Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater
2012
Scholastic
9780545424929

Blue Sargent has grown up in a household of clairvoyants. Each year, she and her mother go to the churchyard on St. Mark’s Eve to see the progression of those who will die within the coming year. Blue, whose presence makes others’ psychic powers stronger, has never seen the dead herself, until this year when she sees a boy named Gansey, a wealthy student at nearby Aglionby Academy. Blue typically sees such boys as trouble and to be avoided at all costs, but something about him and his friends and their quest to find a long-buried king intrigues her. Blue has always been warned that she may kill her true love with a kiss. She’s never worried about this before, but the more time she spends with the Raven Boys, the less sure she is.

I  really wanted to love The Raven Boys given how much I loved Stiefvater’s other books, but it didn’t quite measure up for me.  I don’t mind a bit of paranormal fiction but I feel all the talk of ley lines and spirit worlds was perhaps a bit much for me. I was much more interested in learning more about the Raven Boys themselves and their backgrounds, such as Adam the scholarship student and hotheaded Ronan. Stiefvater’s ability to create compelling characters is where this book shines. I do want to know if Gansey is indeed Blue’s true love despite her burgeoning romance with Adam. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.


Review: Linger and Forever

Linger                                               Forever
Maggie Stiefvater                           Maggie Stiefvater
2010                                                   2011
Scholastic                                         Scholastic
978-0-545-12328-0                    978-0-545-25908-8

The follow-up to Shiver, Linger finds Sam firmly a human, but now Grace’s future is uncertain as she begins to fear that one day she will shift. Linger also introduces Cole St. Clair, famed musician turned werewolf. Chapters from Cole and Isabel’s points of view are interspersed with chapters from Sam and Grace. I found this a welcome change, since to me Isabel and Cole were much more interesting characters. This book felt very much like a second book in a trilogy – the main characters and plot are established but nothing much happens until the end, when it’s time to set up the finale.

In Forever, Grace is now the wolf while Sam is the human. Tom Culpeper, still angry over his son Jack’s death, wants to do an aerial hunt to eliminate all the wolves. Now, Sam, Grace, and Cole must come up with a plan to save the wolves. Meanwhile, Cole looks for a cure to keep them human. Of the three books in the trilogy, I liked this one the best by far. There was a lot more at stake, so the pacing was a bit quicker. We also got to see Cole and Isabel develop more and of course the romance between Sam and Grace is as endearing as it is tragic. I’m a fan of Stiefvater’s writing style and her ability to create believable characters even while writing in four different voices. I look forward to reading her newest novel, The Scorpio Races.

Review: Shiver

Shiver
Maggie Stiefvater
2009
Scholastic
978-0-545-12326-6

As a young girl, Grace was attacked by wolves. She could have died, except that one wolf saved her, forcing the others to back away. Ever since then, Grace has looked out into the woods to catch a glimpse of her wolf. But this is no ordinary wolf. During the spring and summer, Sam turns human. But only for a few years, until one year he will remain a wolf forever. He and Grace fall in love instantly, but as the temperature drops, can they find a way to keep Sam human forever?

It took me a long time to get around to reading this book, but I am glad I waited, because now the third book is out and I won’t have to wait to find out what happens to Grace and Sam. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. Grace’s obsession with wolves seemed a little odd to me. But what won me over was the relationship that developed between Grace and Sam. Even though they have only just met as humans, the love between them is believable and heartbreaking because we know it can’t last. Or can it? I
look forward to reading books two and three to find out.