Discover a World of Fun, Flappers, Fantasy, and Foul-Play, Review > The Diviners
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My rating: 4 or 5 stars
Bray, Libba. 2012. The Diviners. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel (2012), Andre Norton Award Nominee (2012), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (Top Ten) (2013)
Sent to New York as “punishment,” seventeen-year-old Evie O’Niell is swept into a world of flappers, speakeasies, occultism, and murder. Can Evie’s secret supernatural gift to help solve the crimes and what will she do when she discovers the murders are a part of a much darker evil?
Though the fantasy elements of the book – supernatural powers, ghosts, and other supernatural beings – are not real, the experiences that Evie goes through are very real and are shared experiences of the teenage years. Also, though the time setting of the book is the 1920’s, the depicted teenage essence still holds true today. Most teens can relate to the experiences of “getting into trouble” by their parents, of being “punished,” of romance, of making new friends, of fighting with friends, of learning, and of self-discovery. As well, many teens may have also experienced the loss of a loved one and the difficulties of coping with that. Issues of discrimination and underage illegal activities are also elements of this fantasy novel that affect teenagers today. The experiences of identity, integrity, intellectual growth, discovering independence, and intimacy constructs the foundation of The Diviners, and though it is a fantasy novel, it still holds true to real teenage experiences.
Though I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, it was still entertaining also quite long. And because it reflects many contemporary teenage struggles, I would recommend it to any young adult, especially those who enjoy fantasy or historical fiction.
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