Thursday, October 3, 2013

DILEMMA: Should I try to finish Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Boys or is it ok to give up???

I was not a huge fan of Shiver, but I read so many good things about The Raven Boys that I thought I'd give Maggie's writing another chance. And now, at 25% through the eBook, I am having a dilemma. I'm just not really feeling it. I keep forcing myself to open the book, trying to just plow through it so I can move onto something else, but it feels like a chore. And that is not why I read YA! I have to read plenty of things that often feel like a chore for my day job....but this stuff is supposed to be fun. It's a hobby, after all! So I'm tempted to cut my losses and give up now, but am wondering if people think that's a grave error. Maybe if I can stick it out for another 50 pages or so, I'll see what all the fuss is about? Anyone?

There are some things I like about the book: namely, Maggie's writing. I want to like this more than I do because it actually is really well written--much better than the average YA paranormal. I think Maggie has a really unique voice for storytelling. I love the third person POV; it's so refreshing when 99% of these books are done in the first person, and gives the author a lot more flexibility than a first person POV.

The opening chapters about Blue were okay, but at this point I'm feeling like her situation (the prediction that she'll cause her true love to die) is a lot more interesting than Blue herself. Maybe that shouldn't be a problem for me, but it kind of is. I just can't really get that invested in her yet. However, I was willing to give it more time...

And then we got to the scenes with the raven boys, and that's where this really started to grate on me. Maggie introduces us to what seems like a dozen characters all in one scene and it's just overwhelming/boring. I feel like this book needs a character chart! I cannot keep straight the difference between Noah, Adam, Declan, Ronan, etc., and I'm not really too motivated to try. Everyone is so angsty and has some depressing backstory that is alluded to in bits and pieces and I just felt like it was a burden to try to keep track. It really just didn't pull me in at all and I soon found myself skimming the sections with the raven boys (which, admittedly, probably contributed to my difficulty distinguishing one character from the next, woof, vicious cycle!).

Gansey's obsession with Glendower is an interesting concept, but at 25% through the book it's frustrating not to have any idea why he cares so much about this, why the other raven boys are similarly obsessed, who Glendower really was, etc. etc. etc. I just basically don't feel connected to the characters at all and since character development/relatability is the most important thing to me in these books, that's kind of a deal breaker.

HOWEVER. I am only 1/4 through this. Maybe it will get better? If anyone is a fan of this book I would love to hear some arguments for why I should plow on ahead! I really do like the writing and that's basically what's been keeping me going so far.



  1. If you are feeling like you'd have to force yourself to finish this book, then there really is no need to. In that case, giving up on it, and just DNF-ing it, is just fine. There are lots of other books out there waiting for you to read them, and you will certainly like some of them.

  2. thanks for the comment. yeah, i have no problem with DNF-ing in principle...just wanted to be sure i'm not missing out on something awesome. i read a bit more and still can't get into it at all so i have officially given up!