Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bonus YAck Attack 1: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Published: September 17, 2013
Our YAck of The Raven Boys

From Goodreads:
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.
Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.
Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

[We started this thread WAY back in August, when a couple of us were lucky enough to get ARCs. We finished it up this past month when no one really wanted to read The Rosie Project. Which is entirely understandable.]

Sya: I propose that we YAck The Dream Thieves. It was the last book I read before descending into the most HORRENDOUS reading slump - I think it has ruined me for all others. We must discuss.

I'm not saying now...just at some point before Christmas.

You all have to read it soon because I can't read anything else and there is the PERFECT part for RA. It's like it was written for him.

Angie: Ooooh, Sya. That IS the perfect part for RA. *daydreams*

Sya: Right??

Holly: Sya?! THAT IS THE BEST RA CASTING EVVERRR. I love both of them so much.

Heidi: I concur on the casting. And on the need to YAck this.

Chachic: I just started reading this and I'm glad we YAcked The Raven Boys because I couldn't remember the details in that book anymore so I went back to our discussion. I'm about 20% into The Dream Thieves.

Melissa: So: those of us who finished it (now or back when it came out), what did you think? (And I don't remember: what's RA's role? Tell me it's Mr. Gray, please.) For me: THE WORDS. I never, EVER get excited about words, but I did for this one. I SWOONED over the words.

Sya: Well OF COURSE it was Mr Gray - it's like the part was written just for him. Also, in my head Maura is totally Mary Louise Parker. I'm half way through listening to the audio book as a refresher and agree about The Words. It's incredibly lyrical.

Angie: I ship Ronan & Adam so hard right now.
Ronan & Adam
Maureen: I felt lost a lot of the time; wish I'd had TRB on hand to re-read before starting.

Chachic: Maureen, I know what you mean. I wish I reread The Raven Boys before going into the sequel. I had forgotten most of what happened in the first book.

Angie, I love Ronan! He's such a great character. I liked that we got to know him better in this book.

Yes to RA as Mr. Gray.

Found here
Sya: About half way through and while Kavinsky IS an abhorrent creature, the line "wake up, fuckweasel, it's your girlfriend!" has a great deal of charm. In fact,the cursing throughout the book is endlessly satisfying.

Melissa: Agreed re: the cursing. It is quite satisfying. And used so very well.

Sya: Illustrates how all words can be used oddly beautifully.

Thought I would just share this Maggie creation now.

Donna: I'm still trying to process everything. I love the book but I also seem to be hyper aware of bridge books and with how far off course TDT brought the story I can't help but think of this one as an aside. At the same time it focused on two characters as they tried to get a hold of what they bring to the table in the Glendower game so in that respect the brief pause in the over-arching plot to dissect two broken people is fully rendered.

Kavinsky was a one dimensional character but ultimately necessary in order for Ronan to realize his full potential since his dad wasn't there to help him. Not the greatest teacher but sometimes people need to learn something by watching how not to do it.
Found here
Melissa: Good points, Donna. Amazing points.

Sya: They are excellent points. And I certainly agreed with most of them on my first reading of TDT. However, I read it twice and have to admit this is my second listen of the (rather excellently narrated) audio and my thoughts have changed. Firstly, while this book largely focuses on Ronan and Adam the underlying beat of it is always Glendower, Glendower, Glendower - by which I mean, Gansey, Gansey, Gansey. Neither might feature in it predominantly but both are the driving force behind the two focal points. In terms of Kavinsky - yes, he's fairly one dimensional but I kind of read that as intentional. He's Ronan's dark mirror, the horrible place that Ronan could so easily go without the whole Glendower/Gansey thing. Also, I think Kavinsky represents Ronan's general shame and confusion about not only about his ability but about his sexuality. That dream he has about Adam tracing his tattoo only for Kavinsky to swallow it is not only very homoerotic but rather beautifully written in terms of confusion and shame and want.

Additionally, I have many thoughts on Helen and particularly on the depiction of adults as Real And Actual Characters. Particularly about Maura and Mr. Gray. But I'm still thinking these thoughts and will get back to you.

Finally, I also felt the same about this being a bridge book (which I often have problems with - see Insurgent, or Catching Fire, for instance) but then realised that this is book two of four which makes a lot more sense in terms of the story telling.

Melissa: Of four? I thought it was only three?? (Not that I'm complaining. More of these boys is NOT a bad thing.)

Sya: Nope, I'm pretty sure it's four... although I may be wrong... I hope not, though.

Melissa: There's also been very little talk of Blue. One of my favorite scenes is the one on the lake where she dismisses Olga (was that her name?) in her orange bikini and dives into the lake. I haven't read it in months, and I still smile at that.

Sya: Definately four books, just checked. And yes, that scene with Orla (I only remember the name because Mila was so very nearly an Orla) is awesome. For such a serious and quite sad book there are a lot of laugh out loud moments. I'm about to head to bed but can I just throw out for discussion THE SADDEST FIRST KISS EVER. Goodnight.

Maureen: Does that then mean each book will focus on a different person of the quad? I felt like TRB was Blue's book, and this is Ronan's book.

Angie: I love quartets So. Much. Could be we'll get an Adam and a Gansey book to round it out. The last one has to be Gansey's! And I agree his role in TDT totally expanded. It ensured I was on his side, when up till now I was sort of intrigued but not sold. Now, thanks to Ronan, I'm sold on Gansey. Their friendship...just killed me.

And Sya, it had TWO of the best kisses ever. Adorable and gutting.

Chachic: Like Angie said, I'm hoping for a Gansey final book as well! And I agree with both Sya and Angie on the kisses - those were wonderfully written scenes. My complaint about The Dream Thieves being a bridge book is the waiting time in between books, I keep wishing that I have the whole series in my hands so I can read all the books together.

Melissa: Ah, Chachic, that's ALWAYS my complaint with getting involved with series at the beginning. I don't want to wait. I WANT IT ALL NOW. Though I have decided that any author who can't wrap up a series in three (or maybe four depending on the author) books can't write.

Donna:  *ahem*harrypotter*cough*

Melissa: Harry Potter is the exception that proves the rule. Just because JK was able to make a series go seven books (not always well, I might add) doesn't mean that EVERY SINGLE BLOODY AUTHOR needs to 1) write a series and 2) make it go 80 bajillion books long. (John Flannagan, I'm looking at you.)

Rick Riordan is another exception. He's strung Percy and Annabeth out for nearly 10 books.

Donna: I liked Mari Mancusi's Blood Coven series but those are SUPPOSED to be silly and a little ridiculous. I think there are 8 titles in that one. And, of course, Fear Street.

Maureen: Somebody mentioned the grown-ups' characterization (this is how you know I work with little'uns, I always say grown-ups instead of adults) and I have to say, that stood out to me while reading. You don't get that a lot. My question now is, why? Are they going to be super-important later? We got a lot from Mr. Gray's POV and a lot of his background.

And while I don't really agree with the prevailing thinking that YA's and kids won't identify with a grown-up's perspective, it is a rare choice in this genre, especially in a book with so many other things going on and so many plot threads to follow.

Donna: I would imagine it wouldn't have been dwelled upon if it didn't have weight later on in the series. I really liked Mr. Gray and I hope we get to see more of him. Blue's family has pretty much settled into the story and I couldn't imagine it without them. I don't think the boys would have gotten to where they are without them.

Maureen: Good points. I also wonder if some of that is to contrast with the boys' various family situations. Blue is part of a large and loving family who all have each others' backs, whereas the boys . . . aren't.

Sya: I think that the concentration on adults is really interesting - particularly as Stiefvater's portrayal of absent parents was criticised (unfairly, I thought) in her Shiver series. I think that it gives the book a more rounded, fuller feeling. I loved Mr. Gray - he's so ambiguously, er, ambiguous. And it was nice to see adults portrayed as real people, with real personalities and feelings and lives. I also liked the characterisation of Gansey's sister, Helen who as a bit part, could have been glossed over but who actually adds to Gansey's characterisation by being so well written herself. Also, Persephone - what on earth is going on there? The way she talks to Adam makes me assume that she also had something happen in Cabeswater? Their growing relationship is actually quite lovely, BTW - it's nice to see Adam find someone who cares about him and seems to truly understand his, er, issues.

Donna: It's actually refreshing to see adults come into play in books as something other than the Big Bad or second tier to the teens' quest.

Laura: It took me a really long time to finish this book. The main reason being, the fact that I couldn't read it in the bathtub because it's signed and I can't stay awake if I read in the bed and there are only uncomfortable, hard spots in my house right now. The other reason being that it was such a BUSY BOOK. It was fabulous, mind you, more than fabulous but it was so terribly full that I kept getting distracted. As soon as I'd get all snuggled in with Maggie's words (She's Maggie to us now, right? We can be on a first name basis with her because we all sorta have a relationship with her at this point), she'd change tunes and sing about another person or thing for awhile. And it was all so detailed, and so engrossing and so FULL that I kept putting it down to process. We got so many stories in this one and she so NICELY FLESHED THINGS OUT BECAUSE OUR MAGGIE DOESN'T FORGET THE DETAILS, but I was TIRED. What else? The KISSES. Both of them. My heart. Just torn. The non kiss, Gansey kiss. The non kiss for so many reasons: Adam and the fact that HE KNEW and HE BELIEVED. He's so magnetic, I can understand how he draws in people, even people who have proven to have more pull than he does, even when I can't understand how he does it. I would follow him anywhere. Kavinsky was rather Moriarty, was he not? That's a compliment. Sorry for the wall of text, but this is how my mind is working right now...Motion to award this book a special award for having actually written our lord and king into the story so effortlessly. I really did love the book, as well as like it, but as good as it was, it didn't move in. It might have possibly had I read it at some other time than now. Pay no attention to me "Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all."

Melissa: And since no one can top that, I think I'll put this post up .

Sya:  Amen. Though we should quickly note the non stereotypical in the closet struggle, the phenomenal cliff hanger and the field of 100 disturbing Mitshubishis. And the racing pigeons. Ok. We are done.

Janice: Crap. I'm only halfway through this thing, so missing the Yack. *bows head*.

Angie: You likin' it so far, Janice?

Janice: Yep. The Gray Man is an interesting development. And what DOES Declan know? And I think Blue is playing a dangerous game. The rest of it I'm not sure my opinion is formed yet. *waves hands*, I will have to catch up on what everyone else thought of this one after I finish and it's up on the YAcker's site.

1 comment:

  1. I think fans of THE RAVEN BOYS will absolutely be wowed by THE DREAM THIEVES! There were so many amazing elements to this story, new and exciting characters, answers from previous mysteries and new ones to look forward to. I absolutely loved reading it and I can’t wait for the next book in the series… Although I will have to!
    Highly recommended Alaska Brown Bear Hunts grizzly