Monday night, I had my first young adult book club at the library. I chose The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater for our first read (duh). I was a little worried that my teens weren’t going to like it – not because it isn’t GREAT (because it is. Like, seriously), but because it is quite different from most of the books I’ve seen them read. I was so overwhelmed with happiness at their reactions to the book and our discussion, which, by the way, lasted an hour and a half! We talked about the characters and the setting (we loved everything about both), the magic and the journey that each of the characters are on, what all of the characters are looking for (like Adam is looking for a family and Ronan is looking for redemption) and which of the characters was everyone’s favorite (Ronan, obviously). We discussed the fact that the romance was more of an underlying theme in the book and that the friendships and bonds between the characters was the most important aspect. We chatted about Blue and how being the only non-psychic in her family makes her different from a group of people that are already different and how that shaped who she was as a person. We swooned over characters (mostly Ronan and Gansey) and were creeped out by others (Whelk and Noah – half of us loved Noah and half thought he was weird). It was a brilliant discussion and I was so impressed with my teens.
I promise this isn’t a whole post about me being excited and happy with the turnout (even though I TOTALLY AM). One thing I asked them to do was to come up with ONE word to describe each of the characters and the book overall. I adore this series, so I thought it’d be fun to share these descriptions with you guys.
Relatable // Underdog // Brave // Emotionally strong (okay, two words. Whatever)
Irritating (she wanted me to point out she only felt this way at first) // The perfect guy // Smart // Huggable (she didn’t want me to share this one but it’s too cute)
Spunky // Quirky // Sassy // Outsider // Relatable
Creepy // Confusing // Weird // Wonderful // They liked his name
RONAN (aka my boo)
Dangerous // *heart eyes emoji* // Indescribable // Sweet AND salty // Bada$$ (she said bad a-word. Lolz.) // Everyone’s favorite
THE BOOK OVERALL
Sad // Intelligent // Mesmerizing // Complex // Smoldering (I said this one and they all agreed) // Enchanting // Perfect (I was over the moon when they said this)
As I’m sure you can all imagine, I was unbelievably happy about their reaction and the fact that it went so well. After our discussion, I told them I was going to let them make suggestions for our next read and then we’d draw it out of a hat if we couldn’t come to a consensus. This was when my little librarian heart grew three sizes: they said they’d actually rather I decide because they trust my judgment and they knew I’d get them to read something they wouldn’t usually pick. I could have CRIED, you guys. I gave them a few suggestions and told them what the books were about (and maybe got a little too passionate about a few of them), and they decided to go with…MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold. YES YES YES. I cannot wait to discuss this book with them! We also decided on the two months following September: we’ll be reading I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (asdfjkl) and The Young Elites by Marie Lu (ASDFJKL;). I’m just really glad that I’ve got teens who are willing to try new things and who want to read and who love TRB and…