This is my favorite book I have read this year!
Summary: 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 her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
Review: Wow. All I can say is wow. Ms. Libba Bray, you have won me over with this one.
Granted, I’ve never read any of your other books before this one, but now I know that I need to. This book was simply divine (heehee!!). This was the book that got me out of my book slump, I read it all the way into the wee hours of the night because I just could not put it down. I have so much love for this book.
The plot and setting, oh man. Wonderful, just wonderful. I haven’t read many books with fantasy elements set in the 1920’s but the combination came together perfectly. From the gritty, underground speakeasies to the glittering lights of Manhattan after dark, I was instantly sucked in to this world that Bray created. Her writing was simple yet elegant and created such a vivid picture in my mind. I was never bored. I truly felt like I was right there beside Evie, Theta, Memphis, Sam, and Jericho as they were thrust into this world of mystery and magic. There were no pointless scenes in this book. Everything had a specific purpose: to advance the plot. The scenes with Naughty John were downright creepy, I had to sleep with the lights on for a couple night because every time I closed my eyes I pictures him and his scary little rhyme. The romance was probably my favorite part fo the book. it was light and unexpected and took you for surprise. I have a pet peeve when romances consume the entire book so I was very happy that it was just right and downright adorable when it came into play.
I really enjoyed the fact that this book had an interracial couple. It’s so refreshing to see in YA because the genre lacks so much diversity. I also enjoyed the addition of Henry, and I loved the fact that him being gay was not the focal point of his character.
The characters all had so much depth. I didn’t find myself struggling to comprehend any of the characters thoughts or actions because they were justified by the personality Bray gave to them. They were not all perfect, they had flaws and I connected with each and every single one of them.
Lastly, I have to discuss the protagonist. Evie O’Neill, there needs to be more heroines like you. You are one kick-ass, sassy, woman. There are so many Mary Sues in YA and good Lord it was so nice to see a protagonist with a personality, with flaws! Not everything in Evie’s life is perfect, and she knows it. She’s not stupid, and she doesn’t fall in love with the first guy she sees. All in all, she’s pretty great and I want to be best friends with her.
5/5 stars for this one. Well done, Ms. Bray. Well done!!!