Book Review: The Diviners

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I’ve read the first two books in Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy, and although I’m not interested enough to read the final book, I like her writing enough to want to check out her latest book “The Diviners”. For those of you who’ve read the Gemma Doyle books, the fantasy element here definitely has some similarities, but “The Diviners” wins in terms of setting: 1920’s New York City (which I tried to recreate in my outfit.) The heroine, 17-year-old flapper Evie, has a supernatural talent of reading secrets from everyday objects, so when the city is plagued with a series of occult murders, she uses this gift to help her uncle solve the case.

The setting is definitely one of the best parts of the story. It puts you right in the middle of NY in the 1920’s, with all the speakeasies and jazz clubs and flappers. The slang I find quite irritating (if I have to read the word “po-si-tutely” – as in positively and absolutely – one more time, I’d bellow like a bull) but it does add authenticity to the setting. The main plot is great as well; I always enjoy a good serial killer story, and this one definitely puts the shivers in my spine… well, the fact that I always read it late at night probably didn’t help. Evie is kind of obnoxious, but as a protagonist she’s fantastic, with interesting flaws to keep her from being a cardboard cutout.

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drop-waist dress blue cardigan by 14 shades of grey

The thing is, the author obviously plans a series around this book, so it’s filled with subplots and characters to set up a more complex mythology, but they’re only tangentially connected to the main plot at best. The main plot is a great standalone story all on its own, adding all the stuff on top of it doesn’t make it feel like a part of a bigger mystery like in, say, the first Harry Potter or the first Percy Jackson book. So it takes a while for the main plot to gain traction, and once it’s resolved we are left with a “Really, that’s it?” ending. Still, I enjoyed it enough to look forward to the sequel (sequels?)

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I tried to dance the Charleston. Turned out I couldn’t

Dress & Heels: thrifted, Cardigan: Wet Seal (refashioned by me), Necklace: self-made, Hat: borrowed from my mom

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Flash And Sequins

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Here are two things you rarely see on my blog – flash photography and sequins. These photos were taken inside our garage on a particularly windy and gloomy day, so I tried playing around with the flash to see how it turned out. The result was better than I expected, but you’re not going to see any Terry Richardson-esque photos on here again if I can help it. (Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal with that guy is. His most recognizable style – putting people against a mundane background and shooting them with flash – just seems so lazy and unimaginative to me. Not to mention he’s a total sleazeball.)

As for the sequined belt, it’s my attempt to translate the texture in Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Emilie Flöge, and so are my shoes. I know the red doesn’t go with the rest of the outfit, but they’re the only thing I have in my closet that have a bit of gold on them. I’m not a glitter/metallic kind of girl at all.

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polka dot skirt sequin belt by 14 shades of grey

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Dress: tailored, Cardigan: Wet Seal (altered by me)
Belt: vintage, Tights: Kohl’s, Shoes: Steve Madden (thrifted)


Mountain Uniform

This is just to give you an idea of what I practically lived in during the past week – long-sleeved striped shirt (I do have a lot of those, as weirdly specific as that may sound), a cardigan, jeans, and boots. Sometimes with a scarf thrown in. Simple, functional, reasonably cute.

Red shirt: thrifted, Blue shirt: H&M, Scarf: Target
Cardigan: navy – Wet Seal, mustard – thrifted, grey – Forever21
Jeans: H&M and Forever21, Boots: Payless


Salazar And The Shark

This week’s Style Imitating Art painting stumped me a bit, because it has a lot of green and I didn’t pack anything green with me to our writers’ retreat in the mountain (and I don’t have anything in that particular shade of green anyway.) In the end I just took my inspiration from the bad-ass dude harpooning the shark instead.


I should’ve imitated that pose too

Dress: tailored, Cardigan: Wet Seal (refashioned by me)
Scarf & Tights: Target, Boots: Payless

Don’t forget to head over to Jess’ blog to see how others interpreted this painting, and check back here next week to see my pick!


A Blossom Fell

No, despite the title, the cherry blossoms still hold, and here I am again.


Yes, I lay down on the grass again

Not much to say about the outfit, except that I was wearing flats all day, but switched to heels for the pictures because I thought the flats make the outfit a bit too casual. I know, it’s Friday, but what with the flowy blouse and flowy cardigan, it feels a little sloppy to me. So heels it is.


Uh… jazz hands?

Blouse: Old Navy, Cardigan: Wet Seal (refashioned by me)
Jeans: Target, Shoes: Steven for Steve Madden (thrifted), Necklace: self-made
Post title: song by Nat King Cole


Headbang To An Orchestra

I have an embarrassing story about this T-shirt. My sister bought it for me, and for the longest time I just thought it was a cool graphic tee. Then a friend asked me, “Oh, is that an Echo & the Bunnymen shirt?” and I was like, “Huh?” See, I didn’t even know that it says “Lips Like Sugar” on the shirt! I mean, I know the song, but that’s about it. Now I feel slightly pretentious wearing this when I know next to nothing about the band, but well, it is a cool shirt.

I wore this last Saturday when I went to a concert organized by a friend’s roommate, who’s a drummer (yeah, it’s the classic “I know a guy who knows a guy.”) It’s all classic pop and rock songs performed by an orchestra, but with a drum set – sounds weird, I know, but it’s awesome to hear an orchestral version of Enter Sandman and Sweet Child O’ Mine. I was also very excited that there was a Linkin Park song in there too (I was probably the only one to recognize it though :D)


You don’t see a lot of classical concerts with mohawks and strobe lights

Shirt: gift, Skirt: thrifted, Cardigan: Wet Seal, dyed by me
Leggings: Charlotte Russe, Boots: Journee, Belt: thrifted
Brooch: pendant from a Modcloth necklace that I broke


Choose Your Own 1920’s Heroine

Sorry it took me so long to post my Halloween costume. My schedule is all out of whack this week.

So there’s my costume. It’s not much of a costume, really, more like a heightened version of what I normally wear. At first I was just thinking “Generic 1920’s Girl”, but my friend Debbi insisted that I picked a character.

I couldn’t think of anyone – the only 1920’s character on top of my head was Daisy from The Great Gatsby, and she’s supposed to be a blonde. So I actually had to go online to look at some 1920’s female characters, and finally I went with Cordelia Flyte from Brideshead Revisited. Obscure, I know, but at least she has a hairstyle I can mimick.

We just watched a bunch of Halloween TV episodes, but it was quite fun. Debbi was the only one who dressed up besides me – she’s Gwen from Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Reference images:

Gwen and her baby

Cordelia (as played by Felicity Jones)

And what’s Halloween a black cat, right? Say hello to Crash (he belongs to the friends whose apartment we were hanging out at):


He’s seeing into your soul…

Dress: vintage via Vintage and Gee
Cardigan: Wet Seal, dyed by me
Tights: Buffalo Exchange
Shoes: Walmart thrifted
Cloche: Payless