The Book's Lover

The Book's Lover
Damiano Cali

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Doll Face: Hermia

Over the weekend, I read the Diviners (Fascinating opening. I’m certain that I’ve got your total and undying attention.). Perhaps I’m not the right person to give an unbiased review of this book…But when we began this blog, I don’t believe we promised to be impartial….

There are certain time periods that I am totally insane about. The first one is the late 1500s. Post Spanish Armada, England. Court specifically. I think I could have gotten into some glorious trouble…I had a dream once that I got my head chopped off. There just aren’t opportunities like that in the modern age….

But my real love…the time period that I think I should have been born into (and I’m not 100 percent sure that I wasn’t) is the 20s. NYC specifically. God…The clothes. The hair! The dances, the music, the words…. But more than that…The utter rebellion. Prohibition? I’d rather have a massive secret anyway. Show me the way to the nearest speakeasy and pour me one of whatever ya got. Corsets? No, thanks, I’d prefer to breathe, doll face. I’d have been the craziest babe of jazz of ‘em all-ski. I’d show my ankles…my knees…hell. We all know I’d be a chorine and have it all hanging out. While the generation previous fought for the vote, these sisters fought for the right to Be. Don’t like my knees? Don’t look at ‘em. Sweet rebellion at its best. The 20s were the absolute bee’s knees.

Which is why I can’t give an unbiased review of the Diviners. Obviously, it’s set in the 20s. In Manhattan. Add to that some crazy-shite, spiritualist occult-ism, and you’ve got a Hermia- classic. I am a sucker for dark magic. I am a sucker for bloody ghost stories…but only if they are based in a truly well developed story. And this is….

Sure, the 20s language gets to be a bit much. She seems to add a –ski to the end of every other word. But in a lot of ways, it’s like any other dialogue within a book. The reader is partially responsible for the content…fall into it. Swallow the glitter, darling. It’s about decadence. It’s about finery-real or paste. It’s about living life and taking it by the balls. It’s the 20s…not the 1800s.

It’s got a very Black Dahlia feel to it. Spiritualist Noire. Law and order-like in some points, but with a healthy dash of ‘what the fuck’ added for good measure.

So, read this if you love the 20s. Read it if you love Dark YA. Read it if you love spiritualism, the occult, libraries, sexy words, well said sentences, or…just read the damn book. Preferably while wearing a silk robe and drinking a g&t.

Once again, grain of salt, darling doll-face. I am the person who bobbed my hair and put on cupid bow lipstick the day after reading this.


The first 11 chapters of The Diviners for free. You're welcome.

The Diviners @ Barnes & Noble

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