Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: September 18th, 2012 by Scholastic Press
“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.
The Review (spoiler-free):
I am so glad I finally read this book! I was a bit wary because SO many people love the series and I didn’t want to not like it, but I worried for nothing.
The Raven Boys captured my interest from the very first page, with the great opening line and the intriguing prologue. I was instantly hooked and I wanted to know more about Blue’s peculiar family. It’s nice to see a character with a supporting mother and family instead of the usual absentee parents we see so often in YA.
I think the best part about this book is the amazing characters. Each of them is so unique and memorable, and they have distinct personalities that make you fall in love with all of them. Blue is an eccentric yet sensible girl. Coming from a family of psychics, she’s used to all things weird despite not having any psychic abilities herself. Gansey is so driven by his goal to find the Welsh King, Glendower and because he comes from a privileged family, he could be a little naive about how others live. Which brings us to Adam, who comes from a family that is the complete opposite of Gansey’s and wealth and privilege seem to be a sore spot for him, especially when it makes him feel like a charity case. Ronan is constantly ‘in a mood’ and callous, but there’s something about him that makes you think that there’s more to Ronan Lynch than you might think. And Noah is just adorable!
Maggie Stiefvater has written such a wonderful set of characters in an incredible writing style that it felt like these people are actually real and that they really are on a quest to find Glendower. The story of Blue and her Raven Boys felt magical and yet realistic at the same time. The writing gave it an ethereal quality that had me believing in the story like it’s actually happening. The details are well thought out and even though the story itself could get confusing at times, everything eventually falls into place and readers can figure it out.
I have to say, The Raven Boys has a very unique plot. It’s different from what I’ve read before, and I found that I felt the same way when I read Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore. While Furthermore has a more light-hearted vibe to it, it still has that dark undertone when the characters actually went to the land of Furthermore. Even though The Raven Boys is not set in a magical land, the magic, the ley lines, the ghosts and the overall feel of the story gave it a dark, eerie atmosphere. I am definitely intrigued by the ley lines and the legend of the sleeping king, Glendower.
The Raven Boys is not fast-paced, it was a little slow at the beginning and I don’t think it’s action packed –at least not until towards the end of the book, but I didn’t get bored at all. In fact, I found the book to be unputdownable. The synopsis gives the impression that The Raven Boys would be a romance, but while the romance is there, it never takes over the main plot and it’s definitely adorable. The mystery is compelling and the adventures that the characters go on is just amazing. If it wasn’t for classes and assignments, I probably would’ve finished reading it even sooner.
In the end, The Raven Boys is an enthralling read, with a fascinating plot, an eclectic cast of characters and a captivating writing style that had me believing in magic. I had a really great time reading The Raven Boys and I can’t wait to read the sequel.
“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”
― Maggie Stiefvater,