The Raven Boys was perhaps one of the year’s most anticipated titles for many readers, myself included. I almost gave this one a 3.5 star rating though after my expectations fell a little flat. There is absolutely no doubt that Stiefvater can write. Anytime I read work with her name attached, I’m mesmerized by the lyrical style she writes in and the beautiful and stunning visuals she provides for a reader. It’s rather inspiring as a reader and a writer, to be honest. On a personal side note here, I wasn’t a big fan of Shiver. The writing, of course, was amazing, but I just didn’t get into the story. The Scorpio Races is by far one of my favorites though (not just of her work, but one of my all-time faves), and I still constantly think of it. When I’d heard of The Raven Boys, like many readers, I became excited with the premise and looked forward to picking it up as soon as I could get my tiny hands on it. Still, even though I may not have had the most satisfying experience, I find myself appreciating the fact that Ms. Stiefvater still knows how to pull readers in with her words and exceptional craft. My problem with The Raven Boys was that there was a lot going on and at times, it happened a bit faster than I’d like and sometimes became a bit out of focus until I picked up pace again. There are a lot of characters to keep up with, and each are structured and developed quite well, but I also felt that sometimes they appeared to me (on a personal vision) as much older than the intention. I had to remind myself a few times they were high school age, and often it felt they were beyond that from impressions. I totally get that teens are quite mature and come off as adults, too. I was like that when I was that age also, but it would have been nice to see some “quirks” here and there that did show their age (like even the most mature/adult-like teens still have).What I really loved was the writing, of course. It flows beautifully and lyrically, and each scene is painted for the reader with well-crafted visuals. I liked the characters, especially the family of psychics that were quirky. Blue is intelligent and witty. I liked reading her. She wasn’t shy or clumsy, and certainly wasn’t a typical Mary Sue. She was a no-nonsense type of girl that just went right along with the unusual mystery she was given and I loved that she didn’t stutter and fumble, and that she did what she knew she needed to do.The Raven Boys starts the story off right from the start. I liked that. Once I began reading, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a unique complex story with interesting characters. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Even if you’re not a fan, but thinking about it: give it a try. Especially if you love mystery, paranormal, magic, and romance.