Nobody writes longing like Maggie Stiefvater. It clings to every page, wraps itself around your heart. Trust me. When you’re done reading one of her books, you are ready to make the person laying next to you happy. Very happy.
I read Shiver last fall after Myra McEntire raved about it repeatedly. I was not disappointed. I liked it so much I bought more copies and gave them away for Christmas gifts. I told everyone I knew to read the book. Then hubby brought me Lament as a souvenir from his business trip to Seattle. I devoured that one and immediately went out to buy the sequel, Ballad.
Oh. My. (Fans herself and swoons)
Is it wrong to fall in love with a character who lives only between the covers of a book? I thought I loved Sam when I read Shiver. I thought Luke was amazing in Lament. But James? No one can compare to James. His self-deprecating wit, his intense feelings, his fierce protectiveness — everything about him made me love him from page one. I didn’t put the book down until I was done reading. And then I went back and read certain parts over again.
First of all let me say that one of the things I appreciate about all of Maggie Stiefvater’s books is the fact that each one can stand on it’s own. She doesn’t leave you dangling off the edge of some precipice for ten months while you wait for the gods of publishing to put out the next book. She gives you a complete story. And you know what? You’re still eager for the next one to come out. You’re just not alternating between loving the story and hating the author for ending it badly. And that’s a good thing.
Ballad is a story of love and friendship, dangerous urges and impossible choices. It is a beautifully composed ode to longing, hope, joy and love — that just happens to include a few homicdal faeries.
Maggie was kind enough to provide an autographed copy of Ballad for me to give away here on the blog. I considered keeping it for myself. But no. Some lucky ready gets to have it instead.
If you think you have the luck of the Irish, I have only two requirements: follow this blog and leave a comment. That’s it. I’ll enter your name into the drawing and on March 17, someone will win a copy of this magical book. What can I say — clovers, Irish music and homicidal faeries go together well with St. Patrick’s Day ;D
Just remember this: when you read it, be prepared to fall in love.