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Waiting on Wednesday: The Chaos of Stars

Hiya everybody!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far! There’s only a few more days until the weekend! Yay!

As usual, today I’m bringing you my Waiting on Wednesday post. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and it’s one of my favorite memes to participate in!

This week I’m excited to bring you Kiersten’s White’s newest standalone novel, The Chaos of Stars. The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up. Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

I’m having a major not-so-secret love affair with this cover. It is just gorgeous! I can’t get enough of that gold over the deep midnight blue! Also, yay for no people on the cover. I’m not opposed to people on book covers (my favorites actually tend to be the ones with girls in lovely flowy gowns…) but it’s just refreshing to have those without people on them.

I’m also really intrigued by the summary as mythology (of any civilization) was always something I’ve been interested in. I don’t know a lot about Egyptian mythology either, so it’ll be cool to learn a little bit more while reading The Chaos of Stars. We have until September 10 before this one is released, so we need to be really patient!

What tasty looking upcoming books are you excited about?

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A Unique Take: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Hi there!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was a book I’d heard everyone online gushing about for months before I got the chance to read it.

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvatermother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I enjoyed Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and completely fell for The Scorpio Races, but wasn’t super excited about the summary for The Raven Boys. But I randomly came across the audiobook at my local public library and decided it was meant to be.

I wasn’t so sure about the narrator at first. I tend to like female narrators for female characters…call me crazy! I have no idea why they didn’t use two narrators (one male and one female) for the Blue and the boys (probably because it’s more expensive…). Anyway, the narrator totally threw me for a loop at first. Not just because he’s male speaking for a girl, but because his accent was so annoying! He had this whistle to his ‘S’s and it drove me craaaaazy! But eventually I got so into the story, that I started to get used to his voice.  I wouldn’t say I liked his narration, but I got used to it.

Stiefvater is such a unique author. No one is as creative as she is. She takes the supernatural genre and twists it around into something all her own. Supernatural doesn’t just mean vampires, ghosts or fallen angels guys! It can also mean psychic powers and ancient energies! I was like “Woah! this is interesting!” Actually psychic stuff freaks me out WAY more than vampires ever could so I really, really liked this take on things.

I will say that I feel like Stiefvater put more energy into building the actual characters of The Raven Boys themselves, over Blue’s character. Blue, who could have been much more interesting, fell a little flat at times. I just feel like we didn’t get into her head as much as we did with the boys. I felt like I really saw a multifaceted Adam, Gansey and even Ronan, but didn’t get the same depth from Blue. With this said, I would still love to hear more about their adventures!

Stiefvater’s strong point (in all of her books) is her poetic descriptions of nature. This author doesn’t simply tell you the woods are dark and foreboding yet beautiful, she draws you into these woods so you can imagine yourself smack dab in the middle of them with the characters. Seriously. This ability puts Stiefvater in a league of her own.

I don’t think I enjoyed The Raven Boys as much as I did The Scorpio Races (see my review), but it was still an incredibly intriguing story! I really do look forward to the second book, which is scheduled to release sometime in 2013 (closer to 2014 I imagine). All in all, if you’re searching for a new take on the supernatural YA genre, I’d definitely give The Raven Boys a try!

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (Sept. 18, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 11 hours and 8 mins

Narrator(s): Will Patton

Series: First in The Raven Cycle series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle)

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Lush, Fierce and Romantic: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Well hey there!

I don’t know how to even review The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved it that much!

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvaterhas any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Seriously, my feelings for this book are so much that I am feeling a little stumped at what to say about it.  How do I describe my feelings on a book I loved so much?!

What I can say is that while I also liked Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, The Scorpio Races is miles above those books. Stiefvater’s writing is hypnotic and mesmerizing. The rhythm of her words hold the reader captive from the very start. There were times where The Scorpio Races felt more like a story told around a campfire than a written novel. The audiobook, which had two narrators (one for Puck and one for Sean) was so well done that it added to this story-telling feel.

The fictional island of Thisby is lush, fierce, and romantic. The perfect setting for the romance that stirs between Puck and Sean and the terror of the capaill uisce (which are terrifying and heartbreaking all at once). I automatically fell in love with both Sean and Puck. Their emotions, and personalities feel so real. Puck is wildly stubborn and incredibly vulnerable, and she struggles between being a child and an adult. She wears her insecurities and strengths on her sleeve and is by far the most interesting character I’ve read all year! It’s almost as if the internal conflicts Puck and Sean deal with are mirrored in the capaill uisces’  dangerous, yet beautiful natures.

And Sean Kendrick?  Wow.  The strong silent, sexy type.  Yeah. That’s right.

If you haven’t read Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, you most definitely should. It was by far one of my favorite books read in 2012! It listed as YA, but I think middle grades readers will fall in love with it as well.

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Audio (October 18, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins

Narrator(s): Steve West, Fiona Hardingham

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA/MG

Buy the Book: The Scorpio Races