Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Series? Yes, #1 in The Raven Cycle
Publisher: Scholastic (2012)
Rating: 6/6 – A new favorite!
Synopsis from cover: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve. Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them – until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, and he’s 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: Okay, three things before I get into my actual review: 1) This is way less romance than the synopsis hinted at (hooray!), 2) The cover is so amazing because I can pick out each of the four boys easily – whoever designed it deserves a gold medal, and 3) why did I wait so long to read this book. WHY. My heart was pounding the entire time and I can easily say that this is a new favorite series!
What did I think about the characters? I don’t want to break it down like I usually do, because SPOILERS. I’ll just stick to an overall statement and say that WOW Maggie can really write some incredible characters. They are all so distinct and well rounded it felt like they could be standing right next to me while I was reading. Every single character is so multi-layered that I felt like I knew everything about them, but at the same time there was just more and more to find out. And so many of them broke my heart, for all different reasons. Usually with such a large cast I find one character that I love, but I can’t say that for this book. I cared about each and every one, and there wasn’t ever a scene where I thought, okay get out of the frame and back to my favorite. I’m tempted to say Adam, but then I think about Ronan, and then Gansey… but then there’s Noah too and oh jeese I really cannot pick one.
Is a five-way marriage legal?
And the concept and plot? I’m still dipping my toes into the pond of paranormal, having been scared away years ago by Twilight (sorry to any Twi-hard reading this), and this was the perfect book to convince me that it’s not all insta-love and flimsy plots. All the ley-lines and St. Mark’s Eve and seer terms were well explained, and it was all incorporated perfectly.
And the plot. Oh man. Fangirling ahead. It was just flawless. There were alternating scenes of calm and action, but so well balanced. I was completely sucked in the ENTIRE time, and didn’t want it to end! And there were at least three times where my jaw dropped – I did not see all those twists coming! Just. AJKFLDJAFSLD.
What about the writing style? I’m 100% serious when I say that Maggie’s writing is some of the best I’ve read in a while. Everything was shown, not told. There was just enough implication so I understood parts of the book, and nothing was ever forgotten or dropped along the way. And the character development. Holy crap.
Anything else you’d like to add? I need to get paid soon so I can order The Dream Thieves. Like now.
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