Review: Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

It’s been on our minds. It’s been in our posts. I’ve been re-reading. The Fourth book in the Raven Cycle comes out early next year and I want to get you as excited about the books as we are.
I am here to pump you up.

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via GIPHY

The Raven Cycle is about a quest to find a sleeping King.  Like all quest stories, it involves a band of merry companions who all have their secrets, their desires and their heartaches.  Our Quest Squad contains the Raven Boys: Richard Campbell Gansey III, Ronan N. Lynch, Adam Parrish and the on-again, off-again Noah Czerny who are accompanied by the not-psychic Blue Sargent.  They are searching Henrietta, Virginia for a ley line that should lead them to a Welsh King that was buried in America.  A medieval Welsh king.  I am kind of a Cymruphile so that one little detail was really all my sister had to say to sell me on these books. A Welsh king buried in America and prophesied to return to unite the Welsh and end English tyranny? Sign. Me. Up.
The first installment of the books brings the team together.  Blue Sargent is the only non-psychic in a psychic family and a townie in Henrietta, Virginia home to Ivy League Feeder School Aglionby Academy. Blue’s family run a tarot card reading business and a psychic phone hotline. The Raven Boys are students at the fancy college prep.  Adam is a scholarship kid, Ronan Lynch appears to be the son of a gangster, Noah is quiet, unassuming and fuzzy around the edges, and Gansey is Old Virginia money and the driving force behind the quest for the Welsh King.  Blue keeps crossing paths with the boys in ways that make their teaming up seem fated and inevitable. They have to wake the ley line before someone else gets to it and harnesses its power. Of course, no quest for long forgotten item would be complete without opposing teams questing for the same thing.
This book was a lot of fun to read.  I enjoy all of the characters and I particularly like how they all have their definite strengths and their weaknesses.  Ronan is violent where Gansey is diplomatic.  Adam is thoughtful where the other boys are thoughtless. Blue is grounded where everyone else has their head in the clouds.  On top of the main story of Blue and the Raven Boys, there is a subplot involving Blue’s family that is also complex and interesting.  I cannot wait to see how the series plays out.
So, you should get in on this.  Quests, Kings, Psychics, ley lines, treasure maps, bad guys, flawed good guys, and, I can’t believe I’ve waited until now to mention this, trees that speak Latin!

Review: Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

Last Christmas my Mom handed me this book and said, “I think you’ll like this one.” I was a little skeptical. I don’t usually read romance novels (although, over the last year or so I’ve kind of gotten into them, largely courtesy of my Mom who recommends them). The point of romance seems to be exploring relationships, particularly the beginnings of romantic relationships. And, they can be a little formulaic. Two people meet. They’re perfect for each other but there’s some obstacle (sometimes that one of the participants is 100% not interested in the other.) But, they overcome those obstacles and in the end they are together. At first, I thought this is book was going to be textbook formula. It’s the third in a series that follows the Hathaways and sees the eligible folks in this family paired off. This installment starts with Poppy’s season in the London circuit. She has a beau and is all set to make it work with him (despite the fact that his father would never approve) until she is completely derailed by the dashing (and a little dangerous) hotelier Routledge. I won’t spoil it for you, but what happens next was both unsurprising and delightful.

I really liked the main characters in this novel. The relationship between Poppy and Routledge is complex and interesting. She’s just not a silly girl on the London circuit, Poppy has depth and is smart and curious. And, Routledge is a straight forward, no-nonsense business man who might be cut throat and ruthless but who also has a secret soft center. I liked the give and take between the two of them. I liked the little mysteries. I liked that the main force of the novel was basically about how two people with separate lives learn how to integrate.

In short, I was surprised by this book and I would definitely recommend it.