Rating: 3.5/5 stars. I almost cannot believe that I am giving less than 4 stars to a book by Maggie Stiefvater.
The Raven Boys revolves around Blue Sargent, the daughter of a clairvoyant mother. Blue herself cannot see the future, but she amplifies the powers of those around her – and, ever since she was young, she’s been told that if she kisses her true love, he’ll die. After seeing a shocking vision one night, Blue finds herself entangled in a group of academically and financially superior guys from Aglionby Academy. Known as the Raven Boys, Blue knows that she shouldn’t get caught up in their conquests – but, inevitably, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous, mysterious circle.
I have terribly missed reading Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. It’s still beautiful, and her decision to write about the supernatural, prophecies, and Glendower shows that she’s not afraid to try new things in the realm of young-adult fiction. She accurately described Virginia’s seasonal atmosphere and crafted a convincing tale that mixed realistic fiction with ghostly legends.
Her characters differed from the cookie-cutter stereotypes so often used in YA, as well as from the characters in her previous books. Each Raven Boy brought fresh energy and conflict to the story, and I especially enjoyed Adam’s perspective. I won’t go into detail because that would detract from the story, but I empathized with his struggles the most.
However, I wanted a bit more from every part of the book. This might be because after reading The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy my expectations have been set sky high for Stiefvater. Neither Blue nor Gansey struck me as superbly impressive, some portions of the writing felt purple and unnecessary, and the plot was rather loose. The main thing that made The Raven Boys lackluster was how disorganized the story felt – too many things were going on at once, and certain sections had too much information or not enough.
Overall, I’m excited to see where Stiefvater takes the series. She has built a good foundation with believable characters and an intriguing storyline. With more development and focus, I am confident that I will feel as strongly for the Raven Cycle series as I do for The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.