Southbury Teen Review Blog

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The Diviners June 3, 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

the-divinersIt’s 1926.  The height of the Jazz Age.  Evie O”Neill arrives fresh from Ohio in NYC to live with her Uncle Will Fitzgerald.  He just happened to be curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult (locally know as the Museum of the Creepy Crawlies).  Coincidentally, Uncle Will is consulting on the recent spate of serial murders  gripping the city.  Evie soon finds herself thrust in the midst of the investigations into the Pentagram Killer.

A varied cast of characters including Ziegfeld girl Theta Knight, Evie’s best friend Mabel Rose and erstwhile pickpocket Sam Lloyd all become embroiled in the supernatural goings on.  Memphis Campbell and his younger brother Isaiah possess certain gifts similar to Evie’s.  Uncle Will’s assistant Jericho Jones may be hiding secrets as well.  Can Evie and co. solve the mystery and put an end to the killings before Naughty John makes quick work of them all?

Filled with more nifty lingo than you can shake a stick at, The Diviners is the cat’s pajamas!  Libba Bray has done it again, masterfully blending insidious horror with hilarious moments, and a hint of romance.  Evie O’Neill is “pos-i-lutely” an instant classic heroine.

“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.”

 

Lark April 17, 2013

Filed under: Books — Heather @ 2:07 pm
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Lark by Tracey Porter

LarkLark Austin was murdered.  She was brutally attacked and left tied to a tree, left to die from exposure in the frozen Virginia forest.  This story is not really about Lark, but more about two of her former friends.  Eve used to be close with Lark, sharing a love of swimming until events made her quit.  Plagued by guilt, Eve wonders what might have been if she had been there for Lark.  Nyetta is also plagued by the ghost of Lark, her former babysitter.  Unable to rest in peace, Lark’s spirit is rooted to the tree she died under.

As her memory fades and her killer goes unpunished, Lark transforms into the tree.  She is surrounded by the souls of others that have met similar fates, all trapped in their wooden coffins.  Unable to come to terms with what she is experiencing, Nyetta reaches out to Eve.  Together they acknowledge what has happened to their friend to set her soul free.

A quick, compelling read, Lark really makes an impact.  I read the whole book in one sitting, quickly propelling myself towards the satisfying conclusion.  A must for fans of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones or Katie Williams’s The Space Between Trees.