Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: The Raven Boys

So, I think I’ve decided that I’m going to try and review at least 25 books this year. I see a lot on Twitter that authors appreciate good or bad reviews (but let’s be honest, I’m not critical enough to give a bad review) and I would really love to help authors out. Also I know when I’m on the fence about books, I’ll go look up a review or two to make my final decision, so I hope this helps readers out there too! 

Here’s my review of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. 

Summary: (from goodreads)
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.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars. 

Why didn’t I read this sooner? I’m literally sitting here, trying to figure out where* I got the idea in my head that Maggie Stiefvater isn’t a good writer because I was absolutely blown away by The Raven Boys. It was so creative and unique and overall just amazing. 

While the premise of the novel is what drew me in, the thing that really made me fall in love with this book were the characters. Ms. Stiefvater is genius. I don’t know how she does it, but the characters she’s created were so well-developed. Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. I can’t explain it. I just felt like I could pluck them out of the story and I would be able to have a conversation with them. The only adequate way I could explain how I feel about Blue and the boys would be this: *flail and fangirl*. The characters alone were enough to convince me to read the rest of the series. 

That wasn’t the only element that I loved. The entire plot of The Raven Boys was great. The pacing was perfect (at least perfect for me). To be honest, after finishing the book, I just wanted to curl up with it and cry. Just a little. Because how I can I ever be as good as Ms. Stiefvater? Digression, sorry. 

Another thing I loved about The Raven Boys was just Ms. Stiefvater’s writing style. I’m not one for long descriptions or imagery. A perfect example of this is how I’m not a big fan for Laini Taylor’s writing style (The Daughter of Smoke and Bone) though I do love her stories Stiefvater’s style was just creative enough in the combinations of words and creation of similes/metaphors that I actually stopped reading The Raven Boys at times, just to re-read a beautiful piece of prose. I don’t re-read things--it's just not a thing I do. But The Raven Boys made me re-read things and I have a feeling I might re-read this entire book during the summer this year when I have a little more free time. 

For now, I can’t wait to start reading The Dream Thieves (book 2 of The Raven Cycle). 

*After contemplating this for nearly two days, I figured out that one of my friends doesn't like Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style in Shiver and therefore will not read any of her other books. Goes to show you only need a seed to be planted for an idea to form (no matter how wrong said idea is). 

Please tell me you loved The Raven Boys as much as I did! Or feel free to disagree with my opinion. Someone should just comment so I can fangirl about this book. Seriously. 

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