The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 408 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: September 18, 2012
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Reviewed by: Lili
“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 the Shiver 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.
As I read more and more of this book, I realized that I haven’t read a book with an amazing group dynamic for quite some time, possibly even years. So, this is why this was such a refreshing read.
The Raven Boys are all different, slightly weird, yet so interesting and because of this I had a hard time putting this book down. This group of boys plus Blue will take you on a quirky, unique adventure that is unlike any other. Blue’s the unique girl surrounded by psychics that can't have her first kiss because she knows he will die. Gansey is the leader of the Raven Boys and though he is incredibly rich, he’s grounded and pursues his quest with a passion. Andrew is the only poor Raven Boy with abusive parents that he can’t wait to get away from with the help of his rich education at Aglionby. Ronan is the most misunderstood, but most enjoyable because of this. He’s always himself and I’ll admit I began to adore him the second he brought home a baby raven. And then there’s Noah. You tend to forget about him because he appears at the most random of times and he’s strangely quiet, but he’s there. All in all, this cast of characters is one of the most diverse ones out there and they’ll capture your interest easily.
I have to say that I had trouble with the initial plot progression of the book. I had to get a solid third of the way through it before I was able to fully enjoy it. There was a lot of unnecessary detail or oddities that I didn’t think were needed or used properly. The beginning was not all that engaging, but once I got over this minor bump, it was smooth sailing until the end. It almost seems as if Stiefvater struggled for a way to lead up to all of the adventure that can be found in the second half of the book.
As I read more and more, it also became increasingly obvious to me that the synopsis for this book is slightly misleading. I was under the impression there would be a decent portion of romance due to the fact that Blue grew up knowing she could never kiss her true love or he’ll die. In all honesty, there was very little romance. The book more or less focused on pursuing the ley lines and Gansey’s lifelong quest. What is his lifelong quest? Well, I can’t spoil something so awesome for you! While it's no romance, it is certainly something that will keep you flipping pages at a rapid speed.
In the end, this book can only be described as odd, but I think that's why I enjoyed it so much.
With an unpredictable plot, memorable characters, and a twisting tale, Stiefvater will capture your interest easily. While I do not think this book is as amazing as some of her others, this is definitely one to look out for. Once again, Maggie Stiefvater will not disappoint.
The animated book trailer for The Raven Boys: