The Raven Boys Book Review

 

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Book: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

I know a book is great when my chest starts to feel real tight every time I read a chapter or think about a certain character involved in the book.  I know it’s fantastic when I’m twenty pages in and I’m already swooning over the protagonists.  I know a book is perfect when the main character is real and I feel a connection to her/his/their story.

The Raven Boys is an amazing read that I just fell hard for.  It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a book, no joke.

I didn’t take me long to be completely enraptured by Maggie’s writing; she’s one of the best I tell you.  I knew that already because I’d read Shiver not too long ago but this book… The Raven Boys is Maggie’s beautiful narrative style on steroids.  You can tell how much Maggie put into this gang.

The story revolves around a sixteen year old girl named Blue Sargent and the Aglionby boys: the elite of the small town that is Henrietta.  Blue has had a very peculiar upbringing, what with her family consisting of psychics and everything paranormal and has been told all her life that she’s destined to cause her true love’s death.

Nice.

The book is written in third person point of view but each chapter revolves around different characters; mainly Gansey, Blue and Adam.  This gives the story a well-rounded view without spoiling any of the events for the reader.

Blue is my main chick. I want to be her friend.  Though she isn’t as fierce as other main heroines (whom I also adore), there is this softness about her that makes me adore her even more. And not in the wilted flower type of way but the ultimate caring mother figure kind of way. If that makes sense.  She fits in with these boys and it’s solely because of who she is and how she sees the world.  She’s very perceptive and lovely and goes the extra mile to understand these boys.  She respects their personalities, even makes fun of them sometimes and best of all, she’s a friend.

One of the things I related to the most in this book was Blue’s day to day life.   Her house is one filled with women who are quirky a best, maniacal at worst.  It reminds me of my childhood  since my home was and is still dominated by women.  Maura, Blue’s mom, is such a refreshing parental figure without being unbelievable. Her character just brought out so many memories of my own mother, it was surreal.  I’m so glad that Maggie took the time to elaborate on this aspect of the Blue’s life since in YA, the norm is to keep parents as vague as possible and/or only exist as plot devices.

Aside from Maura, we have characters like Persephone and Calla, Maura’s two best friends, who also contribute to the story’s richness without stealing the limelight.  Maggie is a genius when it comes to secondary characters.  Persephone gives such a Luna Lovegood feel without being a replica and Calla is just straight out bad ass.  I love that I get to love them this much.

To love everybody this much, especially the boys.

I’m a sucker for guys in books, it’s a given.  The Aglionby boys are no exception.  Maggie’s way of building up these boys is why I couldn’t pick a favorite.  Instead of writing about the strictly physical aspects of each boy, she takes the time to give us small details that are exclusive to them.  You get to know their essence as a person.  I cannot for the life of me tell you the color of Adam’s eyes, but I can feel who he is.  It’s the oddest thing.

What’s so great about this is that there is no way of confusing the boys.  There is no mix-up on who is whom, there can’t be.  The way they talk, smile, love and hate is so different from the other.  And you will love them individually, with all their faults and quirks.  Unconditionally.  Believe me.

The atmosphere in this book is nothing less than alive.  Without it, nothing could have happened in the story, the setting and tone are exceptionally executed throughout all the scenes.  You will feel joy when you’re supposed to feel joy and you will freak the fuck out when you’re supposed to freak the fuck out.  The plot twists grab you by the throat and refuse to let go until you’ve finished the book.  AND EVEN THEN.  THE FUCKING CLIFFHANGER. MY GOD.  KILL ME.

The mystery and the suspense will remain alive even after the last word.

So if you’re still having doubts about finally picking up this series. Don’t.  I’m so ready to keep going with this story and loving every single word of it.  My heart might not be ready but since when do I ever listen to my heart? Especially when it comes to book?

Camila

 

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Review

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Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Blurb

“Asscrown,” I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn’t proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it.
Noah matched my pace. “Don’t you mean ‘assclown’?” He looked amused.
“No,” I said, louder this time. “I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses,” I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity.
“I guess you nailed me then.”

THERE IS NOTHING NORMAL ABOUT THIS BOOK! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! The book starts with our main girl, Mara Dyer, and her two friends, Rachel and Claire, playing Quija on Rachel’s birthday. While Mara refuses to play, her two friends go ahead and start the game and, naturally, the first question they ask is, “how am I going to die,” cause who wouldn’t want to know how they’re going to die, right? RIGHT?

The piece settles first on the letter M. Murder? Maybe? Then it settles on the letter A. Matches? Mauling? Next, R. Silence. Complete and utter silence. Finally, A.

WHAT?! Surely it’s just asking for Mara to play, right? No biggie. No worries.

Six months later, both her friends were DEAD.

Turns out both her friends, and her boyfriend (well, ex-boyfriend) had been found dead in the remains of the Tamerlane State Lunatic Asylum, and our beloved Mara was found unconscious. When she wakes up, BAM! PTSD. She’s lost her friends, she’s lost her boyfriend, and she can’t remember how, much less why it happened. The result of this is a horrible case of PTSD that leaves her hallucinating and maybe, just maybe, losing her mind. And THIS is the beginning of a long, insane journey that isn’t even done for me yet becAUSE THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST BOOK.

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ATTEMPT #745284643 AT BREAKING DOWN THE ENIGMA THAT IS MARA DYER:

Here’s the one question about Mara that I kept pondering over and over in my head throughout the whole book: PTSD or supernatural? You see, reading from a psychotic girl like Mara’s point of view kind of feels like a dream, very hazy and hard to tell apart from reality. You read all of these thoughts and about all of these things happening, things that seem impossible, but at the same time, they seem so real, like a very vivid dream, but still just a dream. And so you read all of these things and you wonder, is it really her mind coming up with all of these things, or is it really happening? Is it something else, not entirely from this world? Sometimes its like I wanted to believe it was actually happening, as impossible as it seemed, because somehow the idea of her making all of this up disturbs me to no end.

On the other hand, sometimes Mara appears to be… Normal. A normal girl who is capable of joking around, of smiling genuinely, of crushing on someone, a girl who has talents, who is capable of loving. She’s the perfect balance of normalcy and insanity.

Mara Dyer is a puzzle, one that evolves, expands and contracts, and one that needs to be solved.

THE AMAZINGNESS THAT IS NOAH SHAW:

*sigh*

Noah, my friends, was my rock throughout this whole book. Were it not for him I’m not sure I would’ve been able to get through this whole book, as being in Mara’s mind can become very dark and burdening real fast. I’d often find myself trying to solve Mara, and figure her out, but thanks to Noah, I had something else to think about from this book, something light (but with the perfect amount of depth) and much more enjoyable.

Noah is the perfect guy for someone like Mara. Complementing her in all the right ways, and caring for her regardless of her state of mind or her mood swings. He was patient and he was gentle, and he understood her, in a way. And that’s just what she needed, someone patient who understood.

On top of that, he’s immensely charming and charismatic. He shines light to the dark tunnel that is this book whenever he jokes around or is simply present in the book.

*cough* he’s also VERY hot and British *cough*

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ROMANCE IN THE BOOK:

The romance in this book… I don’t have a lot of coherent thoughts about it other than it was perfect. It was slow and steady but not TOO slow, just right. You see, when you have a book as dark as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, a little bit of romance is just the right thing to lighten up the burden that reading this book could feel like. Only that we got a lot of romance, slow and steady, but a lot. And I was more than okay with that! I LOVE ROMANCE, OKAY? And I certainly loved Noah and Mara’s relationship. It was hilarious, and light, and cute, yet at the same time so intense and deep. I loved their bickering and teasing. I laughed every time and found myself looking forward to these little moments quite often. And I loved their deep, serious moments. The ones in which you knew, YOU KNEW, that Noah had come into Mara’s life to stay. It was perfect, I loved it, 10/10.

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HOW IT ENDED:

YOU WANNA KNOW HOW THIS BOOK ENDED? CLIFF FREAKING HANGER, THAT’S HOW IT ENDED. The book was already hard enough to figure out, but the end just took a veeeeery unexpected (and yet somehow expected) turn that just messed everything up even more. I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t WANT to think, I felt insane and insanely lost. The way this book ends just leaves so much space for SO MANY possibilities that I literally have no idea as to what to expect from the next book.

THE WRITING AND ITS SIDE-EFFECTS:

The way this book is written is truly admirable. It’s not so much because of how “beautiful” or “mesmerizing” it is as much as because of how it makes you feel. The way this book is written makes everything feel as if almost every single word, sentence, paragraph, page and chapter were written from a very intense, chaotic place, so much so that at times I felt like I was truly insane. You don’t know what to expect, you’re not sure how you should feel, you don’t know what to believe and what not to believe. I felt what Mara felt, I felt like I was seeing everything that Mara saw, or hearing the things she heard. You don’t always fully understand what’s going on, it’s scary and exciting. Utterly confusing, completely astounding. It’s amazing how Michelle managed to write this book in such ways that made it feel so real to me.

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Being inside Mara Dyer’s mind like:

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK:

Entrancing, spine-tingling, powerful, breathtaking.  I loved this book to bits and I wish that everyone would give this book a chance, as a lot of people seem to be scared to go into this trilogy because of how dark and creepy it can come to be at times. IT’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! TRUST ME ON THIS! It’s the kind of book, messy as it is, that you won’t forget.

I really, really, really hope you decide to give this book a try, if you haven’t already aaaaaaaand have a VERY goodnight, morning, afternoon or evening, depending on where you are.

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