A Bookworms Bookshelf

 

I have a book hoarding problem, they're pretty much taking over my entire house. Sometimes, when I'm not drowning in uni work I manage to actually read them. And when I do finish them, I usually have some pretty strong feelings related to them and y'all are gonna hear about it.

 

You may see the occasional gif to give more accurate representation of my thoughts.

 

Goodreads

Reading progress update: I've read 278 out of 378 pages.

Bright We Burn (And I Darken) - Kiersten White

OH MY GOD SHES PREGNANT WITH MEHMEDS CHILD

The Way You Make Me Feel

The Way You Make Me Feel - Maurene J. Hinds

If there's one thing I can say about Maurene Goo with confidence is that her writing improves with each book that she publishes. Since You Asked was decent, not great, but it wasn't the worst thing out there. But with every book her writing gets better, it's more show and less tell, the flow is better, the pace is better, the characters get more developed.

This was a light read and I went through it fairly quickly considering I had school and seven other books I was reading at the same time. I really liked the pace of the story, I felt it went by fast enough that it didn't drag. The writing was decent but I think the main focus of this is the characters.

Clara Shin is not a very likeable character in the beginning. I'll admit she got on my nerves, I wouldn't have been friends with pre-character development her. But there are also plenty of people like her out there so while I wasn't a fan of hers at the start, it was okay. She didn't really care about other people, or think her decisions through, she constantly did things in an attempt to seem cool even though she didn't realize it at the time. She was constantly acting out and getting into trouble.

Her character development throughout the book was my favourite thing, I guess you could kind of call it a coming of age story? Her character development was all very natural and a direct result of the environment that she found herself in. For once she actually stopped and listened to her arch enemy and got to know her and understand her. The bonding that Clara had with Rose made her realize that being genuine and not caring about what people thought about you was better than constantly doing something to be cool. She finally realized how tiring it was to constantly distance herself from everything and act as if nothing bothered her and that it was okay to get excited about things and be sincere and vulnerable. And she finally realized where all of her need to cause trouble came from and talked to Rose about it and sorted it all out with her.

The ending where she realized that she didn't want to be like her mom was really good despite the fact that it was pretty rushed. She became a lot more sympathetic and understanding and mature. So yeah, character development was everything.

I also really liked the relationships in the book and how they evolved. It was obvious that Clara had more in common with Rose than with her actual friends and that Rose was a lot easier to be around than her usual goon squad (which I agree were pretty annoying, I felt like I was babysitting toddlers sometimes). I liked the friendship between Rose and Clara and how it grew to be healthy from their initial hatred of each other. 

I liked the romance with Hamlet too, there was no beating around the bush with it but it progressed so nicely and the two of them were so sweet around each other. Hamlet is just in general a really nice guy, he was a perfect example that guys who are ACTUALLY nice guys don't finish last. He was kind for the sake of being kind, he was genuine because there was no point in trying to please people or impress people. When you grow up being the disliked kid, one good thing comes out of it sometimes and it's the realization that you can't please everyone so you might as well do what makes you happy. He was honest and open about his feelings with Clara. And I especially liked how him telling Clara that he loved her (spoiler I guess) was handled. Clara admitting that it's not something that she can say because it's not something that she fully understands or has experienced towards anyone except her dad.

So overall, it was really cute, a light read, and I definitely recommend it.

(I also didn't realize the scene where Clara cooks vegetables or something on the same surface that she cooked bacon was such a big deal, and by big deal I mean to the point of people being triggered. I get disliking Clara because of it, especially because in some cultures and religions pork isn't eaten for various reasons but I thought the getting triggered bit was a bit of a stretch. Then again I'm not an expert on triggers or what kind of experience a person would have to be triggered by reading about something being cooked on the same surface of pork without it being washed. Obviously every person is different and if that's enough for you to hate the whole book then like so be it and all but,,,,,,,it also happens all the time in real life without any of us knowing it.)

The Hanging Girl

The Hanging Girl - Eileen Cook
I thought I was going to like this because I enjoyed With Malice so much,,,,,,but,,,,,,,this came nowhere near to being as good as With Malice was.

I finished reading this book literally two days ago and I've already forgotten most of what happened this is how forgettable this book is first of all.

Since I've already forgotten most of the book, I'm finding it hard to articulate what exactly annoyed me so much about the book, all I have is this distinct feeling that I just didn't like it.

I thought the mom of the main character was really stupid, it honestly came as no surprise that she had Candi when she was a teenager. For someone who puts so much effort into their appearance you'd think she'd at least be able to buy the right shade of foundation from like Maybelline or something. Half of the characters present didn't even serve any purpose to the story like Candi's best friend Drew, or that girl at the end who she thought murdered Paige. They literally served almost no purpose to the story, if you took out Drew it would only slightly change some of the stuff that happened and maybe cut down ten pages from the book.

Candi was so annoying and I get that she has anxiety and all that jazz,,,,,,,,but her New York problem literally could've been solved if she had been honest and just been like I'm poor, I can't go. And then Drew yelled her and basically implied that Candi wanted to be poor and that she was choosing to be poor,,,,,which was so fucked up like people don't choose to be poor. It's like impossible to save for anything when you're poor because there's always something that comes up that you gotta spend your money on but this is a different rant for a different thing so moving on.

And then the ending pissed me off like the last ten or so pages because it was literally,,,,,,so stupid. It hinged on one teeny tiny fact that was BARELY even connected to Candi realizing who had actually killed Paige. The author was literally reaching to make a connection with the explanation that she gave. I gave the biggest gotdamn eyeroll because it just felt so lazy.

With Malice was better, don't bother with this.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware

I had some really high hopes for this book because I heard so many things about it and it was hyped up to my knowledge,,,,and I was kind of let down. I expected something that was a lot more suspenseful and had a different tone than the one that was in the book. I don't know how to describe but what I expected wasn't exactly what I got.

My biggest problem with this book is that it's really slow and really boring. I got to the 160 page mark,,,,and nothing of note had happened except for Mrs Warrens being a right pain in the ass. Nothing really picked up until the last 68 pages or so.

I get that the purpose of the slow build was for the big reveal and to real shock us, and believe me, shock me it did. But I think it missed that mark of being just the right pace. I had to keep making myself read this because it was a library book and it has to go back soon. And you really have to make yourself keep reading because this book is just exhausting to get through.

By the time I hit the 280 something page mark of the copy I had, I said fuck it and just skimmed most of what I had remaining and I don't think I missed much. Obviously the juicy stuff I slowed down and read properly but the rest of it, I just didn't care. I spent the entire book hearing about Hal's worries and concerns that by the end I just didn't care about what her next concern was going to be.

And I feel like the bit in the summary made it sound like the entire family was bonkers or serial killers or something when it was really only two people, everyone else was just kind of,,,,,a normal dysfunctional family.

I will say this though, the plot twist at the end, it was wild. My heart started beating so fast I went into fight or flight mode, I'm in the middle of an adrenaline crash as we speak. It was good. It was the only reason I gave this 3 stars.

Pacing aside, the writing was fine, I'm not great with punctuation so if there were any mistakes with it, it completely escaped me. And because of that plot twist ending, I'm gonna go ahead and say that the characters were pretty dang good too. I liked the tarot card reading element of the story since it essentially is the ticket to solving the entire mystery and you don't even notice you've been given the hints the entire time until you get to the end.

Not the Girls You're Looking For

Not the Girls You're Looking For - Aminah Mae Safi

I was really hoping that I would like this book, unfortunately, it seems that I did not. I was really excited to read it because it focuses on a Muslim girl and her life, which you don't see a lot of in YA fiction. But it just let me down in pretty much every area.

I'm not going to lie to you, I knew pretty much right off the bat that I probably wasn't going to like this book. It starts off with no beginning, in fact, when you first start reading the book, it reads as if you picked up in the middle of a book as if it was the continuation of a sequel. There's no easing you into the stories or the characters, it just starts in the middle of something and keeps on going. Like I finished the book and honestly, I still don't know what the hell even happened or anything about these characters.

There's no plot in this book, at least none that I could see. I know it's a coming-of-age story but there should've been at least something to push the story along. The closest thing that came to a plot was I guess the string of parties everyone kept going to. I know that for some stories it's not the plot that carries it forward but the characters but to be perfectly honest, this didn't have great characters or even interesting ones to keep it moving or to keep you reading.

Moving onto the characters which was my biggest problem and why it took me so long to get through a book that would've normally taken me half a day. I didn't like any of them, they were all assholes and uninteresting, and I pretty much knew nothing about them and I still don't. In fact, I even question why Lulu and her friends are even friends. From what I could tell, they had nothing in common, they were constantly judging each other and trying to put each other down. They never listened to reason.

And most of the problems seemed to come down to simple miscommunication and I hate to tell you this but if your entire story is hanging on some simple miscommunication that can be easily fixed ... then your story probably isn't that good. There, I said it.

Lulu is so like, up her own ass that I just don't get her. Every interaction she had with her love interest at the start of the story was so baffling because he was being portrayed as being the bad guy or being offensive and half the things he did weren't even that bad. Like I get why the "you're not like other girls" thing is bad and a terrible pick-up line but a simple "no thanks" would've sufficed and she could've just gone on her way. But instead, Lulu literally drags that small line on for 2 pages and for what? It was so unnecessary, it was such an overreaction to something that wasn't that big of a deal.

Or she goes to a Battle of the Bands type of bullshit and he asks her "oh are you a fan of the band?" and she literally????? gets so mad????? and for what??????? She takes it as him trying to mock her or provoke her into proving that she's a "real fan" which is literally not what he's doing, he's just asking if she likes the band. Like Lulu is constantly accusing this guy of being an asshole but as far as I could see, she was the asshole in literally 99% of her interactions with everyone. And she kept describing him as looking confused when he was talking to her, and for good reason, because she was taking the conversation in a completely different area than where it was headed and the poor guy was just tryna follow along.

The only thing James, her love interest, did that was actually kind of yikes was take her to see belly-dancing because she was Arab.

Lulu is literally just so antagonistic for no reason over E V E R Y T H I N G. It's really hard to sympathize with a character who is constantly victimizing herself and making everyone else out to be like some kind of idiot who isn't as woke as her. And the funny thing is, she just makes an ass of herself every time because she thinks she's so much better than everyone else, the Ramadan incident being exhibit A.

Sis barely knows any Arabic, hears the word whore in a sentence half of which she can't even translate, and assumes it's about her mother like shut up. Your relatives, assholes they may be, can not only swear at you in Arabic and English but probably like 2 other languages as well, meanwhile you refuse to even tell people how you feel in English, sit down.

Her friends were just so????? I don't even know how to put it but like I said, I don't get why they're friends. I would say they're realistic but other than their interactions with each other, I literally don't know anything about them or their families or their interests, nothing. They're all also assholes in their own right.

Let's start with Audrey who's literally the worst person in this book. 

This girl always has something to say about not only Lulu's sexual activity but literally everyone else like you're an alcoholic at the age of, what, 16? I really don't think you're in any position to be judging someone, get off your high horse. And at the end she comes crying to Lulu like no fuck you, you're a terrible person goodbye.

The only thing that was irritating about Lo was the fact that she was trying to fuck the racism out of Scumbag Luke or something like for someone who has her head set straight like she does, I literally didn't get this one lapse in judgement from her. It just made no sense from what I understood about her character. And then at the end of the book, she's crying because Scumbag Luke turned out to be a scumbag like literally everyone said he was. She even knew that he was a racist, homophobic asshole, it wasn't a mystery, it was a well-known fact throughout the book. So did I feel sorry for her? No.

Next.

Emma, didn't do anything, she honestly might as well have not even been in the book because she literally contributed almost nothing, she only served as some sort of plot point because she's gay, but other than that, she didn't need to be there.

To conclude, is this book worth reading? Not really. I'm just glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.

Reading progress update: I've read 44 out of 336 pages.

Not the Girls You're Looking For - Aminah Mae Safi

Lulu is literally such an antagonistic person. James, who is clearly her love interest, is just trying to make conversation with her and I don't know but she seems to constantly take it as if he's speaking down to her or mocking her or setting her up to be judged when he's literally not. Like she's constantly attacking him for no reason and this boy is so confused, and rightfully so, because he doesn't even realize what he's done wrong.

 

"Are you always an asshole?" sis there's only one asshole in this conversation and it's not the person trying to talk to you, it's you. I don't know where this is even coming from like does she think she's more interesting than she is I don't get it. Is the coming-of-age portion of this her losing her fucking attitude because I'm already tired of it.

 

And the way this story started, there's absolutely nothing to ease you into the story, or introduce you to the characters, it's like it picks up in the middle of a novel and keeps going. I don't smell any hint of plot or purpose like what even is this.

Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross

Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross (A Broken Hearts & Revenge Novel) - Katie Finn

My thing with this book is that it wasn't bad, it just didn't need to exist. To be honest, this was 244 pages of pretty much nothing happening. It's pretty much an entire book on just character growth and it was pretty unnecessary.

Gemma and co get stuck in Bruce's house because of a hurricane and she finds out her dad and Karen are getting married. And because the entirety of the second book didn't happen apparently since no one seems to have learned anything from it, she and Hallie go back to do everything they did in book 2 except it's to their parents.

And literally everyone was telling them to take their heads out of their ass and just let their parents be happy and Gemma essentially went, I hear you and I kind of agree but I'm gonna do it anyways. Like the entire time she was scheming, she knew she was doing the wrong thing, she didn't even want to do it, but she just kept going. And the way her and Hallie made it sound, you'd think capers would ensue but literally only two things happened and the second event was the only dealbreaker one for their parents relationship.

Like the entire Reverse Parent Trap plot didn't really go anywhere, to be honest, their parents weren't even in the house with them most of the time, and the rest of the time they were too busy making sure things went smoothly because of the hurricane.

The Ford plotline was dragged out for way too long, for suspense purposes and nothing else obviously, to the point where it was just annoying. Like the dumb pining and stuff would've been cut down significantly. Like the scene at the end where the two of them do get together was cute and all but it could've happened at literally any other time.

The rest of the characters were pretty uninteresting like nothing happened with them, they were mostly there because they had to be. Gwenyth was home the entire time to literally no one's surprise, it was fairly obvious.

I guess the only thing that we really got out of this book was that Hallie and Gemma finally got over their problems and grew closer since they were gonna be related and all. But all in all, anything worth keeping around in this book is so small that it could've been added onto book 2 with like an extra hundred pages or so and it would've been a nice wrap-up. So, like I said, there wasn't really any need for this book. It wasn't bad, it just didn't serve a purpose.

SPOILER ALERT!

Before the Devil Breaks You

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray

I'M LITERALLY SCREAMING. HOLLERING. I JUST FINISHED THIS BOOK NOT TEN MINUTES AGO AND I'M A RIGHT MESS.

 

 

There's so much to discuss I don't even know where to start or how to put it into coherent sentences. First of all, the writing was phenomenal as always, you really feel as if you're right there in New York with everyone as you read the books, you can feel the hatred leap right off of the pages for the characters.

The book was always scary, the scenes in the asylum were truly frightening, I had to stop reading at night because every time I read spooky things I always go to bed with the distinct feeling of being watched. This series just gets progressively spookier and scarier with each book and I absolutely love it, just when you think things couldn't get any worse they really do.

The characters were as always phenomenal (I'll probably be using that word a lot in this review). With every page that you spend with them they grow even more complex, you become even more attached to them and you truly feel for them and their struggles. I would say that the Sam/Evie/Jericho love triangle has a pretty clear and predictable ending to it but I've come to expect the unexpected from Libba Bray so I won't say it because she could very well pull the rug out from under me and hit me with another Kartik turning into a fucking tree situation.

Towards the last hundred or so pages of the book the plot picks up considerably, you're literally like sprinting to such a climactic ending which is why I'm in such literal shock and my adrenaline is pumping.

Honestly if the conclusion isn't something like 1000 pages long, I don't know how this story is going to end, there's literally so much going on with each character that it's hard for me to imagine the book being anything less. I get why Libba Bray has been taking so long with the fourth book, it'll truly be a monster of a book.

From this point onwards, it's pretty much spoilers because I HAVE THOUGHTS. AND THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO HEAR.

Let's start with Theta. The only non-spoiler thing I have to say is that I forget people in the 1920s didn't have eyebrows because it was the fashion and coloured their lips in the shape of Cupids bows. And why is this important, because I was picturing Theta with eyebrows and she had to draw them on and I had a mini-stroke. And also like I get her fear and why she didn't tell anyone about her whole flaming hands thing but all of the Diviners were literally so supportive and they all had their own problems and self-destructive tendencies so like she would've fit right in. And they did exactly what I knew they were going to do the entire time.

I was literally ready to start throwing hands when Roy came into the picture because fuck this man and fuck what he did to Theta, burn in hell bitch. Literally if this bastard doesn't die and someone, say Same, does die there will be no justice in this world. I was so rooting for Theta to light that bitch on fire and like I get why she didn't, character growth on all, but I also like ... don't care, light him on fire. Do what you gotta do. The scene where she and Memphis get back together was so touching and lovely I literally wanna cry I hope things end well for them. 

Moving onto Memphis, I just hope things end well for him and Theta and my heart was really hurting in my chest when he thought Theta didn't love him because he didn't deserve that, the two of them are so wholesome, so pure.

Moving onto Jericho, while I was fully supportive of Evie going after either Sam or Jericho, Jericho has kind of worn off of me to be honest. Like I still love him and want the best for him, but he just has this inferiority complex that was just like amped up to the max in this book and while I still feel sorry for him and want the best for him and my heart aches for him, I kind of think Evie should pick Sam. 

Will kind of disappears after the first book and doesn't make many more prolonged appearances throughout the story so the ending to this book was bittersweet in regards to him. He dies and he never got to reconcile with Evie, the two of them just left things off really badly and it hurts me to think how she's going to react when she hears about what happened to him. 

Mabel ... oh boy. This is all going to be spoilers. She dies. She gets involved with Arthur Brown, the two of them fall in love and she realizes that anarchy is not the way and tries to stop Arthur but before they can stop the bomb, Mable gets shot and is paralyzed, Arthur gets shot and it hits an artery. And then the bomb goes and the two of them die in each others arms. Also Sarah Snow dies so there's that. 

Evie and Same ... oh my God. I have to talk about these two together because there's no way I can sum them up separately. That fake-dating sting really got these two deep in each other's feelings so I'm not surprised that they ended up sleeping together and falling in love. I was literally like a pile of wet napkin during their love dovey stuff near the end right before Sam is kidnapped. But at least Evie knows he was taken and that he didn't just scram.

Evie's world essentially comes crumbling down and boy when things go wrong in this universe they go out with a bang. I felt so bad for her, especially because of the many discoveries she made about James, who is, by the way, gay.

And this is what I was talking about when I said that the Sam and Evie ship is basically confirmed but because I've read Libba Bray's books before, I feel like she's going to just snap our necks and leave us for dead by killing off Sam. I'm not joking when I say I'm going to lock myself in my room for like a solid week in mourning because I literally won't be able to handle it. She already did this with Kartik, she can't do it again I need a break.

If he does die, I'm literally just gonna act like it didn't happen and find fanfiction. That's the tea on that.


All I have to say about Ling is, WE LOVE AN ASEXUAL KWEEN. Nothing all that bad happens to Henry and her in this book so I won't go on about them, life goes pretty well for them.

And um, I think that's it. I'm basically beating at a dead horse at this point but if inclusivity is really really important to you, I'm telling you this book is meant for you. And I think it serves as a good example to other authors to have a more diverse cast of characters and that it doesn't hinder the story in anyway at all but in fact contributes to it.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 276 out of 546 pages.

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray

First of all, there was a plot twist related to James that I 100% didn't see coming which had me shook and I had to stop reading for a good while to inform everyone I knew about it regardless of if they knew what I was talking about or not.

 

Second of all, I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. This story just suddenly took a very creepy turn and I actually had to stop reading and am using this as an excuse to prepare myself to dive back into the book lol. Honestly, I'm really excited, the thing I love most about this series is how well it does creepy and unsettling so the supernatural element in the insane asylum is exciting and exactly what I was looking forward to even if it does scare the bejeezus out of me.

 

I continue to be astounded by the level of diversity that is present in this book. Libba Bray is a woke kween.

Reading progress update: I've read 86 out of 546 pages.

Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray

I HAVE THOUGHTS.

 

I think Addie is written really well, her character doesn't appear often and even then it's only for a brief period of time. But nonetheless, her presence is pretty eerie and just adds to the general spooky tone of the story. It also really adds to the dramatic irony of the story because all of the other characters, literally all of them, just brush off what she's saying as oh she's crazy even though she's literally always right.

 

Theta is driving me insane like she's surrounded by the people who would be able to help her with her power and she literally just doesn't say anything. Like they're not going to think you're a terrible person, everyone is pretty fucking weird in the Diviners group sister. And it's just irritating because some of her burden would ease if she would just. Open. Up.

 

The love triangle is killing me. It's so well written and I can honestly see Evie ending up with either Jericho or Sam and it's literally hurting me to see one of them always hurting because they both deserve to be happy. I just want their suffering to end please, my poor heart.

The Diviners

The Diviners - Libba Bray

I think it's time for a real review because that old one was just embarrassing (especially given that I just re-read this book).

I finally got around to reading this again like I've been meaning to do for some time now but lots of things happened and here we are several years later. I have the other books in a series which I'm also just getting around to now but anyways, moving on.

I don't know how young I was when I read this but like I get why I got scared reading it at night ya know. Maybe it's just because I've grown and not as easily scared anymore but thankfully it didn't scare me this time around.

I know that a lot of people had problems with Evie and they didn't like her. I was not one of those people. I mean yes, I get why people disliked her but it didn't bother me. I thought it gave her personality, made her seem real. I think I even have a few friends who are like her, maybe that was why she didn't bother me as much. There was a lot of 20s slang present in the book as well but it didn't make it any harder to understand or take away from the story, it's pretty easy to figure out what they're talking about.

I loved the diverse cast of characters that were present and the backstory on each of them. I think it really made them seem more realistic and also made you feel for them in a way. For example, what Blind Bill did to Isaiah, it was a terrible thing that he did but at the same time, when you learn more about him, you kind of understand where he was coming from and why he did it, it doesn't make it excusable, but you understand.

I love how everyone is connected to each other and watching those connections unfold. It honestly made me excited because I knew how the characters were connected but they didn't and it just kept you flipping the pages.

There's a hint of a love triangle present in the story, but it doesn't take away from the story or overshadow the plot ya know, it's mostly in the background. I hate love triangles just as much as the next person but it didn't bother me. And honestly, I could see Evie ending up with either Sam or Jericho like I support both of them. I'm leaning towards Jericho just a L I T T L E bit more, but I can see her ending up with either and I'd fully support the end product either way.

The romance was not the point, however.

I think the supernatural stuff was written really well, the murders were gruesome and maybe it makes me a sociopath but I honestly loved reading those bits. It was so great watching the mystery unfold as Evie and the rest of them put everything together.

And I think my favourite part of the book was the way that it showed how people can get carried away and fanatic with what they believe and how this blurs the line between good and bad. How anything is excusable if you believe that you're doing it in the name of God. I don't know, but I thought it was probably the most interesting aspect of the book, seeing the level of devotion that people had to the Brethren and how far they were willing to go in order to see through what they believed to be the word of God.

TL;DR please read this it's an amazing book and well worth your money.

Lair of Dreams

Lair of Dreams - Libba Bray

I honestly just can't put into words how much I absolutely love this series and it kills me that it's not as popular as some of the other stuff out there. I can't believe everyone went crazy for Divergent but is completely ignoring this gem.

The second book in the series was just as brilliant as the first. It had the same mystery and spookiness to it and I love how all of the clues that we get from each book on Project Buffalo is slowly building up to give us a picture of what's really going on. Seriously the suspense is killing me. I don't even mind that I have to wait this long for the fourth book to come out because honestly, this series is well worth the wait.

If you're looking for a story that has a diverse cast of characters well then sister this is it. You are here, you've found it. There are people of different races, ethnicities, religions, sexuality, and physical disability etc etc. And what's great is that the struggles that these characters have to put up with because they're black, or Chinese, or disabled, or gay, isn't lost to the story, it's really well incorporated into explaining their actions and their thoughts and how they see the world. The culture and mentality and racism that was present in the 1920s is very much present in this book and I seriously believe that this series would not have been the same if it had all been ignored.

I will say that if you didn't like Evie in the first book, you're probably not gonna like her any better in this book. But no matter how angry you may get with Evie and the way that she's behaving, you ultimately feel bad for her in the end when you see how she's dealing with her situation.

Blind Bill Johnson hasn't really been all that important so far, but I will say that as much as the way that he's manipulating Isaiah disgusts me, I get it. I understand where he's coming from, I get why he's doing what he's doing. I think he's a pretty complex character for someone who hasn't played as big of a role in the story so far.

The sleeping sickness was truly spooky, especially near the end where everything comes to a close and we figure out what's going on and who's responsible for what. I honestly had to stop reading quite a few times just because I was freaking out, I didn't see the plot twist coming, maybe it's because I wasn't paying attention. Everything was all there for me to put together, I just didn't bother stopping to think about how each piece fits together.

Normally I hate pretty much any and all love triangles but not in this book. I'm honestly amazed at how well-written the romance is. Usually, you can tell who the protagonist is going to end up picking, but not in this series. And honestly, I don't even have a preference myself, I would be just as happy for Evie to end up with either prospect, I just want the angst and the suffering to end for my boys Jericho and Sam/Sergei.

Although if Jericho resorts to the "nice guys finish last" type of mentality I'm going to be angry for the rest of my life.

Each relationship in the love triangle works well, the characters all have something or need something from the other that would make the relationship work ya know. And most importantly, it doesn't distract from the plot, like in most cases where it ends up more romance and what was supposed to be actual plot kind of just becomes a side thought. I can't believe I'm saying this, but if anything, the romance actually adds to the story and helps move it along.

The writing was fantastic, it flowed so well, the pacing was great, it keeps you engaged and it's honestly really easy to spend your entire day reading all 613 pages of this. 

And the cliffhanger at the end honestly has me #deadt.

In conclusion, I've been screaming about this series from the rooftops for literally years on end now but no one will listen to me about how good it is. And lastly, I am forever a fan of Libba Bray honestly bless up, this was the supernatural, paranormal story that I didn't even know I needed.

 

(Also, I saw that lil nod towards Felicity and Gemma in the book, I saw it. I just wanna know if they're gonna end up making a bigger appearance later on or if it's just a lil something for the Gemma Doyle fans out there? WHO DOES GEMMA MARRY? WHO IS THIS RAO CHARACTER? FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED LIBBA!)

Reading progress update: I've read 337 out of 608 pages.

Lair of Dreams - Libba Bray

OH MY GOD GEMMA DOYLE RAO I SMELL A LITTLE BIT OF A CROSSOVER WHO DID GEMMA MARRY AND HOW DID SHE END UP IN AMERICA THIS IS AMAZING I NEED TO KNOW MORE LIBBA BRAY YOU BETTER BE PLANNING ON MORE INFO

Obsidio

Obsidio - Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman

I don't even know where to start. I literally just finished this book five minutes ago. I'm in shock.

 

To be honest this entire series is just one long screaming fest because hOlY ShIt.

 

 

There's so many plot twists and the authors constantly push you to the brink of despair and make you think that everyone's going to die.

 

AND THEN THEY SNATCH YOU BACK FROM THE EDGE AND THEY'RE LIKE SIKE.

 

I think I've said this before, but I know some people had trouble with the way that the story was told as it was told through dossiers and stuff and I'll admit that it's out of the ordinary but I think it really fits the story.

 

I think this entire trilogy does a really good job of showing that there isn't always just black and white, good and evil, there's so many gray areas and showing how people fit into those grey areas. There are so many characters in this book, not all of them important, but you get a little snippet into almost all of their lives that gives you some understanding of them. It does a really good job of showing that good people are capable of doing bad things. And that it's a lot harder to simply cut someone off when you know that person.

 

There were so many characters in the book who had committed some really terrible atrocities and while it made me absolutely livid, seeing them through the eyes of some of the characters and hearing them talk, you begin to hate them a little less.

 

Except for Leanne Frobisher, that bitch can rot to be honest.

 

I really liked the dialogue among the characters, they all had their own distinctive way of talking. I think even without the name labels, you'd probably be able to figure who was speaking when. I also really liked the characterization. Obviously not everyone is likeable, but they feel real, like someone that you might encounter at some point throughout your life ya know.

 

It goes without saying that the plot was absolutely incredible and blew my damn mind.

 

I know that this probably is coming across as very scatter-brained and unorganized but I'm still reeling from the book and trying to get my brain working properly again. 10/10 would recommend and I'm 100% planning on reading this series again in the future.

Backlash

Backlash - Sarah Darer Littman

I literally hate this book with every fibre in my being. This is literally the most ridiculous portrayal of cyberbullying that I have ever had the misfortune of reading of my own two eyeballs. I literally don't even know where to begin.

First off, the writing in this is literally so ... mediocre? It literally reads like mediocre fanfiction. And full offense this author literally hasn't spoken to a teenager after 2010 and it shows. I'd feel bad for saying it but I'm getting so tired of adults who have literally no idea what the teenagers of the modern day are like and writing them as whatever stereotype they have in their head. I would've let this slide if this had been written in like 2009 but this was literally published in 2015 so like ... get with the times.

People my age don't use Facebook all that much anymore, at least they don't use it in the way that it's portrayed in the book. Nobody puts you on blast and tells you to kill yourself on a Facebook post in the year of 2015. They just don't. They'll do it on a spam account on instagram or on their snapstory but even then they'll be shady about it, they won't ever mention any names.

Which someone would know if they had ever actually spoken to someone between the ages of 13-20.

Moving on.

All of these characters are like caricatures of human beings, not to mention they're all fucking sociopaths. Everything is so exaggerated to the point that it literally wouldn't work this way in the real world.

Lara is literally so annoying and I should probably feel bad for saying this considering her situation, but she was a fucking idiot. I get where her self-esteem issues came from, seriously I do, but I feel like the way that they were handled was so poorly and it honestly didn't feel like it came from somewhere deep. Maybe it's just me but I literally do not understand why someone would give two shits about the opinion of any boy, especially one they've never met in person. I don't know what it was but her situation just didn't feel real to me.

You mean to tell me, this girl goes from being perfectly fine for weeks and months on end and enjoying life ... to attempting suicide because one boy told her the world would be a better place without her? I don't know, maybe I don't know enough about this type of thing yet to be able to judge whether or not it was realistic, maybe someone really can make a complete 360.

Her sister Sydney is literally ... so self-centered. Her sister literally tries to kill herself and this girl thinks her life is hard because she can't make it to her audition. How fucking hard it must be for you to have a mentally ill sister. Why doesn't she just put on hold so that you can have some attention for five minutes. God she was so annoying but as annoying as she was, she was also one of the only sane fucking people in this book and that wasn't all that hard to achieve since everyone was batshit insane.

Bree is a fucking sociopath, I feel bad for saying this but honestly this girl deserved everything she got and I can't believe the book actually tries to make you feel bad for her. Boo hoo you dumb bitch you didn't make the cheerleading squad get on with your life Christ. Literally who even fucking thinks it's an appropriate thing to create an entire fake account so you can emotionally damage someone you used to be friends with. I literally can't put into words how fucking insane that is.

HER MOM WAS EVEN WORSE.

This woman, instead of scolding her daughter and punishing her for being a literal terrible human being decides tO JOIN IN ON THE CREEPY CATFISH FLIRTING TO BE PETTY AT LARA'S MOM BECAUSE SHE'S AN UNFULFILLED MIDDLE AGED WOMAN. 

The only decent, sane person in this entire book is Liam who calls out his sister for her absolutely insane behaviour and tells her that she's a literal piece of trash.

Look I get it, cyberbullying is a big thing in the age of technology and it's important to talk about ... but this book does a really bad job of it and I feel like if anything, makes it seem a lot simpler than any cyberbullying situation would be.

This book is terrible and I didn't even bother with the last 20 pages, thank you for listening to my TedTalk.

Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls - Abigail Haas, Abby McDonald

This was a really entertaining read and I really enjoyed the book, but it was also so got damn irritating.

 

I know that there are parents out there who pay no mind to what their children do and as a result their kids take full advantage of it and do some insane shit. I know this, I really do. And yet, reading books like this it always shocks me because, like ... WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS? What kind of parent thinks it would be a GOOD IDEA to send their underage child on a vacation with a bunch of underage, equally irresponsible teenagers, in a foreign country? Without any adult supervision I might add, why would you think that would end well?

 

The only person that you really get to know throughout the story are Anna and Elise, everyone else is just kind of background. They don't really serve a purpose and honestly, if they hadn't been in the book, it wouldn't have made a difference. Honestly, I can't even name anyone else other than Tate and I finished this book today.

 

I didn't even like Anna or Elise, both of them were so fucking annoying I just wanted them to shut up. Elise was honestly such a lil bitch the entire time, she had perfectly caring parents and she treated them like garbage. She had no regard for her own well-being and safety, and in the end she stabbed her best friend in the back honestly fuck her. I don't feel sorry for her.

 

Anna seemed like a whiny cry baby throughout the entire book in the flashbacks building up to the day the murder happened like sis buy a journal and write your feelings in it. I can't believe someone would get this worked up over some crusty boy who was literally so uninteresting. She shoulda just dumped both Elise and Tate and moved on with her life. Don't get me wrong, she faked the entire thing really well, if my friend hadn't already spoiled the book for me, I would've been S H O O K.

 

Detective Dekker was honestly such a creep, I hate that man. On top of that, he was really fucking bad at his job. He had literally zero actual solid evidence that Anna was the murderer. He just kept pulling up stuff that had happened years ago and acted as if it was relevant to the murder which it literally was not.

 

"I'm just trying to establish the relationship the suspect had with the victim," EVERYONE LITERALLY TOLD YOU WHAT THE RELATIONSHIP WAS DROP IT AND MOVE ON TO THE ACTUAL MURDER CHRIST.

 

I don't even know what charges they had Anna arrested on. I don't know what the laws in Aruba are regarding murder, but from the episodes of Law and Order: SVU that I've been binge watching lately, courtesy of my mom, it doesn't seem like they had anything to hold her on. I'm probably mistaken, but I'm pretty sure you can't have someone arrested and held in captivity based on circumstantial evidence. And where even was the evidence? Elise was stabbed in the chest 13 times and you're telling me there was no evidence except for the knife she was stabbed in? Where are the clothes that Anna wore to stab her in? Aruba is a pretty small island it's not like the clothes would've just disappeared.