Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Summary: Evie O’Neill has been a very bad girl. After pushing a party trick too far and exposing a scandal she’s sent off to live in New York City with her crazy Uncle William who runs The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. It’s the days of bobbed hair and bathtub gin but Evie’s secret powers may be a more interesting party trick than anything Fitzgerald could dream up. When a series of killings that seem to relate to the occult occur, the police ask for Uncle William’s help and Evie tags along hoping to put her abilities to the test.

Bechdel test? Evie really only has one female friend, the super-boring Mabel. Unfortunately the girls’ conversations revolve mainly around the dreamy Jericho Jones, making this a fail. (For a book by Libba Bray that does pass the test, check out my trailer for Beauty Queens!)

Rating: 4/5

Was it as good as Beauty Queens or A Great and Terrible Beauty? Not exactly. The book held my attention toward the end but it seemed that throughout there were a few too many characters. I’m sure that they’ll be important for the next book in the series but here I didn’t’ really care about  them which made reading their chapters a bit of a chore.

Other than that the story was wonderful. Bray really hits the feeling of 20s glamour on the head with her discussion of speakeasies, Ziegfeld productions, and NYC apartment life. The slang was a real treat (though it may be a little confusing to those who don’t read very closely, Bray often defines a term once and then uses it again a hundred pages later – keep your thinking hats on boys and girls!)

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens

by Libba Bray

Survival. Of the fittest.

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program – or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan – or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Book blurb from Amazon

Reviews for Beauty Queens

LATimes

YALSA

NYT

Booklist

Awards for Beauty Queens

Rainbow List 2012 – GLBTQ (ALA)

Audie Awards – Best Author Read Novel 

Best Books for Young Adults 2012 (Booklist)

Amelia Bloomer List 2012 – Feminism (ALA)

2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults (ALA)

Buy Beauty Queens

Indiebound

Amazon

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Get Beauty Queens at Your Library!

Durham County Public Library

Orange County Public Library

Chapel Hill Public Library

More by Libba Bray

*note: This page was created for my INLS 530 class at SILS UNC Chapel Hill*