The Raven Boys – by Maggie Stiefvater – Crappiest book of 2018 (just getting started)

While I absolutely adored Maggie Stiefvater * The Wolves Of Mercy Falls Trilogy, I could not finish The Raven Boys. Three times I attempted to read it and three times I put it down in sheer boredom. It could not spike my interest and the characters were so bland I could not help thinking Maggie drew some names out of a hat and made a terrible plot just to cash in some more.

If I were a tree, I would have no reason to love a human.

“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”

Roll Eyes.  This has been done before.

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“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.”

I know what else says very little

6984875163_0847d90a93_b.jpgThe plot is the story of Blue Sargent, a girl who will kill her true love if she ever kisses him. Oh, wait, no, it’s really the story of Dick Gansey, who is trying to find the dead king Glendower and track down the mysterious ley lines that course through…middle-of-nowhere, Virginia. Glamorous. But no, it’s above all just a character piece about the titular boys, their personal conflicts, and their developing friendship/romances with Blue! Oh, and there’s also this shady aunt Neeve, and shadier Latin teacher Whelk!

What I’m getting at is that this book has a million subplots, all equally undeveloped.

Maybe I have just heard too much about these characters; too many spoilers: the book doesn’t feel fresh and exciting to me. Sadly, right now I just can’t seem to bring myself to care about reading it for myself and formulating my own opinions about these characters that everyone else seems to love so much.

759631.gifTo put it nicely, this book was a shambles. 

It was a creative mess of rich kids, welsh kings, ghosts, psychics and deadly kisses. That list sounds pretty awesome and seems like the making of a great novel, however, it was all too polluted.

Her narration ADORES Gansey and I don’t buy her attempts to make him seem larger than life, perfect and amazing. He’s literally described as looking like an all-american war hero at one point.

He strode over to the ruined church. This, Blue had discovered, was how Gansey got places – striding. Walking was for ordinary people

What the fuck does that mean? Her descriptions are often wordy but lack substance. I ended up skimming through paragraphs toward the end trying to pick out key words so I didn’t have to read her overstuffed prose. Fairly often I would have to re-read entire pages because her wording doesn’t always make sense.

Currently, Girlfriend was glancing around in the furtive way that was more noticeable for its furtiveness.

Her metaphors are just so weird like when she wrote:

Maura was quiet in that heavy way that was louder than talking.

I hated how twists or revelations were spelled out for the reader after they were either hinted at or revealed. It’s almost as if Stiefvater didn’t trust me to put the pieces together of her simple plot.

“I found it.”
“People find pennies,” Gansey replied. “Or car keys. Or four-leaf clovers.”
“And ravens,” Ronan said. “You’re just jealous ’cause” – at this point, he had to stop to regroup his beer-sluggish thoughts – “you didn’t find one, too.”

This is just a pet peeve of mine, but having a shit tonne of small chapters is irritating. I was half way through the book and I had over half the amount of chapters left to read and it felt so daunting, like this book was never going to end.

This is going in the Burn Pile

 

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