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Tag Archives: Maggie Stiefvater

Only like 5 months late this time.  Improvement!  In an effort to put something out sooner, I’m posting this now, and I’ll post the adult books later.  It seems I finished off a few great series this year, so I’ve mentioned the first book in each series in the description.

Children’s Books

25745002Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce the bear accidentally becomes a mother. Very silly. Very cute. Good for storytime, with fun jokes for kids and parents.

 

 

 

23281865I’m Trying to Love Spiders By Bethany Barton

Great storytime book with lots of humor and actual information about spiders. Try to learn about spiders instead of squish them! Though I’m a little sad about all the spider squishing(because I DO actually love spiders), I’m just twisted enough to laugh.  It has lots of good opportunities for audience involvement too.

 

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Nuts in Space by Elys Dolan

Captain Moose and his crew have obtained the Lost Nuts of Legend, and now all they have to do is get home. But they’re lost, and they’re very hungry! A silly combination picture book and graphic novel with jokes for kids and adults. Fans of Star Wars or Star Trek will especially enjoy.

 

 

I really want to eat a child by Sylviane Donnio, illustrated by Dorothee de Monfreid
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A baby crocodile wants to eat a child. Funny and cute, and just a little twisted.  Good for storytime if the kids(and their parents) aren’t
too sensitive.

 

 

 

Teen Books

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

A good ending to a great series. Can’t wait for the next book 🙂  Book one of the Lunar Chronicles is Cinder, a science fiction retelling of Cinderella where Cinderella is a Cyborg.  And just to up the ante, there’s also a deadly plague killing tons of people and an evil sorcereress queen.  Each successive book builds on the story by adding another fairy tale retelling.  Book two is Red Riding Hood, book three is Rapunzel, and this last book is Snow White.  Seeing how all the characters from all the books come together through fate and friendship, each one using their own unique skills to build a formidable team, is heartwarming.  I especially liked that Winter’s skill was her overwhelming kindness and empathy, and that she was stunningly beautiful even with her facial scars.  Kindness, empathy, and friendship are not often considered skills outside of children’s books, and I like that this series values them.

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Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

If you like the Lunar Chronicles, this is a must read, if only for the short epilogue story at the end. A lot of the stories are back stories for the characters, but there are two new stories, and they’re both worth reading.

 

 

 

 

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

You know all those kids who stumble through doorways to other worlds like Oz and Wonderland? Ever wondered what happens when they come back to our world? Nancy’s family doesn’t understand and they think she’s crazy, so they send her to a special school. It turns out everyone else there has been to another world too. Nancy thinks she may have found a refuge, but then someone gets murdered…

This was a great little story, and it’s nominated for a Hugo.

 

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Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

A satisfying ending to a very fun series.  The first book is Etiquette and Espionage, and it’s a comedic, steampunk adventure about a girl’s finishing school that doubles as a spy school.  Highly recommended.  The audiobooks are especially good, partly because you don’t have to figure out how to pronounce some of the ridiculous names.

 

 

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Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The first book in this series is The Raven Boys.  I loved that first book, but didn’t get around to the second book, The Dream Thieves, for a couple years.  And then I just couldn’t stop.

The main characters are Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah.  Blue is a girl raised in a house of women psychics, but who’s only psychic ability is to magnify the abilities of others.  Gansey is a rich prep school boy with a fascination for history, and an obsession with a legendary Welsh king.  Ronan is foul mouthed, perpetually angry, but fiercely loyal and truthful to a fault, and he has very unusual dreams.  Adam grew up in a trailer park with his abusive father and he works hard to be allowed to stay at the prep school with Gansey and Ronan, hoping to someday leave his small town life behind.  Noah is quiet and gentle, but has a very dark secret.

Living with psychics, Blue has always known that she will kill her true love with a kiss. When she sees Gansey’s future in a graveyard, she knows he will be dead within a year, and most likely he is the true love she’s destined to kill.  Completely unaware how little time he has, Gansey pursues the grave of the Welsh king Glendower, and the legend that whoever finds and wakes the king is granted a wish.  Ronan, Adam, Noah, and Blue are caught up in Gansey’s obsession, and consequently they’re pulled into the magic surrounding the search and the ruthless people who will do anything to control the magic themselves.

I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style, and I love how complex the characters are.  I truly care about what happens to them all.  I also like that the magic is dark and alien, and each book had at least one moment so creepy that I literally got goosebumps.  Some mysteries are solved, but many things remain strange and unknowable.  I was left with many questions at the end of The Raven King, but apparently Maggie Stiefvater will be writing a couple more books about these characters, so maybe I will get my answers eventually.  If not, I’m finding Maggie and asking her!

 

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10626594 So I started reading The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater.  I can never seem to put her books down, because then I’m just wondering what happens next and I NEED to know.

This is the story of Puck and Sean; both teenagers, both orphaned, both born and raised on a small island, probably off the coast of England or Ireland(though it’s never stated precisely). Once a year the island becomes a tourist attraction for the deadly Scorpio Races, where the legendary water horses tend to eat or drown their riders.  Sean is a veteran of the races, but Puck is the first girl to ever enter.  Both Sean and Puck need to win, or lose something very important to them, but there’s only one first place. Despite the fact that they are rivals, they strike up a friendship.  As tensions before the races mount, Sean and Puck find that the other riders can be just as dangerous as the water horses, and they may need each other just to survive to the finish line.

This was a very low key love story, but all the characters were interesting, and the world of the island and its water horses felt very real.  I was also fascinated with the use of the legend of the kelpie, which I haven’t encountered before in fiction.

While reading, I also became obsessed with the description of the flaky, honey glazed November cakes.  I decided to head to the internets and find out if they were a real thing, or if Maggie had made them up.  Either way, I wanted a recipe, even if it was just some book nerd like me making something up so they can eat the book as well as read it.  It turns out, some book nerd did make up a recipe: Maggie Stiefvater.  So here it is.  I’m looking forward to trying this out!

I love Comic-Con. I love fan conventions. I love being surrounded by people who are excited to be there, people who are doing the things they love, and all the wonderful creativity. People are always so friendly, and so happy to share their love of whatever with you, and I love the attitude of joy and acceptance. For example, I was riding the light rail to Phoenix Comic-Con and I pulled a book a book out of my bag. Some guy I’d never met before immediately started a conversation with me about how much he loved that book, and what we were doing at the Con, etc. His name was Doug. Will I see him again ever? Who knows. But because we were going to Comic-Con on the same train and we’d read the same book, we were automatically friends. I love that.

But moving on: I promised YA books. I was lucky enough to be a panelist at Phoenix Comic-Con on 2 panels: Cool Things I’m Reading, and Cool Things I’m Reading YA edition. I wrote down all the books we talked about at these panels, so what follows is a brief review of each of the books discussed that I’ve personally read, and a list of the books other people talked about that I haven’t read. Enjoy. Or not.  I’m not the boss of you  :p

7766027I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

A disturbing mystery told from a very unusual point of view, including all the grisly details. Not for the faint of heart.  Jasper’s father has been teaching his son how to be the perfect serial killer since he was a little boy, but four years ago, Jasper’s father was arrested, and Jasper was liberated. He hopes to live the life of a normal teenager now. And then a fresh murder victim shows up in Jasper’s small town.

6567017Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

A hilarious, touching story about love in all it’s many beautiful forms. With singing. Two high school boys named Will Grayson, one straight, one gay. Gay Will is in the closet, with a secret online boyfriend, while straight Will does his best to avoid relationships. Straight Will’s best friend, Tiny Cooper, has enough relationships for the both of them, and then some! And when both Will Graysons meet in Chicago, worlds collide.

17675462The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue comes from a family of psychics, and it’s an accepted fact that if Blue ever kisses her true love, he will die. But Blue herself is not psychic. She only helps focus psychic energy. So when she sees the ghost of a boy who will soon die on St. Mark’s day, she is surprised. The ghost belongs to a raven boy, one of the students at the exclusive all boys school in her small Virginia town. Blue hates raven boys, but feels compelled to try to fight fate and save this one. Could he be the true love she’s destined to kill?

13555073The Screaming Staircase(Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud

This story is set in an alternate history modern day London where ghosts stalk the night, and only children and teenagers can see them clearly. Our heroes Antony Lockwood, Lucy Carlyle, and George Cubbins run a psychic detection agency. That is, they hunt and destroy ghosts. But unlike most other agencies, they do not have any adult supervisors. When Lockwood and Lucy encounter a ghost they are not equipped to handle, they set in motion a deadly chain of events.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M. G. Buehrlen

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare, #1)

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Orleans

Life After Theft by Aprilynn Pike

Life After Theft

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Antigoddess (Goddess War, #1)

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

If you like dystopias, then the 5th Wave is for you.  The war was over before it even started. Earth’s human population was decimated in just a few short months by four strategic waves of alien attacks.  The 4th Wave was the worst: aliens who look like humans, making it impossible to trust anyone. 16-year-old Cassie and Zombie deal with the invasion in different ways, but they are both bound by a promise, and the desire to save what’s left of the human race. Action packed, full of guns, explosions, twists, and lies within lies, it’s the story of saving more than just a group of people. It’s about saving the things that really matter.

Paladin Prophesy by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophecy (The Paladin Prophecy, #1)

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barns

The Naturals (The Naturals, #1)

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

The Grimm Legacy (The Grimm Legacy, #1)

Anything by Diana Wynn Jones

And just to make sure I give credit where credit’s due, my co-panelists were Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy Books, Nadine from the Phoenix Comic-Con staff, and Shantell from Sirens of Suspense.  I’m pretty sure all of these books are available at Mysterious Galaxy, and probably at your local library too 🙂 Happy reading!