“There were not quite words for it.” | Reflecting on THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

“There were not quite words for it.” | Reflecting on THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King
The Raven Cycle #4

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic Press
Release date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 438
Source: Purchased
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository, Audible
Add on: Goodreads

* Synopsis has some spoilers for previous books in the series, but my review is spoiler-free! *

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

My Thoughts

Disclaimer: This “review” is spoiler-free for the entire series.
Also it’s not really a review. I just have a lot feelings.

 

When it comes to The Raven King, there are a lot of things I could talk about.

I could talk about its plot — how this book weaves every little detail from previous books together into something that is so remarkable, and so, so satisfying.

I could talk about the characters — how tangible they feel, how ridiculously over-invested I became in all of their stories. But it’s not just about the specific characters, either. There are moments when each and every character flawlessly displays these truths about how people and emotions work, truths that are so succinctly and effortlessly presented that it hurts.

I could talk about Maggie Stiefvater’s way with words — which is, as usual, incredible. The Raven Cycle‘s words will both delight you and cut you, deeply. There were moments when I grinned like an idiot, and moments (including nearly the entire last 20%, I’m not ashamed to admit it) when I was sobbing. And that’s not hyperbole. I mean literally sobbing.

I could talk about how, as the finale to a much-beloved series, The Raven King had a lot of expectations to live up to — and it did so. It really, really did.

I could also turn into a total fangirl and talk about my ships. (My shiiipssss.)

But I don’t want to get into those things in detail. Talking about details could get spoilery, and this series is one that you need to experience, beginning to end, in the right order. So, no details. No spoilers.

There’s just one thing I really want to talk about, which is: the reason for this post.

Continue reading

Mini-Review! I’m not normally one for thrillers, but…

I received this book for free from Doubleday. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini-Review! I’m not normally one for thrillers, but…
The Masked Truth

Written by: Kelley Armstrong
Published by: Doubleday
Release date: October 13th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: BookExpo America 2015
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.

Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

MyThoughts_v2

I don’t normally read thrillers, but something about the synopsis of this one had me really curious, so I picked it up at BEA. And then Danielle’s love of this book got me really excited to read it — and it was totally worth it.

When I think of “thrillers,” I mostly think of books that are half mystery, half fast-paced action — AKA, books that leave little room for more emotional “character stuff.” This usually turns me off of thrillers, to be honest. But The Masked Truth did not have that problem. It was all fast-paced thrills and amazing characters, and it kept me glued to its pages. Kelley Armstrong was somehow able to keep up the tension of a fast-paced plot, while also dealing with serious subjects like PTSD, suicide, and depression with sensitivity and realness. I did not expect that, and that balance was probably my favorite thing about this book.

The Masked Truth also has a really great ship (yes, I am all about the ships), and there are many romantic-type feels to be had, but those elements don’t overtake the plot to an unbelievable degree. This book is about survival, about finding strength to persevere and overcome even when the odds seem insurmountable — and that was the clear focus.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a change-of-pace to normal contemporaries. Even if you’re not big on thrillers, like me, if you’re a character-driven reader, you need to check this book out. It may surprise you.

Waiting on Wednesday – The Game of Love and Death

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – The Game of Love and Death
The Game of Love and Death

Written by: Martha Brockenbrough
Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release date: April 28th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.

WhyImWaiting_v2

This book caught my eye mostly because of the cover — I mean, hello gorgeous. O_O But then I read the blurb… 1920’s Seattle? Epic romance? I already want this relationship to succeed and I’m already terrified that it won’t and just give me the book I must know what happens!!!

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

Waiting on Wednesday – Rook

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Rook
Rook

Written by: Sharon Cameron
Published by: Scholastic Press
Release date: April 28th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Who needs a wedding ring when you can pick up a sword? A remarkable and utterly inventive novel from Sharon Cameron, author of THE DARK UNWINDING, which USA TODAY called "spellbindingly imaginative."

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy's arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.

WhyImWaiting_v2

According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Rook is a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel set in the future; it follows ‘a Sunken City gone mad, an unwanted betrothal, and 13 innocents who will die unless a legend can save them.'”

Intrigue and romance in a futuristic retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I mean, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RESIST THAT? Okay, the last Pimpernel retelling I read didn’t turn out amazingly, but I have supremely high hopes for this one. I’m not 100% sure why. It’s just a feeling. This book sounds amazing. *_*

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

ARC Review: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater

ARC Review: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
The Raven Cycle #3

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic Press
Release date: October 21st 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 391
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads


There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

MyThoughts_v2

Adam understood, then, that Gansey and Blue’s awe changed this place. Ronan and Adam may have seen this place as magical, but Gansey and Blue’s wonder made it holy. It became a cathedral…

ARC, pg 356

Once you get to the third book in a series, it ends up being really hard to talk about that book without giving things away. The plot has moved on, huge things might have changed, and it’s really easy to let little things slip, even when you’re trying to avoid talking about anything spoilery. So forgive me if this review is a little short on details and heavy on vague feels… but that’s just the way it’s gotta be.

Things get underway pretty quickly in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. The whole… Glendower situation is escalating FAST now, and SO MUCH HAPPENS in this book, it’s frightening. You go into it thinking, Okay, I’m fine, there’s still one more book in this series, I can handle this, and then as things start to explode (I mean… figuratively…), you realize, Oh, no, I really can’t handle this, why is this stuff happening NOW, what is GOING ON I DIDN’T ASK FOR THESE FEELS!!! Except you totally did, so you’re totally fine with them. Except you’re totally not.

And that’s just the plot. That’s not even getting into the characters. Because holy crap, these characters.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday – MARK OF THE THIEF

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – MARK OF THE THIEF
Mark of the Thief
Mark of the Thief #1

Written by: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Published by: Scholastic Press
Release date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Pages: 352
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

WhyImWaiting_v2

If you checked out the “genres” above, you might be thinking, “Middle grade?! Since when does Nikki read middle grade?!” Welllll, I don’t. Not often. Notable exceptions are Percy Jackson (never getting over Blood of Olympus nope nope nope)… and Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Ascendance trilogy. Okay, okay… I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t actually finished the Ascendance trilogy (shhhh), but still. I loved the first two books and can’t wait to snag the third when it’s out in paperback. ANYWAY. All this to say – Jennifer Nielsen, writing a book about ROME? And there’s MAGIC involved?

I’m sorry, was there any doubt I’d be all over this series, or—

;D

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)