Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a prodigously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand - one who can see faeries.

Unexpectedly, Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy names Luke who enters her ordinary life, seemingly out of thin air. But his interest in her might be something darker than summer romance. When a sinister faerie name Aodhan shows up with deadly orders from the Faerie Queen, it forces Dee right into the midst of Faerie. Caught in the crossfire with Deidre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend.

Deirdre had been wishing her summer weren't so dull, but taking on
a centuries-old Faerie Queen isn't exactly what she had in mind.

Lament is an easy read that moves along at a fast pace, light and enjoyable but not quite everything I wanted it to be.

Deirdre has lived her life by the say so of everyone around her, labelled extraordinary for her musical talents but feeling as if no one sees her for who she truly is. That is until Luke Dillon, the beautiful boy from her dream, walks into the girl's bathroom to hold her hair back as she pukes. Now Dee's noticing odd people and creatures, seeing faces in the shadows, and moving objects with her mind! Irresistably drawn to Luke, Dee soon becomes immersed in the Faerie world, a world equally full of allure and danger.

I really like Maggie's writing, it's graceful and just flows in a way that keeps you reading. She also has a great sense of humour. One minute her descriptions are eerie enough to creep me out - to the point that I was checking to make sure there were no shapeless forms looking out at me from the shadows (not that I would be able to see them if there were, of course!) - and the next I'd be snorting or giggling. Or rolling my eyes, I admit. Because while I did enjoy the overall story of Lament and never felt the need to put it down, it did feel like something was missing. For me, it was mostly connection with the characters.

The truth is, I wanted to slap Deirdre more than anything. Boy, did I find her frustrating. She's told faeries want to steal away. They can't be trusted. They're dangerous. Her answer? She's a little flattered they're so interested in her. Honestly, where I think we're meant to look at her as a little lost and unfeeling of the attention she usually gets, she just came across as a tad clueless to me. Later, when she starts becoming more feisty, I didn't dislike her as much. But I wasn't invested in her, and that disappointed me. I also didn't entirely click with Luke. I found him interesting and I liked the little snapshots of information we got about his life, but I wanted more and didn't get it.

That's how I pretty much felt for the entirety of this book, like there needed to be more. I didn't feel Dee and Luke's romance. While descriptions of their exchanges were full of intensity and great to read, I couldn't shake the disbelief. Because their's was the biggest case of insta-love with no development and I just couldn't help but roll my eyes. It was seriously like they met on one page and were in a relationship the next. Away from the romance, I was intrigued by the faerie world and much of the action of the story - but so much felt like it was quickly skipped over. I got to the end of the book and asked "where's the rest?!" Sure, Dee and Luke's relationship was mostly wrapped up but there was so much left unsaid about Dee's mother, her Aunt Delia, James. I know there's a second book, so I can only hope it fills in the blanks.

I definitely still want to read the next book. I want to know what else happens. And that's what saved Lament for me, that still had me enjoying it enough, despite what I've said above. The world Maggie's created was intriguing enough that I wanted to keep reading, and as it moved so quickly it was easy to do so. Despite this though, I did end it frustrated and so my feelings about it are mixed. What I'm most looking forward to is that Ballad seems to be more centred on James. I loved James and like other characters, I felt there was too little of him. If the story were to continue with just Dee and Luke I might not be as enthusiastic, to be honest.

Overall, Lament wasn't everything it could have been. I did leave it feeling cheated. The story moves fast though and Maggie's descriptions are enticing. It was an enjoyable enough story to wile away a few hours.


Publisher: Flux
Published Year: 2009
Pages: 325

Readathon: Fairy Fever Readathon! Though my review is past the deadline!


  1. Great review. I'll need to take a look at this one next time I go to the book store.

    Don't be a stranger; stop by my blog and say hi! I'm not sure if we're fellow followers, but I follow you!

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    Cory @ Anti-Drug Reads

  2. Thanks so much, Cory! We certainly are fellow bloggers!

    Thanks for commenting! :-D

  3. Ballad is, in my opinion, at least much better than Lament. James is a much more likeable protagonist than Deidre (she's actually rather annoying in Ballad) and the romance in Ballad is more feisty than the one in Lament.

  4. @Christina Reads YA I'm glad to hear (read!) this! I really liked James. I just couldn't feel Deirdre. Oh, and a feisty romance, that sounds more like it! :-D