The Raven Boys

I've read Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys twice before and got the sudden urge to do so again a few days ago. As my reading slump continues, I thought it would be fun to visit a book that I liked, but a series I wasn't too happy with. It actually felt good reading again and it didn’t take me too long to finish this (a feat that hasn’t been archived for some time, let me tell you!)

If you haven’t crossed paths with Stiefvater and The Raven Boys, this is the story about a teenage girl named Blue, her attempts to stay away from the students at the private male high school Aglionby (often referred to as “raven boys”) and how she ended up being best friends with four of them. All her life, Blue, daughter of a psychic and living in a house full of mediums, has been told that she will kill her true love if she kisses him. On St. Mark’s Eve, when Blue is out watching the spirit road with her aunt, she sees a spirit for the first time and is told that if a non-seer sees a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, that’s because she will either be his true love or she will kill him. The person she sees is Gansey and shortly after, an obscenely rich raven boy named Gansey, along with his three freaky friends, walks into Blue’s life and changes it for ever.

If you haven’t crossed paths with Maggie Stiefvater at all, you don’t know that she writes in a rather distinct way. If you have, you will already know that her writing is eccentric, sarcastic and really funny. Stiefvater has a knack of making everything funny if she wants to and that’s how you end up laughing when Gansey is driving his car or when Blue gets ready for school in the mornings. Reading Stiefvater’s writing is like a breath of fresh air. Quite different from what I’m used to, in the best way. She’s also very good at creating flawed, three-dimensional characters that are easy to relate to. They all work together in their quest to find a sleeping king, but everyone has their own arc. Blue is a not a psychic, living in a house full of them and always feeling a little left out. Gansey has a lot of money and spends his life trying to make a wrong right. Adam has no money and spends his life working, trying to get out of the trailer he lives in. Ronan has a secret as dark and scary as his gaze. Noah is freakishly good at finding things and like Ronan, has a secret of his own. They’re all unique and special, making them a group that feels real and that you connect to fast.

There’s a lot of reasons why I like this book, but mainly because it’s very special and not like many novels I’ve read before. The only downside, really, is the rest of the series. The first two novels in The Raven Cycle (The Raven Boys and The Dream Thiefs) was good and I liked the third one, Blue Lily, Lily Blue as well, thought it was slightly different. However, the last one, titled The Raven King, ruined everything for me. Despite that, I still found that I enjoyed The Raven Boys, but I think I'll stay away from the rest of the series for a while. That shouldn’t stop you, however, from enjoying some strangeness from Stiefvater. If you haven’t read The Raven Boys yet, get on it. You might feel differently about the series than I did and even if you don’t, the first novel offers a lot of awesomeness that I think will appeal to a great deal of people!

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Not to be confused with the script to the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this book is Harry Potter's copy of the often-used school-book, written by Newt Scamander. Just like with Quidditch Through the Ages, this book gives an extra insight into the world of Harry Potter and his friends. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is mentioned many times in both the novels and the movies and it was fun to get the chance to see the same thing Harry and the students at Hogwarts did.

The book contains a long list of beasts and monsters and details about them. What they look like, what they eat, where you can find them, how you should treat them and how dangerous they are combined with some interesting history. It gives more depth to creatuers that you meet during Harry's adventures, but you also get to learn about beasts that wasn't mentioned in any of the books.

What really made this book special is that it's filled with notes, comments and scribbles from both Harry and Ron in the marginals. There are questions and sarcastic jokes along with doodles which makes the book more real. It was hilarious reading the conversations between the two friends, reminding me of how it was when I was in class. I really enjoyed this book, for many reason, and like I said about Quidditch Through the Ages, this is something every fan of Harry Potter should have on their shelf.

Quidditch through the ages

The world of Harry Potter is amazing and, it seems, always growing. Despite the series being over for quite a few years now, there's still things to read and stuff to learn. J.K Rowling has written three companion stories to the beloved series; The Tales of Beedle the BardFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages. They might be a few years old now as well, but they offer so much interesting information and background story to readers who love Harry Potter and the world of wizards. If you haven't checked them out yet, you really should!

In Quidditch Through the Ages we get a closer look at the teams playing in the British and Irish league, an overview of famous international teams and Quidditch on different continents as well as a rundown of well-known Quidditch moves. But there's also an extensive look into the history of Quidditch, where and how it started and how it came to be the game we all know and love today.

The book is written by wizard Kennilworthy Whisp and is a copy from the library at Hogwarts. It gives a deep view of a very old game and the various changes that has happened during the years since it was first played over a thousand years ago. I think this is a necessary book every Harry Potter-fan should have on their shelves. It gives a lot of interesting facts but also answers questions one might’ve asked when reading about Harry playing Quidditch. I found it to be very enjoyable and I believe every person who loves Harry Potter will too.