positutely a delightful read | book review

the diviners by libba bray

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s 1926, and one Evie O’Neal is hiding a secret: She can learn details of a person’s life by touching an object belonging to them. This “party trick,” as most see it, lands in her a spot of trouble, so she’s shipped off to New York City to live with her uncle Will, who is a professor and owner of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Just after Evie arrives in New York, a murder occurs in the city, and soon she, Will, and others find themselves drawn into a paranormal murder investigation.

Recommended if you like:

  • Creeptastic, paranormal books that give you the shivers
  • Fun, dramatic, yet realistic teenage protagonists who you root for
  • Atmospheric, richly detailed settings



My Spoiler-Free Review

I picked up this book on a whim, and boy am I glad I did.

Technically, I electronically checked out the audiobook, but you know what I mean.

If you’re in need of a fast-paced, spooky, fun YA book, I can’t recommend this enough. I sped through the audiobook, and I know I would’ve done the same if I was reading the 500-paged print book. It’s hard to put down! The combination of murder mystery, paranormal elements, and lively characters is balanced superbly.

The large cast of characters fleshes out the story nicely. We have Evie, your typical energetic, charismatic, wants-to-be-in-the-spotlight protagonist, who has surprising logical and empathetic sides. Then there’s Memphis, a boy who used to have special healing powers but lost them just when he needed to save his mother, and who now is totally dedicated to protecting his younger brother. Jericho and Sam are two side to a love square; Jericho is strong and silent, while Sam is spontaneous and charming. Mable is the other component of the love square, as Evie’s best friend, in love with Jericho. We also have Theta and Henry, friends and performers living together under mysterious circumstances. And, of course, Evie’s uncle Will, who also has an unknown past.

There are so many characters and so many plot lines, but it all comes together wonderfully. Even listening to the audiobook, I was never confused between characters, and it was a delight to see how their stories intertwined and wove together as the story continued on.

Another fantastic part of this book was the setting; Libba Bray did such an excellent job of really transporting you to back to the Roaring Twenties! So many small details enriched the world: the newsies, the slang, even the outfits characters wore. You can tell Bray really did her research, and it was so great to see the setting truly come alive in this book.

Overall: a wonderful blend of just about everything you could ask for! The only reason I took off a star from my rating is that it wasn’t my favorite book ever; it didn’t touch me deeply or really stick with me. But reading it in the moment was highly enjoyable, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone!


 Have you read any other fun paranormal books? Or books set in the 1920s? Give me some to add to my TBR!

Until next time,


One thought on “positutely a delightful read | book review

  1. Wasn’t this so great!? I read it this Spring and lOVED it. Some other books set in the 20s are The Cure for Dreaming and IN the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. Both so good, and they have a lot of really cool paranormal aspects. Great review!


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