Thursday 25 October 2012

Review: Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue lives with a load of psychics, and she's known her whole life that if she kisses her true love, he'll die.
But that never seemed quite so close to happening until her half-aunt Neeve turns up at her door, announcing that this is the year. Now Blue is running with boys from the local posh school, despite her family's warnings. Because one of them is either her true love, or the man she will kill.
And he's not her boyfriend.
Okay... Right. First flaw in this book: can he not be both her true love and the man she'll kill, since she's going to kill her true love? You'd think that would be the obvious conclusion to come to, but such a thing is never actually mentioned in the book, although there are hints of it in a vision. Second flaw/problem/thing: it just seems to be trying too hard. The way some of the characters seem to be able to look right inside the others, and some of the deconstruction of language that can be seen at the start, it just seems like it's trying to be literary. It's YA paranormal romance. It doesn't need to be literary. Unfortunately, I have a feeling this is just the writing style of Maggie Stiefvater, which makes me feel mean, but it's just the feeling I got. It seems too strained. Third super-massive issue I have is the ending. I know. Bad times.
When you read a book, you expect most, if not all, of the problems and main plot points outlined at the beginning to be fixed and sorted and tied off at the end of the novel. If you want a sequel, you make these fixed things create their own problems, but they do get fixed.
That's not what happened here, and it was annoying as Hell. It made me think that either the peole controlling the whole shebang said 'We have a great idea of how to get people to read the sequel -- end it in an as unended way as possible' or the writer got to the word count the publishers wanted and realised she hadn't finshed writing, and would have to make some sort of make-do ending and save the good stuff for a sequel. Either way, it's annoying and just seems unprofessional. This is my annoyed face.

But, of course, it wasn't all bad. Overall, the book wasn't exactly likely to create an earthquake in the world of YA para-rom (yes I made that up myself), but it was nice enough. It was an intriguing read, until I realised there was no time for everything to be tied up and started to feel all foreboding. It could have been a really nice story. All the characters had stories, which is awesome.

So, anyway. Sigh. You know how I hate giving bad reviews, so I think I will bump this up to 3 and a half stars. I don't have a graphic for that, so you'll just have to split the difference.

Charlie out!

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