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The Diviners

(The Diviners #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  57,692 ratings  ·  8,848 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
Paperback, 468 pages
Published September 7th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 18th 2012)
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Jane No, you are not. One disk into the audiobook and I cannot stand her.
Cat Jericho is a boooooooring white bread character. Bummed this love triangle is even happening, it's unnecessary. Sam actually has character, and their…moreJericho is a boooooooring white bread character. Bummed this love triangle is even happening, it's unnecessary. Sam actually has character, and their tension has been developed from the get go. (less)
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Kat O'Keeffe
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
شيماء ✨
This book makes me feel so nostalgic for life in the 1920s New York which is weird because I wasn’t even alive for that decade why do I miss it? Seriously. Is it just me or do other people get homesick from books? You miss the comforting feeling of the characters and the world created by the author and wish to stay long after you turn the last page?

The impossible wonder of an era I was never a part of still snags at me and I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

So, what's this book?

Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Listening on audiobook was such a great experience. I loved the writing and the story, oh so chilling! GIMME MORE :)
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pos-i-tute-ly the perfect spooky Halloween read! Supernatural powers! Murder! 1920s New York! A creepy song that will haunt me for the rest of my life! I can keep going.
There were times when I was genuinely scared (usually when I was reading right before bed). Let's just say I'll never be able to use the word "naughty" ever again without giving myself nightmares.
This book also had a huge cast of characters that we are just getting to know - and I love each and every one! I know most peo
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
Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩

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
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Emily May
Shelves: library
I'm obviously late to the party, but I so enjoyed this one! The audiobook took the story to an entirely other level for me; the narrator was fabulous and did so many voices in a unique way without sounding cheesy or lame. Definitely excited to continue on with the series and look forward to answering some of the questions that were left open here.
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
..finally released from ‘Starbucks’ before midnight, I was caught in last pages of The Diviners, and heavy rain Storm hit 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..
There's speakeasy & theater lights instead, the yellow cabs turned into old models..
But the wet streets still there..and The Storm is yet to come..

Let's see
Whitney Atkinson
The best way I can describe this book is The Great Gatsby meets Buzzfeed Unsolved.

Even though this audiobook was 16 hours long, it flew by. I listened to the prologue and had to stop it and take a break because I was already so creeped out, and there were definitely other parts that I read in the middle of the night that made me want to turn my lights on and check under my bed. This book definitely has a creepy vibe and is such an amazing, atmospheric listen. The setting of the 20s was so much
This was my third attempt at this book and... victory at last!

Once again it was a rather slow start that failed to grip me mind body and soul right from the get-go (that might’ve been too much to ask. Hence the third attempt) but once I passed that difficult stage, I found it enjoyable.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say extremely enjoyable but I was hooked nonetheless.

The plot was extremely well written and the history elements were amazingly researched and in-depth.
My initial reason to give this
You have no idea how many times I have wanted to be able to mark this book as ‘‘read’’ on Goodreads. The first time I attempted to read it, I was only 16 and gave up after the first two chapters. Then I tried again a few years ago but gave up at page 50. But something in me really wanted to finish this book, whether I ended up loving it or hating it, so I finally decided to sit somewhere quiet and immerse myself in this story a month ago.

The reason why I couldn’t finish it those two previous tim
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WrensReads Review:

New favorite obsession! It’s dark but classy...

...beautiful but swallowed in the feel of a haunting.

There are a lot of characters in this book. So, let’s do this list style:

Evie O'Neill
I positutely love Evie. She is such a unique heroine. Usually, the heroines these days are mysterious, introverted and quiet about how they are different. Evie is none of those things. She is a flapper (setting is in the 1920s), she is as extroverted and confident as they come, and she isn’t shy
✨    jamieson   ✨
“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.”

boy this shit was so good !! i die !!. Everyone kept telling me this series was the cats meow and I JUST DIDN'T LISTEN. And I should have, it's positutely swell !!

(okay enough lingo references) but the first thing I LOVED about this book was the setting. It's set in 1920s America and boy that is just such a fun setting to play around in. And Libba Bray defini
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Really enjoyed this! Loved the characters and the setting, but the mystery wasn’t the best I’ve ever read!
🦊 Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk

We are the Diviners.
We have been and we will be.
It is a power that comes from the great energy of the land and its people, a realm shared for a spell, for as long as is needed.
We see the dead.
We speak to restless spirits.
We walk in dreams.
We read meaning from every held thing.
The future unfolds for us like the navigators map, showing seas we have yet to travel.”

Story ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Buddy read with the wonderful Eli :*
I guess I’m a little bit disappointed.
I had way too high expectations for this
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 10/3/17: Finished this re-read in one day because I AM OBSESSED OMG. I love this book so damn much. I forgot how much of a crush I have on Theta. She’s such a foxy lady, I can’t. So excited to re-read Lair of Dreams now and THEN THE THIRD BOOK IS FINALLY OUT AKZJUSAJBDUAJS

Re-read 8/26/15: WOW. I listened to this on audiobook as a reread in preparation for Lair of Dreams and my review has shot up from a 4 to a 5 out of 5 stars. THIS WAS SO GOOD. I can't wait to read Lair of Dreams now. Oh
Raeleen Lemay
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
bran (brandonthebookaddict)
“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.”


GOODNESS GRACIOUS where do I start? Because HOLY SMOKES that was the CAT'S MEOW!! GOLLY, I was completely blown away. Some parts in this book just gave me the flying HEEBIE-JEEBIES. And other parts of the book made me laugh as if I was high on GIGGLE WATER!!

......ok modern century talk now and 1920s lingo aside, The Diviners, was a well
Elise (TheBookishActress)
She was tired of being told how it was by this generation, who’d botched things so badly. They’d sold their children a pack of lies: God and country. Love your parents. All is fair. And then they’d sent those boys, her brother, off to fight a great monster of a war that maimed and killed and destroyed whatever was inside them. Still they lied, expecting her to mouth the words and play along. Well, she wouldn’t. She knew now that the world was a long way from fair. She knew the monsters were rea
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 i don’t know ratings are hard ok??
Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
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
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
bella ϟ  [ bella farren ]
4.5 / 5 stars

“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.”

The Diviners is set in 1926, New York City. It's an atmospheric book that throws you into the most wonderful time, it's filled with speakeasies, showgirls, prohibition, 20's slang and introduces you to such a colourful cast of characters. The main character Evie O'Neill has a special talent and is forever in trouble, always too big and too much
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
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.
**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
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,
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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.

Other books in the series

The Diviners (4 books)
  • Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)
  • Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3)
  • Untitled (The Diviners, #4)
“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?” 261 likes
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