“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.

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Book Review: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Book Review: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Wolf by Wolf
Wolf by Wolf #1

Written by: Ryan Graudin
Published by: Little, Brown
Release date: October 20th 2015
Genres: Alternate History, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Source: Library
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: All That Glows, The Walled City


The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

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To put it mildly, I reeeeeally haven’t clicked with Ryan Graudin’s books so far. However, people I trust kept telling me Wolf by Wolf was amazing, so I decided to give it a shot. And… I’m actually pretty glad I did.

Yael is the main character, and Wolf by Wolf does an amazing job at telling her story. She’s a very compelling character (who cannot shapeshift into a wolf like I thought she could; whoops, my bad! lol). She can shift her appearance to look like other people, however; and Yael’s mission in this book is to take the place of one Adele Wolfe. The book jumps back and forth between two time periods: the present, where Yael, as Adele, is racing to assassinate Hitler (literally, she’s competing in a race which she needs to win because Hitler will be at the Victor’s ball); and flashbacks to Yael’s time in, and escape from, a death camp, and her time in the resistance.

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Top Ten All Time Favorite Books (From the Past 3 Years)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten All Time Favorite Books (From the Past 3 Years)

So after I chose my books, I realized that maybe the topic meant books that have been released in the last 3 years, which… some of these were not… But I did read all of these for the first time within the past 3 years, which means they totally count. Also, holy crap how have I only been a fan for 3 years (or less!) for some of these?! I don’t even know. These are some good books and great series.

Also – yes, many of these have shown up on many other TTT posts of mine. I’m sorry. They’re supposed to be our top picks and I just have to be completely honest I’M SORRYYYYY~ I just really love these books okay. I can’t help it.

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Waiting on Wednesday – End of Days

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 – End of Days
End of Days
Penryn and the End of Days #3

Written by: Susan Ee
Published by: Skyscape
Release date: May 12th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: World After

*** Some spoilers for previous books below!! ***

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

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Don’t capslock. Don’t capslock. Don’t capslock. No, NikKI, DON’T DO IT — ahhhhhh, crap.

BUT YOU GUYS I’M JUST SO EXCITED/TERRIFIED/ANXIOUS/DYING FOR THIS BOOK. In all seriousness: I’m honestly a little tired of most post-apocalyptic books these days… and the whole “angel” thing got old for me quiiiite some time ago… but these books… I cannot express how awesome Penryn and the End of Days is. This series just defies my expectations every time, and I’m so sad that Penryn and Raffe’s story will be over with this third book, but I’m also so excited because IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZINGGGGG. \O/

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

Ten Books I’d Pick if I Ran a Book Club

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Ten Books I’d Pick if I Ran a Book Club

This was HARD, guys!! I’ve never been in a book club, and quite honestly I have no desire to. Any book that’s considered “required reading” immediately becomes the last thing I want to read. Sad but true. So I decided to pick books for today’s topic based on books I want to push on everyone I mean, um. >_> No but really, I chose these books because not only would I very much like to push them on people if I ran my own book club, but I am pretty sure I could talk about them FOREVER. Perfect for book club, right? …I mean, right? That’s the point, right? (I really don’t know what I’m doing.)

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ARC Review: THE SHADOW CABINET by Maureen Johnson

ARC Review: THE SHADOW CABINET by Maureen Johnson
The Shadow Cabinet
Shades of London #3

Written by: Maureen Johnson
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
Release date: February 10th 2015
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Source: Gifted from a friend
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads


* SPOILERS for books 1 & 2 in the synopsis!! *

The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series.

Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they'll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.

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[Note: This review is for the 3rd book in a 4-book series, but this review will be spoiler-free, as always! However, this means that I will be talking around a lot of potential spoilers, because the end of book 2 is just… Let’s just say there’s very little I can talk about without spoiling something major. But I will try.]

It really sucks when expectations get in the way of one’s enjoyment of certain books. The fact is, I want to be blown away by every book I read, but in order for that to happen, I want the book to live up to at least one of two things:

  1. What I expect from it (which can be expectations based on prior books in a series, for example), and/or…
  2. What I want out of it (which can just be things based on my own feelings, like “ooh I hope XYZ happens”, or just “more awesomeness from a favorite author”, etc).

This can be problematic, though, because I think good books are sometimes(/often/always?) simply what their author intended them to be, regardless of either the audience’s expectations or desires. And I think that’s where The Shadow Cabinet and I didn’t quite get along. Neither what I expected nor what I wanted quite lined up with what was actually presented.

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