I’ve talked before about how much I hate the “young adult” categorization, as I feel it often is used to denigrate a book: oh, it’s a YA book. It’s not a REAL book. And, often I feel that category is applied simply because the main character is a teenager, and not reflective of the themes or tone of the book (not that books targeted to young adults shouldn’t have adult themes…). All that to say, the books I read most recently are YA in name only, because they are scary as hell, and I loved it.
WHAT I READ:
The Diviners and Lair of Dreams (Libba Bray) (the first two books in the Diviner series).
On a scale of 1 to 5 overused 1920s slang, I give the first book 4 cat’s pajamas and the second book 5 Sweetheart Seers.
We are in 1920s New York City, and a young girl looking to liven up a party pulls out a recently acquired Ouija board and suggests they try to contact the dead. They have some spooky messages from someone calling himself Naughty John who threatens to bring about the end of days… and soon forget about it. Meanwhile, our heroine Evie is banished from her small town in Zenith, Ohio, after pulling out her “party trick” to embarrass a prominent boy in town: she can sense people’s secrets and pasts by holding an object of theirs. She’s loaded onto a train headed to stay with her uncle in New York City, thrilled to be going towards some excitement and not knowing the mystery and horror that lies ahead.
HOW IT MADE ME FEEL:
Maybe don’t read this one right before bed, but I dove into the next book immediately and liked it even more – the author gives us multiple main characters, and you get a really cool look at a lot of things in 1920s New York: interracial relationships, the challenges of being an immigrant, segregated neighborhoods, class divides. She did a lot of research, and it shows.