Saturday, August 27, 2016



This is a Q&A feature. Sometimes it will be blogger interviews and sometimes authors. Other times it might be me asking my sister what she thought about a book series, or a chat with another blogger, or two, about something bookly, like THE RAVEN CYCLE...
Tonight my Raven Cycle reading buddy Annemieke from A DANCE WITH BOOKS will be discussing everything Raven Boys and Blue with me!
1. Had you read any of the author's other books before reading The Raven Boys? 
No, I hadn’t. The first time I heard of this author was with her previous series The Wolfs of Mercy Falls, but that didn’t quite appeal to me as much. Then I started hearing about this series. I wasn’t sure for the longest time on whether or not to start, but I’m really glad I did. I have her standalone The Scorpio Races on my shelves and I hope to get to that later this year.
L.L. I think you will love The Scorpio Races because the story has a similar feel to it. I have been warned that her earlier werewolf and fae books do not.

2. What is your favorite aspect of her writing style? 
  Oh, Maggie has such a way with words that combine a flowery and very quotable language with the somewhat cruder language of teenagers. Yet it remains to the point. And the personality of each characters really comes through with that combination. Some lines are so deep where others are just funny. It really strikes a chord, with me anyway.

3. Do you think this series would have been better as a trilogy?
   While I feel that the last two were definitely the weaker two of the series, I don’t think that would have been fixed with mashing the last two. Really that would be a roller coaster of a mammoth book. And I don’t think that would work either because I think the characterization would have to make room to wrap up the plot. And that would not do.

4. Which book was your favorite of the quartet, and which was your least favorite? 
 Oh, I’m not sure I can choose between The Raven Boys or The Dream Thieves as my favorite.  I think The Raven Boys is such a great start to this series that introduces the boys and Blue to us and sets up the start of their friendship greatly. Yet The Dream Thieves focuses more on Ronan who is my favorite of all. I’m sorry boys and Blue.
  My least favorite would be The Raven King I’d say. Mainly because I feel the ending is a bit anti climax and I wasn’t quite on board with some things that were added in this last book. Still it wasn’t a bad book at all.
L. L. I agree with The Raven King as least favorite and The Dream Thieves as most favorite!

5. When did you realize there was a Ronan/Adam ship starting? 
 I started getting a feeling at the end of The Dream Thieves that at the very least those two would be getting closer, and then in Blue Lily Lily Blue I felt confirmed that at the very least Ronan was interested in Adam more than just a friend.  Just in the way he would describe Adam or that he told Adam things  before Gansey. Couldn’t quite tell with Adam right away though.

6. What was your favorite element of the storyline? 
 I wouldn’t say a specific part of the story. Mostly I just loved how every book pieces started falling together. I especially had this with The Dream Thieves where I suddenly realized hints from The Raven Boys fit there. And I think I’ll see more if I reread it next year which is what I am planning on doing hopefully, haha.
L.L. I want to do a reread, too. They are definitely books that make you want to see what little hints and foreshadowing you missed along the way during the first read.

7. What did you think about Gansey not dying at the climax of the book? 
   Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Gansey is still alive. But after all their struggles and with Glendower being dead as well, it just felt like one big anti climax that last 60 pages or so. It just couldn’t really recover from that. And I thought that the answer came to Adam mightly easy when they had been racking their brains about it before and came up with nothing.

8. Was there anything that really annoyed you? 
 Henry I’d say. I don’t dislike him. I dislike the role he got in the last 50% of The Raven King. To me it feels like he is taking Noah’s place. And that annoys me.

9. What do you think about the author saying she is outlining a trilogy about Ronan right now? 

10. Any final thoughts? 
  That I am really glad I finally got around to reading this series. Because I am in love with these characters and despite the ending I do think it has elevated itself to a new favorite series of mine. I am even contemplating getting the hardcovers. I know. Still. I shouldn’t.
  And I’m glad you wanted to buddy read it with me. I enjoyed it a lot.
 L.L. This buddy read was superb. I can hardly wait for our next one.

1. What was your favorite scene or aspect of the series?
I loved all of the scenes where The boys and Blue are riding around in The Pig. It always seemed to be this little microcosm of the group dynamic where you would be made aware of the changes within the group dynamic, and the current tone of their intertwined friendships. I loved the way Maggie did most of this simply by describing their movements and body postures.

  2. Was there an aspect of the story or the characters you wish had been deepened out more?
The whole Artemus "Butternut" - Maura relationship was screaming for more detail after he was brought back to 300 Way Street.

  3. Who is your favorite character and why?
I want to say Blue because I was always more comfortable hanging around with a group of guy friends, and also having that group be separate from people at my school. This made her intensely relatable for me, but... I truly love Gansey. His mannerisms and thought processes combined with his genuine fatherly concern and caring about his friends made him irresistible to me. Ha ha.
  4. Was there a part that made you cry?
I teared up some when Ronan saw his dead mother being dragged by Opal, and when Gansey "died"; which says a lot because I am not usually a crier when reading, but there was a passage that moved me to full on tears.

 I think maybe because of being a single parent. You start losing yourself being both a mother and a father, mixed with crippling anxiety from bottomless responsibilities with no safe place to fall; and not being able to show it in front of your child. This passage described how I felt most of the time and struck a serious chord with me.

  5. How do you feel about the role Noah played throughout the entire series?
First of all I did not catch on about Noah being a ghost until shortly before it was revealed.  I thought the inclusion of his character from the very beginning, to bring about the twist that happens at the end of the entire series, shows how well the plot and subplots are meshed together in these books. I had not one inkling that the voice Gansey heard as he was dying from the wasp stings was Noah until it happened. This is another aspect of of Maggie's writing that I love and respect; I am usually quite clever at picking out twists before they happen, and as you will notice from some of my answers here, I was clueless to most until they were revealed.

  6. How do you feel about the inclusion of characters like Henry, Gwenillian, Artemis and Gray?
A big no from me about Henry, too. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it smacked of a last minute addition for some reason. I think it muddied up the storyline for no reason by being the straw that broke the camel's back with new characters being fleshed out in a final book. I agree with you, it did feel like he was a replacement for Noah, and when he was off for adventures with Blue and Gansey at the end I was thinking, no, ugh, he hasn't payed his dues.

I felt Gwenillian was a good addition, with just enough of her to bring certain threads together, and offer up a little comic relief at times.

I wish there had been no Henry and more Artemus. I don't feel we were given enough of the "Butternut" backstory.

I think the ending to Gray's thread was too abrupt. I really enjoyed his character.

  7. Do you agree with Adam that Blue and Ronan are made of the same stuff? Do you think that is why they are not as close?
I have not given this much thought before. My feeling was Ronan's standoffishness was because Blue's presence was going to change his relationship with Gansey, and his sarcasims directed at Blue were a kind of test, or or gauntlet she had to run to prove her worthiness, or intent. I will have to keep this question in mind when I do my reread.

8. How do you feel about the friendship between Gansey and Adam? Do you think Gansey overstepped the boundaries or do you feel that Adam was overreacting?
I know from experience that close knit groups of young people, especially when some members don't have well functioning families themselves, will evolve into a "family". Different members will take on familial roles and because Gansey was the one who had the stable relationship and experiences with his father it was  natural for him to fall into the nurturing paternal placement. I think he felt very much like a dad to both Ronan and Adam, and wanted for both what was going to make them the happiest and most successful in their lives.

Was Adam overreacting?  Yes, but the question is could he help it? Adam is a very complicated creature because of his childhood.

9. Would you have told Gansey about dying sooner?
I wouldn't have told him at all. I think he already viewed every day he had after he was "reborn" on the ley line as a bonus day and was living them in an authentic way. For me the only reason for telling someone they only have a short time to live is if they would live those days in a different way, as in doing things they had put off. I was surprised the others at 300 Fox Way agreed Blue should tell him.

  10. Did Gansey make you want to own/drive a Camaro?
No! Every boyfriend I had who owned a "muscle car" I ended up hating, so for me it represents people vastly different from Gansey. Ha ha.

I want to thank Annmieke for both buddy reading with me and for taking the time to join me here on SEC tonight!

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