If you’ve been following my blog this past week you’ll know that I’m hosting the Wolves of Mercy Falls Read-A-Long over the next month and a half with She Reads She Blogs and CK’s Reading Corner! We’ll have discussion posts every Saturday (mine’s a tad late this week! Life got in the way…but onwards!) and hope you’ll join in, as well as we’ll have more chances to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of Sinner!
To see a list of discussion topics and sign up to participate, check out the announcement post here.
This Week’s Topic: Why Maggie Stiefvater is an awesome author that appeals to you!
There are SO many reasons to love Maggie Stiefvater, and around the YA book blogging world it’s likely that you’ve come across many of them. Bloggers regularly declare there love for her and her skill with the written word. Not only is she a fantastic writer but she is also an amazing artist and master of the sassy twitter post (seriously, her tweets tend to be the highlight of my newsfeed!) Awesome persona aside, why I’ve found myself gravitating toward Maggie’s books lie in the elements of her writing itself, specifically at handling a large yet nuanced cast of characters (is there really a Raven Boy that you don’t enjoy reading about? I didn’t think so). Specifically I want to choose to highlight her ability to write believable, heart-wrenching, and at times brutal depictions of child-parent relationships, which are often glazed over or blatantly absent in YA novels.
A few (mostly spoiler-free) examples:
- Grace & Parents in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy: Have you ever met a pair of parents that made you want to rip your hair out more than Grace’s? The type of parents who only choose to pay attention to their child when something is wrong? (Talk about negative reinforcement). I found myself fuming at the injustice of it all, and basking in the reality of it as well, because oftentimes teens do live a more complicated life than their parents care to admit (or vastly underestimate). I love though how Grace’s tension with her parents was so raw and real, and it impacted her so deeply.
- Blue & Mara: Or perhaps I should say Blue & Household, because she really is raised by a whole house of strong, wonderful women. I love the mutual respect Blue and Mara have that makes their interactions seem more like peers than child and parent, and that no matter when unavoidable differences arise there can almost always be some sort of concession to respecting the viewpoint of the other, even if one still disagrees.
- Adam & Robert: This father-son relationship is difficult, so difficult to read. Domestic abuse is very real and Stiefvater really openly attacks the topic through Adam’s family struggles. Abuse leaves emotional scars often deeper than the physical ones, and watching Adam work through his demons is (what I think anyways) an important part of The Raven Cycle series. In a lot of ways Adam’s relationship with his mother is even harder to read, as her refusal to remove her child from the cycle of abuse is even more terrifying than the abuse itself
- Ronan & Niall: Ronan’s relationship with his father is a fascinating one because it’s one that readers experience as transcending past mortality as Ronan learns more and more about his father only after his death. It’s an intriguing portrayal (even without the supernatural elements) of how relationships don’t end and don’t stop defining a person after the death of another.
I’ll admit that so far I’ve only read The Raven Cycle and The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater so I can’t comment on her other parent-child relationship depictions (though I have no doubt that her other writing creates cleverly crafted relationships as well). I’m continually impressed though with how she doesn’t sacrifice the very real element of family dynamics in the lives of her YA characters.
Have you read any Maggie Stiefvater novels? Were there any relationships in her books that reall resonated with you? Leave me a comment and then enter the #mercyfallsreadalong giveaway of a signed copy of Sinner!