Giselle's Reviews > The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
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Sep 18, 12

bookshelves: arc, own, paranormal
Read from September 14 to 16, 2012

The synopsis for The Raven Boys is what first attracted me to this novel. A girl from a clairvoyant family who sees her first "soon-to-be-dead" ghost, the ghost of a boy who is currently a high school student, the ghost of a boy who she can't fall in love with. Because she's pretty sure what kills him is their first kiss. I know! This sounds exactly like a book for me. I was highly intrigued by this premise and especially excited by all the wonderful reviews it has gotten thus far, but I soon came to realize that the plot had very little to do with what this synopsis describes, and more to do with a hunt for an ancient king who will grant a favor to the one who wakes him. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are looking... for a genie.

Sure, I can certainly get with this unexpected plot and I still kept my hopes up that it would wow me. Involving energy ley lines also definitely brings about very bizarre and somewhat perplexing turns in the book that I found especially fascinating. Mostly, it's the way the story is told that kept me from becoming enamored like so many others. As in Maggie's The Scorpio Races, I think the writing style in The Raven Boys will be a hit or miss. After quite enjoying her easily readable Shiver series, I was not expecting the complexity in which this one is delivered. It's a novel that has a lot of drawn out descriptions and frequent back-stories. I can see readers who enjoy this type of telling would love it, I've often loved books of this nature myself--when I'm expecting it--but in this case, I found it disrupted the flow of the story. When we stopped a conversation, or worse, an exciting scene, to get an abundance of details on the surroundings or past events, my mind would start to wander off and I would have a hard time getting back into it. Let's just say it took me a while to finish this one.

The Raven Boys is filled with intriguing characters. We have a lot of very distinguished, very unique personalities. However, with such an abundance of characters it can take a while to situate yourself inside their lives. It took me a good part of the first half of this book (well over 100 pages) until I was confident I knew who was who, what relationships they had with each others, and how they fit in the story. Also, with so many people to keep track of, I can't say I was especially in tuned with any of them; I never quite got to identify with them emotionally. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the closeness they all seem to share with one another. Every character has their own quirks, their own bizarre traits that make them genuine. I may not have felt a deep character connection, but I certainly did enjoy the personalities I got to meet.

This book is clearly very unique and filled with twists that I found highly interesting. I was hoping for some more answers in the end; we don't make very much progress in terms of the plot, nor the romance. So, yes, I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't share the enthusiasm of so many of my fellow readers on this one, but I wouldn't say I didn't like it, either. The writing style is what put me off the most and since it doesn't seem to be a problem for many others, it seems to be one of those books you have to try for yourself.

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An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
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Reading Progress

09/15/2012 page 224
54.0% "I like the plot but I can't say I'm a fan of Maggie's writing. And do we even know why they're called Raven Boys? Did I miss that part or is it a random convenience with the plot?" 2 comments
09/15/2012 page 224
54.0% "I like the plot but I can't say I'm a fan of Maggie's writing. And do we even know why they're called Raven Boys? Did I miss that part or is it a random convenience with the plot?"

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Juhina you are going to love it!


message 2: by Laura K (new) - added it

Laura K I ordered mine last week. Cannot wait to get it!! Looking forward to your review.


Claudia Louise I'm pretty sure the school is known as Raven Boys.


Bonnie What upset me the most about this was that there were pretty much zero answers and no conclusion at all... just one unsaid 'to be continued'.


Giselle @Bonnie: I know I feel like nothing really happened in this book other than a lot of long winded descriptions. The plot went nowhere. I was expecting a lot more from all the hype this has been getting. I guess I don't get what everyone is gaga about. But I'm used to being the black sheep >.<


Bonnie haha I found it enjoyable but there was a lot I found wrong with it so despite my 4 star rating I agree with you completely. :)


Giselle If it wasn't so long I think I would have enjoyed it more. I got bored fast. I found it very different writing from her Shiver series. Like more complicated, which I would have been more ok with if I had expected it I think. Took me at least 100 pages to figure out who was who.


Giselle at Book Nerd Canada @Giselle (haha that is weird!) I completely agree with you there. I thought it was definitely WAY TOO LONG.


message 9: by Giselle (last edited Sep 22, 2012 05:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Giselle Giselle wrote: "@Giselle (haha that is weird!) I completely agree with you there. I thought it was definitely WAY TOO LONG."

Oh I'm glad I'm not the only one! I was definitely feeling very black sheep-y with this one. The notification email I got for this comment rocks my face!!:

"Giselle,

Giselle posted a new comment on Giselle's review of The Raven Boys on Goodreads."

Win!


Giselle at Book Nerd Canada Giselle wrote: "Giselle wrote: "@Giselle (haha that is weird!) I completely agree with you there. I thought it was definitely WAY TOO LONG."

Oh I'm glad I'm not the only one! I was definitely feeling very black s..."


HAHAAHAH that's too funny!


message 11: by Iris (new) - rated it 3 stars

Iris Glad to have read your review, as I completely agree with your views. At the end I did enjoy the book, but I was surprised to find so many raving 4-5 star reviews when it feels like nothing had actually happened by the end of the book.


message 12: by Nina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nina Great review! You put words to my biggest issue with the book. It was like I spent more time thinking "Wow, this is a complex character" than actually sitting back and enjoying their stories.


Branigan I haven't even gotten through this book but reading your review has shown me that many people are dealing with the writing of Stiefvater. There is just too much information needed in unimportant sections or points. I think the story would have been great if she had executed it VERY differently.


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