Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title:  The Raven Boys
Author:  Maggie Stiefvater
Genre:  YA fantasy/paranormal
Series:  The Raven Cycle #1
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Pages:  409
Acquired via:  Library


Synopsis from  It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.  Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.  But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Please don't hate me, but I did not love The Raven Boys.  I liked it, but I didn't love it as much as everyone else seems too.  I decided to read the book after getting an ARC of The Dream Thieves at BEA.  I'd originally planned on reading it later in the year, but then I saw that my teensy local library actually had a copy available.  So I picked it up, started to read it one Monday... and didn't finish it til Saturday evening.  I just struggled to get into the story.  Eventually, I got caught up in the story and enjoyed it, but it took a while.

  • The characters  -  I love how unique each of the characters is in this story, and how much depth each one has.  They really came to life on the page, and they were always surprising me with a new facet to their personalities that I didn't see at first.  I think Blue and Noah were my favorites.
  • The concept  -  I felt that the ley line idea and the quest for King Glendower were great story ideas.  I thought it was unique and original.  And I loved the fact that the main character felt out of place, because she was the only non-magical person in her family.  Most stories usually have it the other way around.
  • The writing  -  I already knew that Maggie Stiefvater has a beautiful writing style from The Scorpio Races, which is another reason I thought I'd try this book.  Her descriptions and prose are so well-done that I felt like I was there in the story.
  • The final chapters  -  The last third of the book was great.  There was more movement than in the first part, and all the little things that had been slowly coming together finally did.  So much happened that I didn't see coming, so many twists that were unexpected.  And that final closing line?  Even if I'd disliked the book, after reading that line, there is now way I cannot read the next one now.
  • The high expectations  -  It feels like everyone and their mother LOVES this book.  Every blogger I've spoken to and every blog I've visited have all said the same thing: "Read this! You'll love it! It's amazing!"  So I started reading this book expecting to have my mind blown, and therefore I think my expectations were just so high that the book would have needed to have been monumentally life-changing in order to meet them.
  • Slow build/pace  -  Maybe it was just me, but I felt like the "world/character-building" in the beginning took a long time and caused the first half of the book to drag a little.  I really struggled to stay interested, and kept putting the book down.  Once things picked up, it was great, but it took me forever to get to that point.

So yeah, there was plenty I liked in The Raven Boys; I just didn't fall in love with it the way I hoped I would.  (Plus, a personal preference: I don't swear in general, but I especially dislike the F-bomb).  I think I could have loved the book if there had just been more movement (that's the best word I can think of) in the beginning.  I'm still definitely going to read the next book, The Dream Thieves.  How could I not when The Raven Boys ended the way it did, with such a phenomenal closing line?

1 comment:

  1. I just finished listening to this audiobook today and I really enjoyed it. When I think about it as a whole it could have had more movement. The only thing I was unsure about was the character of Gansey. I wasn't sure if I liked him as a character or not.

    I also didn't catch the closing line at the end and had to go back and listen to it. So shocking.


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