Tag: Historical Fiction (page 1 of 3)

BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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Synopsis:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

“You are in the right place, at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that is enough.”

Books have the power to transport us. To transform us. To take us anywhere in the world we want to go. We can live different lives, become the hero, become someone we’re too scared to be in real life. We get to be the best version of ourselves, and it’s all nestled in the pages of books. But who tells us those stories? Are the storytellers the heroes themselves? Do the authors live their best life, or are they living out a fantasy right alongside us, bringing their dreams to life, letting us immerse ourselves into their delicately woven illusions? That’s the power of storytelling…and it’s the heart of this book.

The circus is one of those phenomenons that either strike you odd or ignite your whimsical, child-like side that can’t help but be addicted to it’s splendor. I’ll admit I’ve never had an opinion either way-yes, I went as a child, but no, not often and not enough to truly obsess about it. But during college, I picked up a book centered around a circus because it was coming out as a movie-Water for Elephants. I loved it. And I can’t say I immediately needed more books about a circus, but I wasn’t who I am now. I didn’t think to expand on a topic that was new to me, that appealed to me, because I simply didn’t understand that I could. The thought didn’t even cross my mind.. I didn’t obsess like I do now. And…well…I can obsess like no one’s business.

And here’s the thing-circuses are, like, a coveted theme now. Caraval, Legendary (which is what lead me here because I NEED MORE CIRCUS), and, obviously, as mentioned above, Water for Elephants. And, ya know, I just can’t seem to find that many circus books that appeal to me. Everyone is obsessed, there are movies that touch on it, and yet, these are the only circus books that speak to me, and they are all vastly different. One is about running away with the circus to chase your dream and finding out the circus is far darker than you could ever have imagined. One is whimsical and flowery and completely mysterious-a game within a game within a game. And then, inexplicably, one is literally made because of a game. The sole purpose of the characters’ lives…is to win a game against an unnamed opponent. So here we are. My point in all this was-it’s a total fandom and I’m just now jumping on the bandwagon, but I fell hard after Finale (especially), and now I have nowhere to go, like I’ve hitched my wagon to a horse that’s reached the end of it’s journey.

I wouldn’t change it for the world-I’ve piqued with Tella and Scarlett, Dante and Julian, Jacob and Marlena, and, most recently, Marco and Celia. It’s been a slow journey over the years, building up into something inexplicably magical and wholly unattainable, when you get right down to it. Nothing will ever live up to this wonderful batch of books. And, with this latest discovery, I feel so wholly…uplifted.

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

When I finished this book, it was like the air was vacuumed from my lungs-I was breathless. Speechless. I was crying, FFS. Like…why? It wasn’t as if this whole book wasn’t beautiful-it was-and the romance??? My God the romance. It was everything. The atmosphere? Otherworldly. Mesmerizing. Dazzling. Glamorous. But it was as if a piece was missing. I adored it, mind you, but it felt unfinished, in a way. I couldn’t explain it. I was missing that unforgettable ‘wow’ factor everyone seemed to have grasped onto. And I didn’t get it because I had gotten what I wanted-the peril. The romance. The break down. The ultimate sacrifice. Yet my heart wasn’t full. But then. Then.

“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words.”

I can’t explain it. I still can’t, even after sleeping on it. Words have truly failed me-And words are what help me express what’s built up inside me, helps me move on and feel whole after finishing a book I love, or, in some cases, didn’t love. But, the best I can explain it is like this: Imagine you got everything you wanted…but didn’t know what you needed to make you feel complete. You just knew something was missing. And then. THEN. The end. The narrator. The representation of what it means to tell stories. To create worlds. To bring everyone together through intricately woven layers of words that bring vivid imagery to your mind, but still letting people see it as they wish, played out in their own minds as they want to-the story is the same, but everyone gets there differently-different images and different people and different ideas.

“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

The way words are made so powerful with a few sentences…it makes your not-so-full heart suddenly overflow with words-so many words-too many words-Emotions, ideas, realizations. It makes the romantic peril so much more. The end of the game’s meaning becomes vastly larger. The people surrounding the players come to life so vividly, like you didn’t even see them the whole time, even though they were so clearly there. I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. All I know is I’m gone for this book, and it’s like it all clicks into place, all at once, and this book is groundbreaking, jaw-dropping, and axis tilting. And never in my life has this happened to me. Ever.

Brilliant. Breathtaking. Awe-inspiring. Spellbinding. And still I find my review inadequate and feel as though I’m a kindergartner posing as an adult. But let’s get to the reason this novel spoke to me (I mean yes the end, but the romance still owns my soul).

“Celia, wait,” Marco says, standing but not moving closer to her. “You are breaking my heart. You told me once that I reminded you of your father. That you never wanted to suffer the way your mother did for him, but you are doing exactly that to me. You keep leaving me. You leave me longing for you again and again when I would give anything for you to stay, and it is killing me.”
“It has to kill one of us,” Celia says quietly.”

I don’t even know how to explain what Celia and Marco have, and I surely don’t know how to explain what their game truly entailed-it wasn’t what I expected in any capacity, and I find it almost jarring. It was technically a battle, yes, but was it really? To me it was watching from afar, gazing at someone that you could never possibly have, yet falling for them anyway, trying to dazzle them without them realizing it and, more importantly, you not even realizing it, yourself. Not realizing you have fallen for that someone yourself and that you’re trying to impress them more than actually win the game. And, surrounding that, we have characters that I didn’t think I could possibly be interested in, yet I had just as much of my heart at stake with them as with Celia and Marco.

“I have tried to let you go and I cannot. I cannot stop thinking of you. I cannot stop dreaming about you.”

Okay. Well. Not AS much, but technicality.

And the sacrifice on top of sacrifice and technically forbidden love. The slow build. The feeling of falling for someone without trying to, fighting it every step of the way until you realize you’re already too far gone. And, the end, when you reveal what we all already knew but needed confirmed-that wish tree. Revealing your deepest truth.. I got intense and immeasurable feels, tears sprang to my eyes (still, though, not as much as at the end, inexplicably), and it was like the saddest but happiest conclusion. Amazing. And still, I have no breath left to breathe.

And, I do feel I need to say this, but I feel as if I’m stealing someone else’s words. Arielle is the reason I tried this book again, so I obviously looked at her review before giving this one a go. And I’ll quote her indirectly to address one of the more appealing aspects of this book-the chapters that use 2nd person POV to make you feel as though you’re walking around the circus yourself. She nailed it on the head-it’s so surreal, and it almost doesn’t work and you kind of question it, but, in the end, it immerses you into the story and it makes you feel as if you’re a part of the world, which only heightens your senses and makes the feels more intimate. And, okay, that was EXTREME paraphrasing and lots of my own thoughts mixed in, but you get the idea. You feel like you’re in the circus and, in the end, that adds to the breathlessness and utterly profound feeling, too.

I’ll admit this one isn’t for all. Yes, I will be pushing it on people, much like many of my favorites. Though, it takes someone special, someone willing to fight through not only an extremely slow burn romance, but a slow build-up to anything really happening, as well. But, once again, this new Chelsea has found a book that’s slow paced and somewhat day to day, a book she’d have hated back in the day, a book that she will cherish forever. This book is made for us readers and storytellers, it’s like a love note to those who want to voice their dreams…and it’s so utterly magnificent and glamorous that I can’t help but continue to ramble, continue to push, continue to buy all the editions of it (woo buddy I’ve got a pretty one coming!)-and what else can you really ask for in a story? I mean, honestly.

****

Words cannot express the emotion I felt upon finishing this book. This was so much more than a romance-and I never say that. This is for all the readers who feel they are never heard, understood. Who feel they are out on an island with no one to listen to them. For those who feel the world has lost it’s whimsy. Who feel that storytelling is considered a lost form of art. This book has such a deep, profound message that you can’t truly unfurl until the very last page-and, somehow, it makes this book so much better. So much more meaningful-it strikes you deaf and dumb and speechless. And, most importantly, it gives a voice to the readers and story-tellers who strive to keep words alive.

I was breathless when I closed this book. I had tears in my eyes. A story seared into my soul.

Dazzling. Enchanting. Breathtaking.

A forever favorite.

There are truly no words to express the depth of respect I have for this book and it’s creator.

RTC.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight #2) by Katherine Arden

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight #2) by Katherine ArdenThe Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
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Synopsis:

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

You cannot love and be immortal.

First, let me say that I found MUCH enjoyment out of this series. There were some definite highs and lows-more on that later-but this book, mostly, brought me immense joy. After the first, I truly didn’t think this series was redeemable-and, in a way, it isn’t. It’s perhaps my fault that I can’t stomach babies dying (I mean, WTF?) and horses being burned alive (whether on a broader scope of attack and war, or not), but I’m sorry: These things will never be okay with me. But, besides those two transgressions, ie extreme triggers for me, this book was by far the strongest of the three (I’ve finished the third in ARC form).

Morozko remains the high point of this series, followed shortly by my baby horse, Solovey. They added heat when the book was growing cold, and humor when things got too dark. And, as anyone who has read this series knows, apparently horses can communicate with certain people? And, can I just say, they are snarky little turds and I was totally here for it.

But, back to Morozko. This book just…it catapulted a character I was already fond of into obsession mode. He was witty. Sharp. Dark. Protective. Seductive. And, I dare say, a bit tortured? I was absolutely head over heels for this very anti-hero, and he is Vasya’s perfect match.

The mare stood quietly, chewing at her hay. Morozko was staring into the fire and did not turn his head when she rose. Vasya thought of the long featureless years of his life, wondered how many nights he sat alone by a fire, or if he wandered the wild instead and made his dwelling seem to have a roof and walls and a fire only to please her.

THAT BEING SAID. Vasya irritated me many times-especially the end. This one part totally made me rage, and I find it wholly unforgivable. It was sick. It was weird. And I want NO FING PART OF IT. If not for this one part, this book would be an absolutely unforgettable favorite-and now, it’s honestly memorable (in some good ways, yes, OBVIOUSLY-it was by far my favorite of the series!) for all the wrong reasons, if I’m being honest.

But as though her words were a summoning, a door among the firs—a door she hadn’t seen—opened with the crack of breaking ice. A swath of firelight bloodied the virgin snow. Now, quite plainly, a house stood in this fir-grove. Long, curling eaves capped its wooden walls, and in the snow-torn firelight, the house seemed to lie breathing, crouched in the thicket.

This story is full of so much passion. Heart. Explosive action-it was honestly an amazing book that had me swooning so hard I scarcely found it easy to breathe-but that does NOT mean I forgive it’s transgressions-no matter how beautiful the covers are.

BOOK REVIEW: Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

BOOK REVIEW: Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana GabaldonOutlander (Outlander #1)
by Diana Gabaldon
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

 

For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.

I have many other reviews that I was supposed to post before this one but, frankly, I don’t care. When a book sweeps you off your feet, you take that passion and make into a review because you damn well feel like it. When I picked this up, I had no clue if I’d enjoy it or not-in fact, I have a long-winded story that goes along with this series, and I don’t want to bore you with the details but, well, that’s kind of what I do. So…

…knowing, as so many other edible creatures have found, that there is protection in numbers. And that knowledge, bred in the bone, is what lies behind mob rule. Because to step outside the group, let alone to stand against it, was for uncounted thousands of years death to the creature who dared it. To stand against a crowd would take something more than ordinary courage; something that went beyond human instinct. And I feared I did not have it, and fearing, was ashamed.

I have a weird-um-thing with accents. I don’t really enjoy reading them in stories, especially heavy accents, so this series just never has appealed to me. English? Okay, I can deal with a British tone if the writing is good alongside the Brit speak. But Scottish? I don’t know-this is hard for me. It’s probably the ONE accent I swore I’d never read. Back in 2014/2015 when my lovely buddy was big into these, I told her I was ABSOLUTELY UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER GOING TO PICK UP THESE BOOKS. Then the show came out. But still-I was not moved (even if that guy they cast is hella good looking and I was partially tempted). And, plus, this was such a long time ago. I did NOT read very big fantasies, at the time, and it seemed like a really big deal to me to undertake such a behemoth of a book. I did like fantasy-I loved it! But it wasn’t my main focus and it all seemed so daunting to jump into the larger fantasies.

The sun was setting. The last rays of light shone through a blue glass flagon that stood on the table, streaking the wall with a shaft of brilliant lapis. I felt as fragile and as brilliant as the glass, as though I would shatter with a touch, and fall in glittering fragments to the floor. If I had meant to spare either Jamie’s emotions or my own, it seemed I was very much too late.

Fast forward to 2018, a couple months ago, and I see a picture of Mr. Jamie on GR (Yeah, good marketing, bravo, really) and a quote underneath it (in his heavy Scottish tone, no less) and something happened that day-my heart stirred and my breath quickened or shallowed or whatever you want to say-I got the feels, okay?

That man and those bookish quote feels happened and I knew it was time. I’m a big girl now. All I really read is fantasy, I’m hard to please (urmm kind of?), and, frankly, BBFs are few and far between (bahaha okay, no, not really but whatever) and I just-I’m always on the search for a book or series these days that will take my breath away and completely consume my soul-it’s been a tough road, this year, for series. All I could deal with were standalones, it seemed, because series were so underwhelming to me. But then came August-now. And will you look at that? I HAVE BEEN A SERIES BINGING FOOL. It turns out that fantasy/historical fiction is my JAM. The diviners + Outlander. WTF? Will wonders never cease?

That’s right. The girl who is against all things historical (mostly) and accents read two of the most daunting type books ever and they kicked my teeth in with the feels. Which, this just goes to show you that my feelings have been right all along on this matter: You read what you feel. I would NEVER have liked the Diviners three years ago-maybe not even a year ago. Outlander would have bored me to death. Maybe it’s because I had a little girl. Maybe it’s because I’ve been faced with appreciating the finer things in life. Whatever the reason, I have found a Genre that steals my heart almost every time I pick it up-and that genre is fantasy.

“Now, then. What does ‘fucking’ mean?”
My surprise must have shown plainly, for he said irritably, “If ye must call me names, that’s one thing. But I dinna care to be called things I can’t answer. I know it’s a damn filthy word, from the way ye said it, but what does it mean?”

Anyway. My point is, this book is just absolutely wonderful-but it’s not going to be for everybody. For me, I found humor in the smallest places, the silliest moments, like when they’d fight, or Claire’s voice. I’d be angry at the most pivotal moments-There were just, ugh, so many triggers. There really were….yet I just loved this story so much. Then there was Jamie and, well, where do I even START??

“I can bear pain, myself,” he said softly, “but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”

Jamie is, was, and will always be the heart of this book. He is kind, thoughtful, and without a doubt one of the most selfless heroes I’ve ever met. Really. The things he did, the things he sacrificed, the way he loved Claire so deeply and wholly, the way he trusted her so faithfully and supported her wholeheartedly…It’s unparalleled. And she was willing to leave him in the blink of an eye, for a while. I just-I can’t. He is the epitome of a book boyfriend and I cannot fathom never meeting him-shame on me. But I am so glad I chose a time when I was mature enough to fully cherish him, because he is worth the wait.

I mean, I’ve held women in my arms before, and kissed them, and … well.

He reached out and touched my lower lip, barely brushing the edge. “It starts out the same, but then, after a moment,” he said, speaking softly, “suddenly it’s as though I’ve a living flame in my arms.” His touch grew firmer, outlining my lips and caressing the line of my jaw. “And I want only to throw myself into it and be consumed.”

And I don’t say this lightly-yes, I love my book boyfriends, but-Jamie is on another level. The dedication and bravery and loyalty and willingness to save Claire at all costs-and I DO mean ALL costs-literally. It’s spell-binding. And I don’t think my heart was even close to ready for it.

Getting up once in the dark to go adventuring is a lark. Twice in two days smacks of masochism.

Babies and animals and pregnancy and probably more things than I can possibly remember, this book gutted me with the issues it brought forth. And, for other people (didn’t bother me at all, but I’m a different sort)-View Spoiler ». Those are the things to watch out for, FYI.

There is a fine line sometimes, between justice and brutality.

And thus concludes my book review that always somehow turns into a book in and of itself. If it weren’t for the fact that these books are so. Dang. LONG. I would already be halfway through book 2 by now. But, alas, I’m just not able to skip out on other books I was excited to read about before the year’s end, but I’m ecstatic to start the next book-and the tv show-in 2019! I know I’m getting some Outlander goodies for Christmas, and I just can hardly contain myself-this book got me through my surgery, and it got me out of it. I love it and it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

*****

If I’m being honest, I finished this book more than a week ago-but, unfortunately, I was on the mend after emergency surgery to get my appendix removed sooooo that’s why I haven’t been able to post anything for a while. But, in one gif, this is how this series, this book, and my darling Jamie made me feel:

RTC.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

BOOK REVIEW: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani ChokshiThe Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)
by Roshani Chokshi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

Review:

Well I feel like I need to keep this short and to the point until it actually comes out (January 15th)! This was a good book. That being said, did I expect more? Kind of.

There were so many wants inside him that he doubted there was room for blood in his body.

At this point I honestly don’t know if I didn’t LOVE it because I started reading it a few months ago, put it down and read a ton of really great books in-between, and then just now finally finished it. I do think that this also might suffer from a case of “people said it was super similar to Six of Crows so my bar was set SUPER HIGH” or what. And I get that, it had a cast of misfit and super diverse characters that came together to pull of a heist which was awesome. BUT. I guess there was also a lot I didn’t get. Maybe it was because unlike Six of Crows which is set in a completely fictional world, this was set in France is 1889 and I kept forgetting that. There are instances of people being treated a certain way because of their race and talks of revolution and things of that nature that had me pausing for a second because I honestly have no idea what kind of a place France was during that time period. I do always feel bad too, when books are compared to a series that was hyped up so much and so loved by so many. I’m always nervous like, okay, is this book set up to fail because too many people are going to go into it expecting something exactly like the other series??!?! I really hope not!

“Tristan, my love,” said Laila with dangerous calm. “If you get it the way of a woman’s battle, you’ll get in the way of her sword.”

EITHER WAY, this book has solid bones. The characters, like I said, were really diverse and fun and had hilarious banter with one another. A lot of things really intrigued me about them (like their different powers and mysterious pasts) and I hope that we continue to get more back story on all of them, ESPECIALLY Laila..Also, the ending set the next book up in a way that I NEED IT YESTERDAY. I need more Severin and Laila (they are the definition of tortured romance, folks), I need to know more about last thing that was said about a certain someone being an heir……I just need to know a lot of things. So again, this wasn’t life-changing great like I thought it was going to be, but it was still really good and I will be 100% checking out book two. Chokshi’s writing is as amazingly rich and vibrant as it was in her previous books and I still think this will get a lot of buzz and that a ton of people will fall madly in love with the characters, too.

“When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious, let it be fuel,” Severin said, looking each of them in the eye. “Just don’t forget that enough power and influence makes anyone impossible to look away from. And then they can’t help but see you.”

Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to honestly review this eArc! ♥

BOOK REVIEW: The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray

BOOK REVIEW: The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba BrayThe Diviners (The Diviners #1)
by Libba Bray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

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.

Review:

There is no greater power on this earth than story.

The fact that it has taken me six years to read this is a complete travesty. I have read, re-read, and loved the Gemma Doyle trilogy so I KNEW that I would love these too whenever I got my lazy ass around to reading them. I swear I picked this up a few different times over the years and I don’t even know what happened..maybe the size daunted me at those points in my life (which seems inconceivable since I actively look for huge ass YA books)??? Either way, surprise, surprise. Here we finally are, with me having finished the first, almost halfway through the second, and loving every page. THANK YOU CHELSEA FOR TALKING THESE UP SO I FINALLY TOOK THE PLUNGE!

But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all?
“Oh Evie, you’re too much,” people said, and it wasn’t complimentary. Yes, she was too much. She felt like too much inside all the time. So why wasn’t she ever enough? 

I honestly don’t even know where to begin so I suppose I’ll start by impressing upon you how good of a writer that Libba Bray is. Phenomenal. That one word is all you really need to know. She thinks, or for the sake of this series ~dreams~, up these incredibly rich and three-dimensional characters that you can’t imagine ever not knowing. You NEED to know they are going to be okay, you fall in love when they fall in love, you bleed when they bleed (well, your heart does as least)…..you get it. Dahhling Evie, sensible Mabel, serious Jericho, *SAM*, snarky Theta, sweet Henry, dreamer Memphis ALL OF THEM, love them. Great writing makes you forget that book characters aren’t actually real and that you aren’t in your house, lying in bed, in 2018. In one of my darling GR friend’s reviews (Em-Check it out here) they said something along the lines of feeling nostalgia for the 20’s after reading this book, which is crazy because obviously she (and I) have never lived during that time. And I LOVED that thought. When you find an author that immerses you so deeply into an entirely new or foreign place or even a time period, that you begin to feel a sense of nostalgia for it….you know you’ve found a winner. I can only hope and pray that the fourth book doesn’t take too long out.

Mabel shrugged. “Suit yourself. Here have a nightgown.”
Evie held up the chaste, high-necked gown, examining it with a scowl. 
“If I should die in the night, please remove this.” 

The next thing I need to mention is how fking scary this book is. I went into it prepared, because of what I had heard from Chels, BUT STILL. I am one of the biggest scaredy cats I know—I mean HORRIFYED of the dark—there were many times where I had to stop reading at night time, which sucks because with a baby that’s really the only time you can read. Like thank God she had read it before me because talking through some of those scenes as I was reading about them was the only way I made it through, honestly. Still, whenever I think of those last couple of scenes with Naughty John I feel this bone-crippling fear start to creep up my body. Just thinking about it now makes me want to look over my shoulder to make sure no one is there, aaahhhahahah. *cue nervous laughter* So yeah, just know, this book is not for the faint of heart. EVEN MORE SO BECAUSE IT’S WRITTEN SO WELL. So, be warned.

Evie sputtered for a second, then took off after Sam, chasing him around the long table, knocking over stacks of books as she did. 
“I’m going to kill him. Who wants to watch?” 

Overall I love this book and I could go on and on for even longer but honestly, I think it’s better if you go into it knowing as little as possible. Just know that I loved all of the characters (except for the ones that I hated, lol), I loved the plot, I loved the writing. Win win win (except for being scared but if I managed to live through it, you will too).

“Life don’t come to you, Memphis. You gotta take it. We have to take it. Because ain’t nobody handing it to us. You understand?”

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