The Best: 1. The Characters (Stiefvater's tortured bad-boy characters are Excellent [Coal from her Mercy Falls series, Ronan in this series]). 2. The ReThe Best: 1. The Characters (Stiefvater's tortured bad-boy characters are Excellent [Coal from her Mercy Falls series, Ronan in this series]). 2. The Relationships (view spoiler)[(Loved the way Blue fell in with Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, Blue and her mother/aunts/etc in that big old house, and especially Blue/Adam and Blue/Gansey). (hide spoiler)]
The Okay: 1. The Writing (As far as I know, this is the first of Stiefvater's books that is written in 3rd person, and I'm not sure how successful this rhetorical choice was. Several times, I felt I was in several character's heads at once and it was Annoying). 2. The Plot Drive (view spoiler)[(When one hears that the main character's reason for doing something very dangerous and eccentric, such as hunting for a long-lost king in the "mountains"* of Virginia with his friends, one of whom happens to be a spectral being, is JUST 'CAUSE I WANT TO, one becomes annoyed. Then again, when cet character explains his reason more fully, which happens to involve a My Girl-esque bee attack, one is not as upset. But still not peachy). (hide spoiler)]
The Worst: 1. The Unfulfilled Promise (view spoiler)[(One does not write a beginning like the first chapter/prologue? of The Raven Boys, promising that Blue will fall in love with Gansey OR kill him OR kiss him, which I guess means she will kill him, and then NOT ACTUALLY RESOLVE ANY OF THAT IN THE NEXT 400 PAGES. That was really, really mean and I am very Upset about the killer story hook promising something it couldn't deliver). (hide spoiler)] 2. THE UNFULFILLED EVERYTHING (view spoiler)[(It seems the only plot arc that was resolved in any way was Noah's death and burial. Everything else, the hunt for Glendower, Blue's relationship with Gansey/Adam, was just cut off after 400 pages). (hide spoiler)]
*[I live in Utah where actual mountains live, so I have permission to be annoying about hills being called "mountains" someplace else]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
When I first started reading this book, I was like, "Whoa! This seems like a really unique contemporary! Also: the love interest's name is Jase!"
ThenWhen I first started reading this book, I was like, "Whoa! This seems like a really unique contemporary! Also: the love interest's name is Jase!"
Then about fifty pages in, everything started getting muddled and the things that pricked my "the author is doing something with this character or trope" senses in the first chapter were now all, "I get it, I get it, please stop bashing me over the head with the whole (view spoiler)[my mother is slightly evil because she hates my new boyfriend's family and sidebar: Clay is playing her like a puppet (hide spoiler)]."
About halfway through, I stopped reading the book and instead watched the entire series of My So-Called Life on Netflix. Ever seen it? It's wonderful.
Anyway. I finally slogged through the ending, which seems torn out of a (view spoiler)[Nicholas Sparks novel (hide spoiler)] and was left pretty dissatisfied.
It felt like Samantha's character change was manufactured. (There was a lot of this: (view spoiler)["I used to be so nice and well-behaved and mouse-like, never doing anything my mother told me not to do and then I did--one of the neighbors, I mean--and now I'm totally different!" when most of the change I saw in her [moping, crying, being sad, sneaking around] was all related to her love interest. In other words, it wasn't entirely her character arc, it was her arc based on her new boyfriend's arc (hide spoiler)].)
I guess my one praise of this book was the actual romance between Sam and Jase, which was nice.
Tim's character is the perfect rip-off of (view spoiler)[Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights (hide spoiler)]. And hey, I'm not complaining, because I LOVE HIM IN A VERY CREEPY AND ILLOGICAL WAY, (the original rip-off, I mean), so I'm just pointing it out.
The narrative was very clunky. It seemed like between lines of dialogue, if the author wasn't describing every single thing the other person in the conversation did, she couldn't make it through the scene. But really, people don't move that fast. (Some of the passages with Sam and her mother. But I'm not discounting the whole OCD cleaning character, since I happen to live with one of those... the OCD thingies.)
And final side-note, I loved the big family. I didn't always trust the dialogue from the four-year-old George because it had little stutters or "ummms" or mispronounced words, though there were a few of those. But still. I'm glad someone finally took the time to write about a big family.