Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 18th 2012
Pages: 416
Genre: YA
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 3.75 Starfish

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before. -
Summary and cover image from Goodreads.

I started reading this book and I was over 150 pages into it before it got interesting for me. There were parts that I liked, and then there were parts that were slow. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I enjoyed it.

Plot: I'm not into paranormal stuff, but I did think that the storyline was unique and exciting, especially towards the end. I was intrigued when the heroine, Blue, saw the ghost of a raven boy, who was not yet dead. This was what kept me going with the story, and I'm glad I did keep going because the plot got ten times more thrilling. It might be slow at first because a lot has to be explained about the characters and the supernatural stuff going on, but once you get past that, it's much better.

Setting: The story takes place in several different areas. Blue's house is crazy-packed with relatives and friends almost all of the time, and I have no clue how she could stand it. The church graveyard was creepy in a cool way, and the forest with the whispers??? Fantastic! We didn't get to see much of Nino's (the restaurant Blue works at), but it reminded me so much of True Blood. Because you know, she's waitressing and her family is a bunch of psychics and she talks with the mysterious raven boys..... it's like the first time Sookie sees Bill! (Is it weird that I thought of True Blood?) 

Shock Factors: There was something BIG that happened that I didn't see coming, but I should have because it was kind of obvious after I found out. I loved this twist in the story, and that's when the book really sucked me in. I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN AFTER THIS. 

Blue: She's not my favorite, but I do like her, and I think she makes a good heroine. I liked that there wasn't any insta-love between her and the boys. I liked that she decided to help the raven boys against her mother's wishes. I also really loved it whenever she said exactly what she was thinking and feeling; I get frustrated with characters who hold everything in. I'm not really feeling her relationship with Gansey, which might be because there wasn't hardly any romance in the book. I did, however, feel the connection between her and Adam. I thought all the parts with them were cute. But I must say that I liked her friendship with Noah the best. They shared some super adorable moments together! I just really loved these two!

Gansey: Gansey is a natural-born leader. He's charming and very persuasive. He's also smart and has a strange obsession with the supernatural world. I thought he handled his boys well whenever something crazy happened and they needed somebody to turn to. I did feel bad for Gansey throughout the book because he felt like he was responsible for his friends, and his friends didn't make anything easy for him. I could literally feel his anxiety and exhaustion. 

Adam: Adam came off as shy and timid, but really he's just a quiet guy. He kind of likes to keep the peace, but he never really stood up for himself. I hated that he felt the way he did about his family situation. I really just wanted him to swallow his pride and move on. 

Ronan: I'm not into the bad boy type, so I didn't immediately take to Ronan. But after I saw how much he cared for his friends, and how he defended Adam, I found myself liking him a lot more. 

Noah: I think Noah was my favorite out of the raven boys. He was hardly around during the first half of the book, so I didn't form an opinion of him until I was over halfway done. He was really sweet and shy. I almost cried when I found out what had happened to him. I don't know, I just really liked him!

Secondary Characters: I liked Blue's mom and her two friends whenever they were together. Her mom had a strange personality. She seemed like she was mad and irritated all of the time. 

Strengths: Like I said before, some things were slow, but I liked it for the most part. The supernatural histories and the ghosts were all cool, even though I'm not into that. The characters were a big reason why I loved this book. They're each fairly complex, and I really cared about what was going on with each of them. The characters are probably the book's biggest strength. 

Weaknesses: It needed to pick up the pace on the parts that dragged. The author spends a lot of time describing things, and I could have done without all of the details.

I would definitely recommend that you check this book out and give it a shot. I don't think you will be disappointed.


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