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Books for Life is where I share bookish lists, recommendations, and favourites. You can also catch me talking about non-bookish things here, as well as my life outside of blogging. Today I’m talking about…

my favourite book of 2017

So, in mid 2017 I wrote a post about my favourite books of the year (so far). I thought, since 2017 ended a mere two days ago I’d do a post of my favourite books of the whole year, and not just the first half. And then I realised only one book was really missing, and that was Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray. And then I did some thinking and realised if I had to choose only one favourite book of the entire year…. Before the Devil Breaks You would be it.

In preparation for the third installment of The Diviners series I re-read both The Diviners and Lair of Dreams. I was reminded again how much I adored the characters and world and craft of these books and realised that they were among my all time favourites. Enter Before the Devil Breaks You and The Diviners series is now… my absolute favourite series.

There is so much to love about The Diviners. Libba Bray has created the most vivid characters and world that I have possibly ever read. I feel like her characters are real, and that I know them as more than just words on pages. I adore every single second I spend reading this series, and I mourn the loss of each book as soon as I turn the last page. And not only are the characters and world of The Diviners amazing in that way, but the series would have to be the most diverse I have ever read. There is Black rep, Jewish rep, mental health rep (in spades), disability rep, gay rep, ace/homoromantic rep, biracial rep, and probably some more rep that is just not coming to me right now. So many people beg for diverse books and intersectional diversity and this series truly has it all.

The Diviners has a major focus on the relationships between the characters, and these relationships are nuanced and messy and that’s what makes them so real. The characters are aware of each others’ imperfections but instead of seeing past them as if they don’t exist they love each other including and sometimes because of these imperfections. I adore that aspect of this series.

To be honest I could talk about The Diviners for an age. I love everything about this series. The mysteries, the paranormal aspect, the fact that it’s set in the 1920s, that our protagonists get scared, the way they come together as a found family, the writing style, the chapters written about the world as it was in 1920s that translate to the modern day all too well, how the story has been woven across all the books in such a flawless way, the way 500 pages seems too short because I just want more of everything…. there is almost too much to love about these books but that’s impossible.

I really hope that if you’ve ever considered reading The Diviners that you pick the first book up soon. It is not something you’ll regret because there are just so many things to find and love. Including those covers (I couldn’t help myself, they are some of my faves!). Now someone hold me while I think about this series ending with book four sometime in the future. IT CAN’T END. IT CAN’T.

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If you had to pick one favourite book of 2017 what would it be? Have I convinced you to read The Diviners?

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Posted on: January 2, 2018 • By: Chiara

18 Responses to My Favourite Book of 2017

  1. Oh what beautiful covers! I JUST read The Diviners near the end of 2017 and eagerly read Lair of Dreams soon after. I have Before the Devil Breaks You out from the library right now so I’m really hoping to fit that in ASAP. I’m so nervous though – Lair of Dreams was so sad!! I do love these books though and I think they are so amazingly written and I LOVE the diversity.

    -Lauren

    • Chiara says:

      I am so in love with the AUS covers for this series, I think they capture the atmosphere so well! Ah, I hope you loved Before the Devil Breaks You, Lauren. I adored it, obviously, haha. The diversity is amazing in this series, and definitely one of the reasons I love it so much!

  2. Louise 🌸 says:

    I’ve been meaning to read The Diviners for AGES but still haven’t properly gotten around to it yet. I’ll definitely have to get around to it this year since I really want to continue on with the series before it ends. 😊

    • Chiara says:

      I hope you pick it up, Louise! It’s so worth it. I’m not sure if the last book will be this year or next – they tend to take a while to be published!

  3. Aah I adore The Diviners! I haven’t read Before the Devil Breaks You yet (sadly that one wasn’t in my library) but I DESPERATELY want to. So much yes to everything here <3

  4. As you might recall, I read The Diviners back in 2016 and I really didn’t get it. However, I can appreciate all the things you are saying here! I wish we had more complex representation in fiction. It’s a shame I couldn’t get into Bray’s writing myself. Keep evangelizing! Share your passion with the world!

    My favorite read of 2017 is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Which, your post just helped me realize, I never wrote a review for! Time to get on that…

    Now that The Diviners is over, what are you looking forward most to reading in 2018?

    • Chiara says:

      I’m still convinced you should give it another go, Jackie! :D And I will of course keep shouting about this series for a long time, haha.

      I’m glad you were able to pick one favourite book! I think it’s so special.

      Lucky for me, The Diviners isn’t actually finished yet! I have one more book in this series :D

  5. Ahh so glad you loved this series!! And also glad you can narrow down a favourite book of the year. ;) I totally struggle with that haha. Also omg when a book’s world totally swallows you in, that is the best feeling.

    • Chiara says:

      I’ve never been able to narrow it down to a favourite book of the year so it was a Big Moment. Literally everything about this series sucks you in, it’s amazing.

  6. I have wanted to read The Diviners for the longest time! Every time someone talks about their love for it I want to read it more, and your post has me totally convinced. I love stories about a group of characters who become a found family, and the 1920s setting sounds so perfect for a paranormal story. I need to pick the series up this year, so thank you for reminding me!

    Also looking at your favourite books for the first half of the year – so many are favourites of mine too! The Gentleman’s Guide, They Both Die at the End, A Conjuring of Light, Nowhere Near You, and Radio Silence are all huge loves of mine and I’m so happy you love them as well!

    • Chiara says:

      Ah, I hope you do read it, Helia! It’s so amazing. I’m glad my post has convinced you :D There’s honestly so much more to it than what I mentioned in this post, as well!

      I’m glad you loved so many of the same books I did :D You obviously have good taste, haha ;)

  7. Oh my goodness… Chiara choosing a single favourite book?? Is the world ending???? IS HELL FREEZING OVER???????

    (AHEM. Back to my normal voice… I’m so glad Before the Devil Breaks You & the entire Diviners series made such an impact on you, friend. Honestly, Libba Bray is one of my absolute favourite authors & it always makes me endlessly happy to see bloggers raving about her work. <3)

    • Chiara says:

      I honestly never thought it would be possible!! But after thinking about it for a while I knew that nothing would ever beat this book – or series – for me so I picked :O

      Libba Bray is so wonderful, I love her.

  8. This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for as long as I can remember. Waaaay back when, I read Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series (which I really loved, and have thought about re-reading recently), so, with your review and what I know of that series, it makes me want to pick this up ASAP! I’m currently re-reading “A Darker Shade of Magic” so that I can finally finish the rest of that series, and then maybe I’ll pick up “The Diviners”! (I love that the characters sounds so diverse, and I especially like that it’s a finished series — no waiting for the next book! :D)

    • Chiara says:

      If you liked the Gemma Doyle series then you will definitely like The Diviners, Rosie! It’s got that same magical aspect and it’s historical, as well :D ADSOM is lovely, I hope you like the rest of the series! I will note that The Diviners isn’t finished yet – one more book to go :O

  9. OMG Chiara, your passion for this series reignites my interest in thise series! I really did love the first book and the second has been on my shelf forever. It’s so big that’s what I think puts me off it lol.

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