Monday, June 14, 2010

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater you dear dear woman! She really is a truly wonderful author! I do love to read her superb wit and fantastic smart ass comments, which was why I was excited to read Ballad. Ballad happens to be the sequel to Lament except from James Morgan's point of view.

James was my all time favorite thing about Lament, so you can see where my happiness and joy comes from! I will give you all a taste of his brilliant smart ass-ims:

...Beside me, Paul said heavily, "I need to get drunk," He said lots of things in that ponderous, heavy way, but this was a change from his usual repertoire,...

...I looked away from the people outside to the pens on my notebook, parallel parked bits of pen. They jiggled a little when the bus pulled away from a light. "Drunk sounds so crass. 'Soused' or 'blitzed' is a bit more romantic."

"Man, if I don't get drunk soon, I might never get the chance." Paul eyed my lap. He handed me his pen from his backpack and I took it apart as well, adding its innards to the collection. "When will I have this sort of opportunity again? No parents? A mostly unsupervised dorm?

"Uhh, I don't know, maybe that little event they call college. I'm told it comes after high school for highly privileged white kids like ourselves." I began to screw the pens back together, mixing the pieces up to create three Frankenpens.

"I could die before then. Then what, I'm dead and I never got drunk? So, what, I'd arrive at the pearly gates a sober virgin?"

That struck a chord with me. I used one of the pens to write sainted on the back of my hand. "I think a lot of people would argue that's the only way to get to the pearly gates. Why the sudden push for getting sloshed?"

Paul shrugged and looked out the window."I dunno."

I suppose if I'd been a responsible adult, I'd have told him that he didn't need to get drunk to be self-actualized or whatever. But I was bored and generally irresponsible by nature or by choice, so I told him, "I'll get it for you."


"Beer, Paul. Focus. That's what you want, right? Alcohol?"

Paul's eyes became even rounder behind his glasses. "Are you serious? How --"

"Shh, don't bother your head about my mysterious methods. That's what makes me me. Have you had beer before? I wrote beer on the side of my index finger, since I'd run out of room on my hand.

Paul laughed. "Ha. Ha. Ha. My parents say beer defiles the soul."

I grinned at him. Even better. This was going to be insanely entertaining. Things were looking up.

"What are you grinning at, James?" Sullivan, a few seats ahead of us, had turned around and was peering at me suspiciously. "It's vaguely sinister."

I sealed my teeth behind my lips but kept smiling at him. I wondered how long he'd been listening. Not that it mattered. My evil plans could go on with or without his knowledge.

Sullivan observed my closed-lipped smile with a raised eyebrow. He had to speak loudly to be heard over the sound of the bus. "Better, but still ominous. I can't shake the idea that you're planning something only marginally ethical, like the takeover of a small Latin country."...

Isn't it fabulously brilliant?! I laughed even harder at the scene where he acquires the "beer". I think that Steifvater did an even more fantastic job with this novel. I seriously sit in my closet and deliberate about how she is so impossibly funny. I don't think the book would have been as fabulous if it wasn't for the jests throughout.

James was still my favorite character in this book, but Sullivan, his teacher, was a very close second. I have this image of him in my head, he is a super smokin' hot adult with dark reddish brown hair and horn-rimmed glasses wearing button upped shirts with a little chest hanging out the top. I can even imagine the sexy teacher routine staring down at me with a ravishing twinkle in his eye! *snaps out of Sullivan reverie*Sad. Yes, I know.

Nonetheless, it was brilliant! James and Sullivan were wonderful! However, Dee, not so much. She was flat and uninteresting and way too selfish! The hunk-a-hunk-a-burnin-love Luke wasn't even really in this book at all. And Nuala, Jame's love interest, was interesting, but not too exciting. She did make me laugh at times, but I didn't feel much for her which I'm sure isn't a good thing. Her character development felt somewhat...lacking.

I'd say, the book as a whole is very good and I loved all the antlers, black wings, Unas, large illustrious fires, walking dead and carving homicidal faeries. Maggie, you are fabulous and thanks for making me laugh!

4 out of 5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Maggie Stiefvater is pure magic. Magic she brings to the pages of her books. It sings and dances across the pages and pulls you in. Once I pick up one of her books I'm in her world, I can't leave until the last word is read, the last bit of magic experienced. Dazed I find myself again in my world.

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