Tag Archives: maggie stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. I almost cannot believe that I am giving less than 4 stars to a book by Maggie Stiefvater.

The Raven Boys revolves around Blue Sargent, the daughter of a clairvoyant mother. Blue herself cannot see the future, but she amplifies the powers of those around her – and, ever since she was young, she’s been told that if she kisses her true love, he’ll die. After seeing a shocking vision one night, Blue finds herself entangled in a group of academically and financially superior guys from Aglionby Academy. Known as the Raven Boys, Blue knows that she shouldn’t get caught up in their conquests – but, inevitably, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous, mysterious circle.

I have terribly missed reading Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. It’s still beautiful, and her decision to write about the supernatural, prophecies, and Glendower shows that she’s not afraid to try new things in the realm of young-adult fiction. Continue reading


Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.

Even under the brightest sun, the frigid autumn sea is all the colors of the night: dark blue and black and brown. I watch the ever-changing patterns in the sand as it’s pummeled by countless horses.

They run the horses on the beach, a pale road between the black water and the chalk cliffs. It is never safe, but it’s never so dangerous as today, race day.”

Reviewing The Scorpio Races, for me, is like reviewing my best friend. Maggie Stiefvater has already cemented her standing as one of my favorite authors with the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy – Shiver, Linger, and Forever changed me as a reader and as a writer – and she does not disappoint with her newest stand-alone novel. This book touched me, though in a different way than her previous works.

The most spectacular talent Stiefvater shows in The Scorpio Races is her power to pull readers into the setting of her story. Puck and Sean, our protagonists, live on the island of Thisby – the only place where the dangerous, man-eating capaill uisce (water-horses) are found. Through Stiefvater’s rich, beautiful descriptions, Thisby comes alive as an individual character; I was so wonderfully entrenched in the atmosphere of the island and its inhabitants that by closing the book I felt like I was leaving behind a second home.

Stiefvater’s characters shine in The Scorpio Races. Puck’s resilience and fierceness as the first female to ride in the races impressed me, and Sean’s cool, calculated, and somewhat callous demeanor grew on me too. There is a lot of character development in this novel – let me emphasize again, a lot – and I could definitely trace Puck and Sean’s growth as the book progressed.

Unfortunately, the pacing of this book proved to be a problem. As a diehard fan of Stiefvater’s writing, I did not mind at all reading pages and pages of pretty prose. She tackled numerous themes, including family, freedom, and coming-of-age, which I thought were all nicely fleshed out. Yet despite the book’s splendid setting, atmosphere, characters, etc., there was a bit too much development, and not enough action.

Don’t get me wrong, the actual races had my heart pounding just like any other thrilling climax. Only it occurred at the very end of the book and lasted for a mere twelve pages. I understand that Stiefvater’s priority in writing this book may not have been to focus on the race itself, but the book jacket led me to believe otherwise, and I’m sure other readers too.

Overall I did not feel as involved in The Scorpio Races as I did with the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, but I enjoyed this book and am eagerly awaiting Stiefvater’s next work. Be warned that your heart probably will not race until the last fifty pages of the book, though if you are a fan of beautiful writing or Stiefvater’s other books, you’ll most likely enjoy the other 357 pages as well.


Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I wanted to start this review selfishly. I even wrote “I’m going to be selfish and begin this review by saying…”, but decided against it after thinking for several minutes. I realized something during that time – I still couldn’t extricate myself from the characters of the book, even though it was over. And I felt bad for it.

Another epiphany occurred moments later. This isn’t supposed to happen. You read the book(s), you learn about the characters, you love them (or hate them), and you let them go. That’s what made this process – my personal goodbye to Grace, Sam, Cole, and Isabel – so painful. I didn’t want to let them go.

I’m sure I’ve said it before: I aspire to write as well as Maggie Stiefvater. At sixteen, there are many things I have to improve about my writing, and many more things I have to learn in order to do so. I honestly feel like reading this series has pushed me in the right direction. Stiefvater’s writing flows so beautifully and seamlessly, and it appears easy and natural. To me, Forever is just one big favorite quote.

The characters. I don’t think I’ve been as emotionally invested in any book’s characters as much as the ones in this trilogy. They’re all so perfectly nuanced and deep. A conversation between Cole and Isabel could make me laugh out loud, and fifty pages later another dialogue between them reduce me to tears. Sam and Grace, I believe, are the golden couple. As much as I would love to have Sam for myself, he truly belongs with Grace, and I’m happy with the way the book ended.

I could go on and on about the characters, especially the way Stiefvater threw in small details and thoughts that caused them to come alive. Instead, I’ll conclude this review by not saying goodbye. Sam, Grace, Isabel, Cole, and Mercy Falls will remain in my heart. Forever.


Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 5/5 stars.

There are certain books that inspire me so tremendously, so irrevocably, that I know these books fuel the flames of my passion for reading and writing. Shiver, and now Linger, have joined these ranks.

Linger is the sequel to Shiver, and continues the bittersweet story of Sam and Grace, two lovers who fight for the right to be together. Sam stays sorrowful in the absence of Grace and desperately tries to avoid his past. Grace grows weak and frightful, while her hopes of a future with Sam dissipate and decrease. And there is a new addition to the werewolf pack: Cole, a former rock star who would go to any length to escape his body, his pain. These three separate individuals were brought together by the shifting seasons and ties to the wolves of Mercy Falls… but will the forces that led them to each other also tear them apart?

Linger was not without its flaws. For some readers, the pacing of the plot may be rather slow in the beginning, and Stiefvater’s prose may border on purple. And yet, I could not bear to put this book down. I could not bear the agony of not knowing what happened to these magnificently drawn characters.

Instead of receiving narration from just Sam and Grace, Isabel and newcomer Cole also get to share their side of the story. Although it seems like having four paradigms instead of a single pair may detract from the story, the addition of Isabel and Cole only enhanced the depth of these characters. Grace and Sam’s chemistry was touching as always, but there was something about the relationship between Isabel and Cole that might have ignited an even larger fire in my heart. And Isabel, as well as Cole, was perfectly fleshed out. Isabel’s guilt for losing her brother, and Cole’s need for release from a painful past, tore me up inside.

Once again, Stiefvater has written a lyrical tale about love and loss, and fate and destiny. You need to read this book.

(read and reviewed in August, 2010)

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 4/5 stars.

“I adore and admire Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. I think I post this in almost every review of her books, but the way she uses words inspires me to improve my own writing. By now, my blatant bias for her work should be apparent.  Despite Lament‘s shortcomings when compared to her series starting with Shiver, I still enjoyed it.

Deirdre Monaghan is the average above-average sixteen-year-old. A gifted musician, she goes through the everyday notions of practicing for performances and satisfying her callous mother – until she meets the mysterious Luke Dillon while throwing up in the girl’s bathroom. As unappealing as that first date may seem, things get even stranger when Deirdre discovers that Luke is a faerie assassin. Yet, she cannot stymie her growing attraction to him. Is their love for one another enough to keep them together, or will it be the factor that costs them their lives?

Yes, Twilight comparisons abound. However, there is no competition to which one is the better book. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is at least tenfold of Stephenie Meyer’s, or at least what Meyer displayed in her Twilight series. Additionally, the characters in Stiefvater’s novel are stronger and deeper than those in Meyer’s.

This being Stiefvater’s first young adult novel, I was duly impressed by the dialogue as well as the general way the characters were written. It did not send shivers racing through my bones as The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy did, but it was definitely worth the read.

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books