Book Reviews

Review: The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater

Published: September 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press


Series: The Raven Cycle #1


Source: Local Library                                                                                                                                                         

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Magical Realism


Summary: 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.

 

Spoiler Free Review:

This was a rather strange book. A teenage girl who, grew up in a family of psychics, meets a strange group of boys known as The Raven Boys, who are searching for ley lines. I will say, when the premise stated that Blue would kill her true love with one kiss I was not impressed. Here we go again, reading a story with a girl who meets a boy or rather, four boys, perhaps there will be a despised love triangle or even worse, a love circle. I can’t tell you how excited I was to read this book, due to the hype. The premise did lower my expectations. I wouldn’t say I judged the book by its cover, but rather it’s premise. Well, I will say that I was in for a surprise.

The story started pretty slow and I actually read a few books in between, due to its pace. After the first 100 pages, you’re just anticipating for Blue to finally meet The Raven Boys. When they finally meet, things a whole lot interesting. The setting takes place Virginia (The state I currently reside in), in a made up town. Even if the plot was rather confusing in the beginning, I was so fascinated by how Maggie Stiefvater put together everything. A dead king, ley lines, talking trees, magical forests, a house full of female psychics. It was very overwhelming to take in. But, trust me once you enter you cannot escape until the last page. 

The writing style was unlike anything I’ve ever read. It was so descriptive, dark at times, but so full of feeling. I was expecting it to read solely from Blue’s point of view. I was relieved to see that it has multiple point of views from the boys themselves. I think it is a great comparison to say that the boys and Blue remind me a bit of the television show, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT). Gansey reminds me of Leo and also Donnie, Adam a sweet, loving Donnie, Ronan is obviously a Raph, and Noah, a quieter and loyal Mikey and of course Blue is reminded of April. They are obviously not hunting for mutants and are not exactly the characters in TMNT, but it’s fun to imagine.

I was a tad bit skeptical about all of the characters in the beginning. But, as soon as you get to know all of them, you come to love all of them. Gansey is the leader of the group, the rest following to find the old dead Welsh king, Glendower. His character was so unique and I have never read a book with someone like him. I’ve come to love Adam, Noah, and even Ronan (not really). Blue is so witty and speaks what’s on her mind, and I love that about her.

All in all, this was quite the eccentric read. Maggie Stiefvater tackled a unique topic and wrote a wonderful first book.

Rating: 4.75

 
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