The Diviners - A YA recommendation from both of us!
Amanda — Take a step back into the roaring 1920s with this magnificent book by Libba Bray. This book isn't just historical fiction; it's full of magic, mystery, and friendship. It follows a group of young adults (who each have their own unique power) and their challenging mission to help stop an evil force from manifesting and wreaking havoc in New York. The Diviners is book one in the series. I would recommend this book to more mature teens based on the content of the book and some of its themes.
Leanna — I wasn’t expecting to love this book. I wasn’t expecting to finish the book only to pick up the audio and listen to that, only to buy the book and read it again (and again, and again…). I wasn’t expecting to grow to love the characters so much they would move me to tears even on the third and fourth time through the book. As a whole, I love everything about the book, from the characters to the full immersion in the Roaring Twenties setting, from the creepy moments to the fun ones. Even when the book is scaring me, it’s still making me smile.
Specifically? I love Evie, especially that she isn’t always lovable. Her flaws make her who she is, and I wouldn’t have her any other way. She shows that you can mess up, that you could be thoughtless and stupid, and still be good and real and strong in the end. I love that (unlike so many characters in similar situations), she’s mostly pleased to have her “Diviner” gift, both for the fun and for the good she can do with it. I loved every bit of twenties slang, the descriptions of New York, even the slow pervasive horror the murders and, even more, the beliefs that led to them. The book may be set in the twenties, but it’s all still applicable to today, even the worst parts of it.
Perhaps especially the worst parts.
Books can be an escape, but they can also teach, and this one does both. It lets me escape to the glittering world of twenties New York on a whirlwind and frightening adventure, but it also shows that even a good-time party girl can be strong and fight for what’s right, that everyone has hidden depths to them, and that friendship and love are the most important things and can help fight the darkness all around us.
Plus? It’s just really fun.
Description provided by GoodReads:
SOMETHING DARK AND EVIL HAS AWAKENED…
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 her uncle will 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 is hiding a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened…