Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Published: September 18, 2012 by Scholastic Press
Pages: 416
Format: Kindle Edition

“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.”

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.

To be honest, I had to restart this book three times before I stuck with it. I kept getting to the 10-12% mark and putting it back down for other things. But this time, I got to 13%, and apparently that was the magic number, because this time I had a very hard time putting it down. The book does have a bit of a slow start, but it really gets going around 1/5 of the way through. And I knew there had to be something to love about this book because so many friends love it so much. So that helped.

I LOVED the characters in this book, particularly Adam (and Gansey). I haven’t been this attached to a book’s characters in quite some time. The Raven Boys throws a lot of characters at you in the early pages, so it takes a while to get to know them all, but they’re all very distinct, and a lot of them are very likable.

This was my first of Maggie Stiefvater’s books, and it definitely won’t be my last. I loved her writing style, loved this book’s twists and turns, and am REALLY excited for the second book to come off hold at the library. I’m #1 on the waitlist at the library, and this very possibly will be the longest two weeks of my life. XD I did NOT see a lot of the things in this book coming, and it was just so awesome and yay.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Review: What Lies Within by James Morris

What Lies WithinPublished: June 2, 2015 by Kindle Press
Pages: 226
Format: Kindle Edition

As a warning, the blurb for this one gives quite a bit away!

What Lies Within drew me in right away. The opening scene was really creepy. After that, the book takes a bit of a step back, but not much of one. The pacing is pretty quick. Some of the language use felt a bit awkward to me at times, but generally, it flowed fairly well.

I LOVED the dialogue in this book. For the most part, it felt pretty genuine, and I liked the two main relationships the book focuses on (Shelley and her father, and Shelley and Wilson). They felt fairly authentic to me in a lot of ways. Actually, while reading this, I almost felt like I was watching a TV show or movie. It felt very movie-like a lot of ways. A lot of lines and scenes reminded me of things out of crime shows and whatnot. Not in a stereotypical way or anything, though.

The only thing that REALLY irritated me about this book was that Shelley seems to have a habit of taking these HUUUUUUUUGE leaps in her reasoning and I felt like I was scrambling to keep up because I didn’t get why that would be a logical thing to think. She’s also very melodramatic, which was frustrating. I didn’t exactly find her likable, but it’s hard not to cheer her on as she searches for the answers to the questions she has about herself.

Overall, this was a decent, fast-paced thriller. A few things threw me, but it was pretty enjoyable, and I’d be up for more books from this author in the future. I’m definitely curious as to whether there will be a sequel.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars