TBR Friday: The D’evil Diaries…

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TBR Friday

Welcome to my new feature for this year: TBR Fridays!  I’ve decided to include one read from my TBR shelf on the blog per month; partly to whittle down the ridiculous amount of books that I bought because I had to have right that second and have then ignored (in some cases for longer than a year – eep!), and partly to ensure that I succeed with the Mount TBR Challenge that I am participating in at Pike’s Peak level (12 books).  If you want to know more about the Mount TBR Challenge, just click on this attractive button:

Mount TBR 2016

Now let’s get on, shall we?

Today’s book is The D’evil Diaries by Tatum Flynn, a middle grade fantasy adventure set in Hell.

devil diaries

Ten Second Synopsis:

Jinx, Lucifer’s youngest son, sucks at being evil.  Tommy is a young girl who shouldn’t even be in Hell to begin with (because children are NEVER sent to Hell. Ever).  When Jinx meets Tommy after running away from his father’s plan to send him to Hell’s military school, the two discover a plot that could tear apart the world as they know it.  Against all odds, the two must work together to beat the saboteurs at their own game before all hell (and Heaven) breaks loose.

Time on the TBR Shelf:

Since October 2015

Acquired:

From the Book Depository, because I saw the sequel was due to be released, so obviously had to immediately buy both books.  I have the second one on pre-order.  It’s due to be released this month.

Reason I Haven’t Read it Yet:

Other newer, shinier books have taken my fancy.

Best Bits:

  • This was a bit of a slow starter but by the end of the book I was invested in the characters and the outcome
  • Illustrations!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Middle grade books are ALWAYS better with illustrations.  These ones are interspersed throughout, but they add to the reading experience.
  • One of Jinx’s closest friends is a sloth.  The quintessential Sloth from the list of seven deadly sins, in fact.
  • Jinx’s clever trick toward the end of the book to neutralise the main saboteur is definitely worth a round of applause
  • Flynn’s world-building is pretty slick.  There are lots of different sections to Hell, reserved for different types of sinners, and each has its own creatures and landscape, which added interest to the journey of the main characters.
Less impressive bits:
  • The first few chapters seem to be comprised mostly of telling, rather than showing.  I was a little worried that the whole book would be like this, but once Jinx decides to run away, the style seems to lean more towards showing.
  • This isn’t a complaint about the book per se, but the book cover says “Perfect for fans of David Walliams”. This seems inexplicable to me because the humour and narrative style are completely different to Walliams’ work.  The only similarity I can see is that the books are pitched at the same age group.  Overall, I think this effort outstrips Walliams’ works (excluding, of course, Mr Stink and The Boy in the Dress, which are right crackers).

On reflection, was it worth buying?

While I did end up enjoying the book, I probably could have just got this one from the library and been equally satisfied.

Where to now for this tome?

It will make the move to my permanent shelf because I’ve got the sequel coming.

So that’s the first handhold on Pike’s Peak gripped with a fist of stone!  What a cracking start I’ve got off to!  I’m pumped to continue climbing my enormous pile of unread books!
Until next time,
Bruce

Watch out TBR Shelf: I’ve Joined a Challenge!

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Mount TBR 2016

Well, it’s getting to that time of year again when I start looking around for new reading challenges for the coming year.  There are a number of bloggers who have put together some handy lists of many of the 2016 reading challenges that are already open for sign-up, and it was while perusing this list that I came across the Mount TBR Reading Challenge for 2016, hosted by My Reader’s Block.  I’ve been bemoaning the state of my physical and digital TBR shelves for quite some time, so I’ve taken the plunge – consider this my commitment to completing this challenge next year.

Essentially, this challenge is based around getting through books that you already own, so no library books or new purchases.  While I went into this with great excitement, I was quickly daunted by the levels being offered and so chickened out a bit and chose Level 1 (Pike’s Peak), in which I will aim to knock 12 books off my physical TBR shelf.

To help myself along, I have decided to run a new feature next year – TBR Friday – once a month, which should ensure that I reach at least the 12 books that I have set for myself.  To be even MORE organised, I have chosen eleven books that I will focus on, in no particular order, leaving the last spot free for whichever book left on the shelf takes my fancy.

Here’s my list:

TBR challenge list

Missing from the picture is Hester and Harriet by Hilary Spiers, which I have ordered, and will arrive before the January 1st, 2016 deadline for purchased books.

If you’re looking for a 2016 Reading Challenge be sure to stay tuned, because I will be unveiling the challenge for 2016 that will be hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle on Monday!

Until next time,

Bruce