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5 Reasons You Should Be Reading The Raven Boys Books Right the Fuck Yesterday

sarasarai:

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Thanks to the warm and nerdy generosity of a mother of a friend (and the Book Expo she attended), I had the privilege of reading The Dream Thieves, the second book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. And considering I’m still dancing around the house, heart all a-flutter, a full day after finishing it (read: devouring it in about 2 or 3 hours), I figured I’d lighten the TV-less summer months for all y’all with five reasons why this series is absolutely, utterly awesome so you can go out out right the hell now and buy and read and love the first one.

Because you’re going to want to be at the front of the e-line when that second one comes out in all its bad-ass glory.

(Note: very lightly spoilery, but not in any real way that makes sense unless you’ve read the first book and not at all for the second beyond typical review jibber jabber.)

1. Holy Folklore and Mythology Boner, Batman 

If you read the summary for the first Raven Boys book, you might get your Twilight scarred haunches raised. Girl named Blue (no, really—how the hell Adam salvaged himself a perfectly acceptable name from a world where someone is named Barrington fucking Whelk, I will never know) is fated to kill her true love with a kiss; four pretty to Holy Hell Hot boys end up being her inner circle and “strange and sinister” things encircle her.

This is such a false presentation of what reading these books is actually like, I’m almost inclined to call it slander.

Stiefvater’s created a world of ley-lines and scrying and trees that speak Latin. Of Murakami post-modern eeriness and Edgar Allen Poe gothic horror. Of casual will-o’-the-wisp metaphors and lush Virginian forests hiding the spirits of old Welsh Kings. It may be set in modern day Virgina, but the Raven Cycle is a series where history and folklore are alive, their hearts beating perhaps loudest in Gansey, our intrepid hero desperate to bring meaning to his life through legacies of the past.

A New York Times review of the first book suggested The Raven Boys to be almost too smart, for its casual referencing of the supernatural and mythic realm’s most esoteric details. No such thing, my friends. No such thing at all.

2. True Love but Real Life Dating Scenarios 

If you, like me, narrow your eyes at the very implication of fated love, don’t fret. Blue’s plight may be predicated on the admittedly bummer death sentence of her true love, but she’s about as interested in romance as a black widow spider. Juggling jobs with taking care of her large, all-female, all-psychic family, Blue has plenty to occupy her time before the Raven Boys come into her life, and when they do, she tries to escape her supposed destiny with every bit of strength that a teenage girl has available to her. Which is, to say, a lot, thank you very much. Add that to her refreshing focus on independence after she makes some small in-roads into dating, and you’ve got a healthy and welcome combination lacking in the YA romance field.

Plus, while kissing might be off the table for Blue, that doesn’t mean sexuality is a scary and dangerous thing to be locked up in a box. Dream Thieves, to be as non-spoilery as one possibly can be, reveals a broader spectrum than most mainstream YA fantasy dares, and both books are delightfully insightful about the way teens move around each other.

3. And On that Note, Real Life Situations 

Both on the textual and subtextual side. Anyone who’s ever been born to immigrant parents (as I was) can see where Blue is coming from in regards to her family. Surrounded by a culture that her mother and aunts knows and understands, and yet which has no actual bearing on her own life, Blue doesn’t crave being psychic so much as she craves being free from expectations set by a world she was not born for or into. Meanwhile, Adam’s abusive household is subtly played and freed from the trapping of the after-school special, Ronan is ten kinds of destroyed after his father’s death but his bad boy habits are measured and reasonable, and Gansey—God, Gansey—has the perfectly average, white rich upbringing he knows he has no right to publicly complain about even though his parents are attentive and thoughtful and clearly consider the duty of parenting to be just that: another job to clock in and out of with little warmth or affection. Noah remains the most mysterious of the Raven Boys, but for perfectly understandable reasons, given his less than firm links with the mortal coil.

4. And Now That You’re All Geared up for Blood and Horror and Angst, Let’s Talk About How Hilarious They Are 

And how better to demonstrate than with a few choice passages?  

“You are being self-pitying.”
"I’m nearly done. You don’t have much more of this to bear."
"I like you better this way."
"Crushed and broken," Gansey said. "Just the way women like ‘em.” 

“You missed World Hist.”
"Did you get notes for me?"
"No. I thought you were dead in a ditch.” 

“It’s a hard thing to hold a civil conversation after recalling that one party has used a Taser on the other, so both of them finished the walk in silence.” 

“Don’t panic. Are you sitting? You probably don’t need to sit. Well, possibly. At least lean on something.” 

“How do you feel about helicopters?”
There was a long pause. “How do you mean? Ethically?”
"As a mode of transportation."
"Faster than camels, but less sustainable.” 

See, doom and gloom is pointless without levity. You need to rise to the surface. You need to see light, to know air is in reach, in order to get well and truly terrified when you sink into the dark depths. Otherwise you just succumb to the despair and become numb. With quick wit and great instincts, Stiefvater accomplishes this every step of the way. I cannot count the number of times I laughed out loud while reading Dream Thieves, which is not something I do while reading. Of course, it helps that …

5. You Will Love These People Like They Are Your Own Kin 

In case it’s not clear from the above, Raven Boys wields a gorgeously complicated and fleshed out cast. Sure, on the surface, they may appear to be types. Hell, as a friend pointed out, they’re almost a Marauders fic gone haywire. But Stiefvater doesn’t content with types. They’re flawed in ways the reader may not always appreciate but always understands. Blue is stand-offish and judgmental; Adam is stubborn to the point of foolishness and tirelessly proud; Gansey is privileged though working on it; Ronan is terrifyingly cruel to most anyone he doesn’t feel merits kindness; Noah is, in a word, creepy and less than adept at social norms. But they’re also virtuous in ways that claw into your heart and carve out a home that is theirs now, forever and ever. Blue is resourceful and practical and selfless; Adam is self-reliant and sincere and grounded; Gansey is compassionate and merciful and desperate to prove himself; Ronan is loyal and generous and fiercely protective of his brothers whether he likes them or not; Noah is shy and peaceful and so deliriously happy to have friends he’s willing to overlook his sad state of existence. Throw in the strong and colorful (and can I mention again ALL FEMALE) clan of psychics that populate the rooms of 300 Fox Way, and then for good measure the well-defined classmates and siblings of the boys, and you’ve got a world worth living in for years.

And since there are two whole books still left after Dream Thieves hits the shelves in September, there’s no reason not to.

So. Go. Now. That there’s the link. If you’re even remotely interested in the paranormal and paranormal-related fiction, do it.

Or risk being late to the best party in YA right now.

Oct 20th (+296)
"I think every now and then about Sean’s thumb pressed against my wrist and daydream about him touching me again. But mostly I think about the way he looks at me – with respect – and I think that’s probably worth more than anything.
Oct 17th (+261)

You are being self-pitying.”

"I’m nearly done. You don’t have much more of this to bear."

"I like you better this way."

"Crushed and broken," Gansey said. "Just the way women like ‘em."

Oct 16th (+290)

theallycarter:

theallycarter:

Who is ready to Win an Advanced Reading Copy of All Fall Down, Book 1 of the Embassy Row Series?

Contest Rules: To be entered into the contest you must REBLOG today’s Tumblr post! You may add your own comment on Tumblr if you like but it’s not necessary. Winner will be picked randomly in 48hours!

Want to know more about Embassy Row? Read the synopsis and first two chapters right here!

ICYMI: We’re giving away an ARC of #AllFallDown on Tumblr! Reblog this post to enter!

Oct 14th (+1094)

OPINIONS ON TMI BECOMING A TV SHOW

imshouting:

I really, truly believe that this series will do better as a tv show than a movie. TMI is filled with so much information and subplots that are really important to the fandom and a tv series will allow them to incorporate those details so much better. ALSO, I really hope that they start from the beginning and not where the movie left off, that is the only logical way to go about doing this.

RECASTING?! The current cast for TMI is like, the cutest lil’ family and I will be crushed if they’re recasted. (Well to be honest, I don’t care much for Lily Collins as Clary, but other than that I am super passionate about the other characters’ actors)

I’m also SUPER interested in what network they’re gonna try to get it to air on. It could go two ways, they could revamp it and make it dark for Showtime or just go with The CW for fans of The Vampire Diaries etc. 

THIS IS EXCITING NEWS. I’M NERVOUS BUT INTRIGUED. 

Other thoughts?!

Oct 12th (+4)

best book covers ever? 

best book covers ever.

Oct 12th (+6035)

four cereals you will never taste

Oct 08th (+65173)

magnusrayne:

The Mortal Instruments: a summary

Oct 03rd (+8646)
"Misery loves company. In fiction, we can be unhappy together."


-Bad Feminist: Essays, Roxane Gay
Oct 03rd (+0)

regulusblaq:

(x)

Oct 02nd (+1009)
221b