Format: Audiobook (Narrated by Will Patton)
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
Warning! This review is filled to the brim with SPOILERS. Read at your own risk!
This book was supposed to be my redemption. I didn't like Cinder by Marissa Meyer, so I never read the rest of the series. Then, I DNFed Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Right off the bat, two huge fandoms in the YA community that I can't be a part of already, and now . . . *whispers* I . . . don't like The Raven Boys . . .
Long before my blogging days, I used to just buy books that I heard good things about. As the years passed and these books became more and more popular, I just kept buying each of the new books in the series as it came out, all while telling myself that I will read them at some point. *sigh*
So literally every bookworm I know adores The Raven Boys. They say it's "perfection" and "filled with book boyfriends" and just overall "a magical unicorn series that you need in your life" . . .
I tried to understand why everyone loves this book. I promise you, I did! While I usually DNF at 25% when I'm not liking a book, in this case, I pushed on! I schlepped through this entire book, waiting and praying for it to get better . . . waiting for that moment of clarity, or of understanding. And yet, here we are.
Honestly, I was completely emotionally unattached from all of the characters. I didn't understand why they were friends, or why they were on this magical quest to find this magical dead guy's body. I didn't feel any genuine emotions or problems there.
If I had to narrow my dislike to one, huge issue, I'd say that The Raven Boys was just unnecessarily overdramatic. For example, Blue has been told that if she kisses Gansey, he'll die within a year . . . but she doesn't seem to like him at all, so why is it even a problem to not kiss someone you don't even like? On the other hand, she seems to kind of like another boy from Gansey's crew—Adam—but she doesn't tell him about how her mother foretold that if she kisses anyone (just to be safe, since who knows—maybe it's not Gansey?), that could be the person who dies. And why—you ask—doesn't she tell him why she's avoiding kissing him? Well. She doesn't tell him because . . . she doesn't think he'll believe her. So in summation: these people are on a crazy quest through some creepy forest with talking trees that speak Latin while searching for a magical corpse, and THAT'S THE PART HE WON'T BELIEVE?!
And really, I want to blame the narrator—Will Patton—for my dislike of this book, but even a truly terrible narrator can't affect how a person feels about a plot and the characters of a book this intensely. HOWEVER, I will try listening to The Dream Thieves audiobook to see if I change my mind about this series, just because it's so popular that I really want to understand and grow to love it, maybe? So yes, I really hope that I will like Book 2, but I have very low expectations.
I will say that Will Patton largely contributed to me disliking this book. His voice is so raspy, and he honestly sounds like he's 60 years old, but he's narrating a teenage story! It just doesn't fit at all. Sadly though, he is the narrator for the rest of the series, and since the only way I'll have the reading time for this series is via audiobook, I am not looking forward to hearing this guy's voice again . . .
2) Out of the raven boys crew, I only liked Ronan and Noah. They were the only ones I could understand for the most part.
2) I could not emotionally connect with any of the characters. I didn't understand their motivations or their feelings. I also found them all to be boring and/or irritating with only a couple of exceptions. Though to be brutally honest, I might just think I like them in contrast to the other characters, since I found the rest to be super aggravating.
3) So the raven boys are made up of Gansey—the leader, Adam—the non-rich friend, Ronan—the guy who doesn't give a shit about anything except his pet raven, and Noah—the ghost who nobody realizes is a ghost, even though he FREAKING FLAT OUT TELLS THEM ALL, but okay. Besides my obvious irritations that I've just mentioned, this group of boys are a total bromance fail. They are all supposed to be blindly loyal to Gansey, except they all give him shit when he's doing things to actually help them. BUT when he asks them to join him on dangerous quests which involve talking trees, crazed psycho murderers, and psychics—THEN they are all for it. But when Gansey is trying to keep them in school when they are getting expelled OR when he's trying to get them away from physically and emotionally abusive family members—then Gansey is somehow dubbed "an asshole." I'm sorry—what??? HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?!?
4) The main "problem" between Blue and the raven boys is that if she kisses Gansey, he's going to die. If she kisses Adam, he might die. We're not sure. Well, as I've already said—it doesn't seem like she likes Gansey at all, so what's the issue? It all felt contrived. We only get visions of what might happen with them in the future, but there is zero chemistry between them. And as for her relationship with Adam, I felt absolutely nothing. It just seemed like two lonely people who don't want to be lonely. Oh, and Blue is the only girl around.
5) I could literally keep going for another several hours of rants, but then I'd just be tearing apart the entire book, bit by bit. So . . . I'll stop here. Please don't hate me!
“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”
So what do you guys think? Are you huge fans of The Raven Boys? Is the next book much better? Do you hate me now? Let me know in the comments below! XD