My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked up The Raven Boys on the advice of a new friend I’d made, who swore by the series. Coming off a shaky start, Maggie Stiefvater soon realises that this whole teenage YA rulebook just won’t do. Matter of fact, the first few chapters of The Raven Boys were nauseatingly cliche, I seriously wondered if there was any benefit to continuing. An excerpt:
“My socially inhibited friend Adam thinks you’re cute, but he’s unwilling to make a move. Over there. Not the smudgy one. Not the sulky one.” Blue, largely against her will, glanced to the booth he pointed to. Three boys sat at it: one was smudgy, just as he said, with a rumpled, faded look about his person, like his body had been laundered too many times. The one who’d hit the light was handsome and his head was shaved; a soldier in a war where the enemy was everyone else. And the third was — elegant. It was not the right word for him, but it was close. He was fine boned and a little fragile looking, with blue eyes pretty enough for a girl…”
So in a nutshell, The Raven Boys is YA fantasy about Blue, a non-psychic girl in a family of psychics who’s usefulness begins and ends with her amplifying their abilities. This girl’s fate is tied to a bunch of snobbish rich kids who attend the exclusive Aglionby Academy in a small town named Henrietta. The boys are on the hunt for some powerful mythical ‘ley lines’ which they intend to awaken and the mysterious Blue is bound to help them. The plot is quite multilayered but I would say I captured the gist.
The whole idea of teenagers playacting as adults was offputting for me. These are teenagers thrust in adult roles with grown people mannerisms that the author crafted for the roles they had to play. I don’t know what it is about whole YA business and why authors overdo it but it’s getting overboard. If you are to cast a teenage character, I am of the view you have them act their age. You want an adult? Then cast an adult. In the book, Blue was alright. Just your average teenage girl. Ronan, nope. Gansey, not by a mile. The author portrayed him as this meditative sage possessing wells of wisdom. I wanted to puke. As for Adam, I will have to say he was alright. The grownups were awesome. I loved Persephone and Calla.
Once I got over the initial faux pas, I got into the story and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I loved the part about Puppy/Butternut. You’ll get it when you reach it. I am undecided about continuing with the series, but as I already have the books, I might just read them for the heck of it.