The Diviners by Libba Bray

2012
05.15



Sometimes you read a book and you say, “That’s my book.” It seems like the author wrote it just for you, that everything in it was created for your amusement and suspense and pleasure. It is intimate and wonderful and you want to tell everyone you know about it and keep it all to yourself at the same time. I know many of you have felt that way about this book, and this one and this one. And that is how I feel about Diviners by the diabolically funny and utterly fabulous Libba Bray. This is SO my book. It is full of everything awesome and scary and merry and sweet. It is set in the Roaring Twenties in a swanky, swaggering New York City and features a collection of complex, confused teens with mysterious powers, who, one by one, realize that their destiny is to fight an ancient evil that is rising up in their very midst. (My favorite started out as unapologetic party girl Evie, but oh, you are gonna have such a crush on dance hall Theta and moody poet Memphis as well) There is both a haunted house AND a haunted museum. There’s a serial killer who steals body parts and a terrifying religious cult baying for blood. There are speakeasys and rent parties. It is about both big things like Manifest Destiny and little things like sparkly headbands. You get a front row seat to the Harlem Renaissance and a balcony chair to the Ziegfeld Follies. And the frights aren’t just lame-o gross-outs, but deep psychological chills that get under your skin (although there are some pretty good gross-outs, and someone does lose their skin). There’s a diversity of character that without message or pretense, makes you understand that America is and always has been a melting pot and that characters of color or of various sexual orientation can be an intregal part of a story without their background being THE story. There is romance (but not too much), gore (but not too much), loads of suspense and even a Model-T car chase. All things I adore (who knew I loved Model-T car chases but it turns out that I DO). All things I can’t believe are in the same epic voluminous book that despite being over 500 pages is as tight as a proverbial drum. And the only reason that I’m not in deep mourning at having finished it and at never being able to read it again for the first time is that it is just the FIRST BOOK IN A NEW SERIES. THERE WILL BE MORE. And I’m already a hot mess of anticipation for book 2. An exquisitely written, sumptuous affair of a novel that you will want to pull up around your ears and roll around in like a flapper’s mink stole. I can’t wait for you to discover that this is YOUR BOOK TOO when it comes to a library, bookstore or e-reader near you. On your way to the library, check out this hilarious video of LB acting out the first scene of The Diviners with action figures. (Yes, I know. You thought you couldn’t love her more and now YOU DO.)

8 Responses to “The Diviners by Libba Bray”

  1. MaryBeth says:

    You have written a magnificent love letter not only to The Divinvers but to Libba! I absolutely CANNOT wait to read this book and I was already pretty excited, having previously watched the video of her with the action figures.

  2. This is the first review I’ve seen of this book! (And it’s a great one (:) I can’t WAIT for this to come out, especially since it’s written by Libba Bray!

  3. bjneary says:

    Loved your review and the video- I just have to read this book!

  4. Lucia says:

    I’m supposed to be reading John Irving for my book club, but I’m going to read this instead! I can’t wait to see how Libba Bray creates the 1920s.

  5. Ankita says:

    Posted on Great post!I’m a fan of Ellen Page and no offense but she does not look like Katniss to me at all. She’s just so small and not tough looikng.I LOVE your choices for the Libba Bray characters. I love that series and miss it Hopefully the Hunger Games movies are good unlike the Battle Royale ones. Those were AWFUL!!! The book is awesome though.

  6. :paula says:

    GOD I want to read this book! I’ve had TWO ARCs and I’ve given them both away because I just knew the recipients would LOVE IT. Even though I haven’t had the chance to read it myself. :) Libba Bray never disappoints.

  7. Ingrid says:

    You *know* I am all about this book! People who haven’t read it need to get on it already!
    Also, I got to meet her last night! http://magpielibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/me-fangirling-over-libba-bray-like-a-total-psycho/

  8. This book looks like it was a lot more developed than other Libra Bray works I’ve read. I read the start of her Gemma Doyle trilogy and the problem I had with it was the disconnect I felt inherent in its style. I couldn’t connect to the writing or characters, so I’m glad to hear that this book has a different vibe and is easy to “get in to.”

    Check out my reading blog, I’m looking for a few readers: yourbibliomaniac.blogspot.com

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Jen Hubert Swan
Librarian, Book Reviewer,
Reading Addict
swampophelia27@yahoo.com