The theme for today’s Teen Book Battle is: when teens meet dead people!

The books I’ll be reviewing for you are The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and The Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong.

The Raven Boys

Get hooked on The Raven Boys: Blue doesn’t see dead people- or at least she didn’t until one night in a churchyard rich boy Gansey comes strolling along rocking his boarding school uniform. Gansey doesn’t belong there, and his presence tells Blue that he will be dead sooner rather than later. When Gansey appears, Blue’s life begins to change and she fears a prophecy concerning her first true love is about to unfold. All her life Blue has been told if she locks lips with Mr. Right he will die, so Blue is determined not to fall in love. She certainly doesn’t plan to fall in love with any of the boarding school Raven Boys. But Gansey’s friends are engaging and charismatic and she is drawn to them so much that she is tempted to ignore the wisdom of her psychic family and follow her own path even if it leads into danger.

The Sea of Shadows

Get hooked on The Sea of Shadows: Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and the Seeker. They have a duty to watch over the Forest of the Dead- a place inhabited by the spirits of the worst criminals imaginable. They’ve been training their entire lives to calm the dead and protect the living but this year the dead won’t be quieted and life on the edge of the Forest is going to be changed forever. Moria and Ashyn end up on a quest to restore peace to the empire and along the way they encounter some ancient evils and plenty of treachery.

I’m going to play a little word game to differentiate between these two books. See which one you are most drawn toward!!

The Sea of Shadows

  • Gory
  • Legendary/Epic
  • Tragic
  • Strong Female Characters
  • Interesting Family Dynamics
  • Complex Characters
  • Emphasis on Ancient Customs
  • Honor Driven
  • Could be turned into a Game of Thrones style TV Show.

The Raven Boys

  • Hot Guys
  • Interesting Family Dynamics
  • Modern Setting
  • Spooky (but not too scary)
  • Cool Female Lead
  • Emphasis on Southern Living
  • Curiosity Driven
  • Could be turned into the American equivalent of a Korean Drama style TV show.

Here’s my opinion:

It really came down to personal preferences, and while the rest of the world absolutely adores The Raven Boys, I’m giving all of my stars and thumbs to The Sea of Shadows. This book has set the tone for something really exceptional and while I’ll probably read the next Raven Boys book, I’m already dying to get my mitts on the next installment of the Age of Legends.

I read both books for free.

(Technically, I enjoyed the audiobook of The Raven Boys via the library’s Overdrive App, but I got a free e-Arc of The Sea of Shadows thanks to Edelweiss, Ms. Armstrong and HarperCollins.)

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