The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fantasy
Overall: Very few 400 page books can captivate my attention enough to be read in a single day. The Raven Boys was so mind-blowing that I refused to let the book down for a moment, because I was so impatient to figure out the end. I will probably re-read it within the next few months and savor it the second time. I have rated a few books 5 stars but this is THE best book that I have read this summer. The story is beautiful and so is the writing. The descriptions are so vivid and there’s a perfect balance between dialogue and action. There is no downtime or idle chat. There’s one fight scene between the boys that is so realistic that I could visualize it play-by-play. Seriously, the writing is amazing. One thing I must mention is that if you primarily read books for the romance, this book might not be for you. Romance is minimum. After all, Blue can’t even kiss someone without killing ’em.
Characters: For some reason I pictured Blue as a chick with blue hair – although she actually has “dark” hair – I just couldn’t figure out why a person would name their child Blue. Weird family. A very weird family of Psychics. I liked how each member of Blue’s all female family has a very distinct personality and a purpose in the story. There actually aren’t any idle characters. If someone is mentioned in the story, expect to see them again. I spent most of the novel baffled by Noah (you’ll know what I mean when you read it), but don’t worry he makes sense in the end. I like how the other POV character, Gansey, isn’t liked by most people because he’s insanely wealthy. He spends most of his time trying to get people to look past his wealth, while his best friend, Adam, spends all his time trying to hide the fact that he’s pennyless. I didn’t like Adam initially but I really like how polar opposite he was from Gansey. The two boys really are entertaining whenever they get together.
Plot: So, Blue has a curse: if she kisses her true love, he will die. Because of that the romance in this book is far from instant-love. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but I really love how the romance develops and twists in this story – and I’m not a romance fan. At the beginning of the book, Blue sees Gansey’s apparition. This means that he will die within a year. She and her family set out to find the real Gansey to warn him of his impending death. Gansey, on the other hand, is on a mission to discover the lost tomb of Glendower that he has traced to this small town. Each character has their own motivations and mini-plots. I loved the depth in the story, especially considering this is a YA novel.
Ending: Not all is answered unfortunately, but the author does promise a sequel. I felt like most of the sub-plots were wrapped up, but one of the main plots is left as a cliffhanger. I’m hoping to figure out what will happen in the next book, which will be pre-ordered because this one was so awesome.
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is 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 has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, 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 never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
This book is my favorite fantasy read this year.
I won an ARC version of this book from Goodreads. I will be purchasing a second copy from Amazon to send to my mother’s MG school class.
About the author:
(Information and picture obtained from Goodreads.)
All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.