Sunday, May 20, 2012

Raving About the Epically Wonderful Maggie Stiefvater

As a prequel to my post about my wondrous seven and a half hour drive to Fredericksburg Virginia, I wanted to talk a little about Maggie Stiefvater. I already did a post gushing about my love for Where Things Come Back (here) but I haven't read a Maggie Stiefvater book since I started doing the blog thing so I figured I would do one talking about her books a little.

I first saw Shiver sitting on a shelf at Borders on, what I later learned was, its release day. I picked it up, completely taken in by the cover and read the jacket and wanted it immediately. However, I had gone into the store for one specific book and just enough cash on me to buy that one book (something I often did to stop myself from buying 80,000 books each time I went in to a store). Now I can't remember what book it was I went in for but I do remember Shiver. I went home and thought about it and couldn't get it out of my head. I wanted that book. The next time I was in the area I went in and picked it up.

If you know anything about me you know I have a tendency to buy books and then they get set on a shelf and read months later. Not Shiver. Shiver was devoured pretty much immediately. After that I was back at my middle of the nowhere school and frantically looking for anything else she might have written. And so I found Lament and by some miracle the tiny little library system had it. I devoured that as well. By the time I made it back into a city with a bookstore Ballad was out. After that I eagerly waited each and every book (I still am. THE RAVEN BOYS!)

Everything written by Maggie Stiefvater has been completely different than anything I have ever read before. She takes these popular, potentially overdone, ideas and turns them into these beautiful poetic works of literature. If the words 'ache' and 'longing' could be translated into book form it would Shiver.  I have never read that series and not been left with this deep chest ache. The books summon these deep, exquisite, perfect feelings. There is never a moment where I doubt how perfectly suited the characters are for one another. There is never a moment that doesn't seem to fit. All this stands for all of her books.

The Faerie books take an already haunting idea, the one of the cloverhands and make it that much more poetic and heartbreaking. These are not happy books and I love that about them. They are beautiful, shiny, razor sharp barbed wire in book form. It's perfect. They have these horrible things that happen but somehow never leave us without hope.

The Scorpio Races is, by far, the most unique. It's a different myth than I've ever read before. It's just so cool and, from what I can tell, so Maggie. It's the first of her books that really gave me a sense of her, if that makes sense. It's so different and mixes all of these ideas together. I got a feel for the whole island and how all of the characters fit together almost immediately. The characters are all motivated independently and simultaneously together. It's wonderful.

I know that this is all gushing and general but trying to translate my feelings toward Maggie Stiefvater's writing in the middle of the night after an exhausting couple of days is a struggle. But I love her books. I read these books over and over and am endlessly inspired and in awe of what she can do. It's amazing every time.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll do my big post about the signing. There are seriously two of the nicest people ever.

Until then,

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