Here’s the situation surrounding my reading of The Raven Boys: it was a gloomy weekend in March. I was alone at school, abandoned by my friends. My computer was kaput, having fallen victim to a glass of water and my klutziness. I had two long days, 48 hours, staring me down, separating me from a glorious spring break. In such dire conditions, one always turns to escapist YA. And thus, I began The Raven Boys, only to spend most of the the book wishing I’d opted to stare at my white wall for the next 48 hours rather than read. Very very little happened. I suppose I should have expected as much in a planned four-part series. But there was so much exposition, so much introduction to the characters, down to the minutiae of their actions and personalities. There is actually a scene where the author describes how each character felt after consuming a pizza. Basically, I was bored. During a weekend when the simplest of pleasures would have entertained me, I could find nothing diverting about The Raven Boys. It’s even worse since the book promises so much—forbidden love, a lost King, murder, psychic magic—and delivers so little. My only consolation was the writing. I didn’t always appreciate Stiefvater’s florous style, especially since I think her emphasis on detailed description made the plot falter, but it led to some gorgeous passages. I’m probably done with The Raven Boys tetralogy (unless some horrible circumstances trap me alone, with nothing to do, for 72 hours) but I am willing to try The Scorpio Races. As a standalone novel—someone call the nearest taxonomist! we’ve found an extinct species in the YA ecosystem!—it will hopefully deliver the excellent prose in a tightly plotted package.