The Raven Boys | Book Club Review

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
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““There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”



Ratings: 

Carrie- reread: 5/5 (Originally ⅘)
Stephanie- ⅘
Tisha- 2.5/5


Carrie: After binge reading books one and two, and going after Blue Lily, Lily Blue on Netgalley like it was the holy grail, I guess you could say I fell for this series. Hard. 

After months of pushing this series on the girls in my book club, they all finally agreed to read it. Which meant my month was full of love, laughs, and tears as I reread The Raven Boys, and gut wrenching nausea as I waited for their verdicts.




Characters:

Carrie: One of the things I love the most about this series is the characters and the way they connect to each other. With so many characters, I have my favorites of course (Gansey, Ronan, Blue, Noah…...then Adam. Sorry my man, sorry, but your last.) but the characters are so complex, so real that I can’t help but love them all.

Stephanie: I agree that the characters are great: the Raven Boys, Blue, Blue’s family. I have to say Noah was probably my favorite, the sweet little cinnamon roll that he is (too soon, far too soon). Then I liked Adam, he is prone to doing some annoying things, especially in book two, but I feel for him. Next best, it’s probably a tie between Ronan, Blue, and Gansey. Which, I know, is kind of weird considering they are the main characters. Blue was a bit too quirky girl for me to really love her (though I bet she’d be fun to hang out with), and something about Gansey just rubs me the wrong way. Not that he’s not awesome in his own way (got to love an absent minded intellectual with a heart of gold), but some of the stuff he said and did struck me as very condescending. Ronan, well, he’s an abrasive guy. I actually like him more and more as the series progresses, but in book one he’s a bit much. I also really liked Persephone (and if I can mention people solely from the sequels, The Gray Man).

Tisha: I would say my favorite out of the boys would be Adam and then Gansey. Noah was sweet, but I kept forgetting about him and I really disliked Ronan. All his bluntness and aggression wore on me after awhile. Though he was really adorable with Chainsaw. I also really like Blue’s character I thought she was funny and her family was so interesting. Maura and Blue were a hilarious mother and daughter pair - I got a season one Gilmore Girls vibe out of them.


Romance:

Carrie: Gansey and Blue FOREVER! Also, for the record I also ship Pynch.

Stephanie: I’m a bit split here. I like Blue and Gansey together, but I don’t like how they play around with their relationship. Blue shouldn’t have dragged Adam into it to make herself feel better, but once she made that decision she should have ended things with him sooner and not strung both him and Gansey along (If she dated Adam for like two days then eventually dating Gansey is a lot less awkward). Gansey should not be flirting with his insecure friend’s girlfriend behind his back the way he does and she should not be encouraging him- not until she talks to Adam. Cheating pisses me off, and you know they’d have accidently kissed by now if not for the curse. Also: the curse, it’s kind of silly… they can be together but just not kiss? Doesn’t sound like that bad a romantic relationship, considering there’s no mention about sex in the curse. Not being able to kiss would suck, but it would hardly be the end of the world; they have much bigger problems. I also ship Pynch; it’s nice that Ronan wouldn't need to feel alone, and that someone interesting and caring would love Adam. Those poor boys both deserve some love.

Tisha: I like Gansey and Blue together and I like Blue and Adam together. I kept feeling like Blue felt like she had to be with Gansey though because of her vision. I think I need more of them together to get a sense of if I thought they really wanted to be together.



Worldbuilding:

Tisha: This was one of the things that frustrated me about the book. I just wanted her to explain it to me. Why are these guys so interested? How did they find out about Glendower? Tell me, show me, something.

Stephanie: This was one of those books where everything is mysterious. Not quite at season one of Lost levels, but pretty up there. Nothing is as it seems, and many things are never explicitly explained. The subsequent books help with that.



Flow/Style/POV/Etc.:

Tisha: It took me awhile to get into the different POVs. At first I just wanted the story to go back to Blue and her awesome family.



Recommend (yes/no, why? similar books, etc.):

Carrie: I think the fact I tied up my book club girls forced this series upon them says it all.

Stephanie: I’d recommend it to people who like paranormal romances and to people who like boarding school books.

Tisha: I hate bad mouthing people’s favorite books (especially friends’), but I just did not get into this book. It took me forever to read and I did not really get interested until the last 80 pages or so. I just felt that things were drawn out way too long. It might have been because I was so excited to read it and also, I think my expectations of the plot were all wrong. I do want to know what happens, but I might just ask Carrie and Stephanie...

5 comments:

  1. I finally read it! It wasn't bad. I do agree with Jo that it's a little long winded. I'm guesses the sequels get more world building, character development etc? (Ugh, this is why series bother me so much lol but I digress). I thought the relationships between all the characters were great and I liked Blue and her family. I'm curious to see where the story goes... 3/5

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    Replies
    1. You guys are killing me! *gathers raven boys and blue into a tight, protective hug* But I do see what you mean about "long winded" since it is more of a character based story and not really an action based story.

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    2. Aww Dreams, I liked the books. The first one *is* a little long winded, but it's sort of a foundation book. I can see how that's annoying though, because the book can't really stand on it's own. I mean, it can, but it's a bit slow and leaves a lot unresolved. The second and third books make you appreciate the first one more. And I do love the characters.

      You should definitely read more Trace!

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    3. I always get nervous recommending books out. Though to be honest, the reactions turned out to be about what I expected. I'm highly curious to see what you guys will think of Throne of Glass when you get to it.

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    4. I get what you mean, I'm always nervous to suggest books. I did like it though overall for the characters. I'll check out the next one before I judge the series overall :)

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