2019 Writing and Reading Recap

Hello, people of the Blogosphere! I very obviously did not stick to my 2019 goal of blogging regularly or even at all, and i am not making that a goal for 2020 because college and adulting ate my life, and when I’m not doing either of those things, I usually want to be writing books instead of blog posts. however, I have returned to the internet after almost a year of silence for my annual recap of writing goals and favorite books of the year. I do genuinely hope to post more in 2020 because exciting writerly things may be happening in the upcoming year, but no promises!

Let’s start with a recap of my 2019 writing goals…

◦Finish editing Scarred Flawless: I’m calling this one a partial win! I said in my last recap post that Scarred Flawless had a lot of major developmental problems pertaining to world building because the geography of fictional worlds is one of life’s great mysteries, and maps are hard. Well, the developmental edits are DONE as of a few hours ago!!!! I think the whole thing is logical and coherent now, or at least it will be once I finish the line edits and eradicate all the strange sentences I created at 3 AM.

◦Start drafting Fractured Faith: This did not happen. I don’t even have Fractured Faith fully outlined, but it’s fine. Fractured Faith is the sequel to Scarred Flawless, and Scarred Flawless was my priority for 2019, so I am perfectly happy with what I did accomplish in regards to that series.

◦Start outlining Scarred Flawless Book 3: This sort of happened? I have a few index cards for it at least. Again, this is fine though because at least I mostly met my goal for the first book in the series.

◦Finish outlining Unmarked: That didn’t happen either because I started working on a new book, (Indie Blue), instead of Unmarked. I am quite happy with this arrangement though because i feel like I could sit down and draft Indie Blue right now whereas Unmarked still needs a lot of outlining and research before it’s ready to be drafted.

2020 Writing Goals:

I am only giving myself two major writing goals for 2020 because I am taking Creative Writing I in school this semester, and I’m not sure how much or what kind of writing that is going to require. My two goals are:

◦Finish line edits for Scarred Flawless and get it in the hands of beta readers

◦Finish the zero draft of Indie Blue

2019 Reading Recap:

I read 60 new books in 2019 and failed to review all of them because book review formatting is hard and adulting/school/Scarred Flawless took priority over that. So… here is a list of my top ten favorite books of 2019 with links to Goodreads instead of my own reviews!

1. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. The people weren’t kidding when they said this one was graphic and intense, but man was it good! Yet another work of literary genius from Leigh bardugo!

2. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie stiefvater. This one was my 20th birthday present to myself. It was well worth the audible credit. I don’t have anything more to say about it other than Maggie Stiefvater created another literary masterpiece, and I want to reread it now.

  1. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang. This is an absolutely fantastic sequel to The Poppy War.

  2. Sadie by Courtney Summers. This is not my usual genre, but I absolutely loved this book! It is dark, and suspenseful, and it has a very unique writing style.

  3. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. This one has people who can talk to gods, and creepy mages, and it is amazing.

  4. How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. This is the only book that made me cry in 2019. Kathleen Glasgow is really good at making me cry, but her writing is fabulous, and I will read everything she writes.

  5. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. To be quite honest, I really don’t remember much about this book because I read it whilst curled up in bed with a sinus infection trying to drown out my roommates with the audio book, but I gave it 5 stars, so it must have been fabulous!

  6. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. I will read everything Karen McManus writes because her first two books have both been 5 star reads for me.

  7. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. This was a stunning conclusion to Holly Black’s “Folk of the Air” trilogy.

  8. King of Fools by Amanda Foody. This was an excellent sequel to Ace of Shades. Amanda Foody did not disappoint.

2020 Reading Goals

My only reading goal for 2020 is to finish 75 new books. I’m not starting any other kind of reading challenges because I definitely will not stick to them. Feel free to leave some of your 2019 favorites or 2020 books you’re anticipating in the comments though, and I’ll add them to my terrifyingly long TBR! Also, if you’re a writer, let me know what you accomplished this year and what you hope to accomplish in 2020.

Fear the Drowning Deep

Fear the Drowning Deep
“And with the melody came the unmistakable sound of water slapping against the rocks far below us, slowly eroding the foundation of Port Coire and everything I loved.”
-Sarah Glenn Marsh, Fear the Drowning Deep

Title: Fear the Drowning Deep
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Pages: 304
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adutly, Historical Fiction, Romance, Mythology
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Published: October 11, 2016
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Fear the Drowning Deep is told through the eyes of the main character, Bridey, who embarks on a quest to figure out what is making her friends and family willingly walk into the ocean to drown. At the beginning of the book, Bridey is terrified of the ocean that surrounds her island home, and haunted by memories of the night her grandfather jumped from the cliffs with a smile on his face. She saw a ghostly creature riding the waves that night, and now that others in her village are vanishing, she believes that it might’ve returned to claim more victims. However, she is ridiculed because of her fear and belief in the supernatural and apprenticeship to the island’s only witch.
Bridey’s character arc is one of the most complex and well developed transformations that I have seen in a while. It is very interesting to see how the first and last scene mirror each other to demonstrate her transformation. The first scene shows her watching as a drowned girl is pulled from the water. She’s afraid to be so close to the water, but at the same time she can’t quite make herself walk away. The girl reminds her of her grandfather and the creatures that ride the waves at night. The last scene is a mirror image of the first. Bridey has made peace with the sea and its inhabitants, and she sits proudly beside her father on his fishing boat, far out in the water that she was once terrified to go near.
Bridey’s character is strengthened further by the setting of the story and the cultural beliefs that she has grown up with. The book is filled with words in Manx, (Bridey’s native language), and mentions of her village’s superstitions and traditions pop up throughout the story. These cultural influences provide backstory in little bits and pieces, rather than large chunks, and make Bridey seem more realistic. It’s easy to dismiss all of the bits of language and beliefs as a fantasy world out of Sarah Glenn Marsh’s imagination, but in reality, they are parts of history! Manx and the culture surrounding it were very well researched, and as far as I can tell, everything mentioned in Fear the Drowning Deep is historically true to the setting and time period.
The plot of Fear the Drowning Deep is very fast-paced, but that doesn’t detract from any other aspects of the story. The plot, character arcs, and world building blend together almost seamlessly, playing off one another so they form an almost perfect balance. Every plot point causes Bridey to grow as a person, and the world building creates a perfect backdrop for the events to unfold. It’s usually easy to say whether a book is plot driven or character driven, but Fear the Drowning Deep weaves the two together so that they are inseparable!
With its smooth writing style, strong character arcs, and fast-paced plot, Fear the Drowning Deep is a very quick and easy read! Just don’t start it when you need to be productive because it will catch your attention and hold it until you’ve read the very last page!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Spoiler Free Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Cover
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well.”
-Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Genre: young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 422
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Published: September 27th, 2011
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iBooks
Audio
Goodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Coming from someone who is sick and tired of romance over-riding fantasy plots in books, this five star review is high praise! I literally cannot find fault with this book!
The quote at the top pretty much sums up the basic plot. An angel and a devil fall in love, and things end badly, but there is so much more depth to this story!
Karou makes an awesome main character! She knows nothing about where she came from at the beginning of the story. All she knows is that she’s caught between two worlds. One is made of magic, teeth, and monsters; the other is made of humans who can never know the truth. Karou keeps her secrets by telling the truth in such a way that people think she’s lying, which is a nice change. It seems that most fantasy characters simply weave a web of lies, but Karou hides behind a mask of sarcastically spoken truth.
The world building in Daughter of Smoke and Bone is super complex but blends almost seamlessly! In the beginning, Karou is part of two worlds: “Elsewhere,” where she spent her childhood, and the human world. However, her two worlds end up colliding with a third world: Akiva’s angelic realm. I can’t really continue with this train of thought because spoilers abound, but the way in which the three worlds meet is written very well. I don’t think I’ve ever known a book to juggle three worlds as well as Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Something interesting is the way in which the “big reveal” was written. For the majority of the first half of the book, Karou has no idea where she came from, and that question is eventually answered through what is basically a giant flashback to her past. This kind of seemed like a writerly copout to me, but it also worked well in the situation. It was a little confusing to jump into another time and setting for a few chapters, but I honestly don’t know how it could’ve been done differently without altering the plot in a big way. I would typically knock off a star for something like this, but the writing was good enough that I decided to let it slide.
As you can probably tell, this is one of those books that you can’t really talk about without spoiling everything, so I’ll go on and end my review here. Overall, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an excellent read, and I definitely recommend that you have the second book ready to go as soon as you finish it because… talk about a cliffhanger!

The Islands at the End of the World (spoiler free review)

The Islands at the End of the World cover

Title: The Islands at the End of the World Author: Austin Aslan Series: Islands at the End of the World #1 Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Pages: 384 Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books Published: August 5th, 2014 Format Read: Audio Find It On:

iBooksamazonGoodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads

Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I …

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she’s an outsider – half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Before I get into this, I have to say that I would probably give this a two star rating had I read it and not listened to the audio book. There are a lot of long passages of Hawaiian language, and I think it would have detracted from the story had I been trying to read the text. When I see a word I don’t know in a book, I usually end up googling how to say it because it bugs me until I know. That being said, the audio book made all the Hawaiian words sound Beautiful! It pulled me into the story rather than bringing me out of it because I wasn’t struggling to read words I’d never heard before.

The Plot:

The plot was very original! We’ve seen stuff like this before: worldwide power outage, people panic, economy shuts down, government is obviously keeping a massive secret, there’s lots of fighting, and alien attacks and biblical prophecies come into play. However, The Islands at the End of the World does a really good job of putting a new spin on things. Because it’s set in Hawaii, we become amerced in a new culture that adds to the mystery. Austin Aslan does a fantastic job of pulling you into the Hawaiian world and making you believe in the culture, and then he throws a massive plot twist into the mix that creates an ending you’ll never expect.

The Characters:

Ok… Several of the characters seemed a little flat to me, (Leilani’s dad for instance), but Leilani kind of makes up for it. First of all, she has epilepsy, and it’s not one of those things where the character has a medical disorder just for the sake of having a medical disorder. It does cause a couple problems, and it is relevant to the plot. The only problem I have with it is that Leilani’s dad tends to have a… somewhat downplayed reaction when Lei has an epileptic seizure. There’s one point where she wakes up, and he’s just like, “Hi,” and I was left going “Shouldn’t you be a little more concerned that the world is in chaos and your daughter just had a horrible seizure?!” I personally have a disorder where my adrenals don’t work, and I’ve had some pretty bad seizures before, and my parents are not exactly cool, calm, and collected when I come out of it… I also question some of the language used when Lei has a seizure. It’s referred to as “fits” a few times, and I think I remember reading somewhere that that’s not accurate. Epileptics can feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong!

Why is this not a five star book?

•Several flat characters. •The thing with the Hawaiian language mentioned above. •Downplayed reaction to epileptic seizures. •Some awkward dialogue. •Possible incorrect medical language concerning epilepsy.

Why is this rated three stars?

•Hawaii makes for an interesting setting. •Cool new culture. •Epileptic character that isn’t just epileptic for the sake of being epileptic! •Original spin on an old plot. •Cool Hawaiian shaman people. •Hawaiian language sounds beautiful in the audio book. •An ending you’ll never expect!

Conclusion:

I will be reading the second book as soon as I find it! I did point out a lot of flaws, but quite honestly I didn’t notice those until I started taking notes for this review. The writing pulled me in, and held my attention until the end.

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Islands at the End of the World? Do you want to read it? What are your thoughts on the use of foreign language in books and characters with medical disorders? Let’s chat in comments!

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Spoiler free!)

Girl In Pieces
“Everyone has that moment I think, the moment when something so momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.”
― Kathleen Glasgow, Girl in Pieces

Title: Girl in Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 416
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: August 30, 2016

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
This is going to be one of those reviews where my words simply cannot convey how beautiful and heartbreaking the story really is. Sometimes you just have to read things yourself to understand the full scope of the words, but I’ll try my best!
Girl in Pieces was NOT an easy read for me. It took a long time for me to finish, but it wasn’t because of any fault in the writing. It is a very… I’m going to call it “heavy” read that deals with a lot of rough situations and difficult subjects. I am not typically one to read such, so I was a little out of my element. I originally picked up the book because I saw lots of really amazing reviews floating around youTube, and I am addressing some of the same mental health factors in my own work in progress. I thought it would help me out with research for my story to read from a character’s perspective who had those issues, but I really didn’t expect to get sucked into the story like I did!
The entire book is narrated in first person by Charlie Davis, a 17 year old girl who has gone through more than anybody should ever have to go through in a lifetime. Her father committed suicide, her best friend committed suicide, her mother abused her physically and emotionally, and the only source of comfort she came to know was her “tender kit,” a box containing the pieces of a broken mason jar and everything she needed to patch up her own cuts. She wrote her pain on her own body; every physical scar came to represent a much deeper internal scar that no one but herself could see. She shut the world out, built up a wall, refused to let even herself in sometimes.
Charlie’s story unfolded over three parts, each part revealing another layer of character growth. The beginning is rough, choppy, and somewhat disjointed, but it wouldn’t have been true to Charlie’s character to do it any other way. Charlie isn’t a character that anyone can just instantly connect with; you have to understand her first. The middle was smoother, but had a bit of a lost quality to it. Charlie was on her own, completely alone, and didn’t have any idea how to find her place in the world. She relapsed into old ways, fought her way back to the light, got caught up into toxic situations like she had before, and fell into the darkest point of the whole story as a result. The third part came full circle. Charlie found friends, came out of the silence again, and found a place where she belonged. The writing of the final part has an almost lyrical quality to it, and it gives a sense of hope and strength for Charlie’s future.
After finishing that last page, I feel like I understand self-harm and PTSD in a way I didn’t before. It’s one thing to read out of my psychology text book, perform extensive Google searches, and watch more youTube videos than is probably necessary or healthy, but another thing entirely to read something shown through the mind of a character with a particular disorder. Like I said before, this isn’t something I would normally read. I’ll almost always pick fairies and rainbows and witches trying to kill people over a YA contemporary, but something drew me to this book because I am trying to incorporate some of the same issues into my novel with a fantasy twist. It is definitely on the darker and heavier side for a young adult novel, but I realize now that it’s important for stories like this to exist because people are in all kinds of situations. As terrible as it is, there are a LOT of teenagers in situations like Charlie’s. I actually Googled the exact statistics because of my psych nerd tendencies, but I didn’t write them down, so I’ll spare you.
Throughout the book there is a strong theme of letting your voice be heard, of letting your story be known, and at the end of the book, Charlie is ready for the world to know her story and hear her words. It stresses the need to find an outlet for emotions, be it writing, or drawing, or music. In a way, I think that writing is an outlet for authors to share their own stories with the world. Even if they create their own fantastical world from scratch, it’s still going to hold a part of them in it because it came out of their brain. I somehow managed to not cry while I was reading Girl in Pieces, but that author’s note almost did me in. You’ll understand more if you actually read it, but it is clear that Charlie Davis and her story is Kathleen Glasgow’s way of sharing part of her own story in order to make an impact. It’s books like this one that really get the message across more than any news article ever could.

Conclusions:
Girl in Pieces is NOT for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of blood and drugs and alcohol involved, and some harsh language. Don’t read it if you’re gonna have a problem with that, (I am warning you now!)
■This is a book that is going to make you think about some rough stuff. If you don’t wanna think, go read something with unicorns and rainbows!
■It’s a little hard to read in some places because the writing is a little choppy, but it wouldn’t be true to character otherwise.
■The ending is beautiful, and I know it will give somebody hope.
■The whole theme of the book is to let your words be heard and your story be known. Charlie made her story known by the end of it, and I know her story will help a lot of people understand those like her.
■This book is amazing, and it gets a five star rating!

Share your thoughts?
Have you, or are you planning to read Girl in Pieces? Tell me what you think of the book, (or my rambling review), in the comments or on Twitter @Cheyenne_writes!

The Diviners by Libba Bray (spoiler free): NOT to be Read After Dark!

The diviners
“There is nothing more terrifying than the absoluteness of one who believes he’s right.”
-Libba Bray, The Diviners
Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Genre: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pages: 578
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Published: September 18, 2012
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Amazon
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Goodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆☆☆

Want some creepy Halloween reading? You’re gonna love this!
The Diviners is unlike any book I’ve read before, and I’ve read a lot of books! The setting is New York City, 1926, but it’s fantasy! I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything with paranormal happenings that’s set in history. There are things like The Caster chronicles, but those show us history through flashbacks. This is actually set in 1926, and the world building is amazing! Actually, the writing is amazing throughout the whole thing! There are several narrating characters, (I believe I counted five???), and each point of view is separated by a chapter break. I was never confused about who was speaking as I am sometimes in Multi-POV books, but I do think it did detract from the story somewhat. Each of the characters had their own unique story, and we got a little more info about each character each time they got a turn at the mic, but I found myself caring about a few characters a LOT more than the others. It took a while to get that way, but towards the end of the book I found myself just wanting to GET BACK TO EVIE! BUT.. I have to give Libba Bray some credit here… She did a really cool thing, (there is probably a technical term for this that I am not looking up), with her characters and plot. Through those other narrating characters, we knew almost what was going on before Evie, who was the one trying to solve the mystery. It drove me insane because I thought I had the mystery solved and knew what was happening, and then what I had worked out in my head turned out to be wrong. It wasn’t completely off the mark, but it also wasn’t quite what I’d been thinking for the last 200 pages.
Now… Onward to why I said it’d be a good Halloween read… This book is seriously creepy, and it’s got some stuff in there that I normally would NOT read about. I didn’t quite know the extent of the ghost story when I picked it up, and I also skipped the prologue. i don’t typically skip prologues, but somehow I managed to scroll right past it in the Kindle book… If I had read the prologue, that would’ve been my warning flag to put the book down. I’ll read a lot of things when it comes to paranormal, but I draw the line at ouija boards, inverted pentagrams, and raising the devil. Tarot? Awesome! THAT board? Insert screaming emoji here!
Given a do-over where I knew more about the plot, I probably would never in a million years have read this book. I was 200 pages in before I figured out I’d skipped the prologue and made the connection to the creepy stuff, and by that point I was too hooked on the story to stop reading. My brain decided to associate whistling from the TV with the book for about a week, but I DID finish it! And I can’t justify not giving it five stars because it really was an awesome read.
At this point in time, I’m not sure if I’ll read the second book or not. The ending was a pretty big cliffhanger, so I’ll probably cave and read it eventually. This is a scheduled post, so if I decide to read it, you’ll see a review in a few days. And if I don’t read it, you will never hear about this series again…

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Diviners? Do you want to read it now, or did my review scare you away? Let me know what you think in the comments, and I’d also really appreciate some historical fantasy suggestions!
From Cheyenne 🙂

The Raven King by Maggie stiefvater, (spoiler free): An Epic Ending For An Awesome start!

The raven king
“What a strange constellation they all were.”
-Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King
Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie stiefvater
Series: The Raven cycle #4
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy, SciFi
Pages: 400
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: April 26, 2016
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Amazon
iBooks
Goodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆☆☆
Y’all know how I was kind of disappointed with The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue? This made up for it! It somehow managed to circle back around and wrap up all that five star awesomeness that The Raven Boys started!
I was hooked on The Raven King from chapter one. It picked up right where Blue Lily, Lily Blue ended, and not a word was wasted! From the get go there was a demon, a set of creepy triplets, and a couple nasty women after those amazing characters I’ve been raving over, and I was immediately pulled through plot twist after plot twist! That awesome character growth was still happening, but this time the plot rose up to meet it. And guys! The romance! My one true pairing actually happened! I won’t tell you anything else though because you have GOT to read this book! Lots of spoilers abound in my head right now, so I’ll just leave it at this: The Raven King was an epic finish to an awesome start with a sagging middle, and it was worth reading every page. I am glad I stuck it out with the middle two books, and I hope you will too.

You can follow these links to see my previous reviews for this series:
◦Book 1: The Raven Boys
◦Book 2: The Dream Thieves
◦Book 3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Share Your Thoughts:

Have you Read The Raven King? Do you plan to read it, or did the middle two books detour you? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggi stiefvater

The raven boys Title: The Raven Boys Author: Maggie Stiefvater Series: The Raven Cycle, (Book One) Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery Pages: 416 Publisher: Scholastic Inc. Published: September 18, 2012 My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ iBooks amazon Goodreads

Synopsis From goodreads:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆☆☆

Can I just fangirl for a second? I waited a week before writing this review so maybe it might come out coherent, but no such luck! I am still not over the amazingness of this book, and I really hope I can do it justice! This is possibly the most well written book I have ever read that has more than two narrating characters! The narration alternates between four, sometimes five, characters, but there was NO confusion as to who the POV character was at any given time. And don’t let the blurb fool you! I thought it sounded like some fairytale knockoff at first, but I was WROOOOOOONG! The Raven Boys is one of the most original books I’ve ever read, and it’s so believable as you’re reading it that you get sucked into the story and you read 416 pages in two days like I did! How do I even communicate this? Let’s do an in depth analysis because this book deserves it!

The Writing:

The writing of this book is beautifully simple. To make a conflicting statement that probably won’t make sense to anybody but me, the writing is a form of showing by telling. You know how writers always end up in the “showing not telling debate?” This book does both and neither. The words are so intertwined that we’re told everything without really being told anything, and we’re shown everything, and told nothing at the same time. Yeah… I’m confused too, but you’ll get it if you read it! It’s very metaphorical and… fantasy like intone, but the words are simple enough that it doesn’t seem like that. It’s also not so simple that it seems like a book for younger readers, but not so overly metaphorical that you feel like you’re slogging through old English stuff either. Sorry to anyone who actually enjoys old English stuff and doesn’t have to slog through it. I wish I could be like you!

Character analysis:

Oh my gosh… The characters! They’re all so amazing and they feel so real and they’re all unique and I LOOOOOOOVE them! Let’s break it down before I go into hardcore fangirl mode… Blue Sargent: Blue seemed flat to me at first. I mean… That blurb put me off quite a bit from the get go. Killing her true love with a kiss? Yeah, no, NOT my style! But that’s not how Blue is AT ALL! She is eccentric, and weird, and cool, and sensible, and adventurous, and kind, and… generally an awesome character who isn’t like one of those characters who thinks she’s average but has every boy throwing themselves at her and can literally do anything she wants including fight off murderous bad guys with little to no training! She’s got an attitude, a strong set of morals, and the kind of mindset that doesn’t take nothing from nobody! Oh yeah! There’s also the fact that she acts like a kind of energetic battery for anything that can tap into it, including ghosts and her psychic family! How’s that for awesome and original?

Gansey: I do not care for Gansey’s character at this point in time. He just seems SO FAKE! But I also think he’s supposed to seem that way. and I have a sneaking suspicion that he and Blue are going to end up together at the end of this, and I reeeeeally don’t want that to happen unless he undergoes a MAJOR transformation! I like what he stands for, but can we please just drop the sixty-year-old politician act? That being said, he is very unique, and I can’t wait to uncover more of his past. I can’t tell why though because that would be a spoiler, and I refuse to spoil this book in the review even though I’m way late to reading this.

Adam: Where to start with Adam? Adam is… complicated. His story nearly made me cry, and I won’t tell you why for the same reason I won’t tell about Gansey. Let’s just say he’s had a rough home life, and no matter how much he wants to blend with the other Raven Boys, he just doesn’t. He’s different, strange, somehow more aware and yet unaware of the big picture. He’s the outsider of the group, but I think he’s got a part to play, and it’s gonna be a big one judging by the ending, which I won’t spoil.

Ronan: Can Ronan pleeeeease just come out of the pages so I can hug him and tell him everything is going to be ok even though things are probably going to be the polar opposite of ok?! I mean he’d probably just tell me to f* off, but I don’t really care! He try to be so strong, but really he’s a word away from falling apart. I have this thing for tragic heroes, and if Ronan doesn’t get his act together and do something amazing by the end of this series, I WILL cry.

Noah: Oh my gosh spoilers!!!! I must be careful. Noah isn’t actually there. He’s a “smudge,” to quote Gansey, just an imprint of something that once was. And that’s all you get on Noah, even though I had things half way figured out by the second time he was mentioned. Let’s see if you can get as close as I did! 😉

The Plot:

The beginning was SLOOOOOW… Stuff happened, and it was pretty big stuff, but the pacing was off. The writing made up for it though, and I am SO glad I stuck with it! After about… let’s say chapter 8ish, things got better, and better, and better… And that ending… That ending was epic! It was a total cliff hanger, but it was a good cliff hanger! When you read the last line, you will immediately want more! And it’ll be the good kind of wanting more, not the angry kind of wanting more that leaves you at a total complete loose end.

Final Thoughts:

You NEED to read this book! Just DO IT! And tell me what you think! The ending is slow, but you will NOT regret sticking with it! Here’s just one teaser quote for you from Ronan’s psychic reading… “A secret killed your father, and you know what it is.”

Did That Make sense?

Please share your thoughts of my review in the comments! I hope it was actually coherent, but I have a feeling it wasn’t because I am still too obsessed to make anything look sane. I LOVE every single character, and the writing style is amazing! And also I am in desperate need of some Ronan giffs… He’s my favorite character, (because I’m crazy like that), and none of the gifs on Tumblr had descriptions…. cries You guys should really put your favorite Ronan, or just raven boys in general, gifs in the comments and describe them so i can make a collage out of them and make it my screen saver. Yeah that sounded pathetic… Y’all don’t really have to find me gifs unless you just wanna make me really happy! Ok… I’m just rambling now… I’ll stop! Go read The raven Boys, and tell me what you think! I will be very sad if you don’t like it, but you will like it, so it doesn’t matter! From Cheyenne 🙂