Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 18th, 2012
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

This is going to be an ultra-short review. 

I can figure out if I don't like a book within the first 30 pages most of the time, and this, sadly, didn't float my boat.

I was excited about giving the story a go because of the positive reviews covering her previous books like GOING BOVINE or BEAUTY QUEENS. This, tacked onto the fact that I absolutely adore the 1920's. Also, throw some magic, and you've got me hooked. 

I did like the classic story of a main character having to go and stay with their eccentric uncle, and believed that, having heard of the fun and strange ways Ms. Bray writes, she would be able to spin the story into literary gold. And maybe she did, but I didn't stay in long enough to find out. The reason I set the book down was the dialogue and characters. I was so annoyed by how purely cliche they all acted and spoke. I could hear their annoying and oh-so-typical Roaring Twenties accents in my head. I couldn't stand it, in fact. So that's why I sat it down. 

I'm an insanely harsh reviewer, I know, and so for that I can still recommend this, because I know a lot of people really liked it, and, even from what little I read, I could tell the story would be a lot of fun. It's just that this is another one of those books where, if turned into a movie, I'd see it in a heartbeat, but the way it's presented on the page now isn't for me.

Another instance where this "I'd-see-it-if-it-was-a-movie" thing happened is with BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (you can read my review here), two trailers of which have just come out, and both look fantastic, yet still filled with enough cheesiness to win the swoony romance fans over!

And the other one, which shows more footage:

GAHHHHHH! They look fantastic and so much fun! And may I just gush for a moment about their using Florence + the Machine's "Seven Devils"! :DDDD

See ya!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


January 10th, 2012 - Dutton Juvenile
Synopsis: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

OMG, I finally read it. This book has been sitting on my shelf for months, and everyone's been like...

'AMAZON.COM GIVES IT 5 FULL STARS!' Yeah, all that jazz. I mean, to not like this book would be a readerly sin, so, you know, going in I kind of knew I was going to adore it with all my heart and soul, and I was going to fawn over Augustus Waters like an obese man over funnel cake..... Right?


I didn't like this, and that is a very large surprise, if you can't guess. You're probably thinking I didn't like it because I used all the hype and praise as framework for my mindset going in, and, only because it didn't meet the standards punched in by every other blogger's gloriously gushful post. But I actually don't care much about praise when reading a book, though hearing a recommendation may get me to read it. 

But I just didn't like this book, alone, by itself, all praise pushed to the side. 

Things I didn't like:
One of the biggest things for me was that the main characters, Hazel and Augustus, both just kind of wander through most of the book, without a goal. This is a HUGE thing, that characters always have a goal, and the fact that they mostly kind of went along through life annoyed me. 

I didn't like how overly-philosophical they got at times. I mean, there were times I could suspend my disbelief and go with the flow if the scene was cute, or the dialogue witty, but many times I found myself thinking, God, he didn't just push the envelope here-he kicked the freaking thing. This is over the top, sky-high, through the heavens ridiculous.

Some scenes between their romance was also just...completely over the top. I don't want to spoil anything, but the dinner scene (though I enjoyed the "stars in the bottle") was purely too self-indulgent.

I felt that all of the "revealing secrets" scenes kind of fell flat. I mean, while reading them, I got the sense that Mr. Green wanted the reader to be like, "Oh! So that's why that was that, and that was this, and it all makes sense because the character has said this now!" but most of the time, I just kind of stared at the page thinking either, Well that was kind of stupid, or, How in the world did you not see that coming? That was, like, super obvious.

I didn't like the ending lines, because people only repeat their words when your companions first reply is, "Wait, sorry, the music's too loud-can you say that again?"

This is a really very tiny small thing, but it really annoyed me, because I was so weirded out by it: How much did Hazel's father cry? I mean, she even made a point of mentioning it once or twice, but even then, it was very strange. I honestly don't know any teenage girls that cry that much, and especially not any grown men. 

Things I liked:
The gas-station scene was a very sweet and short moment, and it was probably the only part I can't criticize in some manner, but I love it to pieces. If I could poke a hole in that scene and blow it up like a balloon so it filled up an empty book jacket, it'd be a wonderful book, and I'd read it.

I don't know what to think. I talked to my best friend, who loved it, about my thoughts, and he even told me it was weird I didn't like it, and I kind of agree. Maybe I was in a funk while reading, although I didn't feel like it. Like I said, I don't know. I'll probably re-read it in a few weeks, and I'll post if my thoughts are changed. But for now, buh-bye, fine human specimens.

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