The Divine One by Danielle R. Mani
Delilah Simms, a high school senior, is riddled with problems. Besides dealing with incessant bullying at school, Delilah is overwhelmed with feelings of guilt from the death of her three-year-old sister. Thinking that she caused Darcy’s demise, Delilah is unaware of her mom’s guarded secrets that explain what really happened. To top off the list of Delilah’s trials and tribulations, her dad moves out. While out running one morning, Delilah is rescued from a couple of stalkers by River Spencer, a supposed college-aged student. River immediately gets involved in Delilah’s troubled life, and overnight the two fall in love. There are aspects of River’s life that leave Delilah unsettled and her uncertainty leads to a bit of investigation. After a long discussion with River, Delilah learns the startling truth – something that she least expects – about the man that she loves.
The first book in The Divine One series, Mani’s debut novel combines the realities of school and home with spirituality in a unique paranormal twist. Rising author Danielle R. Mani writes with a flair that is uncommon in much of young adult literature today. Without the use of vulgarity and lustful salacious scenes, Mani draws readers into the world of an ordinary teen who wants nothing more than to experience love and peace amid her difficult circumstances. Mani skillfully incorporates irony by creating main characters (Delilah and River) who, in spite of their personal problems, are far more peaceful than the surrounding sea of people engulfed in selfishness. Mani keeps her third person plot continuously moving by alternating chapters with scenes depicting Delilah’s home and school life, her relationship with River, her mom, and friends, as well as River’s life. Poignant and thought provoking, The Divine One is both a great beginning to a new series and a refreshing addition to young adult literature.
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