The Raven Boys

I think rereading books is something we do far too little. It’s normal to only read a book once, but how fun is that? I have a lot of novels that I love, that I’ve only read one time because there are so many more books that I haven’t read that needs my attention. One book I like to reread, and most certainly will read again, is Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. It’s a magical story about pretty much everything I love and it’s executed in a beautiful way.

This novel is about love and death but also friendships and cars. Blue Sargent lives in a house filled with clairvoyant women but she has no psychic abilities herself. Despite that she sees a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, and she’s told that if a non-seer does that it means that you’ll either kill that person or you're his true love. Blue has also been told that she will kill her true love if she kisses him and her half-aunt has said that this is the year Blue will fall in love, so it rather seems like something drastic will change in her life soon.

That change comes in the form of four boys. Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah, four best friends searching for ley lines and a Welsh king, Glendower, that has been asleep for hundreds of years. Blue is caught up in their search, despite her rules of not spending time with boys from Aglionby Academy, the private all-boys school in their town that the boys attend. She wants to find Glendower just as much as the boys and even though the thrill of the search is great, she wants the favour that is promised to the person who awakes Glendower from his sleep. She wants it so she can save Gansey, because it was his spirit she saw on St. Mark’s Eve.

Rereading this novel make me fall in love with it again and again. I think I like it even more now than I did the first time I read it, something that doesn’t happen often. It’s down to two things, really. The characters and Stiefvater’s writing. You can tell that the characters are crafted with so much love and they feel so very real. They’re all different and yet the same, just like five best friends are supposed to be. The characters carry this story, a story that is very interesting but wouldn’t be half as good if it didn’t have Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah and Blue in it.

The second thing, the writing, is also important. A badly written story is not worth reading, in my opinion, but Stiefvater certainly knows how to write. It’s like no other book I’ve ever read, both funny and serious, often at the same time. There’s something very special about the way Stiefvater has written this novel and the book is extraordinary. I don’t think it’s a story that everyone will love, but I certainly do. If you like good writing, funny characters, magic, psychics and cars, this is the novel for you!

The Little Prince

This is yet another classic story for children that I've wanted to read for years. I was hoping for something thoughtful, something that would make children and adults alike to stop and think and it's exactly what I got. This may be a book written for children but, just like A Wrinkle in Time, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has wisdom to share to anyone who picks it up.

The book is short, just over 100 pages and there are illustrations on nearly every page. We meet the main character in the beginning, most probably a man but his name is never given. He talks about the dreams he had when he was little and the career he choice as an adult. He is a pilot and it’s after a crash in the African desert that he meets the Little Prince. This tiny boy is from another planet and he recounts the story of how he ended up on Earth and all the things he saw and all the people he met on his journey to the main character.

This novel was just as lovely as I hoped it would be. It might seem somewhat boring but it’s a story that makes you look around the world and think. The book was written 1943 but many things mentioned in it is accurate today as well. I think the mark of a good book is one that you can read anytime and that applies to more than one aspect of history. If you can read something that’s 50 years old and it’s still accurate then that’s a story that can really teach us about life and about who we are as people. The Little Prince certainly does that. Not only does it tell children how important and amazing they are, it also tells adults about the mistakes we make and how we need to view the world more as children because they see no limits.

One thing that I really liked about the story was the fact that we don’t know the name of the main character, or even if it is, in fact, a man. As an adult I can assume that it is a man based on the fact that the character worked as a pilot around 1940, not many women did that. But children don’t see it that way, for them the main character could just as well be a woman and I believe this makes it easier for them to relate to the story. All in all, this is certainly a novel that works for both young and old. I think we can all learn something from The Little Prince and I think it’s important to read books like this from time to time to remind ourselves to look at the bigger picture.

A Wrinkle in Time

This novel is a classic and it’s not hard to see why. Madeleine L’Engle has created a story that has enthralled countless readers and will soon become a movie. It is, I suppose, a book made for children but I think adults as well as kids will get something out of this read.

Meg is a young girl who doesn’t fit into school, she’s not understood by neither teachers nor the headmaster and she’s seen as weird. Her little brother, Charles Wallace, is bullied as well because he is not at all like a regular five-year-old boy. They live with their mother and their twin brothers after their father disappeared a year earlier. The people in town says he left the family to be with another woman but Meg knows in her heart that that’s not true. When Meg and Charles Wallace meets Calvin O’Keefe and Charles introduces them to his friends, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the three friends leave Earth to search the universe in order to save Meg and Charles’ father. It is an adventure that will change them forever and one were the fate of the universe rests on their shoulders.

This novel is made for children and it’s obvious. The plotline isn’t quite as intricate as novels for teenagers or adults are, but the characters have a surprising amount of depth. Charles Wallace is very intelligent and he brings a lot to the story with his analytical way of seeing the world. Meg is considered stupid because she can’t get good grades but she’s smart in her own way and I think a lot of girls can relate to her. She’s twelve in the novel and I believe she’s a good role model for readers in this age. She is often scared, angry and misunderstood but she evolves a lot throughout the novel. Calvin is a year or two older than her but despite being bigger and stronger he never takes over. The spotlight in this story is for Meg. I hope a lot of girls (and boys!) that feel like they don’t fit in can see the strength in Meg and the power that comes from being yourself.

The story explores a lot of interesting things, not only the obvious one which is the fight between good and evil. Meg’s father has been taken by the evil IT and the children must fight so that the light in the universe wins. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which are not human but kind beings that helps the children fight IT. During the adventure Meg and the others also meet beings for other planets and it’s fun to see how different they are and how they view life. I think both children and adults will enjoy this story because it makes you think and it gives the reader a chance to see the world in a new light. And, of course, it’s an exciting adventure through space with a relatable heroin at the helm. What more do you need?