The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date – September 18, 2012
Publisher Website – Scholastic
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 408 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**obtained from publisher via BEA for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.A unique premise, a fantastical world filled with hidden clues, and an adventure filled with love and death. The Raven Boys offers something unique in the realm of Young Adult books, and was a pleasant surprise.
The entire world is filled with magic and wonder. The setting dictates that this is a story based in fantasy, and yet, there is a realism that makes it all seem possible. Blue’s world of psychics and premonitions compliments Ganey’s world of sleeping kings, ley lines, and secrets.
Love and death are entwined for Blue. She is destined to kill her true love with a kiss. The connection of love and death to this story is something that is woven throughout the entire book. The themes explored in the novel are deep and though provoking. There is so much going on, and so many passages that could be significant later on the series that this book almost demands a second reading. The complex plot is one of the strongest aspects of the novel, and Maggie Stiefvater's ability to connect everything is awe inspiring. Her writing is filled with beautiful descriptive passages that make even the smallest thing seem to sparkle.
Blue’s Raven Boys are damaged, crushingly heartbreaking, and filled with wonder. Each of them will grab at your heart and not let go. Adam is the scholarship student with a violent home life. He may have touched me the most. I wanted to protect him from his wretched home life. I found his stubbornness to accept help both infuriating and admirable. Noah, the quiet boy who observes everyone and everything. His secrets run deep and once revealed change everything. Ronan is hot tempered, filled with sadness, and yet there is something underneath all that bravado. His gentleness with his raven touched me. Lastly, the unofficial leader, Gansey. A young man who is always searching for something more and he borderlines on the obsessive. He’s endearing in his awkwardness and is always trying to do what he believes is right. Each of the boys is crush worthy in their own way and Ms. Stiefvater manages to make each of them fully realized so that each feels tangible. The friendship between the boys is filled with darkness, beauty and a fierce loyalty. Blue manages to fit in, and be accepted by them and the author makes you see how she completes them.
This novel’s romance is wonderfully done. It is understated and not the main focus of the novel, even with Blue’s curse. There is no instant love, but rather a flash that could turn into something more. It’s multiple crushes that have potential rather than multiple loves. It feels natural and refreshing. The connections that are being made could blossom into something deeper and I am invested in who ultimately works their way into Blue’s heart. Blue’s reactions to things rang true to a teenager developing crushes, and I fell right along with her.
A fantastic plot, mixed with magic and some stunning writing makes The Raven Boys one not to be missed. Maggie Stiefvater’s incredible characters will draw you in and make you invested right from the beginning. I am desperately wanting to continue this journey of energy, love, death and sleeping kings with Blue and her beautiful Raven Boys.