There is a recently-added feature to the YA section called “Allen’s Pick”. And, as I was walking through the library, I spotted this little tag and decided to give the recommended novel a try. Little did I know it was the perfect kick-off to my summer, fulfilling my favorite three genres: historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Though the main character, Evie O’Neill (a Diviner, herself), and I got off on the wrong foot, I soon began to fall in love with her charming wit and Bray’s use of decadent literature.
The year is in the 1920’s where 17-year-old Evie O’Neill is performing her party act in front of her slightly drunk friends. She asks for a person’s possession. She touches it, falling into a deep trance before delivering the verdict. In one case, she uncovers one boy’s secrets. Without thinking, Evie spills, causing quite the uproar and later the punishment of moving to live with her mysterious uncle in upstate New York. While Evie’s parents believed they were sending Evie to her mortal hell, the star-struck-wannabe-flapper was cooking up something entirely different.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bray’s novel, for its language, plot, and musical references. She certainly did her research, finding what a teenage girl in New York in the 1920’s would be doing with her life. I even had to google ‘Libba Bray age’ to make sure she was not 108 and therefore was not 17 years old in 1921. Bray then went on to write a sequel to the Diviners, entitled, the Lair of Dreams. Next time you visit the library, I would definitely recommend looking for the “Allen’s Pick” tag, and try a new read!
The Diviners series by Libba Bray is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.