Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: September 5th 2013 by Scholastic
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Synopsis:
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…

I am obsessed. I didn’t want to put this book down for even a second and I’m flying far too fast through this series trying to fill my life with Henrietta and it’s inhabitants. Maybe it’s because the book focuses just a bit more on my favourite raven boys, Ronan and Adam or maybe it’s because there are endless mindblowing revelations that beg a thousand more questions or the tension that grows between the strong minded Blue and all encompassing Gansey that makes me love this book so much more than the first.

There’s Ronan, an intriguingly dangerous boy who can pull his creations from dreams, a wicked and intense magic that gives way to some creepy, chilling scenes. There’s Adam whose life filled with all its pain and exhaustion teeters the edge of instability, whose principles are frustrating to no end yet horribly heartbreaking. There’s Gansey, whose scholarly and affable nature cracks just enough to give way to someone wild and just a tiny bit reckless. There’s Noah with his kitten like personality whose presence is fading. Then there’s Blue with all her knowledge, bravery and oddness, her desire to be something more, someone equal to the boys, not knowing just how much she grounds them.

They’ve entered unknown territory with Cabeswater, magic and their friendships. Their relationship becomes more strained as they come to terms with the actions in the previous book, Glendower seemingly even farther than before as the stakes rise and danger stalks them. The dynamics have shifted from the first book, it’s interesting to see how the characters have adapted to the changes. Reading about the boys made me feel stressed, I was afraid one would do something desperate. They’re all a bit lost in this book, they make fumbling mistakes and questionable decisions but it only adds to their development.

I can’t predict the direction of the plot at all. There’s a lot going on at the moment, its become bigger than the quest and sometimes it can be overwhelming but I still very much love it. I highly recommend this series.

Rating:
5 Stars

Review: Saving Francesca

Saving Francesca

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Published: Published May 9th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published March 31st 2003)
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Synopsis:
Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians – a boys’ school that pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist (a rumored slut) and a dorky accordion player.

The boys are no better, from Thomas who specialises in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t help thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca. Mum is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is.

I didn’t realize when I ordered this book how important it’d become to me, how much meaning these characters would hold, how much I’d fall in love with Melina Marchetta’s writing. She’s a goddess. Purchasing it on a whim due to my interest in The Piper’s Son, I devoured this short, impactful book in one sitting desperately hoping for more. I was fascinated by how real the characters felt, how natural and genuine their relationships were, how I now knew that no contemporary could live up to Saving Francesca.

Everything about it was refreshing, from the flawed and realistically written characters, to the somewhat awkward, not really realizing when you’d started liking that person romance and the friendships that made you think “when did this become a thing? When did we become a group?”

I liked the diversity of personalities in this book, one guy slightly awkward, the other an asshole with biting remarks, another completely comfortable and perceptive who knew just what needed to be said, a girl wild and free and sometimes confused, one who was fiery and passionate and a bit exhausting. another who was quietly fierce and compassionate. Then there’s Franscesca, holding it together with her family falling apart, adapting to an all boy’s school, tamping down her loudness, trying to find her identity. There’s just this perfect balance of friendship, family, love and conflict wittily written with a rawness that’s rare to find.

Saving Francesca redefined what I searched for in YA and after rereading it this year it was solidified as my all time favourite book. Francesca, her friends and family burrowed themselves deeply in my heart and it was the book that introduced me to the queen of YA, to my favourite author, Melina Marchetta.

Rating:
 Stars