Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Format: Hardcover
Publication: September 18, 2012
Summary: “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.

Review: When I picked up this book at Barnes and Noble it was entirely on impulse. Honestly the blurb didn't really catch my interest, but I loved the cover and the title. A beautiful cover can always sway my decision when choosing to buy a book. I hadn't heard a thing about this book and though I've heard of the author, I've never read any of her other books. Sometimes you just have a feeling when choosing a book and this was definitely one of those times.

The Raven Boys had me entranced the entire time I read. Each of the Raven Boys characters are so raw and believable. Lovable and flawed. I couldn't choose a favorite among them because each of them was my favorite. It is rare to find a novel where such conflicting characters all work themselves into you in a way that you cannot forget. Ronan’s anger and despair, Adam’s vulnerability, Noah’s invisibility, and Gansey’s unintentional condescension all make them whole. The character development of these boys was what made this novel so memorable for me. Blue on the other hand is not the most memorable heroine I've ever read. I liked her character, but I did not love her. The Raven Boys stole too much of the show for me to focus much on her.

The story is much different than any I've ever read. It is supernatural at heart but sets itself apart from any other supernatural story I've read, investing itself in a unique type of magic. At some points it can be confusing to follow the quest which these boy’s, namely Gansey, have fervently dedicated their lives to. Once you get sufficiently into the reading, though, it is much easier to follow and I found myself captivated by the story.

As love stories go, even though it begins by setting up with a true love to come, it is not too heavy on the romance. I believe this novel is setting up a love triangle to come in the next books in the series. I've always hated love triangles but the way that this one is set up is intriguing. Normally there is a concrete side with which you find yourself on but in this case I want both boys to get the girl. I don’t like one any more than the other for her. I am excited to see how this will play out.

I would positively recommend that everyone read this novel. Especially if you are looking for something new and refreshing in the sea of Young Adult Literature where there are so few books that are unique. The Raven Boys was one of my favorite books I read last year and I can't wait to read The Dream Thieves which was released earlier this month.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I'm glad you liked The Raven Boys. Like you, one of my favorite aspects of these books are the characters. Now, I still have about 100 pages togo, but so far I'm really enjoying it. I know the non-kiss scene you'r talking about-wasn't that awesome. I ended up reading both books back to back, and I love how the characters are growing and changing. Great review!