One Minute Book Review: The Diviners with Libba Bray

7728889

Summary: 

It’s the 1920s, and Evie O’Neill is being shipped off to New York to live with her Uncle due to bad behavior. And she couldn’t be happier! New York with it’s lights and speakeasies! It’s going to be wonderful! Until she gets drawn into her Uncle’s work investigating occult-based murders, and her own paranormal secret is discovered. . . The secret that could get this killer caught! Add to that plenty of drama, and more supernatural experiences than I could list here and you have The Diviners!

What I Liked About It:

When Libba Bray writes this kind of book, she doesn’t just tell a story, she creates a mythos, and that’s what she’s done with The Diviners. From the first few pages I was drawn in by her beautiful writing, and the spooky vibe. If you’ve read her Gemma Doyle trilogy, and you were disappointed by Beauty Queens and Going Bovine then this was the natural evolution you were looking for in her writing.

What I Don’t Like About It:

It’s hard to describe, and even harder to encapsulate this book in such a way that will make you want to read it. Oh, and it’s a LONG read. 578 pages to be exact, but I got through it in about 3 days, so it’s not impossible. And the story moves along at a pretty good speed, so you’re not slogging through the book wishing you were doing something else. But it’s still LONG. If you don’t like that, you won’t like this. If you’re like me, and don’t care, then this won’t bother you.

The Verdict:

Read this! Read it now! If you only read one book this year, make it this one! It is a good, spooky read, with everything you could want. The characters are special and memorable, and definitely not perfect, which makes them all the more human. I loved it, and I can’t wait to read the next book!

One Minute Book Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

9464733

Summary:

Be in a pageant, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll parade around in pretty dresses and smile for the judges, they said. Well, the girls already knew it wasn’t really any fun, but when they crash into the jungle the girls are faced with choices they haven’t been faced with before. Do you work on surviving on the island, or do you continue to prep for the Miss Teen Dream pageant? The only thing to do is both, with a little bit of finding yourself thrown in. Throw in some pirates, and an evil corporation and you have Beauty Queens!

What I Like About It:

Libba Bray likes to do some off the wall books sometimes, and this one is no exception. I’m going to caution you, if you didn’t enjoy Going Bovine, you probably will not enjoy Beauty Queens (or you might, I mean, I could be wrong). This book reminded me a lot of a Terry Pratchett book (Especially with the footnotes). This is both a good thing (if you’ve never seen it before, you’ll enjoy it), and a drawback (as a long-time fan and reader of Terry Pratchett, it did just feel a little bit watery). However, I liked the story, and I liked the message it had to tell. I know some people were complaining that it was a “girl power” book that just didn’t seem to hit, I didn’t feel that way. I felt that it was making fun of everything to do with traditional “girl” things, as well as girly movies. It was a bit slow, but as a satire, it hit the mark.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

The biggest complaint I had about this book was that it dragged in places, and it felt like a watery version of another author. I fought with myself about saying that perhaps this book wasn’t always appropriate for teens, but I decided against that. I think it is in touch with teens, and what they do and have interest in. I also think that this would be just as good a book for the “fiction” section of the bookstore and library as it would for the young adult/teen section.

Verdict:

When I thought about how many stars I wanted to give it on GoodReads,  I couldn’t decide on 3 stars or 4 stars. . . But when I tried to think about things I didn’t like, I really couldn’t think of much, so it wound up with a 4 star rating. That being said, I’m not sure if this book will stick with me the way Going Bovine did, so I’m not sure that it would be one of the first books I recommend. But if you like quirky, and satire, then I think you’ll really like it.

One Minute Book Review: Impossible by Nancy Werlin

3188580

Summary:

This book is about a girl who is the latest generation in a long line of young women who are subject to a curse cast on their family long ago. Based on the song, Scarborough fair, the book is about how this particular girl has to fight against time to complete three impossible tasks before the curse continues on to the next generation.

What I Liked About It:

  • The working in of the song Scarborough Fair, that was different.
  • The writing itself.
  • The supernatural story line.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

  • There was too much story for the book. I felt that the story itself was rushed.
  • You could have split this up into a trilogy. This goes back to too much story for the book. With there being three impossible tasks it would have made an excellent trilogy.
  • The writer kept telling us what had already happened, causing it to seem that the people in the book were frightfully understanding, when maybe they weren’t, we’d just already passed that critical moment.

The Verdict:

This is not a book for those who lack patience with writers. The premise is interesting, and if you have plenty of time, and just want something to read and aren’t easily frustrated, you’ll like it. I think you’ll also like it if you’re more mature. however, the young adult crowd will probably lose patience with this and quickly. And I’m not going to say they’re wrong. All in all, I liked it, but I’m not sure that I would recommend it.

One Minute Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

7735333

Summary:

Cassia has always tried to live just by the rules of the Society, and be what she is expected to be. Until she sees another boy’s face on the screen when she’s Matched. Curious, she comes to know this boy, and starts to wonder that the Society’s choices for her aren’t the right ones. What would life be like if she could choose what she wanted to do, what she wanted to be? Who she wanted to love?

What I Liked About It:

  • It didn’t assume the reader knew things about this strange world.
  • It also didn’t explain every excruciating detail.
  • Characters were reasonably interesting.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

  • The world seemed populated by about five people.
  • The surrounding characters were more interesting than the main characters.
  • This story lingered too long on things that weren’t as interesting, while glossing through what I felt were more interesting parts.

The Verdict:

I liked it. Not so much that I would recommend it above some other books, but enough to not regret it.