Mini Reviews #6: Gays & Cliches

by - 6:04 PM

AKA: Ellie can't get her crap together enough to write full-on reviews for any of these books, so you get shortened versions of a bunch of reviews.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys - a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface - changing everything in its wake.

4/5 consulting criminals.

The Dream Thieves was definitely a step up from The Raven Boys, a book I only hesitantly liked. This one, however, was both much more engaging and much less cliche; almost every single character (sans Gansey, who's blander than potato soup) was exciting to read about. I don't think I'm quite as obsessed with Ronan as everybody else is (where's my Noah-centric book?), but I still really enjoyed getting to delve deeper into his character. (Kavinsky was also amazing, just saying.)

In summary:

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

3/5 kickass she-elves.
This book started out slowly, but it soon grew to be lovely, if not terribly gripping.

Yes, Seraphina was slow at parts. Yes, it wasn't a super action-y tale. But although the plot meandered slightly, it meandered in a pleasant sort of way. You definitely knew where you were going, you just took time to admire the scenery along the way. For me, this wasn't a problem - although I realize that might not be the case for everybody.

Seraphina is a smart and capable heroine who nevertheless makes mistakes, plenty of them, and has flaws, plenty of them. She's a truly multidimensional heroine, which I feel is rare in YA these days. Plus, Glisselda, Orma, and Dame Okra were such awesome characters.

This story is good if you really like fantasy - particularly dragons or things that have a medieval vibe - and also, I feel, if you're a fan of the Robert Jordan sort of writing style. But if none of those things apply to you - or if tons of fast-paced action is a must for you in books - the tale of Seraphina probably isn't for you.

Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal

Ginger has lived in seclusion, with only her aunt Malgarel and her blue cat, Halcyon, to keep her company. Her sheltered, idyllic life is turned upside-down when her home is attacked by messengers from the world of fae. Accompanied by Halcyon (who may or may not be more than just a cat), an irascible wysling named Azrael, and a loyal fire elemental named Salazar, Ginger ventures into the world of fae to bring a ruthless Queen to justice.

3/5 snazzy pups.
This was a book I was very excited to get in the mail, and, although it was somewhat good, it was an overall disappointment.

Cliches in fantasy can work - usually. And if you set out to write a cliche fairytale because that's what your little heart desires, by all means, go ahead. And you know what? Sometimes I really enjoy cliche fairytales. For me, they're like the comfort food of reading - but only if you know what you're getting into. It's rather off-putting when you're expecting something new and innovative and get chosen-one-feisty-heroine-predictable-romance-oops-someone-is-a-long-lost-princess plopped in your lap instead.

However, this story was saved by the pretty high-quality writing and the characters. THE CHARACTERS. Aside from Ginger (whom I found horribly annoying), I really enjoyed most of the characters - primarily Hal and Azrael (*whispers* I lowkey ship).

Paper Crowns is a nice story for a rainy day or when you're sad and need some cheering up. But if you're looking for a read that's thought-provoking, deep, or substantive, I'd turn elsewhere.


Let's chat! Do you ever enjoy cliche stories? Any recent disappointments or pleasant surprises? Comment below, and remember that you are all very beautiful pickles.


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  1. I read Seraphina a while back, and I really liked it! It definitely was slow at parts, but I enjoyed it anyways ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon


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