Author: Jillian Larkin
Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance
Publication Date: July 10, 2012 (North America – Random House)
Source: NetGalley/Edelweiss Review Copy
Summary: Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn’t have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she’s going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.
Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer’s dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she’s grown up a lot these past few months. She can’t bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?
Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton’s swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria’s keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences…
☆: 3.5/5 – a great ending to a fun trilogy!
Review: Okay, so this one dragged in a few places (mostly, I think, because the main arcs were wrapped up in book two), but I did like the ending and the epilogue for the closure it finally gave everyone involved in this series. At first I asked myself why this book was needed at all, and I eventually got my answer. “Diva” is a fun end to an equally fun trilogy, even if this one is more of an epilogue to the previous fast-paced high-action books full of glamorous mobsters and flappers.
I found this one had a lot less urgency (even though there should have been more, considering Gloria’s tenuous position with the FBI), and felt that it lingered in more places than it should have compared to the previous two. That being said, Larkin’s use of sensory language and imagery soars the most in this final book – I could taste the food and drink, feel the lovely dresses and my hair bobbed, and feel the salty wind in my face on the yacht. The fashions were awesome, and I did kind of feel like bobbing my hair by the end of everything. It’s kind of what saved the book, with the exception of the ending – the ending made it all worth it.
I also do feel like Larkin could have used Jerome for more than just a punching bag, but with what evidence we do have of how African-Americans were treated during this period, I suppose it’s true to that. He felt a little underused compared to everyone else, and considering how central he was to the previous book (and now, to how Gloria is serving out her sentence for the feds), it almost felt like he was tossed away, and that wasn’t too great. I did like how everyone sort of mended fences, and the last two chapters were some of the most fantastic of the trilogy. But in between those, there was an unpleasant laggy feeling, so…I don’t really know what to make of it. But because the ending was so insanely awesome, it makes up for the lag. I also wondered why we were given new characters as some of the time they felt like filler, but they acted as good foils (though throwing the semi-love triangle didn’t really flow too well with everything else) for other characters that were otherwise occupied. All in all, I’m satisfied with what I got, but I think it could have used another editorial pass or two to make it feel a little less disjointed/rough around the edges altogether.
Final verdict? If you’ve read this far into the trilogy, you may as well finish it. Fans of the first two books will love this final book in the series, and finally feel a sense of closure with our heroes getting their happily ever afters they sorely deserve. “Diva” is out July 10th 2012 from Random House in North America, so be sure to check it out then!