Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Raven Boys
Scholastic Press, 2012
Wow, what can I say about this beautiful enchanting magical book? I'll admit that it took some time to become immersed in this book and I struggled with some character names at first and then later with some of their motivations and decisions (oh why, Adam?) But my overwhelming reaction is one of love tempered with the knowledge that this could be a very polarizing book. I can definitely see it not working for everyone although if we tend to agree on books, then you'll hopefully love this one.
One of the differences from much YA fiction is that this story is told in third person narrative shifting instead of the more typical first-person narrative. Most of the story focuses on Blue, daughter of a clairvoyant mother who does not possess any specific powers but does magnify them in others, an increasingly important talent as the story unfolds. But it also shifts to focus on the titular Raven Boys, specifically four young men (Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah) with many secrets between them as well as the other characters who make up this story.
This book is just over four-hundred pages, which I feel is a bit on the long side for YA and I did feel like the story was a little slow especially in the beginning. However I persevered, having read other reviews assuring me that the payoff was worth it. And boy do I agree! The ending had me gripping the book so tightly, desperately scanning the words and flipping the pages to see what was going to come next. Every little piece at the beginning may have confused me then but by the end, I could see how it all tied together and led up to where the story is going to go. The ending even sort of ends with a cliffhanger as one of the boys reveals something that seems like it should be impossible...great way to leave me craving more.
Although I definitely think Stiefvater has a poetic writing style, I feel like it was lessened a little here, which is a good thing because that is sometimes a struggle for me. Actually this book reminded me a bit of Unspoken but with less ha-ha funny moments (although still some good one-liners) and less alienating character/plot to me. I was able to fall much harder for this book.
Overall: My favorite Stiefvater yet-so so good!