15 August 2014

Reading Adventures with Nora Oliver: The Dream Thieves

About Nora Oliver
Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. G.K. Chesterton

Hi and Hello! Name's Nora Oliver. Born in the great Year of the Pig! I was sorted into Ravenclaw, and have the personality of an Earthbender. It takes vast amounts of energy to be boring. "What's the point of language if you don't say what you mean?"
New things are exciting. As creatures of habit, we come to find ourselves craving anything that goes against our routine. We can all attest to this excitement of newness whenever a new author plops down into our lives. Like a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot summer’s day, new things are also refreshing.  We all have that one book that no matter what we’re doing or where we are in our lives that book just “hits the spot”. This basically sums up how I felt while The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- it was something new that tossed me into this paradigm of infatuation with Stiefvater as a writer and the characters she created. So, coming off this buzz of The Raven Boys, I dove into The Dream Thieves expecting the same thing. This is not to say that Stiefvater disappointed, I am still impatiently waiting for the release of the third book in The Raven Cycle series this October. But with that being said, The Dream Thieves is the transition from awe soaked infatuation to a clearer understanding of how life is-and this is an understatement- stressful in Henrietta, Virginia.  

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...” (Thanks goodreads.com) 

The Dream Thieves begins and ends with a chilling assertion; “A secret is a strange thing.” Generally, The Dream Thieves focuses on Ronan Lynch, which I thought I would enjoy more than I actually did. I’ve got a soft spot for the archetype of the bad boy. Leather jackets, deep scowls, and general dark cynicism make me all gooey.  The only way I know how to thoroughly express how I felt while reading this adventure is to react to characters as a whole and how my perspectives have changed in accordance. (There will be some spoilers!) 

First up on the roster is Blue Sargent. I actually found myself to not be as annoyed by our female protagonist as I usually am. I am all for the strong, girl in the group who holds her own, but sometimes Blue can be a little too head strong for her own good. There’s a thin line between speaking your mind and being rude to people. Blue interacts with others by bantering which is to add to her charm. In The Raven Boys, I found her banter to sometime cross that line from charming, to downright smart mouth. 

It was refreshing in The Dream Thieves to see Blue not be as hard headed as she usually is. Also with Blue, anyone who knows me personally knows that I absolutely cannot and WILL NOT stand for a love triangle. I my love conflicts in a story to be more complex shapes. Is it that hard to ask for a love octagon once in a while? Anyway, I actually found myself to ache for the love triangle between Blue, Gansey and Adam.  I think this is because usually in these literary love conflicts, there is the obvious best choice and the obvious worse choice for our decider to decide upon. With Gansey and Adam, they both have different things to offer and bring to the table. Even now that I reflect on it, I still don’t know who I want Blue to be with. 

Next up is Adam Parrish. First, can we address the irony with Adam’s name? Adam Parrish- Parrish sounds like “perish” which can mean to “suffer complete ruin or destruction”. I think that this irony of Adam’s name plays somewhat of a role as to how he is developed as a character throughout Dream Thieves. Adam’s complete ruin, or almost ruin, is out of his internal conflict with his pride.  Throughout Dream Thieves I found myself always wondering when Adam was going to snap. He’s so stressed out, between work and Blue not kissing him and this whole “eyes and arms of Cabeswater” thing, it’s a wonder how the poor boy even sleeps! I have mixed feelings for Adam Parrish as a character because sometimes I want the best for him, and other times I want nothing more than to yell in face. Why you may ask? Mostly because stubborn people irk me especially when people around them want to help and see them be successful. I understand that Adam’s financial pride towards Gansey’s attitude of money keeps him in arms, but I feel that there is a difference between being someone’s charity case and someone’s friend. I understand it, but that does not mean I have to like it. 

Gansey is the red Power Ranger. That’s the simplest way to understand the group dynamic and how Gansey relates to it. If Gansey say’s we’re going to Nino’s, then by golly guess what’s for dinner?  To be completely honest, I would have it no other way. Gansey is the business man of the group; it only makes sense to me that he controls the ins and outs of the company that is his friend group. Something that occurred in Dream Thieves that I absolutely adored is this intimate peninsula between Gansey and Blue that is developing. Whenever something goes wrong, Gansey calls Blue and vice versa. It is obvious to a reader that something romantic is brewing, but it’s nice for once to see romance brewing and not spewing over into something cliché and dangerous. If Stiefvater chooses to further develop this romance, it will be wonderful to see it blossom. Call me old fashioned, but some good ole’ southern courtship and connecting on an intellectual level should come back into the forefront of young adult and juvenile fiction. Not this cosmic explosion of neurons and atoms that let me know that the stars aligned for me to meet and fall in love with my soul mate just because he walked into my fourth period Geometry class- no. How about we go to dinner first? 

As I mentioned earlier, Ronan Lynch isn’t my type of bad boy like I thought he was and that disappoints me so. Bad boy archetype is laced with a fair amount of aggression but the creamy center is sadness or cynicism. Nope, Ronan Lynch is an aggression laced aggression center pastry that I did not foresee coming.  He’s a beautiful storm to watch, thunderous clouds of hate and lightning strikes of good deeds and intentions. As his character developed in Dream Thieves, I found myself falling out of love with Ronan Lynch, he’s not the rough rowdy bad boy I thought he was and his anger and sometimes random rage towards things and people made me want to psycho-analyze him more than hold his hand.  Seeing that Dream Thieves focuses mostly on Ronan and the remaining members of the Lynch family, I found myself not as intrigued as I would have liked to have been. Although I loved Matthew Lynch and he’s adorable baby brother-ness and how Ronan felt the need to protect him. I’m a sucker for a good big brother and baby brother dynamic. 

Finally, I would have to say that my favorite character after reading Dream Thieves is Noah. Our ghost boy is very helpful and sometimes not even in the situation. I found myself missing him whenever he was not with the group and my heart breaking when I found out he relives his own death. Noah, right now, is my favorite character because he represents quietness to me. Amongst all of the people around him experiencing their own lives, Noah is quiet because he has no life to live anymore. I respect that the character Noah is so quiet, although we can argue that The Raven Boys focused on his story, I really find myself wanting to know more about him. 

So, now I have to agonize and wait until October for the next installment. Sigh, let the thumb twiddling begin!

More adventures to come,