Kai (Amaterasu Reads)'s Reviews > The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Sep 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: teens, 2012-tbr-pile, arc
Read from July 19 to August 26, 2012

Review posted at Amaterasu Reads

My first Maggie Stiefvater book and I'm not sure how to put into words what I feel. I think she's one of the very few authors I've read that rendered me speechless.

Blue has quite a gift: she amplifies the powers of her clairvoyant mother and her psychic friends. The night of St. Mark's Eve was one Blue will never forget. She met Gansey or more appropriately, a manifestation of him, walking on the Corpse Road. Gansey is an Aglionby boy, and he is going to die soon. All her life, Blue has been told that she's destined to kill the person she'll love with a kiss, and that's why she's staying away from boys, especially those in Aglionby, the Raven boys. But soon enough, Blue's paths crossed with the real, breathing Gansey and she was swept along his lifelong desire to find what has been eluding him all his life: Glendower, who, according to tales will favor the one who wakes him up. Finding Glendower alone was difficult enough, now Blue finds herself in the middle of the complicated lives of these boys. But she knows one thing: she will not let Gansey die.

It's quite stressful to read this book. I mean it in a good way, because Maggie Stiefvater just has this knack for making the readers feel so much emotions coming from her story all at once, especially her characters. I had to stop quite a few times to catch my breath. Maggie Stiefvater took great time in developing each and every character in this book, giving them believable, and oftentimes very complicated, back stories. Maggie had a knack for laying bare a lot of things about her character and still leave room for guessing, for mystery. The depth of each and every one of them is one of the reasons why I held on reading. They all seem so broken, like a fundamental part of them was missing and only the search for Glendower will make them whole.

I was so absorbed in Gansey's search for something more, that something beyond having power and money, that something worthwhile, that reason why he was born the way he was, privileged. Ronan was, in all intents and purposes, broken beyond repair. The anger and the hatred he had appeared when his father died, that devil may care attitude, his penchant to challenge death every single chance he gets, his sarcasm. How did he become like that? These two characters are my favorites, so different but oddly meshing together. Adam's life was marred by violence, all his life he wanted to prove that he can be something better, that there's something big and positive to look forward to than letting his father hit him, that even though he's poor, his credentials from Aglionby will create an opportunity for him to be someone, to be like Gansey, maybe even more. And then the empty shell that was Noah, extremely shy, barely there. Each and every Raven Boy had something dark shadowing their pasts, and it felt like I was dipping my toes in a pool of extreme sadness, forlorn feelings each and every time a bit of their lives is revealed.

If you are the type of reader who easily gets bored, however, let me tell you now that the story took quite a while to coalesce. You will need a lot of patience before you see where the story is headed. There were parts that can easily confuse the readers and there seems to be a lot of elements that needed to be presented and discussed, the occult, psychics, magic and the individual lives of the characters that readers might find themselves lost a time or two. Hold on, dear readers, because after the struggle in the first half of the book and the lethargic pace of the story, there are things to look forward to. The way Maggie Stiefvater infused magic and intrigue into the story was very interesting. If you are expecting The Raven Boys to be an outright romantic book because of the prophecy surrounding Blue, then you might be in for a little bit of disappointment. The story goes beyond who Blue will kiss. It became a great frustration of mine that I couldn't seem to feel any chemistry between Blue and Gansey. There were momentarily glimpses of possibilities on romance, but even those were fleeting and unsure. And there are just a lot of elements in this book that are very uncertain and unclear that it might seem a torture to a lot of people to know what will and will not happen.

It was very tiring to cope with the feelings this novel conveys to the readers, but I wouldn't have it any other way. The magic in Maggie Stiefvater's writing is evident in her strong character building, with enough depth to entice the readers to get to know them more. There's a certain eloquence in her writing that you will just admire. The plot and its pace was a sweet torture, but it's one that will almost immediately make the reader have that driving need to find out what happens next. The Raven Boys is a very promising read, and with the first book, Maggie Stiefvater opens the story to a lot of possibilities.
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Reading Progress

07/19/2012 page 51
08/26/2012 page 230
56.0% "It's terribly exhausting to read this book but I can't stop!" 2 comments
03/08/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Any good so far??

Kai (Amaterasu Reads) Mickey wrote: "Any good so far??"

It is! The characters are superb, but you need a lot of patience w/ the lethargic pace of the book :)

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