Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Review and Giveaway: The Diviners by Libba Bray


The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

  Title: The Diviners
  Author: Libba Bray
  Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  Publication date: September 18th 2012
  My rating: 4 Stars

 

 
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.


I really didn’t know what to expect with this story going in, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. 

There are many storylines interwoven in this book, but the main character and heroine is seventeen-year old Evie O’Neill.  Evie lives life to the full, something her parents do not appreciate.  She stays out late drinking and partying with her friends which is highly frowned upon.   Especially because this is during prohibition!  She has a carefree attitude, always laughing and saying whatever comes to mind. Her peers tell her: “Oh Evie, you’re too much” and this is not meant as a compliment.  She finally breaks the last straw by spilling a compromising secret of the town’s golden boy (not so golden, by the way).   To avoid a possible slander suit, her parents send her off to Uncle Will in New York.  Uncle Will is curator to The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, also known as: The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.  This is fine by Evie, she feels New York will be a much better place for her than the small minded Zenith, Ohio.  But Evie is holding onto a secret, a special ability.  When a serial killer strikes and the police ask for Uncle Will’s assistance, Evie finds that her ability may be the way to stop a killer. 

Memphis Campbell is a runner for the “king of Harlem,” Papa Charles. He collects bets and payments from local businesses but this is not his passion.  His dream is to write and perform poetry.  This isn’t what Memphis is known for though.  Years ago, before his mother died, he had a special ability of healing.  It seems his little brother Isaiah also has an ability; one that brings unwanted attention. 

There are a few more secondary characters that factor heavily into this story: Jericho, Uncle Wills assistant, Theta, the beautiful chorus girl, her piano playing brother, Henry, and Sam, the devilishly handsome pickpocket, all with something to hide. 

Like I said, there is a lot going on, but all the sub-plots weave together and make a fascinating story.  This story is equal parts hilarious and creepy and I had fun time sorting it all out.  While I’m not an expert on this time period the story seems well researched and felt like it could’ve really taken place in 1926.   There was an authentic feel to the language.   Phrases like: “Oh, applesauce!” “pos-i-tute-ly” or “doll” being interlaced throughout.  I had to laugh at this quote: “Barnabas Damson hasn’t got the sense God gave to an animal cracker, if you ask me.”  References to music, movies, and surroundings made the setting feel complete and authentic.  I felt like I was watching a ‘30s/’40s film like Arsenic and Old Lace.  The phrase “hi-jinks ensue” or “madcap” sprang to mind many times.  There is romance in here as well, it’s not a huge part of the story but it is sweet.  I’m sure there’s more to come in the next installment and I’m eager to see how things play out. 

I could go on and on about the characters, but Evie really stole the show here.  She was fun loving and breezy and yet she had a sadness in her that would peek through, from time to time.  She had snarky and humorous one-liners throughout the story that always had me giggling!  

I really had a hard time writing this review, so I hope I’m conveying this story properly because I thoroughly enjoyed it.   I have to say I was intimidated by the page count, it’s just over 600 pages, but it doesn’t feel that way when you’re reading.  It’s easy to keep flipping page after page wanting to know what happens next.   There isn’t a cliffhanger but this story does not completely wrap up.  I just found out there’s a sequel.   I will definitely be picking that up. 


We’d like to show our appreciation to you lovely readers so we’ve decided to give away a SIGNED Advanced Readers Copy of The Diviners.  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  So fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!  The only requirement is that you follow the blog via GFC. The giveaway will run for two weeks, so make sure you get your entry in soon.  Good luck!

 





  a Rafflecopter giveaway

22 comments:

  1. Glad you got to read it so soon Rachel!! Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Nicole-Thanks! Just seeing you on here made me think of our fun day at the ALA together! Can't wait 'til next year. Although, I'm sure I'll run into you before then at a book signing soon. :)

      Delete
  2. OMG Great review, Rachel!!! And thank you guys for the giveaway!!! It's such a pleasure to be one of your readers!! <333 The only book of Libba Bray's that I've ever read is Beauty Queens, and I LOVED it like crazy, so I really should pick this up soon. Evie seems just like the type of character anyone would love! Can't wait to meet her. LOVELY REVIEW, RACHEL! Love you guys! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is the first review I've read of this one. I really don't know what to expect from it either, but I'm excited to read it! Can't wait to meet Evie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Riyal-I hope you like it too. I have Beauty Queens but haven't read it yet. I went to a signing with Libba Bray and she read an excerpt and it sounded hilarious. The Diviners is extremely witty and funny too. Hope you like it when/if you pick it up. And thanks, Riyal! xo :)

      @Leanna-I hope you like this as much as I did. Evie was such a change from the heroines I usually seen in YA.

      Delete
  4. Awesome review, Rachel! I've been seeing this around loads recently, and it really has got me intrigued! Thanks so much for the giveaway too - I've entered! :D xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great review, Rachel. I wasn't so sure whether I would read this book or not, but you've convinced me that I should. Evie sounds like a great character and I can't wait to meet her. 600 pages seems very long, so I wonder if I'll enjoy it or not! I'm really glad you liked it so much.
    Thanks for the giveaway, Rachel. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rachel, Fantastic review!!!!! You completely told me everything that would urge me to read this book. A main character who shines more then the great secondary characters. I'm sold! I'm glad that despite many sub-plots, the book was enjoyable and easy to read!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fantastic review as always, Rachel! I'm really looking forward to this book so it's great to hear you enjoyed it. I didn't realise it was so long though! :) Evie sounds like a brilliant character. Snarky, humorous main characters are some of my favourite kinds. I can't wait to meet her! Thanks for the lovely giveaway. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome review, Rachel! <3 I'm not sure what I would think about this book. The main character, Evie, doesn't sound ANYTHING like me, so I'm worry that I would have trouble connecting with her. However, I liked books by Libba Bray so I though I should give this a go! Oh well, 600 pages? I think I would feel intimidated like you too at first LOL! x) I'm excited that this is such a page-flipper though! <3

    ReplyDelete
  9. Eep! Fantastic review, Rachel! After reading your review in GR I added this on my tbr right away. This sounds so intriguing and highly amusing. The main character sounds so fun too. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Rachel! And thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yay Rachel! So glad you loved this one too! I was concerned when I started that all the different storylines were going to be too much and it was going to be a jumbled mess of characters and side stories, but I thought Libba did a great job of keeping one central focus and then slowly adding new threads in a way that wasn't distracting to the murder mystery. Beautiful review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ladies! 600 pages is a long book but it was a lot of fun.

      @Jenny-I didn't realize you read this too. I'm going to check out your review. I was a little worried that it'd be a jumbled mess as well but like you, I thought Libba did a fantastic job with this story. Thanks! :)

      Delete
  11. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one Rachel!(: Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors and I loved her Rebel Angels Trilogy, so I've been really excited about this book from the start. Hearing that you liked it is such a huge relief, so I can't wait to get my hands on it and read it myself! Yet another wonderful review, Rachel! :D

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was kind of iffy on whether I should read this or not- I mean, 600 pages?!- but after reading your review, Rachel, I will definitely be picking this one up!! All the characters sound wonderful, especially Evie. And the setting sounds so unique!! I have yet to read a book set in the 1920s-1930s, so I'm definitely excited to experience this neat setting!

    Fabulous review Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks so different! I've read her Gemma Doyle trilogy, which I really enjoyed, so I'm looking forward to this. I love that it has such an authentic feel and a vibrant MC. Wonderful review, Rachel. :) Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Keertana-Thank you! I have the Gemma Doyle series but just haven't read them yet. I really want to pick them up after experiencing Libba's writing. Also, hearing that you loved them is a definite recommend to me.

      @Aneeqah-600 pages is intimidating but they seemed to fly by to me. The 1920s setting was so different but so much fun. I hope you like it if you do pick it up.

      @Aa'Ishah-More high praise for the Gemma Doyle series! I must read them, as I already have them!

      Delete
  14. I think you conveyed the story very well Rachel, the blurb didn't speak to me, but your review certainly did. I'll be adding it to my TBR. Thanks for a great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love the review, thanks for the giveaway...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, Rachel! I'm in love with Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy (please, PLEASE read it soon!!) so I have very, very high expectations for this one. The slang sounds fun and Evie sounds like such a wonderful character. :) Excellent review, Rachel!

    I would love to own a copy, so thank you so much for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovely review! I'm super excited for this book and it's seriously cool-sounding plot. Thanks so much for the giveaway and making it international . . . really want this book! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds like you really enjoyed this one! I seemed to have missed this review, but your new giveaway sent me over.

    Definitely a book I'll be on the lookout to check out. Humour, action and a bit of mystery and romance. Definitely sounds like my type of book. Especially with all these interwoven plots, I like something that is a little more complex.

    Fantastic review! :)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...