Thursday, February 20, 2014

Can you create a bird in your mind?

The Raven Boys Maggie Stiefvater
I only read Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys because so many people on my "Trusted Opinions" list (Teresa, Ana, Lu, and Jodie) told me that it was amazing.  Lu recommended it on audiobook and it was available for immediate download from the library, so I went for it.  And I'm so glad I did, except I should have checked to make sure the second book was available on audiobook first.  Who knows when I will get to continue this series now?

 I think Teresa's review sums this book up really well, so I will refer you to her post to get a sense of what the book is about and why it is worth reading.

This is one of those books that I never would have read based on the cover and the title and the plot summary.  Even the beginning of the book, I thought I knew exactly where the story would go - Blue (really, her name is Blue?) is a poor girl with a prophecy over her head that says something like, "If you kiss your true love, you will kill him."  And then early in the book, she goes to a churchyard to learn who will die in the next year, and she sees this boy named Gansey and her aunt tells her, "“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve.  Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

And that is when I rolled my eyes because, well, it seems pretty obvious exactly what will happen when you link up the whole "kiss your true love and he dies" thing and the whole "If you saw someone, he's your true love or you kill him" thing.  

But I was wrong!  Or, at least, the story did not move in the predictably straight line that I expected, though perhaps it will move towards the seemingly inevitable ending at some point in the next three books.

Stiefvater takes a lot of the typical tropes of young adult and fantasy novels and turns them on their side here.  For example, the book starts out seeming like it's going to be one of those angst-ridden teen romances.  But really, there's not much romance in the book at all, and what does exist exists in service of the overall story (I think.  I am not clear right now as to what the overall story is).

I'm really glad so many people told me to read this book!  The audiobook was read by Will Patton, and he was so good at doing different Virginia accents.  I do want to read the next book in the series, but I'm hoping that the library gets the audiobook version soon so I'm going to wait and see.  But you shouldn't wait to read this one - go get it!

11 comments:

  1. I'm glad to know this one shines amidst a large field of YA paranormal. I'm always a little gun shy about these.

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  2. Why of course I'm going to read this book now!! :-) After this review, how can I not? The sad thing is that I actually own this on audio already.

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  3. In the past few months, I have searched and searched for a new series which would capture my imagination; in the last few days of reading blogs, I have found quite the handful, including this one!

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  4. He's good at doing different Virginia accents? Different ones? (I'm perking up because it is so unbelievably rare for anybody to notice that different parts of the South have different sorts of Southern accents. :p)

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  5. I am hearing lots of good things about this book. I must check it out! I hear you on checking on things... I started a new graphic novel series this month and two of the books are out of print. Would have REALLY liked to know that before I read book 1. At least it is possible for you to get this at some point, but just saying. :)

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  6. I also have this book due to two of the same people, and having your opinion added to theirs makes me a bit less apprehensive! I've read too many overdramatic YA romances, but this one looks like it will be something different and I'm looking forward to it now.

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  7. I ended up getting a galley of the second book at BEA last year (thanks to Memory!), and I did read it, but I preordered the audiobook anyway because I knew that one day I'd want to listen to it again. I love Will Patton's voice more than any other audiobook narrator so far, I think. I'm so glad you love this one! It's one of my favorite discoveries of the past year.

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  8. I'm glad you enjoyed it! The second book is just as interesting. I liked how Stiefvater portrayed intense emotions respectfully and complexly, and how, like you said, the story doesn't move in a straight line.

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  9. Although the summary sounds predictable, still it's intriguing and more so for what you said afterwards. I passed on this book a while ago, I read a few reviews but I guess they didn't catch me as much. Now I want to read it.

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  10. I was pleasantly surprised by this one as well! Though I do think that Will Patton as the narrator helped me love it much as I did. He was brilliant!!

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  11. I am very wary of paranormal YA novels, especially after I made myself slog through the mess that was Beautiful Creatures, but knowing that you had some of the same misgivings I would have about such a premise, that makes me want to try this. Should I be rethinking my prejudgment of Stiefvater's Shiver, Linger, Forever trilogy? I had kind of written them off.

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