This month’s official Brunch Book Club read was Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly and unofficially The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I say unofficially because both Jenn (Lost in a Great Book) and I were reading/listening to it separately until we were talking about our current read in the car one day and realized she was listening to the audiobook while I was reading it – and we were at the exact same spot in the story! So it ended up becoming our pseudo honorary June side-read. That being said, there is a big SPOILER WARNING for both of these books in this discussion wrap-up post!
This month, we ventured out to Saving Grace, a small – and incredibly busy – brunch spot on the north border of Trinity Bellwoods Park in downtown Toronto. Chandra met us there to put our name down and after only waiting for a short while, we were seated into the packed (and humid) dining area. After ordering (an eggs benny for me, of course) we got down to discussing our book club picks from June.
Jenn had pointed it out in her review of Unearthly that it was pretty Twilighty, and it’s true in many respects. There’s the good looking “perfect” guy, the new girl in town and the rougher “friend” who is also interested in the girl. Thankfully Clara is nothing like the helpless Bella! Jenn really enjoyed Clara’s friend Angela but I kept waiting for something to happen with her. She was too convenient of a friend-who-happens-to-also-be-an-angel (and is named ANGELA!) for her to be completely innocent. I kept wanting Clara to shut up about everything, thinking that Angela would turn on her at some point. For those of you who have read the full series, PLEASE DON’T SAY, but we figure she’s going to get mixed up with something with the Italian boyfriend. I just thought it would happen in this first book, but now I’m waiting to see what happens with the next ones.
While Jenn totally called it with who/what Christian was, I was totally thrown for a loop on that one. I hadn’t thought it at all that he would also be an angel. I thought his sudden interest in Clara seemed convenient and a bit out of nowhere, though Jenn thinks that since that was his purpose – to meet her – that that’s why it felt sudden. I hadn’t really seen it that way, with their “destiny” to be together, but Jenn was saying it’s like they’re partners and angel soulmates, not necessarily boyfriend/girlfriend – tho I’m sure that will still come into play.
The Raven Boys-wise, like I said in my review, I was a little underwhelmed with it. Perhaps it was the hype of it but I still was genuinely surprised to not like it as much as I thought I would. The subject matter is totally my kinda thing but Chandra said it just didn’t “click” for me. Her theory though is that Gansey is actually Glendower and, true, it does make sense and if this speculation ends up being true I will be mildly irked at myself about it. It’s like with Lost. A friend had speculated something years in advance – and it ended up being true. So as it played out on the show 3-4 years later, I already had that idea percolating in my head rather than it be a big reveal.
That being said though, Chandra and Jenn discussed how with Maggie’s writing, everything is laid out right there for you. We knew Noah was already dead because she told us so. I had thought back to the moments when he’s always referred to as smudgey or blurry, and that the teacher never refers to him – only Gansey and the two friends. I hadn’t even noticed the part that Chandra told me to look up right away in the book: that she flat out tells us he’s dead. The moment when the guys all meet Declan’s girlfriend, she shakes Noah’s hand and remarks on how he’s so cold. He says that he’s been dead for seven years. At the time, I would have just thought that he’s got some wry sense of humour, but nope. It’s all laid out there for the reader to pick up on. Brilliant.