Rating: 3.8 stars to 4 stars
The Raven Boys was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did strangely because the plot was confusing. I heard great things about it and that's why I decided to pick it up and I am glad I did. This is my first Maggie Stiefvater read. She’s well known for the Shiver series, which I probably won’t be reading because werewolves aren’t my thing and the main characters are often said to be very dull. Anyway on with the review:
Plot Synopsis: The story is about sixteen-year-old Blue Sargent who lives with her family who are physics, but Blue is the only one who did not receive this gift. Ever since she can remember, she has been told that she will kill her true love by a kiss. Every year, she stands next to her mother as the soon-to-be-dead walk past. Usually Blue does not see people, until this year where she sees a boy and he speaks directly to her. Afterwards her family says this is the boy.
The Raven Boys are ringleader Gansey and his friends Adam, Noah and Ronan, who all go to a local all-boys private school called Aglionby Academy in Henrietta.
*This review contains spoilers*
“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”
I’m going to start with the characters. Blue isn’t the most interesting character, she was okay as the protagonist. The Raven Boys were much more interesting than she was. Gansey is very interested with the supernatural world and he’s made it his mission to finding Glendower for some unknown reason, this was not explained to me. Gansey seems very loyal to the people he cares about and he’s very mature for his age. He wasn’t who I expected. He’s not your typical rich teenager. His friends Noah, Adam and Ronan were more like brothers to him.
I really adored Adam, even though he was kinda frustrating to say the least, especially what he did at the end, which was confusing. I just felt so bad for him! I think he’s had a hard life...That scene with grocery store was so humiliating! I just want to give him a hug! Gansey is just being a good friend, and being there for him but sometimes I feel like Adam just throws it back it his face because of his pride, which is a little harsh. It’s not pity, Gansey genuinely wants to help him because they’re friends and that’s what friends do right? They help each other out.
Noah. He was such a reserve character in the beginning that I did almost forget about him. There’s a reason why. HE’S A GHOST! WHAT?! There was more Noah by the end of the book with that mystery of finding his driver’s license in the pile of bones. It was sad to hear what happened to him. I like how well he gets on with Blue. It’s so interesting that he appears more visible when Blue is around. This is what I found confusing, so can anyone see Noah?
Ronan is described as soldier looking and hostile. He isn’t exactly a likeable character. He seems like he doesn’t care about anything. He skips his classes and its clear he wants to drop out of school. But mid-way into the story, he shows that he does care. I liked the part where he beat up Adam’s dad!
I really liked all these characters. The character development was really good, it was well written and I enjoyed reading the character’s back-stories. I felt like everyone had a significance to the plot and they weren’t just minor characters that were insignificant.
I loved that scene where Blue meets the Raven Boys at Nino’s restaurant. I was a little confused on who was who because Blue didn’t know their names yet. I assumed elegant boy was Gansey! And President Cell phone was Ronan for some reason. Of course it was Gansey (duh *slaps forehead*)
“She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.”
The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.”
She echoed, “Take care of it?”
“Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.”
For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.”
Gansey is really trying not to offend her because he didn’t mean to interpret it in that way. Blue and Gansey just share things so easily. I think these two have something. I like their little tiffs and banter, it was quite fun to read. He freely tells her about the story of him being attacked by bees and she told him about if she kissed her true love, he would die. With Adam, Blue couldn’t tell him about it.
That summary makes it sound like this book sound like it would be a romance about but it isn’t (not really!) there are very little hints of romance but it doesn’t revolve around that. The concept is very different and interesting, yet confusing. I’m not sure if this concept has been written in YA, as this is the first I have read of it. It revolves around finding Glendower, who is supposedly this Welsh King who was buried alive. Whoever finds him is granted a favour. There a lot of talk about ley lines and awaking it, which I still don’t understand. I wonder what does Gansey want from Glendower?
The writing style is so well written and imaginative. I loved the way Stiefvater writes! It must be due to the fact that third-person point of views is my favourite. With so many characters, I am glad that she went with the third-person. First-person point of views grates on my nerves sometimes because I’ve read so many books who writes in this way and it is always used in YA.
This rating is a toughie! It is between 3.8 stars to 4 stars. I have really enjoyed it and I literally could not put down the book! But I think the plot is slightly a problem because it was confusing and I have no idea where it is going. The pacing is quite slow, but the last quarter was a good build up because that was when I could not stop reading. Things got a little more exciting. One word to describe this book is interesting.
I wished there were a little more romance in the story. I wanted a little something...there was literally nothing! I know I know...how could anything happen when Blue will kill Gansey by a mere kiss? Come on Maggie Stiefvater, you can do better than that. All I got was two future visions from that strange Latin-talking tree. In a way I like that Stiefvater has written it in this way because it’s not a cliché and there’s no insta-love, but hopefully there will be more Blue and Gansey development in the next three books. I guess I’ll have to be patient.
AH. In the end I went for a 4 star rating, purely because I couldn't stop reading, the character development and the fantastic writing style. This book felt like more than just a 3 star rating. When I rate 3 stars, it usually means that it was a very ‘meh’ okay book and it didn’t really grab my attention.
I really like the book cover of the raven. If take a closer look, you can see the painting brush strokes. Just BEAUTIFUL! They were illustrated by Adam Doyle. Ravens/crows actually really scare me...
The Raven Boys is a very promising first book in the quartet series. I will be reading the next book, The Dream Thieves, but the disappointing thing is that it’s based on Ronan whom I wasn’t really fond of. Anyway, I am excited about this series! If you’re bored with what you’re reading and want something different to read, I recommend these books, especially if you're a fan of Maggie Stiefvater.
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