Divah

Featured
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1308 0
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

An interesting marriage of Hollywood Glam, Horror, and Romance
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Divah
(Updated: January 15, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

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

Astro Kittens: Cosmic Machines (Astro Kittens)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
Astro Kittens: Into the Unknown (Astro Kittens)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Sadie meets Girl in Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller...
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana...
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...
The Brightsiders
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Could you fall in love with a robot? ...

Latest Member Reviews

The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
"THE RUBICUS PROPHECY is an engaging second book in the WITCHES OF ORKNEY series that follows the same friends on..."
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
"When Dad tells Nancy stories about when he and Mom used to go camping, Nancy knows it's something she has..."
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
"A WARM FRIENDSHIP is a story of friendship and loss, celebrating the time that you have together. Squirrel finds Snowman..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."
Good Night, Santa: A Magical Christmas Story
 
5.0
"GOOD NIGHT, SANTA is a simple but elegant book that celebrates the Christmas season, perfect for bedtime. The illustrations are..."
Jolly Jingly Christmas: The Best Christmas Book Ever!
 
5.0
"JOLLY JINGLY CHRISTMAS is a cute rhyming, lift-the-flap, musical, non-religious celebration of the season. Each of the five full page..."
Dear Sweet Pea
 
4.0
"Sweet Pea is in her last year of primary school (K-7th grade) and will be starting at secondary school the..."
I Can Make This Promise
 
5.0
"I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE is a moving middle grade contemporary fiction about trusting your parents, finding your heritage, and..."
Peppa Pig Festival of Mud
 
4.5
"What I Loved: The story is based off an episode of Peppa Pig, and definitely reads like one. It..."
Everybody Says Meow
 
N/A
"What I Loved: This is one of those books that you can't help but smile while you read, even..."
The Other, Better Me
 
4.0
"THE OTHER, BETTER ME is a contemporary middle grade novel that follows a ten-year-old, Lola, as she explores herself and..."
Goldilocks For Dinner
 
5.0
"What I loved: The illustrations in this book are unique and eye catching, engaging the children from the outset. The..."
Ember and the Ice Dragons
 
4.0
"EMBER AND THE ICE DRAGONS is a lush middle grade historical fantasy that follows Ember, a dragon who was transformed..."
Douglas
 
3.5
"DOUGLAS is the story of a mouse who lives at the theater. She often likes to eat the snacks dropped..."
Wild Honey from the Moon
 
5.0
"WILD HONEY FROM THE MOON is a story of boundless love and a mother's quest. Mother Shrew is worried about..."
The Halloween Tree
 
5.0
"Be prepared to start a new holiday tradition with THE HALLOWEEN TREE. On the Christmas tree lot, there is one..."
Wake Up, Farm! (Pop-Up Peekaboo)
 
5.0
"WAKE UP, FARM! is a delightful pop-up, lift-the-flap book that brings the farm to young readers. Beginning with Rooster who..."
Isle of You
 
5.0
"ISLE OF YOU is a beautiful picture book that contains words of encouragement and coping mechanisms for dealing with difficult..."
Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever
 
5.0
"DASHER is a beautiful and elegant Christmas story that introduces the reindeer before Rudolph. Dasher lives with her family in..."
Cog
Cog
 
4.0
"Cog looks like an ordinary twelve year old boy, but he is an advanced android that the scientists at uniMind..."