Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Year published: 2014 (Blue Lily, Lily Blue)
Why I read it: I saw people talking about the series on tumblr.
Blurb: There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.
Rating: Would definitely re-read.
I read all three books of the Raven Cycle in a weekend, so it’s very hard to write about them all individually. Therefore, these comments are scattered thoughts about the series as a whole.
– I was a little uncertain about whether or not I would like this series based on the romance plot described in the blurb for The Raven Boys. Too many YA novels become too focused on romance for my tastes. I was really relieved to find that while romance is definitely an element in this story, it doesn’t take focus away from the main plot, and instead acts as a pretty interesting secondary plot that adds to the story.
– I love how the book balances the importance of family and friends, allowing Blue’s family in particular to become important characters that have interactions with her friends, not always related to Blue herself.
– It has some really interesting characters. I particularly appreciate how Blue is written considering she is the only girl in the group of friends. And while I normally shy away from books with alternating perspectives, in The Raven Cycle it is used to enhance the story rather than as a crutch.
– No actual love triangles, at least not the conventional kind. You don’t even know how much I appreciate that.
– I love everything about Ronan’s gift as a dream thief. That is by far one of the more compelling things about this series.
– My favourite queer storyline in a while. It’s a non-issue but still addressed. It’s the kind of queer representation I wish more authors would do, one that I feel normalises the existence of gay characters in fiction and makes them more than stereotypes. Ronan as a character fascinates me, and I love that Stiefvater told his story the way she did.
– I have mixed feelings about how the books discuss money. I think it brings up some really interesting discussions about friendships across class divides, and how that affects the way we understand the world. However, I also feel that extreme wealth is a very nice way of enabling characters to do things like go on helicopter rides and live by themselves in a renovated factory. So it both works and doesn’t for me.
I can’t wait for the last book to come out.