Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was my vacation read. I brought it with me when I went away and worked at a camp a few weeks ago. I spent many nights curled up in our tent, tucked in my sleeping bag and clutching my book light to read this book. The book might have gotten slightly damp, but I think I saved it...shhhh don't tell the library! I just had to know what was going to happen to Blue (seriously, that name!) and the Raven Boys!

I've been doing more reviews lately and since I had some stuff to say about this book, I thought it would be the perfect candidate. Before I get into what I thought of the book, let me give you some basic information: book cover and synopsis (via Goodreads).



This synopsis actually makes it sound like it will be about star-crossed lovers, but I found it more of a bromance than a romance. Which leads me into my main point talking point when it comes to this book. 

I loved the relationship between the four Raven Boys. 

It was so refreshing to read about four male friends who cared about each as much as the Raven Boys did. As a reader of YA, I'm used to romantic relationships or maybe even sibling relationships taking the center stage in a book. I realized just how conditioned I was to expect the important/developed relationships to be romantic ones, when I found myself wondering if Gansey was gay and crushing on Adam. I quickly realized how wrong I had been about with assumption as I kept reading and seeing how the four boys all looked out for each other. I just was not used to seeing such deep friendships being written, especially between guys. Often times the friends become side kicks and are underdeveloped characters, so it was a pleasant surprise when Stiefvater did not follow the trend. 

In general, all of the characters were well-developed. I thought they all had good motives and interesting backstory. I felt sympathetic to all of them (even the "bad" guy), because nobody's situation was black and white. Even when characters made "bad" choices, I could sympathize, because I could understand why they did it, which really sold the story to me. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

So why did this book loose two stars?
Reason one: The ending didn't really do it for me. I was enjoying all of the plot points, and I liked following the little group through the story as they discovered more and more, until the last little bit, that is. Now, I should probably mention that I was half asleep when I read the last ten pages, but even on further examination, I still I didn't really understand exactly what happened. Now, I'm not always the brightest when it comes to these things, but I have to rate the book on how I experienced it. I also have a feeling that it was setting up for the next book's plot, so I guess I'm okay with that. 

Reason two: It creeped me out a wee bit. I can handle some supernatural stuff, but all the psychic stuff and occult references just give me the creeps. It's not to the point where I won't read the second book or anything, but that type of stuff just isn't my cup of tea (which is why I don't read a ton of supernatural fiction). It's a totally personal reason for disliking the book and really has nothing to do with the quality of writing or the storyline. 

Have you read The Raven Boys? What did you think of it? Do you wish there was more male friendships in YA? Is there and I'm just missing those books? Let me know all your thoughts, ideas and of course, comments below.

Reading: Looking for something good...
Listening: Alex Clare
Watching: Covert Affairs

6 comments:

  1. I love The Raven Boys! I totally agree with you on the topic of the character relationships: the friendship was amazing, and I think we've definitely been conditioned to expect romance. I, too, have read books where guys show affection to one another and immediately thought "is he gay?", because that's what we've come to expect - that all books will be centred on romance. I loved how it wasn't the main theme of the book - and I love that even to the end, nothing has really happened with Blue/Gansey or Blue/Adam, and you still don't quite know what's going to happen!

    I thought the ending was pretty abrupt - but that just made me want The Dream Thieves all the more! I've still not read it - the library doesn't have it! - but I will soon!!!!

    The occult stuff was a little weird. But I was willing to buy into it!

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    1. Haha, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has the "is he gay?" moments when reading. And I agree; I also enjoyed that the romance wasn't front and center, which is strange for me.

      And yes, I WANT TO READ THE DREAM THIEVES TOO!!!

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  2. I thought the ending was pretty blah too. Bit of a let down. I actually gave it 2 stars because I did the audio narration and it was pretty disappointing.

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    1. Awww, I'm sorry you didn't like it. The ending was a bit of a let down, you're right. My sister was saying that she didn't really care for it either, so I'm thinking it's just one of those books that can go either way.

      Thanks for commenting:)

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  3. Ahh I loved the Raven Boys too, and the relationships between all of them, and how Blue could just magically appear and not be questioned on why she was here. But, then there's that ending. Honestly, I didn't get it either, and it did lose a star from me there as well. I'm hoping the sequels either explain what happened, but until then, SO CONFUSING.

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    1. Yes! Confusing is the exact word for it! I thought it was just me being dense, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one who didn't quite get it. I hope the sequel explains stuff too:)

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