Bridget's Reviews > The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2013, ya, 2014, 2016, 2019
Read 2 times. Last read August 27, 2019.

Fourth reading August 2019. I had already read this book three times: once on audio and twice on Kindle. And yet when I walked by a paper copy on the shelf at the library I could NOT resist checking it out and taking it home for a fourth read. Such is the power of this book!

Third reading January 2016. Re-reading in preparation for book 4. I am so happy to live in a world where this book exists.

Second reading 10 March 2014. I read the book in physical (Kindle) format this time and I think I liked it all the more for knowing when the story would come screeching to a halt, just short of a major cliff(hanger). Make that love. For the first half of the book, I kept pausing to savor a certain turn of phrase or snippet of dialogue. For the second half, I was too busy blazing through the pages to bother. Instead of being outraged by that last line, this time I just laughed gleefully. I love that last line and the character who says it.

I appreciated this moment:

""You're the only one who doesn't seem fazed by this," he said after a moment. "It's not that I'm accustomed to it, but I've run across some unusual things before and I guess I just...but Ronan and Adam and Noah all seem...nonplussed."

OK, awesome, right? First correct use of "nonplussed" I've read in a book in probably two years. But it continues:

"Blue pretended she knew what nonplussed meant."

So great.

First reading 27 Feb 2013:


This is going to be one of the most divided reviews I've ever written. Here goes.

For what this book IS and DOES, I love it. LOVE. Five stars, all around. It's the Hardy Boys + Nancy Drew, all grown up and without the cheese, where the ghosts or the coincidences or the noises in the attic are real, instead of turning out to be Mr. Peabody trying to scare the county away from taking his land (or whatever). The first third of the book was especially delicious, but the entire thing was very shivery and mysterious. And because I'm familiar with Ms. Stiefvater's storytelling style (from The Scorpio Races), I was content to let the story alternately meander and pick up the pace until the end, when everything is very quickly drawn together.

HOWEVER. For what this book ISN'T and DOESN'T, it is an almost-failure. Seriously, I'd give it one star. Two, maybe? I gave a scathing review to Abandon, saying that it had "nothing even approximating a complete story arc contained as a whole within its pages." To my great disappointment, the same can be said about this otherwise fantastically lovely book. There's a line in The Raven Boys about Maura's visions of death being only "promises," and that's what this book ends up being full of, too. So many promises...and so little delivery. I could not believe that the book ended when it did. Nothing was resolved. NOTHING. Three or four chapters out from the end, I was still prepared to give this a glowing review. Now, I'm not sure what to say (as you can tell from all these words I've written).

Another minor complaint: many very good books require their readers to be more credulous than they might otherwise be in order to truly, thoroughly be enjoyed. This is true sometimes for The Raven Boys, too. Specifically, I had questions throughout the book about (view spoiler). But if I just let it go, it was fine.

Allll that said...I still totally enjoyed reading this book and I still kinda love it and in the end, I would probably still recommend it.

(This last bit will make sense to very few people, but The Raven Boys had delightful shades of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Really. It's like a bizarro TDHOFLB where the boys let her into their club and we get to see what happens.)

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Reading Progress

February 27, 2013 – Shelved
February 27, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013
February 27, 2013 – Shelved as: ya
March 10, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014
Started Reading
January 18, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016
January 18, 2016 – Finished Reading
Started Reading
August 27, 2019 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
August 27, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019 (Hardcover Edition)
August 27, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
August 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Carrie Agreed. I loved these books to begin with and they've grown on me even more with time. I was so annoyed at the ending of the first book (and now I need to go look and see what the last sentence is), but now I'm just really grateful that she had a story and characters that were complex enough to support a whole series.

message 2: by Bridget (new) - added it

Bridget Yes! If I frame the first book as "wake up the ley line" rather than "find Glendower", it works better. Also having it in a physical format where you can see how much is left!

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