The Lizzie Bennett Diaries–these are so good, I now own merchandise.
White Cat–as I said in a comment on Anna’s review, this whole series was like Harry Potter meets the Sopranos.
But I finally got around around to reading something new. The first Maggie Stiefvater I read was her teenage werewolf trilogy that starts with Shiver. The story was fine, if maybe a little weighted down with teenage romance, and maybe sharing a little too much DNA with the Twilight books. But The Raven Boys, the first book in her new Raven Cycle, felt much more original and confident.
The boys of the title are teenagers attending a fancy school in Virginia, and Blue is a local girl who gets caught up with their efforts to solve a supernatural mystery. Magic is treated very calmly here–Blue is from a family of psychics, and ghosts and time travel and Arthurian legend are all just common currency–so don’t expect a lot of explanation for how anything works. And since this is clearly intended to be the start of a series, a whole lot of guns are introduced in this first act that have yet to go off. But I liked the characters and, even more, liked the tone of the book. This isn’t a bleak story, but it is creepy and ominous, and it gave me the shivers reading it at night. The second book in the cycle, The Dream Thieves, just came out on Monday, and I have that squiggly sort of feeling about reading it–I can’t wait to find out what happens, but I’m not sure I can bear to find out, since I know things can’t possibly end well for everyone. It’s going to be an excellent thing to read as the year races towards Halloween.
Kinsey’s Three Word Review: Eerie, magical mystery
You might also like: White Cat, or Grave Mercy, or Beautiful Creatures, or any of those young adult magic/fantasy series. But let me also recommend another YA book about a boarding school that has a similar melancholy, atmospheric tone, minus the magic: Jellicoe Road by Melinda Marchetta.