Book Review: The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

How COOL is this? A trailer for a book! 

I die. I love movie trailers, as in I watch them like most people watch full episodes of sitcoms on Netflix. Join my addiction at Rotten Tomatoes.
Why watch a whole movie when
 someone has already put the best parts in a 4 minute montage??

As you can probs tell, this book is a super natural mystery. Normally, it's not my go to genre but with Halloweenie coming up, I thought it would be a fun mix up. I also listened to this on audiobook which I am glad I did because the voices really added to the creepiness of the book.

The synopsis is this: It's the 1920s and 16 year old Evie O'Neill is busy causing trouble with her spicy attitude and constant addiction to stirring up trouble and getting attention. She's a super cute character who spouts of the funniest 20s-ish sayings through out the book, like "everything's jake, that's just the berries! and I'm posi-TUTE-ly certain!" I want to bring those diddies back, so watch out! 

Evie has a gift that she keeps to herself. She can read objects. As in, she holds a personal object of someone's in her hand and she can see that person's secrets in her mind. It plays out like a movie in her head. Which is how she ends up in big trouble with her parents and they ship her off to New York City to live with her Uncle. Someone needed to tell her 'rents that shipping your 16 year old off to the Big Apple during the prohibition is hardly a punishment. 

Here's some addition background from GoodReads: 

New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

Evie, her pals Mabel and Theta, plus her uncle and his warden Jericho and a pick pocket named Sam Lloyd are some of the most entertaining, well-developed characters I have read about in a long time. Each one is so unique, it's hard to believe one person (Bray) created all of them. 

All of the characters play an important role in catching this killer that is terrorizing NYC.  It turns out that Evie isn't alone in her powers...

The murder scenes are gruesome and actually pretty terrifying. I couldn't get them out of my head. But then the next minute, Evie is saying something like "that's posi-tutely the jimmies!" and you loosen up soon after.

The killer is a very cool character and there are a lot of elements like spirits, super natural powers and creepiness that does keep you on the edge of your seat.

Read it, if you like this type of make believe, thrillers, the 20s and aren't afraid of a little blood. 

The only downside is that after the plot has climaxed, it's kinda of boring even though the books goes on for a couple chapters after the most exciting part happens. I think Bray should've ended the book on a higher, most exciting note. But there's definitely another book coming, I can tell because of the way it ends, plus the website calls it a series. (I'm a real detective, see?) 

Happy Friday, Fraaannndss! 

Today, I am linking up, check it out! 

Book Review: The Dressmaker

Last night I finished 
The Dressmaker

And it was really good! 
I'd give it a go it you like historical fiction.
It's based on non fictional characters who survived the Titanic. 
Tess Collins is a servant girl who dreams of one day being a famous clothing designer and seamstress. The book opens with her impulsively quitting her job as a maid and finds herself on the dock that is boarding passengers on the Titanic. Fate leads her to literally bump into Lucille Duff Gordon, a world renown fashion designer who is boarding the ship. Lady Duff Gordon has just lost her personal servant and agrees to let Tess have the ticket and become her maid. 

I loved Tess' character right away and wanted to hate Lady Duff Gordon because she's a snotty pretentious type that is rude to her hubby and very entitled. But she has soft moments too and it's hard not to like her when she has tender moments of compassion towards Tess. You can see their bound changing as the book proceeds, sometimes they are confidants, sometimes mother/daughter.
Lady Lucille Duff Gordon
What happens when the ship sinks is the pinnacle that the rest of the story revolves around. Tess and Lady Duff Gordon survive, but the costs they have to pay are heavy once they get to the United States. It's an interesting look into what happened to the survivors and the choices they made in the moments of fear and desperation while they tried not to parish.

This is an actual photo (I think Lady Lucille Duff Gordon is the woman on the left). The taking of this photo is covered in the book. 
One thing I did not know about the Titanic is that after it sank, there were trials. Survivors, both shipmen and passengers, were called to witness and the White Star Line faced a lot of scrutiny.

The characters in the books are forced to testify about what happened in the lifeboats and there are secrets some try to keep and guilt some try to relieve. 

I loved Tess' determined spirit and another character, a reporter named Pinky, reminds me of a modern day girl. She's pushy and a crusader for women's rights. You'll root for her. 

The ending is triumphant and satisfying. The middle is easy going and thought provoking. 

The downside is that I think it just scratched the service and I think the author could have written in a more emotional voice when it came to the tragedy of the sinking ship...but that's a daunting task to undertake.

One added bonus in the book is the fashion. LOVE the 1900s fashion! Lots of details on the fabric and cut of gowns...and funny that showing your ankles was scandalous. Oh, if they could see us now!