“The Diviners” defies young-adult genre

While there’s no denying that the young-adult genre is over-saturated with books written in first-person, boasting no-nonsense heroines, and a bleak futuristic so­ciety. Libba Bray’s latest series, “The Diviners,” does not conform to common molds.

As a work of supernatural, his­torical fiction set in New York City circa the 1920s, Bray breaks away from the dominant trend of first-person books by writing her series in third-person, weaving to­gether the narratives of a plethora of characters.

Despite being told from multiple perspectives, “The Diviners” still has its main heroine, Evie O’Neill. Evie is loveable and yet self-cen­tered in a way that pays homage to the characteristics that many real-life teenagers have. Her first mo­ments in New York City involve her falling into a rather obvious trap set by a pick-pocket, so it is fairly safe to say she is no surviv­alist.

There’s more to “The Diviners” leading lady than meets the eye, though, as Evie has a gift for read­ing people’s memories by holding objects that belong to them. This unique talent comes in handy as the story progresses and she helps her uncle track down a serial kill­er.

The compelling storyline is writ­ten flawlessly by Bray, who is not new. Her first series, “Gemma Doyle,” was met with a great deal of acclaim and won her a large fan base. She has a gift for pulling her readers into the story and the book is, at times, as grotesque and frightening as a horror movie.

The essence of New York in the 1920s is captured so expertly that although the novel is set over seventy years in the past, you can­not help but feel like the world of “The Diviners” is as modern and exciting as Bray’s characters find it to be.

“The Diviners” is planned to be the first of a trilogy of books, but as it was just released in Septem­ber it is likely that fans will have to wait a long time for the next in­stallment. The wait, however, will be worth it.

Emily Lake can be reached at Emily.lake@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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