YA Book Review

The Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare

The Book:

side+crop+of+paperback+image+TSTME (1)Book Title: The Divinity Bureau

Book Author: Tessa Clare

Page Count: 316

Publishing Date: September 21st, 2017

Publisher: Asset Creative House

Date Read: November 15th, 2017

Synopsis: The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has led to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he has accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity. That is until he meets April McIntyre.

April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. However, he is also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they are thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all.

“You asked me who I thought I was. I’m going to remind you for the millionth time: I’m the IT guy.”

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The Review:

“If we make it on that list, we’re not going to come quietly.”

The Divinity Bureau is a hard hitting, dystopian romance. It has danger, passion, and betrayal. Be prepared for a fascinating ride with unpredictable twists and turns.

This one was an interesting read for me. It started off a little slow, with a bit too much world information, but slowly picked up and hooked me. It was a little more YA romance/plot driven than I am used to, but it was enjoyable. It had some predictable moments, and some entertaining, unpredictable moments. For a debut novel, I think it was well written, with some nice world building, but could have used a little more character development. The characters were enjoyable, and unique, but I just didn’t connect with them as much as I would have liked.

April had her good moments, and her bad. For the most part, she was enjoyable, and felt like a real, privileged, rich, college student. But, she also had moments where she acted like she was still in high school. She showed moments of bravery and determination, but also showed moments of naiveté and stubbornness.

“We’re going to fight and claw our way out!”

Roman was a little more enjoyable because he wasn’t a typical YA “male hero.” He was the “IT guy”.” He was smart, sweet, and moral. He felt real, the majority of the time, because he wasn’t hyped up to unrealistic standards. He made mistakes and truly cared about April. He did have moments where he felt a little flat to me, but he was refreshing to read when compared to overly dramatized, conflicted bad boy heroes.

The world, and plot, that Clare created here was familiar, and exceptional, all at once. It definitely felt like it drew inspiration from some of the big hitting YA novels, but also had its own originality to it. That is what I enjoyed most about it, because the story had just enough familiarity to draw me in, and then enough originality to keep me turning the page. Though the plot did feel a bit formulaic at times, it still had a strong drive with plenty of twists to keep me on the edge of my seat.

So, there was definitely more good than bad here. The Divinity Bureau had its flaws, but it was a unique, romantic, page turner. It had some enjoyable science fiction bits mixed in with a corrupt, dystopian government, similar to The Hunger Games, and it had intrigue and unpredictability. I would definitely recommend it to true YA lovers and I am looking forward to reading more from the author. I would rate it 3.5 to 4 stars (or 4 faeries because I don’t think we have enough science to put a faerie back together yet 😂).

“And w’ere going to fight until we have a say in how we live and how we die!”


Thank you to Reads and Reels for providing me with this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review.

All quotes used are from the book, written by the author.

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About The Author:

Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House.

Born in 1992, she started her early career as a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a corporate manager, where the groundwork for Asset Creative House was inspired. The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world.

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