Review: The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Arrival begins with a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean.

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We follow his struggles being away from home, and entering into a new life where not much is understood or explained. The Arrival tells a universal story of immigration.

It was a little hard at first depicting each picture without text, but the more I got into the story, the more I understood.

This book is a wordless story told through capturing images. It is beautiful. Beautifully harrowing, haunting, and compelling.
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It managed to capture solitude, wistfulness, and hopefulness in a little over 100 pages, and it was magical.

4/5 stars

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Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

I wanted to pick this book up because it reminded me of:

tumblr_inline_ncerk59usc1swsombtumblr_inline_ncerowc1sr1swsombtumblr_inline_ncertbd14w1swsombtumblr_inline_ncerm3kssg1swsombThis review contains *spoilers*.

And also because Lair of Dreams left me in a bit of a reading slump, and what better way to get out of one than by reading another book by the same author, am I right?

“Our tale begins with a sudden fall from blue skies, with screams and prayers and a camera crew bravely recording every bit of the turbulence and drama.”

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

We get to know each of the thirteen through the ‘Fun Facts About Me’ page, which I thoroughly enjoyed and decided to include some of my favorite facts:

  • Adina Greenberg’s fun fact:
    “My platform is Identifying Misogyny in American Culture. It’s all about helping girls ID the objectification of women when they see it. You know, like when girls are asked to parade around in bathing suits and heels and get scored on that.”
  • Jennifer Huberman’s fun fact:
    “My personal motto is: WWWWD?: What Would Wonder Woman Do?”
  • Petra West’s fun fact:
    “The thing that scares me most is not being myself.” 
  • Sosie Simmons’ fun fact:
    “I am hearing impaired but that doesn’t stop me! I hear with my heart. Well, not really. Because, as anybody who is not a complete and total moron knows, the heart does not have ears. This is the kind of s**t they make disabled people say all the time so everybody’s all “okay” with us. Soooo annoying.”
  • Mary Lou Novak’s fun fact:
    “The most important quality in a friend is to be yourself. Unless you’re not a very nice person. Then you should try to be somebody else.”
  • Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins’s fun fact:
    “Personal motto: “God made me beautiful. The least I can do is share it with the world.”

And speaking of favorites of mine, I found Petra to be one of the most compelling characters within this storyline. I completely fell in love with her when we were told the tale her mother used to tell her as a bedtime story.

The story was about a frog cheerfully insisting to all in the meadow that it was a princess-in-waiting.

“Before sleep each night, the frog prayed to the four winds, to the great fish, to the sun above, and to the goddess moon that when it woke, it would be a princess. Yet each morning, the frog opened its eyes to find it was still only a frog. How could nature be so wrong about something so important?”

“The Wise Witch was very grateful to the little frog. She kept her promise. “What is your heart’s desire?” she asked.
But the frog had almost given up on its wish. It didn’t know if such a wish were possible. “Well,” it said softly, afraid, “I have always wanted to be a princess. But I have seen myself in the river. And it has shown me that I am a frog.”
The witch smiled. “The river does not know everything. Look again.”

It’s one of the most beautiful stories that I’ve read.

Also, the parts where the girls just talked with one another about what they missed and didn’t miss, crumbled my heart.

“Miss Montana stared into the fire. “Sometimes I just want to go in a room and break things and scream. Like, it’s so much pressure all the time and if you get upset or angry, people say, ‘Are you on the rag or something?’ And it’s like I want to say, ‘No. I’m just pissed off right now. Can’t I just be pissed off? How come that’s not okay for me?’ Like my dad will say, ‘I can’t talk to you when you’re hysterical.’ And I’m totally not being hysterical! I’m just mad. And he’s the one losing it. But then I feel embarrassed anyway. So I slap on that smile and pretend everything’s okay even though it’s not. Anyway.” Miss Montana pasted on an embarrassed half smile. “Sorry for the rant.”
“Why do you have to be sorry?” Nicole asked.
“Well … I don’t know.”
“Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world? Have you ever noticed that?” Nicole asked. “You go on websites and some girl leaves a post and if it’s longer than three sentences or she’s expressing her thoughts about some topic, she usually ends with, ‘Sorry for the rant’ or ‘That may be dumb, but that’s what I think.’”

This book educated me a lot without ever feeling preachy, which I really admire.

And while respectively handling serious subjects, Beauty Queens also has a wicked sense of humor that was right up my alley.

“I’ll do it,” Miss Arkansas volunteered.
“No. This is about Miss New Hampshire. We are the Miss Teen Dream team. We are only as strong as our weakest link. There is no I in “team.”
“There’s no U in asshole, either, and yet …” Adina muttered.”

Adina wasn’t my absolute favorite because her humor could be a little overstepping. And like Petra said, just because you’re funny doesn’t mean you get to be cruel. But sometimes Adina uttered some of the funniest things that had me laughing out loud.

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Weeks go by, when suddenly the girls rescue (?) the cast of Captains Bodacious IV that arrive during a storm, which I thought would make the story lose its steam a little. But never doubt Libba Bray, because she managed to keep me entertained till the end.

“Say, could one of you lovelies get me something to quench my thirst?”
Four girls turned to go and Adina said, “You seem able-bodied to me.”
Captain Sinjin put a hand to his chest. “We’ve been through a shipwreck, luv. We’re exhausted and need to lie about.”
“Oh, I know how you feel,” Tiara said. “When our plane crashed here, and we had to bury the dead and deal with really bad wounds and Miss New Mexico got that tray stuck in her head —”
“Hi!” Miss New Mexico waved.
“— and the chaperones were all charred in the wreckage and it was really gross and scary and there was nothing to eat and no shelter and we had to build all that stuff and deal with giant snakes and bug bites and we barely survived a giant wave and mudslides and hallucinogenic plants and stuff, we were so, so tired.”

But I did low-key despise the cast of pirates (at first). We were having so much fun getting to know each girl and hearing their stories, and then these reality TV boys arrive…

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I kept thinking, “girls please stay strong and don’t fall for those idiots… I’m begging you.”

But I found it laughable when Adina was all:

“Good God! All you had to do was introduce the scent of testosterone and perfectly capable, together girls were reduced to giggling, lash-batting, hair-playing idiots. She hated it when girls did this. When they got all goo-goo-eyed over Y chromosome–carrying creatures instead of taking care of themselves. It’s what her mother had done her whole life, cater to some man instead of looking after herself. Or Adina.”

Until a boy bumps into her, in which case she turned all:

“Let me help you with that.”
“I don’t need your help,” Adina called, but Duff was already wading into the water. This was the problem with men. They just assumed. They just took action. It was infuriating. And reductive. And slightly thrilling.
The wet clung to Duff’s pants as he strode into the surf, and she could see the curve of his ass. Man, he was fine.”

Get your head in the game—I swear, I thought they were trouble!

But okay, I did grow to like Sinjin (mostly because of Petra). And yeah, I also liked his silly humor and the way he didn’t take himself too seriously.

“Petra looked up to the moon as if appealing to its grace. She liked this one and wanted more, but she was afraid there was no hope of that.
“Sorry, I just … So you used to be a guy. J. T. Woodland. Of Boyz Will B Boyz.”
“Yes.” “Right.”
“It’s okay. I can tell you’re freaked out.”
Petra started to get up. Sinjin took her wrist gently. “Well, yeah. But mostly because you used to be in Boyz Will B Boyz. That’s unbelievable! I mean, you played Top of the Pops!”
Petra allowed a small smile. He had surprised her. That didn’t happen often. She sat down again. “Should I tell you the story?”
“Yeah.”
“How much should I tell you?”
“Everything.”

I really, really liked them.

“Carefully, he tucked a strand of hair behind Petra’s ear and let his hand rest for a moment against the soft, wide plain of her cheekbone. “I think you’re beautiful. And brave. And really fucking cool. And you can make Charles Dickens puns.”
Petra leaned the weight of her face into Sinjin’s palm. “You know who and what I am. So, if this is just the old curiosity shop, you can stop right now.”
Sinjin looked her in the eyes. There was not a trace of smirk in his expression. “‘I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.’”
“David Copperfield,” Petra whispered, positioning her lips close to his.
“Why are you bringing magicians into it?” Sinjin said and kissed her tenderly. It was a kiss small in its ministrations but epic in its feeling.”

688828…Libba Bray sure knows how to shut me up. I mean, how could I forget that she’s a master at writing swoon worthy romances????

Like, damn. That scene with Adina and Duff in the cabin made me sweat. But then…when his true assholish behaviour was revealed, I was appalled.

“She tapped Duff on the arm. He tipped his head back to look up at her. “Hello, Mary Lou.”
“Could you stand up, please?”
Duff gave the boys an I-wonder-what-this-is-about look. “Sure thing.” He stood and faced Mary Lou. “What’s up?”
“This.” Mary Lou’s fist connected with Duff’s face in an audible crunch. He tottered like a drunk. And if there had been a clock on the island, it would have ticked off exactly three seconds before he lost consciousness and went down hard in the sand.
“Ow!” Mary Lou shook out her hand. Then she took her place at the fire and drank the rest of Duff’s coconut milk, drinking till she was sated.”

And thank you, Mary Lou, for handling the situation like a pro. I won’t forget Duff’s awfulness anytime soon.

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The hurt was a pain in the center of my chest. And his ‘apology’ was so half-hearted, it only made things worse for me.

But the girls didn’t let those bumps along the road falter the course of their actions.

“We could take the world by storm, you know? It’ll be like we proved ourselves, like all those heroes’ journey stories about boys, only we’re girls.”

At its core this book was a very character driven one, which was my favorite thing. We had an incredible wide cast of characters that I connected with one way or another.

I found myself in Petra’s determination, in Shanti’s soundness, in Nicole’s sensibleness,  in Taylor’s unwavering commitment, and I could go on and on —but bottom line, these girls made me feel at home.

I think it’s safe to say that Libba Bray has got my heart with all these remarkably fleshed-out characters. I’m still moony-eyed after everything.

To put it simply, Beauty Queens – at heart – is a sad sort of beautiful. Like all the best books.

“There was something about the island that made the girls forget who they had been. All those rules and shalt nots. They were no longer waiting for some arbitrary grade. They were no longer performing. Waiting. Hoping.
They were becoming.
They were.”

Also, I have to mention this next tiny detail because it warmed my heart:

“COMMERCIAL BREAK

(A high school hallway. A girl, MARCIA, slams her locker door in frustration. She looks haggard. NATALIE and RACHEL stand off to one side, watching and shaking their heads.)”

What are the chances that both my name and my sister’s name (Rachel) would be on the same page?

My reaction to it totally reminded me of this vine:

4.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Beauty Queens, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

“We are made by what we are asked to bear, Ling Chan,” he’d said.

This review contains *spoilers*.

I was really hesitant with wanting to pick up Lair of Dreams because of the new cast of characters. But, wow, I definitely needn’t have worried.
A lot of the characters were right up my alley, particularly one named Ling Chan. She was snarky, witty, and everything I needed to keep flipping page after page.
In my review for The Diviners, I wrote that I wanted to visit the girl with the green eyes in the next novel, and color me surprised when Ling turned out to be said girl. And, of course, also a dream walker that can speak to the dead.

“Ling didn’t know why she had the power to manifest the spirits of the dead inside dreams. They didn’t come for long—usually just long enough to answer the question posed to them, and then they were gone, back to wherever their energy was scattered.”

Diviners were big and getting bigger, but so far, no Diviner was bigger than Evie O’Neill—better known now as the Sweetheart Seer.

“The cabbie cleared his throat. “Say, uh, ain’t you the Sweetheart Seer?”
Evie sat up, thrilled to be recognized. “Guilty as charged.”
“I thought so! My wife loves your radio show! Wait’ll I tell her I drove you in my cab. She’ll have kittens!”
“Jeepers, I hope not. I’m all out of cigars.”

After a supernatural showdown with the Pentacle Killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Despite my initial hesitations, I really liked that the focus shifted to the minor characters. Evie in Lair of Dreams wasn’t really as compelling as she was in the previous book. And like I mentioned in my review for The Diviners, Ling and Henry were really to my liking. Ling had the tendency to be quiet and keep her thoughts to herself. We were alike in that way.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City. There were no presenting symptoms, no fevers, aches, or cough. People simply went to sleep and did not wake up.

And so, the first time Henry and Ling met (in real life) was pretty fascinating, if i do say so myself.

“Do excuse me,” Henry said, walking to the back. He came around the screen and stood beside the girl’s table, his shadow falling across her open book. “So you do exist.”
The girl looked up at him. Her eyes were a hazel-green, greener in the light. Though she was a slight girl, there was something of the boxer’s quality to her, Henry thought; this was someone ready to show knuckles at a moment’s notice. Her mouth opened in an O of surprise, and then, just as quickly, she caught herself.
“I’m afraid you have mistaken me for someone else,” she said with pointed politeness.
“I don’t believe I have. I’ve seen you in my dreams.”
The girl gave him only a disdainful upward glance. “Corny.”

And when they met up a second time while dream walking, I was ecstatic:

“What’s it like to speak to the dead?” Henry asked at last, a stab at conversation. “Is it frightening?”
“They don’t scare me. They only want to be heard. Sometimes they have messages for the living.”
“Like what?”
“‘Marry on the eighth day of the eighth month of next year.’ ‘This is not the time to test your luck—you must wait one month.’ ‘Tell him I know—I know what you did,’” Ling said, recalling some of the information she’d carried back from the dead.”

I love it when books feature stuff like this. It’s my Achilles’ heel.

And I got really weak when we were told more about Ling’s history:

“But the worst part was the pain it brought to her parents. Ling could hear them just outside the door, asking the doctors and nurses again and again if there was any new hope of a cure, or at least an improvement.
Stop hoping, she wanted to tell them. It’s easier that way.
Secretly, she thought: I deserve this. I brought it on myself. No matter how much Ling believed in science, in the rational, she couldn’t escape the clutches of superstition, of luck—both good and bad—shaping her life. After all, she spoke to ghosts. Deep down, she couldn’t help thinking that it was her pride that had brought on her illness.”

She broke my heart with that last sentence. I love her character arc so damn much.

Also, the concept of dream walking kind of reminded me of the movie Inception, which I found such a fascinating idea to explore in writing .

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Then the story circles back to my favorite guy – the dashing Sam Lloyd- and his ‘relationship’ with Evie. And let me tell you, Libba Bray sure knows how to keep a girl happy:

“Consider it done. And, of course, we’ll want to arrange press for the happy couple.”
“Oh. Well, gee, I-I don’t know. It’s all rather new,” Evie said. Her voice had gone high, like she’d been given ether.
“Nonsense.” Mr. Phillips glowered, his bushy brows coming to a terrifying, angry V mid-forehead. “We’ll arrange it. The public’s appetite must be fed. I want you and your fellow”—Mr. Phillips stole a glance at the newspaper story—“Sam out as often as possible. Every night if you can. Now that Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are in Europe, Americans are hungry for a modern couple to take their place.” He lowered a finger at her. “You two are it.”

Everyone loves a great romance (especially one with Sam Lloyd).

I mean, their first outing as a “couple” had me almost on the floor.

“Every head turned as Sam rose to greet Evie.
“Lamb Chop!” Sam clasped her hands and gave a small sigh.
“Makes me sound like dinner,” Evie muttered through clenched teeth.
“Does it, my little Venison De Milo?”
Evie glared. “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”
Sam whispered into her ear, “More than you can imagine.”
A waiter appeared. “Shall I bring you the Waldorf salad, Miss O’Neill?”
“Yes, thank you. And coffee, please.”
“Mr. Lloyd?”
Sam gave a small sigh. “Usually I feast on our love, but since the lady’s having something, I’ll take a Reuben. Extra horseradish. And an egg cream.”
“As you wish, sir,” the waiter said. “You two must be very happy.”
“Over the moon. Who’d’ve thought a regular schmoe like me could land a gem like Baby Doll here,” Sam said.”

Literally cry-laughing over this. My love for fake dating  in books is literally out of this world.

“By the way, we’re being watched.” Sam flicked his eyes in the direction of a table full of gawking flappers whispering excitedly to one another.
Evie raised an eyebrow. “No kidding. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, you know.”
“We should give them a little something for their trouble.”
“Such as?” Evie said, wary.
Sam leaned forward and took both of Evie’s hands in his. He stared into her eyes as if she were the only woman in the world. Like a traitor, Evie’s stomach gave a slight hiccup.”

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And not to sound insensitive, but Jericho’s reaction to Evie and Sam made me roll my eyes so hard, it hurt. (Actually.)

“Jericho dropped the newspaper in Sam’s lap. “When were you going to tell me?”
“Gee, Freddy,” Sam said quietly, pushing the newspaper aside. “I, uh, didn’t want to rub it in.”
“Seems exactly like something you’d want to do. And don’t call me Freddy.” Jericho crossed to the fireplace, poking at the embers till they blazed.
“Did you ever consider that maybe you got me figured all wrong?” Sam said.
Jericho didn’t turn away from the fire. “I’m pretty sure I’ve got you figured exactly right. You’re a thief. You steal things. And people.”
Usually Sam enjoyed the friendly competition over Evie’s affections, but just now, he felt like a real heel. He didn’t know exactly what had happened between Jericho and Evie. Maybe they’d kissed. Maybe more than that. But whatever had taken place was a romance of circumstances, he was certain. Surely Jericho had to know he was all wrong for Evie.”

Insta-love isn’t love. And I was really hoping that the phony romance between Sam and Evie would give Jericho time to lick the last of his wounds and move on.

A girl can hope, right?

But back to my favorite “it” couple, I have to mention this next part:

“I’m sure we’re all dying to know how you two lovebirds first met.”
“Well—” Evie started.
“It was a moonlit night,” Sam interrupted. “A full moon, as I recall. Just the prettiest September moon you ever saw. I’d lost my dog—”
“Sparky.”
“Right. I was calling, ‘Here, boy, here, Sparky!’”
“It was the most heartbreaking sound you ever heard,” Evie said. “I wanted to cry just hearing it. I still want to cry when I hear Sam’s voice.”
Sam raised an eyebrow at Evie’s jibe. She smiled back. The smile was a challenge.”

Those pretty idiots. I’m still reeling from that interview.

“Yes. It had been a long journey from Ohio. Not that Sam minded what I looked like. He was just so surprised to be talking to a real girl. Girls don’t usually talk to you, do they, dear? Poor baby just never had a bit of luck with the female species. Why, it was almost as if dames were repulsed by you, weren’t they, darling? Didn’t you tell me they’d shrink from your touch?”
“But you could see the good deep in my heart, couldn’t you, Pork Chop?”
“Yes. I had to look with a magnifying glass, but there it was.”

(Side note: does anyone else think that Sebastian Stan is the perfect Henry?)

And speaking of perfect… I absolutely loved Theta and Memphis in this sequel.

“We could make our own stories,” Memphis said. “You and me.”
For a week, Memphis had been rehearsing this speech in the bathroom mirror. But now all his words failed him. So he took Theta’s hands in his, watching the light sweep across the room. “Theta…” He cleared his throat, started over. “Theta, I love you.”
Theta’s smile vanished. She didn’t answer.
“That wasn’t quite the response I was hoping for,” Memphis joked, but his stomach was as tight as piano wire.
“Gee, Poet. I just… I didn’t expect that.”
“Theta,” Memphis said, “I feel I need to warn you: In about five seconds, I’m going to tell you that I love you. There. Now you know to expect it.”

I was rooting for them with my whole heart.

But while I loved the new set of characters and what they brought to the table, the overall story was really slow going for the first half with little to no action.

I did, thankfully, find the dream walking really compelling— especially when Henry finally met up with Louis:

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Henry asked.
Louis replaced his frown with a smile. “Fine as morning. Kiss me once for luck, cher. And twice for love. And three times means we’ll meet again.”
Henry kissed him till he lost count.”

And in the meanwhile Ling finds a new friend in Wai-Mae.

“That part of the dream isn’t safe.”
“What do you mean? Not safe how?” Ling asked.
“Can’t you feel it?” Wai-Mae backed away, trembling. “Ghosts.”
“I’ve spoken to plenty of ghosts on my walks. There’s nothing frightening about them.”
“You’re wrong.” Wai-Mae reached the fingers of one hand toward the tunnel, as if drawn to it. “I can feel this one sometimes in there. She… cries.”
“Why?”
“A broken promise. A very bad death,” Wai-Mae whispered, still staring into the dark. With a shudder, she turned away, hugging herself. “I’m frightened of that wicked place. If we do not trouble her, she won’t trouble us.”

I, at first, had no idea what to take from Wai-Mae—Could we trust her?? Was she the villain or the hero??
And I quickly learned that, for once in my life, I was right with being hesitant.

“The clues had been there for them all along. George had tried to make her see them. In the tunnel, he’d told her to wake up. He’d wanted her to know about the ghost, to see who it really was.
And who had warned them against going inside the tunnel? Wai-Mae. Wai-Mae was the ghost.
But what if some part of Wai-Mae didn’t know that? What if the dream was her way of fighting that knowledge? Ling needed to talk to Henry, desperately. She wished he weren’t drunk. He’d been so upset about Louis… because Louis never showed up.
Louis, too, never appeared aboveground, Ling realized. Like Wai-Mae, he was always waiting for them in the dream world, shimmering in the sun. Shimmering. Ling’s head went light as she realized at last what had been poking at her these past few days. It was Henry’s comment about the hat. She’d thought it was his. But it had been Louis’s first.
She’d told Henry from the start: She could only find the dead.”

But the dream walkers didn’t know this as Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, until a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

I honestly thought we wouldn’t have a creepy tune in this book, but boy was I wrong.

“The land is old, the land is vast / He has no future, he has no past / His coat is sown with many woes / He’ll wake the dead, the King of Crows.”

It might just be the spookiest thing in the entire Creepy Crawly.

Speaking of spooky…the section where a soldier came in with a gun pointed at Evie – and Sam saved her -, squeezed the breath out of me.

“Why did you do that today?”
“You’re honestly asking me that?” Sam looked at Evie, and suddenly, she knew. Don’t see me was more than Sam’s Diviner power; it was his entire worldview. It was how he’d gotten along in life, keeping hidden, only letting people see what he wanted them to see. His whole life was a sleight of hand. And he’d risked it all. For her.”

“But right now, in this moment, she felt a strong connection to Sam, as if they were the only two people in the world. She wanted to hold on to both him and the beautiful moment and not let go.
“Sam,” Evie said.
He turned his face to her. His mouth—why had she never noticed how perfect his mouth was? Impulsively, she kissed him once on those perfect lips and stood back, waiting. His expression was unreadable, and Evie’s stomach fluttered.”

I had to fight off tears because my favorites kissed. What is going on.

“Happy Diviner New Year, I guess,” Evie said, a little breathless.
“To hell with it,” Sam said and wrapped Evie in his arms, kissing her fiercely.”

He didn’t just kiss her, he kissed her fiercely. That sure warms the heart on a cold day.
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I was literally willing to beg for them to end up happily together.

And, of course, other stories appeared here and there:

  • Memphis getting his healing powers back.
  • Memphis’s mother trying to stop him whenever he wants to heal someone. (Still gives me chills.)
  • Theta and Henry are on the outs because he’s obsessively dream walking.
  • Ghost— scary ghosts, friendly ghost, hungry ghosts…
  • People disappearing all over New York because of some unnameable infestation.
  • Louis having an irrational fear of morning glories.
  • The crow that followed Memphis throughout The Diviners turned out to be his mother, if I’m not mistaken.
  • Two eerily ‘ordinary’ men (Mr. Adams & Mr. Jefferson) follow Sam around.
  • Stopping the veiled woman before it was too late.

And there was also so much foreshadowing, I almost couldn’t handle it. I got so stressed every time Libba Bray dropped hints that something terrible was going to happen to a favorite of mine. I kept thinking, are you teasing me or ???

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And when some particular plot twists were revealed, it felt as if someone were wringing the air from my lungs. Just…so much happened towards the end that I barely had time to wrap my mind around it. I was so worried for the safety of everyone. They all hold such important parts in unraveling this mystery, and it pained me to see them get hurt.

Also, can we also take a minute to talk about the fact that Sam’s mother appeared in the very last chapter? Because I was just gone gone gone. My heart was hammering like crazy.

“The Shadow Man had left the newspaper. Miriam smoothed out the front page and placed a hand on the picture of her son and Evie O’Neill.
“Find me, Little Fox,” she whispered. “Before it’s too late. For all of us.”

Sam find her safely, please.crush2

There are simply no other words that I could summon to communicate the magic of this story. Lair of Dreams read different from the previous book. This piece was strange and lovely and haunting.

AND I NEED THE NEXT BOOK!

5/5 stars

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