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The Diviners (The Diviners #1)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,750 Ratings  ·  6,490 Reviews
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 ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover he
Hardcover, 578 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Jane No, you are not. One disk into the audiobook and I cannot stand her.
Quinn I'm kinda leaning towards Sam, which is surprising since I hated him in the beginning... but they definitely aren't my favorite ship. THETA AND…moreI'm kinda leaning towards Sam, which is surprising since I hated him in the beginning... but they definitely aren't my favorite ship. THETA AND MEMPHIS FOREVERRRR(less)
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YA Novels of 2012
56th out of 1,325 books — 10,628 voters
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YA Historical Fiction 2012
7th out of 126 books — 805 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat O'Keeffe
Aug 30, 2015 Kat O'Keeffe rated it really liked it
A bit on the slow side, but for the most part I really enjoyed this! My favorite aspects were the atmospheric setting of 1920s New York and the awesome cast of characters. I thought it was great how all of these seemingly separate stories intersected, I just wish it'd happened a little bit faster. I also loved how scary and gory this book was. I wasn't expecting that, so I was pleasantly surprised/pleasantly creeped out. And I really appreciated that this book was satisfying all on its own! We d ...more
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Oct 14, 2015 Catriona (LittleBookOwl) rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, audiobook
Listening on audiobook was such a great experience. I loved the writing and the story, oh so chilling! GIMME MORE :)
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*

Finished re-reading this and it was even better the second time! Now I am finally reading the sequel and I'm very excited. :D


Original Review (10/10/12):


So yeah, basically this book left me like this:

I've been a die-hard Libba Bray fan ever since the fabulous Gemma Doyle books. I also loved the insane, bizarre adventure of Going Bovine. And Beauty Queens was hilarious––although I thought it was a bit lacking in the usual strong storytelling element th
Emily May
There is love. Oh, there is so much love that I am having for this book and Ms Bray right now. Even taking the length into account, this novel took me longer than usual to read because I had to read everything more than once and swoon for a little bit before I could move on. I am thrilled to hear that there will be a sequel.

If I were to write a novel, I wouldn't want to hear claims like "this is the next Hunger Games (or Twilight or Harry Potter)" but I think one of the greatest compliments must
Jul 18, 2016 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: magical-realism
“The time is now. They are coming,” Isaiah said, drifting back into dreams, his last word barely a whisper: “Diviners.”

This was exactly my kind of book - with talk about the occult, magical-realism, and even a little horror (that I could handle for once) - I couldn’t help but fall for The Diviners. To quote Maggie Stiefvater, good magic is a little horrific, and good horror is always a little magical. And Libba Bray brought just that to the table with this chilling and wondrous book.

This follows
Jan 07, 2014 Mitch rated it liked it
I don’t know how else to describe The Diviners except to say it’s pretty clear when reading this that Libba Bray set out to write a quintessentially American novel, and - good and bad - she’s succeeded. She may insist no historians were harmed in the writing of her book, but I just don’t see how she’s mastered such command of American history, not just through the facts, but through the way she captures the American experience, that she didn’t torture it out of someone. But just like America, th ...more
May 16, 2013 Carol. rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: I don't.
Recommended to Carol. by: I don't hate you. Honest.

"Ms. Bray, I have an idea for your next book."
"Well, the researcher who worked on The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York left some notes lying in the library, and someone I know swiped 'em."
"Perfect! What should we make it about?"
"Hmm, not sure. Let's workshop it."
"Okay. Target audience?"
"Well, you have some cred in Young Adult, and the field is on fire. If we make it about a 17 year-old and her friends, we can draw in the pre-teens and the
Mohammed Arabey
Jul 22, 2016 Mohammed Arabey rated it it was amazing
..Finally got off 'Starbucks' before midnight, I was caught on the last pages of The Diviners & heavy rain storm in Alexandria that evening. But as I get off the doors, Everything was different..

I was facing Alexandria's famous Sea Corniche, cafes' lights & wet streets no more, the yellow cabs turned into old models, There's speakeasy and theater lights instead ,but the wet streets was still there..and The Storm was yet to come..Well,

Raeleen Lemay
Sep 28, 2015 Raeleen Lemay marked it as dnf
I would feel really bad about about not finishing this if I weren't so overwhelmingly bored by it.

I LOVE (most of) Libba Bray's books, so the decision to not finish this book did not come without much deliberation. In the beginning I was intrigued by the world, and I actually really liked Evie as a character. But 150 pages in, I stopped caring about the plot, Evie had become very repetitive and irritating, and the clichés turned me off.

Perhaps someday I'll pick it up again, but I can't force mys
Dec 04, 2013 Stephanie rated it liked it
This book irritated the crap out of me.

I gave it 3 stars, but it hovers around the 2.5 mark for me. While I enjoyed the story and it held my interest throughout, the cutesy vernacular made me insane and ruined it for me.

This book is set in the 1920’s when prohibition was in full swing and you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a bobbed haired flapper girl. Evie (said flapper) was sent away from her fake Ohio town of Zenith to New York City, after a party game showing off her divining power a
Oct 27, 2015 Maureen rated it liked it
This may be more of a 3.5/5 stars.


I enjoyed this! The writing was beautiful and I really REALLY liked the characters, especially Evie.
It was a bit slow to start but when it picked up I just HAD TO FINISH IT.
World building was great and plot was pretty alright as well. Overall enjoyable!
My main problems with this are problems that most people won't have, so don't hate me for it. Just sayin it's not gonna be what everyo
Khanh (the Grinch)
Mar 08, 2013 Khanh (the Grinch) rated it did not like it
The heroine was intolerably stupid, annoying, attention-seeking, and inconsiderate. She grated on my nerves so badly, I can barely bring myself to read on. I find Libba Bray's writing style for this book completely unreadable. I have a strong suspicion she read a reference guide to using slang during the Flapper era and made it her personal goal to use as much speakeasy language as possible in every single spoken sentence.
4.5 stars

Guys, this book is NOT over-hyped. It really is fantastic. It's one of those rare books that actually made me feel genuinely creeped out.

Great characters, phenomenal atmosphere (you can tell Libba Bray did a ton of research) and just overall engaging story.

Highly recommended!

Full review to come.
"Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells 'em off for a coupla stones."

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

My initial rating given to The Diviners was a full, glowing five stars, five stars being the knee-jerk rating I give to books I love. However, sometimes, when writing a review for the books I give five stars (or really any other rating), I realize that there were some certain things in the book I'm reviewing that would result in me taki
**Note: I laugh every day about the fact that this is one of the first negative reviews on the page for this book. Not really sure how that happened. So yeah, this review is kind of a lightning rod for the comments of overly-committed fans who think that telling me I'm wrong based on something I wrote in 2012 is a good use of their time. I love it.

Two stars is a shockingly low rating, I know. Sorry bout it.

Here is a list I've composed, honestly expressing why I didn't enjoy this book. I'm guessi
Stacey (prettybooks)
I've owned The Diviners for over 3 years and I finally picked it up as part of this year's Halloween reads. Hurrah! I couldn't wait to get stuck into this 1920s murder mystery. Evie O'Neill's secret ability has led her from small-town Ohio to sparkling New York City, full of speakeasies and Ziegfield girls. She's living with Uncle 'Unc' Will at the Museum of Creepy Crawlies when she befriends a whole host of alluring characters: Sam, Jericho, Mabel and Theta, all with their own credible historie ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
The Diviners is my first book by Libba Bray, but I can tell you right now that it won’t be my last. I’m thrilled to have discovered another YA author of such talent and prominence. I would have given her a chance even before now, especially considering all the raving reviews written by my most trusted friends, but I simply never got around to it. Fortunately, she left me no choice with The Diviners. New York in the 1920s was impossible to resist.

I’ll start with my favorite part – the setting. L
Mandy K
Jun 02, 2015 Mandy K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Full Review

This is not the type of book you fly through, and with almost 600 pages it's a far cry from a quick read. But Libba Bray's writing just sucks you in and keeps engrossed in the story. The roaring 20's are a fascinating time, with the glitzy and glam and flapper culture, it's always been an interesting era for a story to take place in. I don't usually read historical fiction, not for any particular reason, I just haven't. It seems fitting that the first historical fiction that I read in
Oct 13, 2012 Keertana rated it it was amazing
The Diviners is, without a doubt, my favorite Libba Bray novel - and I've read all of them except for The Beauty Queens which I didn't get time to finish but which I fully intend to as I loved the few chapters I read of it. I am, truly, a self-proclaimed Libba Bray fan. I know her Gemma Doyle Trilogy had its flaws, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I remember it changed my perspective of literature at that time quite drastically. The Diviners on the other hand, contains no flaws. Well, to be hones ...more
Jun 27, 2016 Arah-Lynda rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-said, why-eh
These are the difficult reviews to write. When you just can’t connect with a story that most everyone else seems to love. This one has all the right elements.

1926 New York with speakeasies, flappers, glitter and temperance. Seventeen year old Evie O’Neill has just arrived to stay with her Uncle who runs The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. When a body, branded with a cryptic symbol is found her Uncle, who has a well informed obsession with the occult, is called in and Evie tags along. But Evie ha
helen the bookowl
Apr 19, 2016 helen the bookowl rated it liked it
This book was really good to begin with. I loved the sassy and courageous protagonist Evie, and I was very intrigued with the fact that she moves to New York to stay with her uncle. I was fascinated with the occult things happening and with the ghosts we were promised from the very first pages. I also really liked Evie's friends in New York as well as the museum where her uncle works.
However, the downside of this book is that it is simply too long. While the first half of it was gripping and en
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
*cue eerie music*

At a birthday party in New York in the 1920's, a bunch of teenagers decide to play with a Ouija board. They promptly do several things they're really not supposed to do, like failing to make the spirit controlling the board say good-bye (is this really a thing?), thereby unleashing the spirit of a serial killer on the world. I'm one chapter in and already I know this book is not going to be my cuppa tea: Horror is just not my thing, and evil supernatural kinds of horror are rea
Lindsay Cummings
Apr 28, 2016 Lindsay Cummings rated it it was amazing
loved it! This was actually my first book to read by Libba Bray, and I felt like the setting was so authentic, I LOVED all the characters, and I especially loved all the mystery. I did the audio version, and at times, I got so freaked out by Naughty John's song that I wanted to fast-forward (in a good way!). Excited to see how book 2 goes, will have to pick it up soon.
Emma Giordano
Dec 17, 2015 Emma Giordano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Sep 21, 2012 Giselle rated it really liked it
Phew. Finishing this book feels like an achievement. At a whooping 600 pages, The Diviners is a an exercise in arm strength to simply read it, but it's absolutely worth it. Work those arms people! Historical novels not being my thing, I was a bit concerned that I was getting into a monster of a book that would bore me to death. I had nothing to worry about, however, when only with a few mere pages, Libba had created an intensely creepy and atmospheric setting that promised to disturb, to captiva ...more
This was so much fun! I had such a good time reading this book. If my life hadn’t been so hectic during the last couple of weeks, I’m sure I would’ve read it much faster. The Diviners is a murder mystery with paranormal elements set in New York in the 1920’s and it's fan-flippin'-tastic! Libba Bray’s writing was excellent - the way she was able to capture the atmosphere and describe characters and settings was impeccable. I’m glad I already have one of her other books sitting on my shelves becau ...more
"The line between faith and fanaticism is a constantly shifting one"

This was an exciting read. I Pos-i-tute-ly Loved it.

Libba Bray is a Genius. I can't begin to formulate in words how much I love this storyline and it's characters. Evie character was on point and I found her character relatable. She was able to stir a mixture of emotions in me, - which is always - a Good Thing when it comes to my Lead heroine. I really can't wait to read Book Two ( Lairs Of Dreams ). The story demands that m
Dec 28, 2015 Macarena rated it really liked it
4,5 estrellas.
Wow, simplemente wow. Tenía entendido que Libba Bray era una gran autora, pero ahora lo comprobé. Me encanto su manera de escribir, me gusto mucho como dibuja Manhattan en los años 20.
Por alguna razón siento que no puedo darle 5 estrellas a pesar de que todo en este libro fue maravilloso, supongo que el hecho de haberlo leído en "mucho tiempo" (7 días no es mucho tiempo pero whatever) hizo que me fuera distanciando un poco de la historia, pero, igualmente, no deja de ser increíble.
Nov 15, 2013 Felicia rated it really liked it
I am doing a big project in my house: Reading the ever-increasing stack of ACTUAL books that is piling up next to my bed! The dust on them is just monumental, since I honestly read most of my stuff on my Kindle, sigh. So project; "Chip away at stack" commence!

I've had this book on the stack for a while, and I didn't know anything about it, except the blurb on the back reminded me of one of my favorite iOS games: Elder Signs. 20's, occult, NYC etc. I thought the atmosphere was pretty interesting,
Cait (Paper Fury)
Ahhh, this book was interesting but I ultimately I'm not a raging wild fan. I mean, it's all supernaturally and creeptastic buuuuut...too many things riled me like a cranky baby duck. SO. I shall explain! WITH A LIST (aren't you lucky). Although I think this is pretty much a "it's me, not you" thing. Also I'm not a huge fan of antichrist and cult books. I'm just not, oops.


• It's too long. Tooooooo looooooong. I've never read a book over 500 pages and thought tha
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#AYEARATHON: The Diviners (Buddy Read) - Libba Bray 18 36 Jul 22, 2016 01:54PM  
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What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It's not exactly like I'm going to say "I was born in Alabama…" and somebody's going to jump up and snarl, "Oh yeah? Prove it!" At least I hope not.

I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor.
More about Libba Bray...

Other Books in the Series

The Diviners (4 books)
  • Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)
  • Untitled (The Diviners, #3)
  • Untitled (The Diviners, #4)

Share This Book

“How do you invent a religion?” Evie asked.

Will looked over the top of his spectacles. “You say, ‘God told me the following,’ and then wait for people to sign up.”
“Some mornings, she’d wake and vow, Today, I will get it right. I won’t be such an awful mess of a girl. I won’t lose my temper or make unkind remarks. I won’t go too far with a joke and feel the room go quiet with disapproval. I’ll be good and kind and sensible and patient. The sort everyone loves. But by evening, her good intentions would have unraveled. She’d say the wrong thing or talk a little too loudly. She’d take a dare she shouldn’t, just to be noticed. Perhaps Mabel was right, and she was selfish. But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all? “Oh, Evie, you’re too much,” people said, and it wasn’t complimentary. Yes, she was too much. She felt like too much inside all the time. So why wasn’t she ever enough?” 217 likes
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