Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 5 stars, PG-13
Summary: Deidre Monaghan is sixteen, a gifted harpist, and a girl with terrible pre-performance nerves. She can also see faeries. A summer music competition brings her her best performance, as well as a boy named Luke who, it seems, can help her nerves. But there's more to Luke than meets the eye. Luke knows Deidre can see the faeries, before she knows this herself. As Deidre tries to find out more about Luke, she learns more about herself and her abilities. Before she knows it, Deidre is fully swept up in the fey, and she must do what she can to stay alive and keep her family safe.
Opinions: After reading Shiver, I was instantly a Maggie Stiefvater fan. It's hard not to be one. Her writing is wonderful, and she has an excellent presence in the online YA lit community. She's funny and smart and, well, you can see that I'm a fan. That being said, it certainly took me awhile to get to Lament. I blame it on being a busy college student. And the internet. And I'm sure Lego Harry Potter might have something to do with it. In any case, when I had some time to read and realized that Lament was available on the Ohio Ebook Project (which is FABULOUS!), I jumped on it.
This book had me raving like a crazy person. My friends were quite concerned. I read nearly the whole book in a day (BTW, the same day that I'm writing this post), and spent the entire day babbling about homicidal faeries. I also managed to accidentally insult one of friends by calling Deidre stupid and having a friend think I was calling her stupid (I'm sorry, Emily!). Now, being a bookworm, I do tend to become emotionally invested in books, sometimes to a ridiculous extent, but I usually manage to internalize that, unless I'm crying my eyes out. I threw this book down. I yelled at it. I swore at it. In other words, I acted like a crazy person (see above).
Said craziness is only one example of why this is a wonderful book. I find it to be the mark of a good author that I can get angry at the protagonist to the point of yelling at her in public and yet still like her as a character. I also find it a mark of a good author when I can't predict things. Or at least, when my predictions are wrong (as many of mine were for this book: SPOILER—Delia is not a changeling. END SPOILER). Pretty much the only thing I figured out before Deidre (besides things that were given away by the blurb and prologue, where Deidre is not narrating) was the fact that one should not piss off the faeries. Of course, I mostly know that from reading Holly Black's work (which I also recommend), and just from being a knowledgeable reader of fantasy (note to self: must find iron jewelry).
On a side note, I would like to say that Maggie Stiefvater has an annoying habit of writing boys that I want. To date. This is only annoying, of course, because said boys (AHEM, Sam and Luke and James) are fictional.
So yeah, basically I loved this book. I would have liked a little bit more backstory on Deidre's family, but since there's a sequel, I'll wait to pass judgment. Ratings: I think it is rather obvious why I gave this 5 stars. In case it isn't: I love this book. I rated it PG-13 for violence. There's very limited swearing. There is also very limited sexual content, although sex is suggested through the words and actions of one character in particular (I'm talking about you, Freckle Freak). Basically, read this book.
Ok. I wrote this review well over a month ago, and the writing isn't my best, but I wanted to keep the genuine emotion behind the frenzy that was the reading of Lament and subsequent writing of this review.