Monday, 5 September 2016

Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4.5 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: September 18th 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Synopsis: Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. (synopsis from Goodreads)
My thoughts: I liked this book. I really did. I loved the character, especially Blue, the plot was original, and the writing was good. The problem, I think, was that I had read too many reviews going on and on about how amazing this book was, which, obviously, made my expectations very high. Because of that, I was a bit disappointed. I’m not entirely sure what didn’t reach my expectations, but there was something missing, something that would make me go from “really enjoying” to “loving”.

I loved Blue

   Blue has two rules:
1.) Stay away from boys because they were trouble, and
2.) Stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.
That is, before she meets Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah, which makes her life far more complicated than before.

   Blue is a perfect mix between normal and completely different. Compared to her family, she is normal. She’s not psychic like the rest of her family. But she’s not entirely normal, either. She makes other people’s “abilities” better. She feels really out of place because of this, because it makes her different at school, but also at home. Blue is a relatable character, and I enjoyed reading about her.

   I also liked reading about Adam and Gansey. Adam has some family issues, and Gansey keeps telling Adam to move in with him, but Adam stays. That might sound like the easy choice, but I think it had two sides. I mean, sure, staying there could be considered cowardice, that he doesn’t stand up for himself, but he doesn’t want to be in someone else’s debt, and if he moves in with Gansey, he will have control of Adam in a way he doesn’t want. When he moves, he wants to do it on his terms, and he wants something that is his. I think it’s admirable to keep thinking like that when you’re in his situation. I liked Adam.

   I also liked Gansey, although he can be stupid about money. He grew up rich, and has always been able to get what he wants. Many people would probably get spoiled when they’re that rich, but he isn’t. Sure, at first glance, he can seem spoiled and like he takes things for granted, and maybe he does take some things for granted, but when you get to know him, he isn’t. He can be stupid about money, but he doesn’t mean to be. He just means well.

   I both liked and didn’t like the dual POVs. On one side, it gave the reader a bigger, better picture of what was going on, and I think this book needs dual POVs to work. Without it, I think it would be pretty confusing. But, on the other side, it was a little confusing at times, when the POV kept changing. I think maybe it would’ve been easier to follow the plot if the perspectives hadn’t changed quite as much.

   Apart from that, there were no problems worth mentioning, which is why I’m not entirely sure why it’s not five stars. It just felt like 4.5 stars.

The plot was original

   This was great. I’ve never read anything like The Raven Boys, which made it both interesting, impossible to put away and unpredictable. Since I’m a bit of a History nerd, I loved the parts about Glendower, even though Welsh History might not be where I’m the most at home. I loved the whole concept of this book, it was fun and new and interesting, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series. I’m especially looking forward to reading more about Ronan, I found him very interesting and really want to get to know him better.

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