Tag Archives: Before the Devil Breaks You

WWW Wednesday, 12-August-2020

12 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I haven’t made much progress with In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. I’m still not gripped and am really struggling to dedicate time to reading it. At this point, I think I’ll just have to push through.
I went over a week without touching Running with a Police Escort by Jill Grunenwald just because I’d been so busy. It’s got a great tone and I enjoy Grunenwald’s writing, but I’m just lacking time to read it. I miss my lunches where I’d read ebooks. That’s the only thing I miss about office life.
I started a new audiobook, The Narcissism of Small Differences by Michael Zadoorian. This was a book club pick and it takes place in my hometown of Detroit, which is always fun to read about.

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Old Baggage by Lissa Evans just in time for my book club meeting. Nothing like finishing a book on Sunday for a Monday meeting! I liked it more than I thought I would when I started it, but it still didn’t grip me very much. I gave it Three out of Five Stars and posted a review yesterday.

I also reviewed Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray on Monday. I adored this book and I can’t wait to continue with the series and listen to book four. I might push it up my TBR because I’m looking forward to it so much. Five out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’ll probably need another audiobook before anything else. I’m going to go in a completely different direction than my recent reads and go with Joy, Inc. by Richard Sheridan. It’s a business book and the business featured is about 30 minutes from my new house. I heard Sheridan speak at a recent HR conferences and I’m interested to hear his full story.
I’ll optimistically think I need a physical book soon as well. I’ve requested The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides from my library. I might bail on this because it’s a possible next read for me and my reading buddy. But I’ve suggested it twice and she hasn’t picked it, so I figure I might as well get to it myself.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Book Review: Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (5/5)

10 Aug

I have mixed feelings on slowly going through this series. On the one hand, it means that now that I’m ready for the final book, it’s out and I can dive in as soon as I want. On the other hand, I could have fallen in love with this characters years ago. This series has been so much fun and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I’m looking forward to writing this gushing review.

Cover image via Amazon

Before the Devil Breaks You (Diviners #3) by Libba Bray

Other books by Bray reviewed on this blog:

The Diviners (Diviners #1)
Lair of Dreams (Diviners #2)

Summary from Amazon:

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They’re more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward’s Island, far from the city’s bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten–ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they’ve ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation–a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

I’d forgotten that I was in love with Evie and Sam. I forgot how much I loved getting a chill up my back while I listened to this series. I’d forgotten how much fun super long books can be! This book was a pure joy from beginning to end. It could have easily suffered from some middle-book-syndrome, but I found it wonderful. It’s setting up for a major final battle and I’m excited about it.

The characters are amazingly diverse in this book and we dig into it even more. Either I’d forgotten or it was newly revealed that Ling is LGBTQIA+. I find her incredibly interesting, though I’ll admit I was skeptical of a character introduced in book 2 and how she’d fit into the group. I think Bray has done well and my skepticism is long gone and I’m back to admiration. All of the other characters are great because they seem so unique. I like that they’re all keeping something back, all of them not showing their full hand. It keeps them very dynamic and keeps me very interested in them and seeing how they develop.

Libba Bray
Image via Facebook

Theta was my favorite character this time around. She had a lot to deal with between Roy and Memphis and I could really feel her stress and anguish. She had a lot of different pressures weighing on her and I thought her behavior was very appropriate to the situation she found herself in. I wish she’d opened up to Henry a bit more, though. I think that the relationship was strong enough to take it.

These characters are just starting to push away from their childhood and into their adult lives more fully and I related to that. They’re pushing away adults who cared for them and venturing out on their own. It seems young, knowing many of these characters are around 18, but that’s also very appropriate for the 1920s. This isn’t exactly a coming-of-age story, but it’s a reminder of life after college for me. Well, except for the ghosts. I didn’t run into any ghosts.

Theta’s showdown with Memphis and Roy was my favorite part of the book. I loved how forgiving Memphis was able to be when faced with the truth and realization of what Theta did for him. I think her character will come into play in a big way in the final book and I really look forward to her future with Memphis.

Mabel’s story was the least compelling for me this time around. Her fight with Evie seemed unnecessary and I think it pushed her way too far toward radical than it should have, knowing her character. I knew something extreme was going to happen the more she broke away from Evie. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll stop here.

The audiobook was narrated by January LaVoy, who did the first two books. She’s incredible in this series. Honestly, the voices she does for Sam and Evie are so different that I’m amazed it’s the same person. She’s very talented and I look forward to hearing her bring the series to a conclusion and then searching out some other books she’s narrated.

The Diviners have to trust each other a lot, which can be hard to do. We see them grow into a ‘framily’ during this book and their reliance on each other is incredible. I think that reliance and trust are going to be very important in the end. Every paragraph I write is making me want to forget my other books and just dive into the end of this series!

Writer’s Takeaway: When writing, a writer is always advised not to ‘head hop,’ to go from one character’s thoughts to another’s within scenes. That’s Bray’s style and she makes it work. Within one scene, we might get two or even three characters’ thoughts, especially when the topic touches on something that they are keeping secret or something that makes them nervous. It’s so well done that I’m not sure I’d notice if I wasn’t looking for it.

A great book and one that’s got me excited for the series to continue. Five out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
Before the Devil Breaks You | The Librarians Toolbox
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray | the words gremlin
Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3) | Belle of the Library
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray | Review | ambsreads
Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) Review (Audiobook) | bookloversblog

WWW Wednesday, 5-August-2020

5 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m moving slowly through In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. It’s not gripping me yet and I’m struggling with it. I keep hoping it picks up soon, but I’m running out of hope (and pages) for this to happen.
I’m enjoying the funny tone in Running with a Police Escort by Jill Grunenwald. During a time where I feel like I’ve lost a lot of joy in multisport, it’s nice to have this book which is reminding me why I do love it.
I began listening to Old Baggage by Lissa Evans on audio. I’m not a huge fan so far, but I’ll give it a chance. I’ve got to get through this one pretty quickly since my book club meets to talk about it on Monday!

Recently finished: I finished up Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray on Saturday and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to finish the series soon! Bray has created some really memorable characters in this one and I’ll be sad when they’re gone.

Reading Next: Nothing planned right now. It feels like I’m at the beginning of everything so we’ll see what the next week brings us.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 29-July-2020

29 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m back to In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner full time as my print book. It’s picking up and I’m becoming more interested now so I’m hoping to fly through the rest of this one rather quickly.
I should finish Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray very soon! This one has been a complete joy and I’m really enjoying the character development Bray gave the Diviners in this book. I’m already looking forward to the end of the series because I think it will knock my socks off.
I began a new ebook, though not what I expected due to availability. I started Running with a Police Escort by Jill Grunenwald. I like Jill’s perspective on racing and I think after having so much time away from sport, it’s a good spin that I’ll need going forward.

Recently finished: I finished up The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. Honestly, I wasn’t in love with the ending and I waited several days before I decided on a rating for this one. I’m going with Four out of Five Stars. I’ll be writing a review to go up next week with more thoughts. I think meeting with my reading buddy will be helpful as well.

I posted my review of Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides yesterday. I watched a lot of swim races while writing the review and it was so encouraging. I need to watch those races more often. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I need to start another book club pick soon. We’re reading Old Baggage by Lissa Evans. We had planned to read this before but had a change of heart. I’m glad we’re going back to it and finally reading it because I’ve heard good things.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 22-July-2020

22 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m charging through the home stretch of The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. My reading buddy and I are excited to finish this one and see how a few elements are revisited and come back into the story to tie it up. I’m excited to finish this one and get a review up for you all.
I didn’t read much of In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. This week has been crazy busy and I haven’t had time to read before bed. I’ll look forward to getting more of this read in the next week once life slows down.
I’m loving Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray so much. This series is a ton of fun and we’re getting more into the characters and seeing how they work as a team, which is wonderful. I can’t wait to finish this series soon!

Recently finished: I didn’t think it would happen, but I finally finished Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides! I realized I was really close when I started a few section before work one morning. I enjoyed a thunderstorm on my porch and finished reading this. I miss swimming a lot right now and reading this was a bit cathartic because I got to relive the joys of competition and teammates. I’ll post my review soon. I’m giving it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I haven’t started yet, but I still hope I can grab Dollface by Renee Rosen as my next ebook. Maybe it’s an overload of 1920s, but I’m not sure that’s really possible. I love flapper books!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 15-July-2020

15 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I made a little bit of progress through Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides. I’m trying to be conscious about reading this a bit more. I enjoy it when I remember, but I often forgot to read it when I should.
My reading buddy and I met so I read our third section of The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. We had a lot of predictions about what will happen in the back half of the book and I’m starting to see which of our guesses were right and which were a bit off. I’ll be excited to finish it soon!
I’m very early with In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. It feels so good to pull books off my shelf that have been sitting there for so long!
I also started a new audiobook, which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do this week but I’m happy I could. I was able to find Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray as an eaudiobook. My library had made it unavailable at one point but it seems it’s there again! I’m glad to be able to read this one and continue on with the series.

Recently finished: I finished up The Book Women of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson after some long runs and drives. It wasn’t one I really enjoyed, but I didn’t dislike it either. I had some issues with the structure of the book, not the plot or characters. I wrote a review of it yesterday if you want to hear more. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.
I finished off How to Speak Midwestern by Edward McClelland, as I expected. This book was a small let down as well, being more about regional vocabulary and food than it was about pronunciation and accents. Oh well. I still liked it and gave the book Four out of Five Stars. My review went up on Monday.

I posted my review of These Women by Ivy Pochoda on Thursday. Check it out if you want to hear more. This book got Three out of Five Stars from me.

Reading Next: Maybe I’m optimistic, but I think I need to pick out an ebook to read soon. I’m hoping to snag a copy of Dollface by Renee Rosen. I love 1920s flappers so this is right up my ally!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 13-May-2020

13 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m getting really close to finishing White Oleander by Janet Fitch! This book is taking me much longer than I would like so I’m really excited to finish it off. It’s a very sad story but very intriguing at the same time so I’m engrossed.
I made an effort to make more progress with The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel. I like this one, but the mystery is still a bit too shrouded for me to be completely engaged. I’m hoping to get more into it soon, though.
I’m loving some fun YA right now so I decided to keep it going and picked up Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell on audio. It’s been a while since I read the first in this series (Carry On) so it might take me a minute to pick up on the plot and characters again. However, the parallels to Harry Potter make it a bit easier to pick up on.

Recently finished: I sped through The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson. It wasn’t what I expected and it came across as a disappointment because of that. I wanted more about books and bookselling but that wasn’t the focus. It felt like a bait and switch so I ended up frustrated. I posted my review yesterday if you want to check that out. I gave it Three out of Five Stars, though I contemplated Two.
I got through Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani much faster than I expected to. It was a fun YA read and I enjoyed it well enough. It didn’t have much for me that was really a standout, though. I gave it Three out of Five Stars and I’ll have a review up tomorrow.
I had way too much fun listening to the short novella The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee. This is installment 1.5 in the Montegue Siblings series and I wanted to read it before I picked up the second which I’m sure I’ll do this summer.

I posted my review of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David LagercrantzThanks for those who have commented about their opinion of Lagercrantz taking over the series. I’m still unsure if I think it was the best move but I’m glad I’m not the only one who has marked the difference.  I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.
I posted my review of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern on Monday and my final meeting with my reading buddy is tonight! I’m excited to see what she thought of the ending of the book. I finished it over a week ago so I hope my memory is sharp enough and my notes detailed enough to have a good discussion.

Reading Next: I’ll pick up Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich as a physical book very soon. I hope this can give me a little inspiration to read.
I’ll need another audiobook soon and I requested Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray but I’m not sure how quickly it will come in. Fingers crossed.
If that fails, I’ll likely start my next book club selection, Old Baggage by Lissa Evans. I don’t know anything about this one but I see that it’s pretty long so it will be a nice one to settle in with during my long training hours.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!