I’m trying to think about a book series that I enjoyed more that I want to write about less, and nothing is coming to mind. The Raven Cycle has a lot of issues, but I don’t want to analysis them because if I don’t pick it apart too much I enjoyed them. There are lots of things that are super enjoyable! She also sort of doesn’t know what she’s doing when she’s writing about race and class! And some of the plot bones never completely make sense! But there are still some things I loved.
Right now I don’t want analysis. I want to be happy. I want other people to read them, and then for us to have conversation and decide what we’re going to do with the ways the books let us down. They’re really enjoyable reading even when they stumble, mostly because of really great characters and a quirky sense of humor. The prose surprises me sometimes, in a good way, taking chances and doing fun things.
I didn’t write about the first three books when I read them, so here are some general thoughts about the series:
- It reminds me of Marauders era fan fiction. Like a lot. It’s a similar world of boys in school uniforms navigating privilege, homoeroticism, and magic.
- Blue is such a good character. She’s an incredibly sympathetic reader stand it, but amazingly still seems solid, not too twee. It’s borderline, but ultimately she’s relatable and I love her. She reminds me of myself and my friends at this age.
- Blue’s grownups are amazing. So often books about young adults have absent or unaware adults, but Blue’s mother and the other women in her household are incredible. They’re honestly one of my favorite part of the whole series.
- Ronan is exactly my kind of trash. I have a character type, and he’s it.
- I don’t have anything to say about the plot? At all? It mostly makes sense? Some beats are really obvious, there are a few good surprises. When you’re reading it’s all super compelling, which is what really matters, even if things get a little ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ looking back.
- There’s romance! Multiple romances! And I enjoyed all of them, and the fact that Blue’s mom got an interesting well drawn love interest too, not just the kids.