THIS WEEK'S TOPIC:
What's the best book you read in December?
This was an easy one for me, because one book pos-i-tute-ly stood out. It was the bee's knees, and quite possibly one of the most swell books I've read this year. And how! Okay, I'm done with the 1920s jargon, BUT I'm not done raving.
Dames and gents, I give you The Diviners by Libba Bray.
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-tute-ly thrilled. 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. (from Goodreads)
There is so much I could say about this book, but the most important point is that the author really did her research on 1920s New York. And how! (Okay, I lied. There may be more jargon than you bargained for.) The beauty of it is that she wove it all in so seamlessly that you almost don't realize that this book was written in a completely different millennium. It's just that well done. I've always loved the Roaring Twenties and stories set in NYC, so this pairing was perfection. And the story is just so compelling. It's nearly 600 pages long, and I read the bulk of it in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down!
Good time gal, Evie, is a truly dynamic character. Throughout her evolution as a character, she still knows how to have fun, but she deepens and becomes less selfish and more responsible. I kind of loved that about her. Jericho was fantasticly swoonworthy, Will was such a cool uncle, Mabel was the most loyal of friends, Sam was sometimes annoying but often endearing, Theta and Henry were fabulous, Memphis was all-around great... Such a superlative cast of characters. And then there's Naughty John. I'm not sure I've encountered a villain who was so pos-i-tute-ly eerie as this serial creeper.
Which brings me to a teensy word of caution: This book was seriously creepy. I'm fairly certain the twisted snippets from the book of Revelation (read: altered by a cult), the rhymey ditty Naughty John kept whistling and singing, and the murders themselves were what totally wigged me out. In many ways, it read like an adult crime thriller only much better.
Things I could have done without which might be dealbreakers for you:
- There were three instances where animals were killed. In each and every case it was entirely unnecessary and added nothing to the plot. If the rest of the book hadn't been so darn good, I might have been tempted to put it down. I'm that bothered by cruelty to animals. Fortunately, they were all very brief mentions.
- One of Naughty John's victims was a tween kid. Enough said.
Things that were the "elephant's eyebrows":
- 1920s NYC—seriously well done. Though I've never been to New York (yet!), I felt like I was actually there. The Ziegfeld girls, the fashion, the jargon, the landmarks, the historical references... It all comes alive.
- The writing is fantastic. This one falls under the category: Books That Make Me Feel Unworthy as a Writer.
- The cast of characters and their unique abilities. Favourites: Evie, Jericho, and Memphis.
Let me put it this way: I liked this book so much, I'm going to give a copy away! (Truthfully, I received duplicates this Christmas, so I figured why not share the love?) And the best part? You can ALL enter no matter where you live. ♥
The Pos-i-tute-ly Bee's Knees Giveaway:
* Honourable mention for Best December Read: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!