young adult

Books I NEED in 2016

This next year is going to be filled with awesome books. Some I’ve been hoping will be written for years (like Meg Cabot’s Remembrance, which is a continuation of her Mediator series) and some I just learned will be coming out (like Stars Above by Marissa Meyer). Either way, I’m sure that even between these release dates, I’ll find dozens of other books I need to get my hands on.

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What books are you looking forward to in 2016? What books do you hope will eventually get written–even if the author has said they might not write any more?

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 stars · Fantasy · fiction · young adult

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves

The Raven Cycle #2

author : maggie stiefvater

pages : [hardcover] 439

memorable quote In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.
Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
Her raven boys.

favorite character : noah

summary :

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps form others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Maggie Stiefvater’s can’t-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two.” Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.

review :

I was super excited to read The Dream Thieves because I absolutely loved the first book! Unfortunately up until I started to read these books I was never a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater. This series, somehow, is the one for me. I love most of the characters, can never predict what’s going to happen next, and definitely want more.

The last book left me wanting to know more about the raven boys and I’m glad that more was told about Ronan and even Adam’s motivations. I still want more about Noah. I want to know what he was like in the past, because I’m sure that he was much different than how he is now! He’s my favorite of the boys, mostly because he manages to be a good balance of extremely cute and mysterious. Gansey has been growing on me a lot. And Blue . . . She’s the one that frustrates me. I wish that her role in the books was more than the prophecy of her killing her true love if she kisses him. I mean, all of these boys get cool backstories and motivations and, well, lives . . . And she’s left with romance. Blue, they tease you about being a crazy feminist (I’m not even going to go there) but you aren’t exactly helping yourself out.

I loved the plot twists in this book, though there were a few involving the mysterious Grey Man that I thought were a little odd, convenient, and forced. I’m still super excited to see what’s going to happen in book three (and slightly confused because I thought this was a trilogy and apparently book four is coming out sometime next year). Again, the ones with Ronan were my favorite twists because I wanted to know more about him and there were some developments, and new villains, I never saw coming.

These are the Maggie Stiefvater books I’d recommend as of now. While I still am not a fan of her other work, the magical mayhem in this Raven Cycle is perfect for me.

4/5 stars

4 stars · fiction · paranormal · romance · series · young adult

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys
The Raven Cycle #1

author : maggie stiefvater [also wrote: the scorpio races; shiver]

pages : 409

memorable quote “My words are unerring tools of
destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”

favorite characters : ronan & adam

summary :

“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 theShiver 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.

review :

This is the third book I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater and I’m so glad that I kept trying her work! Shiver and The Scorpio Races just had little things about them that I couldn’t get over so I could enjoy the book, but The Raven Boys was fantastic! I loved the mystical setting, the mysterious predictions, the colorful cast of characters. I’m so glad that I’ve started the Raven Cycle, because now I can’t wait to read the next book!

Blue is an interesting character. I don’t know what it’d be like to know that you can’t really get close to anyone, because giving your true love a kiss will kill them. Blue’s been told that her entire life but it never really became a problem until she was old enough to become interested in boys and that’s where the store really begins. Although I really liked reading about the Raven Boys more than the chapters from Blue’s perspective, it was only from personal preference and not because there was something I truly disliked about her.

I love how I could never predict what was going to happen next! I think that this was what I really wanted to see in one of her books, something that moved at a faster pace. This took me a little while to get into but after the first third of the book I just couldn’t put it down! I really recommend this book for people who like surprises, a magical and paranormal element, and a group of characters you won’t forget!

4/5 stars

4 stars · fiction · young adult

The Curiosities by Maggie Stievater, Tessa Gatton, & Brenna Yovanoff

The Curiosities

a collection by maggie stiefvater, tessa gratton, & brenna yovanoff

pages : [hardcover] 304

summary :

From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.

– A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
– Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
– A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author’s comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

So, are you curious now?

review:

I love anthologies, but I think I enjoy more conventional ones than this one about writing and experimental writing. The three authors work together and against each other to create stories that sometimes seem half-finished, because they don’t have the regular polish of editing or a longer period of work. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy this, I just think that I was hoping for something a little more.

I liked the little comments that all three put in each others’ stories as well as their own; that made things more interesting. I also liked the little explanations of how a story came about or what idea the author latched onto that really inspired them to write that story. While not many of them stuck out to me after reading, I could appreciate the writing process and all of the tips throughout the collection. I think that this book would be valuable for anyone who is looking to better their writing or is wondering what to do when they find themselves stuck for ideas or writing that they’ll like.

I really recommend this collection for aspiring writers. Being able to see into the creative process of three writers who’ve already made names for themselves is definitely what makes this unique and useful.

4/5 stars

3 stars · Fantasy · fiction · romance · young adult

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

 

The Scorpio Races

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Pages [hardcover]: 409

memorable quote: One of the lines in Finn’s code is that you’re not to say anything about Finn being attractive to the opposite sex.

favorite characters:
finn & holly

summary:

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen

review:

Ugh.

Okay. I read Shiver a few years ago with good hopes because the premise sounded awesome, and it was . . . just not the way it was executed. Characters either too exaggerated or left bland, writing awkward, nothing really clicking for me . . . I never continued with that series, and didn’t think I’d read anything by the same author, until this came along. Yet again, the premise caught me, and boy, they know how to get you hooked real good. Plus, I read and heard a lot of people saying that this book was awesome, so much better than the whole wolf trilogy, and that I just needed to give it a shot. So I did.

It could have been worse, really. I know that’s not the most encouraging point to begin with, but I did like the minor characters. Finn. The American, Holly. Even the three sisters. Problem was, I liked them a heck of a lot more than the major ones, Puck and Sean. Even the antagonist, Mutt. I honestly can’t remember if they explained why Puck is called Puck instead of Kate. How did she get a nickname like that? I’d be interested to know, but can’t tell if I found out and it slipped my mind . .

Gabe, Puck’s other brother, was annoying, as he was supposed to be, but he also made no sense. What good brother would practically abandon his siblings just to make himself happier? His decision to leave could have been postponed until they were all back on their feet and it would be less selfish for him to leave. I can’t think of anyone I know that would leave their younger siblings to fend for themselves, only because they couldn’t deal with it any longer. What sort of excuse is that?

I really liked the setting. The entire island, closed off, was easy to picture, and seemed like a magical place to live, aside from the incessant smell of fish and the man-eating horses. At first I couldn’t understand why anyone would risk their lives in these races, aside from getting the money, but learning about the traditions and beliefs of the place helped me to get a feel of their unique culture. The only part of the setting I couldn’t quite grasp was what time period it was supposed to be in. I thought it was far in the past . . . then cars came in. And there were mentions of America, so probably modern times. Then bowler hats . . . and cameras with ‘gigantic bulbs’. Clarification would have been good, if only to get a feel for the outside world in comparison to the close-knit society on Thisby.

I couldn’t ever really connect with the characters, or get invested in the plot, because the entire thing frustrated me so often. It took me forever to read this. It was another seemingly brilliant concept that ended up disappointing me. I’m not sure if I’ll be tricked into reading another Maggie Stiefvater novel, eventually . . .

I give The Scorpio Races 3/5 stars. One for the ending, one for the concept, and one because I think someone, somewhere out there will probably like it better than I did.

Fantasy · fiction · romance · young adult

“Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater

“Shiver”

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Pages [Hardcover]: 390

Available in stores now!

Opening Lines: I can remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in.

Memorable Quote: Hope hurt more than the cold

Favorite Character: Beck

Summary:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human … until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Review:

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while, because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I have to say that I was mildly disappointed. The main characters, Sam and Grace, tell the story through alternating points of view. A definite plus, because the reader gets a look at the werewolf life versus the human life. But they don’t seem very fully developed, and there were some parts of the story where I sat back and asked myself how that could have possibly happened. I seriously think I missed a few pages…Or chapters…

The ending really saved it for me. The last forty pages or so were action packed and kept me interested, unlike the beginning.

Throughout the novel Grace mentions her friends Rachel and Olivia. These seem like the only two friends she has, and when Sam comes along, she drops them to cling to him 24/7. Not very loyal. Rachel and Olivia only pop up when convenient for the plot, casually vanishing into the background at all other times.

I know the sequel is coming out soon. Sometime next month, I think. I might borrow it from the library, or a friend, just to see what will happen. Not worth purchasing, however.

‘Shiver’ gets 2/5 stars from me.

teaster tuesday

Teaser Tuesday 6-22

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture.

From Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I’ve been reading this book for a looong time. It’s not exceptionally bad, it just isn’t capturing my interest at all. I know there are more books in the series coming up, and many people love this book, but it’s just not for me, I think.