Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because Michelle was gushing about it one night on the way...somewhere. Critique group, maybe? Who knows. Doesn't matter, I read it, and I enjoyed it!

The Raven Boys follows multiple characters throughout the narrative, but at the center of the story is Blue, the daughter of a famous local psychic. Once a year, Blue follows her mother to the local ley line where her mother can see who is going to die within the next twelve months. This year, Blue sees the ghost of a boy about her age who, according to his school uniform, attends the local private school. Usually Blue stays away from the boys who attend Aglionby, but she finds herself mysteriously drawn to Gansey, the soon-to-be dead boy. When they finally meet in real life, Blue joins Gansey and his friends on a missions to find something Gansey has been looking for for a very long time.

Overall, I liked the major aspects of the story. I liked Blue as a main character and thought Gansey and his friends had well-developed personalities. I especially related to Gansey's friend Adam because he felt the most realistic. I could easily picture the setting and events as Steifvater described them through the eyes of her characters. The Raven Boys was part mystery and part fantasy without being too stereotypical. I really enjoyed the fact that the author did not answer all the questions I had by the end of the book. She put a bow on this particular story but left one of the loops undone. For a perfectionist like me, the ending made me want to go get the second book in the series to find out what happens next. The Raven Boys was a great introduction to The Raven Cycle series.

While I liked the major aspects of the story, I had a difficult time getting pulled into it. The point of view of the story changes at the end of each chapter and it wasn't always clear to me who was speaking. The voice stayed the same to me throughout the novel with the only difference being that the reader could see into the mind of a different character for a time. That being said, Michelle listened to the audiobook of The Raven Boys and was pulled into the story completely. Apparently, the narrator of the audiobook did such an amazing job of changing voices in his narration that she didn't have the same problems that I did. I'm thinking about going back and listening to The Raven Boys to see if I would enjoy it more on audio.

I think that adults would enjoy The Raven Boys as a quick read, and, since Michelle is a reliable source, I would recommend checking it out in audio instead of print. I would be curious to hear if any of you have read it/listened to it and if you agree with Michelle or not. (Don't worry, I won't tattle if you don't.)

Emily's new job is giving her more opportunities to listen to podcasts during her commute every day. If you have any recommendations for awesome podcasts to keep her entertained, please pass them along! 

2 comments:

  1. I have quite a few writing and science/nonfiction podcasts I listen to and a few fictional serials. Radio Lab is one of my favorite nonfiction podcasts as is “Lore”. “The Infinite Monkey” cage and “Monster Talk” are good science podcasts. For fictional serials, I like “We’re Alive” (about a zombie outbreak) I would start with the original, then listen to the spinoff called “Lockdown”. The Pacific Northwest Podcast Studio has two paranormal fiction podcast I love called “The Black Tapes” and “Tanis”. I just started listening to “Our Fair City” an offbeat post-apocalyptic story. Of course, my favorite writing podcast is this awesome show titled “Beyond the Trope”. You might have heard of it.

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  2. Thanks for all the recommendations! I'll definitely check them out!

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