Review: The Raven Boys (#1) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.
But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.
This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.
This is the year she will fall in love.
 

I can’t believe I didn’t carry on with this series the first time I read this book! I picked this up over 2 years ago now in 2016 and I remember really enjoying it. However, I didn’t own the entire series and due to that it has taken me until now to finally decide to carry on reading them! I couldn’t remember what happened at all though, so hence I decided to pick the first one back up and re-read it before I continue.

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures.”

And I’m so glad I did because I feel like I’ve discovered this book all over again! This series is incredibly compelling, and I know it won’t take me long to get through the rest. It did take me a while to start becoming obsessed with the story, but I’m definitely there now and I can’t stop thinking about Blue’s life.

The first thing that came into my head when reading this book is the originality. I have to admit I have never read a YA book like this one, and that is a bold statement to make, and an incredible thing for an author to achieve.

“She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

I have so much praise for the amazing woman that is Maggie Stiefvater. I could go on forever about what I love about this book, but let’s start with her writing. Easy to read but randomly poetic. Very page-turning but also made me stop and think wow how does someone do that?

The only slight issue I had was this book really ramps up like 100 pages in and the pacing was incredibly slow to start with? It honestly took me around half the book to go from ‘it’s okay’ to ‘omg this is the best thing ever’. Aside from possibly Ronan, who I unfortunately found very 2D, I also love the colourful complex cast of characters Stiefvater has created. Blue is so mature, never whines and is all around calm and cool and intriguing. And I found the other boys so fascinating to read about and very vibrant and alive (ahem).

So to sum up, this book is unique and original and unlike anything I’ve read before. If you’re looking for something a little different, I URGE YOU TO READ THIS.

★★★★★
5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: See How They Lie by Sue Wallman

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All’s not well at the Hummingbird Creek wellness resort. No one can see in. No one can get out… 
New from the talented author who brought you Lying About Last Summer: a psycho-chiller to wake up your darkest phobias. If you got to live in a luxury hotel with world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments, would you say ‘yes please’? 
Well, that’s kind of what Hummingbird Creek is like. No wonder Mae feels lucky to be there. It’s meant as a rich-kid’s sanatorium, but she isn’t sick. Her dad is the top psychiatrist there. But one day Mae breaks a rule. NOT a good idea. This place is all about rules – and breaking them can hurt you…

I’m pretty sure this book was a cover buy, and it’s been sat on my shelf for at least a year. I thought I’d finally pick it up, and I ended up getting through it in just under a day! Firstly, I would like to point out I nearly DNF’d this book, but not because I didn’t like it. I just felt like it wasn’t for me. But I have to say, I am glad I continued and pushed through. Even though this wasn’t the best book in the world, it was enjoyable to a degree.

“Don’t go, I want to say. Don’t leave me.”

I have to say I’m very torn in my opinion of this book, and I think that’s because it’s slightly too young for me. It’s definitely more of an early teen book, and I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if I’d have picked it up years ago. For one, the whole concept is one we don’t see often, and I did find it imaginative. I’m not going to say it was out-of-this-world, but I found it interesting enough to carry on reading.

I actually liked the characters, and Mae’s friends. I felt the cast of characters varied and most were well-built. Everyone was described just enough to make it interesting and we still knew who everyone was.

“But instead I stay silent.”

I definitely think one of the problems here is the pace. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was slow, but maybe patchy is the right word? I saw a review on Goodreads that read “Sort of felt like the middle section was all ‘The vitamins…could something be wrong with the vitamins? I think there’s something going on with the vitamins. Could…could it be? Something to do with the vitamins?’” and I couldn’t agree more. In more ways than one, this book is just a little all-over the place and I definitely think it includes a few plot-holes. I won’t go into any more detail due to spoilers, but I will include it as a downfall.

So this book was enjoyable and a page-turner, but not incredible or exciting as such. I’m glad I read it, but I’d say if you’re looking for a cult book, go for Seed by Lisa Heathfield instead.

★★★
3 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

This book was pretty good – Matson is living up to expectations! I’ve always been a Matson fan since I started reading YA, with Amy and Roger being my favourite, so I couldn’t help but pick this one up.

I loved so many things about this book! It was so family orientated, which was lovely. I really feel like families take a backseat in YA and they’re rarely featured as much as family is in Save the Date. It made for a fresh feel, although I did want a little more romance in some parts. I flew through this book and finished it within a few days, mainly because so much happened!

“It seemed like the second you tried to tell someone why you loved someone else, it took the luster off it”

It’s crazy how this book took place over 3 days, and yet it span over 400. It was just so fun and hectic! So many silly things happened, that I actually ended up laughing at the pure craziness of it all. With the amount of things going wrong, the book ended up being really entertaining and just made me want to read on and on.

I had mixed feelings about Charlie, but I actually really liked her in the end. Some of her decisions and feelings really annoyed me – her focus on her family can be a little over-the-top at times and can cause her to just be mean to others. But these are just mistakes that teenagers make. All of the tiny things I didn’t like about her, she actually rectified before the end of the book. I loved watching her grow and learn from her mistakes, and make new decisions about her life.

“like pinning a butterfly down in a case—it never quite captured it.”

The only downside to this book was maybe the predictability of it. Maybe it’s just the extensive amount of contemporaries (and Matson’s) books I’ve read, but I kind of guessed at most of the plot, including the ending. Although this didn’t take much away from the enjoyment I had reading it, it made me rate the book…

★★★★
4 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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