The Diviners by Libba Bray
Pretty, thematic, a little bit creepy, no evening gown in sight (even though Evie wears some dresses that are just the bees knees!). Basically the perfect cover for the book.
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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.
As with most everything else nowadays, this looks to be a trilogy. I’m annoyed by how everything is part of a trilogy lately, but I do look forward to the rest of this particular one.
I wouldn’t have missed this 1920s party for anything!
Legitimately scary occult doings. I was majorly creeped out several times by this book, and I don’t consider myself a scaredy-cat.
1920s! Fashion, flappers, speakeasies, and all kinds of posi-lute-ly great stuff!
Slang! I’ve seen other reviewers put this as a minus–too much, they say, too dense!–well, I disagree, for two reasons. 1) Though Evie is the main character, there are other POV characters, and they do not use slang anywhere near as densely as Evie; 2) It’s very fitting for Evie’s character that she does–she’s terribly concerned with fitting in, being cool, making a splash–so of course she uses all the newest and coolest slang! Plus, 3) I think it’s fun.
Full disclosure here: I am already a Libba Bray superfan–I would read anything she writes and like it. But I feel that this is well-earned on her part. Not only does she consistently write high-quality teen novels, she does it in multiple styles! Gemma Doyle was a period fantasy, Going Bovine was a contemporary magical-realist tragedy, Beauty Queens was a hilarious contemporary satire, and The Diviners is…a period fantasy–okay, so maybe there’s some similarity, but my point is that she doesn’t just write the same book over and over. And Evie is emphatically not the same character as Gemma Doyle.
Long story short: The Diviners is skillfully and creepily written, and I haven’t even talked about all the wonderful supporting cast members! All of them are interesting in their own ways (even the one who’s introduced as completely boring), and each have secrets. Can’t wait to find out more!