Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

 Series: The Raven Cycle #1
409p.
Published: Sept. 18, 12
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
“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.

My thoughts:
I have to admit it took me a while to really get involved in this book. The beginning was a bit slow, but I did enjoy Blue the psychic's daughter. The only non-psychic in the family but gives them a boost in their powers. I did like the raven boys in the tale, even Ronan the one that would have been hardest to like. I didn't fall for Gansey for quite a while as it seemed as if he was disconnected with everyone and everything even though he cares so much for his friends. It was this caring that finally drew me to him.

There are confusing parts to the story, but although I believe this was entirely intentional, it felt that it was unintentional at times. Some of the plot holes seemed to be reasonable since the world of the psychic is filled with 'maybe' and 'might happen' and is rarely specific. Still, sometimes it felt as though some of the characters fell through that plot. Despite this I did find myself engaged in the characters and what is going to happen to them. While the ending of the book isn't a cliffie, per se... it does end with an enigma. I think why these things didn't bother me as much as it might with other books because I've read Maggie's writing and I tend to trust more that answers will come in further books.

There is one issue I did have problem. I admit it is small, but it did bother me because it should have been better researched. It was the issue of Gansey's EpiPen. First, why did he only have one EpiPen? He was rich and those come in packets of 2. His parents weren't terribly involved, but involved enough that they would have made sure that he would have several around him. It is also recommended to have 2 because many people need 2 doses. It is NOT a solution for his allergy. It is only for emergency use to give him time to get to the ER. That is the ONLY purpose for the EpiPen. At one time Blue thought it was something that would restart his heart after exposure to his allergy. That is something entirely different that is injected into the heart. If you are using the EpiPen for that reason, call the undertaker. You are dead. Yes, I know this is a small issue in the book, but since it was repeated several times, I would like to have had better and more accurate information about it. It would have benefitted other people in his position. Gansey would have been informed by his doctor even if he didn't take the doctor's advice.

In the end I do give this book 3 1/2 stars. Despite my problems with this book, I'm actually quite excited in starting the next.

33 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this, despite its flaws, Melissa! I recently re-read this in preparation for THE DREAM THIEES (which I'm reading now) and found it improved a LOT upon re-read and became far less confusing too. I hope you enjoy the sequel and wonderful review!(:

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    1. It was the holes that I had a problem with more than the confusion since so much seemed intentional. I'm glad the reread improved it though!

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  2. I thought this book wsasn't the first one in the series, mistaken it... thanks for the review

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    1. Yep, I got confused at first about that as well. :)

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  3. I have this one but I don't know if I will ever read it. Some reviews make me think I would enjoy it and others make me go "nope". Yours has me right in the middle! Well played!

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    1. You know you will read it! Oh and that was my evil intention... ;)

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  4. Now that you mention that, it does cross my mind why did he have only one epipen ? I'm glad you gave this book a try. I have the sequel to read. Nice review.

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  5. Your epi-pen rant made me giggle -- he IS rich, why doesn't he have more? Stupid kid.

    I enjoyed the first one and started the second one but put it down...not sure if I'm going to pick it up again! *sadness*

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    1. He also seemed embarrassed by it. They now have another company making them that fit into the pocket. You are telling me he couldn't afford it? LOL

      I am enjoying it, but things have been in my way of completing it. I should soon. :)

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  6. I would never have spotted that, but then I do not know anything about it

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    1. It really wouldn't have bothered me if it wasn't reinforced within the story so much. I was surprised there was so little research with it.

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  7. Having seen this reviewed on several blogs I'm glad to read your thoughts on it. Still wavering as to whether or not I want to read it or not, perhaps its one I'd pick up at the library rather than buy.

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    1. Might be a good idea if you are wavering. Maggie always seems to draw me in with her stories even if I have a few problems with it.

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  8. I must be the last person in the blogosphere who hasn't read this yet. I even preordered it, went event to Maggie's author event, had it signed, and it's still sitting on my shelf. *Facepalm* I've heard nothing but fabulous review and Dream Thieves is suppose to be even better. Hope that has some answers for you. :)

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    1. I'm sure you aren't the last... I see Felicia hasn't yet. :) So far I am really enjoying the sequel.

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  9. I do want to read this one. I've heard good things, and it sounds like you liked it enough. I've heard the second book is great too, and that makes me more excited.

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    1. I did end up enjoying it. I have a feeling I'll be enjoying the series even more.

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  10. Oh, yes, I'll admit that this was confusing at times and that I didn't quite know what to make of it, but it's Maggie, you know? Her writing alone is enough to make it worth my while. I'm glad you're excited about the sequel, I am too. :)

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    1. I think it was the plot holes more than the confusion that bothered me, but in a way.. it kind of made sense... or not. LOLI love her writing too and I think that is why the whole epipen thing bothered me more.

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  11. This has been one on my wish-list, if I can ever find the time..but with plot holes I am not sure now. I am glad that you still enjoyed it. Wonderful review Melissa :)

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  12. I have had this for ages and hopefully can read it soon. The plot holes will likely bother me but shouldn't ruin my enjoyment. But I'm glad to have been warned of them.

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  13. Sounds like a slow start to the series. Hmm, I wasn't really drawn to this series earlier. I might wait a bit longer. :) Thank you!

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  14. Oh no at the slow beginning, those are almost automatic dnf for me, and I have been wanting to read this one

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  15. Who knows maybe back in the sixties when this was set carrying two epi pens wasn't common practice. I agree this book was a slow crawl and I thought it lacked some of Maggie's magic. The writing just didn't blow me away. I am hoping I enjoy book two more.

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  16. Good review. Hearing mixed feedback about this one but i might give it a try soon :)

    new follower via gfc, bloglovin & twitter

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  17. I have this but for some reason I'm hesitant to start it. People have said it takes a while to get into and I have so many books to read I'm not sure I'll have the patience for it.

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  18. Heidi's comment aside, I listened to the audio and I, for once, was not at all confused. I felt like the single epi pen and it being in the glove box was a symbol of Gansey's belief that he was destined to find the ley line and the king (sorry don't have the name) so he believes nothing is going to kill him until he at least finds that. Right now, he thinks he's invincible. And that might play into the prophecy of Blue's fatal kiss. Just my thoughts as I listened. And I totally recommend the audio!

    Heather

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    1. Oh, was this set in the 60's? I thought there were computers and I know Gansey had his own helicopter and there was GPS tracking. The teacher's flashbacks were in the 60's. See I need the book for the names but I loved having the story read to me. I need both!

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    2. I got the symbolism of the epi pen. I do agree with you, but it still could have been accurate as well as symbolic. ;D

      It wasn't set in the 60s. I need to talk to Heidi about that. It is contemporary. I think some of the way Blue's family interacted and dressed was more reminiscent of the 60s. ;)

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  19. I never know if I will like these books or not, but I think I've been away from them for a long enough time, that I may try one again.

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  20. I had trouble getting into this book as well but ended up loving it-can't wait for the sequel!

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  21. I'm glad you enjoyed this, even if it did have problems. I peeked at your Dream Thieves review and I have to agree, book two is better! :-) Great review!

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