Last night I finally finished the fourth and final book in The Raven Cycle series – The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily Lily Blue, and The Raven King. The first book I had on my kindle for a long time, and I was always hesitant to start it.
When I finally did start it, I was hooked by the beginning, but then I felt the first quarter of it dragged on and was too confusing. I normally don’t push on with books like that, but I had a feeling I would like it more if I kept going, so I did and I finished it in a sleepless night.
I absolutely loved The Raven Boys, and I read the first one around Christmas time, so I got my husband to buy me all four books in hardback (because when I love a book, I have to have it in hardback) and he did! I read the second and third books in close succession, but it took me a few months to pick up The Raven King.
It looked long and intimidating, and I knew what was supposed to happen, so I was biting my nails in anticipation. However, I came to love the characters even more, and by the end I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I finished it at work and immediately had to teach a student, but it was all I could do not to jump up, run around, and scream at the top of my lungs.
The series took me through so many emotions so quickly. I loved Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style, her shockingly unique but accurate metaphors, and the relationships she built up throughout the books. I was in serious shock when I was done, and I scoured the internet (mostly Tumblr) for people who had also finished it, because I had so many thoughts (I LOVED it! but also why did she do this? but also I LOVED it!) and I didn’t know what to do with them.
I walked around in a stupor – nay, a slump – until I got home and read back through some of my favorite scenes. I went to my bookshelf to put the book back in its place and once it was there, my heart was still so torn up that I couldn’t choose anything to read afterwards.
This has happened many times before, but this time felt particularly depressing. I usually happily grab another book from my TBR stack (and it’s grown a lot since I went to America) but everything I saw on my shelf seemed dull in comparison, although I know eventually I’ll be excited to read them. My heart was broken. It was like a bad break up. I couldn’t rebound too quickly, as it wouldn’t give my heart time to recover.
This morning, I flipped through the books on my Kindle and found a short, cute, happy non-fiction – a perfect way to bandage my heart after the whirlwind romance that I’d just gone through. The Raven Cycle has a happy ending (that wasn’t entirely satisfying, but a lot of writers find sick pleasure in getting readers upset that it just ENDED like that) but I needed something light, airy, and calming.
I chose The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, and I love it so far. It’s a quick read about culture, language, the Danes, and Christmas coziness wrapped in a blanket with mood lighting, candles, and hot cocoa. Hmm, just the pick-me-up I need.
Well, not really. I know Maggie Stiefvater is writing a spin-off to the series, mostly around Ronan (a character I was meh about until the last book – now I love him) so I will get a little bit more time in the Raven Boys’ world. And I do have her Mercy Falls series, which I’ve read the first book of (Shiver) and I loved that one, too, but I’m not ready for it just yet.
She’s a fantastic writer and, as a writer myself, I’m both inspired by her and angered by her (that she took all the good metaphors and wrote characters many will never live up to in my eyes). I love reading work that astounds me, but it always leaves me in a funk afterwards, especially if I start a new book right after and it’s not as good.
I might actually re-read the series – which I never do. I really loved the series but I think I will like it more now that I know the back stories of the characters and now that I’m not trying to get through it faster to know what happens. I opened The Raven Boys up on my Kindle, and I was even more enthralled by it than I was the first time, so I know a re-read would heal my soul a little.
But for now, I’m over here drinking tea, eating chocolate, and watching stupid stuff on TV to ease my book hangover/break-up. *Sigh* it really is a blessing and a curse to have so many great books to read. Let me know what you’ve been reading recently! And go find a way to add more hygge to your life!