Tag Archives: The Diviners

WWW Wednesday, 25-February-2015

25 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, 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. 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?


Currently reading:  Again, no movement on The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. It’s been a long time on this one and my husband and I have talked about finishing it separately because we haven’t had a lot of car rides together. I think I might take it on after I finish Ptolemy Grey. Hopefully that can be soon.
SombraOne of my resolutions this year was to read a book in Spanish and I’ve picked La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I’ve gotten through a bit of this one this week, but not too much. It’s what I pick up between other books. I’ll get it by the end of the year.
I’m working on my new eBook, Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I’ve made better progress than I expected on this one, it’s really interesting. I’ve heard the series is really long and I’m not sure if I’ll finish all of them, but I’m enjoying this first installment.
My audiobook is The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. I’m liking the story more as I go. It was hard to follow at first but I’m getting better at figuring it out and I like a lot of the characters. It’s not going to end well, but I still like the journey.
My book club met Monday and I got our next title, The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan. I’m not too far in it yet, but the topic seems really interesting and I’m excited to read more. Come back Friday for a preview.

ZeitounRecently finished: I sped through Zeitoun by Dave Eggers last week. The story was really interesting and I’m still a little nervous to look into the recent news about Zeitoun. I want to like him and I heard the news will change my mind.

I got through two book reviews last week. The first was The Diviners by Libba Bray which I really enjoyed. I’ll look forward to the next installment of the series. The second was Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. Our book club discussion on that title was this past Monday so I’ll have a book club reflection up soon.

White TigerReading Next: The girls at work and I are going to be reading The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga soon. I’ll be getting it a few weeks and I’ll have to squeeze it in between book club books but I’m determined to get it in. It sounds like a good one.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). 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!

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

19 Feb

I love the 20s and I talk about it a lot so I’m not surprised that my book club moderator  recommended The Diviners to me. It was right up my ally. It was paranormal without the vampire romance and very, very 20s.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Cover image via Goodreads.com

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Summary from Goodreads:

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-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

This book bothered me a bit at the beginning and a bit at the end. Between those, I was enraptured. The story of Evie and her uncle in New York was really well crafted and the action around Naught John Hobbs was well paced. You can see that my rating of 4 stars is high because of this. The issue I took with the beginning of the novel was the sudden and over-saturated use of 20s slang. As someone who’s writing a 20s novel it was too much. There are some words that needed to be introduced (jake, swell, hooch, etc.) but there were some that were unnecessary and added too purposefully. I remember an early scene when Evie’s parents are talking to her about what she did to be sent away and she’s asked if she has anything to say for herself. She looks to her mother who wears glasses and says, “I hope I never need cheaters” (glasses). That was really unnecessary and I remembered it the rest of the novel. Thankfully I either got used to the writing style or it became less forced because I didn’t think about it much toward the end of the novel.

The other thing that bothered me was the end. I was on the second to last disk when the climax hit. I was a little disappointed because many of the main characters and narrators weren’t involved in the action at all. I brushed that aside a bit but after the fight, there was so much more of the story to go that I was confused where it was heading. The last disk was setting up for a sequel. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s good to set up for a sequel when you’re writing a book, but I realized that two of my favorite characters wouldn’t even make it into the action until the next book and all the feelings I had for them needed to be put on hold. That was frustrating. The set-up for the sequel seemed forced; like the author forgot to do it before the climax and just tacked it all on to the end. The pacing really fell apart for me there.

I liked that the characters all seemed like a stereotype of a 20s social class at first but as we got to know them they had something or another that made them unique. Memphis has his gift, Theta has hers, Henry is hiding part of who he is, and Evie can be all talk and no action. Bray let on to these slowly which helped me like the characters. None of them seemed over the top, especially for the time. Mable was a favorite of mine because she reminded me a bit of a character in my novel. I was sad she disappeared from the story a bit at the end.

Sam Lloyd was my favorite character. And it’s not because we share a name. I liked his good/bad guy blend and enjoyed not knowing what he was ever really after. I was disappointed when his character wasn’t very involved in the final battle. He was obviously being set up for the sequel, which I’m not likely to read for some time now. I wish I’d seen more from him.

I related to Mabel a lot because she reminded me of myself at her age. I was reluctant to ‘do what the cool kids did’ or break any rules no matter how much I agreed with them. Heck, I shiver at work every day because I won’t buy a personal heater because it’s against the fire code; I’m still Mabel! Again, I wish she’d been around more at the end, she seemed to disappear from the book.

I liked when Jericho, Evie, and Uncle Will went to visit the Brethren. I thought the plot moved really well through that section and that the characters developed a lot. I liked the problems they ran into because they seemed really realistic to me. Sometimes I don’t want people to escape because it seems too convenient, but this one played well.

I’ll ignore my complaints about the beginning and end of the novel when picking my least favorite part. I’ll have to say Isiah’s story was my least favorite part. I thought he was a really great character but what happened to him at the end bothered me because it didn’t develop him and really only diminished his importance in the impending sequel. I wanted to see more from Isiah and Memphis and I was really disappointed that there was nothing more.

The audiobook I listened to was the Listening Library version narrated by January LaVoy. LaVoy did an amazing job at not only giving the characters their own voices but using speech patters and slang of the 20s. I’d imagine it took a lot of research to be able to narrate a book like this one. I also enjoyed that Bray did an introduction at the beginning and an author’s note at the end. It gave the audiobook a really nice touch.

I liked what Bray had to say about looking beyond a person’s appearance. No one was what they seemed in this novel, though that was mostly due to supernatural powers. At the same time, Jericho was someone Evie never would have looked at if she hadn’t been forced to get past her initial thoughts and it seems like Uncle Will has a lot he’s been hiding as well.

Libba Bray Image via Barnes & Noble

Libba Bray
Image via Barnes & Noble

Writer’s Takeaway: I think handling multiple points of view can be really challenging and despite my feelings about the pacing of those other points of view toward the end of the book, Bray handled it very well throughout most of the book. Though Evie narrated most of the book, Memphis still had a lot to say and chapters that jumped to the victims, Theta, and others, kept me interested along the way.

Enjoyable but with some flaws that detracted from me being completely engrossed. Four out of Five stars.

This book fulfilled 1920-1939 in the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

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!

Related Posts:
Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray | Nessa’s Thoughts
Review: “The Diviners” by Libba Bray | Bread and Ink
Review: Libba Bray’s The Diviners | The Stake

WWW Wednesday, 11-February-2015

11 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, 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. 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?

Currently reading:  No movement on The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. It’s hard being so close to the end but not moving forward. I hope I can keep pushing this one soon.
One of my resolutions this year was to read a book in Spanish and I’ve picked La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I was able to get through a bit this week, but nothing to be proud of. This one will be here for a while.
I started a new audiobook that I’m really enjoying, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I read another of Rowell’s books at the end of last year and really enjoyed it. She has such a natural flow with characters and this is no exception. I’m really liking it.
I got a new eBook, Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. This one is slow so far and that’s how I usually am with eBooks so no surprise. I saw that this was made into a Nick Cage movie recently so I’ll have to compare the two once I finish it.

Recently finished: The snowfall of finished books continues! I finished the audiobook of The Diviners by Libba Bray last Wednesday. I almost changed my post but decided to keep it for this week. Woo hoo!
Thursday night I finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera for Read Along #3. My post will probably go up next week to finish off the discussion. I’ll be starting up another Read Along soon so stay tuned for that! I’d love to have you all join in.
I finished Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat early this week. It was a lot faster of a read than I thought it would be and I enjoyed it a lot.

One review finished this week as well. You can read my review of California by Eden Lepucki but I’ll warn you, I wasn’t a fan.

Reading Next:  I’ll be going to my book club tonight and our next book is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. I’ve read two Eggers books before and really enjoyed them so I’m excited to start this one tonight!

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Spread the word, WWW Wednesday is back!

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!

WWW Wednesday, 4-February-2015

4 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, 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. 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?

Currently reading:  My husband and I got through a bit of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and we have two disks left. Yes, that’s still a lot. Stay tuned.
Audio for The Diviners by Libba Bray is almost over! This book has really wowed me, especially because I’m not normally into paranormal stories. But wow.
One of my resolutions this year was to read a book in Spanish and I’ve picked La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. No progress this week, sadly. Stay tuned.
Read-Along 3 has begun! The book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and I’m in the middle of Part 5 (out of 6). I hope to finish this in the next week or so.
My book club book of the moment is Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. It’s a really moving (sad) story but I’m loving it so far. It’s a fast read so it might be off this list soon.

Recently finished: Finally! Two books finished this past week. I knew it would catch up with me sooner or later. I finished California by Eden Lepucki last Friday in my determination to finish at least one book in January. I’ll be reviewing it soon but be warned, I was not a fan.
And after months and months I finished The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. This one was a winner for me. I’ll also be reviewing soon.

Reading Next:  I’ve picked my next eBook, which will be Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. A friend told me a while back that this was the only series he remembered reading while in school so I added it to the growing list. We’ll see how it goes.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Spread the word, WWW Wednesday is back!

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!

WWW Wednesday, 28-January-2015

28 Jan

After speaking with MizB at Should be Reading, I’m going to take over as host of the WWW Wednesday meme! The image has changed but everything else is the same. 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. 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?

Currently reading:  I used National Readathon Day to make progress on The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. It’s getting really good and the stakes are getting high. I might power through this one soon. I renewed it this weekend and my goal is to finish it before it has to be returned.
I listened to California by Eden Lepucki on my phone while cooking during the Readathon. Less than an hour left on this one and I’m glad it’s almost over. This really failed to keep my attention.
My husband and I got through a bit of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway this weekend but not enough to brag about. I hope we can get through the last three disks some time soon.
Audio for The Diviners by Libba Bray is going well. I’m over halfway and I’m looking forward to long drives so I can keep listening to this one.
One of my resolutions this year was to read a book in Spanish and I’ve picked La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I read a good amount of it during the Readathon (I’m saying 50 pages is a good amount when you’re reading in a foreign language) but I’m still only a quarter of the way done. This may take a bit.
And finally, Read-Along 3 has begun! The book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and I’m almost half way done with the book, at the end of the second stopping point. We’ll see how soon I can get questions from Nicole and get the post about it published.
My book club met on Monday and I got a copy of our next book, Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. I’m not far into it yet so stay tuned to see how this one goes!

Recently finished: Aaaand I still haven’t finished anything! I’m getting close to the end on so many that it’s frustrating but sadly, nothing to report here.

Reading Next:  None on the radar now. I’ve got to finish the ones I’ve started first! Once there’s an end in sight, I’ll think about what’s next.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Spread the word, WWW Wednesday is back!

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!

WWW Wednesday, 21-January-2015 (It’s back!)

21 Jan

It’s back! I’m excited to announce that after speaking with MizB at Should be Reading, I’m going to take over as host of the WWW Wednesday meme! The image has changed but everything else is the same. 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. 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?

Currently reading:  I’m making forward progress on The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. I hope I can keep it checked out for a while!
The audiobook on my phone is still California by Eden Lepucki. I’m getting toward the end and losing interest, so this is a bit slow. I hope to get some progress on it soon and just finish it up!
My husband and I are still listening to The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway but it’s slow going when we can only listen to it on weekends when we remember to bring it into the car with us. Oh well.
My audiobook in my car is The Diviners by Libba Bray which I’m really enjoying so far. I’m about half way through now and I hope to finish it soon!
One of my resolutions this year was to read a book in Spanish and I’ve picked La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It’s about 550 pages and I’m about 100 in. Expect this book to be here a while.
And finally, Read-Along 3 has begun! The book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and we’re about 80 pages in at the first stopping point. If you’re interested, you can learn more here and send me an email to join in!

Recently finished: This is embarrassing. I haven’t finished anything lately! I finished so many right at the end of the year and as you can see, I’ve started a good number so I haven’t finished any titles yet.

I’ve done a few reviews! Okay, more than a few. Check out my reviews for The Handmaid’s Tale, Ready Player One, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Attachments. And for once, I’m caught up on reviews. Winning!

Reading Next:  To be honest, I’m in the middle of so many that I haven’t thought about what to read next for a while. I’ll get a new book club book next week, Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. I have high hopes.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Spread the word, WWW Wednesday is back!

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!

WWW Wednesday, 31-December-2014

31 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! Everyone getting ready for that new year? I’ve got progress and it’s looking like a good push into 2015.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading:  No progress on The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. On hold.
The audiobook on my phone is still California by Eden Lepucki. I made a small bit of progress on this but I think I’m going to put it aside for the audiobook I checked out from the library. It’s really failed to grab my attention.
My husband and I started listening to The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway during our car trip, but we had so much to talk about that we didn’t even get through the third disk. I’m thinking this one might take a while.
I got a new phone-book as well, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This has been the top book on my TBR for a long time so I was excited to snag it, but the first few pages haven’t grabbed my attention yet. I’m without a physical book at the moment so I might invest some time in this to see how I like it.

Recently finished: Would you even believe I finished three books this week?! Yes! Three. I’m so proud of myself. I finished Ready Player One by Earnest Cline on Christmas Eve before leaving for my in-laws. I was so geeked to finish this one, I really enjoyed it. I also finished The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I sneaked away to finish this Christmas day, more to get it over with than anything. Because I was so excited to start Attachments by Rainbow Rowell which I finished yesterday. What a great week for reading!

And reviews! I’ve posted a review for John Green’s Paper Towns so check that out, too!

Reading Next:  My hold for The Diviners by Libba Bray came in and it’s in my car. If I’m ever driving alone I’ll start it, but that might not happen before I go back to work!
The book for my next ‘Read Along With Me’ has been chosen! We’ll be reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. If you’re interested in reading this book along with an on-line book club, send me an email and I’ll count you in! You can read more about my Read Alongs here. We’ll start in early January.
I’m deciding if I want to pick the next book off of my pile. It’s in Spanish and will take me a while to get through, but I think it will be worth it. It’s La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Luiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind) which I’ve heard wonderful things about. Let’s see if I’m brave enough!

I’ve got half a week left of vacation and I wonder if I’ll get through anything else. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

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!

WWW Wednesday, 24-December-2014

24 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! And a very merry book Christmas to you all! Unfortunately, there’s no change here for books this week. Reading fail.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading:  I’m still on hold to renew The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. This will take a while…
I’ve been working through Ready Player One by Earnest Cline at a good pace. I’m enjoying the story, though there’s a bit more info dump than I would like, but it’s good.
The audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki though I’m thinking of putting it aside again because my next audiobook just came in at the library and this one is really boring me.
I’m trudging through The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I feel like my progress through this book is as slow as a retired man walking the length of England but without any kind of adventure whatsoever. I’ll fight to the finish!

Recently finished: Well, this is awkward. Nothing. But I did put up two reviews (go me) so check out These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Reading Next:  I was handed a copy of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell on Monday. I hope to devour it over the Christmas holiday!
My hold for The Diviners by Libba Bray came in and I picked it up yesterday. I’m trying to determine if this book is worth abandoning California for a little bit longer.
I’m also in possession of the audiobook for The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve been wanting to read this one since I read The Paris Wife and the road trip my husband and I are making to Cincinnati for the holidays is the perfect excuse.
The book for my next ‘Read Along With Me’ has been chosen! We’ll be reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. If you’re interested in reading this book along with an on-line book club, send me an email and I’ll count you in! You can read more about my Read Alongs here.

I’m off work for the year and it’s time to power through my big pile of books. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

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!

WWW Wednesday, 17-December-2014

17 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! My book finishing rush is continuing with TWO again this week! Woosh.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. It’s still on hold… and will be for a while… so…
I checked out another one, Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. So far, so good. I’m only a bit into it, but I’m enjoying the story a lot.
One audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki and I’m back to it with a vengeance, trying to get it done this year. I should be able to, especially with all the time I spend cooking/listening to audio this time of the year.
I’ve just started The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce which is a book club selection for January. I’ve heard good things but I don’t have really high expectations.

Recently finished: Two! Last night I finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and man, was it engrossing. I’m really glad I got to read this book and I’m looking forward to the discussion.
I finished Paper Towns by John Green while making cookies on Tuesday and I’m sad to say it wasn’t for me. I’ve read two of John Green’s other books (TFiOS and Alaska) and this one just didn’t cut it for me. Look for a review soon.

I’ve been able to put up a review of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver so please check that out and let me know what you thought of the book.

Reading Next:  I’m waiting for the work book club selection, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I should have it over Christmas to devour it.
I also have a new audiobook on hold at the library, The Diviners by Libba Bray. My book-club moderator recommended this to me about a year ago and I’m excited to finally get my hands on it.
There’s one more book, TBD, that I’ll be reading soon with my on-line Read-Along book club. We’re currently picking a book to read next. If you want to join in, send me an email and vote below for the book we’ll read!

I can see the finish line of the year and it looks like a pile of books. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

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!