Publisher: Little Brown
From Goodreads: "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-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first."
They say that an author should write every chapter of a book with the intent that it will further the storyline, however, I found that to be anything but the case for this book. The first 160 pages or so there was party after party after party, almost none of which furthered the storyline. Furthermore, I found that very few of the differing perspectives of this book (I lost track of how many there were since there were SO many) added anything to the storyline- there are better ways of exposing the background of a storyline without explicitly showing you, "Oh, hey, here's this characters perspective of something that happened sixty years ago." Additionally, while I appreciate the fact that Libba took the idea of "show, don't tell" to heart, it was just so tiresome (I have learned from this book that there *is* such thing as too much detail)- I'm fairly certain that I can paint a picture of the back alleys of New York or the speakeasies better than I can the home that I grew up in. I think that if Libba had reigned in some of her descriptions she could have easily cut the book back by a quarter.
Not only did I have a problem with the pacing of the story, but I also did with main character Evie. Personally I couldn't connect with her on any level, I found her to be quite superficial and selfish. I'm kicking myself for thinking that she might redeem herself at the end of the novel- she didn't, she just further reiterated the fact that she will do anything and everything to further herself, with no regard to anyone else. Additionally, I thought that Evie's feelings for one of the male characters somewhat sprung up out of nowhere- I thought that her feelings would be directed towards one boy, with their playful banter back and forth, but they weren't, rather being directed to the stoic character with more skeletons in his closet than personality.
That being said, I did quite like the secondary characters, Henry, Thea, Memphis and Sam. I thought that each of them really brought something to the story- Henry, a humbleness and generosity like no other, Thea, a role model of sorts, making the most out of the crappy hand that she was dealt in life, Memphis, the love for his brother tear-jerking, and Sam, the best personality of the bunch.
All in all, despite my complaints this book was entertaining in that it helped to pass the time. Additionally, the storyline is quite unlike anything I have ever encountered before- which I greatly appreciated as I find that I am having an increasingly difficult time finding unique YA's. Furthermore, despite said complaints, I will still continue on with this series just to find resolution with everything.
I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.