The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Amazon|Goodreads

In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.

When a hitman shows up at 300 Fox Way looking for something called the Greywaren, the psychics know something’s weird. When Declan tells his brother he was attacked by burlgars, he knows he’s lying. When Blue says she doesn’t like Gansey, fate must prove her wrong. Adam has woken the ley line, Ronan can pull objects out of his dreams, Noah is still dead, and Gansey is going to die. This is what summer has been for Blue Sargent and her Raven Boys.

I liked this book because it showed a softer side of Ronan. The side of Ronan who had been hurt and who knew secrets about his family that no child should have to know. Ronan’s father, Niall Lynch, was like him. He could pull things out of his dreams too. That’s how the Lynch’s got rich. And it’s why Ronan found his father dead on their family property.

Ronan, who hates himself so much that he only feels alive when he puts himself in danger. Ronan, whose dreams even try to kill him. He’s been so damaged. His rage is a method for pushing away those he could hurt. He hates Declan because he represents all the things their father took away from them when he died. He loves Matthew because he is the sweet golden boy. He does everything Gansey asks because he loves Gansey. And he helps Adam without asking for recognition or thanks because he’s in love with Adam.

The ley line running through Henrietta is awake, and Adam has promised to be its hands and eyes. But there’s a war going on inside Adam. Part of it is Adam fighting Cabeswater because he doesn’t understand what it’s asking of him. But part of it is a war within himself. Adam knows what he wants, and he knows how to get there, but he battling a lot of self doubt. To make matters worse, he works three jobs to pay for school, has to keep up with his homework to maintain his scholarship, is still running around with the boys trying to find Glendower, and has no idea how to fulfill his promise to Cabeswater. He’s understandably exhausted, and it’s tearing him apart.

Kavinsky’s an asshole. Rumor is he tried to kill his father, but Kavinsky says his father tried to kill him. He’s a spoiled brat used to getting everything he wants. He is the Aglionby that Blue and Adam have grown up detesting. Kavinsky was driven crazy by the dreams and the drugs, which is something Ronan would run the risk of if he were not so grounded by his relationship with the Aglionby Boys. Kavinsky tries to form those relationships, but he’s never know how. So he tries to coerce people into being friends with him. He teaches Ronan how to dream, and when that doesn’t work, he kidnaps his favorite brother.

Blue and Gansey are… not dating? They’re just stealing glances at each other from across the room, thinking about each other all the time, and calling each other when they can’t sleep. I mean, they can’t be together, right? Because Adam and the curse and all those other horrible things… right?

The relationships are a high point in this series. Watching the way characters relate to each other, and how that shapes them as people. Ronan grows kinder because of his love for Adam and through his interactions with Gansey. Blue gets less sensible the more time she spends with her Raven Boys, but she’s also a grounding force for them. Gansey’s willingness to do anything for any member of his group inspires that kind of loyalty from them as well.

 

TL;DR

  • 5/5 stars
  • Blue & Gansey sitting in a tree…
  • Ronan & Adam sitting in a tree…
  • The strength in the characters comes from the strength of their relationships

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Amazon | Goodreads

Blue Sargent is going to kill her true love. She’s known it her entire life. She was told as much by her family of psychics. It’s been a pretty insignificant and unlikely burden for Blue to bear until now. On St. Mark’s Eve she accompanies her aunt to the Corpse Road where the spirits of the Henrietta natives who will die that year walk. Because Blue isn’t a psychic, she’s never been able to see any of the spirits. But this year it’s different. This year she sees Gansey. And as her Aunt Neeve tells her, the only reasons a non-psychic would see a spirit on the Corpse Road are that he is her true love, or that she will kill him. A few days later, Gansey strides into her life bringing with him his friends and a mission to find the sleeping Raven King.

The Raven Boys is wonderfully quirky and insightful. Maggie Stiefvater manages, with her beautiful word choice and amazing ability to weave individual stories into an exciting plot, to be funny and sad at the same time. It’s a story about looking for meaning in an adventure. Even those who have everything, are still searching for something.

Virginia private school Aglionby Academy is full of the sons of Wall Street businessman, politicians, and rock stars. Everyone there is spoiled, rich and a jerk. But Blue’s Raven Boys are unique among their kind. Adam, the poor kid who’s there on scholarship, but still has to work three jobs to afford the tuition. Adam desparately wants to leave his abusive environment and shitty trailer park, but needs to do it on his own terms. Free will, the ability to be his own man, is all he wants. Ronan, the violent boy with secrets the world might be better off not knowing. He is filled with venom and hatred and anger.

And then there’s Gansey. Gansey is… complicated. He’s Richard Gansey III, the spoiled rich brat who doesn’t understand that his actions have consequences or the effect he can have on other people. But he’s also just Gansey, trying to make it worth the universe’s effort to create him and keep him alive. That’s a big part of why Gansey needs to save everyone, I think. This, “Why am I here? I don’t deserve any of this,” complex conflicting with the side of Gansey that doesn’t recognize his privilege.

I love this book. I’ve read it several times, and it’s the opener to one of my favorite series. I enjoy the characters and their continual development. I love the writing style. It’s a unique story: you don’t get a lot of stories about psychics, let alone one where the main character is the only one without supernatural abilities. The romance is a hanging sword; you know it’s coming, but you’re terrified for when it does happen. Stiefvater doesn’t rely on surprise killings of your favorite character to keep you emotionally involved. You know who’s going to die and you know why. You’re attached because the characters are well-written people who are constantly changing. Seriously, just read the book.

TL;DR

  • 5/5 stars
  • JUST READ THE BOOK
  • Beautiful writing
  • Well-written characters