Divah

Featured
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1075   0
Write Review
Divah
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 15, 2016
ISBN
9781634506748

Seventeen-year-old Itzy Nash is spending the summer at the exclusive Carlyle hotel in New York City. But the hotel harbors more than the rich and privileged; it is host to a gorgeous fallen angel, reclusive movie stars, and—Itzy soon learns—demons of the worst sort. When the Queen of the Damned checks in, all Hell breaks loose. Itzy is called upon to save herself—and all of humanity—from the ravages of the Underworld. There’s only one problem: Itzy’s possessed. Part gothic thriller, part historical fiction, the novel straddles the Upper East Side and the lush trappings of the Carlyle hotel, and Paris during the Reign of Terror in 1789. Marie Antoinette is the Queen of the Damned. Marilyn Monroe is an expert demon hunter. To kill a demon, Hermès scarves, Evian water, and a guillotine are the weapons of choice. For anyone who loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this has an epic battle between angels and demons with a doomed love story at its core. But it’s also darkly funny, for fans of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and more than anything it’s something original—dark, funny, clever, and glamorous.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.5  (2)
Characters 
 
3.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

An interesting marriage of Hollywood Glam, Horror, and Romance

What I Loved:

DIVAH by Susanna Appelbaum is an interesting mix of New York City glam, horror, romance, and magic. DIVAH follows the story of Itzy, a young girl blossoming in the art of photography, who moves to New York City to live with her aunt for the summer. But all is not what it seems at the Carlyle hotel as Itzy’s eyes are opened to world of angels and demons and her family’s role right in the middle of it.

Itzy is a bright, somewhat naïve girl whose story is easy to be entrenched in. She’s likeable and carries the narrative of the story well- giving the reader the necessary insight and explanation of things that are foreign to us. She’s mature but still defiantly a teenager struggling with first crushes and the weight of responsibility.

The specific world building is fantastic. The glam of New York City drips off the page. Interspersed within the narrative is an assortment of letters, pamphlets, flashbacks, and multiple points of view that all create a really immersive experience within a world that is truly unique.

What Left Me Wanting More:

The action scenes are incredible confusing to me and I had to re-read large sections at a time to get a handle on what was going on which is unfortunate because there is a lot of action in this story! Even when the action is relatively toned down- for example, there’s a scene where Itzy and another character take down several demons in an elevator- I still wasn’t able to visualize and track the movement of the scene.

The main romantic storyline follows Itzy and one of the fallen angels, Luc, while they’re story is sweet, I felt a little uncomfortable with the obvious age difference between these two characters and whether or not Luc was actually interested in her or just manipulating her to get what he wanted.

The Final Verdict:

DIVAH by Susannah Appelbaum is an immersive story that successfully marries Old Hollywood and New York City glam with a touch of horror, romance, and magic. It’s perfect for fans of the supernatural and the glamorous.

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 15, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Divah

Seventeen-year-old Itzy Nash is sent to the ritzy Carlyle Hotel in New York City to spend her summer with an elusive aunt. There's a problem though. Her aunt doesn't show up but Luc, a hot stranger does. Once at the hotel, bizarre things occur like the swarm of flies inside her room and the disgusting rotten egg smell. Nothing is what it seems to be including Luc but just when Itzy tries to make sense of it all? She stumbles on a paranormal secret that reveals the truth behind Luc that involves Bastille Day and Queen Marie Antoinette. She also finds out how she figures in all of this and why the house wants her.

What worked: This is a very intriguing paranormal filled with quirkiness and an assortment of characters that aren't all they seem to be. There's lots of twists on pop culture figures like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly to how demons love Botox. The Carlyle hotel is also very much a character with it's creepiness and how it reveals it's true purpose.

Itzy feels like a teen Eloise who stumbled into a hotel similar to The Shining with all the bizarre and over the top grossness. The scene where she 'thinks' her aunt left her desserts turns into something right out of Great Expectations with maggots, earwings, and flies drowning in the chocolate sweetness.

Luc is mysterious and readers don't find out who he really is until halfway through the novel. Then we find out how Marie Antoinette was a demon who literally lost her head during the revolution. Seems the Gates of Hell were open during that time and the guillotine was used to behead demons trapped in people's bodies. This brings a whole new meaning to Bastille Day. Luc fell in love with Marie who stole something very personal of his which binds him to her.

I liked the twist on pop culture figures like Marilyn Monroe being a demon hunter and who used the tunnels underneath the Carlyle to meet up with President John F. Kennedy. There's even a reference to Angelina Jolie being a demon hunter too. The whole Botox is like the nectar of demons is hilarious.

The climax of the story, where the Carlyle opens up to Hell, is very intense. The possession of Itzy slowly cumulates into one trippy encounter with the Queen of Hell. These scenes worked. I loved the horror elements that gave the story heart.

I did have problems with how fast things were thrown at readers. Though the section about Marie Antoinette is fascinating, it did at times jar an otherwise fast-paced storyline. I also was confused more than a few times on what was really going on with Itzy. I also wanted more of a spark between Luc and Itzy.

I think that the whole haunting premise worked though I did feel overwhelmed with the angel/demon premise and even how Itzy's parents, including her missing mother, played in all of the story. This is a very quirky story with some unique twists that did keep my attention.

Quirky tale where a girl finds herself in a haunted ritzy hotel with secrets that involve a demon hunting Marilyn Monroe, a demon Marie Antoinette, and a forbidden love. Oh, and the 'real' reason behind Bastille Day.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

From Twinkle, Wtih Love
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freshmen
A laugh-out-loud, realistic portrayal of a freshman year in college...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
You May Now Kill the Bride
Two sisters, divided by time. Each with a terrible resentment...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ruby Redfort: Blink and You Die (Ruby Redfort #6)
Ruby Redfort: you can count on her when the ice...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Wish I Was a Gorilla
What if you wished you were a gorilla and then...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The New Kid
Middle school can be tough! Especially when Alex's best friend...
 
3.0
 
5.0 (1)
Margot and Mateo Save the World
When Margot Blumenthal removes a bright blue slug alien attached...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Acceptance The Jewel Trilogy Book one
When destiny and desire collide... In a community full...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Escape The Future
"AS POWERFUL AS CORMAC MCCARTHY... A TIMELY, TROUBLING, AND MEMORABLE...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Challenge Accepted
Emma Dawson and Logan Reynolds have been neighbors and...
 
4.2 (3)
 
0.0 (0)
The Planetsider
A story of self-discovery, belonging and hope. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where the Sea Takes Me
Two years later might as well be two lifetimes....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From You to Me
Amelia Peabody lives in a small town where nothing changes....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"According to legend, when the world was young, two gods...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Why Can't I Be You
Claire Ladd knows that this summer is going to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

From Twinkle, With Love
 
5.0
"Where do I begin? I thought this was such a cute story! I am not a big fan of YA..."
Freshmen
 
3.7
"Luke and Phoebe both attended the same high school and now are at the same university. Phoebe has had..."
You May Now Kill the Bride
 
4.7
"In 1923, sisters Ruth-Ann and Rebecca have an uneasy relationship, especially after Rebecca hastily throws over her boyfriend Melvin for..."
Where the Sea Takes Me
 
5.0
"Sienna just finished her freshman year in college. It’s been two years since she parted from Deni back in Indonesia...."
Heretics Anonymous
 
4.3
"What worked: This is a humorous at times contemporary novel of an Atheist teen who ends up in a Catholic..."
Always Forever Maybe
 
5.0
"It isn't always easy to love a book that talks about a dark subject, but Rissi captivated me with her..."
The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
 
5.0
"What worked: This is one of those books you can't put down! I literally stayed up until the early morning..."
 
2.7
""Pretties" is a continuation of the Uglies series where Tally Youngblood has now returned to the city and become a..."
Bring Me Their Hearts
 
5.0
""Bring Me Their Hearts" was a fantastic YA fantasy that I wish I could give more than 5 stars to!..."
Fawkes
 
2.0
""Fawkes" is a YA historical fantasy that sounds so interesting! Unfortunately, I could not get into it. In this alternate..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
4.0
""Fireblood" was a pretty good continuation of the Frostblood Saga. While the first book took place in the land of..."
Thief of Lies
 
4.0
"“Thief of Lies” is the first in the Library Jumpers series. It had me hooked at the start but lost..."
The Waking Land
 
5.0
"“The Waking Land” is an enthralling YA fantasy that follows Elanna Valtai. The prologue shows us Elanna’s nightmares over the..."
The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1)
 
3.0
""The Adoration of Jenna Fox" is the story of a teenager who wakes up from a coma without any memories..."
Zombie Abbey
 
2.3
""Zombie Abbey" is Downton Abbey with zombies (and characters names changed). Although it's been a while since I watched Downton..."
Heartless
 
4.0
""Heartless" is the origin story for the Queen of Hearts (of Alice in Wonderland fame). Catherine, destined to be the..."
All The Crooked Saints
 
4.0
""All the Crooked Saints" is YA fiction with a heavy dose of magical realism. The Soria family lives in Bicho..."
Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1)
 
5.0
""Beastly" is a beautiful and amazing story of second chances, the importance of who you are within, and love. A..."
Don't Look Back
 
4.0
""Don't Look Back" is a one-off thriller from Jennifer L. Armentrout. It begins with Samantha appearing bloody and beat up..."
Seven Days of You
 
4.0
""Seven Days of You" follows Sophia during her last week in Tokyo, where she has lived for the last four..."