The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater“Ronan Lynch lived with every sort of secret.”

After waking the ley lines, things for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam begin to change. Adam begins to feel the full weight of his sacrifice, Ronan’s dreams begin to intrude upon reality, and Blue desperately tries to fight her fate. Meanwhile, Gansey begins to realize that he is not the only one searching for the truth about Cabeswater, and must figure out the puzzle before someone else does first.

I seriously squealed with joy when I received an ARC of The Dream Thieves at BEA this year. The Raven Boys was one of my favorite books from last year, and I was eagerly anticipating the sequel. I was a little bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but it honestly was even better than I expected! The writing in this book was incredibly beautiful–Stiefvater has the ability to drop hints and clues throughout the book so subtly that at the end of the book I still found myself being surprised. I love the dialogue between the characters also–they all fit together like pieces of a puzzle and it is evident what each character brings to their little group.

This book focuses a lot on Ronan, which at first I was unhappy about because he was probably my least favorite character from the first book, mainly because of his abrasive personality. However, after reading the entire book, I’m glad that Ronan was a big part of it because we actually learn why he has this roughness to him. We finally get the backstory behind his family’s problems, and let me tell you–it was nothing I could have guessed at all!! We also learn a lot more about Ronan’s ability to bring things from his dreams into real life, and how it affects the ley lines in Henrietta. Ronan realizes that there are people looking for him–people that want to use his ability to do wrong.

Adam actually ended up dropping down to my least favorite character in this one. After waking the ley line he begins to change. He grows more angry and standoffish, and constants pushes Blue away without realizing it. I think it was necessary for him to undergo this change so that he and Blue could go in the directions they needed to, but I still missed the old Adam.

Gansey is still definitely my favorite character. I love his quirky nature and the fact that he is an old soul. He still tries to fix everyone’s problems without giving much thought to his own, and he proves time and again what a good friend he is. Blue is another great character–she loves being part of the boys’ group but at the same time feels like an outsider. She is tough and always stands up for herself and still tries to fight her fate. She is as determined as the rest of the boys to discover the true secrets of Cabeswater, but at the same time she is dealing with the fact that Gansey may be dead in less than a year. I loved the interactions between Blue and Gansey in this book and I’m excited to see where the next book takes them!

Overall, The Dream Thieves was an amazing sequel with fantastic character development and beautiful writing. I don’t know how I am going to wait for the next book!!

The Dream Thieves is the second book in The Raven Cycle and will be released on September 17, 2013.

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Favorite Books of 2012

2012 was a fantastic year for YA, filled with a ton of debut novels and some really great sequels! It was so hard for me to pick favorites because I literally read over 100 books this year, but I did my best! Here are some of the best books I read this year:

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I didn’t think the sequel would live up to the incredible book that was Divergent, but Insurgent was actually even better than the first book! I loved learning about the different factions and I liked that Tris and Four’s relationship wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies. I can’t wait until the final book is released!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This was the first John Green book I had ever read and it definitely turned me into a die hard fan. The story was so moving and the writing was phenomenal. I literally wept after reading this and would gladly do it again because this book was just that good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This book really surprised me and I am so glad I gave it a chance. It had a cast of fantastically written characters and an exciting quest to find a lost king that brings them all together. I absolutely loved this and can’t wait for the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I was so excited to return to the world of Graceling and I couldn’t wait to see how Bitterblue had grown to become queen. She is such a strong character and throughout the book grew into an even better queen. It was eerie to read about the destruction that still lingered after her father’s death and how the sick things that he did still affected people years after. I only wish this weren’t the final book because I would love to return to this world for just a bit longer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I absolutely loved this retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I loved how it was a retelling of a classic but had sci-fi elements mixed in. Elliot is such a strong character that single handedly runs her father’s estate and is willing to give up everything, including the man she loves, to save the estate and the people working there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet is a retelling of Robin Hood in which Robin Hood’s fellow thief Will Scarlet is actually a girl in disguise, hiding from her past. Scarlet is loyal to Robin Hood and fights as well as any man. I loved Scarlet’s stubbornness and strength and her interactions with the other thieves were hilarious. This was such a great story and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

This sequel to Across the Universe was absolutely fantastic. Elder and Amy are left to deal with the aftermath of shutting down the Phydus and figuring out the truth behind their lives on the ship. Both characters grew so much in this book and their relationship evolved as they discovered more about both themselves and their role on Godspeed. The ending was a huge cliffhanger so I am very excited to read the sequel next month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I am so glad that I finally was able to read this book! I loved Aria and Perry’s story and the whole idea behind the evolution of the senses was incredible. I can’t wait to see where Rossi takes this in Through the Ever Night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee

I was really apprehensive about this one because I figured it was another dumb romance featuring fallen angels but I was definitely wrong. Angelfall is in fact a post-apocalyptic story about angels that brought death and destruction to earth. I really enjoyed this book and I’m glad I gave it a chance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

This was such a fantastically written book. It was such an original story about reincarnation and a world where souls are reincarnated multiple times into different bodies. Ana is a Newsoul, living her first life, and she is shunned by everyone else because when she was born, another soul died and was never reincarnated. This was such an amazing story and I could not put this one down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I really loved this sequel to Delirium. Lena became such a strong character in this book and decided to fight back instead of hide. The cliffhanger at the end was SO MEAN and I am super excited to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

This is another book that surprised me. I could not put this one down! It was very Hunger Games-esque because America has to be part of a televised competition to be the prince’s bride in order to earn money for her family, who are poor. She is forced to leave behind the boy she loves and instead is expected to try and win the prince’s favor. The ending of this book was great and I hope the sequel is just as good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

I initially was skeptical about this once I heard it was about vampires, but this is so much different than any other vampire story. Kagawa reinvents vampires in The Immortal Rules and I really loved the completely different direction she went in. This book was a really pleasant surprise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

This book mixed fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi elements to create an incredible story. Rachel is another strong heroine, determined to find her father, and Logan is quite possibly one of my favorite characters ever! He’s extremely intelligent and has a logical way of thinking but is also an excellent fighter. This was a really great one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I loved reading about Celaena, a female assassin that is able to take down nearly every man that crosses her path. She gets chosen to compete to be the king’s new assassin and has to defeat man after man all while trying to figure out who keeps brutally murdering the contestants in the middle of the night. This book had a little bit of everything and I definitely could not put it down!

 

 

 

 

 

So 2012 has definitely been a great year! What books were your favorites this year? What are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater“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.”

Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic, and has spent her whole life surrounded by the supernatural. From a young age, she has been told by every psychic she has ever met that she will kill her true love by kissing him. So obviously, she has avoided kissing or getting involved with anyone. However, when her half-aunt Neeve comes to stay with her family, things begin to change. Every year Blue goes to an old church with her mother on St. Mark’s Eve to watch the spirits of people that will die in the coming year walk past. Blue is never able to see the spirits herself because she lacks psychic ability, but when she goes on St. Mark’s Eve with Neeve, she sees the spirit of a boy who tells her only his name: Gansey. When Neeve tells her that the only way she could see his spirit is if she is his true love or his murderer, Blue is determined never to meet Gansey.

Gansey is a rich boy at the Aglionby school, a prestigious school with a raven as its mascot. The fact that he is a “Raven Boy” gives Blue another reason to stay away from him. But no matter how hard she tries, it seems that their paths are destined to cross and she soon becomes part of Gansey’s quest to find the body of a long dead king. She becomes involved in this strange crusade with the four Raven Boys: Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, but in the back of her mind she cannot forget her ill-fated destiny to bring death to her true love.

The Raven Boys was such a surprise for me–in a good way! I wasn’t a big fan of Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy for many reasons, so I had low expectations for this book. I am so glad to say that The Raven Boys was in no way a disappointment. I absolutely loved this book; it was fantastically written and was full of so many unexpected twists and turns from beginning to end. It has so many great characters with such vibrant personalities. Blue is such a strong character and really holds her own amongst the four boys, who adopt her as one of their own. She accepts the fact that she is fated to kill her true love but is still determined to create her own destiny. Blue’s relationship with the Raven Boys reminded me of when Wendy meets Peter and The Lost Boys in Peter Pan. Like the Lost Boys, who look to Peter as their leader, the Raven Boys look to Gansey. And as with Wendy, the boys are first very skeptical about Blue, but they soon realize that it seemed like she was always meant to be a part of their group.

Each of the Raven boys is extremely different, but they fit together like a puzzle and each brings a different quality to their little group. Their loyalty to Gansey is admirable, and they are all extremely invested in his quest to find the dead king Glendower, even if it seems a bit fantastical. I really liked Gansey, because even though he was born to a privileged life, he still tries to be humble and deeply cares for each of his friends. This makes it hard for Blue to stay away from him and harder to keep the truth a secret, even though she knows he is to die within a year.

I really loved this book and could not put it down. This is definitely the best book that Maggie Stiefvater has ever written, and I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already!

The Raven Boys was released September 18, 2012 and is the first book in The Raven Cycle. The sequel, still untitled, is set to be published September 2013.