I’ve seen this book so many times online that, although it didn’t quite seem like my cup of tea I decided to give it a try (hey, I’m all for trying new things!). So, here’s my thoughts on The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater.
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Stiefvater is a fairly successful writer, having released several series and standalone books. Her popularity on Tumblr is undeniable and her presence in the community is evident too. Although, I don’t really like the whole persona she has online. She often seems very rude and annoyed by her fans, giving them these very off answers to really genuine questions. I guess she’s trying to be “funny” and “sarcastic”, but it never went well with me. And don’t even get me started on the whole drama she created with singer Halsey, because that was just so incredibly childish and ridiculous. But, anyway, I try to separate the creator from their creation, in everything.
The official synopsis of this book doesn’t give it enough credit and it’s honestly so poorly made. This book focus on four boys (Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah) in their quest for a Welsh king, Glendower or Glyndŵr if you wish, while aided by Blue Sargent (who happens to be a psychic’s daughter with no powers and a premonition that she’ll kill her true love when they kiss).
Ok, let me just start by saying this was probably one of the toughest books to get into, in a long long while. The language used is so weird and every sentence becomes confusing af. I had to read the first few chapters about two times each and I’m still not sure I understood everything that happened in them. People call Stiefvater’s writing “poetic”: I just think it’s confusing, specially if you’re not a native of english. There was nothing special about her ways of expressing herself, quite the contrary. Her sentences are so long and over flourished! Sometimes, less is more and this is not that case because more is too much.
I never once wanted to give up reading this but I can’t say I was that excited to keep going either. Until about 70% of it, the book is pretty much a snooze fest. Once the quest from Glendower starts, it becomes so much more interesting! If the book was only that, I’m pretty sure I would have enjoy it a lot more. Until that point, the only thing happening just the build up on the friendship between Blue and the boys and that’s honestly so weirdly portrait. There’s not a lot of scenes that explain how she became more used to them or how she found something interesting in them as they spent more time together. One moment she can’t stand them, the other she is curious, the other she’s in love with all of them. Also, there are some explanations on the psychic part of the world and other details that I’m sure will only pay off in other books, so they’re pretty uninteresting if you’re not that excited about the read. The continuity in this book is really weird too, you never know how much time has actually passed which everything feel a bit off.
Besides that, I didn’t really felt like there were any character development. Those people are the same from start to finish, except poor Noah (I won’t get too much into that because, spoilers) and Ronan (with his not so unlikely friendship with a baby raven). Yes, things happen to them but I didn’t feel like anything really affected them. I don’t really cared for any them throughout the story, although I feel that Blue had the potential to become one of my favourite feminist characters! But that’s not the case because none of the characters in this book feel like real people. They say and act in a way no one does in real life. I mean, that’s the whole feeling I got from the book. None of it seemed possible to happen to me even thought this is something like an urban fantasy book.
So yeah, this isn’t by far the most perfect book but the last few 100/150 pages save it. Will I continue this series? I’m not sure. I’m definitely not in a rush, I’m not that curious to know what will happen. Maybe one day. And would I recommend it? Well, it’s not my cup of tea really but I can totally see this being a great book for many people!
Here’s a quote I enjoyed (this was a hard choice since they all seem to poetic for my taste):
In his head, his mother said, ‘People shout when they don’t have the vocabulary to whisper’.
So, do you guys enjoy The Raven Cycle? Should I give it another chance? Share your opinions with me! This review definitely got more long than what I was expecting! I didn’t know I had so much to say about it!
See you soon,