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The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
The Diviners - Libba Bray This is one of those books that makes you forget about the outside world, that keeps you reading late into the night until your eyes hurt, cancelling all plans for the evening in order to read, read, read. Oh my, what a gripping story! I'd like to have more of these, as it's a great feeling to be swept into a novel like that, living inside it, trembling and being frightened along with the characters. I do appreciate a good scare now and then. :)

In order to be engrossed in the story, you have to be open-minded, to be able to accept fantasy as a viable alternative and to (still) enjoy young-adult novels. Libba Bray has a skillful way of making the magical believable, as very few events seem forced down or out of place. Everything flows smoothly. And it's so creepy! I found it a bit childish at times, but I got over it quickly - so much is going on that you don't have time to complain. And I was glad that the story wasn't weighted down by too much romance - the sequel will probably have lots of it, but we'll have to wait and see.

I've heard people complaining about the slang, so I'm glad that I read this novel in the original language. I did enjoy the slang, although it sent me to the dictionary many times. I checked Wikipedia a lot of times, too, for the magic-related terms and also for the aspects of the 1920s New York. The atmosphere of the city, recreated by Libba Bray after so much research, is simply wonderful.

The ending was indeed a bit rushed. I was approaching the end of the novel and I was fearful that it won't have a closure, that I will have to wait for the second book to find out what happened. That was not the case - the main story was concluded (although at a fast pace, compared to the lenght of the book), but a lot of other facts remained unexplained. What have I done, I have consciously submitted myself to a gripping series! Now I can't wait for the second book to appear...