Synopsis: The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…
(Note: my review of the first book in the series – The Raven Boys, duh, – is here.)
Welp. It’s been a month of nonstop reflecting. I actually moved to a monastery in the hills of Tibet (are there hills in Tibet?) in order to bring even more clarity to my nonstop pondering. Like, I showed up, and the monks were all, “What the hell are you doing here? This is for dudes. Really pious and wise ones. We don’t just let annoying but effortlessly cool teenage girls in here.” (They were really chill in terms of verbage.)
But then I looked up from underneath my hood (I was wearing a cloak for dramatic effect), and they were instantly like, “Holy sh*t. Let this girl in right f*cking now. THIS IS A GODDAMN EPIPHANY EMERGENCY.” (Again, really not what you’d expect from a monk, but what can I say? #notlikeothermonks)
They could see in my eyes that I read this book weeks ago and didn’t even know what to rate it, let alone how to write a review. And they knew how bad I wanted to read the next one, but how I told myself I couldn’t read it until this review was done because I’m attempting to learn this thing I’ve heard about called “self control.”
But the Tibetan monks didn’t do sh*t, so here I am, attempting to write my way into an opinion.
Let’s get started.
We can go with my only concrete negative opinion as of this moment: The not like other girls trope rears its ugly head in this book. But by “rears its head,” I mean more “pokes a toe into the room, hoping you won’t notice it but also it can make Blue seem cool by tearing the entire fairer sex down rather than hit a quick attempt atactual, you know, characterization.”
It’s a lose-lose-lose situation. Because Blue was already cool, and girls are also cool generally, and the not like other girls cliché is just the sh*ttiest, dumbest writing.
I’ll give you an example. (Maybe the Tibetan monks taught me a respect for truth and justice and, like, evidence? That last one didn’t sound as deep.)
It’s on page seventy-nine, but my book is across the room on my shelves and it’s really tucked in there and I’m so comfy in my bed right now so I’m not going to quote it. I’ll just do some of my famous character impressions.
Adam: I am very boring now, and also in love with Blue. What do I do, bro? There is definitely not an easy solution to this problem that involves actually talking to the girl I’m obsessed with, because this is YA and we love the pointless drama.
Gansey: Hey man. This is a reminder that I’m totally sexy as hell and Emma’s still going to like me in spite of the horrible vitriol that spills out of my mouth next, which doesn’t make sense and she’s trying to forget about it even now, as we speak. Time is a circle. Anyway you should just talk to Blue and – let’s ruin the good point I just made – not be worried because she’s not like other girls.
Adam: Ok. Also did I mention I’m really boring and annoying now?
Not my best, maybe, but it’s been a while. And also I literally don’t remember that scene at all so if I’m anywhere close I’m going to say I nailed it.
Plus, there’s a girlfriend named Ashley in this book and the way she’s characterized really sucks. #RedeemAshley2k17
Here’s a complaint I also had with the last book: there are a sh*t ton of ever-so-slightly incorrect sentences and it DRIVES ME BONKERS. Whywhywhywhy.
But if that is the repercussion of Maggie Stiefvater’s AMAZING WRITING, I’ll take it. She writes GORGEously. I f*cking love her use of verbs. They’re so unique and I feel compelled to like, stop and say “Nice” to myself, which never!! happens!! with!! YA!! I really might have to read her entire collected works just because of it. Including *shiver* Shiver. (Get it? Because I’m scared and don’t want to, and also the book is called Shiver? I’m so funny.)
Still, if I had to encapsulate this reading experience in a two-word summary of the emotion I felt most often throughout, it’d obviously be “mild confusion.” Parts of this were So Strange and subliminal. I often felt…gasp…dumb. Which I hate. But I don’t even remember what made me feel so dumb in the first place?
Whatever. It’s been a month.
I was told this book would make me love, or at least like, Ronan. And it…didn’t? I don’t feel
that much animosity toward him, but he’s just so eh. I was so excited by the dream thief concept, but in execution it felt so BORING. Almost overexplained. Bleh. I don’t know.
Also, Adam was so whiny and annoying this whole time. I am oBSESSED with Noah though. He is so spooky and cute. My favorite. Blue was somewhat cool still. I do love reading about her house and her relatives.
GANSEY IS STILL MY BOYFRIEND. Ahhh, Gansey. (My head has become a heart eyes emoji. I am an emoticon perched atop a torso currently.)
I literally loved the villain (?) in this book. This never happens to me, because villains are always annoying. They usually lose, and I do not support the losing team. This goes contrary to my ambitions.
But anyway. The Gray Man quickly became a real fave of mine. I hope he sticks around. I was heavy into the guy.
I guess this book just felt somewhat less charming to me. There were a lot of things that felt worse in this book, but also a few that were better. I’m still reeeeeaaaaalllll excited for Blue Lily, Lily Blue. We’ll see I guess.
Bottom line: nooooot as good as the first book, but wouldn’t prevent this from being a fave series. If the next two are good. (Please let them be good.) (Note from future me: the third one was REALLY F*CKING GOOD.)