The Diviners by Libba Bray
Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?
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 occult.
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…
If that summary doesn’t give you chills, wait until you meet the villain of Evie’s world. The Diviners is full of creepy scenes featuring the killer, guaranteed to make your spine tingle. The imagination behind him and his background is astounding, like getting several stories in one. As Libba Bray spins her tale, she weaves the many stories into one perfectly.
I love 1920s NYC. The speakeasies, flappers, the vernacular. The setting of The Diviners had all that and more, the pages filled with memorable characters and a thrilling plotline. From the moment I met her, I loved Evie, the bold, brash girl too big for Zenith, Ohio to handle. Evie seems like the kind of girl you could meet on the street and just tell there was something different about her.
I love Libba Bray’s writing - I think she’s fantastic and she’s my second favorite author - and I lovedThe Diviners too. My only quip with this book is that it leaves so many loose ends. Usually I like a book that doesn’t tidy up after itself and tie all the bows. But with this one I almost feel like there’s too much left unsaid, like even though the book has ended, I have nearly as many questions as I did at the beginning. I can't wait for the sequel!
The Diviners was a great book - well worth the 578 pages. There’s no doubt about it. - The Diviners is the cat’s pajamas.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
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?
Enter the world of beauty pageants, where glittering dresses, perfectly plumped lips, and crafted answers reign - and watch it fall apart as the girls learn to survive the island and each other. Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens is pure genius. The girls are more than pretty faces, each of them has a unique story to tell. Beauty Queens takes on important issues, too: individuality, feminism, and a few others I’ll refrain from mentioning (spoilers!). The cast of characters is diverse, with girls of different races, sexualities, etc. Not only does this book not give a damn about your bigotry, it's full of suspense, humor, and yes, kickass beauty queens.
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