Books · TV Shows · Uncategorized · YA Literature

Update: The Raven Cycle and The Mortal Instruments

Wow – it’s certainly been a while since I last made a post. It’s been a whirlwind of the past weeks – papers are almost complete, but there’s still exams to follow in the two and a half weeks. But I’m almost there, and my first draft of my paper on Alice in Wonderland, using the theories of Freud and Michel Foucault, is almost complete. I’m listening to Mumford & Sons, have my Western Religions textbook at my feet, and I thought I’d do a quick update before I get back to it all.

The Readathon challenge was a miserable failure, but papers came on a little faster than I had expected they would. I finished with three out of five books – The Book ThiefAlice in Wonderland, and My Anastasia. I definitely enjoyed all three of those books more than I thought I would – reading a childhood book when you’re an adult certainly changes the way you read it, and, thankfully, it was in a good way with these three. I had never realized the relationship between Anastasia and Dunia in Stewart’s was so close and I teared up at least once or twice. There was so many good quotes in The Book Thief – that entire book is such a masterpiece. And Alice, well, I was smiling the entire time I read it.

Besides those three books, I’ve read six others since my last post. Six! I haven’t read so much since I was a little girl, but I guess it helps when you get books from the library and have a clear deadline, otherwise you won’t get to finish the book until the four or five people behind you have finished with it.

From the library: Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves

From my own library, bought years ago, and finally got to them: Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and City of Ashes

From my friend Emma: The Isle of the Lost 

For school: In Winter’s Shadow by Gillian Bradshaw

I am in love with Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle and Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. The Isle of the Lost was also rather good, but I’m just going to focus on the two series in this post.

The Raven Cycle focuses on five characters, Blue and the boys of the Aglionby Academy. Blue Sargent is “100% of the non-psychic population” at her house and has been told her entire life that she is fated to cause her true love to die by a kiss. Richard Campbell Gansey III, better known as Gansey by his friends, is searching for the Welsh king Glendower, who will grant a wish to the one who wakes him. Ronan Lynch knows Latin and can take objects from his dream, a Greywaren. Adam Parrish has an abusive father, works several jobs to pay for school, (and is a precious child that must be protected at all costs). Noah Czerny was murdered but still stays with his friends as a ghost. I’ve only gone through the first two books, but the plot, as far as I understand, follows these characters as they search for Glendower before someone gets there first – for example, Mr. Gray who enjoys reading Anglo-Saxon texts.

Some quotes from The Dream Thieves (I fell a little too much in love with Ronan)…

When Ronan had been smaller and more forgiving of miracles, he’d considered the moment of death with rhapsodic delight. His mother had told him that when you looked into the eyes of God at the pearly gates, all the questions you ever had were answered.

~

Someone kicked the back of their pew. It struck Ronan as an extremely un-Catholic action.

~

Ronan put the white sunglasses onto Gansey’s face and regarded him once more. His face went somber for half a second, and then it dissolved into an absolutely wonderful and fearless laugh. The old Ronan Lynch’s laugh. No, it was better than that one, because this new one had just a hint of darkness beneath it. This Ronan knew there was crap in the world, but he was laughing anyway.

~

There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder king of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.

And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about. Perhaps it was known once, but was taken to the grave. Or maybe it is a useless mystery, arcane and lonely, unfound because no one ever looked for it.

Sometimes, some rare times, a secret stays undiscovered because it is something too big for the mind to hold. It is too strange, too vast, too terrifying to contemplate.

All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or kept-from, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches – that’s what will be left at the end of it all.

 

The Mortal Instruments – Clary Fray is living a normal life with her mother, happy to draw and hang out with her best friend since childhood, Simon. But when Clary’s mother goes missing and she finds out that she is a Shadowhunter, a protector of humankind with angel blood, she is drawn into a confusing world. There are new friends – the charming Jace Wayland, Alec Lightwood, and his sister Isabelle – to help along the way. (Jace is haughty and speaks his mind, but the people he loves are top priority, but Alec is my previous child.) Clary must retrieve the Mortal Cup, a powerful weapon, before Valentine gets to it first – otherwise she will not be able to save her mother… not to mention that the world will also fall into ruin. This series has a love triangle with Clary, Jace, and Simon – but I actually don’t mind it for the first time ever???? (There’s also a devishly handsome  and highly amusing warlock named Magnus Bane who is my favourite character and all I want to read is scenes with him and Alec.)

This series led me to the TV show Shadowhunters, which I am also in love with (in addition to its soundtrack).

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To finish, I just thought I’d give you lovelies my to-read list for the next little bit as well as a few songs I’m loving from Shadowhunters at the moment.

  • I have The Secret History by Donna Tartt from the library but I’m not feeling it so I might just let it go.
  • I’m partway through The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima (from Emma)
  • City of Glass (as soon as I can acquire it from Emma as I do not own the book and she is going to be my savior because I can’t stand not knowing what happens next for much longer)
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle) as soon as the library will give it to me
  • I’ve got a couple more book of A Series of Unfortunate Events waiting for me at the library
  • and I really am going to have to finish T. H. White’s Arthurian book for class

 

A couple of songs I really like at the moment…

 

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