July 16, 2013

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: Book Review

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
Rating: 4/5 stars
Summary (via goodreads): “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.
Review: I divided this review because otherwise this review would have been too long
I was really looking forward to reading this book. I have read so many good reviews about this book so I didn't hesitate to buy the book. However, being an idiot, I didn't look at the author of the book. I disliked the Shiver series so I wasn't sure if I would like this book. I did end up really enjoying this book so all's well that ends well, I suppose. Anyway, the point is: this book is really good despite any doubts I had about the author based on previous book she's written.
The Characters
This book has about 5 main characters but maybe 10 if you can Blue's extended family. Ok so, let's start with Blue (the book is in her point of view). So anyway, Blue is an OK character. She goes to public high school, not really normal (who wants to write about a normal girl?) and her family is full of psychics. I don't remember her general appearance except that she wore her hair tied up and she uses several multicoloured clips to make her hair bumpy. Oh, and she has a really weird fashion sense. All in all, I didn't really find her memorable compared to the other characters. I think I'll sum up the Raven boys in a few sentences. Let's talk about Gansey. Basically, he's your average rich guy. He has an old car, wears fancy clothes and goes to an exclusive private school. Except that he's also obsessed with finding the grave of some buried Welsh king. I really should go back and see what he's called since that's basically the plot of the book but honestly, I'm so lazy. Gansey had 3 best friends names Ronan, Noah and Adam. Basically, they're like the four musketeers. Adam is this poor boy who's helping Gansey because he wants to use the wish that you earn if you find this so-called dead Welsh king. Now now, don't think Adam is selfish. His story is much more complicated and tragic (read the book for more). Ronan is basically this really tough violent guy. Even though he's irresponsible and snide, he's my favourite character. I'm not even sure why but I think Ronan is awesome. Noah is this really elusive character. We basically learn nothing about him (without revealing spoilers of course) except that he's really shy and a quiet guy.
The Plot
The plot is pretty interesting. Basically, the 5 main characters all search for some dead Welsh king's body. A quest that Gansey has been doing for most of his life. That's all I can say without really ruining the plot. The summary doesn't even mention this part. All in all, the plot is pretty interesting but I was mostly looking forward to the romance element. Basically, there is no romance in this book. WHAT?? I know, the summary is very misleading. Even though Blue (the main character) really wants to have a romance with one of said guys (no spoilers,remember), she can't really do anything. She can't really kiss anyone. Even though the summary mentions that she's "drawn to Gansey" nothing happens between them. We see subtle signs and she does have a vision now and then but they never admit their feelings and nothing happens. The whole book is basically her thinking (when it comes to romance) "How will my true love die? " and stuff like "Gansey looks really cute when he's looking at his journal but omg Adam is so hot too" and other stuff like "I wonder what it would be like to kiss someone if I was a normal girl?" and other nonsense. The romance was seriously lacking but I'm not a big romance person (even though in this case I really wanted something to happen between Blue and Gansey) so I was a little disappointed. I almost forgot the mention the ending! The second last chapter of the book answers and  leads up to big conclusion of the book (sorry I suck at describing this) which made me super excited to get to the ending and have all my questions answered but sadly that didn't happen. The last chapter of the book acts as if the previous chapter never happened. I was sitting there thinking:

If the ending actually answered some questions, maybe this book would have received a higher rating.
Overall, this book was interesting. There was lacking in the romance department and the ending was terrible (see picture above) but other than that, this book is quite a good read. 

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