|Title: Lament |
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fantasy, romance, high school
Summary: On Goodreads
Reviewing: Style, plot, characterisation, layout
My first thought upon finishing: wow. I'm a big fan of the urban fantasy genre - faeries have never swamped the young adult genre as much as vampires and werewolves, so it's always a breath of fresh air to pick up a book like this, especially one written by an author that I already adore. And yet again, she does not disappoint!
Talented harpist Dee's world is completely overthrown when she meets the mysterious and handsome Luke Dillon who she falls in love with almost straight away. All seems well at first, but little by little, she starts to realise that Luke is hiding secrets. When he is no longer able to protect her from the world of faeries, he must decide which is more important to him: his heart or his soul?
Throughout the entire novel, Maggie's writing style was always so wonderfully poetic. She finds beauty in everything that she writes about, and has a way with words that really inspires me to look at the world with fresh eyes. Her imagery was vivid, evocative, and I found myself completely drawn into her settings and descriptions. There was something so romantic about the symbol of the white bird used to portray Luke's soul, and something so bittersweet about the scene with the birds on the moon. I also loved how Maggie weaved in so many elements of Irish mythology and musicality into her writing.
In terms of plot, it was definitely believable for its genre and flowed well. I found the story unfolding and building up at a good pace, and whilst it wasn't overtly unpredictable, there were enough elements thrown in to keep me guessing. Although, my two issues with the plot are: Dee and Luke fall in love way too fast, and the ending climax happens way too fast as well, which is a shame.
I wish Maggie had spent a bit more time showing more aspects of Luke's personality. I found Dee to be a very well rounded character - she was quirky and had a lot of very teenagery thoughts, but whilst I adored Luke's tragic and tortured aura, I think he needed to feel more real. I definitely enjoyed the romance that they had going, but in the end, it lacked a bit of chemistry for me. James was absolutely adorable - pity we never got to see what he made of the whole romance and ending situation...
Finally, onto the layout of the book - I found the artwork cute and charming, and I liked how the story was divided into little "books" as it reminded me a lot of the way long narrative poems are structured and to me, shows that Maggie cares about the layout just as much as she does about her story.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read which I finished in less than a day, and which I totally recommend! If you're looking for something different to the dystopias and vampires that are swamping the young adult world, then look no further! :)