Author: Libba Bray
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Yong Readers
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.
The Diviners was a welcome relief after starting and DNF another book. I was upset I spent so much time reading it (50%!) and was just not enjoying it, so this was recommended to me by Wren (@fablesandwren) as a spooky read to get ready for all the spooky books that will be read in October! And I must say, this was a superb recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters, and was given the creeps more than once. I learned not to read this one in the dark pretty quickly!
I actually listened to the audiobook and it was entirely enticing. The performance was spectacular, the voices for each character was incredibly well done, and it made me want to keep coming back for more. It also helped with reading it quickly because it’s a little daunting going into an almost 600 page book! The audiobook made it feel like it went by so quickly! I have the second book already on hold and cannot wait to continue the story!
The Diviners takes place in New York in the 1920’s, which we all know was a troubling time for America. Libba Bray did not shy away from the tough topics in this story though and I think it made the book all the better for it. As a small trigger warning there was talk of drug use, racism, alcoholism, murder, gore, and animal cruelty/death. Even though there were some heavy topics I think they were laid out incredibly well. Nothing felt like it was in there as a shock factor. Everything was in the story for a reason and was worked through in a delicate manner.
I was a little wary of the characters at first because this seemed like a typical early 2010’s Young Adult story full of the angsty whiny teenagers but it did not turn out that way at all! Initially I though I was really going to dislike our main character Evie. She seemed self centered, brash, and was a little annoying. But I think she came around to me pretty quickly and I ended loving her fierceness, her drive, her desire to help anyone and everyone. She really grew as a person and came out on top of all the terrible things she had to endure. She learned more about herself and who she is and wants to be. There’s nothing else I could ask for in a character than personal growth. All of the characters have similar growth in the story as well, which is why I think I clicked so much with this one. The characters really drove this story home, I don’t think it would have been as enjoyable without them.
I don’t really know where the story is headed after that ending but I am excited to see where it goes. I hope to read book two early next month and then buddy read book three at the end of the month!