Initial reaction to reading the last page:
"Whoa." Seriously. I was upset... but not in a bad way. That was it? It's over? No more Blue, no more Gansey, no more Adam, Ronan, or Noah? For nearly an entire year?
I love when an author makes me feel that way. Like my best friends have left me (which happened to me earlier this year, but at least I still get to talk to her daily... granted, I could re-read The Raven Boys, but it won't be quite the same...).
Why did I love this? So many reasons, really.
I was sucked into this world, from the very first page. I wanted to be sitting on the stone wall with Blue and Neeve, trying to keep my own hands warm, watching the future dead walk the corpse road.
The characters felt real to me, I felt like I knew them. Moreover, I wanted to know them, to hang out with them. They were human - flawed and imperfect in all their glory. I want to continue knowing them. I felt deeply when things happened to them, good and bad. I was excited for Gansey, shaken for Adam, impressed with Ronan, sad for Noah. I want to say so much more about The Boys, but I am trying really hard to not have spoilers here. :)
I could envision nearly everything, every action, every setting, and it felt as if I was there with them, experiencing the search, the excitement. I could smell the gasoline emanating from The Pig, feel the shudder when it would die. I felt the fear, the intensity, during certain exchanges. There were laugh-out-loud lines (seriously, my dog thought I was nuts sitting in a room, alone, with the tv off, reading, and laughing... so much so she came over to see what was up... she even licked the book... maybe she wanted a taste of the laughter as well) and there were profound lines.
I was sad when it ended. The adventure was over (for now), and reality bites.