Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{September 14, 2012}   {ARC Review} The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

From Goodreads: “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.


The premise of this novel is absolutely amazing, but unfortunately, the story itself didn’t really hold my attention.  The beginning of the novel started off strong, but with the introduction of the Raven boys, I started to become confused and lose interest.  For me, Gansey was just a little too technical and too haughty, constantly looking for a lost medieval noble’s grave, overly obsessed with ley lines and mediums, and to be quite honest, I didn’t understand what he was trying to do most of the time.  Between the shifts in narration (which I usually adore, but had a hard time following in this novel) and the lack of a resolution concerning the main synopsis (Gansey being Blue’s true love or the boys she kills), I found myself unable to really immerse myself in the story.  I don’t think having so many characters helped me understand it any easier, either.  Between Blue and the four Raven boys, Blue’s mother and the three other “witches” living at her house, Gansey’s parents and teachers, and Ronan’s older brother, I just couldn’t keep up.  Too much seemed to be happening all at once, and since I had a hard time connecting it all together, I became frustrated, and I think a lot of the story was lost on me.  It’s unfortunate because my interest was again piqued when the ghost revelation was revealed, but that, again, was short lived as I became thoroughly confused again.

Seeing as this novel is getting extremely high reviews on Goodreads, it’s obvious that most readers really enjoy this story, and I am, in fact, in the minority, so I do urge you to at least try it out and see what you think because our tastes in books might be vastly different.  Unfortunately for me, I just never got to the point of really caring for any of the characters or the plotline as it unfolded.  One and a half stars.

Scholastic Press has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on September 18, 2012.


Hollow May says:

Aw, man. Really? I have The Raven Boys on my want list because of the positive reviews…and because I loved Maggie Stiefvater’s The Wolves of Mercy Falls. I’ve been eagerly waiting for a chance to get a copy of The Raven Boys. Now I’m gutted to hear alot of negs. coming out about it. *sigh* I’ll probably wait until my local (and very small) library gets a copy in to read it. I appreciate your honest review. =)

If you loved her other novels, then this might be a winner for you. I liked her other books, but didn’t love them, and this one just wasn’t for me.

Juhina says:

oh man I’m so sad you didn’t enjoy this novel! I’ve read a ton of positive reviews and yours is actually the first negative one (opposite of Alex!) but I’ve read this novel and adored it! I can understand on how the obsession might seem stupid and just the ideas start to get mixed up. However I found Gansey not only not technical but full of heart and passion. Oh well, I hope that you give the second book a try though!

– Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

Ashley says:

I’m glad I’m not the only one! I honestly couldn’t even finish The Raven Boys. I got to like, page 50, and just couldn’t do it anymore. I was really, really bored and felt like I didn’t have a good sense of where the book was heading. :( It’s too bad, because almost everyone RAVES about this book! Bummer!

I have this one under my must reads list although I probably wont get to it until next year with all the mixed reviews Ive seen. Loved your review I found it very helpful.

I hope you enjoy it more than I did. :)

I have heard more negative than positive reviews of this novel. The funny thing is they all say the same!

Really?! All I saw on Goodreads were positives!! Good to know I’m not alone in my thoughts, but it’s sad at the same time, you know? :)

Comments are closed.

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: