-posted by Meghan
This one is oddly personal to me. So it may be that you wouldn’t love it as much as I did. But if you’re YA crazy, like me, Hollywood, and apparently, the rest of the world, I think you’ll really enjoy it…
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
What should feel like a very familiar tale (young love triangle, supernatural elements, attractive teen angst, family drama – all that’s missing is a dystopic future setting) manages to feel fresh in Steifvater’s (The Scorpio Races) capable hands. While Scorpio was perhaps a better written book, this is the book that pulls you in. The characters are more relatable. Blue is the main character – a girl growing up in a family of psychics without any ability of her own, except a strange ability to magnify the gifts of others. She lives in a prep school town, where the smart local girls know not to mess with the Aglionby boys. And then Blue (of course) falls in with a quartet of boys, all with secrets of their own. One of whom she has seen dead. And he just might be her true love. Oh, and she’s been burdened with the knowledge that if she kisses her true love, he’ll die. All that sounds far more soapy than it comes across – and explaining that doesn’t even touch the search for a long dead Welsh King, or the workings of the ley lines the boys (and others) have been searching for for year. All of that plotting is almost incidental to the heart of the story – the story of friendships and love between friends. Because much more than romance, the love is between the boys who form a family, and the girl they allow into their group. Since this is a planned series, the romances which begin in this book will surely become more integral to the plot, but for this first book, it’s about friendship. And that’s a pretty great core story for any age to read.
Hey, Hollywood, listen up!
It’s no secret that I love YA books. But there have been so many, and they have become so formulaic (and transparent in their attempts to score movie deals and become the next Twilight) that I’ve almost had to stop reading new ones. And the ones that do actually get made into movies look so horrifically miscast (except Hunger Games!) that they ruin the books for me (Beautiful Creatures and City of Bones cast inept lead actresses, and even Insurgent cast a good actress who is completely wrong for the role in Shailene Woodley – but may redeem it with the casting of Kate Winslet) and I now can’t even finish reading the series. I mean, this isn’t Harry Potter, but I do feel strangely protective of these characters, and really hope they don’t get ruined by a bad movie. So please, Hollywood, stop trying to make a quick buck on churning out movies based on books that actually mean something to people. And YA writers? Take a page from Maggie Steifvater’s book, and write some characters that we can relate to, with no thought of a million dollar book deal. Thank you.
How about you? What books do you feel a connection to, and oddly protective of? And have you read this? Do I like it out of proportion?