Posts Tagged ‘YA fantasy’

The Raven Boys

In YA Book Reviews on May 28, 2014 at 12:42 am


by Maggie Stiefvater

YA Fantasy/©2012/408 Pages/First in a Trilogy

Publisher Info (Goodreads):

“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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

My Thoughts:

Truly an intriguing story line, but the stand out feature of this book for me are the characters. Maggie Stiefvater is a great storyteller, but she is an absolute master of character development. She does take her time establishing the story line and introducing the characters, but I did not find myself losing interest or getting bored. There is an interesting pace to it, and it sucked me right in. There are several twists and turns and so many unanswered questions as this first of a trilogy comes to an end. I will definitely be reading the next two!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Other Books in The Raven Cycle Trilogy: The Dream Thieves (©2013) and Blue Lily, Lily Blue (©October 21, 2014)

Other Thoughts:

Cuddlebuggery Book Blog



Daughter of Smoke & Bone

In YA Book Reviews on April 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm


by Laini Taylor

YA Fantasy/©2011/448 Pages/First in a Trilogy/Recommended for age 12 and up

Publisher Overview:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

First Sentence: “Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

My Thoughts:

This book has been out for three years and has generated major acclaim. I kept considering it, rejecting it, reconsidering it until someone just handed me the book (thank you, Katy Johnson!). Let me just say, the book is completely worthy of every wonderful thing ever said about it. The characters are fascinating and well developed. Karou (the double life leading, blue-haired, martial arts trained heroine) is my favorite. She had me hooked from the beginning with her hilarious way of dealing with an ex-boyfriend, but I also liked Brimstone, Issa, Twigga, Zuzana, Yasri, and Kismish – all incredibly unique characters with creative and interesting relationships with Karou. The plot is complex and engaging, filled with twists and turns, and the writing is stellar. Ms. Taylor creates quite the fantasy world with precision word building and details. The cliff hanger ending leaves you wanting more. I may be a little late to the party on this one, but at least I timed it well so the second and third in the trilogy have been released. No wait time to find out what happens. Win-win!

Great Quotes:

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews – Best Young Adult or Starred Review
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults

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