Showing posts with label psychic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label psychic. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2016

[Review] The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) - Maggie Stiefvater: 2 Edgy 4 Me

In THE RAVEN BOYS, not-so-psychic girl Blue sees a ghost for the first time, in form of local, rich,"raven boy" Gansey. The only way a non-psychic can see a ghost is when they are their true love, or were killed by them.

What intrigued me: Nagging friends trying to force me to read this.

Do we really need Blue in the story?

The concept in itself is interesting, well though-out and could very much hold my attention. I do love a good psychic story, the great base frame is absolutely overshadowed by the annoying characters. The main dilemma of the novel is that Blue can never kiss Gansey, because then he'll die. Simple solution: Just don't kiss him?!

I didn't really get why Blue was in this story in the first place. As a reader self insert I suppose. It would have been way more interesting to simply read about the raven boys themselves, since they are a on a far more interesting side quest themselves that involves a lot less annoying teenage romance angst. Gansey and his friends are looking for a ghost themselves and I wish the whole book would have just been about this, rather than awkwardly trying to mesh the two storylines. It'll probably all get explained and make sense in future sequels (which I will not read).

Sometimes unique isn't good

It would be absolutely unfair and a blatant lie if I were to say that this is a poorly-written book. The characters are very well-developed (even though you could argue about everyone's right to exist in the story). The writing isn't bad by all means, the entirety of it clearly planned down to every detail. But when reading this, you can't help but feel like it's trying to be something that it's not. Every sentence wants to hold a deep meaning so badly and could as well be splattered on a wall as an inspirational quote. Some people like that. I do not. I find it annoying and very difficult to endure to have a cast of characters that basically speak in Bukowksi quotes.

And even worse, narration like that throw you out of the story and makes you focus more on the foreshadowing and ~deep meaning~ than the actual story. I had a tremendously hard time trying to connect to the narrative, even understanding what's going on because of this. The plot moves forward insanely slowly, switching POVs so often that trying to read this equals an erratic carnival ride. 

THE RAVEN BOYS didn't have a single character that even felt remotely like a real person. They are walking jars full of little quotes that someone thought up and then tried to weave a story around. Again, this isn't a reason to call this book bad, it's simply just not my cup of tea, and these kinds of novels will never be.

THE RAVEN BOYS has all the potential to be a masterfully-crafted novel with a literary feel that's more of an artwork than a book, but fails, simply because it's trying too hard to be exactly that.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

It's not my thing, but it would be downright mean, ignorant, and unfair to give this any less than three stars. I can't stand overly poetic writing just for the sake of it and I am not a fan of self-insert narrators that don't do much, aside from awkwardly swooning over their love interest.

My rating is mostly this high because of the craft aspect - Stiefvater definitely did paint an impressive world, but somewhere along the way forgot that the story has to entertain, too. Maybe you'll feel differently.

Additional Info

Published: September 18th 2012
Pages: 416
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA / Paranormal / Ghosts
ISBN: 9780545424929

"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,”  Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read THE RAVEN BOYS?

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

[Review] The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) - Michelle Hodkin

In THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER, Mara loses all her friends in a traumatic accident that she has no memory of. When her father is assigned a new case in Florida, Mara is forced to go to a new private school, where she falls for the school womanizer.

This book feels like a YA version of Shutter Island. You know that something's wrong the entire time, but you can't quite put your finger on it. 

Sadly, unlike in said movie, you won't be hitting your head and saying Damn It, I knew it!- you'll most likely be still confused.

             A Slumberous Romance

Aside from the mystery around what happens to Mara, her relationship to Noah takes up a big chunk of the novel. I didn't want Mara and Noah to hook up, I didn't even care about those two, I just wanted more flashback scenes so I could make a sense of what happened to Mara.

Noah is just very unlikeable. He's a walking cliché. British bad boy who's not only filthy rich, but oh-so-interested in creepy Mara, who spends days doodling his face before she even really knows him. It's your typical school-heartthrob falling for the shy girl thing. No one likes that, unless you're maybe 11. Also boyfriends who beat up other guys for you aren't romantic. They're scary. 

Mara as a protagonist absolutely had me from the beginning. I love her way of narrating the story and she has a clear, strong character voice that's not very intrusive and pleasant. She's funny, she's a little bit sarcastic and she's not afraid to admit that there's something wrong with her. Still, she fits into the category of the paranormal romance shy girls that is so frowned upon. Mara doesn't have any self-esteem issues, but doesn't call herself pretty either- still, every guy in this novel seems to think she is the reincarnation of a goddess walking the earth. 

But I don't want to put it down?!

The story sucks you in from the first chapter and you have to continue. Hodkin cleverly decorates the story with flashbacks to before the accident in uneven intervals, so you never know when you're going to find the next puzzle piece. .

The scary thing about it isn't ghosts or monsters or anything, but the way you're feeling like you're going insane with Mara. For some people it's just bad writing to make everything so confusing and I fully understand that some people don't connect to this novel. 

Essentially it's a mystery novel that absolutely sucks you in. It doesn't have the best writing style, but I couldn't put it down. I had high hopes, but sadly, the resolution is not what I expected. False advertising- this novel is just your average YA paranormal romance, lacking in the paranormal and trying to confuse you with irritating and misleading passages that are written off as hallucinations. 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

The resolution isn't shocking, but it's the road there that's interesting. The main thing that this novel builds on is confusing the reader. I didn't fall for it and easily lost interest.

I hesitate to recommend it to anyone, because I had such a hard time liking Noah, and especially Noah and Mara together. They don't make sense as a couple and it truly feels like CARRIE - he's only figuratively taking the awkward girl to prom so he can dump a bucket of pig blood over her head.

"Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

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