"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What I'm Reading: THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray

A new book by Libba Bray is always something to celebrate, especially when the promised tone of the book reflects A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY (which I absolutely loved). So I've been waiting for this book to come out since I first heard about the deal in Publishers Marketplace.

THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray (Little, Brown, September 18, 2012)

Here are five things I have to say about THE DIVINERS:

1) I've always been a bit scared to write a novel set in a historical time period, and THE DIVINERS kind of reminds me why. There is historical research the way most authors do it, and then there is historical research the way Libba Bray does it. Nothing can quite compare (with the possible exception of REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly (Delacorte, October 12, 2010) which also had an amazing amount of research involved). Few books make me feel like I am actually back living in a given time period, but Libba Bray once again manages to capture the time perfectly. From the parties to the lingo to the necessities like clothing and food, reading this book will make a virtual flapper girl out of just about anyone.

2) There are hints of romance throughout, and then a bit more romance toward the end, but this book is just not about the romance, which is kind of refreshing given a YA market filled with stories that have romance at the forefront. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about the romance. But I'm also all about a story that makes me forget I'm all about the romance.

3) It's a ton of fun to read a young adult book that breaks so many of the "rules" set in place in the young adult market today. Point of view. Present vs. past tense. Backstory. THE DIVINERS takes all these "guidelines" and pretty much tosses them out the window. And it totally works. I got so caught up in the reading that I forgot to even think about the writing.

4) I have to mention the story line because it's clever and twisting and seriously scary. THE DIVINERS had me reading late late late into the night to find out how the main character, Evie, was going to get herself out of such a mess (which, of course, she had to get into). And once I finished, I wanted to sleep with the light on all night.

5) Read THE DIVINERS if you are looking for a rich comfort read that you can relax into. Read THE DIVINERS if you love Libba Bray and her writing. Read THE DIVINERS if you want to be transported to another time period while still soaking up young adult fantasy. Highly recommended!

From Amazon:

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.

Source of book: From publisher by request


Cory Putman Oakes said...

I also loved how subtle the romance was in THE DIVINERS. There was so much going on in this book that a full-blown romance would have been too much. The hints were just perfect. I loved this book!

Kelsey said...

Now I HAVE to read this, as if I didn't already.

PJ Hoover said...

So true, Cory! It's like it was there but so not in your face. Very crafty, and I'll be curious to see it develop in future books!

Yes, Kelsey! You totally do!