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Creepy Chills and Gatsby: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Hi!

For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in the Roaring 20s. My mom bought a history of fashion books when I was a little kid and I remember paging through it and always stopping on the 1920s fashion plates. I begged my mom to let me be a flapper for Halloween in 6th grade (I was an age appropriate flapper), and anytime there is a costume party, the 20s flapper is one of my go-to dress up eras!

Although I had head that it was pretty creepy, once I realized that The Diviners by Libba Bray was set in New York in 1926, I knew I wanted to read it.

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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-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the oThe Diviners by Libba Brayccult. Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

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Libba Bray rocks my socks off. Her Gemma Doyle trilogy (set in Victorian England) is one of my favorite YA series ever and she definitely didn’t disappoint me with The Diviners! One of the best things about The Diviners is the setting. Evie’s story is set smack dab in the middle of New York City at the height of the Roaring Twenties, a decade that was made for excitement, drama, pleasure, and parties. Spiritualism was quite the trend at the time so what better place to set your paranormal thriller than in this era of heightened experiences? Bray delves so deep into the period that the story just drips with flappers and jazz!  Everything from the catch phrases to fashion and dancing, and as the history nerd I am I really enjoyed seeing tidbits of other social issues like prohibition, eugenics, and cultism in response to society’s loosening structure….it’s all there!

Our main character Evie, is the 1920s personified. Evie is your small town girl searching for love, life, and excitement in the big city. I just love her! Yes, she is annoyingly rebellious, stubborn and overly ready to get her way, but she is also endearing and loyal and all around fun! Sometimes she creates drama where drama needn’t be…like in a creepy basement where murders may or may not have happened, but in the end Evie is a girl who wants to feel everything and is constantly seeking ways to make life even the teensiest bit more intoxicating. She’s definitely the kind of girl you want in your group of friends because life is always interesting with Evie! The supporting characters are all really engaging as well, especially Memphis and Theta! I assume we’ll get even more of them as the series progresses, which is good because there is some weird stuff going on with this group of friends!

The Diviners is super long (550+ pages) but is so well paced you just can’t stop reading (or listening in my case) and I never once felt like the story was dragging in any way. Yes, there is the fun flapper aspect to the story, but with Naughty John, The Diviners is also a dark, frightening paranormal thriller complete with the occult, ritualistic killings, and characters who have mysterious supernatural gifts. This story definitely has enough creep factor to make you keep all the lights on at night!

For those of you (eighth grade and up) who enjoy paranormal thrillers and want a book that will give you chills while also make you want to throw a Gatsby themed party, The Diviners is absolutley, pos-i-tute-ly a must. One warning though, it will leave you wanting so much more! Since this is the first in a series there are tons of unanswered questions and plot points that have yet to fully unravel! I can’t wait for Lair of Dreams!

Author: Libba Bray

Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 18, 2012)

Format: Audiobook (Listening Library)

Length: 18 hours and 14 minutes

Narrator(s): January LaVoy

Series: First in the Diviners series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:

 

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Lucky Ones

Well, it’s finally my LAST week of freedom before the school year starts.  Next week, I go back for Pre-Planning and then the kids come back the week after that.

Oh.  Summer! Where for art thou summer?!The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen

Okay, well every Wednesday I participate in Waiting on Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Jill over at Breaking the Spine!  Every week those who participate spotlight an upcoming book that we just can’t wait for.

This week I am patiently waiting on The Lucky Ones (Bright Young Things #3) by Anna Godbersen.

Letty’s rising star is threatened by a new rival…

Astrid’s relationship with Charlie takes a dark turn…

And Cordelia vows revenge against the Hales – once and for all…

Ohhh, I can’t wait for more roaring twenties drama, romance and fashion!

I recently read and reviewed Bright Young Things, the first title in the series, but still have to read book two, Beautiful Days. I’ve got plenty of time though, since The Lucky Ones isn’t scheduled to be released until November 27, 2012.

So, what book are you waiting on this week?

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Excitement and Shininess: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Ciao!

I recently read Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things, the first book in the Bright Young Things series.

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersenthe anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart.

I adored the first two books in Godbersen’s Luxe series and  after reading a lot of middle grades fiction, I realized I was in need of a light summer read. Something full of gossip and drama and romance. Bright Young Things has all of these things!

So, I didn’t like it as much as I enjoyed the Luxe books but Bright Young Things was still really entertaining and I enjoyed it. I wasn’t as connected to the characters in this book as her others. But I did enjoy reading their stories and watching them fall in and out of love and good fortune.

The setting? I loved the setting! Who couldn’t love the excitement and shininess of New York City 1929?! I’ve always been interested in the Roaring Twenties. I’ve always loved the ideas of secret speakeasys, dangerous mobsters and Charleston dancing flappers, and the fashion. It’s all just so fun (I’m sure it wasn’t as glamorous as a romanticized view of history makes it out to be)!

This is purely a Young Adult fiction book, so I’d say high schoolers and up would enjoy it. So, if you’re in the mood for a fun read full of twenties glamor and scandal then Bright Young Things is the read for you!

Author: Anna Godbersen

Publisher: Harper Collins (August 2, 2011)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 416 pages

Series: First in the Bright Young Things series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Bright Young Things