The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Book Review)

theravenking

Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count
: 439

The Raven King is the final installment in the Raven Cycle! You can find my previous reviews for The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by clicking on the titles!

If you’ve read my previous reviews for the series, you know that I am adamant on not wanting to give away much of anything, which meant they were extremely vague. And I am talking super vague! As a little forewarning, this won’t be much different. There is just something about these books that makes me feel inherently protective of the story and even more so of the characters. Just like Blue, I’ve slowly fallen in love with all the boys and they’ve become MY Raven Boys in the process.

I usually don’t like endings, for obvious reasons, because it means the end. There are stories that I wish could go on forever and I am pretty sure that this is one of the few that actually could (also a reason that I am really, really happy about the companion series from Ronan’s POV coming out in the distant future). So, finales always take me so much longer to read, but I couldn’t pace myself with The Raven King. The stakes have been getting higher and higher for our friends with each book, but this was just pure intensity and despair and what-is-even-happening the entire time, so that I NEEDED to know what happened next. Every time I had to stop reading because of work, but was at a thrilling moment (which was a lot), I seriously cursed that place and adulthood.

However, even though it was a read that gave me all the feels and had me on the edge of my seat, I am not entirely happy about it. I feel like Noah was a character whom I adored, but who was constantly ignored. As far as endings go, I thought that Maggie Stiefvater did well, EXCEPT for Noah again. If I take that aside, the relationships went even further in this one. It had laugh-out-loud moments as well as the ones that made me want to dissolve in tears. The Raven Cycle has such an intricate magical world that just keeps on expanding. The entire series you grow along and learn about the world with the characters. Even though their problems are mostly of the supernatural kind, I felt like so much of it could be applicable for a regular human as well – wanting to belong, being curious, finding your place in this madness!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Definitely a deserving end of one of my new favourite series!

5stars

What’s your take on the Raven King? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Book Review)

TDT

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Count
: 450

The Dream Thieves is the second book in the Raven Cycle. If you have missed out on my review for the first one a couple days ago, you can click here to check it out!

I thought that after The Raven Boys, I had an inkling of an idea as to how this book would go down. Well, turns out I didn’t. Of course, it did still talk about Glendower, which was the main plot in book one, but only very loosely in my opinion. It focused on different things instead, but you definitely won’t hear me complaining. While the first book was very Gansey and/or Blue focused with a bit of Adam, I felt that this one really showcased Ronan and Adam in a more detailed way.

I am not going to lie, I had my troubles with Ronan in The Raven Boys. He was arrogant and mean, not exactly the lovable kind of characteristics I am looking for. However, and this in no way means that he has changed much, I actually feel like I begin to understand him now and he’s grown on me so much since then. Basically everyone has! I love all the different POVs. It’s the perfect way to show the workings of all the characters, even the “villains”, which makes it all extremely engaging.

The plot … I guess I could talk about it, but there is something about the series that makes me want to keep everything secret so that no one gets spoiled. It’s such an intricately and beautifully written series that always manages to surprise you and pull you in. I already feel like I have known all of the boys and Blue forever, like I am meeting up with old friends as soon as I open the book. You sort of become part of their circle, seeing all those relationships unfold right in front of you. Again, this was so brilliant to read because of the characters and not what was happening.

There sure is a ton more to say, but I just don’t have the proper words to express it, so here is a quote:

TDT2

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I wish I could continue with the series right now, but duty calls.

5stars

Did you read The Dream Thieves? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? I heard this is the one that split quite a few opinions.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Book Review)

RB

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Count
: 408

I’ve wanted to pick up this series in what feels like forever, so when I FINALLY got all the books at once, I suddenly became scared. I have never read anything by Maggie Stiefvater before, but you know how you sometimes hype something so much for yourself that there is absolutely no way it can possibly hold up? Well, I hyped this book A LOT! But as soon as I actually started reading, I realised that I had no clue what the book was really about. Heck, I even thought Blue was a boy (which she’s not. She’s a cool and eccentric girl). It’s pretty difficult to be disappointed about something when you didn’t even have a picture in your mind as to what exactly to expect. So, long story short, I loved it and am SO happy about that!

When we jump into the story it actually starts off kind of sinister but even though there are a ton of creepy vibes, I never felt scared. Which is a good thing, because I don’t like to be scared and also don’t think that the story is supposed to do that. In fact, I laughed a lot, while also being completely pulled into this world. It was way more magical than I expected, while at the same time I thought “yes, that is totally how I would have loved to spend my time during High School”.

Which brings me to my favourite part of the book – the characters. They are always such an essential part of any book really and this one is no exception. Blue and the boys don’t meet on the best of turns and it’s simply hilarious to read, because you know their fates are intertwined. There is bantering and friendship and love (platonical, familiar and a tinsy bit the romantic kind). They are immediately the kind of people you’d identify as squad goals! However, I didn’t love everyone from the beginning. In fact, I thought some of them were just plain weird or mean, but in the end they definitely grow on you. They aren’t just one-dimensional, they do have problems, and not just the magical kind, but real-life-relatable-problems.

There really isn’t much more I can say without spoiling people who haven’t read it (*keeping my fingers crossed I am not the last person in the universe who hasn’t*), but there were some great twists. You knew that something was up, but I honestly doubt that I would ever have made the connection myself. Twists are great, I really love them, but I would have freaked out if I had read the book without a possibility to continue with the series. It’s such a small statement, yet it changes everything. I am so looking forward to binge-read the rest!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! I want more, more, more! (Good thing I have all the books right here on my shelf!)

5stars

Have you read the Raven Cycle? Which book was your favourite (without spoiling me please)? Is it only going to get better?

T5W – Worst Love Interests

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It’s Top 5 Wednesday, a meme hosted by booktuber Lainey aka gingereadslainey for which you can join on the Goodreads page here. Today’s topic is Worst Love Interest, and I am assuming that this was meant for main love interest, but I can’t think of any pairing that I didn’t like in the end. So I am going with secondary love interests if that’s okay with you all. No objections? Cool, let’s get started!

Adam from the Shatter Me Series

I liked him in the first book, but then he became so possessive and angry and territorial. I can’t stand guys like that. Not everyone needs saving and he just couldn’t see that Juliette evolved and got more self-confident.

Aspen from the Selection Series

As if Aspen ever stood a chance!? It wasn’t like America had to decide between him and Maxon, it was never a question of the heart! She just wasn’t sure whether she wanted to be Princess …

Agatha from Carry On

I couldn’t stand Agatha for most of the book. I did briefly feel sorry for her, but only ever so briefly. (image source)

After reading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell I had to draw my favorite character. So here you have a quick sketch of the Queen Agatha Wellbelove. I have never enjoyed a character POV so much. 

Rhiannon from Every Day

I actually came up with a primary love interest! BUYAAAH! Didn’t see that one coming, huh? I get why that girl was confused. I would have been too, but she was selfish and cold sometimes. I didn’t think she always deserved everything that A went through for her. But I could just be angry because the second book is in her POV instead of continuing A’s story …

Gale from the Hunger Games Series

So, he’s good looking? Yeah and what else? He was never a valid love interest! NEVER!!!

Conclusion, don’t give your secondary love interest a name that starts with an “A” or I’ll assume they won’t be the main ones. Just kidding! Think of Aaron Warner and all is well in the world of beginning-with-A-names! Who are some love interest you couldn’t stand? Tell me in the comments below! 

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

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I just saw this tag over at Cristina‘s blog My Tiny Obsessions and it looked incredibly fun. I wasn’t specifically tagged, but she said everyone could do it so here I am!

The rules are simple:

  1. Pick any five books randomly (or not randomly, your choice).
  2. The first name you see when you flip open the book on a random page, will be the person who is the answer to the question.
  3. Each book must answer two questions.

So, I threw some book titles in a hat and the following 5 were chosen to face the Zombie Apocalypse!

zombiea

#1: THE FIRST PERSON TO DIE? 

markwatneyThe Martian – Mark Watney

This is the most unlikely outcome ever! Mark Watney freaking survived Mars all by himself and is basically the most resourceful person I have ever read about, so NO!

 

#2: THE PERSON YOU TRIP TO GET AWAY FROM THE ZOMBIES?

quentinThe Magician King – Quentin Coldwater

If it had been the first part of the series (The Magicians) then I might have said yes, but Q has grown on me. I mean I don’t want to trip anyone to be clear, but I guess in an emergency life-or-death-situation … okay. He has magical defense powers,  I bet he’d have better chances in combat with a zombie than I would anyway.

#3: THE FIRST PERSON TO TURN INTO A ZOMBIE?

adam kentUnravel Me – Adam Kent

Well … it’s no secret that Adam wasn’t exactly my favourite person by the end of the Shatter Me series, so … sorry Adam. Hope your life as a zombie is alright.

#4: THE PERSON THAT TRIPS YOU TO GET AWAY FROM THE ZOMBIES?

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Tamlin

Somehow I can’t see him do it. He is a very protective and honorable person and to think that he would let me die in order to save his own life is just highly unlikely. I think Tamlin is better than that.

#5: THE IDIOT OF THE TEAM?

Marco Alisdair character poster. Bigger version [x]

The Night Circus – Marco

Don’t get me wrong, I like Marco, but he can be a bit silly sometimes. I don’t see him as an idiot – he’s quite the brilliant magician, but in other departments he can be a bit clueless sometimes. It’s not a perfect fit, but somehow … distantly I may be able to see it.

#6: THE “BRAINS” OF THE TEAM?

The Martian – Rick Martinez

So the biggest jokster from the Ares 3 mission is supposed to be the brains of the team? He is a spaceship pilot, so I guess he does have the smarts to pull it off though.

#7: THE TEAM’S MEDIC?

The Magician King – Julia

That totally works for me! I mean she has sort of lost her touch with humanity a bit, but I don’t think she would just leave someone stranded if they are hurt. Also, she’s a really good magician, so she should be able to pull it off ability-vise as well.

#8: THE WEAPONS EXPERT?

Unravel Me – Paris Anderson

As much as I hate the man, he knows his weapons. I’ll go with the flow on that one.

#9: THE BRAWLER?

amaranthaA Court of Thorns and Roses – Amarantha

YES! Again someone I really, really don’t like. She is trouble, I would not want to fight her … but that all makes her perfect for the position.

#10: THE TEAM CAPTAIN?

Celia Bowen by lsmyangThe Night Circus – Celia

She’s pretty bossy but she knows what she is doing and she’s a responsible person, I can totally see it.

 

 

 

So, this was all pretty much hit or miss. I am going to go with what Cristina did and say that if you think that was fun, consider yourself tagged! Leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll take a look at it!

Summer Review: UnREAL

I’ve been raving about UnREAL for a while now, making it my most anticipated summer TV show of 2015. You can’t believe how happy I am that it also delivered when I finally got a chance to watch it. I’m already addicted and I’ve only seen one episode so far! I don’t think there are any major Spoilers in this review, especially not if you’ve seen the promo, but decide for yourself with how much information you want to go into this.

UnREAL chronicles the shooting of a reality show called “Everlasting”, which is very much like the fictional re-imagining of “The Bachelor”. It is a behind-the-scenes-look from the producers point of view, especially freelancer Rachel, who has returned to the show after a mental breakdown (that was, like everything else, caught on camera). There are so many “unscrpited” TV shows on these days and I just don’t believe them – I love that UnREAL takes a bit of a hit at them, trying to expose the process behind “great TV”. In fact, the show is so on-point that it could just as well be a docu-series. (Although I seriously hope that real producers aren’t that ruthless!)

Here are some more specific thoughts:

  • Shiri Appleby as the lead, Rachel Goldberg, is perfect!!! She looks so honest, nice and sympathetic that you wouldn’t guess how manipulating she can be. I’m so very much looking forward to seeing her journey and if she’ll get out of this sane. I mean being hated by so many people, having to destroy people’s lives and working with your ex … that’s gotta take its toll.
  • Quinn (Constance Zimmer), the head producer who has an affair with show-creator Chet, is candid and offensive at the same time. Often you can’t believe what she’s saying but there’s always truth to her words. She knows how to do her job and she knows that she can’t make friends while doing it. I’m not quite sure how it’ll pan out that she sent the PA to do Rachel’s service hours. I hope it doesn’t backfire!
  • I haven’t quite figured out Freddie Stroma‘s character Adam yet. Is participating in a dating show really the best way to do damage control for your reputation? I don’t think that I’d invest with someone who tried to find love on a TV show, but maybe that’s just my opinion. Nonetheless, he intrigues me and I can see the sparks between him and Rachel.
  • The way all the contestants got cast for their part on the show and how the producers dug into their past is messed up. You’d like to think that that was one of the “unreal” parts of the show, but it’s at least partly how these dating formats are run. Maybe it’s not as extreme as it’s portrayed here , but it’s still freaky to think how much of it all is staged.
  • I love Arielle Kebbel and I hope she’ll make another appearance on the show!
  • The whole setting, the house, the location, the crew – it all looks so “real”. I have to hand it to the creators for that one. I’m sure someone spent a lot of time watching dating-shows for “research” purposes!
  • Just fyi: the show is inspired by Shapiro’s short Sequin Raze. Haven’t seen it, but I now very much would like to!

UnREAL is the real deal for me and required summer-viewing! I can already see myself sitting on the edge of my seat every week, anticipating what they’ll come up with next. What do you say?

Shatter Me Series

The Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi consists of three main books called Shatter Me, Unravel Me and Ignite Me, but also two companion novellas which are called Destroy Me (the POV of Warner at the end of book one) and Fracture Me (the POV of Adam at the end of book two). The novellas can be bought in one book called Unite Me. Did I confuse you enough with that? Good! Then we’ll go on with the plot of the books.

The series is about a girl called Juliette, who can’t be touched by anyone, because her touch inflicts an indescribable amount of pain and can be lethal. Of course, this means Juliette has lived her entire life in isolation, too afraid of hurting the people around her. Shunned by society, you’d think that Juliette turned out to be bitter and angry person, but she’s not. In fact, she never once fought back! And that’s what the book is about! Sure, it does involve a heck of a lot of romance and superpowers and stuff, but it is mainly about the transformation of Juliette from a whiny and crying girl to a confident woman.

This book series was nothing like I expected! It took me a little until I got into the story, but then I couldn’t stop reading. The style of writing is unusual and oh, all the things left unsaid. Things, that Juliette doesn’t even allow herself to think. The writing also changes as she gets more confident – it was beautiful!  I laughed and I was surprised, it really gripped me!

Everything that happened; I’m sometimes still so overwhelmed! After the first book, sort of everything started to collapse and I did not see it coming how much the characters would change throughout the series.  At some point, though, I really felt like I was reading this sort of dystopian version of X-Men. Juliette somewhat reminded me of Rogue and there are also people who can turn invisible and who can control things with their mind – I get that those are like standard superpowers, but still, something really reminded me of the mutants and their restistance.

In the end, I would say that Unravel Me and Ignite Me were better than Shatter Me, but of course, that’s just my opinion. I also enjoyed reading the companion novellas, although I felt as if Fracture Me revealed much more about Adam than Destroy Me did about Warner. I can already see people building teams, which I find very unnecessary for this book, but who cares. I like all the guys, but especially Warner and Kenji, because Adam seriously started to piss me off in the end.

I would have liked to read a little epilogue about what happened to the earth after the finale, but you can’t have everything. I am excited to hear that 20th Century Fox bought the film rights, before the book was even released. Let’s hope they don’t drop that one, like they did with Legend.  Did you read the series? What did you think about it? If you haven’t read it, do you think you might check it out?

UPDATE 6/19/2015

So, Tahereh Mafi just announced that after the movie didn’t happen, ABC Signature Studios now optioned the TV rights for the series. I actually think that a Shatter Me would work better on TV so I am massively excited about it! You can watch the full announcement and her fellow writer and husband Ransom Riggs talk about his book (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) getting adapted by watching polandbananaBOOKS (aka Christine Riccio) video here.