Read the Alphabet: Before the Devil Breaks You, The Black Flamingo, and Beastly Bones

Posted February 5, 2021 by shooting in Book Review / 17 Comments

Earlier this week I shared the books I read last month that begin with the letter A. This is for the Read the Alphabet Challenge – which we’d love to have you join (and maybe win a book!) Today, I’m sharing the three books I read that begin with the letter B.

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Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

personal copy; all opinions are my own

Review: This is the third book in The Diviners series and it’s just as good as the rest. Hopefully I’ll find time to read the fourth and final book soon. This is a YA series but I think adults would enjoy it too as it leans toward the older end in terms of characters and content. The group of friends all live and work in New York, mostly sans parents. Each book is written in the third person and follows the various “Diviners” – and even some non-Diviners. I love the mix of powers that each Diviner has from Evie being able to read the history of objects to Memphis being able to heal.

Before the Devil Breaks You continues the overarching plot from the rest of the series but it also includes its own mix of mysteries and plotlines. I don’t want to spoil any of the series, so just know that these are fantastic. They take place in the 1920’s and I love the variety and diversity of characters from sexuality to gender to race. Highly recommend!

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta 

personal copy; all opinions are my own

Review: The Black Flamingo is a YA novel written in verse and it takes place in England. The book follows Michael, who is mixed-race and gay. These are just aspects of who he is, but they are important aspects. While it was nice to see the book go from young Michael to college aged Michael, I will admit that the book picked up more for me once he was older. I felt like the beginning gave the information you needed to know about Michael and his family, but the actual story started more when he was in college. Regardless, since the book is written in verse, it read pretty quick.

The aspect of The Black Flamingo comes in when Michael is in college and joins a drag group. This is his way of sharing his poetry and creating a new identity that lets him feel more fierce and free. He goes by the name The Black Flamingo, and in reading the book, I learned that there are such things as black flamingos!

I would definitely read more by Atta.

Beastly Bones by William Ritter

personal copy; all opinions are my own

Review:  Beastly Bones is the second book in the Jackaby series. The series takes place in 1892 New England and follows the perspective of Abigail Rook. She is employed by R.F. Jackaby, a private detective of sorts. This book takes them away from the city and into a mystery that might involve dinosaurs. These books remind me of Sherlock Holmes in terms of Jackaby being like Sherlock and Abigail being his Watson. The big difference is that Jackaby is a private detective of the supernatural.

I really loved Jackaby so I was excited to finally read the second book. It’s a fun series that reads quick and I’m definitely hoping to read the third book soon. I loved the mystery in this one and enjoyed the twists and turns it took me on. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I do recommend this series!

17 responses to “Read the Alphabet: Before the Devil Breaks You, The Black Flamingo, and Beastly Bones

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