Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater



Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 review:

“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

I don’t know how to feel about things now that this is over. Or, sort of over. I’ll come back to this point later.

After reading other reviews, it’s easy to see that The Raven Cycle—but more accurately, the Raven lifestyle—is an acquired taste (although the majority of us are like Hungry Hungry Hippos when it comes to the ladies of 300 Fox Way and the boys of Aglionby). I wanted more, and I was prepared to take whatever I could get. I am so thankful for this book.

On that note, this final instalment was not perfect. It was everything I loved about every page of every other book in the cycle, and it was also not. It was Nino’s and Robobees, scrying and dying, dreamworlds and the real world, nobility and decomposition. It was always about the boys, and Blue, and Cabeswater. And in the end, it was still the boys, and Blue, and Cabeswater. I am so thankful for this world.

“Gansey just loved it, fearfully, awesomely, worshipfully.”

For me, The Raven Boys was love at first page. I don’t know how to put it into words. The writing style and character development and eerie thrill and magic that fills its pages is something you have to witness for yourself, from the very beginning. If you did not enjoy the first book, one can assume you would not enjoy the rest, but that’s irrelevant if you’ve already come this far on the journey to find Glendower. I am so thankful for this journey.

I need a separate paragraph just to note my appreciation of the creature/dreamer/warrior that is Ronan Lynch. “Half a dreamer, half a dream, maker of ravens and hoofed girls and entire lands.” He is something else. He is everything you could want from a character. Someone filled with so much good, bad, the ugly and beautiful, that their existence, to simply know them or know of them, is like a gift. I am so thankful for Ronan Lynch.

And can we talk about Pynch? <spoiler removed> Yes. Yes. Yes. They are everything, everything, everything. I am so thankful for this love.

Also, Henry Cheng grinds my gears. Whatever type of plot device he was intended to be, his insertion into this world, into Gansey’s life, felt forced upon me. And I did not like it. In my opinion, the only good thing that Cheng added to the story was his sage advice to Gansey: “If you can’t be unafraid, be afraid and happy.” I am so thankful for these words.

And thank you, Maggie Stiefvater. Reading this series has made me feel like there truly is something more out there. I couldn’t imagine giving this anything less than 5 stars because I truly feel like this series will always be a part of me. Not in the same way that Harry Potter was (and still is), but just as significant. Just as important. I am so thankful for this series.

★★★★ (4.5 stars) because one can never be satisfied with something so beautiful coming to an end. But at least there’s still the possibility of something more. It’s never over. Cabeswater will always exist in some shape, way, or form.

Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater


Synopsis from Goodreads:

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

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from 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.

My mini-review:

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

Me too, Blue. Me too.

Gansey is royalty and hideously-hued polo shirts.
Ronan is fire and dreams and drag races.
Adam is magic and inner turmoil.
Noah is life and death.
Blue is spirit.

But Gansey is also the glue that binds the Raven Boys together.

★★★★★ (5 stars) because I’ve always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, and that’s what reading The Raven Cycle feels like. Like there’s something more.

Wrap-Up: March 2016

Hello, lovely readers! What a good month it has been. By “good”, I mean that this month was slightly better than February in terms of the number of books read, as well as the quality of those books. The month in general had me in a life slump, but that’s not important.

If you can’t be bothered to read the rest of this post, you can watch my wrap-up on YouTube instead. Just click here.

In total, I read 12 books this month. Among those 12, I’ve acquired two new all-time-favourites: An Ember in the Ashes and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. For the sake of being organized, I separated all the books by their star ratings and linked to their full reviews (for your convenience).



Full review here.


Full review here.


Full review here.



Full review here.


Full review here.


Full review here.


Full review here.



Full review here.


Full review here.


Full review here.


Full review here.



Full review here.

That’s all, folks!

Feel free to leave me any questions or comments regarding what I’ve read or said.

Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

My review:

“Once upon a time I thought I could change stories, make them go the way I wanted, instead of where they actually went.”

When I met April Genevieve Tucholke the other day, I told her that I was wary of her characters and she told me that I could trust Midnight. I said I would take her word for it.

I absolutely devoured this book. I can’t remember the last time I read a book so quickly. This is a testament to Tucholke’s fleeting and whimsical writing. It was so easy and exciting to read, almost like picking up your first fantasy book as a child.

I went into this book very skeptically. I expected to be tricked and lied to and potentially disappointed but that was hardly the case. I mean, yes, readers should still be skeptical, but it was far from being a disappointment.

I had a sense of things about halfway through, but it did not deter me from wanting to finish the book.

On another note, I’ve noticed other reviewers drawing a few comparisons between this book and We Were Liars (you can read my review of that book here). We Were Liars was very disappointing, and I had no clue what the premise of that book was before I started reading it. Heaven knows how annoyed I would have been if I went into that story as skeptically as I did this one. Basically, Wink Poppy Midnight was executed perfectly in the ways that We Were Liars wasn’t.

★★★★ (4 stars) because I’m not quite sure how I feel about the ending.

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

My review:

“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.”

– – –

Me: “Everyone, meet Rachel.”
Everyone: “Hi Rachel,” a cacophony of voices mumble in unison.
Me: “Rachel, would you like to tell everyone a little bit about yourself? No?”
Someone: “She’s a fat liar! But mostly fat,” a voice shrieks.
Me: “Anna, shut the f*ck up. You are a homewrecker, and frankly you are just a b*tch.”
Me: “Since everyone here is f*cked up, I will take it upon myself to do the introductions.”
Me: “This is what you need to know.”

• Rachel is the girl on the train. She is depressed and an alcoholic.
• Megan lives in one of the houses that can be seen from the train.
• Scott is married to Megan, and of course, lives in the same house as her.
• Anna lives a few doors down from Megan and Scott, with her husband and child.
• Tom is Rachel’s ex-husband. His house is home to Anna and their child.

– – –

This book is a great work of fiction. I have not read or seen Gone Girl and I do not plan to, so I will not be talking about how similar or dissimilar they are. To me, this book was a mystery. I did not read any reviews about it. I did not read any blurbs. It was not recommended to me. All I had to go on was the title. So, I think it’s safe to say that there is indeed a girl on a train.

I don’t want to get into too many details, but there are a couple of things I want to mention.

First, I need to say how refreshing it is to read about a depressed/alcoholic character who faces real consequences as a result of their illness(es). Rachel’s struggles are very real. It was not romanticized. It was realistic. It made me pity her, and dislike her, and feel hopeful for her. It was all portrayed very well.

Similarly, the character development in this book is fantastic. I can’t recall reading another book that filled me with so much distaste for its characters. It is amazing. They are so real, so flawed, so human.

On another note, as soon as the second female narrator was introduced, I knew that I could not trust a single person. Every character’s moral compass is damaged. A factory defect. As a self-proclaimed master of psychobabble, I love the questions that were raised about the authenticity and permeability of memories. The truth is falsifiable. Always.

In any case, I just think that everyone should read this book.

★★★★ (4 stars) for making me ridiculously more paranoid observant during my daily commute on the bus.