“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” –Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys
This was my first Maggie Stiefvater read, and although it was enjoyable overall, I had mixed reactions to it while reading. It took me almost until the halfway point to be genuinely excited about reading this, for the beginning felt drawn out and slow; a lot of it was dedicated to explaining the background story and world-building, whereas I was ready to dive right into the plot. I was also not a big fan of the protagonist, Blue. I felt as though she was trying too hard to be eccentric, and although I am all about embracing individuality, this just felt slightly too exaggerated in this scenario, wavering on a fine line between something that is fresh and original and a hackneyed trope.
However, the other major characters – the Raven boys – are phenomenal; I fell in love with each and every one of them and their merits and their flaws. Here are my detailed thoughts on each:
I feel as though Gansey, as a character, should be despicable; in fact, his arrogance could be overwhelmingly irritating at times. However, I still liked Gansey, because he is the most compassionate character in the novel. He is always willing to go out of his way to help others and is constantly looking out for the well-being of his family and friends, which is truly chivalrous.
I appreciated Adam because he seemed to be the most rational in the group, and I truly understood his struggle between accepting help when necessary and maintaining his pride. I also like how he refused to take anything for granted and is able to enjoy the little things in life.
Ronan is easily my favorite character. Although I am not usually a fan of characters that portray too much stereotypical “teenage angst,” I felt as though Ronan had a legitimate reason for acting the way he did; furthermore, his inherent kindness and overall goodness is apparent through his actions. I loved reading about his slightly dark sense of humor, pessimistic take on life, and evolution throughout the novel. Not to mention, the way he cared for Chainsaw was absolutely adorable!
Noah has this childlike innocence about him that made it impossible to dislike him; his insecure nature and general shyness make him all the more likeable.
They all blend so well together in the most adorable brotherhood and Blue quickly becomes the missing piece in all of their lives. As for the plot, I did feel like it was slightly too predictable, for there were no moments where I was truly caught off guard. Nevertheless, The Raven Boys was still a magical tale, and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.