What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Diviners by Libba Bray

I wasn't sure I was going to read this book. I had read another of Libba Bray's books and didn't really like it that much. I didn't get the humor. But then...I went to ATBF. Miz Bray was the keynote speaker at ATBF this year, and she was awesome. She was funny, and inspiring all at the same time. I couldn't help but want to read more of her stuff. And after listening to her talk about The Diviners, I decided to pick up a copy.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.
What I Liked: 1) The setting. I LOVE the 1920s. Love them. The history, the inhibitions, the clothes, the lingo...I think I would have done really well in the 1920s. I could totally be a flapper. Heh. It's very obvious that Miz Bray did her research when writing a book in this atmosphere. At Austin Teen Book Festival, she mentioned that one of the things she loved about this world was the language, and let me tell you, it was awesome. I think we should being back jargon from the 20s. And I have the urge to add "-ski" to the end of every word! 2) Evie. I thought she was a fun main character. She had her flaws, but for the most part she was just a bundle of energy and fun. She was trying to balance playing so many different roles at the same time, and so she spent a lot of time spinning in circles. 3) The magic. This book, after I read it, probably didn't fit into Witch Week, because The Diviners aren't witches who do spells and things. But they do have powers that have developed as a sort of signal to what is coming. And for most of the book, we are following around several of these Diviners, not just Evie (though she is the main character.) 4) The writing. Sometimes I am just so stunned by an author's capacity for words. Miz Bray was able to do that in this book. Sometimes YA books have a kind of...casual language. As if teen readers won't understand, or don't like having big words in their books. But I always appreciate when an author expects more of her readers and uses advanced language that can teach the reader something.

What I Didn't Like: It's really long. Like, really, really long. And it ain't an easy readski. But it really isn't a problem. Just be forewarned that you need to be able to devote a lot of time to it.

Overall Thoughts: The Diviners is a great, scary novel with some awesome magic thrown in. The characters all have rich, interwoven stories that slowly unravel as the book continues on. But the historical aspect is really the showstopper of this book. The 1920s come alive as you read, and you'll find yourself feeling transported back to the time of prohibition, speakeasies, and flappers. Remember to leave the lights on when you get tangled up in this story, otherwise you might find yourself hearing whistling in the darkness...

My Rating: 4 candy cornskis
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  1. I didn't care for Going Bovine. Haven't read Beauty Queens. But I loved the Diviners and also her Gemma Doyle series. Maybe I just don't care for her humor either? Great thoughts.

  2. I started reading this and then stopped, but I am hoping to get back to it soon. It is just so big that it keeps intimidating me and I love a long list of review books. (This one included) I keep going for the shorter ones and saying I will get back to it. Lol! I have no doubt I will love it when I do read it though. Thanks for the fab review hon!!


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