The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys - I had very mixed feelings about this book. On almost every aspect of it, I both liked and disliked it. The characters were great, but they also annoyed the shit out of me. The mystery was awesome, but it was so poorly paced. The writing...well, no, I just plain old didn't like the writing.This is an extremely character-driven novel. And for a story about psychics, I have to say it: everyone was just a little too psychic for me. And I do mean everyone. Every hunched shoulder and raised eyebrow and monosyllable word came with a page-long explanation about how it described that person's character. There were times when a person would just stand still, not moving, not saying a word, and another character could somehow get a perfect read on their personality. Not just the psychic characters; it went like this with everyone, so I think that was a fault of the writing.Stiefvater also has a habit of padding stuff out by shoving in an incredible amount of metaphors, similes, extraneous details, and repeated sentences. (There were multiple times when she did stuff like -- "This is a night," Neeve said. But she said it like "This is a night." -- Well, that's nice, but why not just italicize the first sentence?) The narration ended up feeling weighed down and cloying. Plus there were a lot of weird errors that could have been fixed by a good editor. ("She saw a bone move in his jaw." Um...his one and only jawbone, maybe?)And while I liked the characters given, and I liked that they were flawed and had issues to deal with, the book was just a little too heavy handed with them. I feel like if she'd backed off with the woe and angst a little bit and given the characters room to relax a tad, they would have felt more real. The plot was great, and though the first half dragged on a bit while setting up all the character drama, once things got going, they moved along pretty well. ...until the ending. It felt like 3/4ths of a novel instead of something complete. The ending wasn't natural; the plot line just got chopped off and cauterized. And there was very little falling action. We had this big event happen, rather out of the blue, and it involved something magical that hadn't been explained or hinted at before...and then the book ends. No fallout, no explanation, nothing. We're just left there scratching heads and wondering what the hell happened.So...yeah. If the writing style doesn't bother you (and admittedly, it seems to be a personal preference issue) then this book is worth checking out. It's a fun enough read while you're in it. Just be prepared to have the ending smack you in the face.