Turn the Feelings Up to Eleven or: Finishing The Raven Cycle in Three Weeks

May 17, 2016

Yeah, that's it.

(Just kidding [though I thought about stopping there, I really did].)

If you're just tuning in, I've been mired in what I've taken to calling The Great Raven Cycle Listen* since the end of April. A modest boatload of my bookish Twitter buddies were buzzing over the impending release of the fourth and final of Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle books, The Raven King, and I thought to myself, what better time to binge?

Fast forward 21 days, and I've listened to more than 45 hours of Will Patton telling me (oh so tenderly) the stories of Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah, a group of Virginian teenagers on the hunt for a long-dead Welsh king. Having typed it, I'm realizing that's about the worst summary I could have given you. Let's try again: this is a story about magic. This is a story about friendship. This is a story about growing up. This is a story about more feelings than any human can possibly fit into his or her body. Good thing there are five (plus) teenaged bodies to hold them all!**

I touched on this back when I reviewed Megan Abbott's The Fever, but I always forget how much I love reading about the intensity of adolescence. Everything that happens is big and important and takes up the entire frame; where adults compartmentalize, teenagers stew in the muck of hormones and changes and growth. I adore getting swept up in the thick of it, which maybe means I need to make room for more young adult literature in my life.

Anyway, I really enjoyed The Raven Cycle. Stiefvater writes such vibrant characters, and watching them fumble around and knock into each other like billiard balls is the majority of the fun. Now that the shock of the series ending is wearing off (please refer to the above YouTube video), I can say that the close of the quartet wasn't quite what I hoped it would be. I don't think I can say much more without running the risk of unintentional spoilers, so reach out if you want to chat about it.

In summary, I'm going to say what all those kind folks said to me earlier this year: if you're at all curious, give it a try! I challenge you not to get swallowed whole by the very first prologue.

Shout-outs to Janani, Jenny, Memory, Katie, Heather and Ana for fielding many a frenzied Snapchat and tweet over the last few weeks!

*I've called it this exactly one other time.

**OK, these other descriptions aren't much better, but I went into this story nearly blind. I think you can do it, too.

Let's please please please talk about The Raven Cycle!

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