Tag Archives: Maggie Stiefvater

Book Reviews
April 10, 2014 posted by Emma

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) – Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I became a huuuge fan of this series after recently picking up a copy of The Raven Boys. There’s just so much goodness in these books, I can’t even begin to describe it.

Of course as soon as I finished the first one, I knew I had to get a copy of The Dream Thieves ASAP. This second installment picks up pretty closely after the first one ends, with Blue and the gang still desperately looking for Glendower. However, finding Cabeswater and the ley line changes all of them pretty drastically, and now they have to deal with the aftermath, along with staying alive against some not-so-nice people in search of the same magic that Gansey is looking for.

This book is definitely a little darker in tone than the first, because most of the gang isn’t coping very well with the discovery of the ley line. But now they’ve got bigger things to worry about, with the addition of an even more sinister villain (or is he?) and some new characters as well. I’m not going to lie, the plot definitely confused me (again), but like the first time, I pushed through for the sake of finding out what happens to the characters. There were so many things happening in so many different directions that at times it did feel a bit much, but it ended up being worth the confusion. I loved every single twisted second!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it absolutely astounds me how Ms. Stiefvater is able to create a world that’s so implausible and disconnected from our own, and yet so refreshingly real at the same time. Every word, every action, every breath that the characters take feels like they’re actually there with you. Or I guess, like you’re actually there with them. It’s beautiful, it really is.

And speaking of characters, we get to learn even more about the gang in the second book. The Dream Thieves shifts its focus a little, as far as who is doing most of the narrating. In this book, it shifts away from Gansey/Blue and more towards Ronan, which I really enjoyed. He’s such a darkly enigmatic character that it was fascinating (and oh my goodness, so heartbreaking) to learn about his backstory. Watching him struggle with his new abilities was amazing and little bit frightening, especially considering some of the revelations that go along with it. He gets fleshed out a lot more in this second book, and I loved it.

But don’t worry Gansey and Blue fans! They’re still present, just slightly less so. They’re just as bicker-y and snarky as the first book, except this time with a little more romance. As someone who loves the two of them together (sorry, Adam!), I enjoyed watching the slow build of their relationship as they became closer. But at the same time, her romantic entanglements are a little sad to watch, because you just know that someone’s going to get hurt.

Which brings me to Adam. Oh, Adam. He’s such a sweet, insecure guy, and I love him to death. But a definite darker side comes out in this book. Admittedly a huge chunk of it has to do with the effects of the ley line, but to what extent, I don’t know. Either way, if in the last book he was heading towards the edge of the precipice, in this book he’s teetering at the very tip. I’m so worried for this character, guys! He’s so unstable and unpredictable, and reading from his point of view feels like reading about a ticking time bomb, just waiting to explode. Definitely excited (and wary) to see what happens with him in the third book.

All in all, this book absolutely rocked just as much as the first one! Anyone who’s a fan of kickass heroines, slow-building romance, urban magic, and beautiful writing has GOT to check The Raven Cycle series out. Or really just if you like reading at all, check it out!

Go get your copies, this one’s a must read!

 

Pages: 439

Date Published: September 17, 2013

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Reviews
March 28, 2014 posted by Emma

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) – Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

 

I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. Her Shiver series just didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t really enjoy any of the standalone novels she’s written either. So despite ravings on Tumblr and Goodreads about how amazing The Raven Boys was, I went into it pretty hesitantly and with low expectations…which were completely blown out of the water!

The Raven Boys is a pretty intricately woven story about a girl named Blue, a non-psychic born into a family of psychics. And for as long as Blue can remember, she’s been told that when she kisses her true love, it’ll kill him. That’s when she meets Gansey, along with the rest of his friends. He’s rich, a little condescending, and everything Blue despises, but something about him makes her want to know more. And then the adventure really begins, as she’s drawn into the crazy world of the Raven Boys, full of long lost kings, ancient Welsh mythology, psychic magic, leylines, and some unexpected romance too.

In case you couldn’t tell by the description, this book was like NOTHING I’ve ever read before. Props to Maggie Stiefvater, because she’s officially converted me to her side. There’s so much goodness about this book, I don’t even know how to begin.

I guess I’ll start with the characters! As the narrator of our story (somewhat, it’s told from multiple perspectives), I adored Blue. She’s feisty, quirky, sharp-tongued, and smart as hell. I think the best way to describe her is prickly, but with a heart of gold. The thing I loved the most about her was how she’d call people out on their BS…she didn’t take crap from anyone, no matter who you were. And the rest of the cast was just as flawless. The boys themselves each had such vivid, well-woven personalities that practically leaped off the page. They felt like real people to me, which was so wonderful. Adam was the most precious (and heartbreaking) character I’ve ever read about…he was so bitter and resentful, but so sweet and gentle at the same time. Ronan was fierce and cruel, but you could practically feel his dedication and protectiveness of his friends. Noah was so quiet that he practically became invisible among his boisterous friends, and I just wanted to wrap him up in a blanket.

But oh my gosh, you guys. Gansey. Gansey. I’ve never loved a fictional character as much as I loved him. And I know I say similar things a lot, but I mean it this time. You know how sometimes you just connect with a character on such an emotional level? That was me and Gansey. I felt his pain, I understood what he was going through with his own internal demons, I cried over him. He was rich and privileged and a little bit oblivious to his own occasional tendency towards being condescending, but he meant well. He cares so fiercely for his friends and wants nothing more than to keep them all together and happy. He’s charming, smooth, but somehow down-to-earth at the same time. God, he’s just fantastic. He’s so incredibly real…but all of them are, really, and that’s what makes this book especially stand out.

The plot itself was the only tiny downfall. While it was fascinating and I had no idea what was going on…that was also the problem: I had no idea what was going on. Not for all of it, mind you, but there were definitely parts where I was like…umm…wait, what just happened? The thing was, it was so complex with so many different storylines that at times it felt like a bit much. BUT, by that point I was already so invested in the characters and the story that I didn’t even care!

All in all, this book is amazing. It’s hugely character-driven, which normally I don’t like, but you can’t not get invested in their lives and backstories. It’s also told from multiple points of view, which I also normally don’t like, but it worked in The Raven Boys. Please pick up this book immediately, guys, you won’t regret it! The plot is unique and full of magical goodness, the characters are utterly real and layered, and the writing is beautifully lyrical and sweeps you away.

This one is worth buying!

Look for my review of the second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, coming soon!

Pages: 416

Publication Date: July 30, 2013

Publisher: Scholastic

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Waiting on Wednesday (29)
Waiting on Wednesday
February 13, 2013 posted by Nichole

Waiting on Wednesday (29)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

17347389

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

 

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic Press

To be released on September 17th, 2013

 

 

The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater
Book Reviews
April 30, 2012 posted by Jocie

The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

“It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

 

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

 

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen”

 

The Scorpio Races was filled with mythology, romance and violence.

 

The story itself is centred around Kate “Puck” Connelly and Sean Kendrick, two teenagers at the start of a romance despite the foreboding arrival of the Scorpio Races, a race of deadly water horses.

 

The premise of the book was intriguing and the capaill uisce mythology was fascinating. Scorpio Races really delves into that and ensures that the reader knew everything about the water horses. With that in mind, Stiefvater did a fantastic job of creating the small island of Thisby and makes the island seem almost real. I really got the small town feeling from it, with all the characters knowing each other from childhood and so forth. It was almost like a character itself.

 

The characters were, as well unique and were easy to relate to. I really got involved in their stories and enjoyed listening to them. Despite this, however, I did occasionally have trouble with the point of views. There were times when I had completely forgotten whether it was Puck’s or Sean’s character who was narrating.

 

The writing however was purely lyrical. It swept me in completely and was just lovely. It did not however, help the pacing of the book. I found it very hard to stay concentrated while reading a large portion of the book. While I liked how the two main characters weren’t swept up in a fit of insta-love, I just wish that the story wasn’t so laid-back.

 

Overall, while there were parts that I adored, I found the pacing at times painfully slow and that really let the book down for me. If you enjoy a poetic read that is very much character driven this book is for you.

 

Pages: 416

Publication Date: 18th October 2011

Publisher: Scholastic

Challenge: n/a

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

Quote: “—”…I’m sorry. I’ve overstepped. It’s not my business. Let’s go. Pretend I didn’t say anything.”

-But he did say something, and it can’t be unsaid.”

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater Blog Tour + Giveaway
Blog Things
July 18, 2011 posted by Christina

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater Blog Tour + Giveaway

To celebrate the release of the third and final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series – Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, yaReads is taking part in the Forever Blog Tour!

On this stop of the tour we’ll be talking about one of Grace’s friends – Rachel, as well as sharing some awesome content from Maggie and hosting a giveaway.

Rachel

Rachel plays a relatively minor role in the series as Grace’s friend but her moments on the page are anything but minor. Rachel’s bright, sometimes dramatic and often hilarious personality lights up the scene and has become a favorite for many readers.

I think a good example of this is a quote from Grace in Shiver

“Really, Rachel looked like a sun, bright and exuding energy, holding us two moons in a parallel orbit by the sheer force of her will. “

My personal favorite moments are her one liners and just her general humor, particularly when she refers to Sam as ‘The Boy’.

“What do you mean? Grace Brisbane, you do not mean that you’re not going back home again. Tell me that this was just because you were momentarily angry at them for grounding you. Or even tell me it’s because you could not live without The Boy’s stunning Boyfruits for another night. But don’t tel me you think it’s forever!”

Sam’s face was twisted into a weird shape at the mention of his Boyfruits.

———–

Still facing Sam, Rachel did a strange dance move with her index fingers extended; it looked like it had possibly been invented in the fifties, when people weren’t allowed to touch each other.
“Hi, The Boy!” she shouted over the music. “We’re making Italian food!”

Still holding a piece of chicken, I turned and made a loud noise in protest.

Rachel said, “My colleague informs me that I spoke too strongly. I am watching Grace make Italian food!”

Besides her humor, as a character, she may not always have as much contact with Grace but when the time comes, she’s always there for Grace which is the most important part of being a good friend. How will these two friends end up at the end of Forever? You’ll have to pick up a copy to find the answer to that question.

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Maggie Stiefvater has put together an awesome playlist that best describes Rachel, which you can check out below –

1. Hey Trouble – The Concretes
2. Gospel Song – Magnet
3. When I Decide – My Terrible Friend
4. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
5. Honey Bee – Zee Avi
6. The Wind Blew My Heart Away – The Fruit Bats
7. Her Morning Elegance – Oren Lavie
8. Mr. Pitiful – Matt Costa
9. Uncovered in Your Eyes – Jonas & Plunkett
10. In The Woods – Benjy Ferree

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Giveaway – One lucky yaReader will get the chance to win a framed original illustration of Rachel (pictured, right), drawn by Maggie Stiefvater herself. To enter, fill in the form here. (U.S. residents only, sorry!)

Make sure you check out the next stop on the tour, on Wednesday 20th at Presenting Lore where they’ll be discussing Cole.

Also, Scholastic (the amazing publisher behind the series) recently launched an online community called This Is Teen to connect readers with their favorite YA authors and books. Visit their page on Facebook for all the latest news on Maggie Stiefvater and Forever: www.facebook.com/thisisteen.

 

Book Bucket List
January 25, 2011 posted by Christina

Book Bucket List Challenge #1

I can officially cross the first item off my Book Bucket List! As part of our Book Bucket List Challenge, I’m aiming to read 12 books which aren’t part of my normal review pile that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while.

Book: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 360
Publication Date: July 2010
Publisher: Scholastic

Rating: : ★★★½☆

Why did you include it to your Book Bucket List?: When I first got the position as review for this site I had only just finished reading Shiver, and like everyone else, completely loved it. Linger was in one of the first boxes I received from publishers for review, only thing is, Nikki had already read, reviewed it and lined it up as our Book of the Month for July. So, there was no point in it being reviewed twice and I had plenty of books to get to so I put it off for months – till now!

To check out Nikki’s original review click here.

Was it worth it?: Yes

Brief Thoughts?: In general, I did really enjoy Linger but it didn’t have the same intensity as Shiver. The pace was a little slower and the love story wasn’t as prominent, which was what hooked me to begin with. 3.5 might seem like a low rating but when I think of it out of 10, a seven would be a fair score.

By the end of the book I LOVED Cole, which was a surprise, but I also found myself liking Sam less. He always seemed to be sad about something, first he was sad about being a werewolf, now he’s sad he’s not one since all his ‘family’ is, then he was sad about Grace, sad about Beck choosing Cole to be a wolf…just a lot of sadness. I found myself really agreeing with Isabel who tried to shake him out of it, saying he needed to step up.

Grace showed plenty of strength in this book when she faced quite a few obstacles, including her parents, but she faced them all boldly which was great to see. Isabel was as haughty as ever but let her guard down at times and developed even further as a character and a person becoming someone you could definitely sympathize with and really like.

Would you recommend it?: Yes – the second book in the series sets us up for the excitement of the last book, Forever, which is due out later this year.

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Want to sign up for the challenge too? Click here

Author Interview: Maggie Stiefvater
Author Interviews
July 18, 2010 posted by Nikki

Author Interview: Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater’s stellar novel, Linger, is our Book of the Month here for July. As promised, she sat down for a quick Q&A with us (aint she just the cutest?!) Enjoy.

What made you decide to include the additional POV(s)?

Sheer insanity. No, mostly it was because I love to see characters from all sides — often an action they think is very sympathetic is actually very unsympathetic from an outside viewpoint, or vice versa. And with a limited first person POV, you can only see so much. I wanted to see more of Mercy Falls than Sam and Grace could see, and I wanted to see more about Cole in particular. I couldn’t have tackled his character arc without seeing inside his head.

Music is a reoccurring theme in your novels. For those that may be unaware of your affinity with music, please explain.

I . . . just need it. I can’t write unless I have music playing in the background, and I write better if I have dedicated playlists with the mood of the novel or scene or character playing. I also play a bunch of musical instruments so if writing ever stops working out for me, I can go back to busking on the sidewalk with my bagpipes. I’d need to get another kilt, though.

Since the release of SHIVER, your name is now considered among the best of YA authors. How has your life changed lately?

It’s really bizarre, actually, to think that just a few years ago I was reading the “greats” in YA and now I’m on lists with them. It happened so fast that I still sort of just feel as if my hair is on fire. It’s pretty amazing to go into a library, say my name, and have the teen librarian instantly begin nodding her head because she not only knows who you are, but she read your book. It’s just sort of crazy and wonderful and intimidating. I have readers! I don’t want to let these people down!

Can you tell us anything about the SHIVER movie?

Unfortunately I don’t have too much in the way of news. The film rights were optioned by Warner Brothers/ Unique Features, they hired Nick Pustay to adapt the screenplay, and the latest news is that the script is finished. I don’t know anything else other than that! Everything in film movies glacially slowly, and that’s saying a lot, since I’m used to publishing being slow.

Who is your ideal Grace and Sam?

Alex Turner for Sam (I know he’s not an actor) and Rachel Hurd Wood for Grace — or Dakota Blue Richards. She’s a little young at the moment, but movies take so long . . .

Can you give us any information about your next novel

It is not about werewolves. Or kraken. It’s a YA paranormal, mostly realistic with a hint of supernatural, like my other books, and it involves blood and beaches and kissing. That’s all I can say!