Thursday, 11 October 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Author: Maggie Stiefvater. Website|Twitter
Format: paperback
Pages: 454
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Waterstone's: paperback|e-book
Book Depository: paperback

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary:
Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey's spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why - either he is her true love or she has killed him.

My Review:
The Raven Boys tells the story of Blue, a girl who has always been told that if she kisses her true love he will die. She lives in a house full of psychics and is used to their vague but accurate readings. We also meet Gansey, a student at Aglionby, and his group of friends also known as "raven boys".

This book wasn't quite what I was expecting. With the other books I've read by this author, the connection was instant. This book took me a little longer to get into. The pace was quite slow which made it a different kind of read. There's lots of beautiful descriptions and the writing was wonderful, but the action scenes were quite spread out, meaning you had to wait a while for anything to really happen.

As this book deals with psychics and spirits you'd expect it to be a bit strange. It's very quirky, both the characters and the way they're written, Blue's family in particular. They were very likable in their quirkiness, though. There were definitely some funny, lighthearted moments between the characters. Blue had a bit of fiesty-ness to her as well, which I loved. I think the book was at its strongest when Blue and the "raven boys" were together. The book alternates between perspectives and when the characters were apart, not a lot really happened.

Gansey and his friends reminded me very much of characters from a John Green book. They were kind of geeky and awkward. Gansey has this fascination with a Welsh king which is all a bit strange, but kind of geeky strange. The book did become a lot about the characters which I didn't always like.

Overall, I found it really hard to decide whether or not I liked this book. I could see the writing was good, and the characters made me laugh at times, but I think the pace throughout was just a bit too laid back and I found myself becoming bored in places. Blue's dilemma of not being able to kiss her true love seemed to take a bit of a backseat as well. I was expecting it to be more of the focus of the story.

There were some great twists, though, which I didn't seem coming. Those moments really drew me back into the story. I think the main problem with this book is that it kind of reminded me too much of other books. I've mentioned John Green in the review already, and it also felt very like The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty in that Blue's family felt very similar to the characters in that book.

I think it had potential as a series but it doesn't come close to Shiver. Overall The Raven Boys has some brilliant twists but it's just too slow the rest of the time. It's worth a read but it just didn't live up to the hype for me.

Rating: 3*
What to read next: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Books like this: The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty

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