Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves

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

5 Stars

Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Published: September 16th 2014 by Dial
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This book defies logic. I can’t seem to decide if that’s the strength of the story. There’s this magical realism quality with its explosive descriptions and the odd habits of the main characters. Part of me wants to view this world through Jude and Noah’s eyes, the intensity with which they view their actions and relationships, to believe in destiny and soulmates, while the cynic in me is smothered by the flowery words and the whimsical nature. But as whimsy as this book is, it is made of pain and these characters are so fucked up.

Jandy Nelson’s words crafted this dream like world with a cast of strange, lovable characters. Noah is infections, he had a fascinating uninhibited and wondrous perspective, I adored his character. His mind was wild and colourful and I couldn’t get enough. It was pure magic. His relationship with Brian had me smiling silly and I was rooting for them so much it was disappointing when they story switched perspectives jumping two years forward.

It took a little while longer to fall in love with Jude, her older self is much more eccentric while her younger self seemed so hurt, bitter and angry. She’s so vulnerable and lost, I just wanted to protect her but her character growth is badass. While I didn’t love Oscar and Jude’s romance as fiercely as I loved Brian/Noah, their chemistry was WOAH. It was electric and Oscar is so charming. He can charm the pants of anyone I swear and I ate up the banter between him and Jude.

The relationship between Jude and Noah is entwined with all the characters in this book, it’s amazing how Jandy Nelson weaved all these moments and connected them together so perfectly. Jude and Noah are incredible siblings, they’re very close and in tune with one another but there’s so much jealousy and unhealthy competitiveness. Jude and Noah do horribly hurtful things to each other, it’s painful to read about and about 70% of my thoughts consisted of “This is so fucked up. They’re a mess.”

With only 70 more pages left I didn’t know how Jandy Nelson was going to give this story any resolve or happiness, the characters were just drowning in their secrets and guilt. While the payoff was worthwhile, the ending felt rushed and too nicely packaged, Jude and Noah deserved their peace but it didn’t feel realistic that everything could be fixed so quickly.

While this book has its flaws, it was definitely a satisfying read and I wasn’t at all disappointed seeing that this was my most anticipated book of the year. There are so many themes in this book that I loved and it’s one of those stories you can have endless discussions about. I’ll Give You the Sun leaves me wanting, it’s how any good book should make you feel.

2 Stars