alobear (alobear) wrote,

Super Teenagers

I took part in a fanfiction event last month, and volunteered to do the art for a Raven Cycle story, which inevitably plunged me into fan obsession with the series. So, I decided to re-read them, but this time in text version, rather than audiobook. I was a bit apprehensive at first, because the narrator of the audiobooks is so good, and I wondered if reading the books themselves would be a lesser experience. I needn't have worried - reading the actual books turns out to have an intensity all its own.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is difficult to describe. It tells the story of four seventeen-year-old boys, who all go to a fancy private school in Virginia, and are on a quest to find the burial place of Owain Glyndwr, an ancient Welsh king who is supposed to grant a favour to whoever wakes him. The female member of the group is Blue, who comes from a family of psychics, but is not psychic herself. There are prophecies, mysteries and adventures galore, interspersed with the more mundane (but no less important) issues of teenage romance, schoolwork, disparate financial situations, grief and abuse. It's a pretty weird mixture, but it all hangs together quite well overall. And the Raven Boys themselves are all drawn so beautifully that it's impossible not to fall in love with them. This time through, the Harry Potter parallels were more obvious to me (Gansey is James, Ronan is Sirius, Adam is Remus, and Noah is Peter, with Blue an obvious Lily), but it's a group dynamic that works very effectively, and I've started the second book in the series immediately.

Yesterday, we went to see Spiderman: Homecoming, which turned out to be extremely enjoyable. I didn't have much in the way of expectations going in, but the film was consistently both fun and funny. I loved the portrayal of Peter, and also really liked his best friend, Ned. Michael Keaton make an excellent bad guy, and there were tons of little moments that were really entertaining. Plus, it had the best absolute-end-of-credits sequence I have seen to date. This is how I always want Marvel films to be, but many of the more recent ones have been disappointing in various ways. Spiderman: Homecoming got the tone just right, and there's something about Tom Holland that is immensely appealing, which certainly helped. We've got to wait a long time for another stand-alone Spidey film, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing him in Infinity War next year.
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