’t help but love her whirlwind personality.

Then we have uncle Will himself, all scholarly but at the same time mysterious and anxious (and handsome I’m not gonna lie), a total contrast to Evie.  His role as parental figure is lacking but he’s key to the plot. At his side we have Jericho, giant, silent and beautiful Jericho.  Now he was a surprise.  He doesn’t talk much during the book but when he does, he makes an impact.  He makes you laugh, swoon and maybe coo at his dorkiness.  He’s my personal favorite to be honest.

In addition to those three we have Sam a rake and a thief; Theta, superstar and runaway;   Memphis, a poet with street smarts; Mabel, a quiet girl with rebellion running through her veins.

I believe that in the next book these last 4 characters will develop more and take up the spotlight and I am oh so ready for it.  I honestly don’t know what more to expect, how this will go on…

But what I do know is that it’ll be epic.

Camila

 

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Small(ish) Update

Hi guys, just wanted to do a small update, just to tell you what I’m currently reading, watching and doing for the next few days.

I’ve been reading The Diviners by Libba Bray for the last few days.  It’s a mother of a book, 578 pages long, with one of the most interesting settings I’ve read in my life.  I’ll definitely post a longer review once I’m done with it!  But for now, here are some pictures I took so you can admire the beauty that is this hardback:

Also, I’m editing my review for the Assassin’s Blade and thinking about maybe doing one for Crown of Midnight later on.  I have A LOT to say about that sequel, trust me.

Speaking of Throne of Glass, up next on my tbr, after The Dream thieves of curse, is Heir of Fire! Is my heart ready? Am I still gonna read it? Absolutely. Will I die a cruel emotional death? Probably.  Still, I’m super excited to finally meet Rowan and ugly cry over the love of my life, Chaol Westfall.

What am I watching? I don’t really watch series. Actors make me cringe, especially the ones in those extremely popular series, so I tend to stick to anime only.  Though I’ve been binge-watching Parenthood with my sister during the holidays and it’s strangely addicting.  Back to anime, I’m mostly watching slice of life; Tsuritama, Princes Jellyfish and Durarara!! are some.  I’m thinking of doing a review on each of them with cool gifs and everything! I just wanna dork out. Leave me be.

Last but not least, I’ve recently been spending a lot of time on my booklr account.  Booklr is just a fancy name for a tumblr account that focuses exclusively on things book related.  You can go follow me if you like at justabookeater for more book photography and rants.

That’s all for now love, see you soon!

Camila

 

 

The Raven Boys Book Review

 

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Book: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

I know a book is great when my chest starts to feel real tight every time I read a chapter or think about a certain character involved in the book.  I know it’s fantastic when I’m twenty pages in and I’m already swooning over the protagonists.  I know a book is perfect when the main character is real and I feel a connection to her/his/their story.

The Raven Boys is an amazing read that I just fell hard for.  It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a book, no joke.

I didn’t take me long to be completely enraptured by Maggie’s writing; she’s one of the best I tell you.  I knew that already because I’d read Shiver not too long ago but this book… The Raven Boys is Maggie’s beautiful narrative style on steroids.  You can tell how much Maggie put into this gang.

The story revolves around a sixteen year old girl named Blue Sargent and the Aglionby boys: the elite of the small town that is Henrietta.  Blue has had a very peculiar upbringing, what with her family consisting of psychics and everything paranormal and has been told all her life that she’s destined to cause her true love’s death.

Nice.

The book is written in third person point of view but each chapter revolves around different characters; mainly Gansey, Blue and Adam.  This gives the story a well-rounded view without spoiling any of the events for the reader.

Blue is my main chick. I want to be her friend.  Though she isn’t as fierce as other main heroines (whom I also adore), there is this softness about her that makes me adore her even more. And not in the wilted flower type of way but the ultimate caring mother figure kind of way. If that makes sense.  She fits in with these boys and it’s solely because of who she is and how she sees the world.  She’s very perceptive and lovely and goes the extra mile to understand these boys.  She respects their personalities, even makes fun of them sometimes and best of all, she’s a friend.

One of the things I related to the most in this book was Blue’s day to day life.   Her house is one filled with women who are quirky a best, maniacal at worst.  It reminds me of my childhood  since my home was and is still dominated by women.  Maura, Blue’s mom, is such a refreshing parental figure without being unbelievable. Her character just brought out so many memories of my own mother, it was surreal.  I’m so glad that Maggie took the time to elaborate on this aspect of the Blue’s life since in YA, the norm is to keep parents as vague as possible and/or only exist as plot devices.

Aside from Maura, we have characters like Persephone and Calla, Maura’s two best friends, who also contribute to the story’s richness without stealing the limelight.  Maggie is a genius when it comes to secondary characters.  Persephone gives such a Luna Lovegood feel without being a replica and Calla is just straight out bad ass.  I love that I get to love them this much.

To love everybody this much, especially the boys.

I’m a sucker for guys in books, it’s a given.  The Aglionby boys are no exception.  Maggie’s way of building up these boys is why I couldn’t pick a favorite.  Instead of writing about the strictly physical aspects of each boy, she takes the time to give us small details that are exclusive to them.  You get to know their essence as a person.  I cannot for the life of me tell you the color of Adam’s eyes, but I can feel who he is.  It’s the oddest thing.

What’s so great about this is that there is no way of confusing the boys.  There is no mix-up on who is whom, there can’t be.  The way they talk, smile, love and hate is so different from the other.  And you will love them individually, with all their faults and quirks.  Unconditionally.  Believe me.

The atmosphere in this book is nothing less than alive.  Without it, nothing could have happened in the story, the setting and tone are exceptionally executed throughout all the scenes.  You will feel joy when you’re supposed to feel joy and you will freak the fuck out when you’re supposed to freak the fuck out.  The plot twists grab you by the throat and refuse to let go until you’ve finished the book.  AND EVEN THEN.  THE FUCKING CLIFFHANGER. MY GOD.  KILL ME.

The mystery and the suspense will remain alive even after the last word.

So if you’re still having doubts about finally picking up this series. Don’t.  I’m so ready to keep going with this story and loving every single word of it.  My heart might not be ready but since when do I ever listen to my heart? Especially when it comes to book?

Camila

 

New Year’s Eve Rant

There’s this ache in my chest and my best friend, or at least someone I thought was my best friend in the entire world, put it there.  Exactly two minutes after the ball dropped, he called me and told me he couldn’t be my friend anymore and that he was leaving my life for good.  No explanations given except that it was in his best interest; so he could feel better.  I’m still trying to figure out how to react.  I don’t want to see anyone, I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to go out.  Ive done my crying and all I have left is this huge ball of anger, resentment, disappointment and sadness rolling around my stomach.

He’s tried calling me several times but honestly, I can’t bring myself to answer.  How can you say something like that to me and then expect me to hear you out?  I have always been there for you, through so much shit and I have torn myself apart for you and you leave? Fuck you.

I don’t plan on answering his calls, ever.  This is what he wanted.  Even if he regretted it immediately and tried to patch things up it wouldn’t change how he made me feel.  Like I can be thrown away without a second thought. Fuck you.

2015 was an amazing year for me.  I know I’m amazing, I know I have a lot to offer and if he can’t see that then screw him. I have thicker skin now.  He lost me. HE LOST ME. Not the other way around.

Now I’m gonna it my ass down, write some wonderful reviews for you guys because this mess of emotions is fantastic writing fuel.  See you soon, loves.

Camila

 

Reading Slump

Warning: Rant ahead!

Hey guys, as you can most probably tell by the title, I’m suffering from one of the worst reading slumps I’ve had this year.  I haven’t read anything during the month of October and that has me beyond frustrated for obvious reasons.  I’m a reader and a book collector and I have plenty to read of course but I just can’t bring myself to finish anything.  I started reading A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin and The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Mass and I got really invested in both for a time and then, out of freaking nowhere, I lost all motivation.  Why? I don’t know. I really don’t.

463460It’s awful because I’ve been wanting to read both of them for so long and they’re so amazingly written but my emotions are working against me; they refuse to immerse themselves in the story.  It’s driving me crazy because I run a freaking book blog and I can’t update on anything! I know what you’re gonna say: post about something else.  The thing is, all this frustration fills me with anger and anxiety and I can’t think straight whenever I start up a new post.  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?! I’M A GOOD PERSON!!! I JUST WANT TO READ!!!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I just gotta get my shit together and finish what I started.  Maybe reread one of my favorite books and breathe a little.  If you have any magical methods on how to get rid of this awful  bookworm problem, I’d appreciate if you’d tell me.

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Bye loves, I’ll write again when I get back on track.

Camila

Guilty Pleasures! New Adult Recommendations

Hello ladies, gents and otumblr_mpvaa2W4Fd1qj4rzvo1_500ther human life forms! I know I haven’t posted in a while.  I sincerely want to apologize for that, my emotional state has been crap lately and just a bunch of bad things ended happening during the past two weeks.  Still! I feel a bit better and feel good enough to show you some of my infamous, not so secret favorites.

This list is gonna consist of New Adult books which have made me fan my face and squeal so loud, I woke my housemates right up.

Let’s start with the book the changed the game for me!

17314430Ah yes, J. Lynn.  I’d already read the first book of the Lux series when I bit into this piece of perfection.  I read this along some lovely girls (including Adriana and Taylor from bibliophilegathering) and I was absolutely hooked from the very first page.  Jennifer has a such an effortless way of writing plus her male characters are always so damn dreamy.  I’ve read the rest in this series but Cam still holds a special place in my heart and soul.  He is just so sweet and kind and flat out adorable.  I’m all for the bad boys but good guys just make my heart melt into a disgusting mushy puddle.

To sum it all up, it’s a typical boy meets girl but there’s an actual development of friendship and characters and the dialogue is superb, not to mention the steamy scenes.  They’re great, I promise.  This book will leave you in a state of love and bliss and honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more.  But I did and so I read the companion novella called Trust in Me which is written in Cam’s point of view! I definitely recommend it as well.

Nani wrote a more complete review of this baby, the link is over here!


Staying on track with the whole college scenario, I shall introduce you to the fantastic Elle Kennedy and her brand spanking new series called Off Campus.

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The first two books are out and I devoured those babies in two days.  The Deal is my personal favorite at the moment but The Mistake is still pretty fantastic.  Let’s just take a moment and…look at the abs.

tumblr_mookdzvxWb1snbskwo1_500ALRIGHTY THEN!

Yes, these books have hot, drool worthy men.  Yes, they’re hokey players. Yes, they will knock you off your ass and make you love them.  Thee books are everything I’m looking for in a New Adult book.  They’re witty, they’re sexy, they’re REAL! What I loved most abut Elle’s writing is how easy she made it to believe her characters could be everyday people.  They joke around, they have personalities and dreams and issues and naughty thoughts just like anyone else.

There’s sex in these books, a lot of it.  And I loved it.  Gosh, I loved the raunchiness of it all.  They’re young and open about they’re sexuality, there’s no unnecessary slut-shaming or close-minded thinking, there’s strong female characters that aren’t stupidly annoying and really smart, cool (and also pretty nice!) guys that you can’t help but fall in love with.

10/10 Elle, kudos.


And last but not least, I bring you a gritty saga about hard rocker dudes and their girlfriends.

 Say hello to Stage Dive.tumblr_nr1k2mpmaK1u8mtcbo1_400

Man, it took me less than a week to finish all of these and I do not regret it one bit.  Kylie Scott is goddess when it comes to hilarious scenarios and steamy sex.  My favorite is definitely Play; I’m weak for drummers and contagiously funny guys.

The series goes on with each member of the band respectively.  Lick is about the guitarist; Lead, the lead singer and Deep, the bass player.  I loved how we got to see all of the guys separately and really appreciate just how different they were from each other.  It takes no effort to distinguish their personalities.  The plot is always interesting; there’s drunken marriages, drug abuse, personality disorders…Just, a lot of what’s involved in the fast paced life of every rock star.  Even so, the stories stay very real and so do the characters.  I got emotional at times and just fell in love with this fictional band.

Yeah, there are cliches involved but you know what? We all need a little bit of sap in our lives.  Even when it comes from grungy rock stars.

Camila

Cinder Book Review

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Book: Cinder (first installment of The Lunar Chronicles)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA Science Fiction/ Retelling

Rating:  ★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Once upon a time, there was a teenage cyborg named Cinder with a questionable past, and some serious self-esteem issues, who was hated by everyone in New Beijing with exception of her little sister and her android side-kick Iko and maybe even the wonderfully handsome prince Kaito.

alrighty then.

Teenage cyborg? another level of cool.

Futuristic setting? coolio.

Evil beings that live on the moon? sign me up.

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Romantic subplot? …meh.

Cinder is a well-loved book, which is basically a nice way of saying that it’s been hyped up to the extreme.  And for that same reason I was beyond excited to finally be reading this book.  Truth is, I was pretty disappointed.  I’m a huge fan of fairy tale retellings and the moment I found out about our futuristic Cinderella, I had to give it a try; I was prepared to love this book to bits.  I expected scientific narration, a complex world filled with hover whats-its and holograms, and I got that…but in the lowest scale possible.

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That’s how I can best explain the entirety of this plot.  You’d think that with the setting, the description of the characters and the structure of the political system, this book would have a lot more depth that it truly has.  There’s so much to be learned and discovered in this story and the author took the liberty of barely scratching the surface and that irked me.  I wanted so much more! I wanted to know more about the Lunars, enough to keep me on my toes and craving for the next books in the series.  Instead, I got a whole lot of frustrating “mystery” and dull characterization.  I did like the diversity presented in the cast, I’m pretty dang tired of seeing white people as protagonists in novels (sorry if this offends anyone).

tumblr_mlhl0tXNTA1r3gb1do1_250It took me less than 100 pages to figure the entire plot, no joke.  And if there’s something I loathe in this world, it’s predictability.  I know what you’re all gonna say: it’s a retelling, it makes sense for it to be easy to figure out since you know the original story.  I’m gonna say this once (and probably many times again later on): just because a story is a retelling, doesn’t mean it has to follow the exact same story line of the original story.

If any of you have read A Court of Thorns and Roses and/or Crimson Bound, you know what I’m talking about.  Retellings are about keeping the essence of the story, not repeating it.  There are certain tropes that might be necessary to keep but the main reason these original stories were created was to present a life lesson.  If you portray that lesson in your story in an efficient and innovative way, you’ve got yourself a decent retelling.

Cinder is certainly creative with the whole cyborg adaptation and the introduction of the Lunars but it’s too vague with this new spin of the tale.  I’ve been told that with each book the story takes up a better shape and gets less predictable and I’m holding on to that hope!

As for Cinder the main character, I liked her.  Believe me, I did.  She was witty and very human, her internal monologues were fascinating and she made me giggle and root for her most of the time.  I really really really loved that she was a mechanic.  You don’t see that a lot in female characters in YA fiction, as if there aren’t young girls who are interested in engineering and science and math, and I was very glad for that crucial piece of individuality the author decided to give her.    She was kind of vain though but it’s an understandable quality due to the circumstances she’s been raised in.  All in all, she was very relatable and a good role model for all teenage girls out there who tend to stick out due to their differences and tastes.

The love interest was…okay. I didn’t really get to know Kaito all that much throughout the book so I really can’t say that I ship them to ends of the Earth.  I can ship them from here to the next street corner I guess.  I need more of him though to see if he’s worthy prospect.  Honestly, the romantic subplot bummed me out, which is not common for me since I’m a hopeless romantic.  In this story’s case, I didn’t find it necessary and it was just boring and more of an obstacle than anything.  Kaito didn’t offer much for Cinder.  PLUS, WHAT HE SAID IN THE ENDING KIND OF MADE ME HATE HIM A LITTLE (A LOT).

AND THAT’S ABOUT THE ONLY THING THAT I DID NOT SEE COMING. THE ENDING.  It’s the reason why I gave the book 3 stars instead of two.  The ending was heartbreaking and it got me screaming at everyone involved.  I NEED THAT IN A BOOK. I NEED TO BE SURPRISED AND PRONE TO EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS.  IT WAS STILL CLICHE BUT IT WAS EXECUTED VERY WELL AND IT LEFT ME WANTING EVEN MORE.

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In conclusion: the book could’ve been much better.  There is still a lot to be discovered and I hope the rest of the series completes this enormous plot hole the first book left behind.

Camila