Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Format: ARC copy
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The Diviners has quickly become one of my favorite books of the year and of all time! I completely devoured this book, with its beautiful writing (courtesy of the ever brilliant Libba Bray), carefully constructed plot, disturbing mystery, captivating romance, imaginative fantasy, and enthralling characters. It was as though I was afraid that if I put this book down, even for a moment, the gruesome killer would choose me as its next victim, or, even more terrifying, the book might disappear forever before I could finish it. The Diviners had me in its grasp within the first chapter and I have been unable to stop thinking about it since!
I was completely in awe of how Libba Bray was able to make this book about supernatural powers on one page, a creepy and gruesome murder mystery on the next, and then a totally normal, old-fashioned romance on the page after. All of the varying story plotlines and characters were woven together perfectly by the end of the book, making a fantastic and unforgettable book.
Evie, the protagonist, is a seventeen year old with a unique personality. When I think of this young girl, the first thing that comes to mind is that she certainly lives her life to the fullest; she is a fun-loving and humorously sarcastic character who always tries to dwell on the positive. However, Evie also has a deeply sad temperament that is always hiding beneath the surface, which has to do with her mysterious power, and is the reason for her somewhat excessive need to drink and party. Some of the minor, yet equally intriguing characters include Memphis, Theta, Jerico, Uncle Will (whom Evie calls “Unc”), Sam, Mabel, and Henry, each of whom harbor their own, often supernatural, secrets. These characters are completely fleshed out and realistic, all with their own special quirks.
I felt that this book was mainly split into two separate parts that ended up coming together in what appeared to be an effortless and faultless way: the old fashioned world of partying and romance, and the supernatural, disturbingly eerie murder mystery. Evie is completely immersed in each world, helping her uncle solve the murder during the day while never missing a night out partying. However, while Evie’s life running around old-fashioned New York City was captivating and well-told, the part of the story that truly did it for me was the murder mystery.
In the book, there is a variety of what appears to be cult murders throughout the city, all surrounding a strange bible and a myth regarding someone named Naughty John. The spine-chilling little tune that always accompanies the murderer goes like this: “Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and steals your bones, sells them for a couple of stones”. And if the words alone aren’t enough to raise the hairs on your arm, be sure to check out the eerie tune that accompanies the chilling words in The Diviners book trailer.
Overall, this book was an absolutely amazing mix of supernatural, horror, and romance. It was an intense and wonderful book that only an author as brilliant as Libba Bray could have pulled off. And boy, did she do a great job! Everyone should definitely, definitely, definitely pick up a copy of The Diviners as soon as possible!