Review: The Raven King

17378527Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Contemporary, young adult

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.
For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

I have never, ever, been so emotionally bruised and exhilarated by a book before. Serious whiplash, got everything I wanted and more, 200% would recommend.

Prepare to cry.

Okay, time for an actual review. When I started this series, I was completely hooked by the prologue of The Raven Boys. Blue Sargent sitting across from the church on St. Mark's eve, seeing the ghost of a boy who is both her true love and the one who will die when she kisses him.

So you know what's coming. Maggie Stiefvater tells you exactly what's going to happen at the end of the series when you start the prologue of book one. She just makes you care about the characters so much that you are in complete denial and disbelief and you know Gansey can't possibly die, can he?

And the beautiful thing about this book in particular is that it's as much about Adam and Ronan as it is about Blue and Gansey. Ronan is my favorite character of the series, and Dream Thieves was my favorite of the series (until this one). There were so many moments in this book involving Ronan that made me cry or grin stupidly or just sit numbly on my sofa, burrowing my face in a pillow because I couldn't deal with the overwhelming emotions.

I think this book showed me exactly how much my reading habits have changed and how much I have changed since I started this series. Before, I was way more sold on a book if it had an amazing plot or a beautiful writing style. Now it's all about the characters - even the most plot-twisty book can't hold my attention if I don't care about the characters. I've become a more emotional reader over the past couple of years. I never really cried or got caught up in the friendships and relationships of the characters I read about, I focused more on who the characters were and how they grew. Now I've grown to love the tangled relationships between characters and their friends/families/significant others possibly because I've grown to appreciate those same relationships in my own life.

This is one of the few books I read in 24 hours. I literally just dropped everything after I finished my midterms (who am I kidding, I was definitely taking lots of "study breaks" to read before the midterm too) and sat on the couch and read for hours. By the end I had laughed and cried and felt so catatonic I didn't want to return to the real world and do something so mundane as make dinner. My roommate walked in the door at 8 and saw me on the couch and was really confused about why I was so dead and I just didn't have the words to describe how beautiful and harrowing and overwhelming my past few hours had been.

I still don't have the words for it, but please read this series. It's a very enjoy-the-journey-not-the-destination book but it does have a spectacularly perfect ending. Experience the beauty of real complicated lovable characters and their tangled relationships.

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