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The Diviners- Libba Bray
Ok so, I loved it. I seem to be stumbling upon lots of books set in 1920s New York and each one teaches me more than the last. The Diviners was awesome—a dark, creeptastic mystery with insights into religious zeal, the occult, flapper culture, racial divides, and literary and theatre culture. Seriously the book had everything (even a Louise Brooks reference that I got because of my recent reading of The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty). The language is utterly authentic and pos-i-tute-ly fun! There’s some interesting paranormal and steampunkish elements to the plot which was kind of cool. Frankly what hooked me was the banter between Sam and Evie which read exactly like His Girl Friday (one of my favorite movies of all time).
NOTE: Fast-paced, witty, snarky banter is the way to my heart. You should all write that down.
This book sets up the series nicely but not all of the story lines have converged just yet. I will also say, I’m rooting for a different boy to get Evie’s heart then who she’s with in the end so here’s hoping for a change of course in Book 2 on that front. Overall, this was a tightly wound storyline where as you read the plot moves in ever diminishing concentric circles until you’re shocked at how well all these things are connected. I have to say I loved learning as much about 1920s NY as I did all the characters. This is definitely a series to keep your eye on!
The Diviners is due out from Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 18th. Pre-order your copy here.
ARC provided gratis by Little Brown via BEA
The Girl in the Steel Corset- Kady Cross
I wanted to LOVE Girl in the Steel Corset, because everyone else does and because I met and had a bonding moment with Kady Cross at BEA (we are both Kathryns!). While I didn’t love it, I did like it.
The ideas behind the book are great, both in plot and setting. The steampunk aspect provides opportunities to explore interesting questions. I particularly enjoyed the exploration of the division between human and monster and the Jekyll and Hyde part of human nature. In fact, the connection to the Jekyll and Hyde story was a smart one and I’m pretty sure there’s a headnod to Journey to the Center of the Earth. There are inquiries about science, progress, and evolution as well and these technology reliance questions are so apropos for the modern age. The Girl in the Steel Corset is certainly a book that gets you thinking. I LOVE THAT!
I had problems with the fact that every where you looked was a love triangle. That is just totally unrealistic. I’m sorry but there is no way in real life that Griff, Jack and Finley have a love triangle as well as Renn, Sam and Em. Love triangles are so overdone these days and neither of these was believable to me. Finley’s interest in Dandy seemed haphazard, and we don’t explore emotional ties to either male character in enough detail to have them be a credible love interest for her. Instead we have surface level development and the sense we just have to accept this conflict without knowing the why behind it. I hope that in the sequel there will be more depth and exploration of Finley, Renn, and Griff in particular.
The Girl In the Steel Corset is out now! Get a copy here. You can get the exclusive prequel The Strange Case of Finley Jane for FREE!
Follow Kady Cross on Twitter @KadyCross or on her website here.
This book was provided gratis by Harlequin Teen at BEA.