The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
More than anything, the journal wanted. It wanted more than it could hold, more than words could describe, more than diagrams could illustrate. Longing burst from its pages, in every frantic line and every hectic sketch and every darkprinted definition. There was something pained and melancholy about it.
Blue, despite her clairvoyant mother’s warnings, befriends a group of boys from the local boarding school and joins them on their quest to find an ancient sleeping king with mythical powers.
There’s been a lot of hype about The Raven Boys and for awhile I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to read it because every description I read made it seem like it was going to be all about Blue’s love life and her unwillingness to kiss anyone because it would — according to her mother’s prophecy — cause their death. Had I only known this was just a small part of the story, I would have picked up this book a lot sooner.
So what is it, really? It’s a supernatural treasure hunt and a murder mystery, involving a mystical forest, and is one of the most descriptively intricate and beautifully written YA books I’ve read. Throughout the entire thing were phrases and paragraphs that would teleport you to the setting, or let you peek into the characters’ minds, or come up with a way of saying something that’s completely perfect, but that you’d never have thought of like that on your own. And the characters… these were incredibly real yet unique and well-developed characters. I loved the author’s ability to construct their personalities by showing how they relate to one another.
My biggest complaint with this book is that I can’t read the rest of the series yet. There were so many things left unresolved, so many questions unanswered, and even the climax seemed to end too abruptly, with holes that left me wondering, “BUT WHAT ABOUT…?” long after I closed the book. Now, true, it may be a bit wordy for some people, and others might not have an interest in the subject matter, and the book does show hintings of developing one of those dreadful YA love triangles, but this book only really had a few suggestions of romance, which didn’t really end up playing out (yet)
Overall: An intricately descriptive and compelling story for fans of the paranormal genre
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this novel!