October 30, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday: Teen Paranormal Fantasy

Book 1, 4/5 stars
I fell in love with Maggie Stiefvater's beautiful, lyrical prose when I read the Shiver trilogy a few years ago--yes, they are werewolf books, but no, they are neither dumb nor Twilight-ish. After finishing that series, I remember thinking, "Damn.  This girl can WRITE."  Seriously, Stiefvater is a gifted writer.  So naturally, I picked up The Raven Boys, the first in a new triology by Stiefvater, last year.

I was the tiniest bit skeptical when I started it, simply because Raven Boys was a little different than what I typically read, but it didn't take long for me to get completely sucked in.  The Raven Boys is a story of a few different unexpected friends: Blue, the only non-seer in a house of psychics, and three "Raven Boys," students at the ritzy boys prep school in town--Gansey, Ronan, and Adam.  Gansey is obsessed with searching for a mysterious "ley line" running through their town and using it to search for the tomb of Scottish king Glendower.  Crazy, right?  If that were the entirety of the plot of the book, I probably wouldn't have been super impressed.  But Stiefvater weaves so many other elements into the plot as she jumps between the perspectives of the different characters--love, psychic powers, impossible quests, attempting to overcome circumstances, pride, etc.  Adding to the suspense is the fact that Blue has been told ever since she was born by her psychic family that when she kisses her true love, he will die.  Oh and add some (PG) sexual tension between her and some of the Raven Boys to that.  So great.
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)
Book 2, 4/5 stars

I was slightly confused about the ending of The Raven Boys--no spoilers, but it involves a confusing psychic ritual and very clearly sets up the premise for book two in the trilogy, smoething I both love and hate in books.  Naturally I put my name on the library's hold list for book two, The Dream Thieves months before it was even released.  What I loved about this book was that it not only continued the story in The Raven Boys, but introduced a completely new elenment and plot into the mix, something hinted at in book one that I completely didn't pick up on.

I don't want to give too much away about the series by going into detail about The Dream Thieves, but it was a completely satisfying companion to Raven Boys.  Needless to say, I flew through this hefty book and can't wait for book 3!  When the third installment finally does come out, this may be a series I find myself rereading #1 & #2 beforehand so the plot is fresh in my mind--the mark of any good, albeit complicated trilogy.  (Oh btw, while the sexual tension is completely PG, there is some language in these books--I mean the characters are teenage boys--as well as drug use.  So I wouldn't be passing this one out to my students even if I taught the appropriate grade.)

Check this out if you like teen fantasy but are looking for something different than your typical werewolves and vampires!

What have you been reading this week?

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